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APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX . . . your verdict? (warning: spoiler)

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APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX . . . your verdict? (warning: spoiler)

Old 01-16-04, 08:49 PM
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APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX . . . your verdict? (warning: spoiler)

I just watched Apocalypse Now Redux and was really surprised to find that I didn't like it and in fact, prefer the original edited version. For me Redux just bogged down and . . . meandered, aimlessly at times. (now I'm going to have to unload it and get the original version tsk.)

In the original version of Apocalypse Now you feel as though you are being inexorably sucked down this dark tunnel, descending into Hell as the last threads binding the Special Ops crew to Human Goodness disappear in their boat's wake. In short, you've booked a one-way ticket into Hell there is no attempt at suggesting political motives or even moral consequences. You're in Hell. Nowhere else.

In Redux the whole effect was interrupted by three "bright" scenes (the Playboy bunnies, the French plantation, the Time magazine article) that continued to insert themselves into this dark story, break its grip on me, and attempt to introduce . . . levity?

Wait a minute I thought this boat ride was to Hell. Time magazine? Tits? Dinner for 12? (and that's excusing Francis Ford Coppola for committing the Cardinal Sin of explaining his movie to me in that dinner scene, Naughty Francis! Bad Francis! tsk)

Boy did this version take me by surprise! (it makes me appreciate good editing as I've never before heh) But I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on Redux:

Did the added "bright" scenes enhance the story for you? Mitigate against its creeping, nascent sense of doom? Connect the war to something deeper in the consciousness of what it means to be American? Forgive it? (I'm being provocative deliberately) Give it a layer of understanding that it didn't have before?

Or do you feel (as I do) that the original Apocalypse Now is darker, tighter, more nuanced, and considerably more disturbing (if not ingriguing) than Redux? That, given the setting (the Vietnam War), the less said the better that the images alone speak volumes about the frailty of the human heart . . .

MISS PEACH
Old 01-16-04, 08:55 PM
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Re: APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX . . . your verdict? (warning: spoiler)

Originally posted by MISS PEACH
[B]

In Redux the whole effect was interrupted by three "bright" scenes (the Playboy bunnies, the French plantation, the Time magazine article)
no...I liked it just fine. the first one is a little tighter...sure. but I dont enjoy Redux any less just because of a few scenes.

this belongs in the movie forum.
Old 01-16-04, 09:06 PM
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You know, I watched it in theaters at midnight with a nice cold beer in my hand and sitting in comfy seats after smoking something to enchance or alter my state of mind in century city..


I LOVED IT!

I even have a stock pile of credit booklets given out since in the theater there was none.

I have both versions of the film in my collection and I am holding on tightly to my hearts of darkness LD.

Is redux better? no, I wouldn't say it is, but it's different and for that I enjoyed it.
Old 01-16-04, 10:27 PM
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I've always recommended Redux only to hardcore fans of the original Apocalypse Now. I too think the extra scenes in Redux bogs down the pace of the movie...
Old 01-17-04, 01:34 AM
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I think if the French plantation scene was removed, the pacing would have been much better. However, I agree the original version has better pacing.

Overall, I am not sure which version I like better. Both are different and offer different viewing experiences. Just recently, I watched the original version again; the next night, I watched Redux. Very slightly, I think I preferred Redux.

One thing for sure - Redux has a much better transfer and looks great. That alone makes me want to watch it over the original at this point.
Old 01-17-04, 02:24 AM
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I liked both. The French plantation scenes were the only part of Redux that I didn't enjoy. They really seemed to be out of place and slowed the movie down. But with the other added scenes, Redux is an easy recommendation.
Old 01-17-04, 05:52 PM
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Hmmmmmm. So are you guys saying that the original Apocalypse Now is a crummy transfer? (well, not crummy but, not as good as Redux?)

I just feel the thing is so dramatically different from the original concept. Did they remaster the original? Is that the issue?

bummer. because I love this movie, and like one of the other replies, it is indeed a head trip.

PEACH
Old 01-17-04, 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by MISS PEACH
I just feel the thing is so dramatically different from the original concept.
It is dramatically different, that's true. But different doesn't necessarily mean worse. Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux are both good movies, but they are different movies, with different themes and different agendas. Apocalypse Now is a surreal meditation on the madness of war. Redux is a more humanistic and character-driven film.

