Apocalypse Now Final Cut 4K Blu-ray review

Dec 10, 2019- Permalink

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Apocalypse Now and to celebrate Lionsgate has released a 4K combo pack called Apocalypse Now Final Cut. Besides a new cut from the director, it also features the original theatrical release and the Apocalypse Now Redux cut Coppola did back in 2001. The Final Cut is shorter than Redux and longer than the theatrical release. This set was released back in August, but I recently had a chance to review it as part of Lionsgate’s gift guide suggestions.

The 2160p HEVC-encoded transfer is presented in the movie’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is sourced from 4K scans of the original negatives and adjusted for both Dolby Vision and HDR10. The 4K versions look fantastic. Fine detail is evident throughout. Black levels and shadow detail are amazing which is great considering the movie’s many dark scenes. The 4K UHD colour palette is gorgeous, featuring oranges and yellows and rich jungle foliage. Original grain from the 35mm source is evident but the presentation has no noticeable compression artifacts and only a few defects from the original negatives.

Moving from your eyes to your ears, the 4K disc features English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 English SDH soundtracks. Those of you with Atmos setups will love the use of the height speakers, especially when the helicopters go overhead. Low frequency use during explosions and gunfire is sure to rattle your fillings loose and the surround speakers will immerse you in the story putting you in the middle of the environment. The score is dynamic and dialogue is clear and centred.

The Final Cut set I reviewed contains an army of extras spread over 6 discs and includes a digital copy code. Disc 1 contains an intro from Coppola and the 4K Final Cut version. Disc 2 contains the Apocalypse Now Redux cut and the original theatrical release in 4K. Discs 3 and 4 are Blu-ray versions of the first two discs. Disc 5 is a Blu-ray of supplemental videos and disc 6 is the 90 minute documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.

The extras spread over these discs include a Final Cut intro by Coppola, audio commentary on the Redux cut, an interview between Coppola and John Milius, an hour long conversation with Coppola and star Martin Sheen, a look at the casting, a look at the birth of surround sound, a look at the editing of the film, pieces on the music and sound design, Cannes Film Festival coverage from the Redux release, audio commentary on the Hearts of Darkness doc, a Q & A with Coppola and Steven Soderbergh, behind-the-scenes footage, a look at the remastering process, an image gallery of storyboards and a collection of photos and finally a series of trailers and radio spots.

With excellent video and audio presentations on the 4K versions and a plethora of extras, you really should add Apocalypse Now Final Cut to your home entertainment library.