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DVD Reviews:  About Schmidt

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Peter Parmac
Distributed by:
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Running Time: 120 Minutes

It’s hard for a Hollywood icon like Jack Nicholson to portray a character that the audience doesn’t see as Jack himself, but as Warren Schmidt he delivers a brilliant performance in a non-typical Jack role.  This is a character driven journey through the eyes of the title character being part comedy, tragedy and drama.

Warren Schmidt begins his journey of self-discovery on his last day of work as an insurance vice president.  He retires from this life long pursuit only to find himself not really knowing where his life is now heading or how his wife and daughter will factor in it now.  After a life changing event Warren reaches the depths of human depression only to find new hope in his third world pen pal Ndugu who acts as a release for Warren’s pent up and repressed world anxieties.  By the end of the film one really feels for the plight of Warren and in a touching moment we as an audience emphasise completely with his life and pain.  What is the movie about…. well it’s about Schmidt.   

DVD visual transfer is crisp and pleasing throughout, to be expected with such a new release, with anamorphic transfer for the lucky widescreen owners out there.  Audio is in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 format and Dolby 2.0 stereo.  The DTS track was superb with a very clear central speaker bias as to be expected on a character driven story.  Music is sparse but the theme used in the menu section and throughout the movie is clever in conjuring up an almost elevator ‘muzak’ atmosphere in keeping with Warren’s mundane existence.

Extras include deleted scenes which I think add a great deal to the understanding of Schmidt’s personality and are essential viewing to get a richer thematic understanding.  There is a section showing several different short films on the building Woodman of the World (Warren’s employer) and a theatrical trailer. The menu was nicely animated, if slow loading, with a shot of the clock detailing the last few seconds of Warren Schmidt’s working life.        

This is a critically acclaimed movie with Nicholson winning a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the sad repressed tragic figure of Warren.  Kathy Bates pops up to play a potential inlaw and is a delight to watch and the supporting cast all come across as believable.  I was moved at the end of this movie and it was down to a great story and a brilliant performance by Jack Nicholson.  The film is so understated in action and pacing that it is only by its end that you realise it’s point.  That what is important in life is living life itself.  I highly recommend this to anyone, a highly moving film very different from the multi million action flicks ala T3 but much more rewarding emotionally and spiritually.

About Schmidt Features

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Woodman Sequences

  • Theatrical Trailer


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