Early in The Bucket List,
a new buddy picture directed by Rob Reiner, each of the film’s protagonists
discovers that he has only a few months left to live—a year at most. Carter
Chambers, a trivia-obsessed auto mechanic played by Morgan Freeman, is the first
to receive the dire news, over the phone; the shock causes him to drop his
cigarette, which is precisely the sort of hackneyed, melodramatic visual
signpost you might expect from a treacly Hollywood crowd-pleaser. A bit later,
however, when hospital magnate Edward Cole (Nicholson) is told that he’s
terminal, Reiner—or perhaps screenwriter Justin Zackham—finds a genuinely fresh
perspective. Cole is so spectacularly wealthy, and so ridiculously lazy, that
he’s watching the TV set in his hospital room while lying completely prone,
using a special pair of eyeglasses that reflects the image downward at a
90-degree angle. We see only his eyeballs, reflected in the twin mirrors, and
the entire you’re-gonna-croak scene is staged in this memorably surreal fashion,
so that Cole barely even appears human.
Theatrical Release: December 16th, 2007
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: French and Spanish|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
version on opposite side
I had heard the poor critic response but I am a big Morgan Freeman / Jack fan and was going to watch regardless. It wasn't overly disappointing but far too placating to the general public whims/desires to be taken seriously. The performances are, expectantly, almost the entire film's value. So, why are we reviewing this? Well, it's on DVD and I watched it.
I was sent this by Warner and it comes in a standard case with no markings of being a 'screener only' so we can assume this is how the finished product will be offered. This is a dual-sided, single-layered disc with the widescreen on one side and full screen format on the opposing. As far as single-layering goes this looks quite acceptable. It has some softness/noise and the image is rather thin overall but it is certainly 'watchable' in this pragmatic form.
Audio is competent but unremarkable with a wasted surround offering. There are French and Spanish DUBs and subtitles available in those and English.
Supplements include a fairly lackluster Writing a Bucket List featurette with the screenwriter and input from others. There is a music video of the song from the film and some untested PC-DVD-ROM extras. No director commentary as I'm sure Reiner wanted to divorce himself from most of the proceedings.
I'm pretty boggled why this is also being offered in Blu-ray as the film doesn't support many dramatic visuals but go figure... It's not as horrendous as many have made out (voted one of the worst of the year) but it has a pretty narrow audience. My sister had a 'Bucket List' party where those invited create your own and share it with others. So, if nothing else, it has created some social mainstream awareness of your mortality. As for this DVD - it's pricey for what you are getting. I'm suggesting you can do better with your $ and, hence, I'd have to give this a thumbs-down.