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The Bucket List

A comedy movie directed by Rob Reiner

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Bucket List - 2007

  • Jan 25, 2009
Pros: Nicholson & Freeman - outstanding

Cons: none

The Bottom Line:
“Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone”
~Rodgers & Hammrstein

Edward Cole is an obscenely rich man. He sits on many boards, owns countless companies, dines with Presidents and Royalty, eats only the best food and dines on the choicest meals. His one other addiction is Kopi Luwak Coffee, which he totes around with him with an equally obscene coffee maker/carafe. He list of friends is incredibly short and his only constant companion is his assistant, Matthew, who he insists on calling Thomas. He has everything in the world that money can buy, except love and true friendship.

Carter Chambers is a hard working man, spending 45 years working under the hoods of other peoples cars as a mechanic. His dream, as a young man, was to become a history professor. He is a walking Jeopardy game and has more trivia stored in his head than most people encounter in a lifetime. He has been married to one woman his entire life, never straying, and has three accomplished children. Not wealthy, Carter still is richer than most because he is surrounded by love and companionship.

Edward Cole & Carter Chambers do have one thing in common. Both have cancer and both have just received word that they have no more than a year to live.

Because of Cole’s strict guidelines, he owns the hospital after all, he and Chambers are thrown into the same room. It is Cole’s insistence that each room house at least two patients. Guess he never thought that would come back to haunt him. Living together, under the same circumstances, forces you to learn much more about your roommate than you ever thought you would learn about a stranger.

Chambers has constant visitors; his side of the room is adorned with photos, drawings, cards, gifts, and other mementos of his life before he entered the hospital. Cole’s side of the room has only his coffee maker and the occasional visit from Thomas. A strange bond of friendship develops between these two men who represent both sides of the proverbial track.

One day Cole sees Chambers writing on paper, inquiring in his usual gruff and insistent manner, what he is writing. Chambers explains it is his ‘Bucket List’; all the things he wishes to accomplish before he, well, kicks the bucket. Cole laughs at some of the listings and adds a few of his own which are much wilder and out there. However, as each is released from the hospital, they determine they will accomplish their list and join together on a whirlwind adventure that takes them around the world.

During the travels, Chambers learns that Cole does, in fact, have a child from whom he has been estranged for years. It is his goal to get them back together again. Cole has another agenda, he tries to get Chambers to stray from his wife with another woman. And poor Thomas, he is at the heart of it all, answering the beck and call of Cole and all his demands.

The Bucket List was written by Justin Zackman, directed by Rob Reiner. It has earned, to date, two nominations and carries a PG-13 rating for language and a sexual reference. It is an incredibly sad comedy that makes you laugh and cry. The interaction between the main characters, Jack Nicholson as Edward Cole and Morgan Freeman as Carter Chambers is so complete it is more like two men just really enjoying the act of living, and dying. I think each has reached the point in their careers where they can make a movie for just the sheer pleasure of it, and I think they carried this throughout the movie.

And poor Sean Hayes as Thomas/Matthew. A more dedicated soul you will never find but he had his own agenda as well. Not that I fault him, in fact, kudos to him. Even though his work life was miserable, it also introduced him to glorious riches and a lifestyle he may not have even obtained otherwise. On top of that, he could have left at any time, now couldn’t he? In the end, even Thomas showed a moment of quiet mercy.

Besides, I don’t think I’ve ever got such a kick out of anything as when Chambers finally told Cole the story of how Kopi Luwak Coffee came to be. Cole positively sputtered and I venture to guess he never touched it again. In fact, I think he found Chock Full of Nuts a perfect substitute in the end.



