CS Saw Apocalypse Now Final Cut, Plus a Visit With Francis Coppola
Lionsgate invited ComingSoon.net to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s visionary Vietnam War epic with a special IMAX screening of the newly restored Apocalypse Now Final Cut, as well as a special trip to Coppola’s Inglenook winery in Napa Valley, California where we got to visit the mixing stage where the film was painstakingly remastered. There we got a chance to sit down with Coppola himself, who talked to us about why he created this new version. You can check out photos of the American Zoetrope offices and library, as well as the gorgeous winery, in the gallery below!
Apocalypse Now Final Cut arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (4K disc, plus three Blu-ray discs and Digital copy) and on Digital 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever August 27 from Lionsgate. A special NAGRA myCinema theatrical release of Apocalypse Now Final Cut can be experienced on the giant screen in select theaters nationwide on August 15.
“Tribeca wanted to do something for Apocalypse on the 40th anniversary, and I’m a friend of Bobby De Niro and happy to do what I can,” Coppola told us. “When it came down to ‘Which version do you want to show?’, the 1979 version or what was called ‘Apocalypse Redux’ that caused me to have to think. I’d always felt that the first version, being that it was prepared in a climate of the film having to be released and we weren’t sure how it would be taken and we knew it was weird and long, a lot of our distributors said, ‘Make it less long, make it less weird.’ So we did, but when you’re taking 30-seconds out her and a minute there you’re also disturbing the intentions. I was happy that the film survived. Then later, because the people that worked on my wife’s documentary ‘Hearts of Darkness’ had access to hours and hours of footage, that caused distributors to say, ‘Well maybe you could put everything back in?’ There is a thing about what is considered avant garde in one moment, twenty years later is used for wallpaper and becomes a part of the culture. Twenty years later the original cut of ‘Apocalypse’ didn’t seem so far out. It had been absorbed into the culture. For that reason I said, ‘Sure, we can put more footage in,’ and that was the Redux version. But a movie is meant to serve a theme and a purpose. When they asked me which one to show I thought the first one was too shortened -you could feel editorially we were clipping things that we shouldn’t- and the other version we shouldn’t have put everything back. So I decided to prepare a version for the screening and I’ll start with Redux, but some of the stuff in Redux didn’t support the theme as fundamentally as I would want. I didn’t intend to make a new version, but I wanted to have a good version to show to Tribeca.”
So what will audiences get when they see this new version of the picture? The film is now 14 minutes shorter than the Redux version, and while it does include a more truncated version of the French Plantation sequence, it does not include the scene of the boat encountering the Playboy Playmates a second time in the jungle.
As for the picture and sound quality, it is a breathtaking experience, especially on the big IMAX screen. The audio is immersive, and you can feel every explosion, every gunshot, and every chord of the great songs by The Doors. For someone who had seen the film in almost every iteration, including CED Disc, VHS and DVD, this new version is truly the ultimate in terms of Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography looking crisp and rich. It truly looks like a brand-new film. The iconic “Ride of the Valkyries” sequence in particular is stunning, with a few new moments with Robert Duvall’s Colonel Kilgore helping to flesh out his character. Ultimately this is a can’t miss cinematic event for fans of Apocalypse Now, or the optimum cut for those who want to experience it for the very first time.
“The nice thing about a theatrical experience, as with what’s going to happen with these IMAX theaters, is when you sit with an audience you become one with them,” Coppola said. “Even though you may be the filmmaker and may know all the details of what was surrounding the shooting or what was coming next, you sort of forget. You become part of the audience which is the blessing of seeing any performing arts. I felt more connected to what the film was about, and that’s why this is my favorite version.”
Restored from the original negative for the first time ever, Apocalypse Now Final Cut is Coppola’s most realized version of the film, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards (winning two for Best Cinematography and Best Sound), won three Golden Globes (Best Original Score, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, 1980), and is one of AFI’s top 100 films. Starring Academy Award winner Marlon Brando (1972, Best Actor, The Godfather), Academy Award winner Robert Duvall (1983, Best Actor, Tender Mercies), Golden Globe winner Martin Sheen (2001, Best Actor – TV Series, The West Wing), Academy Award nominee Dennis Hopper (1986, Best Supporting Actor, Hoosiers), Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne (1993, Best Actor, What’s Love Got to Do with It), and Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford (1985, Best Actor, Witness), experience Coppola’s spectacular cinematic masterpiece the way it was intended.
Francis Ford Coppola’s stunning vision remains a classic and compelling Vietnam War epic. Martin Sheen stars as Army Captain Willard, a troubled man sent on a dangerous and mesmerizing odyssey into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has succumbed to the horrors of war and barricaded himself in a remote outpost.
The Apocalypse Now Final Cut restoration will be brought to life with Dolby Vision HDR, bringing entertainment to life through ultra-vivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. The 4K Combo Pack and Digital 4K release also feature Dolby Atmos audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. In addition, the film has been enhanced with Meyer Sound Laboratories’ newly developed Sensual Sound, a technology engineered to output audio below the limits of human hearing. All of these technologies work together to present Coppola’s true vision of the film, one that delivers deep, visceral visual and auditory impact. Coppola believes Apocalypse Now Final Cut “looks better than it has ever looked, and sounds better than it has ever sounded,” and he is “thrilled beyond measure to present the best version of the film to the world.”
In addition to the restoration, this 4-disc Apocalypse Now Final Cut anniversary set also includes the film’s Theatrical Cut and Extended Cut (Redux), as well as the acclaimed Hearts of Darkness documentary. Loaded with hours of in-depth special features, the set will also feature the fascinating 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Q&A with Coppola and the prolific Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape), which has not been seen or heard outside of the festival until now, and newly discovered behind-the-scenes footage. The Apocalypse Now Final Cut 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features new, collectable Mondo artwork and will be available for the suggested retail price of $34.99.
4K UHD SPECIAL FEATURES
• Disc One
• Disc Two
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
• Disc Three
• Disc Four
• Disc Five
• Disc Six
DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES