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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Moneyball (2011)

 [Nominated for 7 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay - Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Best Actor - Brad Pitt and Best Supporting Actor - Jonah Hill, as well as Film Editing and Sound Mixing by the Academy of Arts]

Saltzman Sees... Moneyball is the story of the have-nots and their struggle to compete.  It is the story of Billy Beane, who is trying to find a way to win a rigged game.  His ideas for how to adapt are met with resistance from everyone, including people in his organization.  Ultimately it is a story that says if you believe in something strong enough, it just might work.

Brad Pitt gives a strong performance as Beane, but it certainly is not along the lines of Tyler Durdin in Fight Club or Mickey in Snatch. Brad Pitt's best scene might be his most toned down moment.  When he explains to Jonah Hill's character "Peter Brand" why he decides to stay in Oakland rather than move to Boston, it explains all you ever need to know about Billy Beane.  Pitt's portrayal makes the movie, considering the movie's apex is a 20 game win streak they almost forget to mention.  Hill is also strong as the soft spoken and brilliant "Brand" who is deliberately loosely based on Paul DiPodesta.  This isn't the best baseball movie ever (Field of Dreams, Bull Durham or The Natural) or even the best true story about baseball (The Rookie, Bang the Drum Slowly, A League of Their Own or Eight Men Out) but it was captivating and it was true to the American Pastime.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Oscar Season in Full Swing

With the Oscar nominations out, here is my preliminary Top 10 List for 2011.  Keep in mind, I have only seen Beginners, Bridesmaids, Drive, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, The Help, The Ides of March, Moneyball, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes among the movies nominated.

  1. The Music Never Stopped

  2. The Help

  3. 50/50

  4. Soul Surfer

  5. The Ides of March

  6. Moneyball

  7. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

  8. Drive

  9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

  10. Crazy, Stupid Love

For all the movies I have seen in 2011, Go to:

Saltzman Sees...1988 Top Ten List


  1. Coming To America

  2. Die Hard

  3. Stand and Deliver

  4. Rain Man

  5. Big

  6. Mississippi Burning

  7. Bull Durham

  8. A Fish Called Wanda

  9. Oliver & Company

  10. Eight Men Out

For a list of all the movies I have seen from 1988, Go to:

    Saltzman Sees...1989 Top Ten List

    1. Field of Dreams

    2. Uncle Buck

    3. Glory

    4. When Harry Met Sally...

    5. Lean on Me

    6. Do The Right Thing

    7. Dead Poets Society

    8. Roger & Me

    9. The 'Burbs

    10. Major League
    For a list of all the movies I have seen from 1989, Go to:

      Saltzman Sees...1990 Top Ten List


      1. Goodfellas

      2. Awakenings

      3. Misery

      4. Pretty Woman

      5. Ghost

      6. I Love You To Death

      7. Miller's Crossing

      8. Days of Thunder

      9. Die Hard 2

      10. Tremors
      For a list of all the movies I have seen from 1990, Go to:

        Saltzman Sees...1991 Top Ten List

        1. The Silence of the Lambs

        2. Boyz 'N the Hood

        3. 29th Street

        4. What About Bob?

        5. City Slickers

        6. Regarding Henry

        7. Father of the Bride

        8. Cape Fear

        9. Toy Soldiers

        10. Pure Luck

        For a list of all the movies I have seen from 1991, Go to:

          Saltzman Sees...1992 Top Ten List

          1. School Ties
          2. A Few Good Men
          3. My Cousin Vinny
          4. Of Mice and Men
          5. Unforgiven
          6. A League of Their Own
          7. Final Shot. The Hank Gathers Story
          8. The Power of One
          9. Aladdin
          10. White Men Can't Jump
          For a list of all the movies I have seen in 1992, Go to: 

            Saltzman Sees...1993 Top Ten List

            1. Rudy

            2. Schindler's List

            3. Philadelphia

            4. The Fugitive

            5. In the Line of Fire

            6. Groundhog Day

            7. Tombstone

            8. Searching for Bobby Fischer

            9. Jurassic Park

            10. Heart & Souls
            Honorable Mentioned: A Bronx Tale, Benny & Joon, Cool Runnings, Dave, Falling Down, Grumpy Old Men, Homeward Bound. The Incredible Journey, Menace II Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Sleepless in Seattle, The Firm, The Joy Luck Club, The Man Without a Face, The Pelican Brief, The Remains of the Day, The Sandlot, True Romance, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

            For all of the movies I have seen in 1993, Go to:

