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I watched the movie "Catch 22" last night. Alan Arkin has the main role, although the cast is a multitude of young faces with whom we have become very familiar over the years. I believe it was made in the early 70's. It was based on the Joseph Heller novel of the same name.
It is a relevant work to our world, though set in the time of WWII. War is war, a significant point of “Catch 22", and until we stop having them, we all might benefit from some of the thought that this movie evokes.
The hook isn't great enough in some of these older movies. We have progressed from that technology, and our children have grown up with quality and ability. These movies don’t all start with “punch” so the kids don't always stick around for the whole thing, you know?
But there was a reason I liked these movies -and my kids have come to see that most movies on my list are well worth seeing, at least once.

(The movies "Deer Hunter" and "Glory" should be played in all public middle schools. I think Rocky Horror and Monty Python should be a part of all high school programs too- I would also show them some of the old "black-and-whites, with people like Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Sidney Portier, to name a few- To me, THAT would be “no child left behind”-)

So, “Catch 22" - There was a scene where Bob Newhart, playing Major Major, after being promoted to a position he didn't know how to run solely based on the fact that his last name was Major- and they needed a 'Major', instructed his subordinate that he could only allow people in his office to see him after he had climbed out of the window. So people would walk into an empty office. Okay, remember this is the movie where the guy doesn't want to fly and bomb anymore and can't get out of the military because only a sane person wants to get out of war, and if you’re crazy, you would want to stay, or at least not ask to get out. Crazy people CAN opt out. Catch 22.
A very young Jon Voight (here comes a spoiler) trades all the parachutes for commodities for profit, unbeknownst to the guys in the planes. Martin Sheen, Charles Grodin, even Art Garfunkel. Fun movie full of irony and messages still (even?) potent today.

Where DO you put a medal on the chest of a naked guy?

-Weird but very thoughtful. Not too dark, but somewhat "shady". I liked it, but I'm an optimist with a huge dose of cynic. I laughed out-loud a lot, but seldom with a sense of light heartedness. -If that's what you're looking for "Stripes" is a much better choice.

Elizabeth Maksymiuk

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The following comments are for "Catch 22"
by emaks

been brewing a review of my own for a while. I suck at review writing but you've convinced me to give it a go, because a good review can bring you to a great new piece of art, or [in this case] remind you of something you haven't seen for ages, but realise now that you miss...

this piece makes a good point too, about teaching kids that there is more of value than instant gratification; that films that centre on the art of story telling are still important and worthy...

think Catch 22 is more relevant today than it's ever been, because it highlights not only the brutality but absurdity of conflict…

thanks for posting this, my friend, good to read you again. best to ye.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: February 5, 2008 )

I'm a Viet Nam vet and Apocalypse Now seemed to catch the flavor with, PLAYBOY BUNNIES - KURTS winning the war - SURFERS - WATER SKING - PLAYCARDS MARKING THE DEAD - PLUS - Sheen with his class line - I LOVE THE SMELL OF NAPALM - IT SMELLS LIKE *VICTORY*

( Posted by: poewhit [Member] On: February 6, 2008 )

Thanking 3, -Catch 22
Shannon- I hope you are well.
I haven't been reading and I miss your soul filling mine... Not surprised that you're the first to show up on my page here. You are a good friend. You beat yourself up more than you need to. (I remind myself...)

Pen- I have loved your villanelles- you cheeky chic- I think I am a monkey- '56-
My prayers are with those in China now, experiencing horrendous weather.
Thanks for looking in on me, and best to you!

Poewhit- thanks very much for commenting. A Nam Vet, eh? I thank you.
It was Robert Duvall who had the "Napalm in the morning" comment, but Charlie Sheen was the one making it up river to assisanate Marlon Brando.
There have been a lot of great war movies, many 'Nam era. Have you seen "We Were Soldiers"?
Another I like is "Men of Honor".

Thanks for your good thoughts. I'm glad I helped you remember a thoughtful and laugh provoking film-


( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: February 6, 2008 )

22 correction
It wasn't Charlie, bur MARTIN Sheen. -but Charlie DOES look a lot like Marty.... ;)


( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: February 7, 2008 )

Catch 22
Nice review, balanced and not full of pretentious wank. Haven't seen the film but was a mite disappointed in the book - didn't have me laughing out loud as the book review promised. Certainly agree with you on Deer Hunter, Monty Python etc.

Men of Honor - love that scene where Cuba Gooding assembles whatever it is he assembles underwater.

( Posted by: Emlyn [Member] On: February 18, 2008 )

Emlyn- Catch22
Emlyn- So nice to see you!
Love your review with the term "pretentious wank"!
So well stated!
This movie did leave me laughing, but I am an inapproriate bitch, at times... ;)

My favorite scene from "Men of Honor" is the one where Cuba is in the pay phone hearing (apparently) that his father is dead, and he manages to convey this with only his expressions-IMO beautifully acted-

So nice to see you show up here Emlyn! Best to you!!


( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: February 18, 2008 )

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