Tag Archives: movies

Barbershop: The Next Cut

Barbershop-The-Next-Cut-Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack

I know, I know, most of us were kind of surprised to find another Barbershop movie how many years later. I for one thought the franchise was dead, and well after Beauty shop I figured it should be. But they did do it again and I am really glad they did. Here’s why.

I pause here to add an obligatory spoiler alert.

We know Barbershop has always been a social commentary on the state of the American Black community. It gives the grassroots dialogue not of politicians and big business, but of small folks, living normal lives and their perspectives on the world around them. So is it really any shock that in such a tumultuous time in U.S. economics and race relations that this franchise has come back to life?

No. Not it isn’t.

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A New Perspective. This time around, Clavin Jr’s has joined forced with Angie and her hair salon. Which means, that the original man cave has now become home to some not men, and no Terry did not count as the female voice of the people. This serves not only as an opportunity for them to address the state of American economics, politics and culture, but by having women present, allow them to share their perspectives. Not that this changes much. Some might want to raise a glass for progress but, I’m not so sure that the male and female though on most current issues are that far apart. And that I think is a better thing to realize than the fact that there may be vaginas present.As such the only issues that get illuminated, solely because the women are there, are the ones of male/female interaction.

Issues like the unrealistic expectations of women men seem to keep. The ongoing battle between “the hoes and the good girls”. Infidelity and body “enhancements”. Did they need it? Yes, but only because the “boys in the hood” talking hood has been done, over done and done some more. New faces and voices are always good when we have had a decade to stew in the sameness of the Barbershop.

It was Funny. They revised the Know-it-all character by splitting him in two, making one half Indian, and making them both millennials. You know? As in folks with the benefit of all the knowledge of google, a whopping sense of optimistic entitlement, an only academic idea of “the struggle”, being eloquent but a bit clueless. It gives for a lighter tone in some places, and a face palm or two in others.

We also get a few hijinks. I’m now sure we in the Caribbean aren’t the only ones who thought a messed up hair do would be reasonable punishment or attitude adjustment tool. To steal a line, “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.”

And so we got the laughs. Because, well, that’s life, even when we wade the waters of shit creek because not only did we not start with a paddle but the boat sprung a leak and sank, we still find a reason to laugh.

Familiar antagonists. While some of us would have us believe that the bad guys in this movie were the gang bangers who force Cal and the crew to action, I beg to differ. Yeah there was some gun play and a bit of posturing but that really is all there was to that. Even though a death resulted from the gang banging, it wasn’t the same as seeing a pivital banger do the shooting. does that make sense?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that instead of making all the bad emanate from one source we got it, and different aspects of it from a number of different places. It was more organic I think, more life-y.

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Relevant and Intelligent. This move made statement after statement after statement. All of the relevant to the time period in which we live, the virtual life we live, just every damn thing we do today. But it did it in a way that was not intrusive, it did not seek to force it’s ideologies on us, it just was. It didn’t even state that these were the statements being made in an obvious way. What I am trying to say is, it did not assume it had an audience of idiots. Even as there were some simply expository moments in the thing, we didn’t feel like we were being preached to. I appreciated that. I hate a pretentious movie.

I’ll give this movie an 8/10. It made me feel like I was hanging out with friends. You know the kind of friend who you can just sit around and chat with, and sometimes it gets really deep and sometimes it’s just all fun and laughs and all that. I like that feeling, I miss it. As a matter of fact if any of my friends are reading this, I wouldn’t mind a domino, beer and chill night.

What am I saying? “Wouldn’t mind”? That’s just me not wanting to look like I’m begging in front of all these people. I absolutely crave it. Come get me guys, seriously. Please.

Ghostbusters or Just bust

Hey, have you heard about this? I mean the new Ghost busters remake. The one with the all female cast. A remake, if I am to hear it right with no ties what so ever to the original, just plop. An all female cast.

OK, a remake is one thing, but the gender swap is quite another. I have absolutely no issue with an all female cast, I’m all for women kicking ass and taking names. Ghost ass, terrorist ass, mutant ass, doesn’t matter much to me as long as it’s getting kicked. But why just flip it?

Couldn’t we have modernized the franchise with the daughters of the original guys? Maybe down because of the recession, dusting off the old blasters and traps and doing something innovative in this yuppy infested time we call the new millennium? Maybe a few cameos and all that? No? But why?

One school of thought on the matter is that the original did not have any relatable characters for girls. -_- Really? I personally loved Venkman and Spengler. By the logic of that school, if we can call it that, I should have felt completely alienated by both, right?

In case you aren’t familiar with the original franchise, neither of them were women and if we are gonna look at this from a standpoint encompassing all prejudices, neither of them were black or had any Caribbean ancestry, as far as the story told us. So by rights, being a small female child of Afro-Caribbean origins I really, really, should not have been able to relate.

But I did, with the nerd and the smart mouth and the just general having of a brain that is off kilter and the whole nobody getting it. These things are not gender specific, so that definitely could not be it.

This could, however, be a symptom of a syndrome that has absolutely nothing to do with anything gender related. A syndrome that many of us wouldn’t be unaware of, unless we read an array of young adult fiction, fantasy and/or you know…anything at all from the time before people just circulated generic how-to’s for writing, or were born in the 80’s and before.

Hollywood has run out of ideas. Completely and totally blocked, they are. Suffering from severe IDS: Imagination Deficiency Syndrome. Now with a lack of original thoughts, these guys are just remaking all the classic stuff that we love, or that our parents loved, with a spin that someone with an eye towards some archaic liberal studies course told them we all wanted. Being all either, feminist, race sensitive, politically motivated towards correctness, or just plain bonkers for cliches.

It’s the stuff nightmares are made of , if you did any of that reading stuff we were talking about, and developed a sense of self not completely predicated on a single character, social or physical trait.

So what’s the solution? I for one think it rests squarely in our hands. In what we embrace, in our criticisms, in our general feedback on the movie industry and the mangled versions of the things we love that they put out there. We must not, I say, sit idly by as our youthful idealism is slaughtered before our eyes, in the name of some odd idea that the entire entertainment industry needs to pander to one group or the other, who may or may not be relevant because of just how loudly they can tout themselves.

These are the trapping of lazy folks with way too much money at their disposal. They seem more in touch with their formulas and their monetary projections than their audience or the underground from which sprang these classics in the first place. These folks could use a power washing of their offices, which would flush them and their bureaucratic malarkey right out of our lives.

Will I see it? Most likely, I’m a teacher, with a “Household”, you don’t gotta ask me twice about a movie night. Will I love it? God I hope so, as I really do hope that even a fraction of the original wit went into it. Do I agree with the decimation of classic film for the sake of them making a quick buck instead of bringing out new and fresh things to capture me? Hell no.

So who’s with me? Are we ready to make the studios sit up and realize that piracy of this nature won’t do anymore?