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Mary Poppins Returns is positively brimming with talent. Emily Blunt takes on the titular role that Julie Andrews once played, while Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Julie Waters and Dick Van Dyke round out the ensemble. Now, they’ll be joined by another tremendous screen presence, as Angela Lansbury enters the newest live-action Disney sequel.
Five-time Tony winner Lansbury will play the Balloon Lady, who was originally featured in P.L. Travers’ novel. While it’s presumably a minor role, it definitely won’t be Lansbury’s introduction to Disney. She previously starred in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and also gave her voice to Mrs. Potts in the original 1992 Beauty and the Beast. She won’t reprise the role in the live-action adaptation, however. Those duties now belong to Emma Thompson. Oddly enough, Thompson played Travers in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. The studio likes to keep people in the family, »
- Will Ashton
Stars: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Justin Randell Brooke, Kate Kneeland, Patrick Wilson | Written by Robert D. Siegel | Directed by John Lee Hancock
Is there a more American director working in film than John Lee Hancock? He’s covered the Alamo; yanked Republican heartstrings in The Blind Side; and in Saving Mr. Banks he went to Disney World. Now he turns his attention to another great American institution: McDonald’s.
Michael Keaton, employing every tic and smirk at his disposal, plays Ray Kroc, a struggling salesman scouring the Midwest, desperate to offload his milkshake multi-mixers. Disillusioned by bad service and lengthy wait times, he happens upon a highly successful burger joint run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch). Through years of planning and experience they have perfected a system of fast food before it’s even a thing. »
- Rupert Harvey
Author: Jon Lyus
With The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks director John Lee Hancock has made something of a cottage industry out of the Hollywood historical drama. His three Us-based post-wwii films, based on real events and people, have the human element firmly at their centre. However, in common with his semi-biopic of Walt Disney, the initial construction of huge machines of industry are a common theme.
In taking on The Founder, the story of how businessman Ray Kroc took the McDonalds brothers’ fast food chain to global status, Hancock told James Kleinmann the grey moral areas of the title character were irresistible,
“I’d never read a script where I was actively rooting for someone and then actively rooting against them. It was unique in that way. It fascinated me.”
In focusing on the main character of Kroc Hancock explained how he worked with Michael Keaton (see our »
- Jon Lyus
The Founder review
Michael Keaton probably deserves more in terms of awards recognition for his work on this new film documenting the early days of fast food giant McDonald’s.
In The Founder, Keaton plays the character of the title Ray Kroc, an Illinois product salesman from middle America who we find attempting to sell milk shake makers to whoever shows the tiniest prospect of purchasing one. One of those business who sure could use one is the Mac and Dick McDonald, owners of a small, independent food restaurant in Southern California in the 1950s. When the two owners show interest in buying at least a few of the new machines, Kroc decides to visit their restaurant in person »
- Paul Heath
Did Bad Boys 3 get delayed for nothing? It was rumored that the upcoming sequel, titled Bad Boys for Life, was in danger of being canceled altogether as Will Smith entered negotiations for a human role in Disney's live-action adaptation of its animated classic Dumbo. While Will Smith was never confirmed for that impending fairy tale adventure about a circus elephant with big ears, it was later announced that Bad Boys 3 was being bumped from January to November 2018. And that the previously planned Bad Boys 4 was being indefinitely delayed. Many speculated Dumbo was to blame, but that may not be the case.
Dumbo was announced as part of Disney's release slate last April. But has only recently started casting, with Tim Burton set to direct. Will Smith was reportedly in negotiations to star in the movie about the flying pachyderm. But it now appears that those talks have broken down, »
Directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks; The Blind Side), The Founder stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc – a down-at-heel salesman from Illinois who transformed a successful restaurant run by brothers Mac and Dick McDonald (John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman) into the McDonalds empire known the world over today. Based on a true story, Hancock’s film follows the trail of how Kroc, impressed by the brothers’ innovative assembly-line approach, maneuvered himself into a position where he was ultimately able – by degrees unwittingly and ultimately callously – to take control of the company, transforming himself in the process from failure to ‘founder’ of an American economic empire.
