Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
This is the end...
At the height of the Vietnam war, Captain Benjamin Willard is sent on a dangerous mission that, officially, "does not exist, nor will it ever exist." His goal is to locate - and eliminate - a mysterious Green Beret Colonel named Walter Kurtz, who has been leading his personal army on illegal guerrilla missions into enemy territory.
This an example of film making at its finest. Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about the infamous production of Apocalypse Now, other than the fact that it was awful; and yet, the way the film is crafted and put together is so incredible. The troubled production probably increased the hysteria and darkness that the film conveys as it journeys into the dark hearts of men and their desires.
The film has a simple premise, US Army Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) is ordered on a covert mission into Cambodia to assassinate a Green Beret, Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has gone insane and set himself up as a god among the local native tribe. It's an accessible premise,…
Art imitates life, so the saying goes, yet in the case of Apocalypse Now with its tortured and maddening production, life imitated art. The film’s problematic production is almost as legendary as the film itself yet this difficult development seeps into every frame. It is hard to imagine that the film would have so brilliantly captured the feverish descent into darkness if the making of the film had been such an effortless experience. It brilliantly depicts the hallucinatory hell of war because it was hell for those involved in its creation.
It is hard to imagine a film like this was made in the first place. A big budget movie with an impressive star cast that is more dreamy and…
The filming of Apocalypse Now, and the legends surrounding it, are almost as well known and iconic as the film itself - chiefly the purported 'madness' of director Francis Ford Coppola in trying to complete his masterwork, his epic adaptation of Joseph Conrad's seminal Heart of Darkness updated to a Vietnam War setting. One might believe Coppola's intensity might have sank his picture, yet you get the feeling the pressures & strains of making the piece are the reason it's such a powerful, memorable and at times terrifying piece of work. It would be hard to imagine a more indirectly anti-war movie, with Coppola vividly displaying the genuine insanity of war, especially a war of pure ideology no one was quite…
"Saigon....shit. I'm still only in Saigon."
Never ceases to amaze me. Coppola takes you on a journey of unimaginable dichotomy in humanity. It is the struggle between pacifism and blood thirst that runs deep in this journey. It's a head trip of inhuman violence and the inhuman paths that madness takes you. The visceral authority with the camera thunders down a definitive adventure in madness, throwing the characters from one exotic encounter to the next, yet the numbing confusion of war is always present. War is hell and hell is war. It is a test of sanity, will power and a divide in dignity of self. You see it on Willard's face in every scene. I had forgotten just how…
This film, much like the novella it is based on, challenges the nature of humanity itself.
Conrad's novella explores our moral ambiguity in a setting of colonial oppression. Its main character Marlow enters a world of lawless confusion, created and perpetuated by the enigmatic Kurtz who defies rules and logical thinking. Marlow is forced to choose between these two worlds in which there is no right choice to make. Moral standards or social values are not relevant in judging evil and if they are, how can insanity be classified in an insane world?
Coppola's film manages to capture that criticism of man's incessant need to dominate and unavoidable need for social structure and moral guidance. There are a couple of…
I find myself torn between Come and See and the audaciously brilliant Apocalpyse Now as my favourite war movie and this rewatch on the magnificent Blu-Ray transfer certainly didn't help my cause in trying to decide. Francis Ford Coppola is something of a genius and his movie-making period in the 70's, ranging from The Godfather, Part I to this is impeccable. The legendary director is loved both by mainstream audiences and the critical community and he is without a doubt one of the most important voices of the artistic side in film history. The impact of Apocalypse Now is undeniable, it hits where it needs to hit and it hits at the force of a squadron of Apache helicopters. The…
So pretty much everything that can be said about this jawdroppingly amazing experience of a film has been said already.
Ahh, fuck it.
Martin Sheen. Marlon Brando. Short but brilliant appearances by Harrison Ford and Robert Duvall. Young Laurence Fishburne. Just great acting in general.
Am I missing anything?
Oh yeah... a surprising amount of faithfulness to Heart of Darkness despite being only a loose adaptation of the novella. A good handling on the moral boundaries presented within the film, and being able to stretch them so thin they become almost invisible. Scenes of warfare that expose the Vietnam War and war in general for what they really are. A narrative that never feels dull, not even for a millisecond. Imagery so beautiful that if you don't see this on Blu-ray and on the biggest screen possible, something is seriously wrong with you.
Also... THAT FUCKING PUPPY. WHERE DID IT GO?!
Brando is the movie.
Apocalypse Now takes us to a place only a few other films have reached--such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Raging Bull--and then breaks past that point. The most psychologically-draining experience of the highest form. It's more than a war film--it's poetry. Portrays that in all of war's horror, the ultimate terror is leaving that hell on the battlefield for your own personal mental hell. The deteriorating psyche of a human being so torn apart from all of he has experienced that the only thing left to do is die. Kurtz and Willard are mirror images of each other. The morality of man is a devil all its own. It's absolutely stunning and tragically beautiful. A testament of war and…
Francis Ford Coppola's film "Apocalypse Now" was inspired by Heart of Darkness, a novel by Joseph Conrad about a European named Kurtz who penetrated to the farthest reaches of the Congo and established himself like a god. A boat sets out to find him, and on the journey the narrator gradually loses confidence in orderly civilization; he is oppressed by the great weight of the jungle all around him, a pitiless Darwinian testing ground in which each living thing tries every day not to be eaten.
What is found at the end of the journey is not Kurtz so much as what Kurtz found: that all of our days and ways are a fragile structure perched uneasily atop the hungry…
Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest movies of all time. It brings together everything that we love in movies and storytelling. The film centers around the mysterious Colonel Kurtz, even though Kurtz (perfectly played by Marlon Brando) only enters the film at the end. Kurtz represents the darkness in all of us. He is a special forces leader during the Vietnam war who realizes that the only way to win the war is to resort to tactics that others would consider brutal. Kurtz, however, views them as necessary. He has given up on what he perceives to be the false morality that imprisons everyone else and prevents them from doing what is necessary. Army command fears Kurtz and the…
The top-of-the-line lens that was used to film this masterpiece shows how much better blu-ray is than dvd. It's like night and day. For example, the water on this blu-ray looks so crisp and sleek that I felt like diving into it.
From all of the humidity of the jungle to the constant array of combat debris, the ride through Vietnam and Cambodia is beautifully presented. Such high level film making.
The final act has a very mystical feel to it, and the supreme quality photography really maximizes the vibe for me.
On the whole, one of my favourite films. Unique atmosphere and one of the most convincing demonstration of the absurdity in Vietnam war. Worth mentioning - the soundtrack, pleasure for ears and great support to images.
The greatest film ever made about war. And also one of the best films ever made about humanity itself, with the greatest opening of all time. They don't make movies like this anymore.
This is one of the most influential films of the 20th century, and it stands as one of the best. Every actor perfectly exemplifies the insanity that characterizes the war in this film. Murch's fantastic soundscape is rich and complex and came in the 1970s as a revolution in cinematic technology. Francis Ford Coppola famously once said, "My film is not about Vietnam, my film is Vietnam." The truth to this statement lies in the fact that this glorious look at PTSD is completely made as if the audience is experiencing the effects of the disorder. This is a treat to watch and a monument for our civilization.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
- Pulp Fiction
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