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Cameron H.

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now  

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  1. 1. Should Apocalypse Now be on the Afi 100 list?

    • I love the smell of inclusion in the morning.
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    • The horror. The horror...
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  • Poll closed on 10/04/18 at 03:59 AM

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Then again, I think the dark comedy of the Killgore character pulls me into the village attack scene. The action itself, outside of all of the colors in the smoke and flames, really doesn't do much for me.

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Loved it when Amy was discussing her affection for movies such as The Princess Bride, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Clueless. These are three personal favorites of mine. But I also consider Apocalypse Now one of my all time-favorite films.

The last few years I have used The Princess Bride with my 8th grade English students in our literary elements unit. The main reason I use PB is the kids still love it, even though they were born some two decades after its original release. They especially connect with the humor. Once they get hooked on the film, it's much easier for them to pull apart the plot and analyze the conflict, settings, etc. There really is something timeless about PB

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Like another user, I was out for a hike while listening. Unlike him, I turned the damned thing off rather than listen any further to an episode that, within its first ten minutes, encapsulated virtually all the problems with this increasingly dispensable podcast: the "research," which (a) appears to represent the first ten things that come up on Google and (b) stake out a theoretical position that obviates any need to engage with the film critically; the presentism, especially insofar as it can be deployed to destabilize the status of an earlier generation's masterpieces (i.e., without examining whether these films are merely "of their time"), the stupid voices that are supposed to signify "jus' hangin' out with my filmdawg"; ALL the stupid voices.

I don't know how to trust a critic who views the helicopter attack scene as *murka hay-ell YEAH!! and not a knife's-edge satire of warmongering machismo.

I don't know why I would want to listen to eighty-ish more episodes if we've already decided that Westerns Are Bad and Silent Movies Are Boring and Let's Kill Off the Seventies' Darlings.

 

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5 hours ago, claudewc said:

Like another user, I was out for a hike while listening. Unlike him, I turned the damned thing off rather than listen any further to an episode that, within its first ten minutes, encapsulated virtually all the problems with this increasingly dispensable podcast: the "research," which (a) appears to represent the first ten things that come up on Google and (b) stake out a theoretical position that obviates any need to engage with the film critically; the presentism, especially insofar as it can be deployed to destabilize the status of an earlier generation's masterpieces (i.e., without examining whether these films are merely "of their time"), the stupid voices that are supposed to signify "jus' hangin' out with my filmdawg"; ALL the stupid voices.

I don't know how to trust a critic who views the helicopter attack scene as *murka hay-ell YEAH!! and not a knife's-edge satire of warmongering machismo.

I don't know why I would want to listen to eighty-ish more episodes if we've already decided that Westerns Are Bad and Silent Movies Are Boring and Let's Kill Off the Seventies' Darlings.

 

You seem angry.  I could just simply say, you probably shouldn't seek validation of your opinions in the opinions of podcast critics either, but that might come across as dismissive.

So I will say, I feel you're going to always be coming across people who don't agree with your opinions on things, and sometimes you'll think their arguments are terrible.  If you set yourself up to be angry at every time someone disagrees with your opinion about movies, are presents arguments that you think are terrible (or for argument's sake, let's even say, they are objectively terrible), you're probably going to be setting yourself up for a frequently, angry life. Which, there are things that I can kind of understand people making bad arguments about that one should feel impassioned about.  But, even if you love movies, unless it's something that directly affects or related to your career (or, I'll take if you were a film studies major), it just seems to me there are bigger, more important disagreements in the world.  Things that I can understand how they warrant the need for other people to agree with you; justifying such passion over the disagreement.

So, with that in mind, I'm inclined to ask, what about this podcast, when it veers into argument or opinion territory that doesn't jive with your sensibilities, that makes you to become frustrated or angry enough you need to let that anger or frustration... I don't want to say, consume you.  But it feels like it consumes your thoughts.

Then again, if I'm reading you wrong, my apologies.  I was a lot like that until my mid-20s.

