Weekend Roundup + Quick thoughts on ‘The Founder’ (2017)

Hello all, happy last week of January! Well, it’s another hectic week… as some of you know if you read this post, I have my work cut out for me now that I’ve embarked on my first short film project!

Well, suffice to say I barely have time to blog these days, so sorry for my absence but I know this day would come. Thanks to my wonderful contributors to help keep FlixChatter going. Some of you might’ve noticed I’ve got some new guest reviewers, including CineMuse Films‘ Richard all the way from Down Under!

I did manage to fit in a few episodes of Black Mirror last week. It’s one of the most provocative scifi shows ever, yep even more thought-provoking than Westworld! It’s unsettling and quite bleak but it’s so intriguing you just gotta keep watching! I’ve got 5 more episodes to go on the third (last) season so far. Not sure if I’ll ever get around to blogging about it, but dayum, everyone should check out this show!

Anyway, I promise to still blog once a week, I’m still hoping to finish my review of Lion at some point. But today, here’s my quick thoughts on…

THE FOUNDER (2017)

founder

Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch

The Founder is the story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman who turned two brothers’ innovative fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world. The movie opens with Keaton delivering a pitch directly to camera for a multi-mixer milkshake machine, and we see him going from one restaurant to another trying to sell it. He faces constant rejections, but one day, he learns that a restaurant in San Bernardino California just ordered six of those milkshake machines. Thinking that there might be an error, he ended up driving Route 66 to see that restaurant in person… owned by Mac McDonald (John Carroll Lynch) and his brother Dick (Nick Offerman).

thefounder_lynch_offerman

It’s quite intriguing to learn how this giant fast food company got its start, as the McDonalds gave Ray a tour through their super-efficient kitchen. I find myself amused by it all, how this small restaurant revolutionized the speedy service technique in the 50s. It’s also fascinating to watch Ray’s persuasive power once he set his mind to something. He ended up convincing the McDonalds into making him the franchise manager to expand the business to other states.

thefounder_keaton

Keaton is quite effective as the driven, ruthless, and callous salesman who saw an opportunity and snatched it, letting nothing stand in his way. Yet there’s a certain charm about him that somehow I still don’t completely hate him. Glad to see him getting more meaty roles post his Birdman comeback. Lynch and Offerman were quite memorable as the McDonalds, and it’s quite an understated performance from Offerman, apart from the one scene where he trained his workers as if his restaurant were a military basecamp!

thefounder_mcdonalds

The film isn’t always engaging though, in fact it’s rather bland at times. For a movie about a fast food, the pacing could’ve been speedier. The performances are rather uneven as well. Keaton delivered quite a performance, but it’s a pity Laura Dern is wasted as Ray’s neglected wife. Still, it’s a pretty intriguing biopic about the dark, shady side of the American dream. Suffice to say, it didn’t make me want to eat at McDonald’s anytime soon.


So how was YOUR weekend? Seen anything good?

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33 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup + Quick thoughts on ‘The Founder’ (2017)

  1. rockerdad

    Nice, Ruth! This looks really intriguing. My dad, a Californian, always used to talk about Ray Kroc. Glad to see Keaton being active in interesting roles once again. I swear after Batman Returns I thought we would never see him in lead roles again! I’ll look forward to checking this out. Oh, and you know what I’ve been watching on my weekend!

    1. Hi Vince! Well anyone who’s eaten at McDonalds (and who hasn’t?) should watch this. Keaton is such a talented actor, able to mix comic and dramatic roles. He’s definitely a jerk here as Krock, but he’s always amusing to watch.

      P.S. I have more Austen to supply your new obsession tomorrow 😉

  2. The Founder sounds interesting, I’ll probably give it a watch when it hits Netflix. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s for years, the thought of their food just makes gag!

    I was in the mood for action so I watched 3 action films over the weekend since I bought them on Bluray; Jason Bourne (still think it’s great as the other 3 films); Suicide Squad (glad I skipped seeing it at a theater, I would’ve wanted my money back) and Mechanic: Resurrection (it’s another cheesy Jason Stratham’s action film and it didn’t disappoint).

    1. Hi Ted! It’s kinda slow at times but Keaton is great. Ahah well after watching this you would feel less likely to visit McDonalds.

      Ahah yeah, Suicide Squad is not worth seeing on the big screen. But you bought the BD??

      1. I think the last time I ate McDonald’s was when I was so hungry and had to stop there to eat since it’s the closest place for food. I think it must’ve been when I was back at Thomson Reuters on the Findlaw team. Lol! I remember after I ate the meal, I felt sick because their food’s so greasy.

        I got it on Bluray for like $9, figured if I didn’t like the film at least I can enjoy the Dolby Atmos sound and I’m glad the Atmos sounded good but yeah the film was lackluster. Boring action scenes, no plot, lame villains and why in the heck was The Joker even in the movie? Jared Leto’s take on The Joker was quite lame, hope they would recast the role if they decide to bring the character back to another Batman solo film.

