Little Man is a 2006 American comedy film written, produced and directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and also written and produced by Wayans Brothers Marlon and Shawn Wayans, who also both starred in the lead roles. The film co-stars Kerry Washington, John Witherspoon, Tracy Morgan, Lochlyn Munro, Chazz Palminteri and Molly Shannon. A very short jewel thief hides the proceeds of his latest robbery, and then pretends to be a very large baby in order to retrieve it.
Little Man film grossed $58,645,052 domestically and a total $101,595,121 worldwide. The film's budget was $64 million. The film was released in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2006, and opened on #2, behind You, Me and Dupree.
The film was nominated for seven 2006 Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Marlon Wayans & Shawn Wayans), Worst Actor (Rob Schneider, also nominated for his performance in The Benchwarmers), Worst Director (Keenen Ivory Wayans), Worst Screen Couple (Shawn Wayans & EITHER Kerry Washington OR Marlon Wayans), Worst Screenplay and Worst Remake or Rip-off (of the 1954 Bugs Bunny cartoon Baby Buggy Bunny). It later won three of the awards, Worst Actor, Worst Screen Couple and Worst Remake or Rip-off.
The film was released on Blu-ray, UMD and DVD in the United States on November 7, 2006, and also in the United Kingdom on 15 January 2007, and it was distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The worst thing I can say about the Wayans' body of work is that, for the most part, it dedicatedly avoids offending anyone of any race or creed--to make a film about a pair of black FBI agents masquerading as the Hilton sisters takes a special kind of genius for appeasement and assimilation. The much-publicized supremacy of the Wayans family's entertainment empire strikes me as a direct product of how easily they're embraced by the white culture as black people who don't threaten them with dangerous observations on racism, homophobia, and misogyny. Keenen, et al are a throwback, is what I'm saying, peppering their flicks with little mini-uplift vignettes, backhands to communal bruised targets (gays, women), and a vision of African-American culture that's completely rounded, often laughable, and vanilla. What's most remarkable about Little Man is when pint-sized felon Calvin (Marlon Wayans, why not) experiences his suburban domestication, it points to all the stereotypical ills of urban youth (broken family, poverty, lack of education, criminality) as salvagable by the magic bullet of a rambling ranch house, Amana appliances, and birthday parties with live entertainment. Hooray! To help this tiny hint of ugliness go down, and before it devolves into a cartoon complete with spring sound effects and a Dave Sheridan cameo, Little Man slathers itself in scatology, crotch-punching, hilarious elder/child abuse, and a brutal ration of unearned sentiment.
THE DVDSony delivers this bouncing bundle of joy to home video in a 1.88:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that, despite a solarized quality to the image, is largely without complaint, even though every frame announces itself as rudimentary filmmaking from the point-and-shoot home movie school. Not a bad criticism to observe that Little Man is exactly only as sophisticated as that from stem to stern. The DD 5.1 audio adequately renders a mix that largely squanders the soundstage by confining the mayhem to the front channels. Shawn, Marlon, and Keenen record a commentary track that has the siblings cracking up and making broad observations, all while demonstrating their limited ability to improvise and articulate. Just the idea that there's set-up and pay-off in this thing is exhibit one of the sad delusion attendant in 99% of artist commentary tracks. Featurettes-wise, "Big Comedy: The Making Of" (15 mins.) intersperses talk about inspiration with a few B-roll and F/X shots and the luminous Washington straining that vital credibility muscle extolling the virtues of the Wayans; "From the Ground Up" (15 mins.) explores the crappy/creepy visual effects; and "Linden's World" (11 mins.) offers minor insight into the life of miniature child Linden Porco, the body-actor of the Calvin character. Major points explored therein: he's stubborn, full of energy, and determined. Condescending? You bet. "Method of Madness" (3 mins.) is a short (HA! I should get a job with the Wayans!) positing that Marlon actually had himself shrunk to the microscopic in order to get into the head of his character. Pathetic? You bet.
A slew of deleted/extended scenes (28 mins.) are entirely unfunny in exactly the same way as the rest of the film, marking each elision as inexplicable if welcome. Why anyone would want to watch extended versions of Tracy Morgan doing his ghetto-tard and getting bitch-slapped by a CGI-chimera is beyond me. What's sort of interesting are a few unfinished gags where the CGI face is actually more ineptly pasted on than in the finished product. Trailers for The Pursuit of Happyness [sic], Click, and Talladega Nights start up upon insertion while a menu in the special features section provides access to the Blu-Ray teaser plus trailers for Benchwarmers, The DaVinci Code, Gridiron Gang, Crossover, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Casino Royale, Ghost Rider, Stomp the Yard, The Pink Panther, and, of course, White Chicks. The Casino Royale trailer, by the way, is the good one. Originally published: November 6, 2006.
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