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Old 10-03-2019, 06:38 PM
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Joker - Seen it (No spoilers in the OP)


I just got back from seeing Joker and all I can say is wow. It is pretty much what I had been hoping for - not a regular comic book movie but a study of a deeply flawed individual.

Almost right from the beginning I could feel the pressure that was building up in Arthur. Music, lighting and camera angles all helped to get Arthurs' state of mind across throughout the movie.

Joaquin Phoenix was absolutely incredible in the role. I would say that it is an Oscar worthy performance. The tortured look of his body, the awkward way he runs and especially the way he dances really help sell the 'disturbed person' part of his character.

It is easy, at first, to feel some sympathy for Arthur but there did seem to be a point where he just sort of gave in to the inevitable which makes him less sympathetic. I think it was handled as well as it could have been because it would be a huge mistake to make him a sympathetic character.

Very good and well worth seeing. The direction is very good, it isn't a huge budget movie but you wouldn't notice. And Phoenix should finally win an Oscar for his work. Note there are a few scenes of punctuated violence in the movie.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:21 PM
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did your place of viewing have the swat team milling around like some venues showing it planned on having?

heck, a lot of places were putting out content warnings and viewing restrictions like they didn't want to even show it at all if the overnight nbc news report was correct ......
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:41 PM
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I saw it at a suburban theater in Toronto and there was nothing out of the ordinary in or around the theater.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:04 AM
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I agree with every single thing the OP said. I saw it at the Navy Pier IMAX in Chicago and it was almost too overwhelming. It's really an intimate story. I'll see it again but on a smaller screen. Joaquin Phoenix is my favorite actor and I'm a DC fan (but not a purist) and I thought this was great. Phoenix does deserve an Oscar nomination though that probably won't happen. I hope I'm wrong.

I've stayed away from reviews, articles and "thinkpieces" and I'm not about to start reading any of them now. I have gotten a gist scrolling on Twitter of some pearl-clutching regarding the violence, which just makes me roll my eyes.

On Sunday I'll be going to see the new Takashi Miike movie FIRST LOVE. I assume it will be MUCH more violent than Joker, but nobody's talking about how it could inspire violence. To quote Robert DeNiro, "that's bullshit".
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:46 AM
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So would it be fair to say that it's NOT the "Incel: The Movie" sort of thing that the trailers and the press have made it look like?
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:55 AM
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So would it be fair to say that it's NOT the "Incel: The Movie" sort of thing that the trailers and the press have made it look like?
Not really. Arthurs' problems go much deeper than women not being interested in him. He really does a good job of playing the person you don't want to be around. In fact, I would say that his interaction, in the elevator, with Sophie (Zazie Beetz) might be the one time in the movie anyone showed Arthur any warmth or human decency. Now this gets into spoilerish territory.
SPOILER:
Part of the movie is clearly taking place in Jokers head. These scenes are usually brighter with a higher contrast and the ugliness of day to day Gotham is gone. A few of these scenes show Arthur having a normal, friendly relationship with Sophie but a 'reality' scene disavows us of that later in the movie.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:32 PM
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Just seen it. I thought it was very good. I’m not as enthusiastic about it as the OP, but I’d definitely recommend it.

First off, to address the elephant in the room; no, I don’t think there’s any danger of people “emulating” Phoenix’s joker. Phoenix’s Joker is isn’t like Ledger’s Joker. He’s not a cunning mastermind with a warped sense of humour. He’s delusional, severely mentally ill, and as about as “uncool” as it’s possible to get. There’s nothing there that anybody would want to emulate. Even the protest movement he manages to inspire isn’t about him. He just happens to be in the right place at the right time (you’ll see what I mean if you watch the film ). The media’s fears are completely unfounded, IMO, and seem to be based on the trailer rather than the film. Joker is basically Taxi Driver, with a Rent-a-Clown standing in for Travis Bickle - and no-one wanted to emulate him, did they?

Speaking of Taxi Driver, Scorsese is everywhere in this movie. Todd Phillips does a terrific job of emulating the look and feel of Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, and Robert De Niro’s part is a spot on pastiche of the Jerry Lewis role in King of Comedy. Even the few scenes set in Arkham Hospital owe something to Bringing Out The Dead.

