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I watched this film at the weekend with my husband, and although I enjoyed it, I must admit it affected me so badly emotionally that I was in pieces by the end of it! The film revolves around two main characters, Edward (Jack Nicholson) and Carter (Morgan Freeman), who meet in hospital. When they both discover they are terminally ill, they create a "To Do" list of things they'd like to do before they "kick the bucket". Although it doesn't sound the cheeriest of storylines, I knew it would be thought-provoking and heartwarming, and I had high hopes for the film due to the main characters being played by big names in the acting world.
I wasn't disappointed with the acting in this film, if anything it was a little *too* realistic, hence my blubbing at the end. Although I knew how the film was going to end, I grew very attached to the two chaps in this short space of time, and it also made me think about my own life and inevitable death, which is not the best way to spend a Saturday night! The performances are faultless in my opinion, and although I didn't really recognise any of the supporting cast, it didn't matter since the two lead characters were fundamental to this film.
The characters aren't portrayed as helpless victims, nor are they idolised as being saints. They are real people, trying to come to terms with the fact they are dying, and squeezing the most out of life with the time they have left. The men become close friends in a short space of time, thrown together by their shared experience, but they are not always nice to each other. The lovely thing about their friendship is that they are both going through the same fears, feelings and physical changes, so they understand each other, and allow each other to be themselves instead of putting a brave face on the situation. They also help each other along the way, because they can see things from an outside perspective, for example when it comes to family relationships.
Although the plot suggests this film is going to be action-bound, with two elderly gentlemen throwing themselves out of planes and bungee jumping every day, the reality is that it's much more focussed on emotions and relationships than action. Don't get me wrong, we do get to see the men enjoying some pastimes they've wanted to do all their lives, but the first half of the film doesn't make it out of the hospital setting. We do get to see them on their adventures for a little while, although again this is very poignant and much soul-searching is involved.
The men have some complicated relationships with their families, which they try to resolve before their time is over. Carter is an honest family man, who has worked hard all his life and never been with a woman apart from his wife. He feels that his life has passed him by, with his only aim being to keep a roof over his children's heads, and he never really got to have his time to do what he wanted. He and his wife have got to an age where they just exist alongside one another, taking each other for granted, and he decides it's time to be selfish and go off on a road-trip with Edward to see out his days. This really affected me, because it was just a reminder of how easy it is to take things for granted, and the thought of feeling like this in later life depressed me. There is a bit of a shift in their relationship towards the end which I won't spoil for you, but by this time I was already reaching for the tissue box!
Edward, on the other hand, is a bit of a ladies man, having been married four times but never really settling down. He prefers to build his business, which has made him very rich, and yet when he discovers he is dying, it's a very good reminder that money cannot bring happiness. There is a great scene where he's home alone, microwaving a ready meal, and it alternates between this and Carter who is enjoying a big family meal. Not a very subtle message, but an important one for anyone who has forgotten where the joy in their life comes from.
The film isn't completely depressing, and there were some scenes which had my husband and I laughing. This was mainly the honesty of the friendship between the two men, and some of the scrapes they get into along the way manage to lighten the mood a bit. It's an excellent mix of humour, enlightenment, and it will raise some thought-provoking questions about your own life. It tackles the subject of terminal illness very appropriately, and I felt the stages each character went through were realistic, with each one being at different stages such as denial, anger, and acceptance.
I would highly recommend this film, if nothing else to remind yourself what's important in life and to be grateful for what you have got. I was personally very affected by it, as it made me very aware of the inevitability of the circle of life, and with my parents not getting any younger I felt quite saddened by this. However, my husband asked me at the end of the film what would be on my Bucket List, and this has got us thinking about the future in a way that will hopefully ensure we never take life's opportunities, or each other, for granted. Life really is too precious to let it pass you by.
(Review also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
Film Only Review:
Carter (Morgan Freeman) is a mechanic and a happy go lucky, God fearing man. He is a friendly and very clever family man much loved by many and one day gets some very bad news and we see him in hospital with cancer and being very ill indeed and having treatment. Enter Edward (Jack Nicholson) a professional man that virtually owns the hospital that both are staying in, also with cancer that we soon learn is progressing fast.
With two patients to a room Edward at first isn't best pleased at having to share a room although it was his rule that he brought in and he is surly and off at first and sometimes rather snappy but Carter is a calm, kind man and takes little notice of it and actually seems to find it all amusing.
