Barbershop: The Next Cut is a comedy with a profound message. A third sequel to the barbershop series tries to send a message about the senseless killings of our youth in our communities who are too often hit by stray bullets intended for those involved in gang activity. Children are being killed so often, this Chicago neighborhood is trying to come up with a solution that can be implemented quick and easy. Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) and his wife Jennifer Palmer (Jazsmin Lewis) are watching their son Jalen (Michael Rainey, Jr.) change from a sweet loving kid to a hard headed rebellious type that is staring to head down the wrong path. Calvin and Jennifer, being in denial, is blaming their son’s new attitude on his current buddy, Kenny (Diallo Thompson) who is the son of Rashad Jones (Common), Calvin’s best friend. In the meanwhile, gangs are running rampart in the Chicago neighborhood and more youths are getting killed in the crossfire and recruited by these gangs. One-Stop, (J.B. Smoove) a hustler who sells real estate among his many other talents, works in Calvin’s barbershop, which is now co-ed as the barbershop is also a beauty salon with Angie (Regina Hall as Calvin’s partner. Calvin is entertaining the idea of moving to the north side of town where it is safer to raise his son and operate his shop. The usual gang is back in session with Terri Jones (Eve) as Common’s wife, Draya (Nicki Minaj) as a hair stylist and over sexed trouble maker, Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) as the oldest barber, J.D. (Anthony Anderson) as the caterer, Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar) as the Black Indian barber, Jimmy James (Sean Patrick Thomas) as the Congressman and Isaac (Troy Garity) as the over-the-top White boy player. New comer Jerrod, (Lamorne Morris) who comes off as a gay guy and Bree, (Margot Bingham) a hair stylist become love interest for each other, despite the gay rumors. The overall goal of the Barbershop is to force a cease fire among the gangs, causing peace and trust and most of all, no killings of youth for days at a time, in exchange for free services offered by the barbershop/hair salon during the cease fire. Of course there’s much more to this so you will have to see the film to find out how it all works out.
Barbershop is a little corny but sends an excellent message and is well acted as well as entertaining. It’s been in the queue for several weeks, which tells me that it’s worth seeing. Also, a couple of fun surprises were incorporated into the ending so check it out! I enjoyed it.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, Uncategorized
Tagged angie, anthony anderson, barbershop: next cut, bree, calvin palmer, cedric the entertainer, common, diallo thompson, draya, eddie, eve, hair stylist, ice cube, isaac, jalen palmer, jazsmin lewis, jb smoove, jd, jennifer palmer, jerrod, jimmy james, kenny, lamorne morris, margot bingham, michael rainey jr, nicki minaj, one-stop, raja, rashad jones, regina hall, sean patrick thomas, terri jones, troy garity, utkarsh ambudkar
Straight Outta Compton definitely lives up to the hype. For the first time I actually see Hip Hop in a different light, I even think I might understand it a little. I never cared for it, sharing the opinion of many, that it’s just gangster rap with a lot of cursing, disrespect for women and Ebonics that no one could understand except the rappers. This still might be the case with a lot of rap but there’s so much more behind the words and the beats that’s worth exploring and understanding. Plus, one rap doesn’t fit all. Straight Outta Compton starts out in 1986 in a ghetto called Compton, located in Los Angeles, California that is equal to the old Watts neighborhood most of us have heard of. Crime, drugs, poverty, hopelessness, danger, murder and a bad place to be, let alone live. To emerge from Compton alive, clean, not on death row or a junkie is a miracle in itself. Hopelessness is a terrible thing. Being born into it is suicidal, to say the least. The attitude usually is “what do I have to lose?” These young African American men are harassed and disrespected by the police as well as the rest of the world. When rap came about, it was a way to make honest money but more importantly, it was a way to express what they felt, a way to let the world know what they go through every day. A way to achieve fame, dignity, respect and rise up out of an impossible situation. 5 young men, Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.), Eazy-E (Jackson Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), DJ Yella (Neil Brown, Jr.), ( and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) formed a hip hop group called N.W.A. They worked hard to make great musical, hip hop tracks that would soon escalate them to stardom after hooking up with a manager named Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) and a record producer named Bryan Turner (Tate Ellington), at Priority Records . N.W.A. was enjoying their fame, traveling, continually on tour, partying and life was looking up but Ice Cube and the others had no contract. Easy seemed to be the only one who was offered a contract to sign. Ice Cube also noticed Eazy-E and Jerry Heller owned the company and was convinced he and the rest of the group was getting shafted. After much confrontation, Ice Cube would be the first to leave and go out on his own. Dr. Dre soon followed, leaving Eazy-E to carry his company alone with the two remaining members. After time, Eazy-E became broke and discovered Jerry had been cheating him all along leaving him in huge debt. As usual, I will stop here so I won’t spoil the entire movie for those of you who haven’t seen it.