Edit: To clarify, I don't think there's anything wrong with being passionate you love, or that you can't strongly disagree, but to let something that in the grand scheme of things that isn't life and death consume your thoughts with negative emotions; that doesn't seem like a desirable way to live.

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Hi, Eddy.

I don't think you understand what web fora are for and why people do legitimate criticism (i.e., as opposed to film chat), even though you are past your callow mid-twenties. Some of us take this art-nonsense seriously because of the egregiously ugly state of reality. 

As you are well aware, you are (tactically) dismissive. But that is not really the right word. "Concern-trolly combative," maybe?  

The podcast had promise, but it got lazy and has established a framework that will lead inevitably to preferring The Sandlot over The Philadelphia Story. That's too bad. 

 

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I'm pretty sure I am not the one responding to a challenge by digging in my heels.

Where do I say that I want the podcast to echo "all" my beliefs? Don't drop a troothBOMByall that' is founded on some inane fantasy.

I am also pretty certain that I have indicated why I no longer listen voluntarily to the podcast.

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, claudewc said:

Like another user, I was out for a hike while listening. Unlike him, I turned the damned thing off rather than listen any further to an episode that, within its first ten minutes, encapsulated virtually all the problems with this increasingly dispensable podcast: the "research," which (a) appears to represent the first ten things that come up on Google and (b) stake out a theoretical position that obviates any need to engage with the film critically; the presentism, especially insofar as it can be deployed to destabilize the status of an earlier generation's masterpieces (i.e., without examining whether these films are merely "of their time"), the stupid voices that are supposed to signify "jus' hangin' out with my filmdawg"; ALL the stupid voices.

I don't know how to trust a critic who views the helicopter attack scene as *murka hay-ell YEAH!! and not a knife's-edge satire of warmongering machismo.

I don't know why I would want to listen to eighty-ish more episodes if we've already decided that Westerns Are Bad and Silent Movies Are Boring and Let's Kill Off the Seventies' Darlings.

 

I'm not quite with you yet, but I was listening to the AN podcast this morning and had similar thoughts.  I keep wondering if it's me, because I love movies and podcasts and it's been tough for me to stick with a podcast about movies.  I really enjoyed the brief tenure of the Village Voice podcast, and I came to really like Amy because of that.  This combo of hosts hasn't worked for me lately, but I'm hoping it will get better with future movies.  The last thing I wanted this morning was a bunch of quotes from John Milius, but at least Paul seemed skeptical after quoting his nonsense about Vietnam being a CA war.  I think Milius is one of the most overrated players of the 70s (though if he had any role in the Jaws speech then bless him).  It's probably difficult to figure out who the audience is for the podcast -- and I understand wanting to cover some background/context -- but something about the little factoids lately has been getting under my skin.  

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As for this movie:  I made an effort to see it on a screen when I was in college and was very disappointed.  I tried again later on but I just don't see how it's a classic.  I think I kept trying because I love the independence and orneriness of Coppola, and Godfather is one of my all-time favorites.  The first time I saw that movie, I thought "how can a movie be this perfect?"  

There are many terrific scenes and solid actors/performances in AN.  I think the issue with me is that it's such a mess.  There are people who can love a big beautiful mess, but I can't think of a time when I enjoyed a big messy movie.  I'm going to reflect on that because surely there must be some example.  I love some deeply flawed movies, but I don't know that I've loved a really messy one.  🤔

I do recommend the documentary though.  

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Look man, give up on the podcast.  That's fine.  Nobody cares.  Why did you feel you have to post about it?   You never even posted here before! 

There's been TONS of podcasts that I was interested in, but quickly gave up on and didn't keep up with.  That's not some failure of the podcast, and it's terribly arrogant of you to think that it is, and to come into a fan forum and rip on it.

We all disagree about these movies on here sometimes, and we enjoy talking through it.  That's what 'fora' are for.  I was not all that into Apocalypse Now, but I got some good explanations from people who were, and I got good explanations from Amy why she isn't.  That's why most of us are here, I imagine.