I tend to prefer the original, but if you look at them as separate films they are both quite good.
Old 01-18-04, 08:56 AM
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Miss Peach, perhaps your reaction is why the movie originally came out in the form it did.
But I have no problem keeping the original version in my head as I watch the Redux version, and I enjoy seeing the additional scenes. And that goes for other movies too.
The editing process a director goes through is often brutal, and contolled by many different (and sometimes opposite) desires.
Old 01-18-04, 12:09 PM
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Miss Peach,

Redux's color timing is different (cooler) than the original. Even though it's 40-some minutes longer, the compression and authoring is much better than the original release. There are way fewer artifacts on Redux. While both releases have edge enhancement, it's definitely more tolerable on Redux. Some of the scenes in the original are quite distractive.

Redux is more filmlike and even more detail seems to be visible. Just a much cleaner, better looking picture.

While the original is not bad, it is a considerable step below Redux. I just love the way Redux looks and it makes it hard watching the original after watching Redux. I consider myself a videophile (61" ISF'd diplay) so I notice these things quite a bit. Depending on one's eyes and display, these things may or may not be as noticable to someone else.

Edit: A side note, do keep in mind Redux is considered the definitive version of the movie -- this stated by Copolla himself.

Last edited by DavidH; 01-18-04 at 12:20 PM.
Old 01-18-04, 03:23 PM
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Wow, I just want to say . . . how happy I am to have stumbled upon this Forum.

No, really I have gotten more data from this one forum (both shopping and educational) than I could have possibly imagined anywhere else.

The Columbia House codes . . . the sales codes . . . the lesser-known Heads Up stuff.

And now even the finer points of Film (capital F). Guys this is just so valuable, I can't thank you enough.

Well, what can I say: I need the older AN ha ha. I tend to be one of these people who gets so loyal to one concept and, by the way, I totally agree with Josh's point of view, they are totally different films of the original that I can't handle radical changes in the agenda of the film.

And boy, isn't that like the million dollar question: The "agenda" of AN vs. AN REDUX mm mm. Very chewy if you ask me.

DavidH . . . I realize the technical points of AN you are raising but, kind of in line with what Jackskelton said, I'm not necessarily certain I'd want it to be quite so crisp. Mind you, that doesn't mean that I don't condemn poor quality in film; but with this one film, a little haze here and there works for the film in a warped kind of way. I mean it's so tripped out anyway, and you're headed for Hell. It's kind of like when I watched The Wizard of Oz in its remastered, cleaned up version. I could almost see the seams of the backdrops!

But for the sake of intelligence, one last question: Do any of you think FFC (or Paramount) will ever do a remastered version of AN? I guess I'm debating whether to get the not-so-clean original on DVD or just return to my old VHS version.

PEACH-oppola
Old 01-18-04, 04:09 PM
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My short, layman's view on the two cuts: the Redux cut is superior to the original cut, since the added levity somewhat-humanizes the soldiers on the boat. Their personalities were less-fleshed-out in the original cut, which IMHO slightly undercuts the theme of their descent into madness. Granted, the original version of the movie is a classic in its own right, but I think the Redux version adds a little more dimensionality to the characters that the original version lacked.

That said, I agree the French plantation scene was too drawn out and should have stayed on the cutting room floor.

On a side note: I've heard that Apocalypse Now was shot and shown theatrically on some insanely-wide AR (either 2.66:1 or 3:1; I don't remember which) and cropped to 2.33:1 for the video release. Anybody know if this is true or not?
Old 01-18-04, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by GHackmann

On a side note: I've heard that Apocalypse Now was shot and shown theatrically on some insanely-wide AR (either 2.66:1 or 3:1; I don't remember which) and cropped to 2.33:1 for the video release. Anybody know if this is true or not?
You are correct it is cropped but from what I read it was theatrically released 2.35:1, and cut to 2.0:1 for home video. Here are a few threads on another forum below on the topic. I own both versions on DVD but prefer the film without the added scenes. However the Redux is the nicer looking transfer of the two DVDs. In fact it would have made more sense to release Apocalypse Now with both versions of the film like Fox did with the Abyss.


