Apocalypse Now Redux
It'll be hard to find a bad review of Apocalypse Now Redux. To his nightmarish 1979 classic film about the American war in Vietnam, director Francis Ford Coppola adds 54 minutes of unseen footage and a restored Technicolor print. The result is more brilliance, more weirdness, more confusion, more war. It pushes the running time to well over three hours. This brings balance, filling out emotions and layering on the ambiguity. There's an additional scene with Playboy bunnies, the encounter with surfing Captain Kilgore is expanded, and Kurtz (Marlon Brando) gets more interactions with Willard (Martin Sheen). Most impressively, however, is a lengthy set piece at a dilapidated French plantation. None of this footage made it into the original. Willard smokes opium in a strange romantic encounter with a widow (Aurore Clément), bourgeouise wreckage from Vietnam's original colonial conflict.
The extra hour doesn't fix one nagging problem: the Vietnamese and Cambodians remain as silent set-pieces. Instead of showing both sides, Coppola explores one side to its deep fathoms. Luckily, this is more than one gets from most movies anyhow. Apocalypse Now Redux further enriches a notoriously important movie.