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DVD Review: Apocalypse Now – The Complete Dossier

The plan for Apocalypse Now Special Collectors Edition was pretty straight forward. Check out the add ons and review them. The best laid mice of plans and men.

I decided to watch some of it to refresh Imagine my surprise when I was three or four minutes in and it dawned on me I had seen clips, reviews, reports, critiques’, reports of reports, parodies, endless hype and hoopla, but I had never seen the movie. I would have sworn in a court of law I had. If asked I said I had. My subconcious had stitched together a film of its own and labeled it so-so. I was in for a treat. I may gush. Leave now if that makes you pukey.

I watched the 1979 version and spotted the 2001. This is the Sistine Chapel of war films. Coppola skated so close to the edge, so close to losing it (and me) and pulled it off every damn time. Absolutely stunning. Masterpiece keeps cropping up when I think back, in the literal sense of the piece that makes you a master. It’s that good.If there’s a false note in it I missed it. The cast, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando and Robert Duval are backed by a 14 year old Lawrence Fishburne and a first rate team of players all very much in the zone.

This movie could have so easily been awful–it’s not. It could have been laughable–it’s not.
It is disturbing and hugely so. The acid test (no pun intended) of a film for me is ‘would I watch it again.’

Hell, I can’t wait to watch it again!

Post Script: The special features (remember them?) are many and average or better. I’m no real fan of these as the best make me say ‘that’s interesting’- which is like saying ‘that’s funny’ instead of laughing. FFC talks on the films and it is interesting, but the work speaks for its self and more eloquently. The music and editing get sections, most of which I skipped. The cut scenes leave little wonder why. Again, time better spent watching the movie. In case I haven’t been clear, watch this film if you haven’t seen it in a while (or ever) you will be richly rewarded.

Lee Crawford

Editor’s Note: The bonus features on this set are really for film buffs. If you watch all of them, you will have completed your first year of film school. They take a look at the music, sound editing, video editing and much more. Again, it is more for film buffs than casual viewers. This package certianly gives you major bang for your buck.
Jeremy Lynch