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Apocalypse Now
Drama, Action, History, War
IMDB rating:
Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando as Kurtz
Martin Sheen as Marlow
Robert Duvall as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore
Frederic Forrest as Jay 'Chef' Hicks
Sam Bottoms as Lance B. Johnson
Laurence Fishburne as Tyrone 'Clean' Miller
Albert Hall as Chief Phillips
Harrison Ford as Colonel Lucas
Dennis Hopper as Photojournalist
G.D. Spradlin as General Corman
Jerry Ziesmer as Jerry, Civilian
Scott Glenn as Lieutenant Richard M. Colby
Bo Byers as MP Sergeant #1
James Keane as Kilgore's Gunner
Storyline: It is the height of the war in Vietnam, and U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent by Colonel Lucas and a General to carry out a mission that, officially, 'does not exist - nor will it ever exist'. The mission: To seek out a mysterious Green Beret Colonel, Walter Kurtz, whose army has crossed the border into Cambodia and is conducting hit-and-run missions against the Viet Cong and NVA. The army believes Kurtz has gone completely insane and Willard's job is to eliminate him! Willard, sent up the Nung River on a U.S. Navy patrol boat, discovers that his target is one of the most decorated officers in the U.S. Army. His crew meets up with surfer-type Lt-Colonel Kilgore, head of a U.S Army helicopter cavalry group which eliminates a Viet Cong outpost to provide an entry point into the Nung River. After some hair-raising encounters, in which some of his crew are killed, Willard, Lance and Chef reach Colonel Kurtz's outpost, beyond the Do Lung Bridge. Now, after becoming prisoners of Kurtz, will...
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A Genuine Masterwork!
This is a film that could be remembered as much for what happened on the set as what ended up on the screen. Both stories are complex and quite uncanny. Let it be said I loved this movie. To be harshly critical any of the performances is ignorant to the times and the works that inspired the film. Sheen is something to behold and it wasn't until I witnessed this film I understood the emotion he could convey on screen. You could say Hopper, Duvall and Brando have almost cameo like rolls... and you'd be wrong. They were used to their potential and you have to disregard the fact that their screen time was limited. This film is a brilliant spectacle. Hardly ever does a person examine life on the scale of life and after seeing Apocalypse Now, you will never be able to see war on the scale of war. It is made up of actions much more insignificant. Coppola saw it, Sheen acted it, I felt it.
Version vs. Version
I have to admit, the first and only six times I saw the original version of this film (not "Redux"), I fell asleep during the film. I was convinced that the original film was made catastrophically unwatchable by the muddled and misguided editing. Several of my friends were angry to the respect that I could actually fall asleep to the "best film ever", in their opinion. As a result, I was relieved when I found out that there was going to be a release of a new version to theatres, a "director's cut", if you will. I purposely waited until it was released on DVD to watch it, and turned the English subtitles on, and I was glad, because I remember lots of the dialog being lost in the original mix (as I think it is also in this as well), but I feel the subtitles help you get through it. You see, I am the kind of person who likes director's cuts, uncensored versions, restored with new footage films, and even letterbox versions, basically the best way a film is intended. There are some exceptions to the rules, like when different editing processes are used, such as "Star Wars: A New Hope", which I still think was a mistake that George Lucas didn't correct some of the very noticeable errors in digital vs. analog editing and prints (i.e. he really should have either re-filmed the original Jabba-the-Hut & Han Solo conversation, instead of a digital re-creation and insertion/replacement of an analog filming of someone different {Jabba}, or just kept the scene cut indefinitely), or when studios take control of films and try to make their own edit and commercial cuts, which is almost always monstrous, just as I've heard with Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". To summarize, it is possible for someone who has issues with this original film to like the "Redux" version, if it is for the reasons as I stated, because I feel that "Apocalypse Now Redux" actually is a better film than the original "Apocalypse Now". Yes, I am bold enough to say it. I am positive that this will offend people who think the original cut is the "best film ever", and I know it is even probable they won't like -this- version, but I don't care about that, just like I didn't rate this version 5-stars, or even think of it as the "best film ever". This film clearly travels the waters between pure evil and insane genius. This is the only version worth watching. 8/10
The most boring film I've ever seen
After seeing the high rating I decided to take a look at this film, for the first hour and forty minutes I was bored to tears. After that point it looked like there might have been some slight hope things were going to pick up, but that was only for ten minutes then it went back to the boring drab and dullness until the end of the film.

There's not a lot I can say as hardly anything interesting or worth watching is in this film, just seemed like the same thing happening over and over again just with different camera angles until they finally got to the island. Even then it doesn't live up to the expectations of what the characters in the film have been trying to imply all along.

There was nothing insane about this film or the guy on the island, there was maybe a few minutes of very mild gore, nothing scary, no horror and no craziness.. just dull dull dull.

I would find the beeping noise of a reversing truck more exciting than this film.
Those AWFUL added scenes in "Redux"
I'm starting to get weary when I hear the term "director's cut". Some are good like Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" but William Friedkin totally screwed up the end of "The Exorcist" in his restored version, but this is even worse. "Apocalypse Now" was very well made and it seems that Coppola who was in his creative prime when he made the film (having completed "Godfather I & II" and "The Conversation" and then never coming even close to anything compelling after that) simply decided to desicrate this film. He should have realized that he was a much better director when he made "Apocalypse Now? then he is at present, and that he cut out the scenes in question for good reason.

-I like the extra footage of Col Kilgore, but having Willard steal his surfboard and then laugh with glee like a frat boy was totally not in his character and it was best left on the cutting room floor.

-The playboy bunnies extra scene is beyond ridiculous. It wasn't even inserted into the movie correctly. One minute it's a sunny day Willard is reading Col. Kurt's letter to his son and looking at a photo of Kurtz, and then suddenly it's raining and they come across the army camp. Willard offers two drums of deisel fuel in exchange for sex for the boys on the boat. Again..totally out of character for Willard, and completely unbelievable as a whole. Theres a five minute awkward scene with the men and the bunnies and then FLASH their back on the boat again, it's not raining anymore and Willard is staring at the same photo of Kurtz again, terrible editing!! Afterwhich is the scene where they come across the Vietnamese supply boat and kill the passengers. The impact of this scene is taken away as the motivations of the crew are not as understandable anymore. Also when Willard kills the injured Vietnamese woman because he's in a hurry to get moving, makes no sense now. He wasn't in too big a hurry in the previous scene having made the deal for the men to have sex with the bunnies????

-The French Plantation sequence is too looooonngg. Willard (at their dinner table) asks why the family is still in Vietnam, to which he gets a TWENTY MINUTE answer by everyone at the table as they yell back and forth at each other. He then SUDDENLY ends up with this French woman while the soundtrack spews very sappy music. I was wondering what happend to the movie during this entire sequence....the river....the war....colonel Kurtz???? After watching this awful sequence I said to myself "the horror, the horror".

-The extra scene with Brando reading Time Magazine is also pointless. Also seeing the Kurtz character in broad daylight, instead of the shadowing figure that we were limited to in the original version takes away his foreboding.

All these scenes add nothing to the film except extreme length. I tend to like long movies but not when they are injected with pointless scenes, the movies previous 2 1/2 hour length was perfect for it. I will keep my old original DVD of "Apocalypse Now". I hope some day they release a two disc set of this film. It will have the original version in the 2:35 to 1 aspect ratio. And another disc with trailers, "Hearts of Darkness a filmaker's Apocalypse", and they can even throw in the extra "Redux" scenes in a deleted scenes option just for laughs.

STICK WITH THE ORIGINAL!!! As far as "Apocalypse Now Redux" goes, for me, this version does not exist...nor will it ever exist.
Apocalypse Now Redux is the definitive film of the Vietnam War.
This is an apocalyptic vision of the hell of our contemporary world. The social criticism of our shallow, commercially oriented values is what makes this film an exceptional vision of the "war is hell" cliché, underscored by a mythical journey upriver to Cambodia by a special forces captain whose mission is to eliminate (with extreme prejudice) a rogue colonel, who's left behind the army's concepts of justice to create his own world. When I saw Apocalypse Now in 1980, I thought it was a deeply flawed masterpiece. In particular, I found the final segment of the journey with Brando, which encapsulates Conrad's Heart of Darkness, to be rather boring. I finally got around to seeing Apocalypse Now Redux and the flaws have been taken care of. Redux makes the movie an outright masterpiece, certainly among the top 100 films ever made. Brando's performance now seems full and complete, perhaps rather less mysterious, but much more profound. Martin Sheen is brilliant at the heart of one of the best acting ensembles ever assembled. It's great to spot a young Harrison Ford, Scott Glenn, etc. in early screen performances that suggest what fine actors they will eventually be recognized as. The work of Robert Duvall, Fred Forrest, Lawrence Fishburne and Sam Bottoms is greatly enhanced by the additional footage. If you've never seen this film, skip the original and head straight for Redux. I wish we could get a Gangs of New York Redux from Scorcese to fill in all the gaps in that deeply flawed potential masterpiece.
Redux is a Travesty, Travesty, Travesty!
First off, I am not reviewing the classic original which I would give 10 stars to, I am reviewing the horrible 2001 redux, and this is why there is 1 star.

