New Apocalypse Now DVD set this year?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gordon McMurphy, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. donnie_d

    donnie_d Stunt Coordinator

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  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    If at all possible, I'd buy it at CC to make sure that you're getting a copy with the bonus disc. I've heard of people having problems with getting various bonuses online when it is listed as coming with it (let alone when it's not).
     
  3. John Kwong

    John Kwong Stunt Coordinator

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    Just got my hands on this baby and can confirm both versions are split over the two discs.

    Another thing, the slipcase that looks like a dossier/folder ... under the red seal is something like velcro (only harder). You have to be careful opening the flap, or you might bend/tear it.

    Once you slide the inner case out and fold it out you'll notice that the two discs are on one side, overlapping each other (if you know what I mean). Overall, the packaging is nice, but far from functional.
     
  4. mike kaminski

    mike kaminski Second Unit

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    Theres one thing i don't understand--how can the two versions be accomplished with branching? Because Redux wasn't just the theatrical cut with new scenes--it was a complete re-edit of the whole film. Alternate takes were used in some shots, editing was subtly different in others and entire scenes were re-structured. The sound edit of Redux was also completely different, the best example being when Robert Duval walks on the beach after the chopper attack and an explosion in the background was deliberately left without a sound effect. This just doesn't seem to be a proper release to me. How is the video, to anyone who has seen it? Is it even an improvement of the previous releases or is it just basically the same video ported with a higher bitrate?
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    As I mentioned earlier, the set doesn't use branching. It's two totally different transfers...
     
  7. mike kaminski

    mike kaminski Second Unit

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    Right, don't know where i got that idea from then.

    So does anyone know where the actual split occurs?
     
  8. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Right after the captain turns to Bruce Ismay and says, "Well I think you'll have your headline Mr. Ismay..."
    Whoops. Wrong film.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Adam Santangelo

    Adam Santangelo Stunt Coordinator

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    Just watched the original cut yesterday. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong (it was a late night), but I'm pretty sure the split between "Act One" and "Act Two" occurred right after the sampan massacre. Willard kills the wounded Vietnamese woman and says, "I told you not to stop. Now let's go." There's a fade to black and a title card tells you to insert disc 2.

    "Act Two" begins with a fade up and Willard's narration: "It was a way we had over here of living with ourselves..."

    I'm definitely no videophile, but I was occasionally frustrated by some kind of inconsistency in the film's grain structure. Footage with lots of movement looked great, but during still beats the grain sometimes looked like it had frozen-up for a second or two. I wish they had found a better way of preserving PQ and avoiding a disc swap in the middle of a 153-minute movie.

    I have the Redux standalone disc, but didn't attempt a side-by-side comparison.

    I also wish I'd known about that CC exclusive...

    Anyway, these are quibbles with an otherwise nice-looking release.
     
  10. Jesse Blough

    Jesse Blough Second Unit

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    Yeah, why did they do this? This makes NO sense.
     
  11. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    No worries, as the disc is still a week away.
     
  12. Adam Santangelo

    Adam Santangelo Stunt Coordinator

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    Retailers have already got their orders, more than a week ahead of the street date. That's how I got my copy. I live in Canada, so I may still look for the CC exclusive next time I cross the border.

    As for the choice to split both movies across two discs, I'm guessing that someone important decided Redux should not look worse than the original cut. By splitting both versions over 2 discs, they can give Redux a better presentation than it would get on a single disc, at the expense of the 1979 version (which suffers from the disc change, if perhaps not a smaller file size overall).

    I haven't looked closely at the various file sizes, bitrates, etc. This is just my best attempt at an explanation.

    They've also somehow crammed quite a few extras onto both discs, in addition to the nearly 6 hours of feature content.

    Even setting Hearts of Darkness aside, it's too bad this set feels compromised in more ways than one. I'm still pretty excited about digging into what's there...
     