            Saltzman Sees...1994 Top Ten List


            1. The Shawshank Redemption

            2. With Honors

            3. Pulp Fiction

            4. Forrest Gump

            5. Dumb and Dumber

            6. Hoop Dreams

            7. Renaissance Man

            8. Clerks

            9. It Could Happen To You

            10. Guarding Tess
            For all of the movies I have seen in 1994, Go to:  

              Saltzman Sees...1995 Top Ten List


              1. Braveheart
              2. Mr. Holland's Opus
              3. Se7en
              4. The Cure
              5. The Usual Suspects
              6. Toy Story
              7. The American President
              8. Apollo 13
              9. The Tuskegee Airmen
              10. Die Hard with a Vengeance
              For all the movies I have seen in 1995, Go to:

                Saltzman Sees...1996 Top Ten List

                1. Phenomenon
                2. Primal Fear
                3. Rebound
                4. Good Luck
                5. Independence Day
                6. The Rock
                7. A Time to Kill
                8. Happy Gilmore
                9. The Birdcage
                10. My Fellow Americans
                For all of the movies I have seen in 1996, Go to:

                Saltzman Says...1997 Top Ten List

                1. Good Will Hunting
                2. Life is Beautiful
                3. The Rainmaker
                4. Prefontaine
                5. Austin Powers. International Man of Mystery
                6. Do You Believe in Miracles?
                7. Wag the Dog
                8. Con Air
                9. Air Force One
                10. 4 Little Girls
                For all of the movies I have seen in 1997, Go to:

                Saltzman Sees...1998 Top Ten List

                1. Saving Private Ryan
                2. The Truman Show
                3. There's Something About Mary
                4. Enemy of the State
                5. Pleasantville
                6. American History X
                7. Deep Impact
                8. The Big One
                9. Armageddon
                10. The Thin Red Line
                For all of the movies I have seen in 1998, Go to:

                Saltzman Sees...1999 Top Ten List

                1. Fight Club
                2. October Sky
                3. Office Space
                4. Dogma
                5. The Boondock Saints
                6. South Park. Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
                7. Austin Powers. The Spy Who Shagged Me
                8. Music of the Heart
                9. Toy Story 2
                10. Analyze This
                For all of the movies I have seen in 1999, Go to:

                Saltzman Sees...2000 Top Ten List

                1. Snatch
                2. Remember the Titans
                3. Gladiator
                4. Price of Glory
                5. Meet the Parents
                6. Erin Brockovich
                7. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
                8. Best in Show
                9. Return to Me
                10. Where The Heart Is
                For all of the movies I have seen in 2000, Go to: 

                  Saltzman Sees...2001 Top Ten List

                  1. I am Sam
                  2. A Beautiful Mind
                  3. The Majestic
                  4. 61*
                  5. Ocean's Eleven
                  6. Shrek
                  7. Out Cold
                  8. Training Day
                  9. Black Hawk Down
                  10. Spy Game
                  For all of the movies I have seen in 2001, Go to:

                  Saltzman Sees...2002 Ten Ten List

                  1. Gangs of New York
                  2. Bowling for Columbine
                  3. John Q
                  4. City of God
                  5. Austin Powers in Goldmember
                  6. Antwone Fisher
                  7. The Rookie
                  8. 9/11
                  9. Adaptation
                  10. The Emperor's Club
                  For all of the movies I have seen in 2002, Go to:  

                    Saltzman Sees...2003 Top Ten List

                    1. Radio
                    2. Seabiscuit
                    3. Old School
                    4. The Last Samurai
                    5. Secondhand Lions
                    6. Finding Nemo
                    7. Mystic River
                    8. Elf
                    9. Pirates of the Caribbean. The Curse of the Black Pearl
                    10. Big Fish
                    For all of the movies I have seen in 2003, Go to:

                    Sunday, January 29, 2012

                    Saltzman Sees...2004 Top Ten Lists

                    1. Crash**

                    2. Miracle

                    3. Million Dollar Baby

                    4. Hotel Rwanda

                    5. Ray

                    6. Something the Lord Made

                    7. Anchorman. The Legend of Ron Burgundy

                    8. The Terminal

                    9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

                    10. Finding Neverland

                    ** Crash won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture, despite being a 2004 movie. 
                    For all of the movies I have seen in 2004, Go to:  

                      Saltzman Sees...2005 Top Ten List

                      1. Wedding Crashers

                      2. King Kong

                      3. Cinderella Man

                      4. Jarhead

                      5. The World's Fastest Indian

                      6. Lackawanna Blues

                      7. Hitch

                      8. V for Vendetta

                      9. Goal! A Dream Begins

                      10. Thank You For Smoking
                      For all of the movies I have seen in 2005, Go to:  

                        Saltzman Sees...2006 Top 10 List

                        1. The Departed

                        2. Glory Road

                        3. Pursuit of Happyness

                        4. We Are Marshall

                        5. Invincible

                        6. Inside Man

                        7. Dreamgirls

                        8. Lucky Number Slevin

                        9. Blood Diamond
                           10.  Stranger than Fiction 
                        For all of the movies I have seen in 2006, Go to:  

