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Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (Francis Coppola, 1979)

I have my own kind of love for Apocalypse Now. No, it's not so deep and natural as what I have for Jaws, where you love something so much that you'll accept and adore it, warts and all. I love Coppola's spectacle for what it attempted to do and what it was able to accompish. I better love it since I've seen it over 15 times in its various incarnations.

There are so many perfect scenes, and Coppola wields so much technical prowess, showering the audience with cinema which demands to be seen and heard on the big screen. I do not consider it a masterpiece, except in the integration of some spectacular sights and sounds and a few excellent performances. I would agree with the words "meandering", "self-indulgent" and "overlong", but I would certainly advise everyone to watch it and decide for themselves. Yet somehow, to me, Coppola lost his way and became another Kurtz, losing the thread, trying to piece together a third act from bits and pieces, shadows, insane babblings from Hopper and Brando, and allegorical meaning tying the story's unraveling to that of the Vietnam War itself. Many of the film's staunchest defenders deny there's anything imperfect about it or if there is, it's supposed to be there and they love it. Welcome to my world of Jaws love.

The Redux version does add what I consider to be satirically-hilarious scenes involving a surfboard and a beautiful visual explanation of what happened to one of the main characters, but I think the original is too long as it is, so I'd watch the original first. There are about 50 added minutes in Redux, and most of those are towards the end which is already overextended in my opinion. I'd still say to watch it at some future time.