M*A*S*H

In Korea, 1951, the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital receives two new surgeons in the forms of Captain Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) and Capatin Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt). They aren’t what you’d typically expect from army surgeons, preferring to put a large portion of their efforts into relaxing and goofing off instead of actually getting down to work, which doesn’t sit well with the current head surgeon, Major Frank Burns (Robert Duvall). Burns, who also shares a tent with the new recruits, is a religious man who abstains from alcohol, so is essentially the polar opposite of the newcomers, so they set about having him removed from the hospital, and he is replaced by the much more fun-loving Captain Trapper McIntyre (Elliott Gould), with whom the guys have many adventures.      still-of-tom-skerritt,-donald-sutherland-and-elliott-gould-in-mash-(1970)-large-picture
Continue reading

The Muppet Movie

There are some days when I hate the list. The recent Luis Bunuel marathon? Whenever an Eisenstein film drops through my door? The 9-hour holocaust documentary? Those are all such days, none involving good times. But some days I get to watch a film where most of the characters are made of felt and have a hand shoved inside them somewhat further than recommended by most professional actors.

My only muppet experience to date has involved crossovers with Sesame Street, festive viewings of the Muppet Christmas Carol and the recent deluge of trailers for the muppets films currently in the cinemas, watch out on Monday for a new regular feature in which it will take centre stage. Yet though my involvement has been limited, I still adore them for reasons I cannot really explain, and this film details approximately how the team was formed.
Beginning with the muppets watching their own movie, the in-jokes and meta-humour grows throughout, with at one point characters finding one another because they read it in the script. Cameos come thick and fast, with each barely given a line, with the likes of James Coburn, Elliot Gould, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Telly Savalas and even Orson Welles showing up to join in the fun. I could have done with more time spent on the supporting characters – the Swedish Chef, Rizzo, Sam the Eagle, Statler and Waldorf and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, and a lot less time spent on Fozzie and Miss Piggy as I’ve always found them to be a tad annoying, but I suppose that’s just a personal preference.
Choose film 8/10