Media

Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX

"MASH" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

MASHSynopsis

M*A*S*H focuses on three Korean War Army surgeons played by Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt and Elliott Gould. Though highly skilled and deeply dedicated, they adopt a hilarious, lunatic lifestyle as an antidote to the tragedies of their Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, and in the process infuriate Army bureaucrats. Robert Duvall, Gary Burghoff and Sally Kellerman co-star as a sanctimonious Major, an other-worldly corporal, and a self-righteous yet lusty nurse.

 

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1970, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 56 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Robert Duvall, Tom Skerritt
  • Directed by Robert Altman
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

As a fan of Robert Altman's later films, it was a treat to go back and watch something he did early on.  Featuring great performances from Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and the rest of the cast, MASH is a very enjoyable, though fairly quirky, look at life in an Army surgical hospital during the Korean War.  The film never takes itself too seriously, though it does veer a little too close to screwball comedy at the end for me, and as someone that never watched the TV show growing up I can say that I enjoyed the film quite a bit and plan to revisit it down the road.

Technical

The picture is a bit soft due to the age of the film stock and the way it was shot, but I believe this is as good as MASH will look at home.  There are good, solid blacks and shadow detail, and I didn't notice much damage to the elements, but it will always look a bit soft due to how Altman shot the picture.  The DTS-HD track is also limited in dynamic range due to the age of the elements but dialog is fairly crisp and clear, and there isn't much use of the surrounds at all, but the film was originally presented in mono so that is to be expected.

Extras

The Blu-ray features a full length commentary recorded by Robert Altman before he passed away, as well as many featurettes on the back story of MASH and where it stands 30 years after it's original release, as well as a couple of trailers.  All of the supplements are in 1.33 SD and most likely pulled over from previous releases on DVD.