Catch-22 Reviews

  • 1d ago

    Heller's original text makes distinctive use of language that doesn't translate to film, but this adaptation still preserves enough pieces of absurdist commentary to remain compelling (in places).

    Heller's original text makes distinctive use of language that doesn't translate to film, but this adaptation still preserves enough pieces of absurdist commentary to remain compelling (in places).

  • Dec 02, 2019

    Very beautiful scenery at the beginning with the sun rising behind the jagged mountains which then is abruptly interrupted by the noise of bomber planes. Talk about mood killer. The camera work in this movie is on point. The camera moves like it does in Kubrick films - very methodically and precisely. Seeing a young Alan Arkin is so bizarre. Seeing all those bomber planes take off in formation was mesmerizing. Really well shot scene. This movie is incredibly clever. The way the movie transitions to different scenes almost makes it feel like its some sort of fever dream at times. It's kind of disorienting but it keeps you on your toes while watching the movie. Jesus Christ this movie is like a semi bad acid trip sometimes the way it keeps reliving certain scenes and the way it presents certain moments. It's insane to think that they're bombing there own base because of a capitalistic mistake that they made. The movie takes a surprisingly dark turn towards the end showing us how capitalism, greed, and power can ruin countries, kill people and start wars. The scene where Arkin's character is walking down the streets of the Italian village was almost nightmarish. Like something you experience in a really bad dream. Incredible how the two in charge wanted him to sellout like that. Pretty cynical. I've never seen a movie quite like this one. It's almost surrealist sometimes in the way it shows certain scenes and the way depicts certain topics. This movie is very much ahead of it's time. I kind of wished it kept it's hilarious feel throughout the whole movie but I understand why the movie took a dark turn for the worst towards the end. Nevertheless, very interesting, very entertaining and very thought provoking.

    Very beautiful scenery at the beginning with the sun rising behind the jagged mountains which then is abruptly interrupted by the noise of bomber planes. Talk about mood killer. The camera work in this movie is on point. The camera moves like it does in Kubrick films - very methodically and precisely. Seeing a young Alan Arkin is so bizarre. Seeing all those bomber planes take off in formation was mesmerizing. Really well shot scene. This movie is incredibly clever. The way the movie transitions to different scenes almost makes it feel like its some sort of fever dream at times. It's kind of disorienting but it keeps you on your toes while watching the movie. Jesus Christ this movie is like a semi bad acid trip sometimes the way it keeps reliving certain scenes and the way it presents certain moments. It's insane to think that they're bombing there own base because of a capitalistic mistake that they made. The movie takes a surprisingly dark turn towards the end showing us how capitalism, greed, and power can ruin countries, kill people and start wars. The scene where Arkin's character is walking down the streets of the Italian village was almost nightmarish. Like something you experience in a really bad dream. Incredible how the two in charge wanted him to sellout like that. Pretty cynical. I've never seen a movie quite like this one. It's almost surrealist sometimes in the way it shows certain scenes and the way depicts certain topics. This movie is very much ahead of it's time. I kind of wished it kept it's hilarious feel throughout the whole movie but I understand why the movie took a dark turn for the worst towards the end. Nevertheless, very interesting, very entertaining and very thought provoking.

  • Jul 25, 2019

    A book and film I revisit often. I enjoy the twisted brilliance, humor and pathos of both. Each is a masterpiece in its own right. The lunacy of bureaucracy.

    A book and film I revisit often. I enjoy the twisted brilliance, humor and pathos of both. Each is a masterpiece in its own right. The lunacy of bureaucracy.

  • Jul 16, 2019

    Captain John Yossarian (Alan Arkin), a U.S. Army Air Force B-25 bombardier, is stationed on the Mediterranean base on Pianosa during World War II. Along with his squadron members, Yossarian is committed to flying dangerous missions, but after watching friends die, he seeks a means of escape. Futilely appealing to his commanding officer, Colonel Cathcart (Martin Balsam), who continually increases the number of missions required to rotate home before anyone can reach it, Yossarian learns that even a mental breakdown is no release when Doc Daneeka, explains the "Catch-22" the Army Air Corps employs. While most crews are rotated out after twenty-five, the minimum number of missions for this base is eventually raised to an unobtainable eighty missions; a figure resulting from Colonel Cathcart's craving for publicity. Compliance with this insane number invokes regulation 22 for which, as explained by Doc Daneeka, there is a catch: An airman would have to be crazy to fly more missions, and if he were crazy he would be unfit to fly. Yet, if an airman would refuse to fly more missions, this would indicate that he is sane, which would mean that he would be fit to fly the missions... Catch-22 was not regarded as a great success with the contemporary public or critics, earning less money and critical acclaim than the film version of MASH, another war-themed black comedy released earlier the same year. In addition, the film appeared as Americans were becoming more resentful of the bitter and ugly experience of the Vietnam War, leading to a general decline in the interest of war pictures, with the notable exceptions of MASH and Patton. Critic Lucia Bozzola wrote "Paramount spent a great deal of money on Catch-22, but it wound up getting trumped by another 1970 antiwar farce: Robert Altman's MASH." Film historians and reviewers Jack Harwick and Ed Schnepf characterized it as deeply flawed, noting that Henry's screenplay was disjointed and that the only redeeming features were the limited aerial sequences. Despite the film's commercial and critical failures, it was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography. Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads: "Catch-22 takes entertainingly chaotic aim at the insanity of armed combat, supported by a terrific cast and smart, funny work from Buck Henry and Mike Nichols". Mike Nichols surreal, bizzare, dark and strange "Catch-22", adapted from the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller, has been on my to see list for years. This antiwar movie and parody of the "military mentality" came out when the Vietnam war was raging and there´s plenty of socialpolitical comments in this film. The cast is strong, but we get a slightly skewed production with a strange dialogue and strange flow in my opinion. "Catch-22" is often considered a major flop, however "Catch 22" was actually the 8th most successful movie at the U.S. box office in 1970. The film's official budget was a huge $15,000,000, although it may very possibly have finally cost much more. Pauline Kael cruelly summed up the film by saying that "it was eagerly anticipated for years and then forgotten almost immediately". As said, "Catch-22" has been on my to see list for ages and sadly enough I didn´t like it the way I hoped. The story is there, but it doesn´t work in a satisfying way. Maybe I need to read Joseph Heller´s novel instead..

