Release Date(s)2005 (September 11, 2018)
Studio(s)State Street Pictures/Cube Vision/MGM (MVD Marquee Classics)
- Film/Program Grade: B
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: B
Billie Woodruff, who had been directing R&B and hip-hop music videos during the 1990s, began his film career with Honey in 2003. His next directing assignment would be Beauty Shop, a spin-off of the successful Barbershop films. After being verbally abused by her pretentious, snobbish boss Jorge (Kevin Bacon), hairstylist Gina (Queen Latifah) resigns on the spot. Opening up her own beauty shop, there are various issues she must now deal with, including being a single parent and working endless hours, but also receiving citations from a local inspector that could mean the end of her salon.
Since it shares the same world as the previous Barbershop films, Beauty Shop often deals with the same kind of employees and customers who are more interested in speaking their minds about social issues, rather than simply getting a haircut. However, the real difference is getting those same perspectives from women for a change. Queen Latifah is outstanding as the strong, determined Gina, while Kevin Bacon does a fantastic job as Jorge (who even resembles Sean Penn from Fast Times at Ridgemont High). It’s also interesting to see Keshia Knight Pulliam from The Cosby Show as an adult. Director Woodruff does a terrific job with the story, keeping it moving along without getting lost in the subplots. All in all, Beauty Shop is quite often a humorous and entertaining comedy.
MVD Marquee Classics releases Beauty Shop on Blu-ray for the first time with nice picture quality. Colors are bold and skin tones appear accurate with great detail in close-ups. In the audio department, English 5.1 DTS-HD, English 2.0 LCPM, and French 2.0 Dolby Digital (incorrectly listed as English 2.0 Dolby Digital) are the options and they all come through loud and clear. Dialogue and sound effects are all well-balanced without any detectable issues. Optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles are also available. All of the extras have been ported over from the previous MGM DVD release. There is a selected scenes audio commentary by director Billie Woodruff; Beauty Shop: Inside the Style, a 15-minute piece hosted by Queen Latifah, sharing her thoughts on the film; Beauty Shop: Sneak Peek, which takes a short look at the film; a gag reel; and trailers for other MVD releases, including Barbershop, Barbershop 2, Chokeslam, Crazy Six, Out of Time, Walking Tall, and Windrider.
Beauty Shop is a satisfying movie that will give you a few chuckles. There’s no reason that fans of this movie or even the Barbershop films shouldn’t pick this one up. It is certainly worth the upgrade if you own the previous DVD release.
- David Steigman