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PCR #407 (Vol. 9, No. 2) This edition is for the week of January 7--13, 2008.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Bucket List"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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How I miss Avant-Garde cinema  by Andy Lalino
DVD Review: "Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster"  by ED Tucker
The Critic's Choice .... Writers 1 Hollywood 0 .... Back And Still As Strong As Ever .... Batman 3 Superman 1 .... Free Time On Their Hands .... All First Timers (almost) .... Licking James Bond .... .... And The Oscar For 1978 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman and Sean Hayes
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 37 mins

Adam and Eve. Lennon and McCartney. The Captain and Tenille. Just a few duos that managed to make a little magic when they got together. And now, for you’re viewing pleasure, may I add the celebrated team of Jack and Morgan.

Carter Chambers (Freeman) has worked hard his whole life. He now finds himself in the hospital, undergoing tests whose results he’s not sure he wants to hear. Edward Cole is a multi-millionaire, earning his fortune in the health care world. During a business meeting he becomes ill, waking up in one of his own hospitals. Soon he, like his roommate Carter, is bracing himself for his test results. He finds a piece of paper on which Carter has written a “bucket list,” which he learns are things Carter wants to accomplish before he, very plainly, “kicks the bucket.” Intrigued by the list, Edward decides to add his own wishes to it and soon the pair embark on a series of adventures that will shape not only their lives but those around them.

A beautifully crafted story featuring two of Hollywood’s best, EVER, “The Bucket List” is an emotional journey filled with soaring highs and crashing lows. However, the strength of the performers never allows the film to drift into that terrible “movie of the week” void that similar films can’t seem to escape. With a combined 92 years in the business and fifteen Academy Award nominations (and four Oscars) between them, it is almost shocking to learn that Nicholson and Freeman have never worked together before. Which is a shame since they play off of each other like they have never been apart. It is refreshing to see that Nicholson has toned down the “JACK” persona that had started to turn his work into parody. His work here is his best since 2002’s “About Schmidt.” Freeman adds another jewel to his crown as well, lending his usual strength and dignity to a role that could have easily strayed into maudlin territory or worse. Rob Reiner’s direction reminds us again why he has become one of the most popular filmmakers of the past quarter century. The supporting actors help move the film along, with special mention going to Beverly Todd as Carter’s wife and Hayes, who even gets to zing the boss every once in awhile as Edward’s full time and obviously long suffering assistant.

But take it from me, the main reason to see “The Bucket List” is the opportunity to see two pros at the height of their game. On a scale of zero to four stars I give “The Bucket List”


This week's movie review of "The Bucket List" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2008, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.