Both though find out they have 6 to 12 months to live and both are going through treatment and through it they becomes friends but when they both find out their futures Carter decides to write a bucket list, throws it away and it lands on the floor of their room and Edward finds it calls it lame and says what about the exciting stuff and much to Carters disgust at the time Edward adds to it with money no object as he is very rich and convinces him to do it with him much to Carters wife's disgust who is a nurse and wants him to look after him at home with his children in his last few months of living.
They travel the world together discovering themselves, the meaning of true friendship and having hearts to hearts as they go. They are very different people but both learn about themselves through each other, they have a row and go their separate ways or do they?
This for me is a simply magical film. It is narrated by Morgan Freeman and at the beginning you think you are being given the ending so the ending was a surprise to me and so very sad it something I have thought about since watching it. Both Morgan and Jack played their roles impeccably well, I cried quite often and was completely touched by the characters and their plights.
The scenery, the stunts and the music were all wonderful, the supporting cast I didn't really notice I have to be honest and me, well I was more involved in the turmoil and friendship of our two leading men.
Both bounced off each other having the funny Edward who could be crude and crass and Carter who was more grounded and sensible and it was nice to see the differences so well portrayed but a really loving friendship progress between opposite types of people.
If you want a real tear jerking film with a sad but lovely ending and even a comedy line creeping in then I really do recommend this one....I loved it and will watch it time and time again in the future.
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
I bought this film recently from Sainsbury's because it was really cheap and I'd heard it was good, though I can't remember who from. Knowing the vague concept of the film and liking the actors in it I thought it might be a good film to add to my collection and so I bought it.
The premise of the film is that Carter (Morgan Freeman) and his hospital room buddy, Edward (Jack Nicholson), decide to create a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket. Thus their bucket list is formed. They embark upon a journey together which involves racing fast cars, parachuting out of a plain and drinking the most expensive coffee in the world.
The entire jaunt if funded by Edward who is a billionaire. Carter has a loving wife and several children, though he feels he wants more from the final months of his life. Edward has experienced many things, has worked hard all his life and has many ex-wives and no real family to speak of. He wants companionship and Carter seems to be the answer to this. Both are suffering from terminal lung cancer and have only a matter of months to live, so why not live it to the full?
What they experience in fact are not just the wonders of the world but they begin to understand better why they need these experience so late on in life. Carter has been feeling less in love with his wife and disconnected from the children he spent so much of his life raising. He gave up his dreams of becoming a History professor when his wife became pregnant and instead opted for a safe career as a mechanic. In time Carter realises he wants to reignite his relationship with his wife, and to be close to his children who love him dearly. Edward also soon realises that what he really wants is to be closer to his estranged daughter. She disowned him after he paid off her abusive husband in order to get him to leave. Edward does eventually reconnect with his daughter and is introduced to the granddaughter he never knew he had.
I won't spoil the ultimate ending for you but needless to say it's a tear jerker. I thought the ending was sad but very apt and closed off what was mostly an enjoyable film.
I love Morgan Freeman and will happily watch any film that he is in. I also though Jack Nicholson was surprisingly good, I often find him a little hard to watch (maybe because of The Shining?) but actually thought he was very likeable in this. The performances are good and I think these two actors balance each other out very well.
The plot of the film is good, though there is something about the pacing of it that throws me off a little. There is a lot of talk about the bucket list but little time dedicated to them ticking the things off. I think a little more time could have been given to this important part of the film, though the underlying message is of togetherness with family.
This film cost me £4 in Sainsbury's and can also be found cheaply online. I enjoyed the film and would watch it again in the future. It isn't exactly action packed, nor are there any real surprises in the plot line - but for 93 enjoyable minutes it is worth this cheap price.
In light of this review 3 stars may seem a little harsh. I think had the film been paced a little better and involved more actual bucket list it would have scored higher, but I still enjoyed it anyway.
Jack Nicholson is Edward Cole, a billionaire who has become that way through over work and making tough decisions such as making patients in the hospital he runs share rooms to maximise the profit.
He becomes ill with cancer, and has to share a room in his own hospital with another terminall ill patient, Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) who has a completely different lifestyle to Edwards. Where Edward is estranged from his family, Carter has a wife and children who are surrounding him with too much love.
Although the men appear at first to have little in common, they bond through the shared illness and the lack of privacy suffering from it while sharing a room.
