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Apocalypse Now

Martin Sheen , Marlon Brando , Francis Ford Coppola    VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (443 customer reviews)

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In the tradition of such obsessively driven directors as Erich von Stroheim and Werner Herzog, Francis Ford Coppola approached the production of Apocalypse Now as if it were his own epic mission into the heart of darkness. On location in the storm-ravaged Philippines, he quite literally went mad as the project threatened to devour him in a vortex of creative despair, but from this insanity came one of the greatest films ever made. It began as a John Milius screenplay, transposing Joseph Conrad's classic story "Heart of Darkness" into the horrors of the Vietnam War, following a battle-weary Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) on a secret upriver mission to find and execute the renegade Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has reverted to a state of murderous and mystical insanity. The journey is fraught with danger involving wartime action on epic and intimate scales. One measure of the film's awesome visceral impact is the number of sequences, images, and lines of dialogue that have literally burned themselves into our cinematic consciousness, from the Wagnerian strike of helicopter gunships on a Vietnamese village to the brutal murder of stowaways on a peasant sampan and the unflinching fearlessness of the surfing warrior Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), who speaks lovingly of "the smell of napalm in the morning." Like Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God, this film is the product of genius cast into a pit of hell and emerging, phoenix-like, in triumph. Coppola's obsession (effectively detailed in the riveting documentary Hearts of Darkness, directed by Coppola's wife, Eleanor) informs every scene and every frame, and the result is a film for the ages. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great 2 for 1 deal Nov. 6 2006
I think the original version of Apocalypse Now is vastly superior to the needlessly long Redux, although the additional scenes of the latter (the French plantation, Playboy bunnies, Willard stealing the surfboard) are interesting in and of themselves. So now we can have both, in a single, bargain-priced and handsomely packaged edition. As with most DVDs, the bonus deleted scenes are pretty much a waste of time, although they do help a person understand the choices Coppola made in editing, and in that sense, it really drives home the magnitude of his achievement in creating the original masterpiece. I don't like that the movie is broken into two parts; why couldn't they have put the original on one disc, and Redux on the other? But then again, in a long movie most people have to take a bathroom break at some point anyway, and the sampan massacre is an appropriately dramatic scene with which to end part one. All told, The Apocalypse Now Complete Dossier 2-disc special edition is well worth buying.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars problems with this canadian release Oct. 20 2010
A warning to anybody who cares, I bought this Full Disclosure edition yesterday at HMV Megastore in Montreal. Here are the problems with the Canadian release (handled by Maple Pictures): it didn't come with the 48 page booklet (none do). Disc 1 and Disc 2 are mislabelled as Disc 2 and Disc 1(this error applies also to the 2 disc edition). Maple knows about the problems and have recalled both sets. It seems the corrected editions will be in stores next week, hopefully!
Another big problem is that both movies are missing the credit reels at the end of the movie. The movie disc label says 153 minutes and 202 minutes but they end up actually being 147 minutes and 196 minutes. weird...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! Pan and Scan mess Dec 27 2002
While the original film was 2.1:1 aspect ratio, Paramount has butchered this film by pan and scanning down to fit a 16:9 widescreen TV. Of course they don't bother to tell you that on the package. So much for the director's vision. Paramount, you should be ashamed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
PLOT(minus spoilers): We follow five soldiers, led by Sheen's character, as they head out on an assasination mission. The target is a C/O(Brando) who's apparently gone AWOL, having began to slaughter the enemy without orders as well as become a godlike figure in the eyes of many indigenous people in the area, virtually turning them into his warrior slaves. Upon traveling to find the C/O, Sheen becomes strangely intrigued by his military tactics, tactics so swit and terrible that even the VC have become fearful of him. The military, meanwhile, has assured Sheen's character that this commander is indeed insane, but it's the journey up river in which we see......
.... EVERYTHING out on the river is insane. Posts are manned without commanders, officers(Robert Duvall) are more fixated on surfing and Play Boy Playmates than their present battle. During these segments, when we move - almost drift - from scene to scene, we begin to see this Vietnam as something different, something more vague and faintly evil than we could ever had dreamt up. This side of the world has gone mad, as Sheen's character soon begins to see ever more clearly. Even the men accompanying him begin to shift towards the other side of sanity. But don't fret, the way this shift is portrayed is a beautiful thing to witness, as is the irony of their endeavor - that, sent to kill an officer for going crazy, EVERYTHING is also crazy, and the AWOL officer makes perhaps the most sense.
