Back in Business
Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy
Garity, Michael Elay, Leonard Earl Howze
Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Date: June 29, 2004
Review posted: July 1, 2004
Calvin (Cube) and
his pals at the barbershop face yet another dilemma, and it's
happening right across the street. A rival developer wants to cash
in on the business by opening up a franchise barbershop. As it did
in the original, life goes on, but not unless Calvin and the
others do something about it.
proved very successful for MGM two years ago, and without a doubt
a sequel had to get made. The original film is funny and smart,
but also tells an involving story with a nice set of characters.
In Barbershop 2: Back in Business, nearly all of the major
characters are back. Ice Cube plays the lead pretty well, but I
also like the performances of Eve (The Cookout) and Troy
Garity (A Soldier's Girl). New to the barbershop is Kenan
Thompson (upcoming Fat Albert), but he's only okay, and
Queen Latifah's "special appearance" is really nothing special at
all. The acting is quite solid overall, though.
Rodney Sullivan, who made 1998's How Stella Got Her Groove Back,
takes a more serious tone with Barbershop 2 and its
characters. Screenwriter Don D. Scott, who co-scripted the
original, adds a stronger conflict to the story this time.
However, the jokes take a back seat. Most of the laughs, I think,
still come from Cedric the Entertainer who mumbles and jumbles his
lines, and I would advise turning on the subtitles or you might
miss some things. Also, it almost seems as though the script is
too careful not to offend or stir up a little politics talk. In
the original, Cedric's Eddie made some statements that some viewed
offensive, but they didn't bother me particularly. In any case,
the laughs are not as good as in the original, but overall the
sequel manages to entertain as an above-average comedy/drama.
MGM presents Barbershop 2 in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.
This is a very nice transfer with rich and crisp colors. Image
quality is clean without any scratches or dirt. Compression
artifacts or edge enhancement does not appear. There is very
light grain, and definition is very clear. The picture looks
quite sharp as well. A very good effort from MGM.
include English, French, and Spanish.
MGM presents Barbershop 2 in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
There is not much surround activity here except for the songs
and occasional music score coming from the rear speakers, sort
of. Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, but you
might want to turn on your subtitles to to be able to hear
everything Cedric the Entertainer has to say. The soundtrack is
mostly located in the front, but the speakers do a pretty good
job; positional audio is apparent as is a decent amount of bass.
A very nice presentation for an easy-going type of film.
tracks include French 5.1 and Spanish Stereo.
edition DVD boasts two commentary tracks. The first one
is a video/audio track with actors Cedric the Entertainer, Troy
Garity, Sean Patrick Thomas and Jaszmin Lewis. A small box pops
up at the bottom several times that shows the actors watching
the film. Their conversations are sometimes interesting and
amusing, but not for the duration as there are a few gaps or
they just seem to watch the film. The second commentary with
director Kevin Rodney Sullivan and producers Bob Teitel and
George Tillman, Jr. is more informative and reflective. Their
discussions are on topics such as working with the actors,
shooting on location, getting through the fast-track production,
Next are several
deleted scenes with introductions from various cast
members. The scenes themselves are fine, I don't think they add
all that much to the film. A few minutes of outtakes
provide some fun in terms of flubbed lines, on-set mishaps, and
the occasional goof-off from the actors, but overall it's
nothing special. There are also two music videos, an
extended video of "Not Today" by Mary J. Blige featuring Eve,
and the video "I Can't Wait" by Sleepy Brown featuring Outcast.
Talk about "featuring" - a making-of featurette could've been a
Rounding out the
extras is a behind-the-scenes photo gallery and a selection of
bonus trailers, including the film's theatrical
trailer. The 106-minute
feature is organized into ? chapters. There is no paper insert
inside this keepcase DVD.
showcases some nice qualities being a sequel and all, such as having a
good conflict, but the originality of the first film doesn't quite
translate as well here. The story is good and the characters are
mostly engaging, but a few subplots didn't work as intended. Also, the
first film had better/more consistent jokes and laughs. On a technical
level, however, Barbershop 2 is well done. DVD video/audio
quality is pretty good, and the extras are only average for a "special
edition" label. Overall, this DVD is a recommended rental.
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