  3. Ohh I love the banner! I’ve been on my phone mostly so I don’t know when you updated, but I’m just seeing it now. It looks lovely!

    My theater is finally getting Lion this week, I can’t wait.

    1. Hi Brittani! Thank you, I just did it on a whim as I’m so tired of looking at my old blog, ahah.

      Oooh I hope you enjoy LION, be sure to bring some tissues!

  4. Just the Lady Snowblood movies is all I saw this weekend. I heard about The Founder which is interesting as it play into the lesson when someone has a good idea and see the potential of it.

    1. Yep, Ray Kroc saw a good idea and went for it, regardless of how he’d manipulate/cheat/swindle in the process! It’s definitely a meaty role worthy of Keaton.

      1. The McDonald brothers had a chance to make something bigger but they didn’t see the big picture and were eventually kicked out of their own empire. It’s the same story like that guy who founded Victoria’s Secret that was explained in The Social Network. He created a catalog and thought he would make a fair amount of money but nothing big. When he sold it to the Limited, he was unaware of what it would become and he ended up jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge to his death. All because he wanted to buy underwear for his wife w/o being embarrassed.

        1. I totally forgot about Victoria’s Secret story, yikes! Yeah I think the key is realizing the potential of the business, which is what Ray did w/ McDonalds. Of course it’s always the ruthless ones who end up making the big bucks!

    1. Hi Margaret! What other recent film was she in recently that she only appear briefly? Yeah she’s completely wasted here, and so was Patrick Wilson.

  5. I haven’t watched this but will wait for the video. All I hear is what a schmuck Ray was. Congrats on your project. Email me the details when you have a moment to breathe. Black Mirror. Haven’t seen it but will check it out, Ruth.

    1. Hello Cindy! Ahah, yes Ray is a total schmuck for sure!

      Yeah I will email you more details about the reading and also the short film idea we’re embarking on 😉

      Black Mirror is excellent, well worth your time and it’s on Netflix!

  6. I’ve only recently heard about this movie and at first I couldn’t believe a movie had really been made about McDonalds, but I haven’t read a bad word about it yet! Looking forward to seeing Michael Keaton again!
    By the way Ruth – I love the blog’s new look 🙂

    1. Hi Allie! I’m so surprised by the lack of buzz on this one. It’s a pretty meaty role for Keaton and he’s the reason to see this, even if the film isn’t as engaging as Birdman or Spotlight.

      Hey thanks!

  7. I personally feel that Michael Keaton in The Founder is turning out to be one of those underrated performances that people start talking about 5 years later. Surely, it’s not a mind-bloggingly good movie but it definitely deserves more recognition. I know the only reason it’s not getting that much hype is because of the award season but still…
    Anyway, another great review Ruth! ^_^

    1. Hello Shivani! I always feel that Keaton is massively underrated. I love that he could do both comedies and dramas effortlessly, so I’m glad he sort of making a comeback after Birdman and continues to get meaty roles. I think his performance here is quite Oscar worthy too.

      Thanks as always for your support! 🙂

  8. Despite the flaws you pointed out, The Founder really seems like something worth watching. And watching a good Michael Keaton is always nice.
    Glad to hear more people are finally watching Black Mirror. It is so good and provocative and really makes you reconsider technology’s effect on your life.
    Any favorite episodes so far? For me, it would have to be the fist and third episodes of Season 1. The National Anthem and The Entire History of You.

    1. Hi Khalid, long time no see! Yes it’s still worth seeing for Keaton and even a restrained Nick Offerman.

      Black Mirror is excellent, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Yes I don’t think there’s a show that explores the dark side of technology and social media quite like that show. Ah yes, ‘The Entire History of You’ is one of my faves, as well as the second episode of first season ‘Fifteen Million Merits.’

      1. Haven’t been getting a lot of time to blog recently, unfortunately. But I try to when I can. Haha.
        Likewise. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it when I finally caught up with it last year. So good.

  9. So, is The Founder considered in the Oscar race for this year or next year? I really thought Keaton would get another nod, but it’s release date is so…strange. I want to see this one…I really do! But, it’s timing is so wrong. I’m still trying to catchup with Oscar movies before the awards!!! Great review though!

    1. I’d think it should be this year as it was in limited release in December? I was hoping Keaton would get a nod, I think he deserves it. I don’t think I’d be able to catch up w/ Oscar movies by then given my crazy schedules these days.

  10. I used to like visiting Mcdonald’s when I was young and even went to a birthday party there. Since I watched Supersize Me I lost my appetite for it 🙂 Too bad the film is a bit bland. I’m wondering if McDonald’s endorse the film or not, sounds like from your review it doesn’t show the corporation in a good light!

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