The Joker Movie starring Joaqin Pheonix October 2019 release

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Anja_Nees

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saw it last night and I really struggled with it.

I thought the film looked excellent, music was on point and the plot of how the Joker became a symbol to Gotham was very nice.

I just think the ending had far too many holes in it to be truly gripping and believable.

I thought the Joker’s character became too political. I feel that the best Joker’s stand for nothing, yet this Joker clearly has an anti-capitalist agenda and would operate out of fairness such as when he spared the midget or we didn’t see whether he killed his neighbor.

I thought the whole idea of the tv show sourcing comedy club film, putting him on TV and allowing him to wear a clearly political outfit on a fluffy talk show was a bridge too far, also how long production allowed that conversation to go to air was highly unrealistic.

In fact, I found the whole transplant of the King of Comedy into the film to be quite lazy.

And of course the asylum scene at the end was a major cop out and didn’t leave us with that hard-hitting final shot like that burning Gotham City could have.

I feel I’m just not quite getting any deeper challenging messages from this film, it was just a really nice and clever way of showing the birth of the Joker and Fall of Gotham.

I liked a lot of it, I loved the performance/dance elements that were brought back, he looked fantastic as both Arthur and Joker. It just missed the mark on Joker’s values I think and instead went for just a society outcast ala Taxi Driver.
Understand what you’re saying.

I think he was using the class war issue to his advantage but didn’t actually care about it at all. He said as much to Murray before offing him and he said he spared the dwarf because he was nice to him (a bit of a callback to some school shootings I suspect).

I did think, though, that the Murray shooting should have happened at the start of the third act rather than being the climax of the film. It was pretty obvious something bad was going to happen on the show even from the trailer. I was expecting more but it wrapped up quickly after.
 

glenferry23

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Some random tidbits I appreciated further on second viewing:

- the retro WB logo. I believe this was the same intro for the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, and most of their movies in the late 70s/early 80s.

- the cello theme of the opening scenes, sets the tone straight away. Loved how the tune evolves darker through the film as Arthur loses control. Outstanding score.

- Phoenix hits this out of the park. The very early scene of him laughing/crying/painfully coughing was ******* magnificent. He had me hooked.

- there really aren’t many scenes where Phoenix isn’t front and central. He absolutely carries this, what an actor he is.

- I was looking around his apartment for that sign that was supposedly broken in the opening scene. But couldn’t see it or any pieces of it, so I guess it actually happened.

- I maintain that gaunt look of The Joker to be as authentic to the source material as possible. I didn’t mind the ripped punk rock style of Leto, no problem with that. But there’s something about his visible ribs and cheekbones, whilst dancing/swaying so awkwardly that is disturbing to view but very much Joker.

- full credit to vast on this, he was all over it. Definitely no flat line noise when he suffocated his mother.

- loved the consistently unreliable version of events, what’s real and what’s delusional. Such as the number of gunshots on the subway scene. I tried to count this time, presuming that’s a 6 bullet revolver. He shoots the first guy twice. Then once for the second bloke. That’s 3.

- he then shoots the third in the back of the leg, being 4. Chases him off the train and the fifth is into his back. But then goes up to him at that staircase and shoots another 2-3 times as the camera pans away.

- bathroom scene remains one the greatest moments in comic book movies for me. Glorious.

- clear symbolism of the struggle ascending those stairs versus descending down them (perhaps could have chosen another song but the tune did suit).

- 3/4 times he attempts to raise his arms out wide in an effort to seek acceptance/validation from the public. Such as at the comedy club “well no one’s laughing now”. Does the same gesture into the mirror at the bathroom, and then finally gets that validation from the baying mob whilst Gotham burns behind him.

- still would have liked if the movie ended on that note, but the final minute or two at Arkham was okay. He looked to be in the same attire and room as that earlier moment with his social worker where it quickly cut to him banging his head against the window.

- I’ve read criticism that people don’t believe this Joker would be the criminal mastermind he’s believed to be. That’s mainly because it’s an origin tale only covering a few weeks of his life. He’s only just started his descent into madness. And there’s still a good ~15 years before he faces off against Batman.

- there’s a fine line between “drawing inspiration” from Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, versus directly using elements from it. I get criticism that they’re too similar. I personally would have preferred a bit more DC/Joker relevance at times.

Overall, magnificent experience. Loving the DC Black Label direction they’re headed, and there are so many more possibilities. Phoenix seems open to doing this again which is promising but even if just a stand alone, it’s still fantastic.
 
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Filthy Sanchez

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On the Gary Glitter thing; I'm not a "boycott from all recognition" type of guy when it comes to art. I think it's a bit different than say playing the song at a Primary school athletics day or something that isn't trying to make a deeper meaning. Even when Glee did a song of his on their show, I think that's far more objectionable, but given it's just art I'm okay with it.