Joaquin Phoenix is absolutely superb in the title role. It’s not so much that he carries the movie as he is the movie. He’s in every scene and so completely becomes the character that while the movie’s playing it’s hard to think of him as Joaquin Phoenix. He just is Joker. Though, like I said, this Joker is nothing like previous incarnations.

The only things I’d criticise are the pacing, which feels a bit off at times, and a subplot about Joker’s parentage, which is interesting, but which also felt a bit superfluous to me. Other than that, I thought it was terrific. I’d give it a very solid 8/10.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:54 PM
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I haven't seen the film but ran across this review coincidentally before coming here. I generally don't like to read reviews before seeing the movie, other than to get a general idea if I think I will like it. I don't want to inadvertently see any spoilers. So I only scanned the article, until I saw this:

Quote:
There is a different type of problem in the film's approach to economic issues. Like "The Dark Knight" trilogy, it wants to acknowledge social and political injustices, but lacks the courage to define itself as anything other than generically populist — a creative choice that means it can be easily used for inspiration by both left-wingers and right-wingers.
I was immediately reminded of another reason I don't especially like to read movie reviews: the reviewers can come off a pedantic know-it-alls. How does Matthew Rozsa know what the director "wants to acknowledge" or what he wants the movie to say? Perhaps Phillips wants to make a statement generic populists? Certainly they exist. This and also the implication that unless you seriously tap into the Scorsese zeitgeist, you are already going down the road to failure.

In any case, thanks for the thread. I definitely want to see it and probably would have forgotten about it completely.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
The media’s fears are completely unfounded, IMO, and seem to be based on the trailer rather than the film. Joker is basically Taxi Driver, with a Rent-a-Clown standing in for Travis Bickle - and no-one wanted to emulate him, did they?
I am, perhaps, being whooshed here, but...
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:27 PM
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I liked it. They said they wanted to sneak in a serious movie into a comic book movie and boy did they ever. It did not feel like a comic book movie at all other than some homages to the Batman universe. I thought Juoqin did a great job, but I could never see the character he played being any sort of threat to Batman, or a criminal Mastermind in any sense. He was a mentally ill common criminal.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:55 PM
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On NPR I heard a story about the cello composer. I would see it just for the music.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:58 PM
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Since we're well into spoiler territory:

1) Did Arthur kill Sophie? After he leaves her apartment, we see and hear sirens outside but are given no other hint of what may have happened. I'm leaning towards yes.

2) Is Arthur in fact Thomas Wayne's kid? I also lean towards 'yes' on this one. His mother supposedly suffers from delusions and narcissistic personality disorder, but as viewers we're not shown anything to support that in the movie's present day. Based on what we see of Thomas Wayne, it doesn't seem far-fetched to believe that the diagnosis was in fact cooked up to cover up his parentage.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It was a little exhausting, and I think they could have tightened it up in the middle and maybe given us a bit more Joker at the end. I was also hoping to see Dr. Harleen Quinzel at the very end of the film, but I suppose that's a bridge too far since Harley has her own movie coming out.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
did your place of viewing have the swat team milling around like some venues showing it planned on having?
I saw it this afternoon and there were a pair of officers from the city force in the lobby by the counters where you buy tickets. I go to that theater at least ten times a year and have never seen uniformed police, although in this case, one of them was talking to two teenage girls. It's possible they were there because the girls were trying to sneak into this movie, despite the R rating, but I just ignored them.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 10-05-2019 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:13 AM
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Since we're well into spoiler territory:

1) Did Arthur kill Sophie? After he leaves her apartment, we see and hear sirens outside but are given no other hint of what may have happened. I'm leaning towards yes.
My wife thought he did kill hey but I didn't get that at all. They did not really shy away from showing him killing, so if he did I think they would not be so subtle about it. I could see them cutting away after he went into the child's room but that's about it.

And even if he did, did he really? I mean, if he pretend dated her, maybe he pretend murdered her too. I'll cut this movie a break, but I usually get annoyed with movies centering around an unreliable narrator or a crazy person. When I am not sure what is real I lose investment in what's going on.

