Movie Review: M*A*S*H (1970)

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War is hell, simple as that.

Ladies and gentlemen… “M*A*S*H”.

In this movie we follow the staff of a field hospital during the Korean war. And with that we get to see how they all handle these tough times by taking part in a bunch of different types of hijinks. But this movie isn’t just used as a way to simply bring laughs out of the audience, but it was also made to comment on the insnaities that we call war and death. And I have to say that it was done surprisingly well. And by surprisingly well I mean that they fucking nailed it and it is perfect satire of it by doing a perfect blend of serious realism and dark humor. And I would say that the plot here is at the perfect balance of comedic and brilliant.

The characters are all unique, interesting and entertaining as hell. What was fun about them too is that they were for the most part played by (at the time) relatively unknown actors who later went on to become pretty big names. Let me mention some of the names and see if it rings and bells in your heads. Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Robert Duvall, Fred Williamson. Yeah… those were pretty small(ish) names once upon a time. And they were all great in this movie. They all fit their respective characters perfectly and gave us some great performances.

The score for the movie was provided by Johnny Mandel and it is preatty great. It’s fun, big, whimsical and at times pretty dramatic. It is based in your typical orchestrations but it all comds together pretty damn well. And I feel like I have to touch upon the original song that spawned form this movie which honestly is one of the best songs I have ever listened to. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s called “Suicide is Painless” and was written by Mike Altman, the son of the film’s director, Robert Altman. And the lyrics are both kind of, sort of funny but also pretty deep and thought provoking and helps make this song as great as it is.

Like I just said, the movie was directed by Robert Altman who at the time of making the movie was a bit of a maverick in the movie making scene, and when making “M*A*S*H” it was no different. He did a lot of shit when making the movie that would’ve pissed off studio people if they actually had any idea what he was doing. I don’t feel like explaining what he did but I will say that it can be found out on one of the special features on the DVD. But everything he did was worth it because it is a very well directed movie that looks really good and flows perfectly even though it really doesn’t have a story that you follow straight up from point A to point B, but instead just relying on a seemingly unconnected series of events featuring these amazing characters. It’s also interesting how they never really followed the script that they had been given. They just kind of improvised for the most part and it turned out pretty great… funny how that can happen.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also nominated for an additional 4 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Sarah Kellerman), Best Director and Best Film Editing. 

“M*A*S*H” is a classic movie featuring a loosely connected yet well crafted and satirical plot, great acting, great music and great directing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “M*A*S*H” is a 9,87/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “M*A*S*H” is now done.

THIS ISN’T A HOSPITAL… IT’S AN INSANE ASYLUM!

Movie Review: Alien (1979)

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As October is coming to a close, so does “The Month of Spooks”. That’s right, this will be the final review for “The Month of Spooks” and that is why I started it in such a cliché way. And I thought therefore that the final review would be for one of the first horror movies I ever saw and hell, it’s even one of the first that I ever enjoyed. But do I still like it after a few years of not seeing it. So we are ending the series of horror reviews in a pretty big way.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a big hand to… “Alien”.

So in the movie “Alien” we follow the crew of a giant cargo ship called the Nostromo as they receive a distress call from a seemingly unexplored planet. But after their search for survivors come up with jack shit… sort of. When they return to the ship and plan to leave they learn that some strange biological life form has come aboard and wants to murder them all. So it’s a fight for survival as they try to get home and make sure to not be killed by this Alien. The concept is pretty simple, it’s kind of like “Jaws” but with a scary fucking space alien in a close quarters environment instead of a shark in the ocean. And how is it executed? Saying that it was done well would such an understatement. The story not only is presented in a well told way, but is is also suspenseful and scary. The reason this all works so well is that they keep it very confined and doesn’t stretch it out too far into something that it isn’t. I also like how it explores a very realistic science fiction universe. And the entire way the suspense is real and the scary bits are least said terrifying. Great job, plot of “Alien”!

Since this basically is a monster movie, you expect that the majority of the characters will die at some point. The interesting part is though that you don’t want them to bite the dust in this movie. Yeah, these characters aren’t just tasty snacks for the alien in the movie, but they all feel like actual people who you care about, even if they at times are dicks. And the acting is really good in the movie, and it’s great to see that there are so many well known actors here. Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt… we got a great selection of people here. And they all perfectly nail it in the movie!

The score for the movie is about as tense as the story. Yes, I think it’s pretty damn great. It got a lot of subtle tracks which sort of just lie in the background as ambient noise, but then we also got a lot of the tense and action-y tracks which made my heart race. And who do we have to thank for all of this? The combined forces of Jerry Goldsmith and Lionel Newman, that’s who!

This movie is almost 40 years old and the visual effects still hold up brilliantly. And the overall directing is pretty damn fantastic as well, all perfectly orchestrated by Ridley Scott who despite some failures, is one of the greatest directors ever. And of course we have to give some awkward and creeped out love to H.R. Giger who designed the alien in the movie, it is scary and will live on forever as one of the coolest monsters ever. And the sets all look fantastic and oh my god, everything in the technical department is just amazing in this movie! I’m sorry, I can’t help but praise the praise-worthy stuff in this movie, it’s just great in that sense.

This movie has gotten some pretty great reception over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and has it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #52 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for 1 additional Oscar in the category of Best set decoration. 

Guys, “Alien” is one of the first horror movies I remember seeing and actually enjoying. And that memory is now justified with a tense, scary, well acted, perfectly directed movie that also has great sets, visual effects and music. Time for my final score. *Hiss*. My final score for “Alien” is a 9,88/10. It most certainly, without a single doubt gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Alien” has now been reviewed.

In Space, no one can hear you scream…