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Digitally remastered with 49 minutes of previously unseen footage, Apocalypse Now Redux is the reference standard of Francis Coppola's 1979 epic. A metaphorical hallucination of the Vietnam War, the film was reconstructed by Coppola and editor Walt
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So chalk it up to a fictional tale in a convincingly real and harsh environment, during a very real war-time. Now I was able to enjoy the realism of the setting and felt a genuine attempt to capture the authentic backdrop of the Vietnam War. I felt the real horrors and believed all the battle scenes could be true reenactments of real battles (or slaughters), as well as the unsettling results of human casualties. I did enjoyed the filmmakers perspective and noticed little things you don't necessarily see in other war movies. There was almost a hidden camera effect for me -- as if I wasn't meant to see what I just saw, but caught it accidentally when someone left the camera rolling by mistake! That made the movie compelling and unpredictable for me. Yes, I found this movie unpredictable due to nearly every character's mental instability, even though I watched this 35+ years after it was made.
If I may continue to ramble -- Amazon practically begged me to ramble about this movie ;-) -- Mr. Coppola was very consistent between scenes with his cinematography. He used a blending technique (I don't know what it's called) but there were basically two different shots fazed or faded or blended into each other, but either shot would linger and not resolve, like you might normally see in a transition between scenes. These shots, I believe, were there to show us the audience a physical representation of the character, while also showing the mind of the character, or perhaps an unseen trait of the character. This technique was used basically in the first shots of the movie, down to the very last. It was distracting at first, but I thought it gave Mr. Coppola a character to be played in the movie... a real behind the scenes character you didn’t realize was there. Although there was a spoken narration to the movie, Mr. Coppola added a unspoken narrative that looked past or through what was being said to the audience.
I’m sure film students could dissect this much better than me, and could probably talk more about the poetics of the film, or the colors, some similes, or how each character represented this or that… I was just impressed how this movie has held up against the test of time. Maybe due to the harsh reality and effects of war, since war seems to be a never-ending-story in our lives, but I did feel this was a very real look into the past and how America as whole maybe could not relate to what really was happening during that type war. It really gave you an inside look at the Horror.
Still, it's one of the top 25 films every American should see at least once as both a cultural artifact and an example of masterful film making.
As far as Vietnam movies go, I actually preferred The Deer Hunter for its emotional impact but Apocalypse Now has its own unusual viewpoint, with a different way of looking at the mental illness suffered by the troops who went there. Keep your eyes and ears open for some now famous actors who were very young in this film and only just starting out.
Regarding the streaming, it was good quality with no problems at all.