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A day in the life of a barbershop on the south side of Chicago. Calvin, who inherited the struggling business from his deceased father, views the shop as nothing but a burden and waste of his time. After selling the shop to a local loan shark, Calvin slowly begins to see his father's vision and legacy and struggles with the notion that he just sold it out. The barbershop is filled with characters who share their stories, jokes, trials and tribulations. In the shop we find Eddie, an old barber with strong opinions and no customers. Jimmy is a highly educated barber with a superiority complex who can't stand Isaac, the new, white barber who just wants a shot at cutting some hair. Ricky is an ex-con with two strikes against him and is desperately trying to stay straight. Terri is a hard-edged woman who can't seem to leave her two-timing boyfriend. And lastly there's Dinka, a fellow barber who is madly in love with Terri but doesn't get the time of day. Written by
Shortly after the film's theatrical release in late September 2002, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton protested over some of the statements made by Cedric the Entertainer's character Eddie about African-American historical figures Rosa Parks ("Rosa Parks ain't do nuthin' but sit her Black ass down; there was a whole lotta other people that sat down on the bus, and they did it way before Rosa did!"), Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ("Martin Luther King was a ho [whore]!"), and Jackson himself ("Fuck Jesse Jackson"). Jackson and Sharpton pressured MGM to edit these scenes out of the film before its DVD release in January 2003; the film was released with the "controversial" scenes intact. See more »
The "broken" lamp is off/on between shots after Billy hits it with the axe. See more »
Eddie, not only is what you're saying not true, it is wrong and disrespectful for you to discuss Rosa Parks in that way.
Wait, hold on here. Is this a barbershop? Is this a barbershop? If we can't talk straight in a barbershop, then where can we talk straight? We can't talk straight nowhere else. You know, this ain't nothin' but healthy conversation, that's all.
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Thanks Ice Cube. You did a great job in creating and showcasing a part of African-American life that was true-to-life. There were so many diverse elements that all came together, they seem too many to mention. But all of the main characters had a measure of character development and an intimacy that you couldn't forget.
Even the minor characters played a big role, such as Lamar (J. David Shanks). Though introduced briefly very early in the movie, he played a major- but again brief- role near the end. Minor character- major input. The robbery of the convenience store: five characters interwoven all with lessons to learn- Craig (Ice Cube), Ricky Nash (Michael Ealy), Detective Williams (Tom Wright), Samir (Parvesh Cheena) and, of course, JD (Anthony Anderson). The timing in various scenes were impeccable. The following sequence: the radio voice of Chicago deejay Howard Magee, Billy's mother (?), Gabby (Jasmine Randle), Billy (Lahmard J. Tate) and JD was wonderfully choreographed.
I know some will say, "Hey, it was predictable. I knew beforehand the resolution of some, most, or all of the character's plights." And that may be true. But it's the manner in which each character was interwoven- how one touched another and yet criss-crossed each other that gave this movie special meaning. How each character had their strengths or weaknesses to overcome. Great stories being told by Mark Brown, Don D. Scott, Marshall Todd and with Tim Story's direction. Every major character was (and is) a character study.
Terence Blanchard does an admirable job supporting the scenes with his score.
And regarding the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks controversy, the writers qualified that diatribe very clearly as it progressed. Did people hear just want they wanted to hear?
Another important feature that I admire was the honesty, sometimes brutal, on other issues such as foreigners owning businesses in the African-American community or how dangerous it can be for anyone living in certain parts of the "ghetto" or how we (yes I'm African-American) help keep each other from prospering.
It wasn't until I started viewing "Barbershop" a second time (and dissecting it) where I saw additional insightful and valuable revelations. An example being Hustle Guy (DeRay Davis). (Dogs and Pampers?) Many times we see the local hustler as a comedic tool, hustling whatever he/she can get their hands on. But he's only trying to earn a living- void of a storefront for lack of investment capital. And we find out how valuable Hustle Guy is, also, before the movie ends. Minor character- major message.
If you haven't seen it, see it. If you've seen it, and just saw it for it's entertainment value, see it again for some valuable lessons.
Not only will it be in my movie collection, but it will be used as a teaching tool for my grandsons (and granddaughters if I'm blessed with any).
Believe it or not, to me, Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer's character) was the most unbelievable. Not that Eddie wasn't valuable, because he was. It was Cedric's interpretation of Eddie and the lack of age lines on his face that was a pure turn off for me. For those reasons, I wanted to remove 1 point. But because of the strength of the other characters and the story, I'm keeping it a 10.
The 7.1 rating as of this writing is an injustice to the quality and caliber of this production.
I give it a $10.00 haircut plus a $5.00 tip.
Great job Ice Cube to you and your production company, Cube Vision. Great job.
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