MASH

MASH. 20th Century Fox 1970.
MASH. 20th Century Fox 1970.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve seen a handful of episodes of the series, but I couldn’t say I know it very well. As I understand it, the book this is based on is intensely serious, the movie is a dark comedy, and the series started out almost at Hogan’s Heroes-level hilarity before getting even more morose than the movie (perhaps because the series lasted so long the war was longer for them than in reality).

So I guess what I’m expecting here is a cynical but amusing picture of the Korean War. I don’t know what characters from the series are there, and which are played by different actors, but I don’t know half of them anyway. There’s probably going to be a lot more money on the screen than a television sitcom can afford.

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Back to School

Back to School. MGM Studios 1986.

Before watching the movie:

This concept is hardly new to me, but I don’t know if it was new at the time or not. Rodney Dangerfield’s character goes back to school and embarrasses his son by being his classmate. It seems to me that the 1980s would be a time when adults were faced with re-entering education, since the changing markets would shut down factories and force people to get better degrees.

Anyway, in the films I’m familiar with (Billy Madison, An Extremely Goofy Movie) have extenuating circumstances forcing  the adult back into school. In the latter case, Adam Sandler has to get a high school diploma within a few months or he won’t inherit his father’s riches, and in the latter, Goofy gets laid off and doesn’t have a college degree. In this case, it appears that Dangerfield’s character is simply wealthy and has nothing better to do than go out for some higher education. That’s fine if it plays well.

Also, supporting actors: Robert Downey jr. when he was a young heartthrob! Robert Picardo in a minor role! Kurt Vonnegut in a cameo! (I’ve never seen the man in motion)

I don’t expect to have to hold this film to a high standard, because it’s clearly intended to be a fun popcorn movie vehicle for Dangerfield.

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