Edward discovers that Carter has a bucket list. This is a list of all the things he wanted to do before he dies, written when he was a young man in college. Where Carter lacks the funds, Edward doesn't, so the two men set off on a bit of a road trip to get some of the things done off the list while they are between treatments. This horrifies Carter's wife, but these men are a great comfort to each other in a difficult part of their lives, and both have a positive influence on the other, changing their outlook on life.
While this could be quite a grim film with both men so ill, I actually found it really uplifting. There is something so inspirational about someone facing something so horrific as terminal illness and the side effects of the treatment meant to help them, yet act dignified and still want to live the life they have left to its fullest.
There were many humourous incidents for me in the film. A lot of these were how Edward treats his personal assistant, and Carter being such a surprise for Edward and not letting Edward get away with being a bit obnoxious at times.
The character of Edward while at first pretty unlikeable is someone who grows on you when you see how touched he is by his friendship with Carter. You start to realise that he has turned out how he has through things that happened in his past.
Both of these male actors are superb and absolutely convincing in these roles. I could forget that they were two famous names and imagine it was Edward and Carter. Freeman is always excellent for me, but the last film I watched with Nicholson was 'Something's Got To Give' where he played an ageing lothario, and to be honest I was put off him a lot in this role as it felt very forced. I really did think he was in fine form here again acting age appropriately in this role, ie not fawning over young actresses who are really young enough to be his grandaughter.
I managed to watch this online as part of my lovefilm package, so this is a film only review. This film is from 2007, so it is possible to pick this up online new from about £9.99 on amazon, or a used copy from about £2.19.
I had wanted to watch this film for quite a while after watching theatrical trailers for it, and I have to say this did not disappoint me. I really enjoyed watching it. I found it more humerous than drama or tear jerker, and the 93 minute run time was more than enough to cover the subject matter well and I felt it ended appropriately.
The soundtrack was mostly older songs by the likes of Edith Piaf that I had not really heard before, with the exception of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' which is a song that I really like as it always makes me laugh. (A wimba wa) Again, it was appropriate for the action that happened on screen but not that memorable to me because of me not knowing the tracks. I guess it would appeal more to someone who is a similar age to these characters.
I would highly recommend this film if you are looking for something to watch. It would appeal to fans of both of the leads, and those who like more intelligent humour as it is more verbal than slapstick I would say. It's a gentle and involving film, and pretty easy to watch.
I bought this DVD in Aldi recently in their bargain bit, it was about £2.99 and well worth it.
The film is 93mins long
It stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman
It says "lashings of comedy" on the back of the DVD box, whilst it has some comedy elements it actually was heart renching in places and brought me near to tears. It was a rollercoaster of a journey.
The first part takes a while to get into as the two characters get to know each other, it starts with Morgan Freeman as Carter Chambers becoming ill and then we see Jack Nicholson as Edward Cole come into the same 2 bed ward as Carter, Edward is a millionare and expects much more than just a hospital room and is a demanding kind of guy whereas Carter is a motor mechanic who is a soft and gentle family man.
They seem worlds apart but the cancer they both suffer from and the effects of the chemo bring them together in a unique way which is believable. As the film gets going it starts to become more funny it shed's light into the world of Chemotherapy and Cancer, although Chemo is a horrendous and terrible thing to go through it puts some humour into what actually happens. I notice that another review says all the sickness is un-realistic, I have a friend who's recently had chemo and believe me - it's very realistic as were all the emotions and thoughts that people go through.
As the characters Edward and Carter realise that what they have is terminal and that they haven't done half the things they'd like to, Edward helps Carter fulfil his dream of doing some of the things he wished he'd done and together they go round the world achieving that.
It's an emotional film, it's not a chic flick or a romantic comedy, it's just as it is an emotional story with a comedy element rather than as the box says 'lashings of comedy'!
Morgan Freeman is typical of Morgan Freeman in his role and there's also a voice over with his voice which is quite popular with his films.
I won't spoil the ending - you'll have to watch it!
Not one to watch if you want a good laugh but a great film about a serious topic that a lot people want to avoid.
FILM ONLY Review
Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is a curmudgeonly old billionaire who owns a string of hospitals but doesn't really have a care for anything other than their profit lines, while Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is a family man, a smart mechanic who always dreamt of being a history teacher, but fate stopped him fulfilling his dreams.
At face value these guys don't have a thing in common except for a terminal illness and a room which they share in the hospital whilst going through chemotherapy, but these are the kind of experiences that bond people together and gradually these two old guys build up a respectful friendship based on their senses of humour and the fact that they are the only people who can appreciate what the other is going through.