You made it clear you want them to not "kill off" the "Seventies' Darlings" that you apparently love.  So obviously you do want them to agree with you.  Well maybe it's good for some alternate views on these sorts of things. How about you stand up and defend Apocalypse Now instead?  I for one in no way saw this movie as a "knife's edge satire."  Where did I go wrong then?

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I'm in the middle of rewatching Fellowship of the Ring for next week.  Fitting that I stumbled upon this line of discussion exactly when the troll showed up.

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1 hour ago, Susan* said:

It's probably difficult to figure out who the audience is for the podcast -- and I understand wanting to cover some background/context -- but something about the little factoids lately has been getting under my skin.  

I was going to stay out of this whole thing, but I just wanted to jump in on this point. From the beginning, this podcast has only ever been about - and ever claimed to be about - a film expert and a film novice going through the "Great American Films." Paul (as the self-stated novice) is a stand-in for the majority of the audience who has never seen these movies before. That's who this podcast is for.  It's not for Film Lit major's and Art Critics. It's not for people who have watched these movies a gajillion times and know all the ins, outs, and esoteric minutia regarding them. It's for people who are just being exposed to them for the first time. 

So, no, you're not going to get in-depth analysis here. You're going to get trivia and the hosts' off-the-cuff opinions. Paul is giving his thoughts on the movies as a first time watcher, and Amy is giving hers as a person who has made a career out of watching and critiquing movies. However, it's not about serious film criticism. They're just shooting the shit about these movies for entertainment purposes. This show is like AFI 101. That's what you're getting. The hope (I would suspect) is to encourage people to watch these movies (for, most likely, the first time) and perhaps inspire those listeners to learn more about these movies for themselves. 

So, yeah, I get it if this show might seem remedial to some, but just consider that you might not be the target audience either. However, I, for one, love it and the hosts. That's where I'm at :)

(I think it's also important to separate "Amy the Casual Movie Watcher" and "Amy the Critic." She's allowed to have an opinion about a film that might be contrary to her academic appreciation of the it. I hate that I have to say that, but it just seems like Amy is more often maligned for having a positive or negative opinion about these movies than Paul. I'm going to just imagine that's the reason for it, even if my gut screams differently.)

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"It's for people who are just being exposed to them for the first time. "

Whom this podcast wants to convince that Apocalypse Now is the product of some USC boys club living their Vietnam fantasies vicariously. (You can probably expand upon that theory by pointing out that the first voice heard in the film is that of  USC's own Jim "You Wanna See My Cock" Morrison.)

You can have fun and not be sloppy.

 

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20 minutes ago, claudewc said:

"It's for people who are just being exposed to them for the first time. "

Whom this podcast wants to convince that Apocalypse Now is the product of some USC boys club living their Vietnam fantasies vicariously. (You can probably expand upon that theory by pointing out that the first voice heard in the film is that of  USC's own Jim "You Wanna See My Cock" Morrison.)

You can have fun and not be sloppy.

 

I guess I just don’t feel like they’re trying to convince anyone of anything. And, call me an optimist, but I feel like people who would be interested in listening to Unspooled in the first place are the type of people who are capable of formulating their own opinions without regurgitating what they heard on a podcast. 

As for me, I’ve agreed with some of their points and I’ve disagreed about others. Such is life :) However, I absolutely respect their opinions, interpretations, and their right to express them.

Like I said before, for most people, this podcast is a first step. If a listener feels inspired to follow the path any further, then they will. And who knows where they might end up ;)

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So I watched both the theatrical version of this movie and followed it up by watching the Redux version of the movie. I am of two minds about director's cuts in general. Sometimes there is studio meddling or just time constraints that prevent a movie from being what the director fully intended. A good example of this would be Brazil. Then you have some directors that want to change things because of personal reasons and this is where you get the George Lucas or even the god awful Richard Kelly Donnie Darko director's cut. The thing that most of these do wrong is add in scenes explaining things that didn't need explaining or adding extra scenes that add nothing to the overall film. If the scene adds nothing, why bother to go back in and include it. 

