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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Hot Fuzz (2007)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2007: Hot Fuzz

Saltzman Sees...A Mighty Wind (2003)

Christopher Guest Presents...A Mighty Wind

Saltzman Sees...Waiting for Guffman (1996)

Christopher Guest Presents...Waiting For Guffman

Saltzman Sees...Best in Show (2000)

Christopher Guest Presents...Best in Show

Saltzman Sees...For Your Consideration (2006)

Christopher Guest Presents...For Your Consideration

Saltzman Sees...Borat (2006)

Saltzman Sees...Easy A (2010)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2010: Easy A

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Baby Mama (2008)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2008: Baby Mama

Baby Mama won my Best Actress (Amy Poehler) in 2008.

Saltzman Sees...Stanger than Fiction (2006)

Everybody knows that your life is a story. But what if a story was your life? Harold Crick is your average IRS agent: monotonous, boring, and repetitive. But one day this all changes when Harold begins to hear an author inside his head narrating his life. The narrator it is extraordinarily accurate, and Harold recognizes the voice as an esteemed author he saw on TV. But when the narration reveals that he is going to die, Harold must find the author of the story, and ultimately his life, to convince her to change the ending of the story before it is too late.

Will Ferrell is terrific, and he is supported by two legends of the silver screen: Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.  Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal have a tremendous chemistry on screen that is odd considering they play opposites initially in the story.  It is a beautiful story and a unique look at one's mortality and one's purpose in life.  

It barely earned the money it took to make the movie, as it only grossed $40 million at the box office despite costing $38 million to make. It is in my Top Ten list for the year, and certainly deserving of the Most Underrated Movie of 2006.

 Emma Thompson won my Best Actress of 2006.

Will and Maggie fall in love

Saltzman Sees...2011 Top Ten List


1. The Artist
2. The Music Never Stopped
3. The Help
4. War Horse
5. 50/50
6. Soul Surfer
7. Warrior
8. Hugo
9. The Ides of March
10. Moneyball

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Canadian Bacon (1995)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1995: Canadian Bacon

Think of your children pledging allegiance to the Maple Leaf...

Saltzman Sees...The Birdcage (1996)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1996: The Birdcage

Saltzman Sees...Out Cold (2001)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2001: Out Cold

What to do when Zach Galifianakis passes out drunk...

Saltzman Sees...Old School (2003)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2003: Old School

The early flight from San Diego...

Will Ferrell won my Best Supporting Actor in 2003.

Saltzman Sees...Anchorman (2004)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2004: Anchorman

San Diego

Ron Burgundy - Afternoon Delight  (Official Music Video)

Saltzman Sees...Wedding Crashers (2005)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2005: Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers was my Best Picture of 2005.

Vince Vaughn won my Best Actor of 2005.

Isla Fisher won my Best Supporting Actress of 2005.

Saltzman Sees...When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

When Harry Met Sally won my Best Actress (Meg Ryan) and Best Director ( Rob Reiner) and was nominated for my Best Supporting Actress (Carrie Fisher) and Best Screenplay (Nora Ephron) in 1989.


Saltzman Sees...Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2002: Austin Powers in Goldmember

Mike Myers as Dr. Evil singing "It's a Hard Knock Life"

Saltzman Sees...Meet the Parents (2000)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2000: Meet the Parents

Ben Stiller says grace at Robert DeNiro's dinner table

Saltzman Sees...Austin Powers. International Man of Mystery (1997)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1997: Austin Powers

Austin Powers won my Best Actor (Mike Myers) in 1997.

The Austin Powers 3 point turn

Saltzman Sees...Office Space (1999)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1999: Office Space

A going away present

Saltzman Sees...Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1994: Dumb and Dumber

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels decide to go to Aspen

Saltzman Sees...Groundhog Day (1993)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1993: Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day won my Best Screenplay (Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin) and was nominated for Best Director (Harold Ramis), Best Actor (Bill Murray) and Best Actress (Andie MacDowell) in 1993.

Bill Murray makes Stephen Tobolowsky's day

Saltzman Sees...My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1992: My Cousin Vinny

Marisa Tomei won my Best Supporting Actress of 1992.

Fred Gwynne won my Best Supporting Actor of 1992.