  13. Adam Santangelo

    Adam Santangelo Stunt Coordinator

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    Kim Aubry posted the following in response to a series of negative "reviews" at Amazon.com (from writers who haven't even seen the DVD):

    I am astonished, bemused, and somewhat appalled to read these so-called "reviews" of a special edition DVD that not a single one of the review writers has seen! I am probably the first "reviewer" to contribute who has actually seen every frame and every menu of this new "Complete Dossier" DVD edition. I sympathize more than ever with artists and filmmakers who's work is criticized weeks or months before it is completed, based on speculation, grudges or other disinformation. I think it should be Amazon's policy for books, CDs or DVDs that have not yet been released to rename this section of the product web pages: "Idle Speculations" or "Maladroit Divinations." Both versions of the film look better on this special edition DVD than ever due to increased bit rates and improved video masters. But the real story is the bonus extras which are numerous and in-depth on a great range of topics that will be of interest to filmmakers, musicians, Apocalypse Now nerds, even ordinary civilian film fans. The film soundtrack is studied in detail, as is the post production in general. And many myths about the film and the filmmaking are explored in a FAQ section. The DVD has 22 minutes of scenes that were deleted from the original cut that didn't make it into Redux for reasons that can be imagined by viewers who finally get to see them on this DVD. The greatest addition is Coppola's very informative audio commentaries (both versions) which are frank and heartfelt. There is room for discussion on Storaro's and Coppola's decision to transfer the film in the 2.0:1 aspect ratio (with subtle cropping of the sides) for home video, and this is addressed in the featurette called "Apocalypse Now FAQ," but I can report that as a former cinema projectionist and post production professional, the issue here is more complex and less black and white than many of these "widescreen purists" would have you believe in their screeds.

    Kim Aubry
    San Francisco


    Well, like I said above, I'm excited to watch everything that we did get. [​IMG]
     
  14. Adam Santangelo

    Adam Santangelo Stunt Coordinator

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    Duplicate post. Sorry.
     
  15. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    Funny thing is, I've just checked key scenes between both cuts and whaddaya know - they look identical. The framing is exactly the same and I spotted a film artefact that's present in the exact same place on both cuts.

    This artefact (a very brief drop-out in colour during Sheen's close-up at the beginning of the 'Caribou Sacrifice' chapter) is not on my DVD of the original cut, which also has noticably different framing to the 1979 version on this new set.

    My humble opinion? Both cuts use the same transfer. Whether it's branched or not, I couldn't say, although that would make more sense.

    EDIT: I've checked a couple more sequences common to both versions and both positive and negative artefacts are appearing in the exact same places. Go figure. Of course, they may well be two totally different transfers - transfers that just happen to use the exact same core material and look so similar you wonder why they bothered. [​IMG]
     
  16. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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    subtle isn't the word I would use to decribe to cropping off of the sides of
    the frame,If this 1.9:1 frame is what Coppola wanted ,why then was
    Redux 2.35:1 (Not 1.9:1 or even 2.2)in the Theatre,
    One wonders how much Coppola did designing the frame in the first place if he let Storraro go ahead and redesign the frame for video.
    I am sure the set is great for the extras,
     
  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I compared a few segments early in the film - that's why I could tell they AREN'T the same transfers. Look at the opening "credit" sequence or the one on the boat as they approach the air cav - there are flaws in the 1979 transfer not there in the Redux version...
     
  18. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    I think the only way to tell for sure if there's branching or not is to scan the disc in the DVD-ROM drive using a tool that can these check for these things. Apparently, comparing some scenes from both versions won't give us a definitive answer.
     
  19. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    The plot thickens: the 'air cav' intro is indeed different, as it's much grainier on the 1979 version, with more dirt too. But I don't see any difference on the opening sequence, and during, say, the beginning of the chapter called 'Helicopter Attack' I'm seeing the same bits of dirt in the same places. Both versions still seem to have an awful lot in common...
     
  20. Adam Santangelo

    Adam Santangelo Stunt Coordinator

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    Earlier this evening, I opened the first disc in DVD Shrink. It listed the main feature ("Act 1" of both versions) as being 2 hours, 59 minutes in length. I don't know much about how these dual feature discs are laid out, but this seems to suggest that it's not a single branching transfer.

    As for why the two versions may have some film artifacting (or even digital artifacting) in common, I'm thinking that when the restoration and remastering was done, it wouldn't have made sense to do all of the work twice, once for each movie. The two versions still share a ton of footage in common, so maybe some of the restored Redux material was used towards rebuilding a nice-looking 1979 cut of the film. Someone who knows more about the process could tell me why this is or isn't a likely scenario.

    I understand that, in addition to the obviously new scenes in Redux, there were a number of subtler changes to the film's edit and sound design. If anyone knows of small, specific examples, I would be curious to compare versions on the new DVD.

    btw, right now I'm in the middle of watching Coppola's commentary track, and it's just terrific. He speaks very candidly and honestly about the whole production, never falling into silence or simple descriptions of the on-screen action. Anyone who's heard his commentaries on the Godfather films or The Conversation knows what to expect...
     

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