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'Incredibles 2' Positioned for a Record Breaking Opening Weekend
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $71.5 million on Friday (including $18.5 million in preview grosses), Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2 is well on its way to a record-smashing debut. Right now the film is looking at a three-day opening anywhere from $170-180+ million, dramatically outperforming the $135 million opening for Finding Dory, which currently holds the largest opening weekend for an animated feature. The film received a "A+" CinemaScore. Warner Bros.'s R-rated c...

'Ocean's 8' Steals #1; 'Hereditary' Delivers Record Numbers & 'Jurassic World 2' Roars Overseas
Leading the weekend charge is Warner Bros and Village Roadshow's Ocean's 8, topping industry expectations and delivering the largest opening within the franchise (not adjusted for inflation). At the same time, A24's Hereditary smashed tracking expectations and even outperformed Mojo's lofty, pre-weekend forecast to finish within the top five, earning A24 its largest opening ever. Unfortunately, Global Road's Hotel Artemis, the weekend's third new wide release, struggled to find an opening w...

Another Glowing Schmidt Review
A review of About Schmidt
by J. D. Rummel

Because I live in Omaha, NE I was required by law to see the film, About Schmidt. Okay, that's not true, but certainly if the theatre lines in Omaha were the only indication you would think such a law existed. Folks here are turning out in large numbers for the film, which was shot largely in Nebraska.

Director: Alexander Payne

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Kathy Bates, Dermot Mulroney, June Squibb, Howard Hessman

Rating: R

Release: 12-13-2002

Time: 124 minutes

Buy Movie at In fact, this production by a former Omahan (director Alexander Payne) is a fantastic piece of work on many levels. Based loosely on the Louis Begley novel of the same name, the film follows the life of Omaha insurance executive Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) who is both recently retired and widowed. We watch as Schmidt goes on a journey to Colorado to attend/halt his daughter's marriage to a man Schmidt believes is beneath her. Along the way, Schmidt has several experiences that he thinks changes him, but real change of the order required takes time and that is something Schmidt is aware he is lacking (he was an actuary before retiring).

When he arrives in Denver he mixes with the very different Hertzal family headed by Roberta (Kathy Bates). He puts on his best polite face while we all observe the various dynamics of this upper lower class Midwest family. Speaking from personal experience I have met all of these people and sat in those dimly lit, outdated wood paneled rooms. Payne and company uses the perfect settings to establish a grim, gray tone that is absolutely accurate and powerful.

There is not a false performance to be seen here, everyone is pitch perfect and Nicholson gives a career crowning turn to Schmidt. Persons in Omaha were thrilled that Jack was in town, but the wild man of street and screen is nowhere to be found in this production. There is no trace of the Heeeere's Johnny! antics that audiences love Nicholson for. This is a masterful, measured performance by an actor of talent and seasoning. The movie sits on his shoulders and he handles the weight with grace and power. Kathy Bates is absolutely on target in the role of the mother of the bridegroom and her exchanges with ex-husband Larry (Howard Hesseman) are so real you completely forget you are watching actors in a scene. Hope Davis as daughter Jeannie is clearly torn between her love for her father and the resentment she feels for all of his failures as the head of the small Schmidt family. Dermot Mulroney as Schmidt's new son-in-law nails the basically decent character of Robert. He is a nice guy, but is that enough?

About Schmidt is rooted in reality and the verity of the situations fuels each scene. There are many laugh out loud moments in the movie, but it is not a comedy nor just a drama. It is aptly titled because for Schmidt everything is about him. This includes his final wedding toast as the father of the bride, which never really addresses the couple but instead stays centered on his areas of concern. Even his letters to an African orphan he sponsors are long discussions focused on himself. As the story develops Schmidt must come to some hard conclusions about how he has lived his life. As an audience we must do the same.