"At Eternity's Gate" (director: Julian Schnabel)
After "Loving Vincent", it is extremely hard to follow such a masterful cinematic work of one of the masters of art. While William Dafoe looks exactly like the painter himself, and is somehow able to capture the torture that was Vincent’s soul before he died, his magnificent performance is about the only thing that shines through this “ugly” movie, a movie that is perhaps very much like a reflection of Van Gogh’s work: made for people who are not yet born (and probably never will be). Oscar Isaac as Paul Gauguin does not have nearly as much time as he should portraying the painter whom Van Gogh shares many of his late ideas with. The camera work is probably the worst part of this whole film, being shot completely on what was probably a GoPro camera through someone’s bi-focal glasses. The cut to black scenes were especially frustrating, making you think that you had escaped the madness, when in reality, the movie just kept going. In the end, while both "Loving Vincent" and "At Eternity's Gate" focused on the same time frame of Van Gogh's life and practically had the same plot line, the latter lacked something that the former had: a plot.
So, it seems that you can have an appreciation for politics and politicians without having any knowledge of it. In this day and age, when every time you turn on the news you just want to scream, “The Front Runner” shows us when politics became about scandal, and who we have to blame for that: the media. The same people who we rooted for when watching “The Post” are the now the same people who we want to hate, especially when you watch A.J. Parker (played by actor Mamoudou Athie) hesitate as he knows he’s about to torpedo the career of Gary Hart (played magnificently by Jackman). Hugh Jackman has had quite a few roles during his tenure as the Wolverine, but he might have Wolverine to thank for the hard look that comes over him wh en he turns into the politician Gary Hart, which is a look that many of us are familiar with whenever we turn on CNN. You find yourself rooting for Hart, and wondering how we, as a country, became like Hollywood and focusing on scandal when we should focus on the issues, which is a point Jackman brings up so passionately. You want to feel such a range of emotions, but you don’t feel like you deserve to. In the end, you are brought back to the point: when did we stop focusing on the bigger picture when it came to politics? “The Front Runner” shows us exactly where we went wrong with politics, but like much of the media, we won’t focus on the point, just the juice.
Take everything you know about all the previous Spider-Man movies and throw it out the window! Everyone knows the backstory of how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, but that's not what we are focusing on in this absolutely wonderful animated movie. There have been many iterations of all superheroes, but with the recent passing of Stan Lee fresh in everyone's mind, this new iteration of Spider-Man hits home. The leap of faith that the directors for this movie took in making it has paid off as we follow Miles Morales in his journey in becoming Spider-Man. Even if you do not know anything about the comics, you can still follow this movie, feeling the pain that everyone feels at the death of Peter Parker that Miles witnesses just after getting bitten by that mutant spider--spoiler alert: the Stan Lee cameo in this movie is timed perfectly that he shows up during this death montage which brought tears to my eyes, and if it doesn't bring tears to yours, you have no soul! The meeting of Miles with the alternate Peter feels very much like a reluctant hero taking on an overeager sidekick, but it's Miles who kicks Peter into shape, with Peter beginning to act fatherly towards Miles. With the multiple Spideys showing up in Miles' world, he gets a crash course it what it takes to be a superhero, including another death that brings out his different Spidey powers--that's right, friends, this Spidey isn't just a web-slinger, he's brought more to the table! Any fan of Spider-Man, whether you read the comics, know the old cartoon TV shows, or just know the movies, will love this movie.
The one-liners made me laugh, the action sequences were perfect, even Aunt Mae was badass! The animation is fantastic, giving nod to the old time comics but putting a twist on it with the computer animation, and despite some blurring on the edges that probably can be accounted for the fact that this movie was also made for 3Dd. The soundtrack is one that reminds me of the "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack--absolutely epic (and it's still a shame that Daft Punk didn't get even an Oscar nod for that soundtrack.)
If this movie doesn't get the Oscar for Best Animated Film, let alone an Oscar nod, then someone needs to open up the portal King Pin tried to and send the critics elsewhere.