Why You Need To Watch Apocalypse Now, Er, Now

(Empire Online)

Most people have vivid moments of cultural consumption in their teenage years – an hour watching some movie or hearing some band for the first time – that shake your brainbox upside down and change the world forever. Mine was reading Kerouac’s On The Road, listening to Harvest by Neil Young and even more memorably, watching Apocalypse Now! with my dad.

I was fourteen, sitting on our living room floor, when a denim-clad rockabilly film critic with a greased up duck’s arse hairdo (that’s an actual haircut, and the critic was Mark Kermode, and he still has that haircut) came on the telly, looked at the camera, and said, “You’re about to watch the most indulgent, extravagant and exciting film ever made.”

I put down my Gameboy.

The ominous shimmering opening of The Doors “The End” faded up through our wood-paneled television as a ceiling fan swooshed over Martin Sheen’s harrowing face – woosh woosh WoooOOOOSH – suddenly the ceiling fan was a Chinook helicopter blade whirring ominously over swathes of pristine Vietnamese jungle.

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At this moment my dad shuffled in his reclining chair, looked a bit excited, and said, “Oh, you should watch this, watch the beginning, then watch it all.”

Seemed like a logical progression for movie watching. But why was Dad so roused? The last time he had been excited about a film on TV was when Channel Four showed Showgirls.

I dragged my arse over the shagpile carpet towards the TV and stared. Jim Morrison screamed, “Mother I Want To Rape You!!!” as the pristine jungle erupted in a fiery napalm hell. I could almost smell the gasoline. I was scared of this movie. 

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The next two hours were the greatest movie watching experience of my life.

Here are some of the reasons why it’s insane that you haven’t seen this movie yet. I mean really, it’s right there on your big shiny smart tv. It’s like two fat thumb clicks away. Turn the lights down and turn it up (actually finish this article first).

The production of Apocalypse Now was more than making a movie, it was literal war. Francis Ford Coppola hired the Philippines army helicopter pilots to shoot the famous Valkyrie beach attack, as they were embroiled in a real civil war a hundred miles away. They would often have to stop shooting so the pilots could fly south to actually engage some insurgents.

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Laurence Fishburne played seventeen-year-old Clean when he was only fourteen because he was just that good, which is weird as these days thirty-year-olds play seventeen-year-olds.

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Marlon Brando demanded a million dollars, shaved his head and made up all his lines for his iconic role as Colonel Kurtz. He’s on-another-planet mesmerizing, muttering about snails crawling along razorblades and “making a friend of horror.” Sometimes I have nightmares about Marlon and his shiny blood-splattered dome lying next to me in bed whispering…

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There’s a scene before Martin Sheen gets his mission where he smashes a glass mirror with his fist, drunk and half naked in a Saigon hotel room. That’s a real mirror, Sheen was really drunk and that’s his real blood. Sheen later had a breakdown and heart attack on set.

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It’s cool. I mean it’s maybe the coolest movie ever made. You can be cool too, by watching it. When I was young I smoked cigarettes because I was cool. There are a lot of cigarettes smoked in Apocalypse Now, and the power of suggestion was strong in me. When I was 18 I got the opportunity to see it in 35mm on the big screen, I went to Leicester Square with my mate Tom to watch the premier of the new Director’s Cut. It’s nearly four hours long. This version included playbunnies making out in crashed helicopters, a bizarre colonial french family and even more surfing. When we stepped out into Leicester Square, our minds blown, Tom lit me a Lucky Strike. “This is the best cigarette you’ll ever smoke.” he said. He was right.

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The film also led to the greatest movie documentary ever made, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, in which Eleanor Coppola documents her husband’s descent into movie making hell.

There are so many other reasons to watch Apocalypse Now and I’d happily tell you them all, but for now take my dad’s sage advice: watch it, watch the beginning, then watch it all. You won’t regret it. 

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Tweet Roundup: 10 Funny Tweets About Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid

(Getty)

Day going too well? Leather interior of your car looking too pristine? Why not round up the kids and give them a nice coating of sunscreen? Here are 10 hilarious tweets from parents who we assume are counting down the days until fall.

First, a fair warning.

First tip, get a head start the night before.

There are ways around having to do it…

…but remember, you signed up for this.

Your kids aren’t gonna like it…

…even if you let them do it themselves.

Just be sure to rub it in.

Sure, they’ll return the favor…

…but in their own brutal way.

But if all of this seems overwhelming, remember, there is one way out:

20 Heartwarming Photos Of Dads Seeing Their Daughters In Wedding Dresses For First Time

(kristin brown photography)

Get your tissues ready.

