4 Shots From 4 Christmas Classics


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

It’s Christmas Eve so, in the spirit of the holidays, here are 4 Shots from 4 Christmas classics!

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Night of The Hunter (1955, dir by Charles Laughton)

The Godfather (1972, dir by Francis Ford Coppola)

Goodfellas (1990, dir by Martin Scorsese)

In Bruges (2008, dir by Martin McDonagh)

26 Shots From 26 Films: Special Martin Scorsese Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, the TSL wishes a happy birthday to one of the greatest director working today, the one and only Martin Scorsese!  And that means that it’s time for….

26 Shots From 26 Martin Scorsese Films

(That’s right.  We usually do 4.  Scorsese gets 26.  He deserves a hundred.)

Who’s That Knocking On My Door (1967, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Boxcar Bertha (1972, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Mean Streets (1973, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Taxi Driver (1976, dir by Martin Scorsese)

New York New York (1977, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Last Waltz (1978, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Raging Bull (1980, dir by Martin Scorsese)

King of Comedy (1982, dir by Martin Scorsese)

After Hours (1985, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Color of Money (1986, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Goodfellas (1990, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Cape Fear (1991, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Age of Innocence (1993, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Casino (1995, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Kundun (1997, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Bringing out the Dead (1999, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Gangs of New York (2002, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Aviator (2004, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Departed (2006, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Shutter Island (2010, directed by Martin Scorsese)

Hugo (2011, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Silence (2016, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Irishman (2019, dir by Martin Scorsese)

A Movie A Day #43: The Big Heist (2001, directed by Robert Markowitz)


the_big_heist_2001In 1978, low-level mob associate Jimmy Burke (Donald Sutherland) is released after serving a six years in prison.  As soon as he arrives home, he discovers that his son, Frank (Jamie Harris), has failed to keep up with the family business and that the Burke Crew is close to becoming a joke.  Looking for a big score, Jimmy masterminds a robbery at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  The so-called Lufthansa Heist becomes the largest cash robbery committed on American soil at that time.  Growing paranoid, Burke decides it would be easier to just kill all the members of his crew than to give them their cut of the robbery.  What Burke doesn’t realize is that his closest associates are destined to be his downfall.  Tommy DeSimone (Rocco Sisto) has offended John Gotti (Steven Randazzo) while Henry Hill (Nick Sandow) has become hooked on drugs and is considering turning informant.

If all this sounds familiar, that’s because part of this story was already told in Goodfellas.  The Big Heist was made for TNT and, because it focuses exclusively on the robbery, it goes into far more detail than Martin Scorsese’s film.  For instance, the character of Frank Burke was entirely left out of Goodfellas and it’s interesting to see how much more negatively Henry Hill is portrayed in The Big Heist.  Since it’s told from the viewpoint of Jimmy Burke instead of Henry Hill, The Big Heist makes for an interesting companion piece to Goodfellas but, at the same time, it never escapes the shadow of the other film.  With both movies employing voice over narration and frequent freeze frames, it’s impossible to watch The Big Heist without comparing it to Goodfellas.  Since Goodfellas was made by Martin Scorsese and The Big Heist was made for TNT, the former comes out on top.

It’s also hard to watch Donald Sutherland as Jimmy Burke without comparing his performance to Robert De Niro’s Jimmy Conway.  Though he never reaches the heights of De Niro’s performance, Sutherland is convincing as a sociopathic criminal mastermind.  Less convincing are Rocco Sisto and Nick Sandow, who both struggle to make an impression in roles previously made famous by Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta.

Let’s Second Guess The Academy: 1990 Best Picture Nominees


Let’s be honest — the Academy Awards are rarely presented to the best in film.  That’s part of why I love them — you can spend a lifetime debating and second guessing the films, performers, and craftsman. that the Academy annually chooses to recognize with an Oscar.

With that in mind, here’s the first entry in a  little something that I like to call Let’s Second Guess The Academy.

In this post, I’m focusing on the contest for Best Picture of 1990.  In that contest, the Academy nominated five films — Awakenings, Dances With Wolves, Ghost, The Godfather Part III, and Goodfellas.  In the end they named Dances With Wolves the best film of 1990.  Were they right?

You tell me.

And now, let’s make things really interesting by considering which films you would have nominated if those five nominees had never been made.  Vote for up to five and let’s show the Academy how it’s done.