I’ve heard from several people that there’s been some kind of unadvertised deal between Paramount Home Video and Circuit City to provide an Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier DVD package that contains 3 DVDs if — and only if — you buy it at Circuit City. And here’s a review on DVD Talk that mentions this Circuit City-only “third disc” version. And yet these versions were apparently recalled a few days ago and can no longer be found at Circuit City stores.
The review, amended on Sunday, 8.20.06, says, “Thanks to DVD Talk reader Ryan, who passed along this detailed information about Paramount’s bizarre decision to offer excised material from the first two DVD incarnations of Apocalypse Now as a bonus disc exclusively carried by Circuit City in limited supplies: ‘Please note that there is a Bonus Disc Three available exclusively at Circuit City. The disc has this written on it: ‘The Added Scenes and Expanded Themes of Apocalypse Now Redux’; Destruction of the Kurtz Compound with Optional Commentary; 1979 Theatrical Trailer; 2001 Trailer.
“The disc is packaged inside the cardboard outer sleeve and behind the digipack. Editions with the bonus disc will have a sticker on the outside which says “Exclusive Free Bonus Disc With Purchase of this DVD While Supplies Last.” Editions with the free bonus disc have a different UPC barcode: 032429010995.” It’s also worth noting that the ‘excerpts from the original theatrical program’ found on the first DVD have still not turned up anywhere, so again, Apocalypse Now enthusiasts would do well to hang onto at least the first DVD release.”
And yet I’ve called four Circuit City stores today (Saturday, 8.26) and spoken to six or seven employees, and they all said that (a) the Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier double-disc set isn’t sitting on the shelves, and (b) they had no idea there was a three-disc version being offered exclusively at Circuit City. The awareness and sophistication levels of these people was not impressive. Two asked me repeat the name “Apocalypse Now”, as if it was the name of some exotic herb.
Only one Circuit City employee had a clue about what I was talking about. Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier has been recalled, said an assistant manager at the Burbank Circuit City branch on First Street. The discs were sent back “about four or five days ago,” she said. The double-disc version is available in all the other stores at a price of $16 dollars and change (or thereabouts). Circuit City was asking $14.99 when they had them.
Reader Ernie Souchak writes, “I don’t know if Circuit City is a Viacom company, but this deal is really obnoxious, and should piss off everyone else who’s selling this package, not to mention fans whose ‘Dossier’ is less complete than others’.” A friendly clerk named Lon at West L.A.’s Laser Blazer says two or three people have come into the store talking about the Circuit City-only, three-disc version and said they’d bought it, etc.
It’s looking like those three-disc Dossier DVDs are going to acquire the reputation of that Yesterday and Today “butcher block” Beatles album from 1966 with the severed baby-head and chopped-meat cover photo. The purported offensiveness of this immensely cool cover photo resulted in a sudden recall by Capitol Records before the album arrived in record stores.
If Paramount wanted to set this whole thing straight, they would assemble a genuine Complete Dossier with George Hickelnlooper and Fax Bahr‘s Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apcalypse, a truly great 1991 documentary about the making of the film, and then issue that sometime later this year — a four-disc set in all.