http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...apocalypse+now

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...apocalypse+now
Old 01-18-04, 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by MISS PEACH

But for the sake of intelligence, one last question: Do any of you think FFC (or Paramount) will ever do a remastered version of AN? I guess I'm debating whether to get the not-so-clean original on DVD or just return to my old VHS version.
From what I read on another forum it doesn't sound like they are going to release the original version anymore. But I guess anything is possible when you keep getting all these new special edition releases over and over again. I think the ultimate release would include both versions. I would say to get the original DVD over a VHS tape. It should be far superior to the tape with a DD 5.1 track and anamorphic transfer. The DVD even includes the exit music and no blacked out UPC code.

Last edited by Laser Movies; 01-18-04 at 07:04 PM.
Old 01-19-04, 12:24 AM
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Considering that Copolla considers Redux the definitive version, I doubt we will ever see the original version again. If a another future DVD arrives, I think it will be the current Redux disc with a disc of extras.

Miss Peach --- I understand what you are saying, but I don't think there can ever be a case made for inferior compressioning and a dirtier print.

I would like to go on the record to say that Redux shows some of the most beautifully filmed scenes I have ever seen on a DVD. The colors and shadows in the jungle and on the waters looks fantastic.
Old 01-20-04, 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by GHackmann
On a side note: I've heard that Apocalypse Now was shot and shown theatrically on some insanely-wide AR (either 2.66:1 or 3:1; I don't remember which) and cropped to 2.33:1 for the video release. Anybody know if this is true or not?
The film was shot in Panavision anamorphic widescreen and projected theatrically at 2.35:1. Vittorio Stararo has gone a little senile in recent years and is now espousing this kooky idea he calls "Univisium" that states all movies should be displayed at a 2.0:1 aspect ratio. He has enforced this on all of the video transfers that's he's supervised for movie's he photographed, even those (like Apocalypse Now) that were not originally composed with this stupid Univisium theory in mind.

Per his instructions, the widescreen laserdisc release of Apocalypse Now was cropped to 2.0:1, losing sometimes important picture detail off the sides. The later DVD release of the movie's theatrical cut was cropped even further down to 1.9:1 (maybe his math was off?). The Redux DVD is also about 1.9:1.

I made a point of seeing Redux theatrically when I had the chance, knowing that it would probably be my last opportunity to see the movie in its proper aspect ratio.

The documentary "Hearts of Darkness" also contains letterboxed clips from the movie in their full 2.35:1. Hearts of Darkness is unfortunately not yet available on DVD.

Originally posted by MISS PEACH
But for the sake of intelligence, one last question: Do any of you think FFC (or Paramount) will ever do a remastered version of AN?
It's not likely. Storaro actually convinced Coppola to permanently recut the original film negative when assembling the Redux version of the movie.

It's not impossible to see a remaster of the original cut, per se. I'm sure the studio probably had high-quality internegative or interpositive elements struck before the recut was done, and they're likely sitting in a vault somewhere and could theorhetically be used for a future remaster. But considering that Coppola has stated that Redux is his definitive edition of the movie, I expect it's the only thing we're likely to see reissued.

Originally posted by DavidH
Redux's color timing is different (cooler) than the original. Even though it's 40-some minutes longer, the compression and authoring is much better than the original release. There are way fewer artifacts on Redux. While both releases have edge enhancement, it's definitely more tolerable on Redux. Some of the scenes in the original are quite distractive.

Redux is more filmlike and even more detail seems to be visible. Just a much cleaner, better looking picture.
The thing about the two video transfers is that they have very different 'looks' to them. The color timing is extremely different. Storaro loves to tinker with the colors on his old movies. The original cut has a much "warmer" feel to the photography, with vibrant oranges and lush greens. Redux is much "cooler"; the jungle scenes especially have a bluish tone to them that is absent in the original. It's a different look for a different movie.

I tend to prefer the colors on the original, though it is true that the mastering and compression quality of the Redux DVD are superior.
Old 01-21-04, 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
It's not likely. Storaro actually convinced Coppola to permanently recut the original film negative when assembling the Redux version of the movie.
Oh no!

