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Apocalypse Now (1979)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Reggie W, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Since this new 2019 cut of Apocalypse Now is my favorite movie this year, is it legit to list it that way on a top ten list of movies for 2019 even though a different cut of it first came out in 1979 and it was filmed in the 70s?
     
  2. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    I would say yes, because it is not the film released in 1979 it is a new cut. So, technically that makes it a new release in 2019. I mean I'm sure some people would argue that point but basically, nothing made this year is anywhere near in the same league as Apocalypse Now...in any version. Nobody is going to make a picture like that ever again.
     
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  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    If I was making a best of 2019 list, I'd only include Apocalypse Now for an honorable mention since it's a re-edit of a movie that has already been released.
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    And the re-edit doesn’t include any previously unseen material. It’s just a 15 minute shorter version of Redux. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but it didn’t register as “new” when I saw it.
     
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  5. Message #85 of 105 Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Fair point. It's much more 1979 than 2019, but....

    Back in 1979 I saw the "Apocalypse cut" of Apocalypse Now, the one that had the destruction of the Kurtz compound at the end, and like some others I interpreted that even at the age of 14 as Willard calling in a strike. I was overwhelmed by it on multiple levels, but I guess that cut could seem almost....I'm not sure what....nihilistic?

    But without the Kurtz compound destruction, which is the way I saw it on home video a few times in the 80s and 90s, it just seemed lacking.


    And Redux is a real mess imho. It's an interesting mess, but it's by far the weakest of all the cuts.

    The new Final Cut imho is, as Coppola says, the "Goldilocks version" of Apocalypse Now. I know the reduced French plantation scene still didn't work that well for you, but for me it did. It clarified the journey up the river as being almost like a trip back in time. It defined the war and its history and meaning more clearly. It humanized Willard and made him much less like Kurtz. The French woman saying that he is as much about life as he is about death explains why there's no way he would call in a bombing strike on the compound—because he is different than Kurtz. Hearing Dennis Hopper say this is how it ends, not with a bang but with a whimper, fits well for me now. Willard by the end has learned and grown, and even with all the terrors and the final assassination, there is still a significant difference between him and Kurtz. The new Final Cut is a harrowing journey, but ultimately slightly more optimistic and makes more sense than the other three cuts of the film. And so, finally, this movie has been almost perfected from my point of view.

    And I agree with Roger Ebert that this was already one of the greatest films in history even before this Final Cut:

    https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-apocalypse-now-1979

    "...."Apocalypse Now" is more clearly than ever one of the key films of the century. Most films are lucky to contain a single great sequence. "Apocalypse Now" strings together one after another, with the river journey as the connecting link...."Apocalypse Now" is the best Vietnam film, one of the greatest of all films, because it pushes beyond the others, into the dark places of the soul. It is not about war so much as about how war reveals truths we would be happy never to discover."
     
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  6. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I agree with you on all points. I did see the original cut without the destruction of the compound, and that made more sense to me. I first saw the destruction of the compound on subsequent viewings. It dulled the final effect of the film.
     
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  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Yes.
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Does the original have two different cuts as it pertains to the destruction or non-destruction of the compound?
     
  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Not to my knowledge - the destruction is included as a bonus feature on the disc, but is no longer attached to the film itself.
     
  11. SamT

    SamT Producer

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    I'm confused what this Final Cut is. Some said it's the same restored original theatrical cut and some said it has some extra scenes from Redux. What is this Final Cut exactly?
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's longer than the theatrical cut but shorter than the Redux. It includes some of the scenes put back in the Redux version.
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I would say it includes most of Redux. Redux is about 45 minutes longer than original theatrical. Final cut is about 30 minutes longer than original theatrical.
     
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  14. SamT

    SamT Producer

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    Wow, does it improve the original? It's too bad if a final cut ruins a classic.

    The two exceptions I remember is Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Thrid Kind Director's Cut that takes the best of the previous two.
    And Blade Runner Final Cut which also takes the best of the previous versions.
     
  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don’t see how a new version could ruin the old version. All versions remain in print. Simply watch the one you prefer.
     
  16. usrunnr

    usrunnr Writer

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    I saw this at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood when it first opened, after Cannes I believe, but before it was finished. I vaguely remember being told that it was a film in progress. There were no titles. We were given a small foldout program with credits on it. I thought it was an astounding film on a number of levels, and I wondered how anyone connected to it even survived.
     
  17. SamT

    SamT Producer

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    Did they restore and HDR the original version? Will it be released in 4K HDR? The new version could ruin the old version when they don't release and restore the old version.
     
  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Yes, the UHD version will contain all three cuts on the UHD disc from what the press release said. And even if it didn’t, the existing Blu-ray was already quite good. This is not a film in danger of being lost.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    FFC has been good about keeping the original version in circulation when he brought out the Redux version. And now he's being good about keeping the Redux version also in circulation with the Final Cut making its home video debut.

    That's pretty much the gold standard for when creators go back and futz with their old work.
     
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  20. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    It certainly doesn't ruin the film, but I still think the theatrical cut is best. At any rate, all three versions are available, so you can simply watch the one you prefer.
     

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