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Best of Summer 2023

By The Gatepost Art & Features Staff

Ben Hurney / THE GATEPOST

'Asteroid City'

By Owen Glancy

Asst. Arts & Features Editor


“Asteroid City” is the latest film from visionary director Wes Anderson, and it definitely lives up to the high standards we’ve come to expect from him. The film’s cast is stacked, and everyone does an excellent job, especially Jason Schwarzman and Edward Norton.


This movie stands out from the rest of Anderson’s library in that it is a film within a film. Throughout the movie, the color palette and perspective will change from the crew filming the play “Asteroid City” in black and white, and the color scenes where the characters within the play are being portrayed by the actors in the black in white portion.


It sounds confusing, and initially does make the film seem too obtuse, but this is where Anderson impresses the most. He somehow makes the audience care about both the fictional actors and the characters they play. Accomplishing this is nothing less than a miracle, and something I didn’t see replicated in any other film from the past four months. Anderson’s signature visual style is on full display here, with every shot being near perfect.


“Asteroid City” is a complicated, emotional, and visually striking film that shows off how Wes Anderson has improved as a filmmaker. This is definitely one of his most essential movies for anyone remotely interested in either Anderson or film in general.


'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem'

By Jackson Clyde

Staff Writer


Ever since their 1984 debut, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” have undoubtedly become cultural icons. But while their various adaptations have excelled in different ways, they haven’t typically focused on the “Teenage” part of the team’s moniker.


Thankfully, the creators behind “Mutant Mayhem” decided to change that, giving us a version of the half-shelled heroes that captures the inherent awkwardness of growing up.


The film focuses on the titular Ninja Turtles - Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo - as they embark on a series of heroic escapades with the goal of being accepted by the populace of New York as normal teens.


While the film’s plot isn’t revolutionary, it’s executed impressively well, bolstered by its stellar voice cast. All four of the Turtles are played by actors under 20 years old, and the interactions between them feel authentic in a way that many films can’t hope to capture.


“Mutant Mayhem” also boasts an artstyle distinctively its own, allowing for a great deal of expressiveness from its characters and some stunningly stylish action scenes.


Whether you see it in theaters or catch it when it drops on Paramount+, “Mutant Mayhem” is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the world’s most fearsome fighting team.


Ben Hurney / THE GATEPOST

'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

By Kyle Walker

Staff Writer


“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is a direct sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” continuing with a masterful open-world story. It was released exclusively to Nintendo Switch consoles on May 12.


With “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” winning The Game Award for Game of the Year in 2017, it seemed almost impossible for Nintendo to follow up with another smash hit.


But they did, and it has completely blown its predecessor out of the water.


This game takes everything from the previous title, including its setting, and enhances it with new mechanics, abilities, and an emotional story. It also adds a whole underground section the size of the overworld, along with many sky islands to explore.


For games in the Zelda series, it is common that the sequel titles are much darker than its predecessor, and this proves to be true in this game.


Overall, “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is another fantastic title in the Zelda franchise, and it completely demonstrates itself to be a contender for Game of the Year.


'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

By Jesse Burchill

Staff Writer


Eleven crew members. One isolated sea vessel. One legendary vampire.


This is “The Last Voyage of the Demeter,” one of the best horror movies of the summer.


An adaptation of “The Captain’s Log,” a chapter from the classic horror novel “Dracula,” the titular ship’s crew must find a way to survive after learning that Dracula has stowed away on their Mediterranean voyage.


Dracula’s actor, Javier Botet, gives a terrifying performance. Botet has a long history of playing monsters in film due to his unique appearance. With a primarily physical performance, spectacular makeup, and a Nosferatu-esque design, Botet’s Dracula succeeds in instilling a sense of dread in both the audience and the Demeter’s crew.


The actors portraying the Demeter’s crew do a mighty fine job themselves. They manage to get across a genuine sense of fear as they try to make sense of what’s attacking them, and resemble the way anyone in real life may act in this situation.


“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” can be described as the Ridley Scott film “Alien” on a boat, and with Dracula as the villain instead of an extraterrestrial.


The film doesn't quite reach its true potential as such a story, but regardless makes use of its source material wonderfully, and manages to maintain an effectively creepy and decently claustrophobic atmosphere throughout.


Ben Hurney / THE GATEPOST

'Barbie'

By Liv Dunleavy

Staff Writer


After months of glittery, eye-catching and, at times, ominous advertising, people of all ages fled to the theaters to experience “Barbie.” The long-awaited film sold out theaters bringing a refreshing feminist take to film.


