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The Ambassadors of Hollywood (2011)

Video  |   |  Documentary, Comedy  |  5 May 2011 (USA)
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 39 users  
Reviews: 2 user

From dangerous drug addicts to struggling homeless to inspirational dreamers, a verité look at costumed characters on Hollywood's Walk of Fame trying to make rent one tip at a time off ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Donn C. Harper
Maia
Christopher C. Mitchell ...
Himself / Darth Vader
...
Himself / The Costume Pimp of Hollywood
Melissa Weiss ...
Gerard Christian Zacher ...
Himself
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Storyline

From dangerous drug addicts to struggling homeless to inspirational dreamers, a verité look at costumed characters on Hollywood's Walk of Fame trying to make rent one tip at a time off tourists from all over the world before the sun sets or the cops crack down. Written by Anonymous

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5 May 2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Mind blowing... Everything that's right & wrong with the human race on a 50ft stretch of sidewalk
14 November 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

"Ambassadors of Hollywood" presents itself as a humorous documentary about the oddballs who dress up in costumes to make a living on Hollywood Boulevard. At that, it certainly delivers. I can't imagine anyone not being entertained by these strange personalities. But the power of this unassuming film is the way it depicts the human condition, something we all experience whether or not we're wearing makeup, dragon wings & gold underwear.

Documentaries are a dime a dozen about people pursuing their dreams. But how many follow the lives of those castoffs of society who are literally trying to survive each day? No, these aren't homeless people (at least not at the time of filming), these are fighters who refuse to be homeless, and so they end up happily parading their dignity in front of tourists for a few bucks. Their stories are everything from inspiring to tragic to silly to disturbing, and like my review title says, within a 50' stretch of sidewalk we see everything that's right & wrong with the human race.

There's hope, fear, love, hate, happiness, sadness, rage, racism, charity, acceptance, madness, sensibility, and despite it all (just like our crazy society) a general instinct to stick together.

What I really liked about this documentary is the way it never strays far from humor despite the profound subject matter. This is probably because many of the characters are struggling/failed comedians and entertainers themselves. So for example we can watch with a smile on our faces as the 43 year old Chewbacca battles with drug use and demons of a tragic past. Or we can chuckle during the darkly comical banter between a sociopathic neo-Nazi (who dresses up as Jason from Friday the 13th) and his peaceful, wise African-American roommate (who dresses up as Leatherface). Leatherface urges Jason to read a book about Jewish people rather than blindly hating them, but that suggestion doesn't go over so well.

Then there's the villain, the LA Police Dept chief who, in his own entertaining way, portrays the cynical overlord, probably one cup of coffee away from shouting "Exterminate them all!" And if that's not enough drama, there's a very, VERY scary Batman character who seems one cup of coffee away from actually doing the extermination.

I won't spoil anyone's story, but there are happy endings as well as very sad ones. I guess the mixed bag is part of being a human. "Ambassadors of Hollywood" doesn't moralize, proselytize or preach in your face, but it definitely affected me and gave me a deeper appreciation for the anonymous people we pass by every day. Watch it and you too may find yourself a shade more tolerant & understanding of the unknown: criminals, ex-cons, ex-Wall Street bankers, strippers, educated folk, uneducated folk, dreamers & desperate souls alike.

I highly recommend this film to everyone, whether you're in the mood to study the human condition or whether you just want to be entertained by some wacky, self-professed freakshows. The one thing that would've made this film an absolute masterpiece would've been if they'd gotten use of the Kinks song "Celluloid Heroes" because the lyrics would've been perfect for the message: "You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard / Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of / People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame / Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain."


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