Saltzman Sees...City Slickers (1991)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of1991: City Slickers

The Ice Cream Standoff with Billy Crystal

Saltzman Sees...The Hangover (2009)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 2009: The Hangover

Zach Galifianakis' One Man Wolfpack Speech in Kinetic Typography

A Hangover Movie Trailer to Stu's Song "Doug"

Saltzman Sees...There's Something About Mary (1998)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1998: There's Something About Mary

Cameron Diaz was my Best Actress in 1998.

Saltzman Sees...Pretty Woman (1990)

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Most Romantic Movie of 1990: Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts is my Best Actress of 1990.

Saltzman Sees...Coming to America (1988)

Coming to America won my Best Picture, Best Director (John Landis), Best Actor (Eddie Murphy), and Best Screenplay (Eddie Murphy, David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein) and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Allison Dean) in 1988.

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1988: Coming to America

Paul Bates singing "She's Your Queen To Be"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saltzman Sees...The 2012 Oscars!!

Check out my blog or go to my Twitter page for constant updates during the Academy Awards.

Here are my Predictions heading into tonight:

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer for The Help
Best Supporting Actress: Christopher Plummer for Beginners
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
 Best Achievement in Editing: The Artist The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Best Achievement in Makeup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  The Iron Lady
Best Actress: Viola Davis for The Help  Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady

Best Cinematography: War Horse Hugo
Best Achievement in Sound Editing: War Horse Hugo
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing: War Horse Hugo
Best Achievement in Art Direction: The Artist Hugo
Best Achievement in Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Hugo

Best Achievement in Costume Design: Jane Eyre The Artist
Best Original Score: John Williams in War Horse The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist 

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Best Picture: The Artist

Friday, February 24, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Toy Story 3 (2010)

Toy Story 3 is just the next example of how Pixar has become the pinnacle for amazing family pictures.  It has taken the spirit of Disney, with the technology of Pixar and the talent of it's actors to create priceless motion pictures by the bundle.  This third take on the adventures of Woody and Buzz might be the most tender of the collection.  The end sequence alone as Andy finally decides what to do with his toys, is movie magic that will live with us forever.

It is the Best Family Picture of 2010 because it pulls at all the right heart strings and teaches us a new lesson about friendship and loyalty that the other two became famous for.

Saltzman Sees...Up (2009)

Up is the story of a man's devotion to a promise his wife and him made the day they first met.  It runs so deep, he spends his final days trying to live out their greatest adventure in her memory. 

What ends up happening and why this is the Best Family Picture of 2009, is Carl finds out the life he lived with his wife was the greatest adventure one could ever ask for.  The trick for Carl is to learn how to find adventure on his own now that he is finally on his own.  As the story unfolds, Carl meets some new friends along the way that might help him do just that.

Most beautiful and saddest beginning to a movie ever

Saltzman Sees...WALL E (2008)

WALL-E is one of the most romantic movies ever made and it is certainly the best love story of the Pixar Empire.  Wall-E is a robot who has survived on earth while all the remaining inhabitants of the planet are in outer space on ships.  When a protocol droid named EVE goes to Earth in search for life, she meets our Romeo.  WALL E spends the remainder of the movie as the hopeless romantic just wanting to hold hands with the most beautiful robot he has ever seen.

This is the Best Family Picture of 2008 because it shows that amazing things can be accomplished by using one's heart.  It also is a great look at the realities of what we are doing to our planet and our own bodies and how we might better treat ourselves and our world in the future.

WALL E's favorite love song from his favorite movie Hello Dolly!

Saltzman Sees...Ratatouille (2007)

Ratatouille is a film about a disgusting rat who can make the most exquisite food.  In the human world, rats are despised, but in France, all that matters is the food.  And Remi, played by Patton Oswalt, can certainly cook.  The idea is so foreign to humans, that it takes the help of a down on his luck janitor to change their fates forever.

Ratatouille is the Best Family Picture of 2007 because of Remi's ability to prove to both humans and his father that being your own person can bring out the best in everyone.  It's a great movie to teach both independence and responsibility, without endorsing rebellion.  Remi doesn't want to lose the respect of his father or give up his life long dreams. 

Saltzman Sees...Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

Akeelah and the Bee is one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.  Keke Palmer plays a brilliant young girl who is embarrassed by her school and where she lives.  By taking on the challenge of representing her school in a spelling bee, she tries to find a way out of her environment.  Laurence Fishburne is tremendous as 'Akeelah's' mentor and coach.  Angela Bassett plays the pessimistic mother who has already dealt with many hardships and doesn't need any more.

