HTF REVIEW: "BarberShop" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein


    Studio: MGM
    Year: 2002
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 102 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Subtitles: English, French, Portugese and Spanish

    Everyone's gettin' lined up!
    This year was a very interesting year for sleepers.
    Shortly after the success of My Big Fat Greek
    , word began to circulate about a little
    film called Barbershop, a smart comedy about
    a day in the life of a barbershop on the south side
    of Chicago.
    Calvin (Ice Cube) has inherited a barbershop on
    the South Side of Chicago from his father who ran
    it for 40 years before dying broke. Although Eddie
    (Cedric the Entertainer), an old timer who works
    there, sees it as "the cornerstone of the community,"
    the new owner doesn't agree with him. You see, Calvin
    has bigger dreams that will hopefully make him enough
    money to support his new wife (Jazsmin Lewis) and
    baby. Burdened with bills, Calvin sells the place
    to Lester (Keith David), a dirty low-down loan shark.
    Only after money has changed hands does Lester reveal
    his plan to replace the shop with a strip joint,
    throwing Calvin's colorful staff of haircutters out
    of work. In another subplot, two robbers (Anthony
    Anderson and Lahmard Tate), try to get away with an
    oversized ATM machine that is becoming impossible to
    hide from family and police.
    BarberShop was a surprisingly entertaining
    film to watch. The film becomes one big community
    gathering place that holds together a whole
    neighborhood threatened by extinction. The
    characters and conversations are always amusing,
    and the film suddenly becomes a wonderful world
    where misfits and peculiars find real solidarity
    with each other.
    How is the transfer?
    Another beautiful transfer from the folks at MGM.
    Picture quality is superb, with a nice smooth
    surface free of any background grain or noise.
    In fact, the picture has a very natural quality
    to it, with colors looking extremely accurate and
    often very vivid (especially the reds). This is
    a nicely detailed transfer that will not disappoint.
    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is very good, though not
    nearly as active as I would have expected. Sound is
    very distinct and bass-heavy across the front channels.
    The LFE channel provides additional bass support for
    the beats of the Hip-Hop track. The rears provide
    some nice ambient city noise. My disappointment is
    with the film's musical tracks that don't really
    envelope the listening area, but rather provide a
    false echo effect instead.
    Special Features
    MGM has put together a rather nice Special Edition
    with more than a handful of extras to browse through.
    First up is the full length audio commentary
    with Director Tim Story, Writer Don D. Scott, and
    producers Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr.
    I listened to only bits and pieces of this commentary,
    but was nicely surprised by how well it flows. We
    learn a little about the writing of the film and how
    an "A" plot and "B" plot were eventually brought
    together. We learn how auditions from individual
    actors excited the filmmakers, and how real-life
    stories and interviews with Barbers helped shape the
    story into something more realistic. I really wish
    I had more time to listen to the entire commentary
    in full, as all of these individuals involved with
    the film are thoroughly enjoying themselves here,
    laughing at themselves and each other, while
    providing the sort of free-wheeling commentary that
    you don't hear that often.
    The Hair Club is an assortment of featurettes
    that takes us behind-the-scenes of the film...
    The Final Cut introduces us to the cast and
    filmmakers as we learn a little bit about the film's
    story and its characters. Much credit must be given
    to Tim Story, who had a clear vision of what he
    wanted this film to look like. We found out how
    individual actors were selected to star in this film
    as well as how well all these actors played against
    each other. There's even some original audition
    footage to be seen here. Filming in Chicago was a
    very cold experience for the crew, but it offered
    the ultimate look at everyday life that was real.
    The cold and snow actually became characters of
    the film.
    (length: approx. 19 minutes)
    Set, Press and Style introduces us to
    Production Designer Roger Fortune who got the job
    on this project for providing director Tim Story
    with a detailed design for a BarberShop that was
    like no other -- one that had a life of its own.
    We are taken on a tour of many of the locales used
    in this film, as well as learning how a snow landscape
    was created to give the scenes character.
    (length: approx. 6 minutes)
    Finishing Touches introduces us to Costume
    Designer Devon Patterson who not only takes us
    through the film's wardrobe design, but the film's
    overall color palette. This is an interesting look
    at how costumes and color contribute to the unique
    characters of this film.
    (length: approx. 6 minutes)
    Hairdo's and Dont's is a rather fun look at
    the real-life barber circuit as we take a look at
    different types of black hairstyles (fades, shags,
    afros, flat-tops).
    (length: approx. 7 minutes)
    There are seven deleted scenes that are each
    very short, and are either character introductions
    that were ultimately deleted, or sub-stories about
    church and faith. Some are extensions of scenes that
    just weren't funny. In all, there is about 5 minutes
    of material here and can be played with optional
    commentary by director Tim Story. Don't miss the
    assortment of outtakes, which consists of
    nearly 5 minutes of flubbed lines and cues.
    A Barber Shop Interactive Game is fun game
    that tests your knowledge of the film and Barbering.
    Also featured here is the Music Video,
    Trade It All, featuring P. Diddy and Jagged
    A Photo Gallery has nearly 50 images that
    feature the cast, behind-the-scenes shots on the
    set, and publicity photos from the film.
    The film's original theatrical trailer is
    also included.
    Final Thoughts
    There has been so much hype surrounding Barbershop
    since its theatrical premier, that I could not
    resist a watch...and you know what? The critics
    were definitely on to something. Here is a really
    entertaining film that brings together a talented
    ensemble of actors who provide a humorous look at
    the sort of freewheeling debate that actually rages
    in some barbershops.
    A definite "cut" above the rest!
    Release Date: January 1, 2003
    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    Real Name:
    I loved this film and already preordered the dvd.

  3. NickFoley

    NickFoley Stunt Coordinator

    May 5, 2002
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    Good review Ron, but theres 1 error that I noticed. Its a 1:85:1 aspect ratio, not 2:35:1.
  4. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

    Sep 29, 2000
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    Interesting. The specs posted on every retail site I've checked as well as a couple of reviews on other sites claim it's 1.85:1. Someone's obviously wrong, but without the disc in hand myself, I can't say for certain who it is...
  5. Charles Greene

    Charles Greene Auditioning

    Jun 30, 1997
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    I ran this film at the theater I work at. It was flat 1.85.

  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    My bad (pun from film)....

    It is indeed 1.85:1

    It's been a long day -- trust me.

    I apologize for the error. The screenshots
    accurately represent the ratio size.
  7. Jedrek

    Jedrek Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 21, 2002
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    Sounds cool, I'll have to check it out. [​IMG]
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Feb 16, 2001
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    Albany, NY
  9. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

    Dec 10, 2001
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    I'm in.
  10. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

    Mar 7, 2002
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    Good to hear ya liked it, I regret not seeing this at the movies when it came out, but according to you I'll enjoy it at home just the same, if not more. Thanks.
  11. PrinzII

    PrinzII Agent

    Jan 24, 2003
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    Anyone who grew up going to the barbershop in their youth will remember a lot of the lively exchanges that happened in the movie.
    Personally, I loved the movie and was in tears laughing with the subplot (the ATM theft). [​IMG]
  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

    Aug 20, 2000
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    "Barbershop" wasn't a bad film but it also wasn't a great one. This film reminded me too much of a typical TV sitcom. As a rental the film was fine.

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