Director – Francis Ford Coppola (Dracula, The Godfather)
Starring – Martin Sheen (Spawn, Tales from the Crypt), Marlon Brando (Superman, The Island of Dr. Moreau), and Robert Duvall (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, THX 1138)
Release Date – 1979
Rating – 4/5
UHD Release – 4.5/5
When I was in high school I went through a war movie phase. It started with Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and before long I found myself snagging up any war movie I could find. When the local video store closed I was able to snag a super cheap copy of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now on DVD. I had never seen it before but I figured for $3 I wouldn’t be disappointed. That weekend I stayed over at a friends house and we decided to watch it. We both did not expect the movie to be as amazing as it was and to this day whenever I get a chance to revisit it I greatly accept the opportunity.
A few weeks back I received the press release that the film was getting a brand new UHD steelbook release as a Best Buy exclusive. I reached out to the PR firm handling the release and they were kind enough to send a copy my way for review. I’m glad they did because it had been a few years since I last viewed it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows an Army Captain (Sheen) who is recruited on a special assignment to travel through Vietnam, during the height of the Vietnam conflict, to kill a rogue commander. The commander has went awol and garnered a following of believers after proclaiming himself a god. The mission takes him and his squad through the jungles of Vietnam where they suffer several casualties before reaching their destination on the edge of Cambodia. Here he meets the eccentric and mesmerizing commander and his followers of natives and soldiers alike who will lay their lives on the line. The captain becomes enthralled with him but refuses to give up on the mission that he is tasked with. **Spoiler Alert**
I can already hear the attention seekers on social media bashing this one for not being horror but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to revisit this one. It’s such an amazing film with some of the best story and character development I have ever seen. Every shot is a masterpiece and the movie is ridiculously long but doesn’t feel that way. It’s absolutely brilliant.
The acting in this one is gives me chills. This is my favorite performance of Martin Sheen. He has appeared in other remarkable genre efforts like the first live action adaptation of Spawn but he will always be remembered as the army captain from Apocalypse Now. The remainder of the cast is just as memorable. Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, and so many more deliver unforgettable performances that are unlike anything you have seen.
The story for this one is very layered but it’s not overwhelming. The movie flows almost as if it’s told in chapters with one over arching storyline with mini-episodes spaced throughout it. It has a long running time but the way the story is told it makes great use of time without overdoing it. We move right along with situation to situation before finally reaching our final destination. It works extremely well and once the film is over you are surprised to discover exactly how much time you have spent with the film.
Finally, this is not a horror flick but it is one with a body count. We get lots of blood, some explosions, and gnarly practical effects that work for the gag. Overall, Apocalypse Now is an amazing film that truly needs to be seen. Collectors and fans of the film should really check out this Best Buy exclusive before it’s too late.
Final Cut Intro by Francis Ford Coppola