Smells Like Victory

Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier

Aug 16, 2006 at 4:00 am
Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier (Paramount)

It's all here, more or less: the 1979 theatrical cut of Francis Ford Coppola's harrowing and still-hypnotic Joseph Conrad-in-Vietnam adaptation, the 49-minutes-longer-but-feels-24-minutes-shorter 2001 Redux edition, Marlon Brando's entire 17-minute "The Hollow Men" monologue, even more "lost" and deleted scenes (including a spooky-shocking one, in which monkeys control a boat upon which a corpse has been hung from the sail), and myriad makings-of and hallelujah retrospectives and film-school extras. And, of course, Coppola's present to recount how accidents turned into genius moments and how a near-failure turned into a triumphant told-ya-so; the man's still determined to prove he was right about Apocalypse Now's brilliance, and how dare anyone have ever doubted it? -- Robert Wilonsky

I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (Sony)

Can you remember the name of the hook-wielding killer from I Know What You Did Last Summer? The creators of this third-rate horror franchise don't understand the first rule of a classic slasher: the mask. Instead of the blank-faced creepiness of Michael Myers and Jason, Last Summer's "the fisherman" just pops the collar of his coat like a douche bag of the sea. Coming nine years after the last sequel, missing even the limited charms of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt, this plodding movie has no reason to exist; it's passionless, like watching people in a bad marriage hump. Here's an idea: Call the next one I Know What You'll Do Next Summer, and have the fisherman chop up kids because they might do something rotten in the future. Or better yet, don't make it. -- Jordan Harper

The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season (Fox)

These episodes date back a decade, which isn't hard to believe; classic Simpsons like those included here ("El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer," in which Homer has a psychedelic freakout after eating a pepper; "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show," in which the show's writers coyly acknowledge their fear of irrelevancy; "You Only Move Twice," with Albert Brooks) come around maybe once a season these days. Fact is, the deleted scenes here possess more sting and pop and giggles than recent episodes; so do the commentaries, which occasionally sound a little too wistful. The show was a season away from its downhill slide, and you can still feel the ease with which the writers jabbed and prodded; this is as much a season of sharp, satirizing media criticism as family entertainment. -- Wilonsky

The Weird Al Show (Shout Factory)

If you can't stand Weird Al Yankovic, you're a cold soul indeed. But you wouldn't want to drive to Mexico with the guy. Watching 13 of the 20-minute episodes of his failed kids' show is like eating a pound of candy corn. CBS wanted it to be the second coming of Pee-wee's Playhouse, but it never reaches those lofty heights, mostly mixing amusing bits of strangeness with forced moralizing. The show is so awkward that you'll switch quickly to the commentary tracks. "The way to watch this show is with dramatically lowered expectations," Yankovic says, and then he and his co-creators go on a tirade against the idiocy of CBS executives. Not only is it a frank glimpse into network politics, but stupid network heads actually are endlessly amusing. -- Harper