Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: "About Schmidt" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) (with screenshots)



This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 40,553 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted April 26 2003 - 11:03 AM

Posted Image

About Schmidt






Studio: New Line
Year: 2002
Rated: R
Film Length: 125 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
Subtitles: English and Spanish



Schmidt Happens


It's hard not to like Jack Nicholson. As
an actor, Nicholson is in a class by himself. After
a decade of roles in second-rate horror and
motorcycle movies, Jack Nicholson's big opportunity
arrived when Rip Torn stepped out of Easy Rider in
1969. For the nearly 35 years that followed, the
actor has amassed a memorable body of work that
includes One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The
Shining, As Good As It Gets, Terms Of Endearment,
The Last Detail, Ironweed
and Chinatown.
Over the years, how many of us haven't interjected
a famous Nicholson quote into a conversation such
as You can't handle the truth! or Heeere's
Johnny
? With his trademark cheshire-cat grin,
and devilish attitude, Jack Nicholson is the most
popular and celebrated actors of our generation.

Fans of Nicholson have cause to celebrate once
again. In his latest film, About Schmidt,
Nicholson gives the most brilliant performance
of his career. The film is a total departure
from anything the actor has done before. Gone are
the wild hair, raised eyebrows and Cheshire-grin
that have become a trademark of his films. Here,
the actor becomes an "everyman" that may be so
easy to identify with, it might scare you.

Posted ImagePosted Image

Warren R. Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) is an
insignificant insurance employee of the Woodmen
Company in Omaha, Nebraska retiring after years
of service at the age of 66. As the film opens,
we watch Warren sit in his nondescript office,
watching the final moments of his career tick
away -- an opening that gives us a taste of the
dryness of his Midwestern life.

Warren Schmidt's life is a bleak one. Married for
42 years, his wife, Helen (June Squibb) is kind
and loving, but is somewhat of a stranger to him.
She has kept the house clean, made him cheese
sandwiches exactly the way he likes them, and has
convinced him to buy an R.V. so they can travel
together.

Posted ImagePosted Image

When Helen suddenly passes away, Warren finds
himself suddenly alone. He tries to persuade
his daughter, Jeannie (Hope Davis), to stay longer
after Helen's funeral, but she has to get back to
her job in Colorado and to the preparations to marry
her fiance, Randall Hertzel (Dermot Mulroney), a
mullet-headed dolt who Warren has never really
liked nor trusted. Warren has always felt that his
daughter deserved better in life, and now with his
wife gone, Warren makes it his mission to get
into his new R.V. and travel out West to convince
Jeannie to call the wedding off.

Posted ImagePosted Image

Director Alexander Payne not only takes us alongside
Warren on his incredible journey, but puts us
inside Warren's head as we hear his innermost
thoughts through letters he has written to a six-
year-old African boy named Ndgugu, a child he has
sponsored through a TV infomercial. This device
allows us to peer into Schmidt's tortured psyche.

About Schmidt is not a feel-good film. It
forces you to view the world through the eyes of
a real, often sad man -- someone who you may be
able to identify with. It could also very easily
be a film about any one of us at the end of our
days.


How is the transfer?


New Line Cinema is very consistent with providing
first-rate transfers to DVD transfers and I expected
and got nothing less here. Print is in flawless
condition and sports an image that is extremely
clear, a bit on the soft side, but well detailed.
The colors of this film are as subdued as Warren
himself, but are nicely rendered throughout. Chalk
this up as another great transfer from New Line!

Posted ImagePosted Image

The DVD contains both a 5.1 Dolby Digital and
DTS soundtrack. Audio comes across with wide
frequency range and dynamics. Dialogue is very
clear and distinct in the center channel with
a nice sense of audio separation across the front
channels. I'm not quite sure if a DTS track was
necessary here, as most of the film's audio is
front-heavy with very little use given to the
surround channels.


Special Features

Posted ImagePosted Image

What sort of surprises me is that considering this
is New Line title, and one of their biggest theatrical
films of last year, there isn't a heck of a lot
of supplemental material here.