When they both learn their expected life expectancies they decide to make 'bucket lists' a kind of to do list of things each would love to experience before they die and set out to help each other follow their dreams.
Along the way, Edward has to consider his estranged family and his business interests while Carter has to consider his lost dreams and whether he has been trapped by family life without ever experiencing a life of his own, through their shared experience and friendship they discover what their lives meant and how they may have enriched the lives of others around them.
It seems odd to consider a film about death to be uplifting but this is an uplifting film, the director, Rob Reiner fills the film with humourous set pieces and lines, while from the start there is an acceptance that people will die, so there is no white elephant in the room, the bad news is out there, the rest of the film is a chance for our main characters to try to fit as much fun and joy into their short lifespans before it is too late.
With Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as the main men, you have two very personable leads and once they have poked and felt around enough to develop a tetchy friendship, they are believable and natural in the roles of two people pushed together by fate, its easy to feel happy as they try new and wild things and to feel for them as they consider what their lives meant for themselves and others. Nicholson as always is larger than life, but he tones his performance down here and I liked it much more for that, he looks old now and fairly rotund but is a good foil to Freeman who steals the film with a performance which is both eloquent, sad and funny, he is a truly great actor and makes this film for me, with a performance which exudes a satisfaction with a life lived and a curiosity about what more life can offer.
Things I liked about the film:
Morgan Freeman puts in another excellent performance, his is an enjoyable and solid turn which the whole film relies upon. I liked the honesty in him walking away from his family for a short while, explaining that he needed to see some of life and that he had spent his whole life being a good man, a good husband and good father and wasn't letting anyone down.
The idea of the Bucket List is probably very unrealistic to the extremes portrayed in this film (Trips to Egypt, Safaris in Africa, sky dives, rally driving), but it is something we could all perhaps consider to make more of our lives whilst we still have them. How many times have you sat down and made a list of all the things you'd like to achieve before you die, from your dream holiday to something you've always wanted to do for others or give to the world, if some people watch this and consider making their own lives better, more fulfilling and enjoyable, then I think the director, writer and actors did a really good job.
The film confronts death early on and doesn't play on it in a mawkish or emotionally disingenuous way, it accepts that the characters will die and allows us to follow them as they attempt to make the most of their final days.
Sean Hayes from Will and Grace hits the perfect balance as Nicholsons devoted but quite prepared to fight his corner assistant, coming up with some excellent retorts and generally giving as good as he gets, both Hayes and Nicholson genuinely seem to enjoy their verbal jousting.
The films ending is well thought out and touching and it will have you reaching for the tissue box, even though it is kind of inevitable what will happen throughout.
Things I didn't enjoy so much:
Jack Nicholson was at times a little OTT in his portrayal, meaning that you just yearn at times for more of Morgan Freeman.
The idea of these characters vomiting constantly and being in excruciating pain and then attempting some of the things they do is slightly unrealistic and probably not appreciated by people who have experienced cancer.
In many of the experiences, sky diving, in Egypt, it seemed to me that Freeman and Nicholson had been superimposed onto the environment, I may be wrong, but it looked wrong like a bad case of editing and cheapened the film in many ways.
Morgan Freeman having to do the voice over again, surely at some point they can let him off these duties, the guy has a great voice and is a wonderful actor, but let him just act sometimes, not every film needs a voice over!!!
Favourite Line: Edward, I've had baths that were deeper than you
The Bucket list is one of those films I have heard about, but never really managed to get around to actually watching it. I had heard very good reviews. The acting was supposedly great (well, what else do you expect when you have charming actors such as Morgan Freeman playing a major role), the plot was memorable and that it was one of those films that really grips you emotionally.
So when I discovered it would be playing on TV one night, I just had to watch it.
As I sat down with my pack of HARIBO and watched, I started to feel disappointed after the first twenty minutes. I just found the film slow, and quite boring. I was basically watching two men living in a hospital room, watching TV and having the occasional moan. In fact, I nearly even switched channels. But, I decided to give the film a chance, and I am so glad I did.
As the film progressed, it became lively, fun, emotionally gripping, drama-packed, and rather realistic. I enjoyed the plot a great deal. The film basically follows two terminally ill men who decide to go on a quest to complete a life of desired activities which have been listed on their 'bucket list'/wish list. Skydiving, car racing, emotional and intelligent conversations, wining and dining, and viewing something 'majestic' makes the film a worthwhile watch, whilst feeding the viewer with a bit of wisdom too.
