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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • German: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer - Mr. Deeds, Bugsy, Cactus Flower

Shampoo

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 105 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Sex. Comedy. Goldie Hawn.

Isn’t that such a good combination? Wow – and with Goldie Hawn in it, it has to be funny, or at the very least, daft.

But no, this reviewer has had some experiences involving showers, shampoo and eyes which are more humorous, and yet less painful, than this film. So maybe Goldie Hawn’s status over-hyped the film for this reviewer, but Shampoo just lacked that florally potent punch that consumer shampoos beautifully contain.

Even after having been told that it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, this reviewer tried this particular Shampoo again on a new hardware setup to see if it was the mood.

Well, it didn’t happen.

Hmm, I wonder if this brand of Shampoo comes with a money back guarantee if I’m not 100% satisfied?

With a moral reminiscent of a sex education video from high school that free love is bad and won’t make you happy, this bottle of Shampoo from the 1970s failed to strike a harmonious tone for this young man. However, this film, with pacing like those slow release vitamin extracts, tells the story of George (Beatty) who is a budding hairdresser who freely sleeps with all of his clients. Jill (Hawn), George’s current girlfriend, is totally oblivious to his escapades as she just thinks he is really dedicated to his career. However, George wants to move on in the hairdressing world and open his own salon. The bank in Shampoo is your typical bank, denying George a loan due to his lack of previous references. But then, one of George’s many flings comes along with the idea that her husband, who just so happens to be a wealthy investor, may be able to help him out. To make matters worse, this investor, Lester, is seeing one of George’s ex-flings, Jackie (Christie), who just so happens to be best friends with Jill, illuminating her world and making her slightly curious about George’s behaviour. It is on election night that George, Jill, Lester, Jackie and all of George’s flavours of the month attend a party and, of course, things can’t stay peachy forever. The moral is sensible enough, but the plodding nature of the script makes the experience a tad painful.

  Video
Contract

The video is presented in an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect of 1.85:1. And this is where the good stuff ends. The video quality is well below par, with a drearily low bitrate due to squeezing it all onto a single layer and rather poor attention to detail. Blacks appear very washy and shadows murky; lacking definition. Colours are nicely saturated, but look slightly synthetic, lacking that lifelike quality. Soaking over the image is a fairly dense wash of grain, constantly apparent and at times a little disturbing. OK, it’s a fairly old print and things look good given that, but with a bit of work things could surely have been better than this, especially when there are a few fans of the film out there who've been awaiting this title.

  Audio
Contract

Accompanying this rather icky video transfer is an equally disappointing audio transfer, with five languages all presented with Dolby Digital stereo efforts, the default language option being English. Dialogue is the at times a little raspy, and when watched using the Philips 736K, audio synch goes in and out. This is apparent on the Philips player quite obviously, but the Sony DVP-NS530 plays this disc with a more accurate rendition of the dialogue. Being a flat stereo track, there is obviously no surround or discrete subwoofer action. Bass levels are, however, reasonable, yet lack that heavy punch of more modern soundtracks.

  Extras
Contract

Included as extra features are three trailers, for the films Mr. Deeds, Cactus Flower and Bugsy. These are a novel inclusion but can hardly be classified as special features – they have barely any relation to Shampoo itself. OK, Warren Beatty is in Bugsy and Goldie Hawn’s career was started by Cactus Flower, but that’s as far as it goes.

  Overall  
Contract

If you’re after a real night’s entertainment, get a bonus pack of Pantine Pro-V and spend it washing your hair. That’s the pain-free version. If you try to watch this, make sure you have some of that shampoo left over to rinse your eyes out – don’t worry, it’s not as painful as watching the film. Columbia Tristar’s transfer is quite disappointing, even taking the film’s age into consideration. A little time and effort would have made this a nice package to watch.

Maybe its just my age, but Shampoo simply failed to cleanse this reviewer’s entertainment appetite. Fans or collectors most probably have other opinions but this one is just not for me.

Now, my eyes are starting to clear up again... where has that bottle of shampoo gone?


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      And I quote...
    "About as funny as shampoo in the eyes..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS530
    • TV:
          Sharp SX76NF8 76cm Widescreen
    • Receiver:
          Sony HT-SL5
    • Speakers:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SS-CNP2
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SA-WMSP3
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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