Daily Archives: August 1, 2017

Movie Review – The Founder (2016)

Burgers and treachery!

BQB here with a review of “The Founder.”

I hate Ray Kroc.  That dude’s fast food chain has put absurd amounts of fat on my ass.  Now I hate him even more as I learn he stole the whole shebang out from under the McDonald brothers.

Whoops.  Spoiler.  Oh well.  Sorry.  Learn your fast food history, people.

Michael Keaton, himself experiencing a renaissance in his acting career as of late, is a down on his luck, struggling milkshake machine salesman – a failure laughed at by everyone.

He can’t sell a single machine until he gets a strange order.  A little hamburger stand in California named McDonald’s wants six of them.  Curious about what kind of restaurant could use that many machines, Kroc seeks it out and is amazed.

The McDonald Brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as Dick and Mack) have brought the Henry Ford assembly line concept to hamburger production.  Dick especially has mapped it all out, distilled it all down to a science, getting everything just so, leaving the food quickly produced, tasting good, and getting customers on their way in no time.

It was a revolutionary concept.  Drive-ins had been struggling with customers sitting in their cars, waiting for food and eating it there.  This idea let customers take their food and leave.  In other words, here’s your food now go.  We’re done.  No more waiting on you.  The concept had never been tried before.

Kroc falls in love with the restaurant and offers to oversee franchising.  The McDonalds have concerns, namely, that franchises will water down the quality of their brand.  No one will put as much love and care into their business as they will.

Blah, blah, blah…Kroc seals the deal and he’s off to the races.  It’s an epic tale of how a 52-year old man who was once a joke becomes a multi-billionaire, going from washed up hack to big time baller.  At times the transition is hard to watch.  Ray loses his down home folksy charisma and becomes a ruthless businessman.  I won’t spoil what happens to the McDonalds but suffice it to say, it isn’t pretty.

Offerman and Lynch play sympathetic local businessmen who lived the American dream only to have it yanked out from under them.  Offerman is exceptionally great in his monotone “Parks and Recreation” glory, explaining all the science he put into pushing his burgers out in rapid time without losing quality.  Understandably, he goes ballistic as soon as Ray starts sacrificing quality.

Meanwhile, Lynch suffers health problems that are made worse by Ray’s double-cross.

Overall, the film is partly a comeback success story as we initially root for Ray as he goes from zero to hero, from the guy everyone laughed at to a big time mogul.  Then the film takes a turn where we want to slap Ray around, especially as he kicks loyal wife Ethel (Laura Dern) to the curb for a younger model and of course, as he gives the McDonald Bros a vigorous screwing over.

The closest comparison I can draw is it is like Kroc is Walter White but with hamburgers instead of meth.  At 52, his age has left him with a “don’t give a fuck” attitude.  This is his shot at success.  He’s done being Mr. Nice Guy.  He’s ready for the big time and no longer cares about stepping over people to get what he wants.

A particularly heartwarming sequence comes when Kroc initially pitches the franchise idea to men who are already rich.  These well to do types run lousy restaurants.  They’ve earned their money so they don’t care.  Kroc learns from this and begins seeking investors not on wealthy golf courses but instead, in fraternity lodges, churches, bingo games and the like, recruiting owner/operators who pay attention to every last detail because it is their savings and nancial future on the line.

Ultimately, it’s a story of the American Dream, combined with a warning of being careful who you trust and a study of how far should one be willing to go to achieve success.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Deserved more Oscar praise.  Also, the McDonald brothers were right.  Kroc ruined the quality of their food but I guess I’m the one who should be ashamed of myself because I stuff that shit in my suckhole anyway.  Thanks for giving me a fat ass, Ray Kroc.

Movie Review – Free Fire (2016)

Guns, guns, guns!

BQB here with a review of the two hour long gun fight movie, “Free Fire.”

I’m going to say this straight out of the gate.  This movie features a concept that is great in theory but fails in execution.  In this day and age of non-stop sequels and reboots, it was nice to see an original idea on screen, i.e., what would a feature length gun fight battle sequence look like?

The problem is none of the characters are particularly likable.  For me, I wasn’t really left caring enough about any of them to worry whether or not any of them buy the farm.  Brie Larsen’s character was the only one I rooted for but even then it was only because I wanted to bone her.

In the 1970s, an excessively large ensemble cast meets in a Boston warehouse to perform a gun deal.  I’m not an underworld gun salesman but the amount of people involved in this gun buy seems to be at least ten people too many.  It feels like the Hollywood suits just had a lot of actors they liked so they squashed them together and gave them superfluous, unlikely rolls in this transaction.

For example, Brie and Armie Hammer are brokers of some kind who are just there to make introductions. Sharlto Copley plays the South African gun runner while Cillian Murphy plays the IRA buyer.

Meanwhile, there’s a vast assortment of henchmen, drivers, lackeys, and so on.  The film begins with everyone saying a lot of superfluous things designed only to be stylish for style’s sake.

After the blah, blah, blah, a petty dispute between two henchmen leads to a gun battle that just gets worse and worse, at times comically so though I don’t think comedy is the film’s intention.  Once the initial shots are fired, there are accidental shootings that cause anger among the parties, adding fuel to the fire and causing battle lines to be drawn.  Literally at no time does anyone exercise some brain power and just says like, “Hey! This was just an accident.  Let’s all calm down!”

For most of the film, the actors are flat on their backs, hiding for cover, nursing gun shot wounds, limping along the floor on their elbows when they need to move, either whispering to allies or shouting at enemies.

At first, it’s interesting but after awhile it becomes hard to keep track of who wants to shoot who and why.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Plus points for originality.  Minus points for execution.  All the characters were lame cookie cutter criminal lowlife dicks and when you don’t care if they croak it’s hard to root for anyone to win the gun battle royale.

Just root for Brie.  Because she gives me tingly feelings in my pants.nnn

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Movie Review – Atomic Blonde (2017)

1980s music!  Jason Bourn-esque fight scenes!  Charlize Theron goes full lesbo!

BQB here with a review of “Atomic Blonde.”

It’s 1989.  The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse.  In Germany, the Berlin Wall divided the country is about to be torn down.

Set aside this end of the Cold War backdrop, MI6 agent Atomic Blonde (Charlize Theron) must work her way through a world of intrigue to secure a list of Western agents, lest they be killed if they fall into the wrong hands.

With classic 1980s jams playing in the background, Charlize engages in stylish, well-choreographed fight scenes, all the while wearing the latest in 1980s fashion.

Meanwhile, she works with devious allies like Percival (James McAvoy), Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) and Kurzfeld (John Goodman.)

There are a lot of twists.  You’ll feel contorted by the end.  At times it can be difficult to keep up with what is happening, but the music and action is fun.n

Also, you get to see Charlize’s tucas.  I assume it is hers.  I have no reason to believe it was a stunt butt but I have no means of verification.  It isn’t presented in a very erotic manner though but hey, a butt’s a butt.

I’m not sure it lived up to all the hype but it is a fun time just the same.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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