Quick Hit Movie Reviews #12: 'Bleed For This,' 'The Founder,' & 'Gold'

The movie posters for the 2016 films 'Gold', 'Bleed for This' and 'The Founder'
What do the 2016 films; “The Founder,” “Gold,” and “Bleed for This” share in common? Each movie is centered on a protagonist taking a bold shot at glory. Two of the three movies turn their lens towards real larger-than-life characters, while another offers a fictionalized account of true events.

Under the golden arches of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc finds his last great hope for financial success in “The Founder.” In the dramedy “Gold” a fictionalized character spends his last dime on the wild dream he can strike gold. While boxer Vinny Pazienza deals with the life-altering risks of staging a comeback to the ring, taking the chance his attempt could be his first and last.

Three men aim for glory, which movies deliver it to them? Eclectic Pop weighs in…

“Bleed for This” (2016)

“Bleed for This” is confidently directed by Ben Younger, stars a cast that has exponentially transformed themselves to physically resemble their real-life counterparts, and yet something is missing. A distracting soundtrack and hurried script make “Bleed for This” hemorrhage the sense of a well-rounded cinematic experience.

The movie tells the true story of Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), a promising boxer whose life is upended when a near-fatal car accident leaves him fighting for his life and the use of his legs.

Vinny opts to wear a Halo instead of having a spinal fusion surgery so he can box again. It is a brave decision and the movie’s key plot point, as it delves into the mind of an athlete determined to return to the sport he loves. Continue reading here.

Teaser poster for the movie 'The Founder' starring Michael Keaton
[Image by The Weinstein Company]

“The Founder” (2016)

This unflattering portrait of McDonald’s franchiser Ray Kroc has a foundation for greatness that it never quite builds upon. Michael Keaton stars as Kroc, the man who franchised the fast-food giant, McDonald’s. In “The Founder” you will find streaks of “The Social Network” and “Flash of Genius,” as both are films that chronicle similarly bent real-life stories.

Since “The Founder” mainly revolves around Kroc, you do not get a chance to fully experience the all-out heartbreak “Flash of Genius” depicts alongside its wronged innovator. John Lee Hancock’s direction is crisp and snappy, which complements the theme of the film.

Keaton is great with what he is given, but the script cuts corners when it comes to honing in on a layered rendering of Kroc, leaving Keaton with less to play. “The Founder” is not Mc-dull, just a tad undercooked. Rating: 7/10

“The Founder” is available to stream on Netflix throughout August 2017.

“Gold” (2016)

A stellar cast and promising premise cannot save this comedic drama from falling into the pits. “Gold” follows the terribly unlikable Kenny Wells (McConaughey), a down-on-his-luck prospector who gambles his, or rather his girlfriend’s last dime on Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez); a storied geologist who believes he can find gold in Indonesia. The result of their efforts forever alters the fortunes of the quasi-buddies.

The movie poster for 'Gold' starring Matthew McConaughey
[Image by TWC-Dimension]

While billed as a dramatic thriller in its IMDB genre description, “Gold” runs light on either genre; too wacky to be taken seriously, and too serious to be perceived as a comedy. Further hurting the movie is the easy-to-make comparison between it and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which makes “Gold” look even worse. That same problem afflicted another 2016 film; "War Dogs."

A nearly unrecognizable McConaughey is stuck playing a downright detestable character with no redeeming qualities. While his co-star Edgar Ramirez is given a frustrating lack of material to delve into. If you head into "Gold" expecting a buddy movie, you will not strike it rich.

Since "Gold" is a clunky comedic drama with a loathsome lead character, there is not a lot that can be mined from it. In the end, “Gold” fails to medal as either a gold, silver, or bronze endeavor. Rating: 4/10

“Gold” begins streaming on Netflix, August 16. 

Are you planning to check out “The Founder” and “Gold” on Netflix? If you do, sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts on them. 

[Featured Image by TWC-Dimension/Open Road Films/The Weinstein Company]

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