MISS PEACH
decisions decisions
Old 01-21-04, 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by GHackmann
My short, layman's view on the two cuts: the Redux cut is superior to the original cut, since the added levity somewhat-humanizes the soldiers on the boat. Their personalities were less-fleshed-out in the original cut, which IMHO slightly undercuts the theme of their descent into madness. Granted, the original version of the movie is a classic in its own right, but I think the Redux version adds a little more dimensionality to the characters that the original version lacked.
GHackmann . . . okay, but that may be one of the problems I have with Redux it is too much about Sheen/et al.'s characters.

I guess it works better for me to see them pulling toward Kurtz not such that they have no identities of their own, that isn't what I mean, but . . . the "mission" of the film has to be Kurtz or, it's diluting the film's ultimate theme. For me, every time they pull away from Kurtz they are distracting from the potency of their destination: Hell. Even more interesting, I would argue that the scene with Kurtz holding the TIME article and reading it even that scene, a scene focused tightly on Kurtz takes away from Kurtz. So intrusive is it that it returns you to the workaday world of magazine articles and politics and retail America and . . . POOF! you're really only on a movie set.

I really appreciate this comment though because I would sincerely like to know why Coppola thinks this is the better version. It's very interesting to me to see that so many of you agree.

DavidH . . . yes, I absolutely agree with you, the colors, especially the jungle scenes (and I'm thinking of the horrifying spectre of the downed US fighter craft lodged in the trees, almost like religious statues, Gods to be worshipped unto themselves) were just spectacular.

One thing I hope we can all agree on: The selection of the Doors music was just inspired genius. I don't think it can be overemphasized how critical the relationship of that music is to APOCALYPSE NOW.

MISS PEACH
Old 01-21-04, 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by LASERMOVIES
I would say to get the original DVD over a VHS tape. It should be far superior to the tape with a DD 5.1 track and anamorphic transfer. The DVD even includes the exit music and no blacked out UPC code.
Well LASER, that's all you had to say ha ha! No blacked-out UPC codes for this girl. I'll get it I'll get it.

PEACH-oppola






shoot.
Old 01-23-04, 01:50 PM
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I think Redux is *interesting* and I own both versions, but Redux is in a box in my closet and Apocalypse Now is on my office shelf with 50 other discs I re-watch often.

I also thought that the pacing was off in the Redux version. And the transfer of the original cut isn't as good as the Redux, which doesn't please me.

I'm still waiting for the super boxed set edition with both cuts (with a new transfer of the non-redux version) and the documentary, Heart of Darkness.
Old 01-27-04, 03:16 AM
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The French Plantation scene was horrible. It takes you completely out of the movie. Stick with the original.
Old 01-27-04, 11:27 AM
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although I've only seen Redux I know which scenes where added. Although I find them to take away from the flow of the story I find the French plantation colony to be somewhat necesary. I feel this way because of the historical significance of the French in Vietnam. Many forget that the US went to Vietnam to continue France's imperialism once the French decided that they couldn't maintain it anymore, of course you have the idea of the domino effect and communism spreading throughout the world. If we hear closely the going ons in the dinner party, although it seems like an abrupt pause in the story, it creates a political critique and I would imagine that to the group of soldiers it shows them why they are there, not necesarily directly, it also shows the colonial mentality of the french in vietnam, and just the colonial mentality in general on the side of the imperialist. This is based on my understanding of history, the book Heart of Darkness, which the movie was based on, a book with numerous racial biasas which really showed the imperalist feelings of Europe and their colonization of Africa. So for a purely historical and political significance, I feel that the french plantation scenes should have been there from the beggining although it comes at a time when is late on the story and where the story takes a sharp turn due to this disruption.
Old 01-31-04, 11:16 AM
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I would not be suprised to see a new version with the original, redux, and hearts of darkness. It may take awhile, but it will happen.
Old 02-01-04, 11:09 AM
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Didn't Copolla state that Redux is the definitive cut of the film and that the original negative no longer exists?
Old 02-01-04, 12:18 PM
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Everyone keeps talking about the 153 min version as the original, and the imdb agrees with you - however when I picked up the WS VHS of that version around 1995, I could swear that the packaging referenced a third version, significantly shorter which had previously been the only available for-home version. It was implied that the 153 was already an extended edition of the film.

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