The Mission: Impossible film series is 19, long enough in the tooth for its earlier installments to start to acquire the same time capsule effect that makes me love even the worst James Bond movies. I watched Brian De Palma's 1996 Mission: Impossible the night after I saw the new one, subtitled Rogue Nation, and John Woo's barely-related 2000 M:I-2, the night after that. Yep, blockbusters are different now.
Trying to articulate just how was part of the chore of writing my NPR review of the fifth impossible mission, from Jack Reacher writer/director Christopher McQuarrie. Short version: I liked it. But I had more thoughts about it than I could shoehorn into the review, so here're a few outtakes.
"Most men know less about their own bodies than they do about their automobiles."
John Ford, who made Stagecoach and The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and who won the Academy Award for Best Director four times – not for any of the first-rate pictures I've just named – also made a sex-ed film for G.I.s in 1942, the same year he collected his third Best Director Oscar for How Green Was My Valley.
Okay, maybe that's only funny to me. Anyway, if you think it's worth 26 minutes of your life to learn how not to catch syphilis from – in the charming patois of Sex Hygiene – "a contaminated woman," you can watch this not-so-casually misogynistic but highly informative short above. Even if you're already fully briefed on how to protect yourself from the predatory vaginas of dirty, dirty whores, this film has at least two other things to recommend it.
1) It features the greatest reaction shots ever captured on film.
2) Eisenhower-era TV Superman George Reeves and Robert Lowery, who played Batman in the 1949 serial Batman and Robin, appear together briefly in an early scene, so if you want a preview of what next year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will be like, well... it will probably be like this, at least in hair-gel terms.