One of a cluster of late-1970s films about the Vietnam War, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now adapts the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness to depict the war as a descent into primal madness. Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen), already on the edge, is assigned to find and deal with AWOL Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), rumored to have set himself up in the Cambodian jungle as a local, lethal godhead. Along the way Willard encounters napalm and Wagner fan Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall), draftees who prefer to surf and do drugs, a USO Playboy Bunny show turned into a riot by the raucous soldiers, and a jumpy photographer (Dennis Hopper) telling wild, reverent tales about Kurtz. By the time Willard sees the heads mounted on stakes near Kurtz's compound, he knows Kurtz has gone over the deep end, but it is uncertain whether Willard himself now agrees with Kurtz's insane dictum to "Drop the Bomb. Exterminate them all." Coppola himself was not certain either, and he tried several different endings between the film's early rough-cut screenings for the press, the Palme d'Or-winning "work-in-progress" shown at Cannes, and the final 35 mm U.S. release (also the ending on the video cassette). The chaotic production also experienced shut-downs when a typhoon destroyed the set and star Sheen suffered a heart attack; the budget ballooned and Coppola covered the overages himself. These production headaches, which Coppola characterized as being like the Vietnam War itself, have been superbly captured in the documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. Despite the studio's fears and mixed reviews of the film's ending, Apocalypse Now became a substantial hit and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Duvall's psychotic Kilgore, and Best Screenplay. It won Oscars for sound and for Vittorio Storaro's cinematography. This hallucinatory, Wagnerian project has produced admirers and detractors of equal ardor; it resembles no other film ever made, and its nightmarish aura and polarized reception aptly reflect the tensions and confusions of the Vietnam era.~Lucia Bozzola
Audio commentary with Francis Ford Coppola
"A conversation with Martin Sheen and Francis Ford Coppola"
"An interview with John Milius" by Francis Ford Coppola
"Fred Roos: casting apocalypse"
Never-before-seen complete Francis Ford Coppola interview with Roger Ebert and the 2001 cannes film festival
Original 1938 mercury theate recording of "heart of darkness," featuring Orson Welles
"Monkey sampan" lost scene
"Destruction of the kurtz compound" end credits with audio commentary by Francis Ford Coppola
"The hallow men," video of Marlon Brando readin TS Eliot's poem
So this set is great! It includes all 3 versions of this great film in glorious 4k resolution. This is a particularly great title for the format considering that it was filmed on (I believe) 70mm film, meaning that the remastering is a true 4k transfer and not a simple up-conversion like some films.
That said, I wish the packaging were improved. The packaging is GORGEOUS, but once you remove the plastic, the outside portion of the packaging makes a c-shape around the case and is just loosely glued to the main packaging with that clear snot-looking glue, so it's not really designed to be salvaged for display purposes. I just don't like that this portion of the packaging is meant to be disposable since it is what contains the film info and 4k banner. I took some clear plastic and glued it to the front of this to make into a sleeve, which could have been easily done when this was designed. A minor complaint,but there it is. The trifold design is also fairly flimsy, so making this sleeve like I did really helps to improve the sturdiness of the packaging when on the shelf. Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself, but I can't be the only one who feels this way right?
I never got around to seeing this movie, so I had to pick this up. One of the best movies of all time. It has a star studded cast and they did a fantastic job on this. The movie is intense, sad, heartbreaking, scary, and very eerie. It is gorgeously shot and looks amazing on 4K. You can’t tell it was made 40 years ago, the picture quality is that good! I just noticed also, that if you turn the case upside down Marlon Brando is the face you see the reflection in the water.
I love this movie, I love the features and the fact it is in 4K and I love the visual graphic of the case but this is a cheap case. This will get dinged up or fall apart in a year. Why would they not put it in a real plastic thicker Blu Ray case? Very foolish decision.
This is an excellent 4K release and comes with tremendous amount of extras. It is a 6-disc set, which includes the following:
Disc 1 - Apocalypse Now Final Cut (4K Ultra HD)
Disc 2 - Apocalypse Now (Original 1979) & Apocalypse Now Redux (4K Ultra HD)
Disc 3 - Apocalypse Now Final Cut (Blu-ray)
Disc 4 - Apocalypse Now Original (1979) & Apocalypse Now Redux (Blu-ray)
Disc 5 - Special Features (Blu-ray)
Disc 6 - Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Blu-ray)
For some reason, the standard blu-ray discs for the 3 versions of the movie have compression issues compared to the previous blu-ray releases, so if you own this movie in previously released blu-ray set, I'd recommend holding on to those as well. Despite the compression issues on the blu-ray, which the 4K discs do not have, this set is still worth for the 4K qualities and the special features discs.
As having NEVER seen this film before (was a child when it originally came out), I'm glad watching it in 4k restoration is my 1st experience. My review is for the physical media presentation only. Really, what else can be said that hasn't been echoed throughout the decades since its release? If your equipment has the capability to display Dolby Vision, then THIS anniversary edition is a must-own!!! From the vibrant greens of the jungle to the reddish-orange hues of the dawn, to the color hues of the indigenous peoples (skin tones & costumes), this is a true visual feast for the eyes (that is not an embellishment). And for bass-lovers looking for demo-worthy material to show-off their equipment, that's been covered, too. Plenty of overhead action during the numerous helicopter sequences and more than enough low-end rumble when the weapons of mass destruction starts to engage (actually had to turn it down a few dB a couple of times). Only watched the new final cut as of yet; still want to check out the redux version and will definitely watch the infamous Heart of Darkness doc eventually. So glad I picked this up (not really a big fan of war films which is why I never made an effort to see this prior).
I had the blu ray version of this movie but had to get this to see yet another version. 4k is amazing and I still like the original theater version the best. Picked this up during BF for a sweet deal. Bottom line is I couldn't imagine not owning the best picture version of this movie. I'm a movie buff and the quality of sound and video of this disk blows away previous versions and is way better than any streaming version. I don't plan on replacing very many of my blu rays, but this movie was a must. It blew me away the first time I saw it 40 years ago.
As a Vietnam era vet, I always appreciated Coppola's costly, against-the-flow attempt to portray the insanity that was Vietnam. I was also appreciative of the studio for cutting the original theater version to a length that my butt could last in a movie seat when I first saw it. I feel FFC should finally be happy with the stunningly remastered 4k, an hour of deleted film, and hours of behind the scenes and commentary. I spent all weekend watching the 3 hour, 4k disc One, taking lots of emotional and butt breaks. The PBR ambush scene was so vivid that I stopped and rewatched several times... which is cool... no do overs in combat. However, there are opportunities to avoid pointless wars. So join a vet and sit down with the version of your choice and give it some thought. FFC's expression of Heart Of Darkness truly is brilliant, though it seemed as though it took less time to read than watch :-) . This set is 10X the value of the original movie, sans the buttache.
Okay, I must admit up front that my wife thinks I am crazy for buying this superb 4K collection because I already own DVDs of "Apocalypse Now" and "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" and a blu ray of "Redux." Maybe it was my curiosity about what Coppola could do returning to this film 40 years after he nearly went crazy making it. Maybe it was the terrific price ($12.99 on sale) for the entire set (6 discs of every possible iteration!), including just about every extra you could hope for. Regardless, I bought it and I am not disappointed. The "Final Cut" is actually a little shorter than "Redux" and, in my opinion, benefits from the trimming and tweaking. If you like this film but have yet to own a copy (or two), this is the set to buy. Will there be a "Final Final Cut" next decade? Who knows. Will I buy it? Probably.