Whether she’s a toddler or a fully independent adult, a daughter is always a father’s little girl.

So when seeing her in a white gown on arguably the biggest day of her life, things are bound to get emotional.  Here are 20 of our favorite photos featuring dads who couldn’t help getting a little emotional upon seeing their daughters on their wedding day.

Father Figures: Emotional Rescue

“I’m not an emotional person.

I’m never overly excited, don’t yell at the TV watching football, none of that. But when it comes to my son, I’m an emotional trainwreck.

I’ve always battled anxiety and never confronted it. After my son was born, I had no choice. My anxiety is death and health-based, and my biggest fear was always dying. Well, now my biggest fear is not being there for my son if I do.

It got to the point where I actually sat him down and said “Hey bug, when i’m gone you need to take care of mom…” He was 3 at the time. I would lay at night and cry, never talking about it. After that day, I knew I needed help!

All parents’ greatest fear is not being there for their children. My father was a huge alcoholic, so I never had a role model; I just knew I wanted to be nothing like him. After I opened up to my wife and family, I got help and life has been so much better with ‘Bug’ since.

We quit smoking – FOR HIM, we go on Disney cruises – FOR HIM, we live – FOR HIM. He is my best friend, my greatest accomplishment, and my biggest challenge.

As men, we’re taught not to confront our issues, but as a man, stand up for your family by confronting your demons and becoming a better person, husband, and most importantly, father. It’s the greatest gift in the world!”

– Adam Giere

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Parents Surprised When 6-Year-Old Creates Lucrative Business After A Simple Lesson About Money

(Bored Panda)

When 6-year-old Emmett told his parents he wanted a bike, they viewed it as an opportunity to teach their son about financial responsibility and earning something himself.

(Bored Panda)

“He got some old toys and stuffed animals together and put them out for sale,” Emmett’s father, Jered, recalls. “He ended up making $70 that day. He made enough to get his bike. The next day, we happened to be walking around Sam’s Club and saw this snow cone machine. He asked if we could get that instead of the bike so he could start his own business and make more money.”

(Bored Panda)

Emmett’s parents agreed to loan him the extra cash needed to buy the machine on one condition: He had to sell snow cones every Saturday for at least one hour. So, with one bag of ice and three flavors, Emmett’s Snow Cones was established.

(Bored Panda)

“His first time out he made $12, then $17, then $25 and he’s been hovering around there ever since,” Jered states. “He’s responsible for tracking his supplies and knowing when he needs to buy more, spending the money for all future flavor purchases, repaying us for the other half of the snow cone machine, and paying ‘taxes’.”

According to his parents, Emmett is saving most of his revenue for college; but little does he know, the “taxes” he has to pay are already going into a college fund for him.

(Bored Panda)

Emmett has since graduated from three to twenty-one flavors and even gets invited to local events around town to sell his delicious wares.

(Bored Panda)

“We would like our son to follow his passions in the future,” Jered says. “Our only expectation for him is to grow up to be a good person who contributes to society”

(Bored Panda)

 

Father Figures: The Little Things

“Our daughter was born at 34 weeks and spent 29 days in the NICU.

Those 29 days were the most emotionally draining days I have ever experienced. Every day was filled with good news, bad news, hope, despair. I cannot describe the emotions I experienced when we got the call that our daughter was ready to go home.

Fast forward to today. Our daughter is almost 7 months old and is the happiest baby in the world. She is such a bright light in this dark world and my wife and I love her to death.

I know I would have probably felt the same way had she come straight home from the hospital, but those 29 days of visiting her and holding her when she was connected to monitors and tubes taught me to appreciate the little things.

The little things are the best things. Every laugh, every smile, every bottle, every time she looks at me, every milestone she reaches; it is all so wonderful and is greater than anything I could accomplish professionally.

In today’s world, you are considered a good dad if you are simply present. I understand it is difficult to do more for some people, but if all you are doing is simply being present, you are missing out.”

– Trey Scott

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Mom Asks Daughter If She Can “Keep A Secret” From Her Father And Things Escalate Spectacularly

(Twitter/Himynameisnoor & Getty/ljubaphoto)

When your mother calls asking for your help in devising a plan behind your father’s back, you’re bound to be a little bit curious.

So when Twitter user Noor received that very call, she followed the rabbit hole until it was too late to turn back, which resulted in one of the most amazing live-tweeted family adventures the internet had ever witnessed.