    Captain John Yossarian (Alan Arkin), a U.S. Army Air Force B-25 bombardier, is stationed on the Mediterranean base on Pianosa during World War II. Along with his squadron members, Yossarian is committed to flying dangerous missions, but after watching friends die, he seeks a means of escape. Futilely appealing to his commanding officer, Colonel Cathcart (Martin Balsam), who continually increases the number of missions required to rotate home before anyone can reach it, Yossarian learns that even a mental breakdown is no release when Doc Daneeka, explains the "Catch-22" the Army Air Corps employs. While most crews are rotated out after twenty-five, the minimum number of missions for this base is eventually raised to an unobtainable eighty missions; a figure resulting from Colonel Cathcart's craving for publicity. Compliance with this insane number invokes regulation 22 for which, as explained by Doc Daneeka, there is a catch: An airman would have to be crazy to fly more missions, and if he were crazy he would be unfit to fly. Yet, if an airman would refuse to fly more missions, this would indicate that he is sane, which would mean that he would be fit to fly the missions... Catch-22 was not regarded as a great success with the contemporary public or critics, earning less money and critical acclaim than the film version of MASH, another war-themed black comedy released earlier the same year. In addition, the film appeared as Americans were becoming more resentful of the bitter and ugly experience of the Vietnam War, leading to a general decline in the interest of war pictures, with the notable exceptions of MASH and Patton. Critic Lucia Bozzola wrote "Paramount spent a great deal of money on Catch-22, but it wound up getting trumped by another 1970 antiwar farce: Robert Altman's MASH." Film historians and reviewers Jack Harwick and Ed Schnepf characterized it as deeply flawed, noting that Henry's screenplay was disjointed and that the only redeeming features were the limited aerial sequences. Despite the film's commercial and critical failures, it was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography. Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads: "Catch-22 takes entertainingly chaotic aim at the insanity of armed combat, supported by a terrific cast and smart, funny work from Buck Henry and Mike Nichols". Mike Nichols surreal, bizzare, dark and strange "Catch-22", adapted from the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller, has been on my to see list for years. This antiwar movie and parody of the "military mentality" came out when the Vietnam war was raging and there´s plenty of socialpolitical comments in this film. The cast is strong, but we get a slightly skewed production with a strange dialogue and strange flow in my opinion. "Catch-22" is often considered a major flop, however "Catch 22" was actually the 8th most successful movie at the U.S. box office in 1970. The film's official budget was a huge $15,000,000, although it may very possibly have finally cost much more. Pauline Kael cruelly summed up the film by saying that "it was eagerly anticipated for years and then forgotten almost immediately". As said, "Catch-22" has been on my to see list for ages and sadly enough I didn´t like it the way I hoped. The story is there, but it doesn´t work in a satisfying way. Maybe I need to read Joseph Heller´s novel instead..

