Think of this movie like a long, slightly boring lecture in history class, only with explosions. This attempt to do for the attack on Pearl Harbor what The Longest Day did for the D-Day invasion of Normandy succeeds on so many technical levels that it’s a shame that it fails to engage the audience emotionally in its subject matter.
\However, while it was initially a failure at the box office, I wonder if the film ultimately managed to recoup its budget through royalties from licensing pieces of the film as stock footage. It’s hard to find a movie about World War II in the Pacific over the next twenty or thirty years that doesn’t reuse at least a few shots from Tora! Tora! Tora!
A contemporary of both M*A*S*H and Patton, this gleefully anti-establishment World War II comedy manages to bridge both films, turning a lot of the clichés of earlier war movies on their heads while not totally disrespecting the genre. The American GIs in this film are still square-jawed and tough-as-nails, but they are also tired of war and bored out of their minds.
Patton is a bigger-than-life film about a bigger-than-life figure and it will be remembered for a bigger than life gesture by its star when George C. Scott refused to accept a Best Actor Oscar for his performance. Scott didn’t believe he deserved this award. The rest of the civilized world, with good reason, begged to differ.
As the least well-known of Mel Brooks’s early films, The Twelve Chairs stands well apart from the others. It’s not a spoof of other films nor is it a balls-to-the-wall farce like The Producers. While it has its slapstick elements, it also has a kind of sweetness and elements of character drama not normally found in Brooks’s filmography.
While this is technically a sequel to the original Planet of the Apes, it’s probably best described as a half-assed remake. This film basically recycles most of the macro-plot elements of the first film, only without much of the same wit, subtlety or substance.
Charleton Heston had the good sense to want to stay far away from this movie and only agreed to appear when the producers acceded to his request to kill his character and end the film in such a way to preclude any further sequels.
Anyone who pops in their DVD of Robert Altman‘s movie adaptation of Richard Hooker‘s novel expecting to see a two-hour version of the TV show is in for a rude shock. The long-running series starring Alan Alda is related to this movie only by title, character names and setting. Stylistically, they are very different animals altogether.
The CBS sitcom, for its groundbreaking subject matter, is still a traditional “workplace” comedy at heart, very much in the tradition of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The TV Frank Burns has far more in common with Ted Baxter than with the religious fanatic portrayed by Robert Duvall in the movie.
The movie version is a choatic, anarchic and hilarious celebration of insanity as an antidote for insanity. Continue reading →