It would be impossible or extraordinarily hard not to engage with the two men. We gain an insight into their lives and their family lives, and we see the friendship of two men who are virtually opposites, ignite.
But what really made the film that extra 'special' to me, was it was not just a story with the ups. The viewer sees the huge downs, the difficulties, the sadness as death draws closer, and I think the film emphasises the significance of family, friends, love and hope. Righting the wrongs, Not forgetting the past, and moving on bravely.
There is not really any special effects in this film, but there does not need to be. The wholehearted character performances and superb acting give the film its magic. It's definitely a memorable film, with an emotional and charming ending. I would definitely recommend it to you.
The Bucket List is one of those films you can be quitely confident is going to be good right from the start. What film starring both Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman wouldn't be good? The best way to sum it up, right from the beginning would be a to call it a "feel good" movie. But that might be to dismiss it's better qualities too quickly. After all, that title makes it sound like a girly film and not really worth watching. Quite the opposite is true. Sure, it's not an action thriller, but it certainly appeals to everyone.
Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) and Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson), find themselves terminally ill and stuck in the same hospital room. Both men are from very different backgrounds and have vastly different personalities. With Cole being the wealthy owner of the hospital and Chambers being working classes, there's some clear differences. So you expect some clashes. Soon enough though, the two men become close friends, sharing in the misery of slowing dying in a undignified manner. Chambers has a "bucket list" - a list of things he wanted to do before he died and when Cole finds out he decides to pay for his new found friend to fulfil his dreams. It's a heart touching story as the two men embark on the (world wide) journey to tick of the boxes on the list. Skydiving, mountain climbing, safari expeditions and much more ensue.
That plot might sound a bit thin, but there's much more too it, as in their last moments, the two men begin to realise what is important in their respective lives. The shenanigans along the way provide for some amusement, while the ending provides some warmth to the heart.
Obviously, as you'd expect, both Freeman and Nicholson provide their usual stellar performances - so much so I can't even remember who else was in the film in all honesty. They're believable, amusing and fun to watch. A classic pairing. This is a film to make you laugh, think and muse. It's clever, funny and deep all at the same time. Well worth a watch if you get the chance. Makes me wish I had some rich friend to go on a world tour with.
The Buckey List is a pretty good film but given the quality of the two leading actors in the film I sort of expected more from it, despite this it is stll a film I would certainly recommend.
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are the actors in question and Nicholson plays Edward Cole a fantastically rich man who has made his money in the healthcare market however his life takes a change for the worse when he is diagnosed with cancer. As part of a cost saving exercise his company always insists on patients sharing a room and for him it is no different and he finds himself sharing with fellow cancer sufferer Carter Chambers played by Freeman who is a working class man and who works as a mechanic.
Knowing that he is soon to die Carter has compiled a list of things to do however Edward decides to spice things and uses his wealth to make it a more memorable list and the two embark on a series of adventures as they seek to have one last hurrah. What follows is an enjoyable comedy that sees the pair carry out a number of stunts and activities and it makes for an amusing film that is good entertainment.
The performances from the two lead characters are excellent and they both have a good on screen prescence together and they bounce off each other well with some sharp dialogue.
Some of the things they do are a bit predictable and this is probably what disappointed a bit, maybe the writers could have been a bit more adventurous with their material but still it is a nice warm, gentle comedy that is fun to watch.
The Bucket List (2007)
Writer: Justin Zackham
Dir.: Rob Reiner
Morgan Freeman - Carter Chambers
Jack Nicholson - Edward Cole
Sean Hayes - Thomas
Beverly Todd - Virginia Chambers
Rob Morrow - Dr. Hollins
Alfonso Freeman - Roger chambers
Rowena King - Angelica
Carter, an older man in his late 60s or early 70s, is diagnosed with cancer and enters the hospital for treatment. His roommate is Edward, also an older man in his late 60s or early 70s being treated for cancer. The two men quickly become friends.
Both men learn on the same day that their cases are terminal and they each only have six months to live.
The two men decide to start a bucket list, a list of things they'd like to do before they die.
Edward, being filthy rich, has the means for the two men to accomplish their goals. They travel the world and experience many things they would have never done otherwise.
This is an excellent movie. The movie perfectly balances the drama and comedy. The movie is about two men with cancer, but it's not a sad movie, it's a fun light hearted movie. The two men don't look at their diagnosis as a death sentence, but as an opportunity to live. The two men do and experience more living in three months than most people do in an entire lifetime.
The movie is wonderfully written by a young writer with only a few movies under his belt and beautifully directed by Rob Reiner.