I suppose this film reiterates all we thought we knew about Vietnam, only it happens in a way that both tears and swallows your preconceptions alive, forcing you to dig ever deeper into the madness that surrounded Vietnam.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SURREAL JOURNEY TO MADNESS. July 22 2003
"Apocalypse Now Redux" is an extended version of the 1979 classic "Apocalypse Now"; in this version, the director Francis Ford Coppola added 49 minutes of footage that was deleted in the original release. There are two major new segments and new little bits that help to understand better the surreal story of the film. The little bits of scenes are great and sure make the movie more pleasant. However, the scenes with the playboy bunnies doesn't help too much in the narrative and the pace of the film, perhaps they should have been trimmed a little bit for better results. But the segment of the french plantation is just horrible, pointless and boring, the director should have kept these scenes on the editing room once again.
However, "Apocalypse Now Redux" is a good addition to any movie collection, the picture and the sound quality are very good, and the movie by itself it's a fascinating classic, the great parts outnumber the flawed scenes; perhaps the longer segments doesn't help too much, but at least contribute to understand better the story. There are very few extras on this DVD, but as I say before, the movie by itself is worth the money. If you liked the original "Apocalypse Now", give a chance to this new version, if you haven't seen this movie yet, start with the original, and if you like it, go get "Apocalypse Now Redux". Absolutely recommendable to every one who loves the classic movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Maiming of a Masterpiece April 18 2003
In 1995, I attended a pre-release screening "In the Mouth of Madness", which was preceded by an audience Q&A with John Carpenter. He was asked for his comments on the then new trend of "Director's Cut" video releases. His response was, "It's all about going to the video store, taking your wallet out of your pocket, and putting your money on the counter AGAIN". While this is not always true, in the case of Apocalypse Now Redux, his words are particularly apt. Had I never seen the original, I would have written this film off as self-indulgent, rambling, and unfocused. The expanded scenes added insight into some of the supporting characters, but none of that did anything to move the story forward. The Playboy bunny scene's comic tone was distracting, and the Plantation scene was so out of place, it felt like it had been taken from an unrelated screenplay. I am a big fan of this film, but Redux is not a version that I would watch again - in my opinion, this film's greatest contribution is as a learning tool for film students as a demonstration of what can go wrong in the editing room. If you don't already own Apocalypse Now, go buy the original. If you do, I recommed renting this from your local video store - it is a curiosity, but it doesn't stand out as a good film on its own.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
dis not play without computer conversion.
Published 23 days ago by Alain Tasse
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE
I first watched the movie the year it was available at théâtres. I stayed in the projection room for two shows in a row. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Paquette
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film and disc
With the 2 existing versions (extended and theatrical) as well as the excellent "making of" documentary "Hearts of Darkness", this set is definitely worth the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by nobody
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This is one of my favourite long movies besides Penny's From Heaven and The singing Detective. The added minutes make a little more viewing time but over all its basically the very... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John Turcotte
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story seems better now reviewed many years later
Here we have the world of Apocalypse..the opening begins with a roundtable of good and evil..and the search for a MYSTERY military man played by Brando.. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
4.0 out of 5 stars good old movies
young stars then great stars now,Vietnam a lot of movies being made some good some bad,this was a good show
Published 9 months ago by McMillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie. Excellent boxed set. Very pleased with this item.
Very good movie. Nice boxed set. Promptly shipped and received. First class condition. Highly recommended. Most enjoyable to watch. Read more
Published 14 months ago by John Tatham
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but frightening.
This was a good copy but I had forgotten how frightening and upsetting the film was. Almost too realistic. However, I'm glad to add it to my DVD collection.
Published 15 months ago by Ann Nelles
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
a very good movie and quite long but very well done, be sure to have plenty of time to watch it, arrived on time as specified and in very good shape. Read more
Published on March 17 2012 by Claude Couillard
1.0 out of 5 stars Cet article ne m'a pas été livré
Je désire vous informer que je n'ai pas reçu Apocalyspe Now, mais que j'ai reçu Full Metal Jacquet. Veuillez svp me tenir au courant
Published on Jan. 2 2012 by Denis Veilleux
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