Tag Archive | Martin Scorsese

Movie Review: The Little Tin Man

The Little Tin Man Poster

Being different is much easier to deal with when the characteristic that sets you apart isn’t immediately visible. In Matthew Perkins‘ very entertaining and heartfelt first film, The Little Tin Man, Herman (Aaron Beelner) is a struggling actor who works as a waiter in his family’s NYC restaurant. Herman also happens to be a little person, something that makes the typecasting he often finds himself up against even more glaring when he auditions for a Martin Scorsese remake of the Wizard of Oz.

While casting directors are enthusiastic about Herman’s chance of landing the part of the Mayor of Munchkin Land, Herman has his sights set on the role of the Tin Man – a part that, due to his height, he is not even allowed to audition for. When his mother passes away suddenly, leaving the restaurant to his flamboyant older half-brother, Gregg (played brilliantly by the hilarious Jeff Hiller, who steals every scene he is in) while Herman’s only “inheritance” is the advice that he get serious about his acting career, he is forced to undertake an ingenious plan to make his dream of playing the Tin Man come true.

The Little Tin Man finds its unique humor and heart when Herman enlists the help of his restaurant co-workers including his brother, best gal-pal Miller (played by comedy writer Kay Cannon), whom he also has a secret crush on, Dishwasher Juan (Emmanual Maldonado) and bartender Pete (Chris Henry Coffey, who reminds me very much of Greg Kinnear) to help him make an audition tape that he can then sneak in to Scorcese while he is guesting on the Rachel Ray Show (don’t ask).

Despite its heavier message of prejudices we all have against people who look different, and serious plot undertones, this is a very sweet, funny and uplifting film. The Little Tin Man has the engaging, laid back feel of a cable TV sitcom similar to Curb Your Enthusiasm or Stephen Merchant’s Hello Ladies, and the appealing ensemble cast shares such a good chemistry, I really felt like I could watch a weekly adventure with these characters. Very highly recommended!

The Little Tin Man now is screening locally at the Williamsburg Cinemas in Brooklyn and is available via Video On Demand nationwide.

The Worley Gig Gives The Little Tin Man Four out of Five Stars

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Who Will Win an Oscar On March 2nd? Our Predictions Are In!

Best Picture Oscar Collage
Image Source

It’s no secret that I couldn’t care less about most awards shows – the Grammy’s being a prime example of a formerly held-sacred-by-me tradition that long ago became all about rewarding commercial success over acknowledging artistic merit. But being a huge movie fan, film awards like The Independent Spirit Awards, The Golden Globes and, coming up on March 2nd, The Oscars (whose list of nominees can be found at This Link) are the nights of ceremonial award giving that I shamelessly indulge in. Because to me, those awards are still more about the art than the box office returns.

Over the Christmas holidays, I had the chance to get caught up on a handful of the films that would become contenders for the major category awards of 2014 including American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Her (which I didn’t care for) and indie favorites like Inside Llewyn Davis, which got a little Golden Globe love but was virtually ignored by the Academy, despite being excellent on every level.

Wolf of Wall Street Dollar
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If you’re passionate about film, it’s fun to predict who might win the Oscars in various categories – and for those inclined to wager a little cash on the outcomes, or who simply want water cooler bragging rights the day after, Sports Betting Dime has their odds posted right now (by the way, if fractional odds confound you, whichever film has the lowest number – less than a value of 1 being ideal – is the favorite to win). Two of the Best Picture NomineesGravity and 12 Years a Slave – I’ve yet to see. But there is still time! Here are a few of my personal favorites and some of my own predictions.

My favorite film of those nominated is American Hustle. The script and direction are excellent, the cast perfect, with top notch acting by all five major characters, and I also really love The Soundtrack. American Hustle won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy, while 12 Years a Slave took the Globe for Best Drama. Since with Oscars there is no categorical subdivision, I predict American Hustle will lose the Best Picture category to 12 Years a Slave.

When I saw Dallas Buyer’s Club, I couldn’t imagine that any other actor would deserve the Best Actor Oscar more than Matthew McConaughey, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. Chiwetel Ejiofor is McConaughey‘s stiffest Oscar competition for his starring role in 12 Years a Slave. It could really go either way on this, but Sports Betting Dime slightly favors McConaughey in what is a pretty close race.

As with the Golden Globes, McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer’s Club co-star, Jared Leto, is a favorite (and my favorite) to win his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a transgendered AIDS victim. He was just amazing.

Cate Blanchett completely owned Blue Jasmine and no one else in the Best Actress Category even comes close. Not even Meryl Streep. Cate FTW!

Best Supporting Actress is either going to Lupita Nyongo for 12 Years a Slave or Jennifer Lawrence (who won the Golden Globe) for American Hustle.

The Best Director award could go to anybody, with the exception of Alexander Payne for Nebraska, a film that only the critics and the people involved with the film seem to like. My choice would be David O. Russell for American Hustle, but if it went to, say, Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) or Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) I wouldn’t say they didn’t deserve it. Gravity is supposed to be an epic film but if Alfonso Cuaron wins for directing it my head will explode.

And last but not least, if I gave out the awards, Best Picture would go to American Hustle, but I am pretty sure 12 Years a Slave is going to get it, because slavery was way worse than ABSCAM.

Who do you like to win in each category? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments below, and I’ll see you in front of the TV on March 2nd, 2014!

This Weekend Only: Martin Scorsese Tribute Show at Bold Hype Gallery!

DeNiro as Travis Bickle

You can see what seems like a thousand different interpretations of Robert De Niro as the character Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver — a film I really did not enjoy all that much — this weekend only at Scorsese: A Tribute Art Show at Bold Hype Gallery in Chelsea. Geoffrey and I waited in line for 45 minutes (another first!) to get into the opening reception last night, and inside the gallery it was more packed than a can of sardines, as you’ll see in the photo below:

Packed Bold Hype Gallery
Sardine City!

All of the art on display represents characters, scenes or themes from Director Martin Scorsese’s many iconic films, but mostly it’s about artists painting and drawing likenesses of characters in these films that were played by Robert DeNiro.

Robert DeNiro Character Heads
See What I mean?

Robert De Niro Triptych
This one is Nice.

DeNiro Gaga
DeNiro Gaga. Kind of Scary.

Bunny Bickle

I enjoyed Bethany Marchman’s interpretation of Travis Bickle / DeNiro as a rabbit.

Travis and Iris

Here, De Niro shares the wall with Jody Foster as their characters from Taxi Driver in two paintings that are, surprisingly, not by Shepard Fairey.

A few other non-De Niro characters managed to earn space on the walls.

Daniel Day Lewis Gangs of New York
Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York

Sharon Stone in Casino
Sharon Stone in Casino

Goodfellas Cast Mt Rushmore Tribute
Goodfellas Cast Mt. Rushmore Tribute. Just a little De Niro in this one.

It was not that easy to photograph the show due to the crowds, but there are hundreds of paintings, sculptures and drawings on display, so if you’re a fan of Robert De Niro or the films of Martin Scorsese, this is a must see show!

The Martin Scorsese Tribute Exhibit will be up on Saturday April 20th and Sunday April 21st only, from 12 Noon to 5 PM each day! Bold Hype is located at 547 West 27th Street, 5th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.