A curious, haunting film, Slaughterhouse-Five. Not as affecting or engrossing as the Kurt Vonnegut Jr book, it still makes a fair fist of a story whose tone-shifting, time-jumping structure and Big Themes would see it filed as `Unfilmable' by a director less ambitious than George Roy Hill.
Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks) is the Vonnegut substitute, a wide-eyed optometrist who's become unstuck in time, tossed between his comfily dull middle-aged marriage and life as a POW in World War Two. Housed in the titular chopping shop, he witnesses the devastating Allied firebombing of Dresden and jumps back and forth to the future, where he's an exhibit for aliens on the planet Tralfamadore. Odd? Oh yes. But Hill handles the transitions deftly, with Sacks a suitably befuddled and blank hero and life presented as absurd and cruel yet always worth embracing.