Movie Review: The Bucket List (2007)

Jack and Morgan hugely entertaining in terminal vehicle (8/10)

BucketEdward Cole: I envy people who have faith, I just can’t get my head around it.
Carter Chambers: Maybe because your head’s in the way.

The Bucket List looked like one of several old-guy buddy movies in the vein of Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau in The Odd Couple II, Grumpy/ier Old Men, or Out to Sea or, more fittingly, Jack Lemon and James Garner in My Fellow Americans.  But this one is more than just a frolic of buddy repartee and various sexual wannado’s; it’s actually a serious movie that strikes close to home (for Boomers and their aging parents) with a naturally humorous undertone.

From the special features we learn screenplay writer, Justin Zackham, came up with this idea of writing down a list of things one would want to accomplish should one learn one’s time on earth was short. Oddly enough, Zackham made “making a movie about a ‘bucket list'” one of the items on his own personal bucket list—though, so far as we know, Zackham doesn’t have a terminal affliction—and The Bucket List became his Hollywood breakout story.  In the movie the Morgan Freeman character, Carter Chambers, comes up with the list idea: he remembers it from a philosophy class in college. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Liberty and Celebrity

Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement

This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places[1].  Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”[2]

Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson.  The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading