Hollywood Shuffle



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7 10 4,218


Downloaded 20,148 times
April 14, 2019


Damon Wayans as Johnny Stewart
Jim Beaver as Joseph Taylor Elliott / First Engineering Officer Nathaniel Wintringer
1.23 GB
23.976 fps
78 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Mr-Fusion 7 / 10 / 10

A tradition worth skewering

Robert Townsend comes off like a real troublemaker in 'Hollywood Shuffle", an incisive and often hysterical indictment of typecasting in Tinseltown. It's made on a shoestring budget, and that shows in the production values - but who gives a rip about that? There's always a cheesy gag waiting around the corner and that levity is what makes this so fun. It's the delivery that's a real stroke of genius; the message is couched in harmless (and hilarious) movie parodies . Townsend's spoof of Siskel and Ebert (Sneakin' in the Movies) alone is worth the price of admission. Yeah, I'd say this has held up nicely. It's great stuff. 7/10

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 6 / 10 / 10

an irreverent, uproariously funny marvel - as important for 80's black cinema as She's Gotta Have It

Strange as it may seem, even more than now when we get maybe a handful of really amazing black filmmakers who stay true to the experience of being black in America - off the top of my head aside from the obvious top guy (Spike Lee) there's Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Rick Famuyiwa, Steve McQueen (the latter even though he's British it counts) - in the 1980's there were few independent films coming out about what it meant to be black, and not solely about some experience as white America saw it (i.e. drug dealers, pimps, slaves, etc). This is a key component to what Hollywood Shuffle is about, though it's also about the freedom that comes with bringing comedy into the mix. Lee did that with She's Gotta Have it in 1986, though in the scope of a more serious take on relationships, while Townsend's film is about images and representation in entertainment. That last description makes it sound heavy, like it might be work to watch this movie. But the joy and awesomeness of 'Shuffle' is that it's so funny, and it uses a framing device that, of all things and of all people, reminded me of what Weird Al Yankovic would do with UHF: what goes on in a mind that has been flooded by images showing particular images and pop culture through a whole generation (not to mention the current tropes). But where Yankovic was concerned with nothing but being silly (which is fine and good for Weird Al), Townsend goes a step further: when he has parodies of pop culture, they really hit the mark every time. The highlights involve a satire of Siskel & Ebert - "critics" who "sneak in to s***" and review Amadeus (they don't like it because they can't pronounce the title) and a pimp-attacking-hookers thriller but as if the pimps are zombies, and they praise the direction despite the stereotypes(!) Townsend's character logically has these exaggerated, wild fantasies going on because he's a struggling actor, working part time as a hot-dog vendor, and the framing for these sketches - also including a spectacular, almost show-stopping detective spoof with "Sam Ace" and featuring Keenan Ivory Wayans in full Jheri Curl (that's his character's name, and seeing when the villain finally breaks down over spilt Curl juice is about as funny as anything, ever) - while he goes for a big role in a movie. The catch is that the role is for a "jive-talking" guy, where the white director and producers want more "street", more "Eddie Murphy" as they say (I'd say I'd guess this was a thing in the 80's but I don't have to guess, this *was* a thing then, don't forget how HUGE Murphy was then and pervaded culture, coincidentally Townsend directed Murphy's Raw, but I digress). How will his grandma look at him, or his little brother? I think there could be a potential criticism that the movie has a split personality: on one side there's savagely satirical and mostly silly skits - it's interesting to see Paul Mooney at one point as this is clearly one of the forefathers of the Chapelle Show, or, considering the Wayans presence and co-writing credit, In Living Colour - and on the other is a sometimes amusing but really sad take on how black actors get pigeonholed as this or that kind of "character" when it's not exactly a fair representation (or at the least when that's *only* what is available). Like in Lee's work, there's anger and fiery 'this is BS' simmering under the surface and when it comes up it's startling; the part that sticks out the most is how the other actors around Bobby, not the director, react, like "You're making us look bad by acting out." But if he doesn't, who will? Are there certain little rough-around-the-edges bits? Sure. Is the movie a little, you know, dated? Well, let me put it this way, there's a moment where a cover of Superfly is played and it's an 80 synth version. But across the board from the cast - people like the Wayans brothers but also John Witherspoon - make the movie substantive, while never losing its grip on making things out of proportion, especially in this wildly funny sketches, which are on point in mocking clichés of movies (Indiana Jones, Dirty Harry, Superman). Even the movie itself that Bobby is filming with the "Jive" is exaggerated, or... maybe it isn't(?) It doesn't shy away from being black and PROUD of it in a way that sticks out as something significant.

Reviewed by Parker Lewis 6 / 10 / 10

Had its moments

The send-up of black stereotypes really stood out in one moment in the movie, where there's a TV commercial for the Robert Taylor Black Acting School where all the instructors are white and they "teach" African- American actors how to act black. Very sharp and so true. I know there's freedom of speech and so on, but seriously, the gratuitous swearing in Hollywood Shuffle turned me off. I know that people will say that swearing is part of life and movies need to reflect life, but really, I never heard anyone say after a movie "I wish the movie had more swearing!!" Really, when you think about it, the Batman trilogy didn't need to have swearing on every second line, but it became a mega-success.

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