'Barbershop: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Cedric The Entertainer, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2002) 2018 / MVD Visual)
Overview: Calvin (Ice Cube) is a would-be entrepreneur with big plans and running his family's barbershop isn't one of them. But when he impulsively sells the shop to a shady loan shark, he soon realizes just how important the neighborhood parlor is to him and just how far he'll go to get it back!
Blu-ray Verdict: Movies with substance, that a family can watch together, are few and far between. Maybe for this reason I LOVED 'Barbershop'! Then again, maybe if I was just taking my own preferences into account, with my preference for dark, twisty, satirical mind-benders, I might not rate this movie so highly!
That said, this movie was excellent. I don't know about stereotypes, as that's not really my area of expertise, so I'm comfortable leaving the portrayal of an urban black community to those who know it best.
We are a working-class white family from the rural area of North America, and if we were portrayed in a movie, I'm sure many of the details would seem like they were cut-and-pasted from other movies about us. Folks just are how they are.
Not everyone is extraordinary, nor special to the naked eye, but there are plenty of enticing stories to be had from we common folk. That said, I'm willing to trust that Barbershop is a reasonably portrayed slice of the lives it holds to light.
What 'Barbershop' did for us, is invited us to befriend people whose walk of life is very different from our own, to feel as though we had been invited in to their hearth for two hours.
There wasn't a lot of violence, cussing, or gut-busting humor. This is a gentle movie, it is a comedy, has a nice balance of character study vs quirky slapstick, and is enjoyable throughout.
Calvin (Ice Cube) and his wife Jennifer (Jazsmin Lewis), make us see that no matter how different of a world we come from, loving relationships are basically the same.
Jimmy James (Sean Patrick Thomas) works so hard to feel that he's better off than he really is that he has to resort to putting down others to make himself feel better, but learns that it's better to just be who you are.
That lesson was taught to him by someone he once looked down on, new barber, Troy Garity (Isaac Rosenberg.) Terri Jones (Eve) Just wants to be respected, loved and hands off the girls apple juice! Ricky Nash (Michael Ealy) is just looking for his chance to start over and go legit from his past life of crime.
Eddie, the senior barber, had been there since the '60s and had some wonderful insightful speeches that made you think. Sure, sometimes he'd just ramble about nothing but sometimes the man would have things that would make everyone in the room just stop, listen and think.
'Barbershop' might not be any sort of "romp," but if you are able to enjoy a stroll with charming company, then this movie will delight you.
As for my children's experience with the film, the political topics were excellent conversation-starters. Overall this was an extremely rewarding film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Audio Commentary by director Tim Story, Producer Robert Teitel, Producer George Tillman, Jr. and Writer Don Scott, Jr.
4 Behind The Scenes Featurettes (aka "The Hair Club": A nearly 40-minute documentary that is split into four sections) (SD)
7 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from director Tim Story (SD)
Bloopers and Outtakes (SD)
"Trade It All" Music Video with Fabolous feat. P. Diddy and Jagged Edge (SD)
"Barber Banter" featurette (SD)
Barbershop Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
Barbershop 2: Back in Business Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
Beauty Shop Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)