Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Running Time: 116 minutes
Directed By: Robert Altman
Written By: Ring Lardner Jr., from novel by Richard Hooker
Main Cast: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall
Click here to view the trailer
ALTMAN WEEK: CHAPTER I
Well FRIGHTFEST 2013 is just about in the bag (actually, all the FRIGHTFEST posts are up and scheduled to post at 8pm, for the next three nights, so for me FRIGHTFEST is kind of over) and it's time to start up a new festivity: "Altman Week". I know I said "Scorsese Week" was going to be the final director tribute week, but after looking THE BOOK over, I realized that there's still a few opportunities with director weeks left, so I figured "why not". Plus, these are great to do when I hit the halfway mark of a season, which is exactly where we are now. It's also worth noting that I'm OFFICIALLY 3/4 of the way finished with THE BOOK! Anyway, "MASH"...
Truth be told, there's really no linear, point A to point B plot here. Of course, we all probably know the story of "MASH", as it was spun-off into a very popular television show. In fact, the MASH finale still stands as the highest rated American television broadcast of all-time, with something like 125 million viewers. Now me, being a sitcom junkie (I bet you didn't know that about me), a guy who will literally give ANY sitcom at least one shot, has never seen one full episode of "MASH" and that's because I've always loathed war stuff and I think readers of the blog already know that. It's not because I'm a "give peace a chance" nut, it's just because war and war life themes have never had ANY interest for me, none whatsoever. So it wasn't a surprise that I didn't really care for this movie either. The plot revolves around a mobile hospital unit, operating during the Korean War. Your main characters are the doctors and nurses that make up the unit and the hijinks they get into. When Major Margaret Houlihan (Kellerman) joins the operation, she's dubbed "Hot Lips" and given rough treatment by the men. Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould (two that I don't mind) make up the rest of the cast, but in my view, their talents are really wasted here.
I don't know, maybe it's because the types of people (men) that probably enjoy this movie, are the same types of people (men) that I don't think I'd get along with. Overly patriotic, war nuts who also enjoy football and giving their female co-workers a hard time. I mean, isn't that the epitome of the American bully? I'm not saying this film's only audience is that type, but I bet it makes up the core, especially in the 70s when the film came out. No, it just wasn't for me, not in the least and as much as I tried to like it, I just couldn't settle into it. I liked the cast, as it was a bunch of guys that I normally enjoy, but I couldn't even, as much as I tried, enjoy that. Sure, there were a few bits that I got lost in: the dentist's wish to commit suicide and the finale football game were decent attention keepers, but that's it and had it not been for THE BOOK, I'd have probably NEVER seen this.
RATING: 4/10 That's about as high as it gets for this one. I do have high hopes for some of Altman's work though and I can tell you now that I've seen "Short Cuts" before and really liked it. Anyway, not a great start, but there's five more...
MOVIES WATCHED: 751
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 250
October 29, 2013 1:18pm