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By Merle Bertrand | July 11, 2000

When we first get a look at the club-footed homeless man stumbling down a city street in gritty black and white to the strains of John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana’s eminently listenable “Chill Out (Things Gonna Change),” we can’t help feeling sorry for the guy. That is, until we realize that it’s all an act; that Rob (John Sullivan), is really a cleverly scheming pick-pocket, pilfering wallets from the various passerby into whom he pathetically stumbles. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’s an actor; a conniving thespian who has decided to forgo the typical actor’s day job, waiting tables, in favor of using his acting skills to aid and abet his thievery. More a one man showcase, really, than a film with any sort of narrative structure, that’s about all there is to Sullivan’s short “The Buddah Hood.” The film’s untethered storyline ambles aimlessly from one scam to the next in a way that kind of resembles Rob’s life. However, at least Rob, who regularly goes to auditions, has an ultimate goal: to land an acting gig. This slice-of-life film doesn’t seem to have an endpoint in mind and, as a result, goes nowhere faster than Rob’s acting career.

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