Redux is a weird combination of both of these. A lot of the scenes added don't really need to be in there. As mentioned the French plantation scene is quite long and is more expository that the rest of the film. However, for me the reason I enjoyed Apocalypse now is I enjoyed the journey. It's a series of vignettes that make a tapestry of what the war was and wasn't about. In theory most of these scenes are unneeded in the sense that they don't really move the story or add anything to the core plot, however they add to what the film is trying to show and the message. Yes the USO show or the battle of the bridge doesn't help them get to Kurtz or show us anything new about Willard, but it does show us something about the war. In that sense I can forgive some of the scenes added back into Redux. They all go into enriching the journey the characters are on. Is it worth the extra hour it adds back into the movie? Probably not. I don't know if I'll ever watch the movie again but if I did, I think I would watch the Redux version.

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On 9/27/2018 at 3:22 PM, bleary said:

 

A word about Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness":  Far be it from me to whitesplain colonialism to the brilliant Chinua Achebe, but I've always seen "Heart of Darkness" as more of a critique of colonialism than a glorification of it, and it always seemed like a companion to Achebe's work, including "Things Fall Apart."  Though I agree that there will always be issues with groups in power getting to tell the stories of others who should be telling their own stories, I still would characterize "Hearts of Darkness" as firmly anti-imperialist.  

It

I really agreed with this. I've read Heart of Darkness at least 3 times (I think maybe 4) and each time I get something new out of it. Almost anything written in the 1890s is going to be problematic, but I think overall Conrad is on the right side of history, at least in this work (I didn't read his book for that is entitled simply "The N-word" but using the actual word, so I don't want to defend everything he did in his life). I think his argument about Imperialism is similar to the argument that Frederick Douglass (and others) made about slavery. That it corrupts to the core, and destroys the humanity of everyone involved, not just the colonized. 

But I also think Heart of Darkness, and to a less degree AN, gets at something about humanity that I can't quite put my finger on. Something awful about our nature that is never stated too clearly. But like few other books, this book stirs both fear and inspiration in me every time I read it, and the movie makes me feel the same way. I think this is a truly great movie, and much as I love Paul Scheer (more for HDTGM) and have no issues with Amy Nicholson, I thought they were wrong on this one, and I felt like even though they said stuff like, "I don't expect AN to be a woke movie," they did have a lot of expectations going into it. They seemed like they couldn't get past the background. I didn't know anything about the filming the first few times I saw it, and I still think it's a great movie, so it being on the list is not like DiCaprio getting the Oscar for The Revenant. They also seemed to want to categorize it as a "war film" which I really don't think it is. It's a glimpse at the darkness that all humans are capable of. I find it riveting. I'm not giving up the podcast or anything, but come on. This is better than Titanic. 

 

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5 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

 Paul (as the self-stated novice) is a stand-in for the majority of the audience who has never seen these movies before. That's who this podcast is for.  It's not for Film Lit major's and Art Critics. It's not for people who have watched these movies a gajillion times and know all the ins, outs, and esoteric minutia regarding them. It's for people who are just being exposed to them for the first time. 

 

I take your comment as though I stumbled into the wrong thing by accident, but I don't think that's true.  I'm no kind of critic or fine arts major or snob.  Though you need some basic film fan-ship to have a silly fake debate about whether a film should be No. 15 or No. 85 or off the list altogether.  So far, for the episodes I've listened to, there were quite a few movies Paul had seen before, and more than once before.  He seems pretty tuned in to American pop culture.  If someone really likes movies, it would be surprising if they hadn't seen a whole bunch of the movies before.  We recently covered ET.  And it's nice to balance that sort of movie with the ones that you're less likely to casually come across.  

The whole conceit of the podcast is incredibly silly and I think that's enjoyable.

And back to AN, I think it made sense for it to have a big reputation but there's less and less of a reason to recommend it each year.  Maybe that's proven by the fact that it's more interesting to talk about how the film was made and how it was received than to talk about the film itself?   

