The Front Runner

Welcome to the Trending Pop Culture movie reviews. We saw The Front Runner, arriving in theaters November 21 2018.

The Front Runner  R (Biography/Drama) – Bron Studios
Director – Jason Reitman – Up In The Air, Juno, Thank You for Smoking, plus more
Writer – Matt Bai and Jay Carson.  
Starring – Hugh JackmanVera FarmigaJ.K. Simmons.

Official Trailer:

What is it about? American Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair.

Review: Any adult that lived within this tremulous political time during the year of 1988, remembers the uneasy anguish of watching a politician fall from grace the way Gary Hart did. On top of the world, essentially being dubbed as the next United States president before the race even started. He was so far ahead of the pack, that most felt this could be the biggest landslide in the history of a presidential race. That’s how far ahead he was. Now, as a reviewer that actually did in fact live through this scandal, at the precious age of 18, I can say, it was exciting to watch this unfold in real time. Being an adult now, it seems more uneasy, only because you realize how many people are getting hurt during the process of this man’s downfall. This movie made me relive this moment in time all over again. It hurts more now than it did back in 88. The pain Lee Hart must have endured (Gary’s wife), played brilliantly by Vera Farmiga, was felt by most in the audience. J.K. Simmons plays campaign manager Bill Dixon on a level only Mr. Simmons can do. Does this man ever have an off day? Absolute highlight of this film. Hugh Jackman (Gary Hart) was a meek shadow of himself compared to the ‘brawnier’ roles he’s starred in. A showing of guilt, fear and anger. However, he did have a love for his country. Blinded by the fact that “private lives” in politics were to change in a dramatic way in 1988. One huge takeaway from this film, it was the beginning of the end of politics as we know it today. Politicians were now going to be graded on their moral compass a bit more. Their private lives were now fair game, even more so. Gary Hart was stuck in a time machine thinking Americans didn’t or wouldn’t care about his “alleged” affair with Donna Rice. Sara Paxton as Donna Rice, almost portrayed as a victim in certain points of the movie. At times the audience was in tune too with Ms. Rice, understanding her conflict. Whichever side you stood on, the director wanted to make sure we understood that there was another person involved within this scandal. Their life ruined. Many were left feeling a bit empty with Donna Rice. It wasn’t convincing enough to ensure the viewers care enough about her. It fell a bit short, as did this film, for the older audience. The predictability was off the charts here. Watching and waiting for each scene to unfold, but realizing you may have lived this story already (which they have). For the older audience this holds very true, for the younger audience, this may be a new story to them. A history lesson or sorts. The movie comes out during a different era in politics. It seems as though the purposeful timing of release is trying to send a message. Whether the audience understands the message or not, well that will probably all depend on which side of the aisle you stand on. But, one thing we can all agree on and that is the political landscape seriously entered into the entertainment arena in 1988.                  
Sound: Score kept revisiting a “clapping” chime. At times went on too long.

TPC Rating – 3 Arrows up from Trending Pop Culture.

Secure your legacy.
Carpe Diem.
Jay Katz

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Uncanny 332 ( first Ozymandias )


I doubt you will see an Age of Apocalypse film without this guy!


Marvel GN 17 ( First Apocalypse )


Though unnamed in the GN it looks like this is Apocalypse’s first appearance.  Will this retcon catch on?  If it does this one will skyrocket.

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Rise of Apocalypse 1-4


This mini is already selling for decent money.


Uncanny 376



Uncanny X-Men 221 (First Mr. Sinister)


Mr. Sinister is a fan favorite  and central to the AOA plot.  Grab this one now if your lucky enough to find it in high grade.

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X-force 37 (Apocalypse gains entry into the Celestial ship)


Any comic that sheds light on the origin of the world’s oldest mutant should jump in price.  In this case we get a glimpse into Apocalypse’s quest for power.  It’s a small tidbit but key to understanding the goals of a powerful mutant.


New Mutants 25 ( First David Haller/Legion ) New Mutants #26 ( first on cover )


Bringing Apocalypse into the cinematic universe is a smart move.  Leading the next film into the AOA storyline would be wise too.   Sony like to adapt stories from the comics so Prof X’s son could be used and that means a whole host of comics will heat up on the back issue market.

