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The Bucket List
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Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Pete Anthony

Orchestrated by:
Jeff Atmajian

Performed by:
The Hollywood Studio Symphony
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Varèse Sarabande
(January 15th, 2008)
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Regular U.S. release. Warner Brothers released a "for your consideration" promo of 24 minutes of Shaiman's score (along with John Mayer's song, "Say") to awards voters in December of 2007. This album has no titles for its ten score tracks and features a generic white studio promo cover.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate the personality of both Marc Shaiman and his music, because this compilation album is a tribute to his heartfelt sensibilities, remarkable performance abilities, and enduring sense of humor.

Avoid it... if you expect the score for The Bucket List alone to carry the weight of this album, because it's tastefully restrained but underwhelming music that cannot compete with the depth of Shaiman's better scores.
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WRITTEN 10/21/10
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The Bucket List: (Marc Shaiman) The star power of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was too attractive for mediocre critical response to dampen audience enthusiasm over Rob Reiner's late 2007 comedy The Bucket List. Although lacking in its realistic depiction of those who struggle with terminal cancer, the film was charming enough to turn its $45 million budget into over $170 million at the box office, testimony to the appeal of especially Nicholson in his years of semi-retirement. The leads play men diagnosed with cancer severe enough to kill them within months, and they befriend in the hospital despite coming from completely different socio-economic backgrounds. The auto mechanic played by Freeman is eventually adopted (in a way) by Nicholson's wealthy executive, and when the former creates a list of activities he wishes experience before he dies, the latter latches on to the idea and decides to bankroll trips around the world and other fun excursions. They become close enough to confide in each other their major failings in life, and through their few short months together, they manage to repair the strained familial relationships that haunted them. A redemptive tear-jerking conclusion is the norm for such films, and Reiner doesn't disappoint with The Bucket List. The director has always been fond of composer Marc Shaiman, going back to the early 1990's when Reiner gave the composer his first big break. Shaiman, after accumulating five Oscar nominations in the subsequent decade, became one of many primarily song writers and arrangers-turned-composers to grow weary of the studio system and its effects on music in film. He suffered several setbacks in the 2000's, mostly related to rejected scores or assignments cut short, and he has not been quiet about his discontent with the modern industry of film music (including gut-bustingly funny jabs at the Hans Zimmer clone factory). Fortunately, the incredible humor that has always defined Shaiman's personality has allowed his criticism to transcend the usual haze of malcontent complaints and he redirected his career with great success when focusing his efforts in the 2000's on the Broadway musical adaptation of Hairspray (and the subsequent translation of that concept back onto screen). Many will argue that Shaiman is most at home in the environment of song writing, and winning a Tony Award for his efforts for the stage seems more satisfying in many ways that an Oscar win would have been for him. Still, those dispirited by Shaiman's absence from the big screen were heartened to see that Reiner returned to the composer for a predictably saccharine score for The Bucket List.

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Average: 2.94 Stars
***** 21 5 Stars
**** 19 4 Stars
*** 20 3 Stars
** 17 2 Stars
* 25 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 49:56
The Bucket List:
• 1. Hospital Hallway (0:49)
• 2. Like Smoke Through a Keyhole (1:59)
• 3. Best in L.A. (1:21)
• 4. Really Bad News (1:50)
• 5. La Vie en Rose (source) (2:26)
• 6. Hotel Source (1:14)
• 7. Did You Hear It? (2:24)
• 8. Flying Home (1:17)
• 9. Homecomings (3:29)
• 10. Life and Death (3:54)
• 11. The Mountain (2:22)
• 12. End Credits (3:54)

Memory Lane (Junk in My Trunk): (performed by Marc Shaiman)
• 13. A Seed of Grain (Theme from The American President) - co-performed by The Clurman Singers (3:10)
• 14. City Slickers (2:29)
• 15. Simon Birch (2:13)
• 16. The Addams Family (1:33)
• 17. Mother (1:07)
• 18. North (2:12)
• 19. A Wink and a Smile (from Sleepless in Seattle) (2:22)
• 20. Blame Canada (from South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut) (1:46)
• 21. Mr. Saturday Night (2:24)
• 22. Goldfinger (aka "Printmaster") - written by John Barry, Anthony Newley, and Leslie Bricusse (2:14)
• 23. What Makes a Family (Theme from Stuart Saves His Family) (1:29)

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The insert includes a wealth of information, including lyrics, a list of performers, a note from the composer, and a lengthy, entertaining note about Shaiman's career from agent Richard Kraft.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Bucket List are Copyright © 2008, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/21/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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