  • Jul 03, 2019

    very smart directors work

    very smart directors work

  • Jun 01, 2019

    This anti-war comedy of the absurd attempts to show the defeat of the rational mind in the face of the madness of war. A squadron of U.S. B-25 bombers is deployed on a small Mediterranean island near Italy. The commander repeatedly increases the number of missions that airmen have to conduct in order to fulfil the conditions to "rotate", that is to go home. The initial 25 mission goal is increased to 35, and then to 50 etc. so no one survives long enough to rotate. Captain Yossarian is desperate because he sees his friends killed one by one, and tries to be declared insane and therefore unfit for combat. Enter Catch-22 - a bureaucratic paradox through which, due to contradictory rules, an individual has only one choice, which is pre-determined and cannot be changed. In order for the doctor to declare a soldier insane, the soldier must first consult a doctor with a request to be declared unfit for combat due to insanity, but in this case, the doctor cannot declare him insane because he who seeks to be declared insane cannot really be so. Therefore, there is no way to avoid combat, and since the number of required missions is constantly being increased, death emerges as the only possible outcome. Catch-22 is not a bureaucratic mistake, on the contrary it is a conscious strategy to leave only one choice to the individual - therefore leaving him with no choice and actually taking away his possibility to choose. It's a metaphor for the political will of the legislator who conducts their intentions simply because they can enforce them. As Yossarian's struggle with bureaucracy unfolds, the local mess officer develops a black market corporation and issues its shares to all soldiers in exchange for "unnecessary" items (such as parachutes, blankets, morphine) which he uses to trade. It is a moment when the comedy of the absurd begins to turn into tragedy. When the desire to survive at any cost intersects with the inability to avoid death; when the market takes over with its laws of supply and demand, and its cruel logic that transforms man into a monster, and perverts all human relationships into merchandise, then only powerless despair remains in the devastated individual.

    This anti-war comedy of the absurd attempts to show the defeat of the rational mind in the face of the madness of war. A squadron of U.S. B-25 bombers is deployed on a small Mediterranean island near Italy. The commander repeatedly increases the number of missions that airmen have to conduct in order to fulfil the conditions to "rotate", that is to go home. The initial 25 mission goal is increased to 35, and then to 50 etc. so no one survives long enough to rotate. Captain Yossarian is desperate because he sees his friends killed one by one, and tries to be declared insane and therefore unfit for combat. Enter Catch-22 - a bureaucratic paradox through which, due to contradictory rules, an individual has only one choice, which is pre-determined and cannot be changed. In order for the doctor to declare a soldier insane, the soldier must first consult a doctor with a request to be declared unfit for combat due to insanity, but in this case, the doctor cannot declare him insane because he who seeks to be declared insane cannot really be so. Therefore, there is no way to avoid combat, and since the number of required missions is constantly being increased, death emerges as the only possible outcome. Catch-22 is not a bureaucratic mistake, on the contrary it is a conscious strategy to leave only one choice to the individual - therefore leaving him with no choice and actually taking away his possibility to choose. It's a metaphor for the political will of the legislator who conducts their intentions simply because they can enforce them. As Yossarian's struggle with bureaucracy unfolds, the local mess officer develops a black market corporation and issues its shares to all soldiers in exchange for "unnecessary" items (such as parachutes, blankets, morphine) which he uses to trade. It is a moment when the comedy of the absurd begins to turn into tragedy. When the desire to survive at any cost intersects with the inability to avoid death; when the market takes over with its laws of supply and demand, and its cruel logic that transforms man into a monster, and perverts all human relationships into merchandise, then only powerless despair remains in the devastated individual.

  • Mar 02, 2019

    The absurdity--and horror--of war. Alan Arkin stars as Yossarian, a World War II bombardier who will do anything to get sent back home. The problem is, if he convinces the brass that he's crazy (just one of his ideas), he'll probably be told he's not crazy at all, because only a sane person would want to be discharged, right? (That's the Catch-22.) The movie (which unspools for the most part as a series of fast-moving, screwball anecdotes) starts off as a wacky satire, turns into a drama, and is enormously entertaining throughout. With an all-star supporting cast that includes (but is by no means limited to) Orson Welles, Martin Balsam, Buck Henry (who wrote the script), Richard Benjamin and Jon Voight. The perfect anti-war flick. Directed by Mike Nichols; based on the novel by Joseph Heller. A must-see.

    The absurdity--and horror--of war. Alan Arkin stars as Yossarian, a World War II bombardier who will do anything to get sent back home. The problem is, if he convinces the brass that he's crazy (just one of his ideas), he'll probably be told he's not crazy at all, because only a sane person would want to be discharged, right? (That's the Catch-22.) The movie (which unspools for the most part as a series of fast-moving, screwball anecdotes) starts off as a wacky satire, turns into a drama, and is enormously entertaining throughout. With an all-star supporting cast that includes (but is by no means limited to) Orson Welles, Martin Balsam, Buck Henry (who wrote the script), Richard Benjamin and Jon Voight. The perfect anti-war flick. Directed by Mike Nichols; based on the novel by Joseph Heller. A must-see.

  • Jan 27, 2019

    The best comedy movie ever made!

    The best comedy movie ever made!

  • Dec 21, 2018

    Watched it when it was first released, then read the book. A classic in my opinion.

    Watched it when it was first released, then read the book. A classic in my opinion.

  • Aug 04, 2018

    True to the spirit of the book, with a great cast this anti war critique stands the test of time. The list of well hit targets ranging from capitalist greed to individual INSANITY is impressive, SUCCEEDS in giving your awareness a good kicking!

    True to the spirit of the book, with a great cast this anti war critique stands the test of time. The list of well hit targets ranging from capitalist greed to individual INSANITY is impressive, SUCCEEDS in giving your awareness a good kicking!