The movie is a 'Stand up and Cheer' type of picture and is a great family movie because it teaches us that you are never too old to learn or too young to teach.  The most important thing you can do is to be open minded to others and willing to lend your support to them.

It is the Best Family Picture of 2006.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek 2 is a fantastic movie in and of itself, and holds up to the challenge of being as good as the original.  While the original Shrek is better, adding a character like Puss in Boots, played by Antonio Banderas, certainly raises the bar.  Now it's own motion picture, Donkey and Puss in Boots together is priceless in this second installment of the Shrek Franchise.

What we learn through the movie is the most important lesson is to be willing to make sacrifices for the people we love.

It is the Best Family Picture of 2004.

Saltzman Sees...Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo is the best Pixar movie ever made. This is Andrew Stanton's masterpiece, and in the process, created the best Disney character since Robin Williams stared as the Genie with Ellen DeGeneres as Dory.  It has all the elements of a perfect Disney Film.  Interestingly, like so many other Disney Classics, it also has the most common theme (becoming an orphan in the opening sequence.)

However, Nemo learns from Gil and Marlin learns from Dory the same lesson which is: trust and friendship create the strongest relationships. 

It is a must see and the Best Family Picture of 2003.

Saltzman Sees...Ice Age (2002)

Ice Age is a story of friendship, as animals that have survived the Ice Age are thrown together whether they like it or not.  Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary star in this comedy about the importance of sticking together and helping each other for a common goal.

The characters become more and more dependent of each other as the film grows, and it teaches the audience an essential lesson that friends and family come in all shapes and sizes.

It is the Best Family Picture of 2002.

Saltzman Sees...Shrek (2001)

Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy began a journey in 2001 that would allow Dreamworks to compete with Disney Pixar to this day.  Myers, who has been brilliant in the past with outlandish characters from Saturday Night Live, including two Wayne's World movies and an Austin Powers trilogy, raises the bar as Shrek.  Myers creates depth and warmth in a over-sized ugly ogre that is captivating.

Shrek teaches us that falling in love is about what is in one's heart and mind and not about superficial things like appearance.  It is a beautiful love story and one the whole family will enjoy.  It is the Best Family Picture of 2001.

Saltzman Sees...Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 is the first sequel in the Disney Pixar franchise is also one of the best movies of 1999.  The second installment of the Toy Story empire is just as heartwarming and just as fun as the first.  It introduces new characters to 'Andy's Room' and includes one of the most beautiful, emotional sequences in the company's history...(You Tube Clip below)

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are just as fabulous in the sequel, and the message this franchise sends through their movies about loyalty and friendship are second to none.

It is the Best Family Picture of 1999.

Saltzman Sees...Return to Me (2000)

Return to Me is a remarkable story of a man who loses his wife, but finds her heart.  David Duchovny and Minnie Driver star in this touching love story directed by Bonnie Hunt.  Carroll O'Conner and Robert Loggia lead a brilliant supporting cast that includes David Alan Grier and John Belushi.  Because Duchovny's wife is an organ donor, her heart ends up with Minnie Driver and when the two main characters meet, there is instant sparks and chemistry.  What will happen when Duchovny finds out how connected they really are?

The reason it is my choice for the Best Family Picture of 2000, is because it reminds us that the cliche: "Home is where the heart is" can be tricky sometimes.  However, that doesn't make it any less true.  This is a movie everyone in the family needs to see.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saltzman Sees...In and Out (1997)

In & Out is a hilarious story of a man coming to grips with who he is.  Kevin Kline is marvelous as a man set to get married when the entire world finds out he's gay...including him.  Bob Newhart, Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon and Tom Selleck are terrific in this unusual comedy about what happens when everyone in town isn't ready for the truth.

How the town comes to terms with their new reality is beautiful and is a great message to all families about acceptance, understanding and love.

It is the Best Family Picture of 1997.

In & Out also won my Best Actress (Joan Cusack) in 1997.

Saltzman Sees...The Preacher's Wife (1996)

The Preacher's Wife is a Christmas movie that gets lost during the Holiday season because of so many classics, from It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, to recent hits like Elf and Christmas Vacation. Denzel Washington is the finest actor of his generation, and in this movie, he shows a softer, comical side he doesn't get to show often.  Whitney Houston provides her angelic voice to the movie and the supporting cast includes brilliant actors like Gregory Hines, Loretta Devine, Courtney B. Vance and Jenifer Lewis.  It is one of my favorite Christmas movies of all-time.

