Saturday, January 01, 2005

Apocalypse Now: Redux (2001) - *ONE OF THE BEST*

They didn't call them choppers cause they were nice, I can tell you that...

Genre: Action Adventure War Drama

Starring: Martin Sheen (The Incident; The Departed), Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire; On The Waterfront)

Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather; Dementia 13)

Overview: A soldier is sent on a mission to kill a mad rogue Colonel, in war-torn Vietnam.
Acting: Robert Duvall's role is understood as being one of the best of the film, even of any film ever written, and I can't disagree. There was so much truth during the filming (Martin Sheen's drunken mirror smash was 100% real) that the events that took place for these actors made, quite obviously, a tremendous impact on their performance.
Rating: 10

Cinematography: One of the highest budgets, endless days of shooting, often with no end in sight, makes for lots and lots of rolls of film. Aerials, explosions, grand panoramas, exciting stunts... This film is an American classic, and part of the reason is certainly the visual aspect. Without perfect cinematography, it would lose some of it's edge, as Deerhunter did.
Rating: 10

"Charlie don't Surf!"
"Why do you guys sit on your helmets?" "So we don't get our balls blown up."
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning. That smell, that gasoline smell... Smells like... Victory."
"The Horror... The Horror."

What else is there to say?
Rating: 10

Plot: The scenes that were added in Redux, the second meeting of the Playboy bunnies, the French plantation, they were very well done, but as I've heard say several other times, they weren't essential to the plot. If you like this movie and you have the time to watch it, this is great, you might as well see the full director's cut, but ultimately you won't miss anything, except that we actually see one of the guys who gets killed on the boat get buried, adding a greater sense of continuity.
As for the plot itself, well you can't go wrong with Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness in its modern retelling. The simplicity of the plot leaves room for greater explorations of the insanity and the souls of the characters.
Rating: 8

Mood: Madness, loss, death, darkness. Every scene, every bloody murder whether right or wrong, the dialogue, the imagery, the symbolism, and that conclusion! Even the credits stay true to the epic ending of Apocalypse Now: Redux. This film was made great because of it's mood, and Coppola knows to smile whenever someone mentions this masterpiece.
Rating: 10

I try to think of something witty, but then the awesomeness of it all humbles me...

Overall Rating: 96% (A True Masterpiece, a Testament to Excellence)

Aftertaste: When reviewing Apocalypse Now: Redux, a film with such controversy surrounding it, one which has had a well known documentary made about the shooting of it (Hearts of Darkness), a movie that was played in high schools and universities for countless references, it's not a question of "Was it Good?" We all know this is a staple of American Classics up there with The Godfather and Raging Bull. The question here is, "Is it Better?" The answer is: not really. They did a great editing job the first time around, you'll be fine just watching the original, but as I said before, if you love this movie and are one of those who've seen it innumerable times, then by all means, see Redux, what are you waiting for?