Posted ImagePosted Image
(these are deleted scenes)

There are 9 deleted Scenes presented here.
Each contains a text introduction by director
Alexander Payne. While this sort of text introduction
is an odd sight to find, it does carefully point
out the reasons why these scenes had to be removed.
Many of the scenes presented here are extensions of
already existing material, removed to quicken up the
overall pacing. Some of the highlights include:

* A restaurant scene where Warren steps back in
the spotlight and takes careful notice of the
eating habits of the people around him.

* Jack awakens to the sounds of a very-familiar
sounding vacuum and demands that his future
son-in-law immediately turn it off.

* Warren is arrested in a Supermarket after
he decides to avoid long check-out lines by
shoplifting.

* After fleeing the trailer park, Schmidt is
stopped by a patrol officer

* In a little tribute to Five Easy Pieces,
Schmidt finds himself in a restaurant facing a
waitress that offers "no substitutions."


In the Woodmen Tower Sequences we get five
short films about the Woodman Tower. These are all
very unique ideas as to what the opening shots of
the film could have looked like. May not be
interesting for everyone. Includes text introduction
from director Payne.
(length: approx. 13 minutes)

In addition to the film's original theatrical
trailer
, there are trailers for I am Sam
and Unconditional Love.


Final Thoughts

Posted Image

About Schmidt is an intellectually provocative
and emotionally touching film. Watch it with care,
for this may be a wake-up call for some of you. Time
is short and it's running out fast.

A great transfer from New Line, and though the
supplements are streamlined, I highly recommend
this film and DVD.


Release Date: June 3, 2003


All screen captures have been further compressed.
They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
represent actual picture quality

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

 Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders  Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

 Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive Click Here for our complete DVD review archive

 Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule  Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Tom Tsai

Tom Tsai

    Supporting Actor



  • 565 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 13 2002

Posted April 26 2003 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the review. I'll be blind buying this one. Posted Image

#3 of 32 OFFLINE   RonR

RonR

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 199 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 26 2000

Posted April 26 2003 - 01:55 PM

Can't wait to pick this one up!

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

Richard Kim

    Producer



  • 4,389 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 29 2001

Posted April 26 2003 - 02:22 PM

Quote:
What sort of surprises me is that considering this
is New Line title, and one of their biggest theatrical
films of last year, there isn't a heck of a lot
of supplemental material here.

This is most likely due to director Alexander Payne, as his previous two films (Citizen Ruth and Election) were light on special features on DVD as well.

Definitely going to be picking this one up.

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   DanC

DanC

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 142 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 05 2000

Posted April 26 2003 - 02:45 PM

Thanks for the review Ron, I'll be picking this one up for sure. Definitely one of Jack's best (if not THE best). I've grown to appreciate it even more since seeing it at the theater.
Go Noles!
>>------>

Home Theater/DVD's

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Travis_W

Travis_W

    Supporting Actor



  • 531 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 08 2000

Posted April 26 2003 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for the review Ron, I'll be picking this one up as well. This seems like a title that New Line would have put under the Platinum Series banner but they haven't done that for some time now.
I am Jack's empty signature bar.

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Kenneth Cummings

Kenneth Cummings

    Supporting Actor



  • 852 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 07 2001

Posted April 26 2003 - 03:44 PM

While I didn't care much for most of the Oscar choices this year, About Scmidt is something I do want to see. And judging from this review, I going to buy this movie and enjoy it.
I need a new signature.

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

Tim Glover

    Lead Actor



  • 7,681 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 12 1999
  • Real Name:Tim Glover

Posted April 26 2003 - 04:42 PM

Never saw this in theaters but have heard good things. Looking forward to seeing this. Nice review Ron.

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Joshua_Y

Joshua_Y

    Screenwriter



  • 1,241 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 19 2002

Posted April 26 2003 - 10:57 PM

Saw this in theaters 2 times...I'm a huge Jack fan...this is without a doubt one of his best...I loved everything about it...and broke town at the end...one of the best endings ever...cant wait...

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   JoeyPalmiotti

JoeyPalmiotti

    Agent



  • 40 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 23 2002

Posted April 27 2003 - 12:12 AM

Thanks a lot! Will be getting this........

Dear Ndugu...