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X-Men 41 – Legion Quest (First Earth-295/AOA )



X-Factor 23 ( first Archangel )


Everyone should have a copy of X-Factor 24. Simonson’s cover is still impressive all these years later and hey it’s the first appearance of Warren as Archangel right?  Nope.  He appeared in issue 23, in full and wasn’t named for many issues later.  This scenario reminds me of New Mutants 86/87.  Cable appears at the end of issue 86 but because of the iconic cover for issue 87 the actual first appearance isn’t noted.


X-Men 95 ( Identity of Death Revealed )


At this point we do not know who the Horsemen will be.  I would like to see the original horsemen used but Fox likes to tweak the stories making Wolverine the central character.  If the do use him as Death I would want to own this one.


X-Men Unlimited 10


Dark Beast replaces Beast.  I remember a few characters who became quite popular during the AOA run.  Dark Beast was one of them.


Uncanny X-Men 317 ( Red Stripe )


She appears to be one of the more popular characters in the new film.  The enhanced cover is easy to find.  This one is a little more difficult.

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X-Men Poster Magazine 4 ( First AOA Blink/ Dark Beast )


Unlike Bishop Blink was great in Days of Future Past!

This one is super rare and could be the first appearance of the AOA Blink and Dark Beast.  I am working to confirm the date of release on this but if you collect AOA related comics you should enjoy the hunt on this one.  It’s not going to be easy.


Tales from the AOA 2


I have mentioned this one before.  Why?  First published work by Brian k. Vaughan!



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Age of Apocalypse – Reading Order

Legion Quest
0) Uncanny X-Men #319: Untapped Potential
1) X-Factor #109: The Waking
2) Uncanny X-Men #320: The Son Rises In The East
3) X-Men #40: The Killing Time
4) Uncanny X-Men #321: Auld Lang Syne
5) Cable #20: An Hour Of Last Things
6) X-Men #41: Dreams Die

1) X-Men Chronicles #1: Origins
2) X-Man Annual #1996
3) Tales From The Age of Apocalypse: Sinister Bloodlines
4) Tales From The Age of Apocalypse: By The Light
5) X-Men Chronicles #2: Shattered Dreams
6) X-Man #-1: Breeding Ground
7) Blink #1
8) Blink #2
9) Blink #3
10) Blink #4 (Without Last Three Pages)

11) X-Men Alpha: Beginnings
12) Astonishing X-Men #1: Once More, With Feeling
13) X-Calibre #1: The Infernal Gallop
14) Gambit and The X-Ternals #1: Some Of Us Looking To The Stars
15) Generation Next #1: From The Top
16) Weapon X #1: Unforgiven Trespasses
17) Amazing X-Men #1: Crossing Guards
18) Factor X #1: Sinister Neglect
19) X-Man #1: Breaking Away

Choosing Sides
20) Amazing X-Men #2: Sacrificial Lambs
21) Factor X #2: Abandoned Children
22) Weapon X #2: Fire in the Sky
23) Gambit and The X-Ternals #2: Where No External Has Gone Before
24) X-Calibre #2: Burn
25) Generation Next #2: Hither Comes The Sugarman
26) Astonishing X-Men #2: No Exit
27) X-Man #2: Choosing Sides

Turning Point
28) Age of Apocalypse: The Chosen
29) Factor X #3: Open Wounds
30) Astonishing X-Men #3: In Excess
31) Amazing X-Men #3: Parents of The Atom
32) X-Calibre #3: Body Heat
33) Gambit and The X-Ternals #3: To The Limits of Infinity
34) Generation Next #3: It Only Hurts When I Sing
35) X-Man #3: Turning Point
36) Weapon X #3: The Common Rights of Toads and Men
37) X-Universe #1: Last Stand

38) X-Calibre #4: On Fire
39) Generation Next #4: Bye
40) Astonishing X-Men #4: Holocaust
41) X-Man #4: The Art of War
42) Factor X #4: Reckonings
43) Weapon X #4: Into The Maelstrom
44) X-Universe #2: Dying Breath
45) Gambit and The X-Ternals #4: The Maze
46) Amazing X-Men #4: On Consecrated Ground
47) X-Men Omega: Endings
–) Blink #4 (Last Three Pages)

Any correction are greatly appreciated.