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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Founder [Blu-ray]


(John Lee Hancock, 2016)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Universal

Video: Lionsgate



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:55:19.704 

Disc Size: 42,392,599,251 bytes

Feature Size: 30,113,396,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.90 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: April 18th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3290 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3290 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 3536 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3536 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), Spanish, none



• Behind the Scenes Gallery (The Story Behind the Story - 4:32, Keaton as Ray Kroc - 3:08, The MacDonald Brother - 1:01, The Production Design - 7:07, Building MacDonalds Time Lapse Video - 1:22)  Total 20:01

Press Conference with Filmmakers and Cast (37:44)





Description: Directed by John Lee Hancock (SAVING MR. BANKS), THE FOUNDER features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling 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. Writer Robert Siegel (THE WRESTLER) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. The film also stars Laura Dern as Ray Kroc's first wife, Ethel; John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald; and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.



The Film:

Ray Kroc, the whirling center of “The Founder,” doesn’t come across as a meat-and-potatoes man — much less a mogul destined to peddle burgers and fries. As played by Michael Keaton, an actor who generates terrific centrifugal force, Ray seems more like a guy who fuels up on 10 cups of coffee before calling it a night with a bottle of Scotch. “The Founder” never figures out what makes him spin and run and keep on running, but it does give you Mr. Keaton zinging around like the Road Runner. His kinetic performance doesn’t enhance the movie; it is the movie.

Excerpt from NYTimesM located HERE

After the obligatory “based on a true story” screen credit, Michael Keaton’s sombre, lined, 65-year-old mug fills the screen. “I know what you’re thinking,” he says, apparently to you, the viewer. “‘What the heck do I need a five-spindle for, when I barely sell enough milkshakes to justify my single spindle?’ Right? Wrong! Are you familiar with the notion of the chicken and the egg?”

And he’s off and running. The Founder is the story of a holy huckster in search of a religion he can sell to the masses. Ray Kroc is hawking milkshake machines in 1954 middle America. When he gets an order from the west coast he, decides to drive out to Route 66 and see who would request six of these beasts when most days he can’t move even one.

What he finds will look familiar if you live on Earth; a red-and-yellow burgers-and-fries joint whose product comes across the counter in a paper bag. But to see him sitting on a bench in the parking lot, exploring this new cuisine, he looks like a man who just stepped into the future. And with messianic zeal, he decides to bring that future to the rest of us.

Excerpt from National Post located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Founder looks excellent on Blu-ray from Lionsgate. They used an Arri Alexa XT with Panavision G- Series Lenses and detail is crisp and colors very bright with kudos to the excellent art-direction extolling vibrant pastels and 'McDonalds yellows' with a hint of teal leaning.  This is dual-layered with a decent bitrate for the 2-hour dramatized biography. It looks as impressive as you might image a modern film of this calibre to be presented in 1080P. There are no flaws - the video is clean and produces, what appears to be, an authentic, and highly pleasing, visual presentation.





















Audio :

It's transferred in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3290 kbps. Effects are limited but some separations are noticed. Everything sounds excellent and clear with some modest depth. Coen go-to composer Carter Burwell (A Serious Man, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski etc.) does the score and it suits the film well with a fairly light, moderately dramatic tone. There are optional English (SDH) and Spanish subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.


Extras :

The menu labels a 'Behind the Scenes Gallery' which has short production-related featurettes with principals giving sound-bytes, or historical background, including The Story Behind the Story, Keaton as Ray Kroc, The MacDonald Brothers , The Production Design and finished with a 'Building MacDonalds Time Lapse Video' - all, in total, running just over 20-minutes. There is also a 30-minute Press Conference with Filmmakers and Cast.




It's hard not to like The Founder - if only for the great performance of Michael Keaton - one of my favorite working actors (Clean and Sober, Batman Returns). As referenced in the extras - you'd have thought Ray Kroc's story would have been ripe fodder for Hollywood years ago... well, here it is. I liked the positive-ness and the history - it is affirming and educational.  The Lionsgate Blu-ray produces a fine presentation - and the film is worth the indulgence, imo. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 7th, 2017




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze






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