The Preacher's Wife is a beautiful story of a man in need of someone to help during hard times for his community. What he learns about the strength in believing in his community, even during it's toughest times, is what sets this film apart.

It is the Best Family Picture of 1996.

Saltzman Sees...Oliver and Company (1988)

Oliver & Company is the story of an orphaned kitten who tries to find a family with the help of a gang of dogs.  Musicians Billy Joel and Bette Midler head a strong musical cast in this Disney Classic.  Cheech Marin, Dom DeLuise, and Robert Loggia are part of an impressive supporting cast.  Is it certainly one of the most charming movies Disney has ever produced, and has gotten lost in the shuffle of Classics.

This movie is one of the best examples of how the need for love and family brings out the best in oneself. (or in this case dogs and cats)

It is my choice for Best Family Picture of 1988.

Saltzman Sees...Toy Story (1995)

Pixar began a phenomenon that has taken Disney beyond anything anyone could ever have anticipated.  Disney has always been the king of animated features, but with Toy Story, it has become the king of computer animation.  Tom Hanks and Tim Allen lead a brilliant cast that has spawned not only two more Toy Story movies, but a collection of masterpieces in cinema.  At the time, nobody knew what a gold mine they had, but now director John Lasseter is one of the most successful directors/producers in the world.

When the newest toy threatens the establishment, they all must learn to work together.  This is one of the finest films about teaching family the importance of sticking together.  It is my choice for Best Family Picture of 1995.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saltzman Sees...It Could Happen To You (1994)

It Could Happen To You tells the story of how being honest and nice might have you finishing last in the beginning, but if you follow your heart, you win bigger in the end.  Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda are one of the sweetest couples in movie history and their innocence and simplicity is what gets them in trouble in the hard knocks world of New York City.

Their love captures the city of New York in the movie and audiences as well.  It is one of the best movies of the year, and...

It is the Best Family Picture of 1994.

Saltzman Sees...Uncle Buck (1989)

Uncle Buck is a John Candy masterpiece.  Nobody knew how to bring out the lovable Candy better than Director John Hughes, whether it was Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, or Only the Lonely.  Jean Louisa Kelly was marvelous in her first role ever.

What ensues is one of the most memorable journeys in movie history of a 'boy' becoming a man by helping look after his nieces and nephew.  It is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen and it certainly stands the test of time.

It is the Best Family Picture 1989

Saltzman Sees Presents...The Funniest Movie of 1989: Uncle Buck

Macaulay Culkin vs John Candy

Buck Russell, Moley Russell's Wart

Saltzman Sees...Father of the Bride (1991)

Father of the Bride is one of the most heartwarming stories ever told about the fear of losing your daughter to a younger man.  Steve Martin, one of the greatest comedians of all-time, portrays George Banks flawlessly, by playing a father filled with flaws.

The one thing he has nailed down is his love for his family and this story exudes that.  Father of the Bride is certainly one of the most underrated performances of Martin's career and also started Kimberly Williams movie career.

It is the Best Family Picture of 1991.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saltzman Sees...2011 Oscar Update (2/20/12 Edition)


1. The Artist
2. The Music Never Stopped
3. The Help
4. War Horse
5. 50/50
6. Soul Surfer
7. Warrior
8. Hugo
9. The Ides of March
10. Moneyball

***This weekend, I watched Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, The Iron Lady, War Horse, and Warrior

To see all the movies I have seen in 2011, go to

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

One of the most surprising movies of the year, Searching for Bobby Fischer is one of the sweetest movies.  Joan Allen and Laurence Fishburne are fabulous, and Sir Ben Kingsley is brilliant as always.  Max Pomeranc and Joe Mantegna play a son and father who play an innocent game of chess that turns into an obsession.

The movie continues to get more and more heartfelt as it goes and ends with one of the most touching endings to a movie since Casablanca.

It is the Best Family Picture of 1993.

Note: DO NOT WATCH CLIP unless you've seen the movie.  This is the beautiful ending.

