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You know that feeling when you walk out of a movie and think "God, that was just such a great film"? It takes a lot for me to think that... especially when it's a movie about two men who have cancer... but this movie really did it for me, as well as everyone else in the theater. I saw the movie at its first ever screening in Pasadena and it was just wonderful... even with temp music and unfinished visual effects! Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman were truly amazing together - it's a film about cancer, and yet the two were able to balance the comedy and the drama of the script in such the perfect way that the audience loved every moment of the movie. The script was quite original, which was such a breath of fresh air, and the acting couldn't have been any better. I would recommend this film to anyone and everyone - as it was such a feel-good movie that made you both laugh and cry at the same time - something you don't come across too often. Not only did the audience applaud the movie at the end, but EVERY single viewer who stayed to give comments agreed that the movie was "Excellent"... I can't imagine how often that happens. I'd be surprised if this movie isn't up for some Oscar or another come next year.
A simple premise done magically is all I can say about this movie.
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are by far and away two of my favourite actors. Jack Nicholson is just funny, no matter what he says or does, ever since Terms of Endearment he has made me laugh so hard that I cry and Morgan Freeman is just the best actor going around. I find it hard to remember a bad movie that he has done.
Probably not everyone will like this movie but it is definitely up there with the best feel good/sad movies that I have seen....and it has a moral that most of us miss in our hectic, live for the now short lives.
This is going to be up there with the best at the Oscars in 2008.
It will make you laugh and cry all at once...it did me.
"The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young."
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Now and then I should rethink what I've been learning all these years as a critic because I predicted The Bucket List would have all kinds of holes in it. It did, but they were tiny blemishes in an otherwise solid frame. This is a good movie, as much silly as serious. And therein lies the skill of director Rob Reiner, who makes sure Jack doesn't kill the lines with bluster and Morgan doesn't drown them in vocal sweetness.
Edward (Nicholson) and Carter (Freeman) meet in hospital where they have been given less than a year to live because of cancer. They bond, create the "kick-the-bucket" list of ten things to do before dying, and then do them. The hokey process shots at several of the world's wonders indicate the surety of Reiner's direction where he evokes the old Hope and Crosby road pictures and emphasizes that the journey is the important thing, not the destination.
Both men laugh and cry and change in subtle ways that make this not a maudlin exercise in death denial but rather a celebration of love through friendship, regardless of the grim future. Although Justin Zachman's script is overall weak given the actors' worth, there are lines that save it all from mediocrity: As Edward the cynic says, "We live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round." As Carter the humanist says, "You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you." The two philosophies, fate and love, caress in a slow dance to recognition of life's true value.
The Bucket List is not half as sappy as I sound so far; it is a sober rendering of life's lessons at the end by two different men who find their common humanity.
One of the most fun and uplifting films of the year, Rob Reiner's The
Bucket List is also a likely contender for Academy Award nominations.
Wonderfully sarcastic dialogue, poignant exchanges between excellently
crafted characters, and an overall beautiful tale of mortality and
morality, The Bucket List is an excellent opportunity for two of the
greatest actors of our time to show off their inimitable techniques.
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman have a chemistry that will have you
laughing until you cry and crying at the sight of something truly
Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is an incredibly wealthy hospital owner who firmly believes that he's running infirmaries instead of health spas, and therefore demands that each room contain two beds and two patients. When a twist of fate lands him in his own hospital, he's stuck sharing a room with Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman). Both men are dying of cancer, and the doctors give each of them only a few months left to live. The two slowly but surely realize how much they enjoy each other's company, so when Carter begins writing a "bucket list", Jack prompts him to see it through. The "bucket list" is a list of all the things both Edward and Carter would like to accomplish in their remaining months (before they kick the bucket) and with Cole's wealth, the two end up touring the world, skydiving and racecar driving. As their list of goals begins to come to an end, they realize how much they've truly lived just in the last few months alone, and how much their short friendship has impacted their lives.
Jack Nicholson's performance is excellent as the curmudgeonly Ebenezer character that receives a change of heart and a change of view with Carter's friendship. Little character development is necessary as we have come to recognize Jack's style over the years. We're already familiar with his character and relate to him in much the same way we feel about all of his recent projects. He's attained a level of recognition that allows us to acknowledge him simply as Jack. Regardless of his role, he's still Jack, and he doesn't disappoint.
