About Schmidt (2002)

Directed by Alexander Payne, 'About Schmidt' tells the story of Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson), a recently retired Omaha man embarking on a new phase of his life. There's just something so subtle yet powerful about this film that I think everyone can relate to. Life for Warren may seem simple on the surface, but underneath the mellow exterior lies a complex man at a serious crossroads with where his life is heading.

"Who is this old woman who lives in my house?"

To wake up one day and find yourself wondering where the past 66 years of your life has gone must be a frightening thought. And that is exactly where we find our hero, Warren. Recently retired, he seems unsure about where his life is heading. His life's work is thrown away and passed onto some young hot shot from Des Moines. Regrets about missed opportunities and chances not taken fill his mind. A wife who feels like a stranger, and his only daughter about to marry a complete loser. Just when you think things can't get any worse for poor Warren, his wife suddenly drops dead. So what do you do when life keeps throwing you cheap shots? You take your camper and go on a road trip to do some soul searching.
I really felt Nicholson gave one of his best performance of his career. He just felt so natural and smooth portraying the part of Warren. Payne provides a genuinely thought provoking movie about life and family that I enjoyed the heck out of and I hope you do too. And how can you pass on the chance to see the gorgeous Omaha skyline in a movie?

Metascore- 85/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 85%, Audience- 64%
Yong's Rating- 5/5 stars


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The Man From Nowhere (2010)

'The Man From Nowhere' is one of the most exciting movies I've had the pleasure of seeing in a long time. It has everything you want in a good thriller. With its fast-pace action and gritty fight sequences, it will definitely grab your attention. The Koreans seem to have perfected the art of making revenge theme thriller action films. And that is a very good thing for movie fans. A mysterious reclusive pawnshop owner (Bin Won) befriends a troubled young girl who lives next door. She is raised by a drug addicted single mother who loves her daughter but due to her addiction ends up neglecting the young girl. When the mother foolishly steals a stash of drugs belonging to a big drug dealing organization, she doesn't realize the trouble that she has gotten herself into. The gangsters kidnap the mother and the little girl to find the drug and the quiet pawnshop owner gets involved. When he realizes what has happened to his neighbors he does everything in his power to try to save the girl and her mother. As you get to learn more about the past of this man from nowhere, you learn that he is not your average pawnshop owner.
If you have any experience with Korean thrillers, you'll know to expect some dark themes and level of violence not familiar in Hollywood movies. Just a warning for those who aren't fans of violence. Overall, 'The Man From Nowhere' is as a good as any action thriller can get and I highly recommend this one to anyone in mood to watch a kick ass film.

Rotten Tomatoes- Audience- 86%
Yong's Rating- 4.5/5 Stars