film M Night Shyamalan

Keaton, Christian, and Mental Illness: January 20's New Movies

Friday, January 20, 2017 Rob Samuelson

It’s another big weekend at the movies, continuing the early trend of 2017. There’s some potential prestige, some religion, some schlock, and plenty in between, too. And hey, maybe we'll all need a break from reality on January 20, 2017. Read into that whatever you like. Let’s check out the movies, shall we?

Photo credit: The Founder Film/Facebook



The Founder
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Robert Siegel
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch




The story of how McDonald’s came to be, The Founder tells how the people with the actual McDonald name were not the people to become kajillionaires because of their fast food chains. That cash flowed into the pockets of one Mr. Ray Kroc, played by Oscar nominee Michael Keaton. Kroc build an empire out of a simple idea and he used the legal system to weasel the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch) out of their shares of the fortune. Writer Robert Siegel is a big reason to be excited for this one because of his work on the excellent 2008 film The Wrestler and the slightly less good (but still pretty dang good) Big Fan from a couple years later.


The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
Director: Dallas Jenkins
Writer: Andrea Gyertson Nasfell
Starring: Brett Dalton, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Shawn Michaels




When a former child star gets in trouble with drinking and possibly drugs, he moves back home and must complete community service at a local church. Once there, he discovers they’re having an annual Passion Play. He promptly drops his janitorial duties to audition for the role of Jesus, but he has all kinds of trouble with the faithful members of the church because he’s lying about being a Christian. He must learn to be truly faithful in this Christian comedy. Also, WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels is there. That means the first two movies in this preview have wrestling connections. Let’s see what happens with movie number three!


Split
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson




James McAvoy plays a man with 24 different personalities floating around his brain. He kidnaps a trio of girls, including The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy and The Edge of Seventeen’s Haley Lu Richardson, and they must pit his multiple personalities against each other in order to escape his clutches. You could say they must make him wrestle with himself (ho ho, he he, you’re so funny, Rob). Anyway, M. Night Shyamalan is awesome no matter what people thought about a few clunkers. He returned to witty and spooky form with 2015’s The Visit and this looks like it can start another winning streak for a guy who has been an excellent genre filmmaker for two decades and often gets scoffed at.


XXX: The Return of Xander Cage
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: F. Scott Frazier
Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone



You know who also wrestles? XXX himself, Xander Cage, played by Vin Diesel, a guy who wrestles Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in his other action films. He’s back in this action-spy series for the first time in 15 years. Now he rides snow skis through jungles and wears giant fur coats and stuff. It looks bonkers. It’s directed by D.J. Caruso, whose eye for action earned him some decent box office numbers with Disturbia and Eagle Eye. Go laugh at what is expected to be a campy good time.

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