I finally saw Catch-22 today 6 months after seeing M*A*S*H,which was the only reason I wanted to see it-to find out why is it compared with MASH.I had a feeling that both being war movies released in '70 had something to do with that.And that hunch proved correct beacuse they have nothing else in common,nothing.
I loved MASH.The humor,the un-war like atmosphere,the no message-no preaching theme,the sometimes unconnected,unrelated,incoherent and unnecessary incidents.It's so not what you are going to expect it to be,unless you have seen the TV series.It has a great opening song titled 'Suicide is Painless' written by 14 year son of Robert Altman and what I think a good role play of both Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) and Col. Trapper (Eliott Gould) as eccentric war drafted doctors looking for a outlet of their out of place surroundings through pranks and caustic and sometimes sexually explicit humor.
It defies convention,makes fun of people and beliefs-isn't that always a nice thing to do? Probably that's why I liked it.
I wanted to write something about Catch-22 too.I generally don't care about what IMDB comments have to say,because I don't have too many parameters to judge a movie (happily superficial),but the one on Catch-22's page really made me hold back-
"Rent or buy the DVD, which is widescreen and restores all this critical image area. Do not judge this film if you can't see it all. I have to wonder how many of the previous reviews here are based upon the unbelievably butchered VHS version."
:)) Maybe I'll give it another shot,when I see the DVD.
One thing I can say though is that I had the book on my mind all the time.I have read the book 3 times and still turn random pages to read from.I have painted a vivid image of all characters and incidents,and this movie doesn't justify those.I know it's very wrong to do that but I love the book so much that I can't help it.Plus the humor and the satire and the deeper message are all so well known that it's difficult to appreciate them watching the movie.It doesn't add to my understanding.It's that's deja-vu feeling which comes in between.
One thing I disliked was the use of close up shots in every scene,turns out I missed a finer detail,as explained by another IMDB user-
"I love the close-up photography, which adds to the sense of claustrophobia & combustibility of the "insane war" situation of the characters."
=)) Too much to learn.The problem is I don't want to.