DVD: Barbershop The Next Cut

Barbershp 16More drama, hard facts, chit chatting, humour, swag and hair hitting the floor is ones again the order of the day on “Barbershop The next cut”.

Now on DVD, The latest on the fresh look Barbershop franchise (…10 years on) sees the salon on the verge of being sold by Calvin (Ice Cube), who is considering the move because of the downgraded and getting dangerous by the day area of operation. Under threat is the culture of the barber, its community relation to the hair cutters/fixers, and lots more.

It is all drama, drama, and more drama as Calvin hasn’t informed his business partner Angie (Regina Bell) about this decision. You know how things usually take a nasty turn when your business partner finds out by mistake what your plan is for an establishment that they co-own. Of course she is furious and throws fire his way.

Sadly, the co-owned space is not the only change in the neighbourhood. Just like a numbers of places in South Africa, we talking here about gangsters running amok, guns flashed at the slightest provocation, and bullets flying all over, and death sometimes occurring at a flick of a finger. Add to that, his son is rolling with the wrong company, and toying with the idea of joining a gang.

To lighten up the moment, Eddie (Cedric The Entertainer), is still there, Rashad (played by rapper Common) makes a turn, JD (Anthony Anderson) supplies the food, as all the drama, honesty, and humour that was part of the series is reloaded. The ladies add a cool touch to the movie, the drama, gossip and some crazy sexiness to the shop. This includes Nicki Minaj, Terri (Eve), Jennifer (Jazsmin Lewis) and more.

There is also the case of having both sexes in the same room. You know what I mean – stuff is gonna happen (…aha:).

Off course, this one deals with various things at the same time, just like real life does, and is a reminder that black folk have to deal with this crazy thing called life and still soldier on. Politics (who could escape that) come up, issues of fired up relationships sneak in, keeping a family intact turns up for most, dealing with a neighbourhood that is going down (hellow South Africa), friction, attraction, entrepreneurial spirit, bravado, secrets and more on top of the funny moments thrown around.

Of course the flick will challenge, make you think about a lot, inspire you to get involved in your community that is going down and more, while maintain that feel good spirit.

Adding to this DVD must have elements including that music that features acts such as Ice Cube & Common, Jill Scott, Luther Vandross, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kem, Lalah Hathaway, Leela James, Aloe Blacc, and more, are the special features that come with it. First up is the The Next cut: Barbershop Bootcamp where the cast gathered to learn how to do the “hard work but someone is gotta do it” things with clippers and scissors from hairstylists, barber and experts in the industry. 

Of course as it is usually the case, so much staff gets left on the editor’s room. Director/executive producer Malcolm D. Lee takes you on material that didn’t make the cut on over 12minutes long ‘Deleted Scenes with Malcom D. Lee’ feature. These include one of the “funniest things I have ever shot in my life, but it couldn’t make the movie” about the GBF (find out what that is in the movie) Jerod’s crush. Well, it did make the DVD though and you have access to it now.

And then there are the goofs and some gags that didn’t make the cut on the Gag reel. Check it out to add dome crazy moments to the whole experience. Review By Mandla

DVD: Mother's day

Mother Day DVDSo Mother’s Day is as easy as celebrating your mom right?

Well, not always as is the case on “Mother’s Day” now on DVD. Sometimes a lot of things creep in and complicate the whole matter. Such is the scenario facing Miranda (Jennifer Aniston), and her friend Jesse (Kate Hudson).

And then there is the TV sensation Miranda (Julia Roberts), and Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), who is raising his two daughters after losing his wife.

As the flick go, Sandy is divorced from her husband and raising her two boys. Her life takes an interesting twist when he former hubby decides to tie the knot again, with a younger woman. How will she deal with this development when she clearly still hold him dear.

Jesse on the other hand and with her sister do not have a relationship to speak off with her parents. Their lives are based of mistruths because of who their racist and homophobic folk are. She is married to an Indian Doctor and is hiding that fact from her judgemental mother, and her sister on the other hand is married to a woman. 

Talk about wanting to give one’s parents a heart attack.

Miranda on the other hand has kept a secret for years that her adoring fans don’t know about. She had a kid when she was young and had to give up for adoption.

Her life takes an interesting turn when her daughter turns up at a book signing. Who is she, and what does she want from her. Moreover, why now and more importantly why she give her up all these years ago?

Bradley has to deal with the challenging job of dealing with a teenage daughter, who has just started dating, and a younger daughter who is figuring out who she is. Of course, he is dealing with the loss of his wife and thus hindering the Mother’s Day celebration for the girls, who are willing to move on with life.

The different scenarios and, loads more intricate interactions and life happenings make for an interesting look at life challenges around the “Mother’s Day theme. The fact that the flick puts out life dealings from the young, raising them, parents, grands, and many such creates a holistic approach to our challenges.  DVD review by Mandla Motau

DVD: Hunger games: Mockingjay Part 2

Hunger gamesSo, "The hunger games: Mockingjay Part 2" has come and gone – on the big screen at least.

Now on DVD, this is one of those situations that have taken movie experiences to a different level. However, it's one thing to watch it and think "that's what they did" and "this is how they did it".

The beauty of the flick's DVD is its 3-part bonus features showcase, as told by the cast members and the crew who did them.

Costume designer's Bart Mueller and Kurt Swanson take you through their medieval costumes and Japanese inspired breast plates that created that "ceremonial aspect to the costumes" on the Secrets of the Mockingjay armour bonus feature. And although the two agree that the Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) designed sketchbook this is the "glamourized version" of the project, they agree this is the actual version that they wanted to go with.

