Definitions

kicking the bucket

The Bucket List

The Bucket List is a 2007 comedy-drama film written by, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd, and Rob Morrow. The story follows two terminally ill men (Nicholson and Freeman) on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket."

The film received its premiere on December 15, 2007 in Hollywood. It opened in limited release in the United States and Canada on December 25, 2007 and was distributed by Warner Bros. The film opened in wide release in the United States and Canada on January 11, 2008. It was released in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2008. The film was released in Australia on February 21, 2008.

Synopsis

Blue-collar mechanic Carter Chambers (Freeman) and billionaire hospital magnate Edward Cole (Nicholson) meet for the first time in the hospital after both have been diagnosed with cancer. They become friends as they undergo their respective treatments. Carter is a gifted amateur historian and family man who had wanted to become a history professor, but in his youth had been "broke, black, and with a baby on the way" and thus never rose above his job at the McCreath body shop. Cole is a corporate tycoon, eccentric loner, four times divorced, who enjoys nothing more than tormenting his personal valet/servant, Matthew, whom he calls Thomas (Hayes). He quickly befriends Carter, making Matthew serve Carter as well as him and ordering his doctor (Morrow) to familiarise himself with Carter's health.

Both are diagnosed with a year or less to live. Carter begins writing a "bucket list," or things to do before "he kicks the bucket." After hearing he has less than a year to live, Carter wads it up and tosses it on the floor. Matthew comes in the next morning and picks it up with other things that are on the floor. Cole finds it among the items and reads it. Cole pushes Carter (by suggesting he add things like seeing the world, sky diving, "fun things," etc.), and promises to finance the trip. Despite the protests of his wife, Virginia (Todd), Carter eagerly agrees.

The pair then begin an around-the-world vacation, embarking on race car driving, sky diving, climbing the Pyramids, and going on lion safari in Africa. Along the way they discuss faith and family, and learn from each other that Carter has long been feeling less in love with his wife and Cole is deeply hurt by his estrangement with his only daughter, who disowned him after he sent some people to "take care" of her abusive husband.

In Hong Kong, Cole hires a prostitute (Rowena King) for Carter , who has never had sex with any other woman than his wife, but Carter declines, finding that the love he had for his wife is still strong. He asks to return home, and in gratitude for helping him, he tries to reunite Cole with his daughter. Cole lacks the courage to face her, however. He angrily storms off and Carter returns home to his wife, children, and grandchildren.

The family reunion is short lived. In the preparation for a romantic interlude with his wife, Carter suffers a seizure and is rushed to the hospital. The cancer has spread to his brain. Cole, who is now in complete remission, visits him there, and they share a few moments together where Carter reveals the origin of the "world's most rare coffee" (Kopi Luwak), along with the factors that contribute to its unique aroma and taste. They share a good laugh and Carter crosses off "laugh till I cry" and insists Cole finish the list without him. Carter then goes into surgery, but the procedure is unsuccessful and he dies on the table.

Cole delivers a eulogy at his funeral, explaining that he and Carter had been complete strangers mere months before his death, but that the last three month's of Carter's life were the best three months of his (Cole's life). He then crosses "help a complete stranger for a common good" off the list. This list item was one that Carter added. Cole says Carter had helped him (Cole), a complete stranger, with Carter knowing it before he (Cole) did. We see Edward finally attempt to reconcile with his daughter. Much to his surprise and joy, she not only accepts him back into her life, but she also introduces him to the granddaughter he never knew he had and he crosses "kiss the most beautiful girl in the world" off the list.

Cole goes on to live to 81 years of age. When he finally passes away, he has his ashes, which were placed inside a Chock full o'Nuts coffee can, placed alongside Carter's, also in the same type of can, on the top of Mount Everest, which Carter (who has been narrating the film) mentions that Cole would have liked, as it was against the law. Matthew does this and as he does so he crosses off the last item on the Bucket List (witness something truly majestic) and places it with them and closes the small black box and reburies it in the snow. This closing makes it unclear whether Carter's ashes initially arrived during a trip made by Cole, or through Cole's behest.