The music fit the scene perfectly and was my favourite scene in the whole film.
 

glenferry23

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On the Gary Glitter thing; I'm not a "boycott from all recognition" type of guy when it comes to art. I think it's a bit different than say playing the song at a Primary school athletics day or something that isn't trying to make a deeper meaning. Even when Glee did a song of his on their show, I think that's far more objectionable, but given it's just art I'm okay with it.

The music fit the scene perfectly and was my favourite scene in the whole film.
It’s a similar conversation to the Michael Jackson controversy earlier this year. Can one separate the art/music from the actual artist themselves.

I don’t necessarily think there’s a right or wrong answer, and yes this time the song choice was absolutely spot on. But can certainly also see why it would upset some.
 

the PILL

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Badass movie. It messes with your morals as you can clearly see how he arrives at such a point and even be empathetic, yet morally you have to check yourself that you don't fall into the trap of supporting what he becomes because of his path...

Phoenix is just phenomenal in his transformation from one of the most awkward characters I've ever seen, to a psychotic yet almost charismatic force.
 

glenferry23

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Been following his channel on YouTube for while and tend to agree with the majority of what he says.

Don’t agree with him on this one, but that’s the divisive nature of this movie I guess. I recall him earlier on when this film was announced as being from the “Joker doesn’t have an origin” camp, so I think wasn’t in favour of this concept to begin with.
 

Plugger35

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Best film I've seen all year, well the only other film I've seen at the cinema this year is Once Upon A Time In Hollywood but it's better than that.

A few similarities, great cinematography that takes you back to an earlier era with homages to earlier films, random acts of violence and some great acting performances but Joker does all three better imo.

Loved how Joker took you back to those classic New York films of the 70s and 80s, Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy the obvious influences but the subway scenes and gang culture reminded me of The Warriors, just had that real gritty New York feel to it. I actually forgot this film was set in Gotham and when they showed a shot of the skyline I thought where are the Twin Towers? Then I had to remind myself that this was Gotham not New York.

Unlike the violence in Tarantino films the violence in Joker wasn't overdone, it was more like the Scorsese short sharp shock method that left you reeling.

As for acting, as good as DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were in OUATIH Joaquin Pheonix leaves them for dead in this film, what a performance, the intensity he brings to this role has to be seen to be believed. It's uncomfortable watching him and he's in just about every scene but you're still mesmerised by him, if he doesn't win the Best Actor Oscar he should go full Joker at the Academy Awards.

Some good performances form the supporting cast too, De Niro is rock solid as always and a nice cameo from Marc Maron, big fan of his podcast.

I didn't mind the Gary Glitter song either, suited that scene perfectly and suited the era, The Killers Smile Like You Mean It would have been great too but would have been out of place.
 

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tazaa

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Not a huge fan of the final minute, for me I would have been fine if it ended with the image of him standing on that police car being cheered whilst Gotham burns behind him.

Brilliant scene and thumping score. Sensational note to end it on. Intermixed with the death of the Wayne’s.

That final moment with the psychiatrist at Arkham (I’m guessing), I didn’t really like that. I enjoyed the “you wouldn’t get it reference”, a great callback to the greatest comic book novel of all time (more on that later).

But the scene itself, to then leave it open to interpretation if the entire events that transpired in the film actually happened or not? Nah, not a fan of that. Seems a bit of a cop out and cheapens the impact of the film for me.

I’ve got no problem with his delusional day dreaming about his date etc, his mental health was already rapidly deteriorating at that point. But whether the entire thing happened or not, no thank you. Anyway, minor gripe overall. But wish it didn’t end on that note.

I started reading The Dark Knight Returns again last night, it’s been a while. It still gets me, even after first reading it 30+ years ago. This is a sensational scene and clearly used as some inspiration for Joker’s appearance on the Murray Franklin show, an excerpt from the animated movie:

Bang on. The score gradually increasing in pace and volume as he dances and is then worshipped by his followers as he stands on the bonnet is probably one of the best scenes I have seen in cinematic history. Perfection. Makes the movie amazing.
The movie should have ended there though.
The final cut to the asylum with the psychiatrist takes away the intensity of it all and leaves you feeling lesser.
Just watched it, thought Joaqin was absolutely fantastic. Score and cinematography was brilliant, pacing was a little off.
8/10 for me
Agreed. My brief thoughts too.
 

Carbine Chaos

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Saw it tonight and found it unsettling. Really enjoyed it.

I can’t quite picture that Joker in a Batman movie. I can, however, imagine him in an amazing adaptation of Mad Love introducing the origins of Harley Quinn, done in an R rated fashion.

I don’t think Ledger’s Joker was right for that story. Sadly it seems like it’ll be Leto/Robbie doing that story and that brand is already tarnished. And as good as Robbie is as zany Harley, I don’t know if she’ll nail Harleen’s fragility.
 

glenferry23

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Saw it tonight and found it unsettling. Really enjoyed it.