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More The Bucket List (2007 movie) reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
When you think about it, The Bucket List is not a horrible movie. It's a creative, somewhat thought-provoking premise, and it has two capable lead actors. However, its main weakness that keeps me from enjoying this movie is its script. The same person that convinced me to watch Pay It Forward is the person that convinced me to watch this, and I liked this better than Pay it Forward. You see, I don't watch movies to be sad, I watch movies either to laugh or appreciate how well-done they …
review by . November 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   I should have loved this film. I really like Nicholson and Freeman. I also enjoy a good dramedy, even those about death -- one of my all-time favorites is Better Off Dead. It must be very difficult to pull off funny when the subject is death, so to do so is impressive. The Bucket List tries, and sometimes gets very close... but I didn't love this film. It was okay. I don't regret the time invested, but, I'm not adding it to my library.      Why?   …
review by . October 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are two of the best actors out there. That alone makes The Bucket List a treat. It features both men at the top of their game. Nicholson as the millionaire hospital magnate and Freeman as the lowly mechanic strike an unlikely friendship while commiserating over their cancer. It's easy for movies about the elderly and death to take on an almost didactic air. However, The Bucket List is a much more subtle about two imperfect men trying to find an appropriate way …
review by . October 16, 2010
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are two of the best actors out there. That alone makes The Bucket List a treat. It features both men at the top of their game. Nicholson as the millionaire hospital magnate and Freeman as the lowly mechanic strike an unlikely friendship while commiserating over their cancer. It's easy for movies about the elderly and death to take on an almost didactic air. However, The Bucket List is a much more subtle about two imperfect men trying to find an appropriate way to …
review by . December 26, 2008
Pros: Read review     Cons: Read review     The Bottom Line: Heartwarming and entertaining I’d say.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. A Bucket List: is a list of things to do before one dies that one didn't get a chance to do while alive and, well, well enough to do them. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, now there's a combination you no doubt thought you'd never see on the silver …
review by . October 05, 2008
This movie brought tears to my eyes. It was wonderfully performed by the one and only Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The story is about two men, Edward, a rich businessman, and Carter, a mechanic. Both men have cancer and are roommates in the hospital. Thinking they will die, they go on a trip around the world trying to fulfill Carter's (Freeman) bucket list: A list of things to do before you kick the bucket (aka die). Throughout the movie, the men deal with their fears, families and foster …
review by . June 18, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
(3.5 *`s) You've probably seen the previews, so much elaboration isn't needed, but `Bucket List' is still a worthy journey even if the plot is laid out for you already. Sweet, sage, and funny, Rob Reiner delivers another heartwarming gem that's rejuvenating to watch.    They couldn't be more opposite. Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is a wealthy owner of hospitals where the frills are fleeting at best. "We run hospitals, not health spas," Edward brashly tells his potential clients. …
review by . June 15, 2008
Selecting a category for this very fine film results in the all-encompassing label 'mixed media', for lack of a better term. It is smart (with an excellent script by Justin Zackham), addresses some important social issues, and it has moments of touching tenderness and equal moments of very sold comedy. AND it greatly benefits from the casting of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, two consummate actors playing out a theme that is unexpectedly a solid study of friendship and love.    Carter …
review by . June 07, 2008
This is a painfully sentimental movie about love and death. You would be a hard soul indeed if you could sit through this without choking just a little. What makes it worth watching is that it calls the question of the bucket list: just what would you do if you knew your time was limited?    If you're willing to stay with it, it also calls for two more reflections:    *What sort of things are on your list? Is it mostly a check-off of things that other people …
review by . April 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is a relatively happy man. Carter is a self-taught man with a thirst for knowledge that is never quite quenched. He has three children, a devoted wife, and is an ace mechanic. A telephone call one morning from the hospital changes everything. The operation he had months before was unsuccessful and has terminal cancer in the brain. Carter finds himself in the hospital participating in a "promising" experimental treatment. Carter's roommate in the hospital turns out …
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Susi Dawson ()
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"You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you," says the quietly wise Carter Chambers, played with gravitas and grace by a Morgan Freeman. In Rob Reiner's moving, often hilarious filmThe Bucket List, all sorts of people measure themselves against the two heroes, Chambers and his hospital suitemate, Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson). But as Cole finds, having spent his entire life building a Fortune 500 company, none of that much matters when cancer, the great equalizer, pays a visit. The film traces the adventures of the two unlikely friends, who meet in a hospital cancer ward, each given six months to live. The "bucket list" of the title refers to a lifelong list of goals that a teacher of Chambers once advised him to compile--and achieve--"before you kick the bucket." Soon the two are off on what may be the last grand adventure of their life, vowing to tick off as many goals (skydiving, race-car driving, seeing the wonders of the world) as they can in the time they have left. What starts as a medical melodrama becomes a road trip, yet the men's mortality realities are never far from thought. The two leads give impressive performances, and remind the viewer of just how few American films focus on the lives and loves of senior citizens. Nicholson even manages to lose his persona in his character, much as he did inAbout Schmidt. There's a lovely John Mayer tune, "Say (What You Need to Say)," that's ...
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