Feb 122019

, The Front Runner from a technical and acting standpoint is a perfectly fine movie. But the issue comes from the fact it’s not all that important, or at least as important as the filmmakers want it to be, with the ideas presented.



The Front Runner

Genre(s): Drama
Sony | R – 114 min. – $34.99 | February 12, 2019

Date Published: 02/12/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Jason Reitman
Writer(s): Matt Bai (book ‘All the Truth Is Out’); Matt Bai & Jay Carson & Jason Reitman (written by)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, Sara Paxton, Kaitlyn Dever, Ari Graynor, Kevin Pollak, Mike Judge
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Czech (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Hungarian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Polish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1), Turkish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Arabic, Chinese, Commentary, Croatian, Czech, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish
Disc Size: 39.22 GB
Total Bitrate: 98.77 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.0/5

The Front Runner is one of those movies that may be fine on a technical front, features some good acting and competent direction. The big problem with the film was the question: who cares? Given I was born in the early 80s, anything that occurred politically from the Ronal Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies were not exactly on my mind and frankly don’t remember what I was taught in high school.

I bring this up because at the heart is the story of Senator Gary Hart (HUGH JACKMAN) who got close to getting the Democratic nomination in 1987 but ultimately thwarted with a combination of his perpetual love of pretty women and the nation’s perpetual love, at first by the Miami Herald, of a sex scandal. The movie I suppose does a good job of presenting the events but over the span of two hours, I really didn’t know him any better other than he was more interested in the nuances of government and was reluctant to share anything personal with the public, much to the chagrin of his campaign manager (J.K. SIMMONS).

There’s really not a whole lot going on plot wise other than what I outlined above. You do get to see some of his family life including his tenuous relationship with his wife, Lee Hart (VERA FARMIGA) and the stress she and the Hart children endured, albeit mostly off-camera, including one case towards the end when the daughter, who was on a road trip with a friend (one scene implies she is gay) and was dealing with an onslaught of media; would’ve been nice to see these events, which I guess was what led Hart to drop out of the race, but instead director Jason Reitman went with the old tell not show…

While the story behind The Front Runner wasn’t exactly all the engaging, even when it asks the question about what part does a politician’s private life should be dissected and what does that have to do whether not that politician can govern? Interesting question for sure, but perhaps not in this format, but instead either on the book this was based off of (Matt Bai’s All the Truth Is Out) or even a feature-length documentary with interviews by the Hart family, those who knew him and those who were political enemies (got to think a few of the Herald or Washington Post are still around).

The Front Runner was helmed by Jason Reitman, a director whose previous works I’ve never been all that fond of, he is certainly a proficient filmmaker making some decent dramas like Juno, Tully and Up in the Air, though his debut Thank You for Smoking was his best. He does gets the benefit of having talented from Clooney to Theron (twice) and here, Hugh Jackman did a wonderful job and did feel like an actual character than an imitation (see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Snowden on the exact opposite).

The supporting cast all give solid performances from J.K. Simmons (marking his seventh film with Reitman, only missing from Tully) to Vera Farmiga, they did nice jobs with the material. Nothing profound, albeit Simmons does have a couple powerful scenes, but along with Jackman certainly make this all the more appealing despite the lackluster story.

In the end, The Front Runner is a fine drama. Nothing more, nothing less. It presents an interesting question but as something of a character drama, I didn’t get to know Gary Hart all that better and the whole rise and fall didn’t affect me in the least.



Not a packed disc but there is an Audio Commentary with Producer/Co-Writer/Director Jason Reitman, Producer Helen Estabrook, Production Designer Steve Saklad, Costume Designer Danny Glicker and Cinematographer Eric Steelberg; 3 Deleted Scenes (4:23) and a The Unmaking of a Candidate (15:39) behind the scenes featurette. Also included is the code for the Digital HD copy.

PreviewsSearching, White Boy Rick, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Boundaries, The Wife, Stan & Ollie


VIDEO – 4.0/5

Sony releases The Front Runner onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and shown with a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture is sharp and finely detailed throughout and colors appear natural and also in keeping with the 1980s setting and motifs. There were no perceptible instances of artifacting or aliasing, so it is a clean looking picture.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is on the serviceable side, outputting good dialogue levels via the center channel but surprisingly enough, there is some good depth especially when it came to the score and soundtrack, to go along with the roars of the crowds.


OVERALL – 3.25/5

Overall, The Front Runner from a technical and acting standpoint is a perfectly fine movie. But the issue comes from the fact it’s not all that important, or at least as important as the filmmakers want it to be, with the ideas presented. The release itself has an okay selection of bonus material while the video/audio transfers were both well done.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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