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Overall Rating: 3/5
Director: Tim Story
Tagline: The film Jesse Jackson loves to hate.
The Film: Barbershop was destined to be just another one of those sleeper hits, but it got some major attention when Jesse Jackson decided there was a scene he wanted cut out of the move.
Now Jackson is known for a variety of things, but film editing isn’t one of them. Watching the film, though, there’s no doubt which scene he’s talking about. Eddie, a barber in the titular barbershop (and played with much gusto by Cedric the Entertainer), has some interesting things to say about Rosa Parks’ contribution to the civil rights movement. When he is soundly thrashed by the patrons of the barbershop, and one tells Eddie that he hopes Jesse Jackson doesn’t hear about what he said, Eddie hurls an obscenity Jackson’s way and then proclaims, “Jesse, Randy, Tito, Freddie, Action — I’ll take them all on!”
In a way, Barbershop is a typical living-in-the-ghetto-getting-up-by-your-bootstraps morality play, but it also speaks frankly and refreshingly about being a part of something larger than yourself. Everyone is free to talk in the barbershop about whatever they want. Disputes — and there are plenty of them — are settled with haircuts and groovy tunes. The characters come from a variety of backgrounds and have a variety of motivations, but they’re all trying to better themselves.
The individual character studies are much more interesting than the plot, which involves the sale of the barbershop, the attempt to gain back the barbershop, and the inept theft of an ATM that seems to have nothing to do with anyone in the barbershop. Rest assured, everything is nicely wrapped up in the end.
Ice Cube does a fine job carrying the featherweight plot, and the ensemble performances of the cast in the barbershop are a sight to see. Cedric the Entertainer seems to be having the most fun with the material, though — especially the “controversial” bits.
Movie Rating: 3/5
DVD: Anamorphic widescreen; English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 sound; English, Spanish, French and Portuguese subtitles.
Extras include commentary by the director, producers, and writer; theatrical trailers, deleted scenes with director commentary; a making-of featurette; and a photo gallery.
The sound and picture are fine, but neither will tax your equipment.
DVD Rating: 3/5
Five Degrees of Separation:
Hair — Isn’t that really the crux of the matter?
Shampoo — You see where this is going.
Scissors — Thriller from the early 1990s with Sharon Stone, interestingly paired up with fellow Total Recall star Ronny Cox.
Edward Scissorhands — Nobody styles like Johnny Depp… and he’s straight!
Action Jackson — Cedric is willing to take him on, but are you?