The movie also has an excellent cast, all of whom give top-notch performances.
Jack Nicholson rarely gives a bad performance, and this one is spot on. He's very good at comedy, and he easily walks the line between humor and drama.
Morgan Freeman gives his usual wonderful performance. He's a natural in this movie.
Jack and Morgan have wonderful chemistry and perfect timing in this movie. They both play their roles with such youthful exuberance, they both seem so much younger than their actual age.
Sean Hayes is also excellent in his role as Thomas, the assistant of Jack Nicholson's character. The playful insults back and forth between he and Jack were fun and clever. It's hard to see him in anything and not think about Jack from Will and Grace, but that character never crosses your mind while you're watching him in this one.
This movie received mixed reviews from the critics, but not from the public; it was a big box office success.
Overall, this is a great movie. It's fun, funny and lighthearted, despite some of its content. So, if you're looking for a fun sweet movie that also includes some beautiful scenery, you can't go wrong with this one. I definitely recommend it.
For a very long time I resisted watching this film, ignoring endless recommendations from friends. A film about two old men dying of a terminal disease was not high on my wish list - but when I eventually saw it I was won over by two fantastic acting performances that managed to combine both humour and pathos.
Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is a car mechanic living a simple but happy life surrounded by a warm and loving family - until his world suddenly screeches to a halt at the shocking news that he has lung cancer. Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is the multi-millionaire owner of the hospital to which Carter is admitted, and he too has been diagnosed with lung cancer. These two very different men find themselves in the same hospital room, enduring the same traumatic treatment, and having to listen as each of them in turn receives the news that they haven't got long to live. Sharing these traumatic experiences inevitably brings the two men close together as, in their own humorous and rough way, they give each other comfort. As the truth starts to close in on them, they find release by talking about the things that they had always wanted to do, but hadn't had the time or the money to fulfill - and so the Bucket List is born - a wish list of things to do before they die. What would anybody write on this list? Kissing the most beautiful girl in the world? seeing the pyramids? sky diving? As the two men get to know each other better, they start to write items for each other on the list, and the thought of carrying out their ambitions keeps them going through their darkest days.
It is obvious from the beginning that this film cannot have a happy ending - but what I didn't expect was the level of warmth and laughter and happiness in every scene. The chemistry between these two veteran and well loved actors is obvious as they jibe and spar with each other. Their backgrounds couldn't be more different. Carter is a faithful husband and provider for his family, having given up his hopes of a career in law to earn an honest dollar when his first child was born, he remains a very intelligent man. Edward looks like a lonely person, despite his wealth. With no family, he relies on the false love of prostitutes and acolytes for his emotional support. As these two lie side by side in their hospital beds, they grumble and mock each other through the vomiting, the pain and the endless game shows on TV. Some of the best scenes in the film are played out in this hospital ward; the atmosphere is almost like a stage production, relying solely on the dialogue as the quality of the acting shines through.
Bravery in the face of death makes a far more interesting background than the second part of the film - the two men proceed to travel the world to fulfil the bucket list. When they start to travel the world, one scene after another flashes onto the screen - is it a joke? The various locations look suspiciously like backdrops rather than real places. The pathos and the intimacy is lost once this happens and the story moves towards its inevitable conclusion, but nevertheless the film is moving and enjoyable.
There were many negative reviews of the film on its release, labelling it as patronising, unbelievable and over sentimental - an insult to people dying of cancer - but I believe that it is worth suspending disbelief and ignoring the lack of realism, to indulge in a lovely heart-warming piece of escapism.
The Bucket List was released in 2007 and is rated a 12. It is completely suitable for family viewing.
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star in this enjoyable film and what amazed me was how old Freeman looked in the film until I realised that he is now in his seventies. Nicholson plays Edward Cole who is a rich man and his business is healthcare however his life takes a change for the worse when he is diagnosed with cancer. Part of his companies policy is to always have patients sharing a room and so he finds himself sharing with fellow cancer sufferer Carter Chambers played by Freeman who is a working class man who is a mechanic.
The two are thrown together somewhat and Carter upon hearing that he only has a few months to live decided to write a to do list of things to do before he dies however the wealthy Edward hijacks the list and uses his wealth to make it a lot more exciting. What unfolds is an enjoyable little romp that sees the pair carry out a number of stunts and activities and it makes for an amusing film that is good entertainment.
The acting is first class as you would expect from two established performers and while the script does not always do justice to their particular talents it is still a nice movie that moves along at a steady pace.
