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Apocalypse Now Redux Review


Essential
Just issued on a remastered DVD, Coppola's 1979 masterpiece gets the director's cut treatment in this Redux version, as 49 minutes of previously edited footage are reinserted to bring the film in line with the director's original vision.

And the result is stunning, making an astonishing film even more powerful ...

but changing it completely in the process.

Continue reading: Apocalypse Now Redux Review

The 46th New York Film Festival - 'Che/Guerrilla' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals

Laura Bickford and Sam Bottoms - Laura Bickford and Sam Bottoms New York City, USA - The 46th New York Film Festival - 'Che/Guerrilla' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals Tuesday 7th October 2008

Hearts of Darkness Review


Excellent
For a portrait of cinematic obsession and unbridled megalomania rarely seen outside of a Werner Herzog home movie, one would be hard pressed to find a more satisfying piece of work than Hearts of Darkness, co-directors Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper's 1991 documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now. It was a film that didn't make sense; in fact it had never really made sense. Orson Welles had tried to make a film out of Joseph Conrad's Hearts of Darkness back in the 1930s -- that didn't work so he went ahead and made Citizen Kane instead. Nobody in the mid-1970s seemed interested in a film about the nation's just-ended nightmare, the Vietnam War, much less one with a murky and heady script based on a dense novel people had to suffer through in high school. The film as planned was going to cost far too much money before it even started to go insanely over budget.

But none of that was going to stop wunderkind Francis Ford Coppola from mortgaging every last ounce of the Hollywood credit he had garnered from making The Godfather Parts I and II (not to mention most every penny he had to his name) and hauling his family along with an army-sized cast and crew off to the Philippines (in the middle of an ugly civil war, mind you) for a few years to make a film whose ending he hadn't quite yet figured out. The results were perhaps predictable, even before the monsoons destroyed most of the sets, he fired his lead actor, and star Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack. When Apocalypse Now premiered at Cannes in 1979, a still-shaken Coppola announced that what had was that he had gone into the jungle -- like the Americans into Vietnam, in yet another of his grandiose analogies -- with too much money, too much equipment, "and little by little we went insane."

Continue reading: Hearts of Darkness Review

Apocalypse Now Review


Essential
In the grand tradition of movies that explore the reality that is the Vietnam War, one film stands out -- for defying reality.

Martin Sheen stars as Captain Willard, sent upriver in war-torn 'Nam to "terminate, with extreme prejudice" one Colonel Kurtz (Brando), a former green beret who has gone primal all the way in Cambodia and has taken on the guise of a god to the local people of the area.

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Snide and Prejudice Review


Grim
Quite an assembly of talent is ultimately wasted in this near-pointless look at a mental patient (that guy from the TV remake of Jason and the Argonauts) who thinks he's Hitler. A bunch of his fellow patients seem to think they're members of his staff, too. Essentially this is a re-imagining of Marat/Sade, adding in a head shrink (that guy from one of the Star Trek shows) who may be crazy too. Hitler's psychosis (the real Hitler, I mean) has been examined with substantially more depth and to a more powerful effect numerous times before.

Apocalypse Now Review


Essential
In the grand tradition of movies that explore the reality that is the Vietnam War, one film stands out -- for defying reality.

Martin Sheen stars as Captain Willard, sent upriver in war-torn 'Nam to "terminate, with extreme prejudice" one Colonel Kurtz (Brando), a former green beret who has gone primal all the way in Cambodia and has taken on the guise of a god to the local people of the area.

Continue reading: Apocalypse Now Review

Apocalypse Now Redux Review


Essential
Forget The Godfather. The sheer brilliance of Francis Ford Coppola lies in the images and words of his real masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. Twenty-two years ago, Coppola ventured into the jungles of the Philippines to shoot an adaptation of Joesph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, set against the turmoil and fury of the Vietnam War. Coppola assembled an impressive cast of actors -- 14 year-old Laurence Fishburne, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen (replacing Harvey Keitel), Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, and the great Marlon Brando -- and set out to shoot a war epic. By the end, Coppola had lost 100 pounds, principal photography ran for 16 weeks, Martin Sheen had a heart attack, Brando demanded all of his shots be done in shadow, and Coppola had invested millions of his own money to keep the production going, all while threatening suicide numerous times. After all the pain, Apocalypse Now was finally revealed, exposing itself as one of the most amazing pieces of celluloid ever produced, capturing not only the ugliness and ridiculousness of Vietnam, but exposing the dark heart of man as well.

The end result: 8 Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) and 2 wins for Cinematography and Score. Apocalypse Now additionally cemented Coppola's place as an A-plus-list film director, giving him free rein for the next 20 years to make crap like Captain Eo and Jack, junk which no one in Hollywood would dare criticize.

Continue reading: Apocalypse Now Redux Review

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