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Apocalypse Now Final Cut 4K UHD Review


“Apocalypse Now” gets a third version with “Final Cut.”

Based on Joseph Conrad’s book “Heart of Darkness,” “Apocalypse Now” is a John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola scripted retelling of that story set in the Vietnam War. The story is simple: Captain Willard is assigned to a classified mission to take out a rogue Green Beret named Colonel Kurtz who now resides deep in the jungle with an army of natives by his side. In order to get to Kurtz, Willard steps on board a Navy Patrol Boat with crew members Chef, Lance, Mr. Clean and Chief. Their journey finds the group encountering a surf obsessed CO, a USO show, a chaotic bridge outpost, a French Plantation, and attacks.

Director Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” is a one of a kind film that would never be made today. It’s bold, risky, ambitious complex, full of energy, and truly epic on scope. On paper, the movie sounds deceptively simple and it is in terms of plot. Under the surface, however, the story is filled with war allegories and challenging and rich ideas about madness, losing one’s self, nature, evil, the horrors of war, nature, death, Americans, and the nonsensical realities of war and life. There’s so much going on here that the movie demands rewatches just to absorb it all.

You don’t need me to tell you that “Apocalypse Now” also contains so many elements that have become iconic parts of cinema history. Robert Duvall’s amazing performance as the wacky surf obsessed Kilgore character, the striking “Ride of the Valkyries” sequence, the perfect use of “The Doors” song “The End,” the cinematography by Vittorio Storaro, the entire first hour, great dialogue like “The horror” and “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” and Marlon Brando’s enigmatic Colonel Kurtz are all forever ingrained in the memory of those that see this movie.

With the new Final Cut version, the movie is longer than the theatrical cut but shorter than the Redux version. While better than the somewhat bloated Redux, the original theatrical cut version is still preferable as it does not contain the French Plantation sequence which really bogs down the middle act. Still, you can’t go wrong with any version of the movie as they all provide a rewarding cinematic experience.

Note: This 6 disc set contains all 3 versions of the film (Final Cut, Redux and Theatrical) on 4K and Blu-ray.


Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it sound? The Final Cut (and the other 2 versions for that matter) look stunning in 4K. A real cut above the Blu-ray editions.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? A deeply layered track. The movie has never sounded better on home video.

* “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” on Blu-ray. One of the greatest documentaries about making a movie. Between the crazy stories behind the production to the fascinating set footage and audio recordings, this is essential viewing that is just as good as “Apocalypse Now” itself.
* An intro the Final Cut by Francis Ford Coppola.
* Digital copies of all 3 cuts.
* Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola on “Apocalypse Now Redux.”
* “Tribeca Q&A With Francis Ford Coppola And Steven Soderbergh”- An involving 47 minute Q&A from April 2019.
* 21 minutes of soundless super 8mm Behind-The-Scenes footage from the set of “Apocalypse Now.”
* “Dutch Angle: Chas Gerretsen and Apocalypse Now”- A 31 minute featurette on the photographer who was on set. Photos from the set are showcased here.
* “Apocalypse Now: Remastering A Legend In Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos”- The title says it all.
* “Apocalypse Now: A 40 Year Journey”- A look at the Ride of the Valkyries sequence of the film on all home video formats.
* “Sensual Sound Technology From Meyer Sound”- A featurette on the sound design.
* “John Milius Script Excerpt With Francis Ford Coppola”- A gallery of script pages
* A storyboard collection, photo archive and marketing material archive
* The extras from “Apocalypse Now” and “Apocalypse Now Redux” which include Lionsgate trailers, a John Milius interview, a conversation between Scorsese and Coppola, the “Hearts of Darkness” radio drama, an interview with casting director Fred Roos, the lost “Monkey Sampan” scene, 12 additional/extended scenes, “The Hollow Men” (a reading of the poem accompanied by scenes and set footage), a featurette on 5.1 sound, the “Kurtz Compound Destruction With Credits” with Coppola commentary, a featurette on the sound for the opening scene as well as a featurette on the score, a text article on the soundtrack, a featurette on the editing and editing process, featurettes on the sound design and final mix, a piece on the first 2 versions of the film that features a convo between Roger Ebert and Coppola, the full interview between Ebert and Coppola from the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, profiles on the cast of Willard’s crew, and lastly an extra on the film’s color palette.

August 26, 2019 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , , ,

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