Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rob Reiner’s Latest Effort? Chopped Liver!

The Bucket List – Another loss in a streak of losses for Reiner. Image Credit: The Bucket List One-Sheet [CanMag]

Rob Reiner’s Latest Effort? Chopped Liver!

Hot on the heels of a failed effort to place a pre-school, socialist education program in the cash strapped and mismanaged California budget, Rob Reiner goes back to grinding them out with a loser of an effort known as “The Bucket List”.

Rob has not quit on his political involvement, however, and it shows up in this film where he actually directs Nicholson to one of the worst performances of his career.

Politically, “Meathead” is still placing his (and eventually our) money behind Hillary Clinton who agrees with Rob Reiner’s plan for a federally funded, socialist values, pre-school education program. Hillary's plan is similar to a plan that Rob Reiner failed with here in California (Proposition 82) re-skinned as ‘universal preschool’ K-12 … a $10 billion proposal that essentially would add a whole new grade onto the front end of the K-12 system.

This video interview is ALL one needs to see of The Bucket List ... it really does speak for itself. YouTube Video Credit: The Cinema Judge

Here is an excerpted review of “The Bucket List” from New City Chicago -

The Chemo Brothers, Kicking "The Bucket List"
Ray Pride - New City Chicago - (2008-01-08)

Rob Reiner: miracle worker.

With "The Bucket List," Reiner does something almost unthinkable: he makes Jack Nicholson painful to watch. Even when Nicholson overacts in tsunamis and torrents and waterfalls of overacting, he's got charm to burn.
Reiner does the inconceivable with his bizarre, unfunny, often dreadful latest production: he coaxes a world-class shitty performance from the 70-year-old Hollywood icon amid mirthless, pallid surroundings.

The circumstances of death are funny. Human frailty and failing are funny. "The Bucket List" is not.
But this original script by Justin Zackham for "Bucket" is the kind of treacle-ridden badness that swells the arteries, but one would hope not the bank accounts of all involved.

Nicholson plays Edward Cole, a movie-type billionaire, one whose healthcare concerns are champion cost-cutters, who meets another sufferer, car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman, on day leave from God roles) in a cancer ward, and offers to finance a "bucket list," all the potential thrills they'd left behind as they lived their lives. (Generic name, meet generic name. Introduction of schematic conflict. Generic joke about growing old. Cliché about dying! Smile through gritted teeth.) Skydiving, visiting the Great Pyramids, Hong Kong, the Taj Mahal, bonding between bouts of puking from chemo.

The computer-generated backdrops—surely this production didn't go much beyond the Culver City limits—are often amusing, in a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "Road to Inertia" kind of way, but as the old saying goes, it's always a bad sign when you leave a movie humming the scenery or wondering how many of the scenes were constructed as Kodak Theatre moments.

James L. Brooks-style sentiment seems what's intended during the revelations of child neglect and emotional failures, but despite several wonderful films on Reiner's resume, including "Spinal Tap," "Stand by Me," "Misery" and "When Harry Met Sally," he's also helmed "Ghosts of Mississippi," "The Story of Us," "Alex and Emma," took over the botched filming of "Rumor Has It" (as a favor to his former business partner who now heads Warners and who green-lit this delight) and in 1994, wrought "North," which inspired Roger Ebert's justly famous zero-star pan:

"I have no idea why Rob Reiner, or anyone else, wanted to make this story into a movie... "North" is one of the most unpleasant, contrived, artificial, cloying experiences I've had at the movies. To call it manipulative would be inaccurate; it has an ambition to manipulate, but fails... I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."

I quote Ebert at length in order to reflect: Hmmm.
Reiner himself says the attempt to juggle a film career with his political activism damaged his work, and after several setbacks and defeats as an activist, he intends to make more movies, concentrating on the few films left to him as a man in his 60s. That's his "bucket list."
"The Bucket List"? I hated hated hated... well, I only just hated it.
Reference Here>>

I guess one could say that this movie is about as funny as a cigarette machine in a cancer ward … or a $10 Billion dollar ‘universal preschool’ K-12 socialist values based education program in a free and democratic society.

TIP: If you want to see a movie that affirms life, is funny, honest and entertains - we, at MAXINE, recommend JUNO. The movie is worth the money spent for tickets, parking, and even the popcorn.

Ebert picked JUNO to be #1 for his 2007 Top 10 Movies list.

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