I can’t quite picture that Joker in a Batman movie. I can, however, imagine him in an amazing adaptation of Mad Love introducing the origins of Harley Quinn, done in an R rated fashion.

I don’t think Ledger’s Joker was right for that story. Sadly it seems like it’ll be Leto/Robbie doing that story and that brand is already tarnished. And as good as Robbie is as zany Harley, I don’t know if she’ll nail Harleen’s fragility.
I genuinely don’t think we’ll be seeing a Leto Joker again. I believe that ship has sailed.

And yes it’s a bit of a shame we won’t see a Harley in this Joker setting. There’s an outside chance of a Batman inclusion down the track, with the right angle it would still work even in such a grounded tone of this Gotham.
 

Mike Smyth

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Loved it. Finally, a superhero movie worth watching. His descent from hopelessness into madness was one of the greatest acting performances in Hollywood history (or at least over the last 20 years).
 

glenferry23

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Also De Niro was really good in terms of what he brought to the film.
Not a lot of airtime and nothing really spectacular for RDN but just another presence and strong actor to fill in the Jokers premise.
Was a good casting choice, and just the right amount of airtime for him. More than just a cameo, but not a major role (which to be fair, the only major role here is Phoenix). Great acting between the two of them in that scene, the tension in that exchange was palpable.
 

TheGreatBarryB

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Uncomfortable viewing and crap story.

Expect us to believe that incredibly ill guy who is just about to stop taking his meds is a criminal mastermind? Gimme a break. The guy was devoid of any humour and a simple guy.

It’s so easy to depict a guy going into madness by throwing all those things at him.

A clown uprising from three office workers being killed on a train?! Come on man!

Big fan of Phoenix so there was that but disappointing.
 

Carbine Chaos

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Uncomfortable viewing and crap story.

Expect us to believe that incredibly ill guy who is just about to stop taking his meds is a criminal mastermind? Gimme a break.

A clown uprising from three office workers being killed on a train?! Come on man!
At what point in this movie is he a criminal mastermind?

And yeah, that spoiler was pretty well explained in the film, not sure why that’s a complaint.
 

glenferry23

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Criminal mastermind? The movie never depicted that or intended to. And that spoiler is the epitome of his TKJ origin concept, one bad day can drive anyone insane.
 

tazaa

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When I think of DC movies that failed and DC movies that succeeded, what resonates and is a common theme amongst them is the films soundtrack.
It’s why Nolan’s movies dominated.

A masterpiece. This is beautiful.
 

Ryz

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Well I don’t even care what this joker is meant to become, just a completely ill person.

The spoiler was explained but don’t buy it.
But your complaint was that he becomes a criminal mastermind though.

And to your initial point of being uncomfortable viewing, that was the point.

A guy with obvious mental health issues, with no support network in a city that has high tensions between the rich and poor, along with law enforcement struggling to their job. He's a powder keg waiting to go off.

Take DC out of the movie and it's still a mildly believable and confronting story.

I ask this with 100% sincerity, but what movie were you expecting?
 

TheGreatBarryB

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But your complaint was that he becomes a criminal mastermind though.

And to your initial point of being uncomfortable viewing, that was the point.

A guy with obvious mental health issues, with no support network in a city that has high tensions between the rich and poor, along with law enforcement struggling to their job. He's a powder keg waiting to go off.

Take DC out of the movie and it's still a mildly believable and confronting story.

I ask this with 100% sincerity, but what movie were you expecting?
No my complaint is I can’t this guy as any sort of functioning person let alone the Joker or some kind of at least savvy criminal.

This was some simplistic way of saying this is how he became the joker.
Would’ve been far more interesting if there were gaps like gee he’s not that insane or ill but he still wants to cause damage. What are his beliefs or something like that. Anyway just my opinion, I’ve got nothing against people liking it
 

Simon_Nesbit

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Haven't seen it yet, but intend to, especially after the comments above.

My view from reading the comments, reviews and trailers is that this character might be the tragic story that serves as inspiration for the "real joker" who this character meets in Arkham.

In my mind Joker is only insane in the sense of his commitment to the cause - a brilliant mind, military strategist, a charismatic leader of men, perhaps even a man of the highest ethical and moral standing - working for the military at elite level who ultimately lost faith in the 'traditional' structure of the world, perhaps triggered by a truly heinous crime against humanity (slaughter of innocent women and children for example) instigated and then covered up by his bosses/PR for the benefit of $$$ and snaps - unable to reconcile his experience with the world outside, he is sent to Arkham as a rambling lunatic. Upon meeting this character, and discovering the opinion of society has changed, he embraces the opportunity for all that chaos provides.

Joker should be the equal to Batman in all things other than physical size/power and his code of ethics. Batman still believes in the "system", Joker knows the truth.
 

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