Let’s get this out of the way:
Apocalypse Now is my favourite movie of all time. In its original 1979 cut. In its 2001 Apocalypse Now: Redux cut. And now, in the Apocalypse Now: Final Cut edition.
Apocalypse Now is my favourite movie of all time. In any cut. In every cut.
How did I reach this conclusion? It began a few weeks back when E.A. Henson, visiting from Michigan for Fan Expo, and I went to see the Final Cut in IMAX here in Toronto. I had desperately been trying to find a screening of the film, and I was glad Henson was able to join me. This was the third time seeing a version of Apocalypse Now in theatres. The first was in the early ’90s, around the time that Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse was released. The second time was when the Redux was unleashed. And then came the Final Cut, in which director Francis Ford Coppola trimmed and honed the previous edition into what he considers, well, his final cut.
As someone who for the most part will watch director’s cuts of films when they’re created (other than the atrocious Donnie Darko director’s cut), when Redux was released, that became my Apocalypse Now experience of choice. Now, with the Final Cut, that will likely be my go-to. Seeing it on the big screen was as captivating as every other version, even as Coppola exorcised certain scenes (the French Plantation isn’t one of them, though, so haters beware).
Why is this movie my favourite? What do I love about Apocalypse Now, you may ask? What don’t I love? The performances from all involved are magnificent. The epic journey that’s as much Homer as it is Joseph Conrad. The otherworldly nature of Viet Nam that Coppola depicts. The horror of it all. The horror.
Forty years after first arriving in theatres, and multiple releases on DVD and Blu-ray (I should know, I have the Complete Dossier on DVD and Blu-ray and I’m not giving either up), Lionsgate has released the 6-disc (!) Apocalypse Now: Final Cut 4K 40th Anniversary Edition, which has everything you could ever want when it comes to the film.
- Every cut of the film, including the Final Cut and Redux in 4K
- Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse in Blu-ray
- Every extra from previous editions of the film
- New extras, including Francis Ford Coppola in conversation with Steven Soderbergh from the Tribeca Film Festival and Super 8mm behind-the-scenes footage
- Digital redemption code for all three films
Amazingly, this set is priced at just $23 dollars on Amazon.com. For six discs of one of the greatest films in the history of cinema??? This is a mind-boggling price that you shouldn’t miss out on. Now, here’s the rub for the Canadians in the crowd. The set currently isn’t available in the Great White North, but even with the exchange and shipping, you can’t argue about the price. The digital code is for the U.S. only, mind you, but in that case, you could also hop over to iTunes like I did an pick up the Final Cut for relatively inexpensive; that version also comes with digital copies of the 1979 and Redux cuts.
All these years later and Apocalypse Now still resonates and is worth watching again and again.
In any cut. Every cut.