Sunday, July 1, 2012
MASH is one of those movies that would be so much better if not for the show that followed it. I know it should be looked at on its own terms, but it's nearly impossible to watch the film without thinking about the first few brilliant seasons of one of the best comedy series ever produced. I actually found quite a few similarities between the film and I'd say the first two seasons of the show in that they share a mean yet good-hearted sense of humor. Essentially Hawkeye and his buddies feel forced to defy army standards in order to remain sane amidst the chaos and violence of the war (Korean, for new-comers). But as I was watching the movie version, I was thinking how the episodes only lasted 20 minutes, which is the right amount of time for this brand of comedy. The film goes on for nearly two hours, which I feel is a little long, even if it is directed by the always watchable Robert Altman. But it's still a very good film, and if the show had never followed it, it might be a great one. But when you have a classic character like Frank Burns steal scene after scene in the show, but have an insignificant role here, you can't help but prefer the former.