By Clint Morris
About 15 minutes into â€œThe Bucket Listâ€, Morgan Freemanâ€™s character lists the worst parts of chemotherapy : vomiting non-stop, veins turning black, and of course, the days where you just feel like blowing your brains out. I couldnâ€™t help but think half the audience watching said pic knew exactly what that felt like â€“ after all, â€œThe Bucket Listâ€ is one of those films that definitely wonâ€™t sit well with everyone – about ten minutes into it thereâ€™ll be more than a few stomachs churning.
Not to say Rob Reinerâ€™s new warm-and-fuzzy dramedy is a poor film, it isnâ€™t, itâ€™s just that itâ€™s a certain type of film â€“ a popcorn pleaser thatâ€™s so overtly sweet, and cheekily button-pushy, itâ€™d turn anyone into a diabetic by itâ€™s end. Some love â€˜sweetsâ€™ like this, but then others â€“ usually critics or another equally fussy minority â€“ just canâ€™t stomach the syrup.
If youâ€™re not a fan of the â€˜flossâ€™, youâ€™ll definitely need some quick-eze after licking from this wooden spoon.
At the same time, if you are in the mood for an easy-to-watch and well-performed (câ€™mon, itâ€™s Jack and Morgan! Could you do any better?!) serve of comfort food, then by all means, grab yourself a dessert spoon.
In the film, two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. Of course, what they really should be doing is spending their remaining days with their family â€“ it takes them a few postcards to realise it.
One would probably have expected a film by Rob Reiner (â€œMiseryâ€, â€œA Few Good Menâ€, â€œWhen Harry, Met Sallyâ€) and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two cancer victims who head off on a wild road trip together, to be anything but â€˜fluffâ€™ â€“ in fact, youâ€™d think itâ€™d be an Oscar contender. Sadly, itâ€™s not. Sure, parts of it are good â€“ the first half-hour is solid, and the finale is rather sweet â€“ but the majority of it is patchy at best.
The film seems unsure what it wants to be â€“ is it a drama? Is it a buddy comedy (like â€œGrumpy Old Menâ€)? Is it a road movie? Or is itâ€¦ dare I say, the god-awful â€œIn-Lawsâ€ remake from a couple of years back reworked for Nicholson and Freeman? Itâ€™s a little of all those things, and it doesnâ€™t work. Blame the writer, I say.
Justin Zackhamâ€™s script is rushed (he doesnâ€™t develop the characters at all!), manipulative (â€œcry here, folks!â€; â€˜laugh here, folks!â€) and far from the standard that Nicholson and Freeman are used to. The most annoying aspect of it though is the clunky middle, where our characters journey around the world â€“ or rather, a series of cheap-looking soundstage backdrops dressed up to look like Paris, Egyptâ€¦ what have you.
What saves â€œThe Bucket Listâ€ from being a film only your unfussy-Nana-who-hasnâ€™t-been-to-the-cinema-since-M*A*S*H would love is â€“ well, Jack and Morgan, but also â€“ the underlying theme : the always effective statement to â€œlive your life to the mostâ€.
A sweet message â€“ but not exactly something that gets the heart tick of approval.
A Featurette and Music Video (Extras Unpreviewed)
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.