Netflix adds another movie to its distribution roster with the latest from Ricky Gervais, a satirical look at at a journalist (played by Eric Bana) and his sound man (Gervais) who find themselves covering a civil war in Ecuador… from the safety of an apartment in New York. Adapted by Gervais from the 2009 French comedy Envoyés très spéciaux, the movie had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be released worldwide on 29 April, but from the trailer it’s hard to tell if the movie is going to be as funny or as satirical as Gervais intended, and largely because the trailer’s pretty much a laugh-free zone. Gervais’s big screen projects haven’t exactly set the box office on fire in the past, and advance word isn’t very positive, so it’s likely that Special Correspondents will disappear just as “effectively” as Bana and Gervais’ characters do in the movie.
The true story of Ray Kroc’s acquistion of the McDonalds chain over the course of the late Fifties/early Sixties, The Founder looks to be a pull-no-punches examination of how Kroc outmanoeuvred the McDonald brothers (played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch), and gained control of what has become one of the world’s largest and most successful franchises. As Kroc, Michael Keaton has landed yet another role likely to reward him with a slew of awards nominations, while the recreation of the period looks to be spot on. This has the potential to be an unexpected hit at the box office, partly due to the nostalgia on offer, and partly because in the current US social and political climate, a tale of how the American dream was usurped and bent to someone else’s needs seems all too relevant.
Tough and moody, with a brutal streak running through it a mile wide, Mel Gibson’s latest foray in front of the cameras sees him playing an ex-con who’s forced to protect his estranged daughter (played by Erin Moriarty) from the drug dealers bent on killing her. Blood Father has an exploitation movie vibe to it, allied to strong visuals, as well as a pleasing sense that Gibson is playing a role more attuned to his work in the first two Lethal Weapon movies rather than the cartoon-oriented variations of the third and fourth. With an intriguing supporting cast on board – William H. Macy, Diego Luna, Elisabeth Röhm, Dale Dickey – this latest from the director of Mesrine Parts 1 & 2 (2008) could be another redeeming feature in Gibson’s post-meltdown career.