                          Saltzman Sees...2007 Top 10 List

                          1. Freedom Writers

                          2. Lars and the Real Girl

                          3. No Country for Old Men

                          4. Talk to Me

                          5. The Great Debaters

                          6. In the Valley of Elah

                          7. The Kingdom

                          8. Music Within

                          9. The Kite Runner

                          10. Reign Over Me 

                          Honorable Mentioned: 3:10 to Yuma, A Mighty Heart, Across the Universe, American Gangster, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Charlie Wilson's War, Dan in Real Life, Eastern Promises, Gone Baby Gone, Into the Wild, Juno, Michael Clayton, Pride, Ratatouille, Rendition, Sicko, Sweeney Todd, The Air I Breathe, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Bucket List, The Color of Freedom, There Will Be Blood, and Things We Lost in the Fire
                            For all of the movies I have seen in 2007, Go to:  

                              Saltzman Sees...2008 Top 10 List


                              1. Slumdog Millionaire

                              2. Milk

                              3. Gran Torino

                              4. The Reader

                              5. The Hurt Locker**

                              6. Defiance

                              7. Changeling

                              8. WALL E

                              9. The Wrestler

                              10. Frost/Nixon
                              Honorable Mentioned: 21, Baby Mama, Body of Lies, Bolt, Doubt, Flash of Genius, Horton Hears a Who!, Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda, Marley & Me, Recount, Revolutionary Road, Seven Pounds, Sugar, Sunshine Cleaning, The Bank Job, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Express, The Secret Life of Bees, Traitor and Tropic Thunder

                              ** Hurt Locker won the 2009 Academy Award despite being a 2008 movie.
                                For all the movies I have seen in 2008, Go to:

                                  Saltzman Sees...2009 Top 10 List

                                  1. The Blind Side

                                  2. Invictus

                                  3. The Soloist

                                  4. The Hangover

                                  5. An Education

                                  6. Precious. Based on the Book Push by Sapphire

                                  7. Avatar

                                  8. Up

                                  9. Inglourious Basterds

                                  10. Hurricane Season

                                    For all the movies I have seen in 2009, Go to:

                                      Saltzman Sees...2010 Top 10 List

                                      1. Temple Grandin

                                      2. The King's Speech

                                      3. 127 Hours

                                      4. The Social Network

                                      5. The Fighter

                                      6. Conviction

                                      7. Unstoppable

                                      8. Toy Story 3

                                      9. Shutter Island

                                      10. Flipped
                                      For all the movies I have seen in 2010, Go to:

                                        Saltzman Sees...My Movie Website

                                        Go to:

                                        My Oscars page, My top 10 lists, My Greatest Movies of All-Time, and much more...

                                        Saltzman Sees...Top 10 Sports Movies of All-Time

                                        Moneyball doesn't make my top 10, despite being a top 10 movie in 2011.  Here is my top 10 sports movies of all-time

                                        1. Field of Dreams: A love story between a father and son and their love for the game of baseball.  One of the most beautiful stories ever on screen.

                                        2. Hoosiers: The greatest underdog story in movie history, with incredible performances by Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, and the small town of "Hickory."

                                        3. Rudy: Underdog stories are a common theme in sports, and Rudy is as inspirational as they come of a young boy living his life long dream.

                                        4. Remember the Titans: The hard truths of racism in America during the 1960's is documented brilliantly through the eyes of two men coaching football in Virginia. Denzel Washington is coach Herman Boone.

                                        5. Rocky: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young and Carl Weathers are magnificent in a true tale of opportunity in America. A beautiful love story that proves the American Dream is still possible.

                                        6. Miracle: One of the greatest upsets ever, documented beautifully by Disney. A true David and Goliath. Kurt Russell is tremendous.

                                        7. Brian's Song: One of the most unlikely but truly great friendships ever immortalized on film.  James Caan and Billie Dee Williams are terrific as Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers.

                                        8. Million Dollar Baby: A story of determination and love that captures the human spirit. Clint Eastwood's heartfelt story of a woman's dedication to make something of herself.

                                        9. Radio: The true story of a young man who brought out the best in everyone he ever touched. Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard and Debra Winger are masterful telling the tale of 'Radio."

                                        10. Seabiscuit: Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire and Chris Cooper learn about hope during one of the darkest times in our nation's history. During the depression, America fell in love with an undersized, overweight horse.

                                        For more on my love affair with the Cinema, please go to: