One of the most memorable things about Francis Ford Coppola's film is the way that it looks. This anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer brings out the bizarre beauty of Vittorio Storaro's inspired cinematography exceptionally well. Colour is held brilliantly as in the vivid coloured smoke on the river or the golden light of the plantation. Both artefacting and edge enhancement are kept to a minimum.
It's a little known fact that 5.1 sound was developed by Coppola's sound editor Walter Murch specifically for Apocalypse Now, and thankfully, the Redux disc gets the sonics just right. The DD mix presented here does full justice to louder scenes - check out the bullets fizzing around the speakers during the death of Mr Clean for proof. Where the mix really impresses is the skill displayed in the surrounds, giving the quieter, more atmospheric moments a distinctly creepy ambience.
There are times, as a DVD hack, that you despair and this is one of them. Given the massive level of input on Redux not only by Coppola, but also his cinematographer and production designer, you might have thought they would have got a short documentary or some interview footage out of it. Even better, Eleanor Coppola's document of the doomed shoot Hearts of Darkness might be included to form a definitive package of this important film. Nope. One pissant little trailer. The horror, and furthermore, the horror.Perhaps the definitive film of the 70s re-cut and re-packaged with a fine audio and visual transfer. It's a shame the extras suck.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.