This is an easy film to watch as it sort of bumbles along towards a slightly predictable conclusion and while it is not the sort of film I would rush off to view again it is one that I found enjoyable and it is certainly worth a viewing.
So, age old Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (both 72) team up for a good old fashioned grumpy grandpa buddy movie, a well trodden route for those big name actors not getting the best scripts anymore and farting dust. Jacks done nothing good since The Pledge and in fact this only his second movie in seven years, all those Cuban cigars and late nights catching up with the old dog. Freeman, on the hand, has been prolific in those seven years, being involved with twenty-five movies; big action multiplex cameos a real earner for him. He last impressed in the over puffed Million Dollar Baby as the aging boxing coach and recently made the news for his spectacular car crash and extra marital affairs. The Bucket List, a list of things you want to do before you die, is a very appropriate film for these two Hollywood cavaliers to take on if you read their biogs.
Jack Nicholson ... Edward Cole
Morgan Freeman ... Carter Chambers
Sean Hayes ... Thomas
Beverly Todd ... Virginia Chambers
Rob Morrow ... Dr. Hollins
Alfonso Freeman ... Roger Chambers
Rowena King ... Angelica
Edward Cole (Nicholson) is a private healthcare zillionaire, but soon about to experience just how good his hospitals are when he gets cancer. Sharing his room is mechanic Carter Chambers (Freeman), just coming of his chemo, as equally groggy. Although they have a lot to talk about, Cole, also a self made blue-collar guy, is not too keen on sharing a room with another patient but it would look bad PR considering his whole healthcare ethos is two to a room for cheaper health cover. That is a big issue in America.
The two slowly make friends and when they receive their diagnosis of 6 to 8 months to live Carter writes a 'Bucket List', things he wished he had done before he dies. Edward grabs it off his new friend and gets the red pen out, suggesting some more daring feats, and as he is extremely wealthy he means it, the two soon skydiving over Arizona.
Carter's surprisingly young wife Virginia (Beverly Todd) is not keen on this escapade and son Roger (his real life son Alfonso Freeman) even less so. But it's game on and the two old codgers have a long list to get through and little time to do it, personal assistant Thomas (Sean Hayes) assigned the task of making the bucket list a reality.
The Bucket List is nothing special although it is great to see two great charismatic icons on screen together and so worth a look just for that, the only real point of the movie. But the two greats were keen enough on the project to shave their heads for the part to add authenticity after chemo and so fair play, even though that chemistry isn't all that on screen. The Japanese liked it though and it was bizarrely voted best foreign film at the Japanese Oscars in 2008.
The obvious problem with this is two old men getting cancer and being told they have six months to live doesn't make you care for the guys early on, probably not much more the actual characters would have left anyway. Morgan Freeman's real life son, Alfonso Freeman, added to the emotion by playing his son but you still struggle to connect. In the back of your mind they are Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson who are not going to die and soon back to their huge Hollywood mansions with another big pay check. It really is routine for both and they don't put too much into it. I don't think Nicholson does comedy as well as he thinks he's does and as I said above, long past his sell-bye date. Freeman has always been typecast and it's the same again here, opening up proceedings with another one of those familiar Freeman wise old black guy narrations and then ninety more minutes of that on screen.
The pluses are it is watchable and if your fans of these guys then you will enjoy this, two actors that don't make duff movies, the 7.4 rating on Imdb.com suggesting many did like this. But it's nothing smart or thought-out and lacked that true pathos for me for this to work. There will never will be another Cocoon and they should stop trying, the greatest old fogy movie of all time, and after recent efforts like the misfiring Wild Hogs and the strangely enjoyable Space Cowboys in that old farts (or fartresses) getting cancer so one last adventure genre, this will ultimately disappear like 'smoke through a keyhole', the most emotive line in this movie by far.
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Imdb.com - 7.5 out of 10.0 (48,546 votes)
97 minutes run time
Any 5 films for 7 nights for £5 at Blockbusters
Northampton Libraries are doing any film for £1.50 per week rental.
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The bucket list - (rating 12)
Last night l sat down with my other half to watch this film.
This is a film only review, l cannot comment on any of the other dvd features, just the film.
Jack Nicholson (Edward)
Morgan Freeman (Carter)
This is a film about how two lives collide. There are times in our lives when we meet someone and it changes our life for the better. This is the tale of two men Edward and Carter.
The film is a comedy drama, that is inspiring, sad, and has a highly emotional tale.