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9 minutes ago, Susan* said:

I take your comment as though I stumbled into the wrong thing by accident, but I don't think that's true.  I'm no kind of critic or fine arts major or snob.  Though you need some basic film fan-ship to have a silly fake debate about whether a film should be No. 15 or No. 85 or off the list altogether.  So far, for the episodes I've listened to, there were quite a few movies Paul had seen before, and more than once before.  He seems pretty tuned in to American pop culture.  If someone really likes movies, it would be surprising if they hadn't seen a whole bunch of the movies before.  We recently covered ET.  And it's nice to balance that sort of movie with the ones that you're less likely to casually come across.  

The whole conceit of the podcast is incredibly silly and I think that's enjoyable.

And back to AN, I think it made sense for it to have a big reputation but there's less and less of a reason to recommend it each year.  Maybe that's proven by the fact that it's more interesting to talk about how the film was made and how it was received than to talk about the film itself?   

I’m sorry if the tone of my post came across as too harsh. I didn’t mean it to. I had just read claudewc’s post criticizing the show for not looking at the films critically, and I read your post where you seemed to (at least partially) agree and that you were annoyed by the structure of the show (specifically the factoids and whatnot). Honestly, I was bouncing off and responding to both of those posts - I just happened to quote yours. ;) 

I wasn’t putting down Film Lit or Art Criticism or trying to accuse anyone of elitism. (I’m totally down for both of those things actually. :) ) I was just saying if someone is looking for a movie podcast that does deep critical dives into these films, then this might not be the right fit for you. I just feel like a waste of time and energy to criticize a show for not being something it never claimed to be. To me, that’s like getting upset because a tiger isn’t a lion; or that The Good Place isn’t Star Trek. It’s a podcast about introducing these movies to people who haven’t otherwise seen them. That’s what it is. The whole thing is supposed to be fun and chill. As a listener, you can either be cool with that or not, but I feel like complaining about how it isn’t what you wanted or hoped it would be is kind of silly.

 

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1 hour ago, Susan* said:

I take your comment as though I stumbled into the wrong thing by accident, but I don't think that's true.  I'm no kind of critic or fine arts major or snob.  Though you need some basic film fan-ship to have a silly fake debate about whether a film should be No. 15 or No. 85 or off the list altogether.  So far, for the episodes I've listened to, there were quite a few movies Paul had seen before, and more than once before.  He seems pretty tuned in to American pop culture.  If someone really likes movies, it would be surprising if they hadn't seen a whole bunch of the movies before.  We recently covered ET.  And it's nice to balance that sort of movie with the ones that you're less likely to casually come across.  

The whole conceit of the podcast is incredibly silly and I think that's enjoyable.

And back to AN, I think it made sense for it to have a big reputation but there's less and less of a reason to recommend it each year.  Maybe that's proven by the fact that it's more interesting to talk about how the film was made and how it was received than to talk about the film itself?   

I've also been wondering about the audience and how they came to this podcast.  I already have other film podcasts I'm listening to that I prefer for serious discussion and listen to HDTGM partially for the comedy.  So I'm coming to this one from hearing Paul review bad movies for the past couple of years.  And when I first started, I had some trepidation if this would be my thing (it's a bit mix), but it is serving for a chance to force myself to reserve some time to either rewatch some movies I haven't watched in a while or finally watch some that I never got around to.  And I guess I find myself more interested in Paul's reaction to it for its own sake rather than as a reference point of, "do I want to watch this movie," or primarily for the film analysis aspect (though you can't get the former without them expressing the latter).  I suspect there's a good chance that altered my expectations and needs from the podcast accordingly.  Granted, I think the discussions on the forums and FB group (the latter, I skim periodically, but don't post there) sometimes more interesting than the episode.  That said, I do wonder what it's like for people coming to the podcast because they're familiar with Amy, or if there are people who are just stumbling onto the podcast, because they're looking for a film podcast and are seeing one that's covering the AFI top 100 American films.

 

ETA: I never stated it, but fwiw, I felt this episode was more of a miss to me because both hosts went the presumption that people love the movie because of the boondoggle backstory of the making-of and that ended up consuming too much of the discussion.  That theory seemed bizarre to me and felt like it just came out of left field and took away from what would have been more interesting to me.  But the discussion in this thread went in more of an interesting direction/challenge.