The "Bucket List"

  1. Witness something truly majestic
  2. Help a complete stranger for a common good
  3. Laugh till I cry
  4. Drive a Shelby Mustang
  5. Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world
  6. Get a tattoo
  7. Skydiving
  8. Visit Stonehenge
  9. Spend a week at Louvre
  10. See Rome
  11. See the pyramids
  12. Get back in touch (previously "Hunt the big cat")

Other titles

In Spanish, the film is named Ahora o nunca or Antes de Partir, which means 'Now or never' or 'Before we go'. In Russian, "Пока не сыграл в ящик", which is an idiom, and may be translated as 'Before kicking the bucket.' In Armenia, it has two titles — "Քանի դեռ կանք," 'While we are alive' and "Քանի դեռ ոտքերս չեմ ձգել" — an idiom which may be translated as 'While I'm Alive'. In Hebrew, its title is "מתים על החיים" (MEITIM AL HA-HAYIM); meaning 'dying for life'; a phrase of 'dying to live.' In Brazil and México it is titled "Antes de Partir", which translates to "'Before we leave.' The Italian version is called Non è mai troppo tardi, translating as 'It's never too late.' The German version is titled Das Beste kommt zum Schluss, which translates to "The best comes at the end". The French title is "Sans plus attendre", which translates to "Without further waiting". The Finnish version is titled Nyt tai ei koskaan, which means 'Now or never'. The Czech version is titled Než si pro nás přijde, which translates to "Before it'll come for us".

Reception

Criticism

The film received rather mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 41 percent of reviews were positive, based on 147 reviews. It also has a 24 percent rating from their top critics. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 40 out of 100, based on 33 reviews. Roger Ebert, who has thyroid cancer, criticised the film's portrayal of cancer sufferers, writing in his review that "The Bucket List thinks dying of cancer is a laff riot followed by a dime-store epiphany.

Box office

The film opened in wide release in the United States and Canada on January 11, 2008 and grossed $19,392,416 in 2,911 theaters, averaging $6,662 per theater, and ranking #1 at the box office. The film closed on June 5, 2008, never having a weekend decline of more than 40%, with a final gross of $93,466,502 in the United States and Canada, and an additional $80,531,780 in other territories for a total worldwide gross of $173,998,282, easily covering the film's considerable $45 million budget, and turning a sizable profit for distributor Warner Bros. Pictures.

Awards

Named one of the Top Ten Films of the Year by the National Board of Review.

Soundtrack

A score album was released on January 15, 2008, from Varèse Sarabande featuring composer Marc Shaiman's original score for the film as well as a selection of newly recorded themes from Shaiman's previous scoring projects including City Slickers, Simon Birch, The Addams Family, Mother, North, Sleepless in Seattle, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, Mr. Saturday Night, Stuart Saves His Family. It also features a re-arranged version of the James Bond theme, "Goldfinger", titled "Printmaster" with Shaiman's own voice and lyrics in which he spoof industry's habit of tracking music in scenes where they don't belong. The full list of 23 tracks is as follows:

  1. Hospital Hallway (from the movie)
  2. Like Smoke Through a Keyhole (from the movie)
  3. Best in L.A. (from the movie)
  4. Really Bad News (from the movie)
  5. Vie en Rose (from the movie)
  6. Hotel Source (from the movie)
  7. Did You Hear It? (from the movie)
  8. Flying Home (from the movie)
  9. Homecomings (from the movie)
  10. Life and Death (from the movie)
  11. The Mountain (from the movie)
  12. End Credits (from the movie)
  13. Theme from The American President ("A Seed of Grain")
  14. Theme from City Slickers
  15. Theme from Simon Birch
  16. Theme from The Addams Family
  17. Theme from Mother
  18. Theme from North
  19. Sleepless in Seattle/"A Wink and a Smile"
  20. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut/"Blame Canada"
  21. Theme from Mr. Saturday Night
  22. "Printmaster" (After John Barry's "Goldfinger")
  23. Theme from Stuart Saves His Family ("What Makes a Family")

Theme song: John Mayer - "Say" Is NOT included on The Bucket List Soundtrack.

DVD Release

The film was released on DVD and Blu Ray Disc June 10, 2008.

References

External links

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