The same can be said for Morgan Freeman who continues to play roles that accentuate his knack for worldly, wise and good-natured characters that can make us laugh and cry from moment to moment. Rarely do we see two actors work so well together this odd couple appears to have been destined for these roles. The chemistry between these veterans is pleasantly refreshing, and because of it, The Bucket List is one of the most entertaining films of the year.
Another aspect, which is a great credit to screenwriter Justin Zackham, is the dialogue, which is continually hilarious even while it borders on heartbreaking. Sarcasm and cynicism are proudly worn by Jack, and the conversations conducted between the two are never dull. Meaningful, affecting and downright funny, the script is amazingly well paced and flows more naturally than anything in recent memory.
Nearly everything is likable about The Bucket List, except the tone of the film, which many awards voters and critics may feel is too repetitious of late. The film is uplifting and heartwarming, and while the conclusion strives for unpredictability, comparisons may be drawn to similarly crafted works. "Driving Miss Daisy" and "As Good as it Gets" are immediately brought to mind, especially because these include the same actors, although the morals of "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life" are clearly beneath the surface of this feel-good comedy. Despite these comparisons, The Bucket List is wholesome entertainment that will certainly bring director Rob Reiner back into the spotlight, especially after his unpropitious previous project, "Rumor Has It ".
- Mike Massie
I, like you probably, love the movies. I want to laugh, cry , be
scared, be informed. I love every genre. But only three films have made
me sob. Maybe it is where I am in life right now. I am no spring
chicken, but this film moved me like no other. Is it the best film
ever? No. Neither were the other two that made me sob. For the record
they were "Men Don't Leave", and "My Life". This is a better film than
both of those fine films.
The operative word is sob.I have certainly shed a tear or two at countless films. You get a dedicated teacher and a bunch of misfit students, you'll get a tear out of me. You throw some adversity at an athlete or a team that overcomes it you'll probably see a tear as well, but this film just struck a chord. Not everyone who sees it will feel this way. I know that, but Nicholson is so damned brilliant as is Freeman. It is a joy to watch their characters for a little over 90 minutes, and the message, well, I hope it hits you as it did me. I wanted to go hug everyone that means anything to me. Sure the film has some flaws, but Reiner and company are to be commended. Thanks for opening up some feelings that I have spent years learning to hide. For the record I laughed a fair amount as well. Go see this film.
Usually I'm not into these kinds of movies, but with the casting of
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman I had to see it. I'm really glad that
I decided to give this a try.
The story is quite predictable, but I still enjoyed it. Never mind how impossible the storyline is because it is a great movie about friendship - how two men become great friends in a short time and help each other out throughout the time they are together. It moves along at a smooth pace and I never got bored, so the writer gets credit for that. The acting was top notch as Nicholson and Freeman draw forth the right emotion in the audience at the right time. The emotional parts are done just right, but the funny scenes are the best. I laughed throughout the movie but not as much as I would in a true comedy movie, but the comic scenes in this one really work and Nicholson is the "main man" in them. It does have a message at the end about how you should live your life to the fullest, how your family is important, and how you should be happy in life and the movie delivers that message perfectly.
Other than the predictable storyline and the sometimes cheesy dialog, the movie is great. I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a feel-good movie.
"The Bucket List" is certainly a sentimental favorite that as a viewer
touches your emotions and has you hoping for finding a friendship in
the end, even though the film is funny and somewhat unrealistic. The
performances from Jack and Morgan as expected are top notch, and I
personally like Rob Reiner's direction of showing how an unlikely and
odd friendship develops between two guys on their way out of life by
doing the things they've always wanted. The "Bucket List" in many
respects is a good happy fairy tale that most ordinary folks would
dream about before they die, yet the character types played by
Nicholson and Freeman make it so believable.
Jack Nicholson is billionaire hospital CEO administrator Edward Cole who as a grumpy and aging four time divorced playboy finds he has terminal cancer. With Freeman a character that's much different a blue collar working class auto mechanic named Carter Chambers who's a loving family man with a wife and kids and on the side a beloved history buff and trivia enthusiast yet he discovers his fate of having terminal cancer. Upon meeting in the same hospital room they share at first it's a cold and tough bonding only later to grow into a friendship by journey and discovery. The concept is thought up by Chambers by making a list called "The Bucket List" of things to do before we die. Oddly opposites agree the journey starts. The adventures include the heart pumping sky diving, auto drag racing, and trips to exotic locations and foreign countries. Many scenes like the mountain tops and pyramids seem unreal, yet are carried on by the witty and funny lines from Jack's character.
