Joker (2019)

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The main problem with this movie is that it lacks a core trait that makes Joker so interesting, and that is his philosophy. Ledger's Joker constantly spouted his views of the world, saying things like "I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger" or “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules". Ledger's Joker may be insane, but he is very much in tune with his intellect. Even Hannibal Lecter has intellect despite loving to munch on people. I do not believe for a second that this version of the Joker has the philosophy or the intellect to one day go head-to-head with the World's Greatest Detective in a battle of wits.

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It's worse than bad, it's boring. Utterly devoid of an identity, hollow in intent, and no clue whatsoever what it's trying to be. Nothing more than a kid driving dad's car, and for a movie as purposefully incendiary as this that's borderline irresponsible. Philips' direction is the showiest I've seen since The Revenant, although his range as a filmmaker is genuinely impressive. It is both a hyper-literal portrait of mental illness and a heightened comic book movie, and the two clashed for me in ugly ways.

The most dangerous thing about it is its lack of point of view.

Pretty pictures, though, and Phoenix really commits. This is a movie about a sick man doing sick things, and he becomes that character. A nomination is likely appropriate.


-Vader

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Honestly, I was hoping your reaction would be more interesting than Matt Goldberg’s and Adam Chitwood.

Excited for Armand’s take.

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Got a solid B+ from cinemascore. Might have a leggier run than is currently expected.

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Allstar wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 4:34 am
Honestly, I was hoping your reaction would be more interesting than Matt Goldberg’s and Adam Chitwood.

Excited for Armand’s take.
Not shocking to see Vader dislike the film given some of his previous statements defending critics' reactions to their perceived view that the film is "dangerous." Perhaps Vader's review is objective and it is mere coincidence that he sides with many critics in which he shares the same progressive views. I'll have to see the movie for myself before I make that judgment.

69% critics; 92% audience.

Looks like Mark Kermode enjoyed it: Mark thought it was a very impressive film and rejected criticism it has received for being irresponsible or nasty, given that the film is the origin of a famously villainous character, directed by the man who brought us The Hangover trilogy – so what were people expecting?

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I thought Kermode's review can be read both ways almost. He's defending the film from simplistic reductions, while admitting there's nothing subtle about it, but then saying that kinda fits and that the dancing is interesting and leaves it at that, lol.

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prince0gotham wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 8:46 am
I thought Kermode's review can be read both ways almost. He's defending the film from simplistic reductions, while admitting there's nothing subtle about it, but then saying that kinda fits and that the dancing is interesting and leaves it at that, lol.
I quoted that directly from the BBC website that posts his reviews, so he gives the film pretty high marks.

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Skyab23 wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 9:02 am
prince0gotham wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 8:46 am
I thought Kermode's review can be read both ways almost. He's defending the film from simplistic reductions, while admitting there's nothing subtle about it, but then saying that kinda fits and that the dancing is interesting and leaves it at that, lol.
I quoted that directly from the BBC website that posts his reviews, so he gives the film pretty high marks.
yes?
he says it does a very particular thing pretty good (performative outward expression of madness) and that it's not as simple as some make it out to be
but he also sighs at Phillips' attitude and mentions his surprise at THIS being directed by the Hangover guy has later turned into a "but of course", in which he implies that the cynicism and un-funnyness of The Hangover (i liked those btw) are perfectly fitting for a movie about a bad comedian, or in other words saying Phillips kinda finds his element in this, which happens to be good for the movie but I wouldn't confuse this with Oscar worth outside of the very obvious areas


my point is it's a fairly moderate assessment and I don't think it should be instrumentalized into the whole "backlash-to-the-backlash" thing that's going on and that Kermode himself adresses

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I'm definitely going to see this again. Phoenix should win every possible award he can win for his performance.

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If anything I admire the film for attempting to give us something this bleak and nihilistic in a comicbook film. I don't think we've been there yet and there is no reason why that should be off limits for the genre just because lots of people are used to the funny, colorful Saturday cartoon-level MCU films. It doesn't mean everything else has to be imitating that constantly, it's why I liked Logan so much, which I still think is a more mature film than this ultimately in terms of how it deals with its dour elements.

BlairCo wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 2:30 am
The main problem with this movie is that it lacks a core trait that makes Joker so interesting, and that is his philosophy. Ledger's Joker constantly spouted his views of the world, saying things like "I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger" or “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules". Ledger's Joker may be insane, but he is very much in tune with his intellect. Even Hannibal Lecter has intellect despite loving to munch on people. I do not believe for a second that this version of the Joker has the philosophy or the intellect to one day go head-to-head with the World's Greatest Detective in a battle of wits.
But the failed comedian from The Killing Joke wasn't a genius either and that's more or less accepted as one of the defining takes on the origins of the character, even if the Joker indicates that this might all be fake in that story. Plus, there are lots of Joker stories where the Joker is not really sophisticated in what he's trying to do, since he constantly goes back and forth between being a playful prankster and being a serial murderer. There's just no consistency to his personality at all in the comics.

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