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Apocalypse Now Comes to Blu-ray Packed with Extras

By Ian White

We absolutely love the smell of napalm in the morning. It does smell like victory. Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, controversial and dark tale of the Vietnam War inspired by Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" troubled a lot of people with its over-the-top violence, drug use, and intense imagery. Coppola almost went crazy himself while shooting the film in the Philippines, and the accompanying documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, directed by his wife Eleanor, is almost as intoxicating as the film itself.

Victory will soon be ours as two different Blu-ray releases are planned for October 19, 2010. The more extensive (and more expensive) three disc "Full Disclosure Edition" includes the original film, Apocalypse Now Redux, and Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. The two versions of the feature film are new (and reportedly) stunning HD transfers presented for the first time in their original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratios. Even the documentary has been redone and presented in 1080p HD.  The 2-Disc special edition omits the documentary, but includes many never-before-seen extras.

Additional features in the Full Disclosure Edition include a 48-page collectible booklet with never-before-seen archival material from the set, over 9 hours of bonus features, a storyboard gallery, image galleries, marketing materials, and an original script excerpt from John Milius featuring hand-written notes from Coppola.  Either would make a great gift for any film fan (including yours truly).

Special Features Include:

  • Apocalypse Now - The 1979 Cut and Apocalypse Now Redux presented for the first time in Hi-Def
  • New 1080p transfers supervised by Francis Ford Coppola - first time ever in original theatrical aspect ratio (2.35:1) in home entertainment release
  • New "A Converation with Martin Sheen" interview by Francis Ford Coppola
  • New "An Interview with John Milius" by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Never-before-included Complete 2001 Cannes Film Festival: Francis Ford Coppola interview by Roger Ebert
  • Audio Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Monkey Sampan "lost scene"
  • Additional Scenes
  • "Destruction of the Kurtz Compound" - with audio commentary by Francis Ford Coppola
  • "Heart of Darkness" - 1938 Mercury Theatre audio recording with Orson Welles
  • "The Hollow Men" - video of Marlon Brando reading T.S. Eliot's poem
  • "The Birth of 5.1 Sound" featurette
  • "Ghost Helicopter Flyover" sound effects demonstration
  • "A Million Feet of Film: The Editing ofApocalypse Now" featurette
  • "The Music ofApocalypse Now" featurette
  • "The Synthesizer Soundtrack" article by Bob Moog
  • "Heard Any Good Movies Lately? The Sound Design ofApocalypse Now" featurette
  • "The Final Mix" featurette
  • "Apocalypse Then and Now" featurette
  • "PBR Streetgang" interviews with the boat crew actors
  • "The Color Palette of Apocalypse Now" featurette
  • Exclusives in "Full Disclosure Edition:"
    • Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, the feature-length making-of documentary with optional audio commentary from Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola
    • 48-page printed collectible booklet with letter from Francis Ford Coppola, never-before-seen archives from the set, behind-the-scenes photos and more!
    • 52-page John Milius script excerpt (onscreen) with handwritten notes from Francis Ford Coppola
    • Storyboard Gallery
    • Marketing Archives

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