Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Release For the Week of 1/13/17

20th Century Women (R)
Starring: Lucas Jade Zumann, Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup, Ali Shawkat
Director: Mike Mills
Teens need to break away from their parents to establish their own identity, and this is exactly what happens to 15-year-old Jamie (Jucas Jade Zumann) in 20th Century Women. Jamie’s mother (Annette Bening) wants him to emerge from adolescence as a self-actualized young man shaped by the philosophy espoused in Marlo Thomas’ bestselling self-help book and musical recording Free to Be You and Me. Because Jamie and his mother “don’t talk anymore,” she recruits the help of William the handyman (Billy Crudup) and Abbie, the punk-rocker (Greta Gerwig) who rent rooms in the same Santa Barbara fixer-upper. In a time-warp trip to the 70’s, the punk-rocker opens Jamie’s mind by presenting him with the books Our Bodies Ourselves and Sisterhood Is Powerful. After perusing these books awhile, Jamie decides “Maybe I’m a feminist,” which, of course, is what his mother wanted all along.
4 pieces of Sisterhood is empowering toast

The Founder (PG-13)
Starring:, Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, B. J. Novak, Laura Dern
Director: John Lee Hancock
When I was in junior high, a friend’s father owned a meat company that made hamburger patties from frozen Australian beef. He told how a man called Ray Kroc approached him to see if he would make a dozen patties from a pound (16 oz) of beef, adding, “I’ll need thousands of burgers.” “Impossible,” the dad answered, and said “No,” to McDonalds. In The Founder, Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc as an avariciously ambitious, “all’s fair in business,” sort of guy who knows a goldmine when he sees it at a little San Bernardino burger joint. The secret formula is an assembly-line process and standardized menu with the only option for a burger being with or without cheese. The movie showcases some of the tricks Kroc used to steal the system, the golden arches, and even the founders’ family name to enable franchised, cookie-cutter McDonalds outlets across the landscape, and eventually boast “Over 1 Billion Sold.”
3 pieces of watch out for the “little guys” toast

Split (PG-13)
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Hall, Jessica Sula
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Think of M. Knight Shymalan’s film Split, like Jeckyl and Hyde on steroids. If a villain having 2 personalities is a good idea, then having 23 must be at least eleven times better. Once again, a movie portrays a psycho-therapist as the bad-guy. In this case, it’s the woman treating a patient with 23 different personalities. The doctor encourages her client to allow each personality to emerge—even though one of them (Kevin) admits he wants to kidnap girls and do “nasty things” to them. Since this is a psycho-thriller, Kevin acts out his wish, kidnaps three teens, and locks them in his basement. The drama develops as the girls try one escape attempt after another. Actor James McAvoy delights in the mercurial transitions from one personality to another by adopting individual traits, quirks, and accents for each one.
2 and 1/2 pieces of teens victimized by a weirdo toast

Resurrection of Gavin Stone (PG)
Starring: Brett Dalton, Anjelelah Johnson-Reyes, Shawn Michaels, Neil Flynn
Director: Dallas Jenkins
A former child-star arrested for burning the candle at both ends, is assigned to perform community service at his hometown church. He ends up being cast as Jesus in a church play, and the Biblical words printed in red have a “get your life together” effect. Despite the treacly sounding plot, this faith-based move breaks new ground for the genre, by showing a more realistic view of the modern Christian life-style. One that’s a lot more understanding, welcoming and culturally aware than the days of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God.”
2 pieces of you can (and maybe should) go home again toast