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FWIW, I didn't know the history of the making of AN when I first saw the film. I was in high school when it came out, but didn't see until I was in college. And, as I commented above, this is still one of my favorite domestic movies. I think I saw the doc Hearts of Darkness in a theater when it first came out, and I enjoyed it. But I like AN way more.

Unspooled so far has really got me thinking about why we like certain movies and dislike others, and why we view some as indispensable classics. I'm roughly a generation older than Paul and Amy. I was introduced to AN in my late teens, when I was becoming a pretty serious film buff. I remember it being one of the first movies I watched thinking that this was serious art, and there were meanings below the surface that I had to think about to understand. I think this is one of the reasons I still hold it in high regard. 

Compare that Paul's and Amy's reactions to Titanic and E.T. Both saw these movies while relatively young. I can't stand Titanic. My wife and I sat in the theater making fun of it as we watched. And I liked E.T. just fine, but I still think of it as minor Spielberg when compared to Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, Private Ryan, etc. So maybe part of our feelings for certain movies has to do with our age when first seeing it and where we are in our journey as film watchers? I mean, I enjoy Paul's and Amy's discussions - I wouldn't listen if I didn't. But as I listened to the AN episode, there were a lot of eye rolls on my part. So maybe it is a generational thing in part.

I came to Unspooled as a fan of The Canon and HDTGM. A few years back the AV Club used to review the same podcasts every week, and I think HDTGM was one of them. I mainly listen for the humor. Funny, but during the AN episode I found myself almost imagining Devin's reaction to some of what Amy said about AN, and how he probably would have been able to challenge her on what she was saying. The dynamic for Unspooled is completely different, but that's fine.

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10 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

(I think it's also important to separate "Amy the Casual Movie Watcher" and "Amy the Critic." She's allowed to have an opinion about a film that might be contrary to her academic appreciation of the it. I hate that I have to say that, but it just seems like Amy is more often maligned for having a positive or negative opinion about these movies than Paul. I'm going to just imagine that's the reason for it, even if my gut screams differently.)

There's probably some sexism involved. All else being equal, women usually get more shit online.

But I also think that Paul tends to be more forgiving in his commentary, while Amy as a professional critic is more pointed when she goes negative. That probably accounts for some of it too. Both things can be true.

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5 hours ago, Susan* said:

Maybe that's proven by the fact that it's more interesting to talk about how the film was made and how it was received than to talk about the film itself?   

I don't consider that fact "proven" at all. Seems like the major complaint about this episode is that people wanted the hosts to get into more analysis of the film itself, under the assumption that there is a lot to discuss there.

But that's going to be tough when the "film expert" in question (Amy) is someone who doesn't like the movie. If you don't like a movie you usually don't want to spend much time unpacking it.

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Sorry if it seems I'm piling on Amy and Paul, their perspective shows that there is another audience, other than myself. So they are fine. So where some folks find scenes as gratuitous, myself finds them as important to the story. To be clear, I'm not finding any great issue with how the episode went.

Time for me to be gratuitous, and adding nothing to this thread at all:

More of what's inside Apocalypse Now:
Willard's (Sheen) fuck up: Willard has been traveling on the boat, reading the dossier, and has seen other guys with his same mission go after Kurtz. The one he mentions on the boat was Colby. We see Colby in a picture and he's clean cut. We see a moment later a message he mailed his wife to sell everything, because he's not coming back. When the crew of the boat step into Kurtz' compound, they are presented with a guy in camo, brandishing a weapon. (look up brandish, its ways people hold weapons that are considered threatening) Willard identifies Colby, and says "Colby." At this point Colby would go back to Kurtz and say, "he is here to assassinate you, just like I was." Willard would have known he fucked up, and should have left at the first opportunity, or at least Kurtz should have distanced himself from the compound. Doesn't matter, Willard fucked up by saying the word "Colby."
The heads in the Kurtz Compound: First and foremost, anyplace you quarter your troops, you have to think sanitation. Disease will run rampant, so you don't want rotting anything around. You end up with rats & flies and that just helps broadcast disease, plus there is also the smell. The heads and corpses are not trophies of dead enemies, these are friendlies within the compound that have run afoul of Kurtz, the display is a warning to the rest of the tribe to not go against Kurtz' mission.
 