Saltzman Sees...Aladdin (1992)

Robin Williams is brilliant in one of the best roles Disney ever created.  Aladdin is a hilarious, action packed and heart warming story.  After The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin certainly continued the tradition of new look princesses.  Ariel was the red headed mermaid that became a woman.  Belle was the bookworm who didn't want to get married. Now we have Jasmine, already a princess, but unwilling to marry just any prince.  If for no other reason than Williams as the genie, Aladdin is a must see for any family.

This movie teaches us that the most important thing you can do is to make sacrifices for the people you care about. 

It is the Best Disney Picture of 1992.

Saltzman Sees...Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone is a classic Christmas movie that spawned a franchise.  Many may be tired of this movie for it's over saturation at the time, but it is still a hilarious movie.  Catherine O'Hara is terrific as a mother who will stop at nothing to make sure her boy is safe.  Macaulay Culkin may have peaked before he became a teenager, but he was still great in this family movie.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are fantastic as the bumbling burglars.  This is a movie that stands the test of time as both a family picture and a Christmas movie.

Both Culkin and O'Hara learn that without family, we have nothing and that until they can makes amends for their mistakes, they can't move forward.

It is the Best Family Picture of 1990.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Soul of the Game (1996)

Soul of the Game is the true story of Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson: arguably the three greatest Negro League Ballplayers of All-Time.  At a time when Major League Baseball was refusing to allow black players to play, one man was looking for the right man to be first.  This story shows what happened before and after that memorable day on April 15, 1947 when Robinson broke the color barrier in Professional Baseball in America. Delroy Lindo, Mykelti Williamson and Blair Underwood star as Paige, Gibson and Robinson and they are all masterful in this gripping look at what happened.

Saltzman Sees...Recount (2008)

Recount is a chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent recounts in Florida.  George Bush was declared the winner of the 2000 election despite losing the popular vote.  Al Gore, who did win, was declared the loser.  How it happened, and that process is fascinating, confusing, and down right infuriating.  An All-Star cast delivers for HBO once again, headed by Kevin Spacey, Denis Leary, Tom Wilkinson, and Laura Dern.  Jay Roach, who is better known for comedies like the Austin Powers Trilogy and Meet the Parents, delivers here as well.

Saltzman Sees...61* (2001)

Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane are Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 61*.  Billy Crystal creates a perfect look back at the 1961 season that pitted Yankee against Yankee against Babe Ruth as two men chased the most hallowed record in sports.  Pepper and Jane are incredible as they transform into the former Yankee legends.  It is the movie Crystal was always suppose to make, and it is flawless.  If you don't know the story of Roger Maris, this is a must see.  It shows everything that is right, and everything that is wrong with America's pastime.  It is one of the best Sports Movies ever made, and another shining example of why HBO always seems to create beautiful films for us to enjoy.

Billy Crystal won my Best Director of 2001.

Saltzman Sees...A Lesson Before Dying (1999)

A Lesson Before Dying stars Don Cheadle, Cicely Tyson and Mekhi Phifer. Tyson is always brilliant, but Cheadle gives another masterful performance for HBO.  He was tremendous as Earl Manigault in Rebound three years earlier, and he is again magnificent as Grant Wiggins.  This was a novel and a teleplay before becoming an HBO Movie and is certainly adapted well to the screen.  Very much like Dead Man Walking, which got much acclaim, Wiggins is asked to help a man on death row.  With the racial tension of the 1940's and a young black man in jail for killing a white man, Wiggins becomes the only person willing to help.

Saltzman Sees...Real Women Have Curves (2002)

Real Women Have Curves is a story about family, struggle, and sacrifice. Ana, played by America Ferrera, is a first generation Mexican-American teenager on the verge of becoming a woman. She lives in the predominately Latino community of East Los Angeles. Freshly graduated from high school, Ana receives a full scholarship to Columbia University. Her very traditional, old-world parents feel that now is the time for Ana to help provide for the family, not the time for college. Torn between her mainstream ambitions and her cultural heritage she agrees to work with her mother at her sister's downtown LA sewing factory.

It is a story of love and understanding and has a depth to it that all compelling stories have.  Life isn't as simple as it first appears and what you learn along the way can be a great education in and of itself.

Saltzman Sees...Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Waking Ned Devine is a terrific tale of a town down on their luck.  But when a lottery winner in town dies of shock, his fellow townsfolk attempt to claim the money.The entire cast is tremendous as they try to find a way to convince the Lottery that Ned Devine is still alive.  David Kelly, who recently died on February 12 of 2012, was brilliant as Michael O'Sullivan.

