September 12, 2018

BARBERSHOP and BARBERSHOP 2: A Long Time Coming


BARBERSHOP
Starring Ice Cube, Sean Patrick Thomas, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Michael Ealy, Troy Garity, Keith David. Directed by Tim Story. (2002/102 min).
BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS
Starring Ice Cube, Sean Patrick Thomas, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Troy Garity, Harry Lennix, Kenan Thompson, Michael Ealy, Queen Latifah. Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan. (2004/106 min).

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM
MVD MARQUEE COLLECTION

Review by Stinky the Destroyer😽

You know what's surprising? That these two films have never been released on Blu-ray until now. Even Barbershop 3 landed on Blu-ray the same year of its theatrical release. One would think think that'd have been the perfect time to truck-out the first two, as well. After all, both were big hits (critically & commercially) and remain endearing ensemble comedies.

Oh well. Better late than never, and MVD has finally released the original Barbershop and Barbershop 2 (as well as the spin-off film, Beauty Shop) on Blu-ray as part of their Marquee Collection. There aren't any new extras, but the original DVDs were pretty generous in that department - especially the first film - most of which are carried over for these discs.

Barbershop remains the best of the two films (the whole franchise, for that matter, including the short-lived Showtime series), obviously because the premise was fresh and a surprising change-of-pace for Ice Cube, who was mostly known at the time for playing hard-asses. As shop owner Calvin Palmer, he's charming, laid-back and extremely likable, though often playing the straight-man to the antics and banter of his co-stars. Still, he's the glue which holds the entire narrative together. Loosely-plotted (and say the least), Barbershop is a congenial hodge-podge of engaging characters, authentic dialogue and no-small-amount of cartoon buffoonery.

Nothing a little duct tape can't fix.
Most of the cast returns for Barbershop 2, with the welcome addition of Queen Latifah as Gina, Calvin's old girlfriend who works at the beauty shop next door. While the main story isn't quite as interesting as the original, I really enjoyed the side story where Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) looks back at his life during the tumultuous 60s. Elsewhere, the film is as loose and leisurely paced as the original, though Kenan Thompson as Calvin's clumsy cousin is kind-of irritating. Barbershop 2 ultimately suffers from the law of diminishing returns, but considering it's essentially business as usual, the movie's a worthy follow-up.

I've personally never known anyone who loved of the original that didn't enjoy the sequel. For them, picking up both titles is probably a forgone conclusion. But for those who already own them on DVD, the bonus features are the same, so the improved audio/video transfer would be the only real reason for double-dipping.

EXTRA KIBBLES

BARBERSHOP:
"THE HAIR CLUB" - A four-chapter behind-the-scenes documentary (40 minutes total).
FEATURETTE - "Barber Banter"
AUDIO COMMENTARY - With director Tim Story, producers Robert Teitel & George Tillman Jr and writer Don Scott Jr.
DELETED SCENES
BLOOPERS/OUTTAKES
MUSIC VIDEO - "Trade it All" (Fabulous featuring P. Diddy and Jagged Edge)
TRAILERS - For Barbershop, Barbershop 2 and Beauty Shop
PHOTO GALLERY

BARBERSHOP 2:
AUDIO COMMENTARY - With director Kevin Rodney Sullivan and producers Robert Teitel & George Tillman Jr.
CAST VIDEO COMMENTARY - With Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Harris, Troy Garity and Jazmin Lewis.
DELETED SCENES
OUTTAKES
MUSIC VIDEOS - "Not Today" (Mary J. Blige featuring Eve); "I Can't Wait" (Sleepy Brown featuring OutKast).
TRAILERS - For Barbershop, Barbershop 2 and Beauty Shop
PHOTO GALLERY
KITTY CONSENSUS:
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS

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