Hal Ashby’s Shampoo and the Blissful Ignorance of Sexual Politics: Review

✯✯✯✯½

There was never a more perfect time for Shampoo to come out than the end of Richard Nixon’s time in America. But the dangers in what was set to come were a warning that Hal Ashby may have also tried to say we were also too late to listen to. This is a film all about how America was set to change as the times were moving forward, but we don’t exactly know if it’s the case that they would end up turning out for the better. But it’s weird enough how this film seems to have gone from being one of the hottest films of its own era to fading from that glory, which is a shame because like the rest of Ashby’s 1970’s oeuvre, it’s never anything less than impressive. It’s the sort of film that I’m amazed was even made in its own era, especially right after Richard Nixon’s era had ended in America, when people were unaware or outright unready for what was set to come in the years under his ruling. It’s a film that mixes together that raunchiness with scathing political commentary, and it’s rather stunning how much it still manages to bite after so long. If there’s anything that really does need to be said, you can watch a film like this as being proof that it’s the sort of film that only Hal Ashby could have made – and it sums up everything that made his films so wonderful.

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Mission: Impossible II – Review

✯✯✯

Often cited as the downfall of the Mission: Impossible franchise, I’m probably amongst the few that don’t hate Mission: Impossible II as much as the general public appears to, for at least what’s offered in Mission: Impossible II feels much less restrictive compared to the overtly convoluted nature of the first film. In spite of said weaknesses in the first, Mission: Impossible II is also not a film without its own faults for while it may be a rather slight improvement from the first, there’s not enough on the inside that can create a good enough film worthy of a recommendation. Continue reading →

Mission: Impossible – Review

✯✯½

One of the most notable roles in Tom Cruise’s career as well as one of the most successful box office hits of Brian De Palma’s filmography, both for reasons I never understood completely. That’s not to say Mission: Impossible is a bad film because it’s very far away from that, but the trademarked name seems to be from what I’m seeing is the only reason to remember it but what about it makes everything a standout? As a particularly big Brian De Palma apologist, I’ve always struggled with the reputation that Mission: Impossible had formed. At least given its success the fact it managed to spawn a franchise is understandable, but is the original really as special as some say so? Continue reading →