About Schmidt – A Movie Review

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Jun 142008

About Schmidt Movie PosterWarren Schmidt is a retired insurance salesman, who at age 66, has no particular plans other than to drive around in the motor home his wife insisted they buy. He’s not altogether bitter, but not happy either, as everything his wife does annoys him, and he disapproves of the man his daughter is about to marry. When his wife suddenly dies, he sets out to postpone the imminent marriage of his daughter to a man he doesn’t like, while coping with discoveries about his late wife and himself in the process.

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance and Adaptation; Running Time: 2 hrs. 5 min.; Release Date: December 13th, 2002 (LA/NY); MPAA Rating: R for some language, brief nudity.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates, James Crawley

Directed by: Alexander Payne

I only recently watched this movie. I watched it on the very small screen of my mobile phone while flying home from Dallas. I do have noise cancelling headphones, so I don’t miss much of the dialogue, but there are sometimes distractions.

About Schmidt is one of those movies that one has to think about. It doesn’t hit you over the head with the message of the movie within the first 10 minutes. so, frankly, this can make it somewhat boring. But it’s a quiet treat if you stick with it.

The movie if anything else is sly. Its the story of a recently retired man, and his own “personal discovery” and the examination of his own life, as cliche as it sounds. While some would consider the awkward silences in the movie, editing mistakes or purely bad script this movie in fact is exceptionally well done. Even the subtle way the scene is pictured and the little jokes (like the scene where Schmidt is driving and says “life is short” and then a bug hits the window of his car)are well written.

Overall this movie may not have been “entertaining” to the short attention span masses who think obvious sex inuedos and been there done that plots are the best movies, but if you’re up for a movie that makes you reflect a bit on yourself, About Schmidt certainly slips you a little moral of life, without cramming it down your throat like a billbord in a fortune cookie.

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The Departed

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Oct 152006

The DepartedTwo men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Boston State Police department and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy’s identities.

Directed by
Martin Scorsese

Crime, Drama, Thriller

Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson,� Alec Baldwin, Kevin Corrigan, James Badge Dale, David O’Hara, Mark Rolston, Robert Wahlberg, Kristen Dalton

It’s very rare to click on Yahoo Movies and see a movie with “A” ratings from both viewers and critics. Lay and I went Friday night, and we are ready to go back and see it again.

Needless to say I was expecting a lot – more than I thought this director (of classics like Taxi Driver but lately of Gangs of New York) would deliver. I was very wrong.

Though the exact plot is unimportant, The Departed is about the blurred lines that distinguish good guy from bad guy, and cop from robber, in present-day Boston. With a packed cast (which I need not mention) that includes great supporting roles by Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin, the acting in the departed is stellar. Living-legend Jack Nicholson flawlessly delivers one of his best performances in years as the execrable mob boss Frank Costello. Nicholson’s nuanced acting was so on-point that at times I felt like I was actually about to be shot by the slimy capo.

The Departed is nothing short of spectacular. Funnier that most comedies, Scorsese is still able to amplify the bloodshed and meticulously deliver a stunning cinematic achievement.

Bravo, Mr. Scorsese; you have outdone yourself.

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