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Jim Rankin

Jim Rankin

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 207 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 31 1999

Posted April 27 2003 - 01:18 AM

Nice review Ron, I checked this one out at the theater and loved it. It alternatively is painful/funny to watch, and made me appreciate my family a whole lot more.

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Ron Eastman

Ron Eastman

    Second Unit



  • 417 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 10 2000

Posted April 27 2003 - 07:12 AM

Great review, Ron.

I saw this the night it premiered (New York, LA and Omaha) and loved it. This movie is alternatively thought provoking and funny - hilariously funny for those who have lived in the Omaha area. You almost have to be local to "get" the mockery of the Woodmen tower cake, the indian arrowhead collection and especially The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument.

I'm really looking forward to owning this one. Thanks for the review.

"The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth." - Del Griffith
my home theater
my DVD collection

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

Joseph J.D

    Screenwriter



  • 2,688 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 2001

Posted April 27 2003 - 02:16 PM

Good review Ron. I'm also going to purchase this one blind because of what I've heard about this film. I do find it a little odd that New Line didn't make it an Infinifilm or Platinum series DVD....no matter though, still getting it.Posted Image
Recently watched- Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard, Up 3D, The Grandmaster, Edge Of Tomorrow 3D, The Comedy Of Terrors, The Raven(1963), Mulholland Falls, Saturn 3, Cheers: Season 6, Nosferatu: The Vampyre, Battle Beyond The Stars, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers(1978), Ransom, Dragonheart, Tomb Of Ligeia

Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 2, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, The Equalizer: Season 2, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 1, Arrow: Season 2, Star Trek: Season 1
 
"Now I have a machinegun.  HO-HO-HO"

 


#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

Dave Scarpa

    Producer



  • 5,287 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 08 1999

Posted April 27 2003 - 04:55 PM

I have'nt seen it yet but I'll be buying it, Can this be a bookend for American Beauty Perhaps?
My DVD Collection

The Megaplex

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

Mark Bendiksen

    Screenwriter



  • 1,090 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 28 2003 - 04:30 AM


Quote:
...one of the best endings ever...
Without a doubt.

If the final scene of this film does not move you, you should probably check your pulse.

Posted Image


#16 of 32 OFFLINE   Billy Fogerty

Billy Fogerty

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 182 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 12 2001

Posted April 28 2003 - 05:59 AM

Funny,I couldn't wait to see this when it came out, all the hype about the acting and all. I was disappointed, to say the least. Nicholson has made many far better films than this one. I still say till this day, one of his better acting jobs was in " THE LAST DETAIL". I may rent About Schmidt for a second look,but for me it's not a keeper.

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   RobertCharlotte

RobertCharlotte

    Supporting Actor



  • 661 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 21 2002

Posted April 28 2003 - 06:10 AM

While I maintain that the final scene would have been better if
they'd left to our imagination what the picture Ndugu drew looked like,
I will probably be picking this up also. Thanks for the review, Ron!
Blücher!

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Dave Gorman

Dave Gorman

    Supporting Actor



  • 537 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 22 1999

Posted April 28 2003 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
The film is a total departure from anything the actor has done before.
I thought his non-manic role in The Pledge was better.

Quote:
I was disappointed, to say the least.
Oh good, I thought maybe I was the only one. Even going into the movie with moderate expectations (as I'm usually disappointed with over-hyped movies), I was still disappointed. I didn't totally despise it, but am glad I saw it for free, and don't think I ever need to see it again.

At any rate, thanks for the review, Ron.
...And then there's the guy who saw the sign that said "Wet Floor", so he did.

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   JonZ

JonZ

    Lead Actor



  • 7,793 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 28 1998

Posted April 28 2003 - 12:01 PM

"for this may be a wake-up call for some of you"

Definitely and Im 1/2 schmidts age.

The last minute was my favorite scene from any movie last year. Posted Image

#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

Mark Bendiksen

    Screenwriter



  • 1,090 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 28 2003 - 03:16 PM


Quote:
The last minute was my favorite scene from any movie last year.
I wholeheartedlee agree, although the final minute of Walk to Remember runs a close second, but that was because I realized the blasted movie was finally going to end. Posted Image