I just bought and watched Apocalypse Now - Redux DVD on my home theatre. Man I was totally glued to the sofa for the whole three plus hours. The whole movie is a totally enthrilling trip to insanity, from the beginning scene of cross-fades and Doors playing in the background to the fractured ending of feverish mirages. As far as war movies go, they can't get much better than this.
As a contrast, I watched Saving Private Ryan right after Apocalypse Now - Redux. But I only managed to tackle the first hour, before I became sickened by the constant flag waving. So I stopped and was left in thought.
Why did I think the first movie was so cool and the second one so sucky? I made the conclusion that I personally probably appreciate movies which picture war as pointless insanity as opposed to a patriotic glory ride. In Apocalypse Now the enemy is pictured as humans whereas in Saving Private Ryan the enemy is pictured as evil nazi zombies who should all be killed.
Maybe the yanks need to lose a war in order to produce good war movies for a while?