That is just laying out Chef's demise. We know that Chef is wound too tight. Willard goes to leave the boat, and leave Chef behind, he tells Chef that if he was not back by such'n such time, that Chef was to call in the fire mission. The fire mission would be a B52 strike on the Kurtz Compound.
Chef's fuck up: When it comes to radio etiquette, you operate the radio by not talking on it. You listen to it. Its what I knew as "radio listening silence." You have to always treat your transmissions as something that can be heard by everyone, well, because its a radio. The enemy can fix on you, and determine your strength by the amount of transmissions and how strong your signal is. I would imagine that Kurtz' group would have been monitoring for any radio traffic coming off the boat. If Chef operated the radio correctly, he would have looked at his watch, determined Willard was not back, and sent:
Chef: "Almighty Almighty, this is PBR Streetgang fire mission over."
Almighty: "PBR Streetgang, this is Almighty, fire mission over."
Then chef would give the coordinates. Full stop, that is it.
Instead, what happens is, Chef gets scared early and does a radio check. Big no-no. He de-cloaked the boat, and was quickly seized upon by the camp. He never called in the mission. He fucked up. He got himself killed. A radio check is unnecessary. If Chef does not hear a response from Almighty, he would still call in the mission, and treat his lack of hearing a response as "I think my ability to hear is jacked, but I'm going to keep calling in the mission." There would be other technical things like making sure you are on the proper frequency for that date and time, but that would have been in the instructions Willard gave to Chef.
So now you have Willard, tied down in the rain at night, and Kurtz puts Chef's head on his lap. That is Kurtz giving Willard One Last Chance to join the camp. The head, just like the other heads are a message from within the camp, to stay in line with Kurtz.

Amy and Paul talked a bit about what the screenwriter and Coppola were going for, but whoever gave military advice did a great job. Because it does leave a guy like me (that has some background) going, "that's a, cleverly designed element in the story." I'm not so sure your regular film audience is identifying those things. I think some of those elements would look to a first time viewer as over-the-top shock elements that don't move the story. They actually do help. (except for the redux with the French colonials. That whole scene in redux is straight up bloating & muddying the story.) << I apologize to anyone that appreciates that scene and differs with my opinion, but IMO redux adds nothing to the original movie.

Like I said earlier, I do have problems with the ending, because Coppola does not permit the original ending to exist, which is the the destruction of the compound. I think all we see now is a black screen with credits.
Kurtz writes in his memoir, to Willard, to "kill them all." I would expect there should have been an onscreen epiphany by Kurtz, that we would have seen, that would help us to understand why Kurtz is asking for this. Clearly Willard saying to him, "I don't see any method, at all." Is not enough to sway Kurtz, because Kurtz just sat there. Its not like Kurtz woke up, walked out onto the veranda, over looking the compound, cup of morning joe in his hand, and said to himself, "Jesus Christ, what the fuck am I doing? No wonder they want me dead."


Oh well, I'm just an old man, its early in the morning here, so I guess I'll just grab my own cup of coffee, step out onto the veranda, scratch my belly, and think to myself. "how much did I drink last night?"
Peace to you all.

 

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7 hours ago, robtucker63 said:

nspooled so far has really got me thinking about why we like certain movies and dislike others, and why we view some as indispensable classics.

Yea and I think this is what the show is about.  It's certainly what we always end up moving to every week in these threads anyway!

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7 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

But I also think that Paul tends to be more forgiving in his commentary, while Amy as a professional critic is more pointed when she goes negative.

I think that's generally true in the beginning of eps, but I feel like I've noticed a lot of times they start that way and then they each move their discussions towards each other to a closer point of agreement.  That's one of my favorite things about hearing Paul and Amy talk about these things.  And I like it's done naturally, not like they're trying to convince each other one way or another.  It just happens.

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