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Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)

Visitor Comments

Re: Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Added by carl langley   on 2004-08-09 14:54:16

Very good review Jake. I enjoyed it immensely. I'll be home on the 23rd of August and have my computer set up. So we can go back to battling *wink*. I'll be home for a week then I head back out to Ohio for school. Keep contributing, you are one of our more entertaining writers.

Re: Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Added by John Ulmer   on 2004-08-10 11:53:14

Great review again, Jake. However...I think Redux is one of the greatest "Director's Cuts" of all time. Some of the scenes do feel unnecessary (I thought the French Plantation was actually amusing but the Playboy Bunnies scene was totally out of place and awkward and even disturbing like you say), but overall I think that the movie, as a whole, is just as good as the original. I own both DVDs. The transfer, like you say, is superior on Redux. So is the sound.

I really wish Paramount would wise up and release that long-time-rumored 9-disc Ultimate Edition DVD with both versions -- with commentary. Because to me Redux doesn't seem like a separate film at all -- more like an add-on.

Re: Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Added by Jake   on 2004-08-11 13:40:21

I heard rumblings about that 9-disc edition myself, and eagerly await it (especially if they include 'Hearts of Darkness,' which I believe is going to be the case).

As for 'Redux,' I'm willing to concede that I missed the boat. Roger Ebert, whose stuff I read entirely too much, was one of the big supporters of the original film in 1979 and raved about the new version; if anyone besides the filmmakers had a definitive opinion, it would be him. I found that yes, the film is more or less as good as it was before, but since that also means the short version is as good as this one is now, it doesn't say much for the necessity of the new footage. I personally would have been happier if they'd just rereleased the movie as it was.

And thanks, Carl! Flattery will get you everywhere. I'm collecting all sorts of things to add to the battle.

Re: Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Added by John   on 2004-08-11 16:37:12

Paramount is the worst DVD company out there right now. Their new releases tend to have special features (even then, barely anything more than a commentary and a few docs and trailers) -- but apart from The Godfather Trilogy, Braveheart and Forrest Gump, I don't think they've released any of their DVDs with special features (occasionally there are commentaries, like on Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but that's rare). And they don't ever re-release any -- which is a good thing, I suppose, but sometimes (such as with the case of APOCALYPSE NOW), they really need to. 2004 marks the 25th anniversary and they missed their chance at an anniversary DVD. I don't know why they won't wise up and start adding special features to their films. I'm not a big fan of ESCAPE FROM L.A., but it has a fairly strong cult following. ESCAPE FROM NY got a Special Edition through MGM (which is the opposite of Paramount -- too many re-releases!) but the sequel has yet to see any.

As for the praise built up around's a very mixed bag -- some people love it, some people hate it. Roger Ebert gave it **** / **** but I was always under the impression that he still likes the original better. (Have you read his Great Movies essay? I believe he dislikes some of the sequences you mention, and/or finds them unnecessary. I sort of agree but still like it on an overall basis as much as the original.)

Re: Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Added by Jake Cremins   on 2004-08-12 04:50:58

I have mixed feelings about Paramount on DVD. Their transfers are uniformly great by now, but they treat catalog titles indifferently--it's nice to see them crank out their smaller-selling titles, but would it kill them to include a trailer? Huh? I'd love to see how they advertised 'Cool World,' for instance, which is known as one of those "great trailer, crap movie" movies. And they tend to have really scanty chapters, also (they had the same problem on laserdisc...shrug). Plus, I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out what this astonishing "DYNAMIC INTERACTIVE MENUS" feature meant, only to discover that it was animated transitions and music playing in the background. Boo hiss.

As far as 'Apocalypse Now' goes, as someone who works with video images all day I can say with certainty that the DVD of the theatrical cut is obviously just recycled from the old laserdisc master. This is a no-no...LDs are much better than VHS, but a good direct-to-DVD transfer is far, far better than that. LDs weren't actually a digital medium, you see, and so their masters were on high-quality videotape, which is good but way below decent-quality digital storage. On a TV the difference is negligible, but see it on a computer screen or an HDTV and there's a big difference. This is why, largely, 'Redux' looks so much better--new master.

As for Roger Ebert (this is the longest comment ever, no?), yeah, he seemed a bit wishy-washy about it--I know he definitely didn't like the Playboy Bunnies scene--but I remember something along the lines of "'Redux' or no, it's still one of the best films ever made" and so forth. To which I would say "Yes, but..." Also, he used the word "valuable" at some point to describe some of the new stuff, and I wouldn't quite go there.

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