The interactive hunger games 'The exhibition', as experienced by fans, and broken down by some of the cast members. The hologram that made attendees feel they were part of the experience, seeing oneself on screen, and feel like you were part of the movie, with some saying ïts changed my life forever".

Also see what the frame grabs did for the flick on the "A photographic journey" bonus feature. Document the performance, and how those moments were kept for the flick.

Now that they have broken down what they did and what they did, it time to press play and see if this changes the experience. It surely did mine.

On the last edition, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and all involved break into Panem to take over the city and overthrow the President Snow (Donald Sutherland). We all always knew this wasn't going to be easy with most of their movements tracked by the big brother watched city.

The action is exciting, the explosions a creation of sorts and the Computer generated images just as marvellous. And then there is the fight for her heart between Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). Making it worth our attention is that she herself is conflicted about who she wants to be with to the end.

This is a marvel to go through again, and an unusual movie experience worth being revisited. Review by Mandla Motau

DVD: Black mass

Black Mass DNow that you have watched the captivating "Black Mass" on the big screen, how about reliving those eerie Whitey Bulger moments on DVD.

Yeah, the transformation of Johny Deppy into That "rumbling psychopath" Whitey Bulger really captivated masses and turned the movie into one exceptional piece of art. That unpredictability, that stone face, and figure that could flip at a clip of a finger and strike the worst fear ever witnessed on screen.

Perhaps one way of best watching the flick again, is to go through the accompanying 'Johny Depp: Becoming Whitey Bulger' special feature that is part of the DVD. On it, you have Johnny telling what attracted him to the viscious killer who managed to evade arrest for some 16 to 17 years. How the star says he looked at Whitey as a "man of honour, man with feelings", who was also "troubled and hurt from his past" (have a feeling you might not see it that way, but that puts a lot of perspective into the movie.

According to Johnny, playing Whitey was like "walking that tightrope between playing a very dangerous, very mysterious and unpredictable walking time bomb" and "an emotional, caring and sensible" being, and wasn't easy. Of course the star tells how he had to draw from within and by getting in touch with those close to the case after Whitey refused to meet him "because he disapproved of the novel" the movie is based on.
Ready for the body count once again?

Dark, gripping, chilling and enticing, "Black Mass" is Based on real life events, one wouldn't believe a thing about it if it was just scripted and call it an over the top and crazy ideas of a writer, albeit these things really happened.

When bad Whitey gets a visit from the FBI to help bring down the Italian mafia, he sees an opportunity for himself. The ruthless gangsta finds a way to manipulate the situation in what he called 'a business relationship' and ends up operating with impunity in Boston. The unrecognisable Johny Deppy gives an A+ performance as Whitey Bulgar on the remarkable "Black Mass" although his outing didn't garner him an Oscar.

As the body count rises, the FBI doesn't do anything to bring him even though intel suggests he is responsible for some of the gruesome murders and rising crime in the city. More interested in getting the Italian mafia, they ignore all these and the ruthless Whitey uses it to the fullest.

Very much a family man as well, things take a downturn on his personal life, as he loses his son, and affects his relationship with his wife. This scenario extends to the FBI agent, who ends up squaring with his wife as well.
It is all on the streets where the no nonsense whitey shows no mercy on his nemesis, and friends who dare question or challenge him. Small mistakes could easily mean facing the barrel of the gun, and he doesn't mind doing the dirty work himself.

Talk of possible Academy Awards has heightened interest in the amazing movie, and rightfully so. It is beautifully cast, is moving, and oh so amazing.
Black mass will keep you on the edge of your seat all over again, and again... Review by Mandla Motau

DVD: Pawn sacrifice

Pawn Sacrifice DVDGrowing under that watchful eye of the authorities because of family communist ties, Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) excels at chess, becoming the youngest US champ at 12, as told through "Pawn Sacrifice", which is based on a true story and now on DVD.

Of course, this pushes the young boy to look forward to bigger stakes and wanting to be a world champ. Dealing with growing pains with a missing father, he at times bumps heads with his mother over the issue of the unknown father.

At the height of the Cold War, his opportunity of becoming the youngest world champ at the 1962 World Olympiads go up in smoke after noticing what he called cheating on the part of the Russians. With no help at hand from the game's authorities, he quits the game, but still focuses on being a world champ by defeating the best in Spassky (Live Schreiber), while his FBI file keeps growing.

His life takes an interesting turn when he meets lawyer who wants to help him get to the top for free in this Edward Zwick directed movie. This is where his eyes are opened to what is going on (or could that be the opposite?) on what "Chess dominance" and being at the top of the game means for the Russian politically speaking.

With demands for changes and the game being fair, he heads back into the game. However, the demanding player has issues with his poor treatment and the Russians treated like royal in his very own country. What hand does his country have in his whole fate?

Furthermore, he seems to be making some crazy demands as his star rises. Also, he starts believing that the soviets are out to get him. Could this be true?

Becoming the first man to beat Russians at the game, the movie relates the life of a man who lived for nothing but chess. How the genius, slowly lost it all to the game and madness became the only result in his life.

Pure excitement, the flick challenges us on many levels, and how full on with something can destroy one. It's also about how those we chose to be around us really have to have our best interest, otherwise we might be doomed to self-destruct. Review by Mandla Motau