The story is about two very different people, with two very different characters. It is the differences between the two men that make their journey through the hardest time a person can face, so incredible.
The plot is quite simple, it tells the tale of two men from different walks of life, both are terminally ill, thrown together, quite unwillingly.
The film begins by giving us some insight into their different lives, and shows us how they both cross paths when they become ill.
The moment Edward is carried into the hospital and is put in a bed next to Carter, their lives cross, and the story begins.
Edward is not very happy to be sharing a room in hospital, and its interesting to see how he feels as a patient and not as a business man running the hospital that he owns. Edward is a bit of a bachelor, and always seems to have things his way, but when he gets sick everything changes and lessons have to be learnt.
Edward is a hard working wealthy man. His character is somewhat selfish, quite abrupt and in many instances down right rude, . (Im just glad l don't work in that hospital) Yet he appears somewhat vulnerable, and a loveable rogue.
In the beginning of the film we see how Edward fails to come to terms with his illness and shows a great deal of anger and we see how Carter offers some comfort.
Carter is quite the opposite to Edward, a gentle and polite man who has been married for many years, he has spent his life working hard to provide for his family, mean while missing out on dreams and opportunities.
It seems that in the lives of both these men their appears to be something missing, there is a deep sadness and it seems they only really have two options, to die wishing they had lived their last days to the full or to die with their heart open, knowing they have lived a fulfilled life.
Together they compile a bucket list -things they wish to do before they 'kick the bucket'.
The film is quite funny in places, and it sometimes feels wrong to laugh at their misfortune. But the film is supposed to be humorous. This is obviously completely intentional of the script writers and its actually quite inspirational, because it shows the spirit of the two characters. On many occasions the two characters are laughing at themselves.
Whilst the film covers some very deep and distressing themes, the films main focus is about 'living' This was touching to see how the script writers had combined such a distressing film with such enlightenment.
Anyway back to the plot.... together the two men take off, and set about crossing all the things they want to do off their bucket list. We follow them on their adventures, doing the most outrageous things, seeing the world and doing all the things they never thought they would
Its really nice to see how the friendship between the two men grows, and how they both become a little more like each other.
Its not all lightness and joy, some of the things on the list are tough to achieve. But together they seem to direct each other and show each other the way.
They learn about what is important in life and in those months they spend dieing they achieve so many wonderful things that some people never manage in a life time. For every thing that they accomplish, it seems to make them a little happier inside.
The good points and the bad
Ive mentioned quite a few of the good points, the fact its an inspirational and moving story. Other good points were the way Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman played the parts of the dieing men. Now l wouldn't think that this part is a particularly easy role to play, but they played it with such ease. There was a lot of emotion and even when Jack Nicholson tried to play the role of the big tough man, he showed the vulnerable Edward beneath. I think it was a very good performance from both characters and l applaud them for their roles, they showed such strength and depth to the characters.
There are a few gripes l have with the film. I found the film rather predictable and the material didn't really seem that new. I've seen other films with similar plots, and whilst l thoroughly enjoyed this film, nothing out of the ordinary really seemed to happened. My only other concern was that it seemed to deflect on the seriousness of cancer. I can understand that this really wasn't intentional as such, but l think for some viewers they might not find some of the scenes funny at all.
Even though l have seen films with similar plots, l think that this is probably the best of its kind. There were lots of sentiments throughout the film, and the film prompts viewers to question their own priorities in life. I like that... l like a film that makes you think.
Even though there are many humorous lines throughout the film, it is no doubt an upsetting film. The film deals with death, family relationships, grief, friendships and cancer.
I'm not really sure if anyone could watch this film and it not touch them in one way or another.
For my few little niggles lm going to give this film 4 stars!
The Bucket List is a better than average sentimental Hollywood movie, carried extremely well by the two lead actors, Jack Nicholson and Sean Hayes. The themes tackled: mortality, our priorities in life, and the importantce of friendship, are explored through the unlikely alliance that slowly develops between the two main characters, and their subsequent adventures together.
As all good friendships should, they explore the world together, learn from each other's faults and strength, and ulitmately discover what really matters to them in life, before it is too late.
Perhaps the main message of the film is to live life to the full regardless of circumstances. If you are looking for a 100% feel-good movie with no challenges, then avoid. But if you want to be entertained while being made to reflect on deeper issues at the same time, then The Bucket List comes highly recommended.
The script can lurch towards the gushing at times, but the restraint and talent of the cast carry the story and viewers develop a really empathy and understanding of both characters.