Sunday, 9 January 2011

Apocalypse Now Redux


I'd not seen the extended version of Apocalypse before but it has sat as my favourite movie of all time since I first watched it years ago on a battered VHS player when I was a student.

BluRay brings Coppola's meandering masterpiece to life in glorious high definition.  Every frame feels like it's been pondered over for days, the lighting at times beautiful and somehow full of weight.  Every bead of sweat shed on that trip up the river to find Kurtz is there in as much detail as you could ever want.  It simply looks incredible, and it always looked pretty damn good anyway.

The additional scenes add nothing to the impact of the film.  They're fine scenes, but you can see why they missed the original cut in what was already an over long movie.  They don't make any of the losses feel more important or tell you anything you didn't already know about the characters but they are still worth seeing.  If anything the addition of another scene with the Playboy Bunnies actually jars a bit, taking you out of the films immersive dark heart and making you remember you're watching something on your TV that isn't real.

The madness of War still echoes throughout and the movie is as much an experience as anything else.  Truly about the horror of it all and how it can turn a good man insane with nothing spared in the telling.  The moments that you remember, the ones that stick with you forever, are still there and they never lose their impact.  For me it's Clean's mother's voice continuing to play on the tape recorder after his violent death.  Still chilling to watch and listen to.  

It's a film that loses its self at times, buried deeply within it's own ambition.  But it's the ambition that I love and the direction.  The ultimate war film?  Maybe not.  But as a work of art nothing has touched this in cinema, at least for me.

If you have a BluRay player, get this.