Straight Outta Compton runs for 2 hours and 27 minutes and is worth every second. The language is harsh, the nudity is explicit, the violence is graphic and the theme is very street. The story is quite interesting and if you are unfamiliar with the history of the group N.W.A. or hip hop, you’ll certainly get much out of this movie. These are characters we are familiar with as Ice Cube is not only a rapper, but a successful movie actor who starred in films such as Barber Shop, Friday, Boyz n the Hood, Ride Along 1 and 2 and Are We There Yet? and many more. Dr. Dre is also well known for producing Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and 50 Cent. He also started Beats Electronics, which was bought by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. BTW: Ice Cube’s real son (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.) played the role of his father and looks just like him. As a matter of fact, the casting company did an incredible job because the main actors closely resembled the real characters they were portraying. Straight Outta Compton is now on DVD and Blue-Rey and is more than worth seeing. Check it out, you won’t be sorry.
[STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON is nominated for Original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged aldis hodge, bryan turner, california, corey hawkins, dj yella, dr dre, eazy-e, hip hop, ice cube, jackson mitchell, jerry heller, los angeles, mc ren, n.w.a., neil brown jr, o'shea jackson jr, paul giamatti, straight outta compton, tate ellington
A semi-quasi slap stick comedy from Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, who play Detective James Payton and Officer Ben Barber, respectively . I’m still not fond of slap stick however, Ride Along 2 was a little more tolerable than most. I found it had a descent story line, although it was totally unbelievable on some level. Today there are so many corrupt politicians, it’s hard to say what officials would or wouldn’t do. I don’t have a lot to say about this movie that hasn’t been said already. Most of it stayed the same as the first film, Ride Along. Officer Barber is a new, rookie cop who is trying very hard to win Detective Payton’s favor and respect. To make matters worse, Payton is also about to become Barber’s brother-in-law because Barber is marrying his sister, Angela Payton-Barber (Tika Sumpter). James is not happy about this union since he’s considers Ben to be a total dork but goes along with most of his crap because of his sister. Ride-Along-2 has James and Ben go to Miami to solve a crime that leads them to a corrupt war lord, Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt), his hacker A.J. (Ken Jeong) and his band of thugs and a love interest, Detective Maya Cruz, (Olivia Munn) for ice Cube. The usual wreckage happens along with Miami Captain Hernandez (Carlos Gomez) asking that the two of them leave his town.
Ben, James and Olivia end up collaborating for the better good to solve the case. Their tactics were interesting and entertaining. Ride-Along-2 will reward it’s audience with a laugh or two without being too silly and stupid. Waiting for Ride-Along 2 to release on DVD would probably be in your best interest.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged aj, antonio pope, ben barter, benjamin bratt, captain hernandez, carlos gomez, ice cube, james payton, ken jeong, Kevin hart, maya cruz, olivia munn, ride along 2
I’m not a fan of Kevin Hart however, my favorable feelings towards Ice Cube is the saving grace for Ride Along. I deem most movies Kevin Hart plays in slap stick and I don’t like most slap stick comedy. Take out all the ranting and high pitched whining Kevin does in Ride Along and you might have a descent movie. Ice Cube’s character (James Payton) is a detective with a foxy sister name Angelia Payton, played by (Tika Sumpter. James can’t figure what Angelia sees in Kevin Harts character (Ben Barber) who has recently joined the police academy. James decides to take Ben on a ride along to show his sister what Ben is not made of. Of course Ben starts botching up the investigation and street relationships immediately. Thank goodness for John Leguizamo’s character, Santiago who really gives this story some flavor. Since Ride Along is a fantasy, anything goes. The craziness being generated from Keven Hart dominates the film however, there are some heart felt lessons from Ride Along that can’t be ignored. If you like this sort of thing or even if you’re a fan of Kevin Hart, see Ride Along which is now on DVD. It’s not bad, just not my cup of tea. I understand a sequel is in the works (Ride Along 2) which is scheduled to be released some time in 2016.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged angelia payton, ben barber, fantasy, ice cube, james payton, john leguizamo, Kevin hart, police academy, ride along, santiago, tika sumpter