I don't care what Coppola says. He calls the REDUX/redo/re-edit that he put in theaters in 2001 the "definitive version" of Apocolypes Now. He's crazy. He hasn't made a decent film in a long, long time. He took a great and classic film and ruined it, and it's his own. Will he do this to the first two Godfather films? Robert Duvall's gung-ho character has turned into a buffoon, searching for a surfboard that Martin Sheen has stolen. Martin Sheen's character has turned into a warm-hearted guy who loves his crew, plays games with them like stealing surfboards, as opposed to a serious guy who has a very serious mission like in the original. Marlon Brando reads TIME magazine. And there is a scene with a French Plantation that destroys the entire flow to the movie, and plays like a corny dream sequence and is just horrible, with acting so bad it's more of a nightmare. The worst scene in the redux is when Chef and Lance (Fred Forrest and Sam Bottoms) party in a "parked" helicopter with some of the Playboy Playmates from the previous R&R scene. One of the playmates has a birdcage on her head, no joke. This is another scene that kills the entire flow of the movie, and makes Martin Sheen a nice guy, since he is the one who sets up his men with the girls in the first place. And also, Coppola takes the scene where Lance is water skiing (with the Stones "Satisfaction" playing) and moves it from the beginning of the film to the middle. This was, in the original, one of the best setup scenes of all time, letting you unwind and to get to know the laid-back situation of these men, and Coppola ruins it. Oh the horror, the horror, the horror of this redux. The Redux is a total travesty. Coppola has ruined his own masterpiece. Imagine Van Gogh, if he'd lived, taking "Starry Night" and adding to it, or DiVinci or Monet or anyone else. Coppola has lost it, completely. And so, the true "horror" isn't the Vietnam war, but the hands of a burnt-out has-been filmmaker mangling one of his best works. And by the way, here I am reviewing the redux only, which is why there is only one star.
Why I rated it a 1/10
I would have given this a 9/10 as it is a superb movie.

But showing heartless animal snuff to visualize heartless human war is sarcasm at best. It would totally be fitting and OK if it were special FX, but it weren't. Mr. Coppola even "went overboard" with "a truckload of animals to slaughter". No sir. That's not OK.

Special-FX would have been believable enough to "shock" and to show the similarity between the sacrifice of the buffalo and of Kurtz. The film would have not suffered an inch of credibility, nor a tiny fragment of it's impact. The contrary would have been more likely.

And no, I'm no fighter for animal rights and omnivore myself, but this is USELESS. A heartless Mr. Coppola trying to convince me, the viewer, that war is senseless and what not. He didn't even understand his own vision himself as it seems by such a behavior.

I'm stopping here, because no one is ever reading this. But if, here is the reason why I down voted this. And usually I won't do that just to express my opinion or hate of a genre or whatever.
The boredom!
Well, after watching Full Metal Jacket and seeing the high rating here on a movie on a similar topic, i decided to sit through AN: Redux. What a mistake i had made.

I really expected to get my socks blown off with its rating here on IMDb, it even got to the point where I was making things out to be better than they really were...thinking- the people on IMDb must know what they are talking about! By the end of the movie seeing Sheen's blank expression for the billionith time...ugh! How can you guys say this guy nailed the role perfectly and compliment his acting, he doesn't have much to nail or act! There are other comments here which i disagree with. Such as, the opinions of time-less lines "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" Zomg! Classic! "The horror...the horror". Wow! The last parts bordering on Art? What the hell? Um. No. Bad movie guys. I really do want my time back on this one. How some users can call this the best movie of all time is beyond me. Each to their own i guess.
Warning! Will give you a headache
Disturbingly insane and boring, as it came highly rated, I forced myself to watch it till the end and ended up feeling I wasted 2.5 Hours of my life. Cinematography and lighting may be top notch only if you have the stomach to watch it till the end. there are better movies on war and violence if that's what you like.
Lives Up To Its Title
From all of the Vietnam war movies this is probably the most frightening and disturbing and that is really saying a lot with so many spectacular ones that have come out. It has this freakish feel to it. Everything is so chaotic in the movie it scares you. It is not like it shows a lot of different things compared to the other Vietnam war movies. What does push to such a high level is the:

The directing was spectacular here. Francis Ford Coppola shows of his talent in his last epic movie. Unlike other directors he makes you feel as if you are in the war. Most others just display and show you the horrors of war. Coppola though makes you feel confused, shocked and scared. These feelings of war are usually told to us from a movie or story. This is something that I have only experienced very few times while watching a film. The writing was of course amazing too. It brought you write into the middle of the movie. It never made me bored and this movie is three hours. The cinematography goes hand in hand with the directing which very much added to the freakish experience of watching this film showing all the chaos around you even when everything seems calm.

The acting was bone-chilling. Just look at Marlon Brando also giving his last great performance playing a deluded, out of whack colonel. When ever I think of a crazy gone made soldier I think Marlon Brando in Apocalpyse Now. With Brando n this film you don't want to look into his eyes. Like the movie he was freakish. To me this performance is as memorable as the one he gave in The Godfather. Martin Sheen gave a very deep performance and probably the best one of his career making you see everything through his eyes all the craziness he is experiencing and yet wanting him to get to his goal. It is just a wonder why these two did not get Oscar nominations. Robert Duvall was able to show part of that craziness with his ludicrous battle strategies, among those playing music to tell the enemy he is coming. Also Duvall's character asking one of the soldiers to surf in the middle of a battle was just shocking but believable. Other great supporting performances were given by a young Laurence Fishburne, Sam Bottoms and Frederic Forest who all summed up the attitudes of many of the soldiers at that time without becoming a cliché. Also for once cameos were put into good use having Dennis Hopper and Harrison Ford who I both love.

I would definitely recommend people to watch this movie. It has a message and everyone involved in the making of it is at their best. There is nothing more I could ask of this movie with its great acting, directing, writing, cinematography and great ending. Watch and you will see why it lives up to its title Apocalpyse Now.
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