Richard N. Cote | Mt. Pleasant, SC | 09/20/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After viewing the original when it was released in 1979, I had been back from the war for twelve years. Stationed at DaNang Air Base as a munitions specalist, my colleagues and I were in danger, but not the kind of imminent danger shared by the M-16-toting Army and Marine Corps soldiers. The surrealistic, psychotic head-space portrayed in Apocalypse I and Redux was unknown to us. We just screwed bombs and rockets together for F-4's 70 hours a week and went back to our barracks for a beer. Viewing Apocalypse Redux was nearly a psychedelic experience for me now (2010). Although obviously written to show the madness of war, I see it as so over-the-top as to be almost meaningless except as three hours of bizarre existentialist angst, a bad LSD trip, or an ueber-intellectual/showoff mind game by the producer. It's the complete answer to a question that is never defined. If I ever figure out what Coppola had in mind for its desired effect on the audience, I'll repost. I was, however, in awe of Martin Sheen's role, as I was with his son, Charlie's, in "Platoon," a much simpler tale. I actually met troops such as those portrayed in "Platoon," but the politico-psycho nutcakes in Apocalypse are just apparitions to me. Dick Cote' / ex- SSgt, 366th Munitions Maintenance Squadron, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, 1966-67."
Loving It More and More
blackboxBLUE | 10/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We watched Francis Ford Coppola's passion project Apocalypse Now (1979) last night in Cinema History class. I had seen the movie once before in 2002. The thing about this movie is that it's definately an "auteur" adult film. The first time I watched it was on my old 27 Sony Trinitron TV, so I didn't get the full movie experience like I did last night in Collins College's movie theater. The sound was absolutely incredible! I can't remember why I was drawn to watching this movie the first time...other than the obvious "everbody said I should" excuse. Of course I've been fascinated with war movies since high school and especially since Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line in the late 90s. What striked me last night about Apocalypse Now was how much more accessible the movie was to me upon a second viewing. I think watching this movie for the first time, it was hard for me to really get it because it is very "abstract". But then all of the great movies in my opinion are a bit abstract. That's what makes them stand up over time and allows one to watch them again and again...you get something new just about every time.
But the thought that really came to me during this viewing last night was that I didn't really enjoy or appreciate this movie as much the first time I saw it. I watched it, thought it was decent, and moved on. It didn't really strike me as a masterpiece of filmmaking. But last night I really saw the greatness in this movie and its concepts. Now maybe my movie appreciation is greater now that I'm moving into the art and business of making films. But it's not just that. I think more and more now that movies are something like any adult acquired taste. I don't think anyone is born loving wine or liquor or beer...it's a taste you acquire and learn to appreciate as an adult. And movies to me seem to be something that you appreciate the subtleties of more and more as you mature. I think you just have to be at a certain place in you life's journey in order to really even understand some movies...like Apocalypse Now. When you're younger and you don't yet have certain life experiences, it's harder to understand and appreciate more sophisticated movies like Apocalypse Now. Whereas something like Star Wars or Indiana Jones or Transformers can be appreciate by kids, young adults, and grown adults. I loved the fun of Star Wars when I was a kid. I then appreciated it for its movie making as a young adult. And now I get the more spiritual and moral values of the movie. Combine all of those things and you have a masterpiece movie that you can watch over and over throughout your life."