Barbie found herself fighting the patriarchy which resonated with many people. This caused a viral trend where people gathered in our pinkest outfits for what many would describe as a hilarious, but inspirational 2 hours.


The movie is witty, and emotional, and evokes some sort of primal girl power hidden within us all. Women and others shared their personal stories about their womanhood, and men and others shared their Ken-like jobs.


The soundtrack found itself in its own spotlight as well, featuring songs by hit chart toppers like Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice, Billie Eilish, and Ken himself, Ryan Gosling. These catchy summer bops made the movie even more enjoyable, giving the audience something to dance to or even cry to.


Greta Gerwig proves that Barbie is not just a doll in a made up land, she represents what could be.


‘Oppenheimer’

By Adam Levine

Editorial Staff


"Oppenheimer" detonated on the big screen.


Three-time Academy Award nominated director Christopher Nolan once again teamed up with Irish actor Cillian Murphy for one of the best cinematic spectacles of the summer - and possibly of their careers.


After five films together, Nolan finally utilized Murphy’s phenomenal acting as the lead role. Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer, also known as the “Father of the Atomic Bomb,” drew the audience further into the troubled mind of a generational physicist.


Nolan’s storytelling and visual effects breathe life into the historical events of Oppenhiemer’s story and the development of the atomic bomb. Murphy’s role of the physicist is through how Nolan imagined Oppenheimer would perceive his own experience, placing the audience into the mind and life of the polarizing historical figure.


Murphy is surrounded by a star-studded cast, including a breathtaking supporting actor performance from Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, a former United States politician and Oppenheimer’s foil.


Along with Murphy and Downey, “Oppenheimer” gave the audience electrifying performances from numerous other actors.


Although it lacks action in comparison to many of Nolan’s other films, the dialogue throughout “Oppenheimer” creates tension, fear, excitement, and every other emotion.


The storytelling and visual effects make “Oppenhiemer” a must-watch movie and will undoubtedly make an explosion this upcoming award season.


Ben Hurney \ THE GATEPOST

'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'

By Jack McLaughlin

Arts & Features Editor


“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is the masterclass in visual and narrative storytelling that fans were expecting as a followup to the exceptionally amazing “Into the Spider-Verse” (2018).


Viewers are reunited with Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, and the film continues their stories while injecting new characters and concepts that create the rare sequel that exceeds its predecessor.


New characters like Pavitir Prabhakar and Hobie Brown let the film explore different styles of animation to distinguish the overabundance of spider-people and each of these heroes have such a strong presence on screen despite not being in it for much.


Daniel Pemberton’s incredible score adds an even stronger punch to each scene it’s featured in. The track “Falling Apart” accompanies an emotionally charged scene toward the end that gives the moment a heavier impact.


The main villain, The Spot, is initially played off as a joke but the film does an excellent job morphing him into one of Spidey’s most menacing adversaries.


After viewing “Across the Spider-Verse” 15 times since its June release, it’s safe to say this is the best “Spider-Man” story that has hit the silver screen, and it’s going to be pretty difficult to top.


'Eras Tour'

By Emily Rosenberg

Editor-In-Chief

Taylor Swift wowed audiences from all across the world as she shimmered in her first sold out stadium since releasing four new albums and two of her re-recorded records, known as “Taylor’s Version”s.

Unsurprisingly, fans were eager to know how Taylor would manage to fit songs from all 11 of her albums into one show. People made TikToks with spreadsheets, calculating the number of songs she could fit in a three hour concert. Others put on whole performance medleys in their garages and bedrooms, mocking what they expected to be the opening.


But what Taylor delivered was completely unexpected. Swift transformed her audience back to every album through incredible costume, stage design, and bold performances of songs that defined that album. Every “Era” had its full chance to shine.


Swift also had an acoustic set which switched up every night, leaving fans on the edge of their seats wondering what she would sing. People tuned into live streams every night, and would even bet money on what songs she would sing during a game they called “Swiftball.”


But it wasn’t just the content of the show that was memorable. Swift continued to make headlines and blow-up the charts even while on a tour bus. On May 5, on her first night in Nashville, Swift announced the release of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” during her acoustic set of the show, leaving even more anticipation for what she might do next.


Then on July 7, she brought Taylor Lautner and Joey King on stage for the premiere of a new music video starring the three of them. Throughout the tour, she filled audiences both in stadiums and at home with surprises, including another major announcement at the end of the U.S. leg - “1989 (Taylor’s Version).”


It was a cruel summer for anyone who still can’t wrap their head around why Taylor Swift is a success.


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