What was it about the story of Ray Kroc that appealed to you as a filmmaker? »
- Amie Cranswick
In The Founder, John Carroll Lynch stars as Mac McDonald – who, partnered with his brother Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman) – created the first McDonald’s restaurant in California in the 1940s. Based on a true story, the new film from director John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks), follows the trail of how traveling salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), impressed by the brothers’ innovative assembly-line approach to the kitchen, maneuvered himself into a position where he was ultimately able to take control of the company, transforming himself in the process to the ‘founder’ of an economic empire.
Appearing in over 50 films and television productions, John Carrol Lynch first sprang to prominence in 1996 with the Coen brothers’ critically acclaimed, Fargo. His films include Gothika, Things We Lost in the Fire, Zodiac, Gran Torino, Shutter Island, and Crazy, Stupid, Love. On television, Lynch has starred in such popular series as The Drew Carey Show »
- Paul Heath
Based in Melbourne and La, story consultant and producer Scott McConnell has read for companies including Nu Image, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Hallmark, New World Television, Sundance Institute, and Concorde-New Horizons.
A member of the Producers Guild of America, McConnell has produced shows for Nat Geo, Animal Planet/Discovery, TruTV, Spike and Fox. His credits include 'Live Life and Win!' and the reality series 'Hollywood Boot Camp'..
In this guest column, he talks about that old chestnut: the difference between story and plot..
In Aspects of the Novel, novelist E.M. Forster wrote, .The king died and then the queen died. The king died and then the queen died of grief.. The first sentence describes two events of a story, while the second sentence describes two events of a plot. As many writers and critics have noted, the essential difference between a story and a plot »
- Scott McConnell
Author: Jon Lyus
John Lee Hancock has picked the perfect man to take us through the twisted history of one of the biggest corporations the world has seen. Micheal Keaton plays Ray Kroc in Hancock’s The Founder, a story of the man who took a fledgling fast food business and turned it into an empire. His dealings with the McDonald brothers, and his shrewd manoeuvering of control, make up the dark heart of this tale of the American Dream taken to extremes.
Keaton is great in the film, and will be seen next in the forthcoming Spider-Man Homecoming as Vulture. Director Hancock has a solid background in the cinematic weaving of true life tales with his previous work on The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks.
We’ve got the exclusive first look at the poster the film will arrive with in the UK, and you can see that »
- Jon Lyus
Burbank, CA, January 27, 2016 – Immerse yourself in the wizarding world when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives onto Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us to a new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl) stars in the central role of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs, Inherent Vice) as Tina, Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Jacob, Alison Sudol (Transparent) as Tina’s sister, Queenie, Ezra Miller (Trainwreck, Justice League) as Credence, two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (In America, »
- ComicMix Staff
Michael Keaton is McDonalds
The Founder is a drama that tells the true story of how Ray Kroc (Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.
Directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side) and starring Michael Keaton (Birdman, Spotlight), Nick Offerman (Fargo, Welcome to Happiness, 21 Jump Street), John Carroll Lynch (The Invitation, Ted 2), Linda Cardellini (Mad Men), B.J Novak (Inglourious Basterds) and Laura Dern (99 Homes, Jurassic Park), The Founder is released in UK cinemas 10 February. »
This year has gotten off to a booming box office start, with the drama Hidden Figures surprisingly snapping Rogue One's four weekend winning streak early in the month. After Hidden Figures took two in a row, it dropped in its third, with Universal's R-rated thriller Split taking the top spot with an unexpected $40.1 million, going up against XXX 3, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone and The Founder, which expanded nationwide after an awards-qualifying run in December. It was always going to be a close race between Split and Paramount's XXX: Return of Xander Cage, but Split shockingly doubled XXX 3's estimated opening weekend tally of $20 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that Split pulled in an impressive $13,229 per-screen average from 3,038 screens. It also earned an impressive 75% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its $40 million debut means it has already earned eight times more than its reported $5 million budget. Split is director »
The Founder doesn’t resemble the often feel-good stories of some of John Lee Hancock‘s previous films, such as Saving Mr. Banks, The Rookie, or The Blind Side. At the end of the day, this is a story of the good guys losing. Depending on who you ask, there’s little that’s inspiring about Ray Kroc’s (Michael Keaton) success story. The Founder is a biopic […]
- Jack Giroux
Here’s a most unusual entry in a genre that’s now becoming a cinema staple: the origin story. Now that term may be most associated with comic books, and many of the superhero blockbusters are just that, the story of how he, she, or they came to get their powers, whip up a costume, and so on (the recent Doctor Strange is an excellent example). Ah, but this is a true tale, almost an autobiography. There have been many “bio-origins”, from Young Mr. Lincoln to Southside With You (hmm.. both about future presidents). Yes, there’s the individual’s journey, but this flick is also about a product. The Social Network concerned Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of that website, and Steve Jobs was as much about the man as it was about the personal computer. This new movie focuses on Ray Kroc and chronicles the evolution of the fast food restaurant industry, »
- Jim Batts
There’s a startling similarity in the taste of food served at McDonald’s and the overall flavor of the filmmaking dished out in “The Founder.” Directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks“), like the menu items at the fast food franchise, the dramedy about the fraudulent creator of the restaurant chain is middle of the road, rarely takes risks, and aims to please the customer.
