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Barbershop

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Genre: Urban Comedy

Opens: Sept. 13

The Pitch: Frustrated entepreneur Ice Cube tires of working in his family's 40-year-old Chicago barbershop and sells it -- then has a change of heart and tries to buy it back.

Body count: No killings but some labored, violent slapstick with two accident-prone hoodlums (Lahmard Tate and comedian Anthony Anderson) lugging a stolen, impregnable ATM around town, and frequently injuring themselves with it.

Flesh factor: Derrieres are frequently caught in gratuitous close-ups, straining against fabric.

Best line: A customer's description of the ideal haircut: "Slope to the left like Gumby, Eddie Munster in the front, a lil' Wyclef on the right."

Worst line: Cedric the Entertainer gets the funniest dialogue as a malapropism-coining haircutter with "senriority," but also has a sappy pep talk: "Your daddy may not've had a whole lotta money, but he was rich -- because he invested in people!"

Hit single: Fabolous' "Trade It All (Part 2)" will be the breakout hit -- but contrary to the film's title, no barbershop quartet performs. Nor do rappers Eve and Ice Cube have songs on the soundtrack.

Musical number: About two-thirds of the way in, we cut between the cast members, all in their disparate locations, taking an incongruous dance break to Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up (Part 1)."

Fashion statements: Keith David's neighborhood loan shark wears powder-blue pimp gear that's almost as silky as the actor's low, sinister voice. Cedric the Entertainer's hairstyle looks rather like a Russian fur hat.

Cliche count: Two "That's what I'm talkin' 'bouts" but only one "My bad."

Money shots: The Air Jordan logo shaved into a scalp and other creative cutting in the opening credits. Leonard Earl Howze's African barber gives a well-deserved beat-down to Eve's cheating boyfriend. Troy Garity's shunned Italian barber finally proves that he can "cut head."

What's that name again?: As the intellectual snob, Sean Patrick Thomas is not to be confused with American Pie's Seann William Scott or Dead Poet Society's Robert Sean Leonard.

Politically correct?: Cedric's cantankerous haircutter forever challenges African-American orthodoxy, asserting that O.J. did it, Rodney King deserved a beating and that "Rosa Parks didn't do nothing but sit down."

The Bottom Line: Co-produced by Cube Vision productions, the low-on-laughs comedy goes for the same day-in-the-life-of-the-'hood vibe as Cube's trilogy of Friday films, but is tame enough to squeak by with a PG-13 rating.

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