Waking Ned Devine made only $43 million worldwide and was generally ignored by the U.S.  It did receive several award nominations globally, but only received a single nomination from the Screen Actors Guild in the states.  It is the Most Underrated Movie of 1998.

Saltzman Sees...Spartan (2004)

Val Kilmer and Derek Luke star in an edge of your seat thriller Spartan. The film is about the investigation into a kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official.  The movie gets better and better as the truth is pealed back like an onion.  David Mamet, one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood (The Verdict, The Untouchables, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hoffa, Wag the Dog, Hannibal, etc...) wrote and directed the film. 

Despite his credentials, Kilmer starring, and up and coming actor Luke co-starring, the movie grossed $4.4 million in the U.S.

It is a great movie that is captivating from beginning to end.  It is the Most Underrated Movie of 2004.

Saltzman Sees...Lackawanna Blues (2005)

HBO certainly know how to make a movie, and another example is Lackawanna Blues.  S. Epatha Merkerson, best know for her supporting role on Law & Order, gives the performance of her career in this gripping story.  The story centers around a young boy's life, shaped by love and the stories of a cast of characters in the boarding house where he lives in 1960s Lackawanna, New York. Rythym & Blues fill his heart as does the "Nanny" that runs the house.  This is an absolute must see and one of the best films made in 2005.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saltzman Sees...Good Luck (1996)

Good Luck is equally magnificent, starring Gregory Hines and Vincent D'Onofrio.  Two unlikely buddies, one confined to a wheelchair and the other blind, set off on a quest to win a white water rafting competition.  Their journey to succeed is as unlikely as their journey to become friends.  What they learn most through their experience, is that it is more important to take a chance than to succeed.

It made $39,962 during it's opening weekend on only 106 screens and was subsequently removed from theaters.

Most Underrated Movie of 1996 

Saltzman Sees...Rebound (1996)

Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault is a true story of the greatest basketball player nobody got to see play.  Manigault, played by Don Cheadle, became legendary for his play at Rucker Park in New York.  However, he became a drug addict and wasn't ever able to pursue any dreams of playing basketball professionally.  It is a tragic look at the young life of "The Goat" but in the end it is the story of redemption and recovery.  James Earl Jones, Forrest Whitaker and Loretta Devine are all terrific in Eriq La Salle's directorial debut for HBO.

Eriq La Salle won my Best Director of 1996.

The TV Movie did not win any awards.  It is not even the most well-known movie named Rebound, ever since Martin Lawrence came out with a comedy of the same name in 2005.

Saltzman Sees...Flipped (2010)

Flipped is a unique and beautiful look at young love and the misinterpretations of life.  Ron Reiner, one of the greatest directors of his generation, creates a beautiful story telling love story through the eyes of both young actors.  The story is narrated back and forth from each character's perspective.  Signals are consistently crossed throughout the story and ultimately it shows how magical and confusing falling in love can be.  John Mahoney, Aidan Quinn, Anthony Edwards, Rebecca De Mornay and Penelope Anne Miller all perform well in supporting roles for the young stars.  Actors Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe portray our main characters wonderfully, who are thrown into this roller coaster of emotion throughout the film. Not easy for young actors to pull off, yet the film is brilliantly told to the audience.

This movie grossed $1.7 million in the U.S. and I only heard about it second hand from a friend of my parents.  When I did finally see it, it became one of my 10 favorite movies in an amazing year for film in 2010.  It is certainly worthy of mention as one of the Most Underrated Movies of 2010.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saltzman Sees...The Artist (2011)

The Artist is a love letter to the movies.  It is a tribute to the days before sound.  It is a homage to the days before color.  It is message from the creators of this film that the true beauty of film making is the way the movie speaks to the audience.  This movie told me that we live in an era of movie making where franchises must be created and previously told stories must be revisited.  We live in a world where original thought and creative ideas are brushed aside for prequels, sequels, and remakes.  With IMAX and 3D and Blu-Ray, movies have become more about what a computer can create instead of a writer.  Movies have become lazy and repetitive instead of captivating and heartwarming. Love stories don't have to tell the story of 'Happily Ever After' but they can make the audience love the story.

The Artist is a beautiful journey of what 'out with the old and in with the new' can mean to a man who is being thrown out.  Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo were magnificent, and for a silent movie in 2011 to receive this kind of praise by critics and audiences alike is simply wonderful.