When Marcia and Katelin are away, I usually rent older movies that I want to see again, and that I know they’re not particularly interested in. This weekend, I got . . .
Catch-22 . . . what an extraordinary movie this is, although the knock against it is “It ain’t as good as the book.” Well . . . bullhonkey to that: it ain’t as long as the book, it aint as detailed as the book, but as a film, it’s a masterpiece, and its script (by Buck Henry) does about as fine a job as can be imagined with Joseph Heller’s time-and-space jumping story. (Which is also a masterpiece, don’t get me wrong . . . but it would have been impossible, and probably not endurable, to use everything and everybody in the book in the movie). One thing struck me particularly . . . the sequences with the B-25 squadrons flying off on their missions. I didn’t realize there were enough B-25s left air-worthy in 1970 to do what they did in this movie, but there were at least 14 of then in the air in one sequence, and I counted that many sitting on the tarmac on a couple of shots, too, and they didn’t look like something made by the arts and crafts department on the back lot. Great, great movie. Go and rent it if you’ve never seen it.
Semi-Tough: Not a great movie, although Jill Clayburgh is adorable in this one. The Longest Yard is one of my favorite ’70s movies, and this is Burt Reynolds’ other football movie, and it’s dated and trite in comparison.
The Endurance: A documentary about the (failed) Shackelford Trans-Antarctic Expedition, an amazing story, told expectionally well. Recommended. I think Nova made it, so odds are it’ll be on PBS again some time, probably during fundraising season.