- Rodrigo Perez
The Founder has a mesmerizing sequence wherein a pair of restauranteurs train their staff in proper kitchen procedure by having them run through it repeatedly on a tennis court covered in chalk outlines. Over a montage, the troop of clean-cut lads master the intricate choreography of the “Speedee Service System,” going from bumping into one another to pirouetting along the lines with industrial grace. It’s like Martha Graham, Dogville, and Ronald McDonald had a beautiful cinematic child. And then nothing interesting happens in the movie again.
In an earlier scene, traveling salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) visits the first McDonald’s location in Bakersfield, curious as to what kind of small restaurant needs so many milkshake machines. (This is the 1950s, at a point when “McDonald” is just another Gaelic name.) Kroc is enchanted by the Speedee Service System, which treats food preparation as an assembly line that delivers orders in record time. »
- Daniel Schindel
How is Michael Keaton's performance as McDonald's self-proclaimed founder Ray Kroc? I gotta say, I'm lovin' it. Keaton is firing on all cylinders in The Founder and he makes this electrifying film something to see. Kroc was a hustler down to his fingertips, but he never found the product he was born to sell until he eyeballed those golden arches. That's right: Everything about this fast-food franchise, from the pickle to the bun, was already there when Kroc drove out from his Illinois base in 1954 to see what Dick »
The 2017 calendar year has gotten off to an interesting start at the box office, with the inspirational drama Hidden Figures pulling off surprise wins over the past two weekends, while La La Land continues to expand and climb up the charts after its impressive sweep at the Golden Globes. This weekend, four new releases will hit theaters, Paramount's XXX 3: The Return of Xander Cage, Universal's Split, The Weinstein Company's The Founder and High Top Releasing's The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, with A24's 20th Century Women also expanding nationwide. When all the dust is settled, we're predicting that XXX: The Return of Xander Cage will come out on top at the box office.
Box Office Mojo reports that, while those aforementioned films will all be released wide, there will be quite the large discrepancy between their theater counts. Both XXX 3 and Split are expected to open in roughly 3,000 theaters apiece, »
MaryAnn’s quick take… Rather brilliant and kind of inspiring until it turns frightening and even sinister. A dark tale of the beginning of end-stage capitalism as profit above all. I’m “biast” (pro): love Michael Keaton
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
A year or so ago, I had my first McDonald’s hamburger in maybe a decade, probably longer. I plead drinking — I had been out with a bunch of friends — and it was purely to stave off the next day’s hangover by getting down some grease and carbs to absorb the alcohol. But, man, that burger was delicious. Seriously. So good. (I haven’t had another one since.) They really know what they’re doing at Micky D’s.
I have also once attended what was then the world’s biggest McDonald’s, in Vinita, Oklahoma. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new true-story film “The Founder” starring Michael Keaton about the creation of McDonald’s!
“The Founder,” which opens on Jan. 20, 2017 and is rated “PG-13,” also stars Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Patrick Wilson, Laura Dern, B.J. Novak, Linda Cardellini and Kate Kneeland from director John Lee Hancock and writer Robert D. Siegel.
To win your free passes to “The Founder” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
Preferably, use your computer to enter rather than your smartphone. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
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