Most important aside from the journey and discovery of friendship and caring by travel and adventure a special bond is formed. Each has learned before they meet the end they have made each a better person that cares they both found what's important in life thru one another. "The Bucket List" isn't really a tear jerker, yet it's story of two terminal cancer patients provides the need for compassion as the viewer feels pain during the early scenes and you are certainly touched by the way the characters emotions grow by friendship you as the viewer feel your emotions have taken a good friendship journey. Finally this film is made even better by the performances of the two veteran legends Nicholson and Freeman. I highly recommend anyone view "The Bucket List".
I was glad to catch this movie before it's release date here in Canada,
so I know to tell all my friends and family, and anyone I can possibly
reach to go see this movie.
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman put on a terrific performance, playing two cancer patients who only have a year to live. They both decide to make a "Bucket List", a list of events they never accomplished in their lives. This list ranged from kissing the prettiest lady in the world to patching up the problems with their family.
The performances of this movie was phenomenal, but what really made this movie unique was the writing. We have all seen movies with a similar plot like in The Holiday when Queen Latifa spends all her money living like a Queen because she only has a few months to live. But instead the Bucket List is unique because it wasn't that completing this list made their last year worth living, it was the fact that the writers focused on the chemistry of these two men and how their friendship increased while completing this list.
The witty dialog, the brilliant writing and the great performance really made this movie a post-Christmas treat.
Greetings again from the darkness. Yes, this can be viewed as Hollywood
formula with mass appeal and loads of stereotypes and clichés. On the
other hand, it can be taken as a very accessible commentary on
friendship, companionship and finding the joy in life. I prefer the
latter. Either way, it does require a certain suspension of reality.
Just ask Roger Ebert, who has made it his personal mission to bash the
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are both in prime form, and after a string of weak films, director Rob Reiner does a masterful job of keeping Nicholson from going over the top and from having Freeman kill us with sweetness. Even more impressive is the pacing of the early hospital scenes ... nothing is forced, no line of dialogue or shot seems hurried. This is two patients coming to grips with their situation. While the worldly travels are impressive, my favorite parts of the film are the scenes between the two beds in the same room.
On the downside, will someone please tell Hollywood that Morgan Freeman in the cast does not mandate a blasted voice-over from the man? We know he has a great voice, but if the narration adds nothing to the story, please just let the film do its thing.
There are some laugh out loud moments and one-liners, but there are also some strong moments of drama ... death has a way of creating those. This is a combination of road trip, buddy film and coming-of-age ... very unusual for two senior citizens! So while the story line surprises are few, sit back and enjoy excellent acting (including Sean Hayes), wonderful direction and a few life lessons. Good stuff for a movie that all ages can enjoy.
On new years day, 2008, I saw the film "The Bucket List." It was not my
first choice of a film that I wanted to see. To be honest, however, I
probably would not have enjoyed any of the films that I would have
chosen more. This film is very well done. I liked the screenplay, by
Justin Zackham. I liked the direction, by the real talented Rob Reiner.
And I was very impressed by the acting. Jack Nicholson and Morgan
Freeman did a superb job, playing two dying old guys who befriend each
other, and together have the adventure of their lives. The film is very
good. The plot involves this hospital owner-Edward Cole-who is dying
from cancer, and another cancer victim-Carter Chambers-who meets Cole
while getting treatment at the same hospital. After they both find out
that they each have only a few months to live, they agree to travel
together all over the globe, and follow this list of tasks. They call
it the bucket list.
Nicholson gives a real touching performance as Ed Cole. He plays Cole funny, sad, stubborn, angry, strong, fearless, and loud. Morgan gives an equally touching performance as C. Chambers. He plays Chambers smart, cool, romantic, funny, fearless, and emotional. Both men are very moving in this film. They are great sharing the screen. I really enjoyed watching them play scenes together. It was for me a real treat. These guys, Nicholson and Freeman, are two of our finest actors. And this film is no exception.
Even though "The Bucket List" is a small film about friendship, and the meaning of truly living, I do not recommend it for the preteens. There are some very adult scenes. However, families with teenagers will enjoy seeing it together.
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