Beauty Shop Blu Ray Review (MVD Marquee)
Beauty Shop is a 2005 comedy film directed by Bille Woodruff (Honey franchise, The Perfect Match, & Drumline: A New Beat). It’s spin off of the Barbershop franchise. It was written by by Kate Lanier (What’s Love Got to Do with It, Set it Off, & The Mod Squad) & Norman Vance Jr. (Roll Bounce, Pride, & Girlfriends). It was produced by Ice Cube (Barbershop franchise, Friday franchise, Straight Outta Compton, & Fist Fight), David Hoberman (Monk, The Fighter, Traitor, & Walking Tall), & Todd Lieberman (Wild Hogs, The Kill Point, Detroit 1-8-7, & Warm Bodies). The budget was $25 million & it grossed $37.2 million worldwide at the box office.
Gina Norris (played by: Queen Latifah from Set it Off, Jungle Fever, Hoodlum, & Barbershop 2: Back in Business) is a widowed hairstylist who has moved from Chicago to Atlanta so her daughter Vanessa (played by: Paige Hurd from Cradle 2 the Grave, The Cat in the Hat, & Everybody Hates Chris) can attend a private music school. She’s built a reputation as a stylist but her boss Jorge (played by: Kevin Bacon from Animal House, Friday the 13th, Tremors, Flatliners, & Hollow Man) doesn’t agree with her decisions & consistently forces her to change her ways. One day, she finally has enough & quits his shop to start her own. She inherits the staff which includes Ms. Josephine (played by: Alfre Woodard from 12 Years a Slave, Luke Cage, Captain America: Civil War, & Annabelle), Ida (played by: Sherri Shepherd from The Jamie Foxx Show, Sherri, & 30 Rock), & Chanel (played by: Golden Brooks from Hell’s Kitchen, Girlfriends, & Hart of Dixie) from the salon that she just bought. Some of them instantly leave after she hires the white Lynn (played by: Alicia Silverstone from The Babysitter, The Crush, Clueless, & Blast from the Past). She also adds Darnelle (played by: Keshia Knight Pulliam from The Cosby Show & House of Payne) & James (played by: Bryce Wilson from The System Within, Belly 2: Millionaire Boyz Club, & Jury of Our Peers) to the crew.
She unexpectedly gets an upstairs neighbor that loves to play piano & electrician named Joe (played by: Djimon Hounsou from Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Shazam!, Aquaman, & Gladiator). Old clients from the previous owner start to show up plus some of her favorites from Jorge’s shop like Terri (played by: Andie MacDowell from Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Groundhog Day, St. Elmo’s Fire, & Short Cuts) & Joanne (played by: Mena Suvari from American Pie franchise, American Beauty, Day of the Dead, & The Rage: Carrie 2). She gets hassled by hustlers & a health inspector daily while trying to run her new business. She gets an opportunity to pitch her homemade miracle conditioner to Cover Girl & try to increase her business. The shop gets vandalized & destroyed plus she loses her chance at the Cover Girl gig after defending her staff. Gina is down on her luck again but her friends help her get back on her feet & she gets strikes gold when she helps popular radio DJ Hollerin’ Helen (played by: Adele Givens from The Players Club, The Hughleys, & Tracey Takes On…) from the kindness of her heart not knowing who it was at the time. The shop gets heavily promoted & it’s more popular than ever!!!!
Beauty Shop is basically the female version of Barbershop. It has a similar formula & vibe to it but the final product doesn’t compare to the original concept. At one point, it was actually going to be called Barbershop 3. I am glad that they changed their minds on that because it’s not as good as anything from that trilogy & the later film was a way better fit for that title. The writing falls flat at times & it tries too hard to be something else so it never really finds it’s own identity. I will say it has a top notch cast, it’s loaded with talent & they do elevate this production the best they can with the material given to them. Queen Latifah gives one of her best performances here. I’ve never seen Kevin Bacon play a character like this & his egoistical role is easy to hate which speaks volumes of his acting ability. It also had some fun cameos that added to the entertainment. It had some funny moments & I wasn’t bored with it but I was disappointed after viewing it. It just proves that sometimes a supporting character like Gina should stay that way, not everyone deserves their own film & small doses work better. It’s worth checking out if you are a fan of the Barbershop trilogy, Queen Latifah, or Kevin Bacon.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from MVD Marquee! This 1080p (2.35:1) transfer blows away all the previous home video releases. It’s never looked this good, it has a fun atmosphere & setting to it. It’s a colorful production & it really shows on this new release. It has 3 different audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English: LPCM 2.0, & French: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the disc. The dialogue is very clean & clear, that’s great because it has plenty of chatter for this feature. The soundtrack has a nice boost to it. It also has English, French, & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features on this blu ray disc from MVD! It has a “Selected Scenes Audio Commentary” with director Bille Woodruff. This is a weird extra, generally it just has the commentary on every seperate scene that it’s featured on but here it just plays out like a normal track so it’s full of silence. Woodruff ends up talking for around 35 minutes total. He covers all his favorite scenes from the production. “Beauty Shop: Inside the Style” is a 15 minute featurette. It has interviews with director Bille Woodruff, actors Queen Latifah, Kevin Bacon, Alfre Woodard, Alicia Silverstone, Djimon Hounsou , Andie MacDowell , Mena Suvari, & many others. They chat about the film, the characters, & their personal experience on it. They mention working with Woodruff & how everything went smooth on set. It has behind the scenes footage of them learning to be a stylist & do hair. The cast talks about it not being as easy as it looks. “Beauty Shop: Sneak Peak” is almost 6 minutes. It has interviews with the cast & crew about the project. It’s basically a shorter version of the previous extra featuring the same stuff as that. 5 minute “Gag Reel” with some hilarious mess ups. It has “Trailers” for Beauty Shop, Barbershop, & Barbershop 2 plus 5 other MVD related releases. It also comes with a slipcover, it’s available everywhere right now!!!!