I thought it was very suspicious that his invitation to the Murray show was a figment of his imagination too, but, nope.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:20 AM
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Since we're well into spoiler territory:

2) Is Arthur in fact Thomas Wayne's kid? I also lean towards 'yes' on this one. His mother supposedly suffers from delusions and narcissistic personality disorder, but as viewers we're not shown anything to support that in the movie's present day. Based on what we see of Thomas Wayne, it doesn't seem far-fetched to believe that the diagnosis was in fact cooked up to cover up his parentage.
I don't think so, unless Thomas was able to hide his birth and fake his adoption.. That seems a bit unlikely. Maybe they did have a thing, but that's impossible to know with no evidence besides her word and that photograph which could have been her handwriting.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:41 AM
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In that regard the movie did a very good job at keeping the true identity of Joker a mystery. However, the idea that Joker and Batman might be half brothers is pretty damn juicy.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:00 AM
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Assuming that Arthur Fleck becomes the Joker of comic book fame (it's not clear if he or if someone else does), it doesn't even matter whether he actually is the illegitimate son of Thomas Wayne and Penny Fleck; it's enough for him to believe that he is.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:33 PM
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I think Arthur did kill Sophie. As he was walking down the hallway outside her apartment, his shoes were leaving bloodstains on the floor.

And no, it's not an incel movie.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:39 PM
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Are you thinking of the very last scene, at the end, after he had the conversation with the psychiatrist? That scene took place in an insane asylum and the suggestion was that he murdered the psychiatrist. Sophie was his neighbor in the apartment building.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:07 AM
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Ah, maybe. I plan on seeing it again next weekend so I 'll look very carefully.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:38 AM
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On NPR I heard a story about the cello composer. I would see it just for the music.
Yes the cello was haunting, in fact the whole score was top of the game. Still a bit suspect about using Gary Glitter music but it sure suited and enhanced the scene.

This is one the best movies I have seen in a long time.

The scene dancing on the cop car brought tears to my eyes.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:15 AM
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I don't think so, unless Thomas was able to hide his birth and fake his adoption.. That seems a bit unlikely. Maybe they did have a thing, but that's impossible to know with no evidence besides her word and that photograph which could have been her handwriting.
But, then again... how was somebody as unhinged as Penny Fleck able to adopt as a single mother? Even in, roughly, the mid-1950's. How didn't she spend a decade or more locked in Arkham? How was she given custody of the abused kid again?

None of that makes sense, unless some really powerful people were involved in a cover-up.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:29 PM
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I didn't catch the sirens as he left Sophie's so make of that what you will, but I didn't get the sense that he killed her. He let the little person clown go for always being nice to him so what reason would he have to kill Sophie? Even if most of their interactions were fantasies?
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:42 PM
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Can somebody spoil the gore in the movie for me? I kind of want to see it and a certain amount of gore doesn't bother me (I've gotten more desensitized to it, as long as it's not of the "spring-loaded cat" jump-scare variety) but I'd like to know what I'm getting into before I go. If I didn't mind the "Watchmen" movie and routinely watch gory medical show like "House" and "The Good Doctor," will I be okay with this?
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:58 PM
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As I remember, there was very little gore in the movie.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:36 PM
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There's one particularly brutal murder scene involving a whole lot of stabbing. There are a number of bloody shootings. That's about it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:45 PM
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There's one particularly brutal murder scene involving a whole lot of stabbing. There are a number of bloody shootings. That's about it.
Okay, thanks. That, I can handle.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:17 PM
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But, then again... how was somebody as unhinged as Penny Fleck able to adopt as a single mother? Even in, roughly, the mid-1950's. How didn't she spend a decade or more locked in Arkham? How was she given custody of the abused kid again?

None of that makes sense, unless some really powerful people were involved in a cover-up.
Maybe, who knows? I think they really wanted that whole thing to be totally ambiguous. I will say that I don't see social services for Gotham, as depicted in that movie, doing right by a child.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:19 AM
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I keep reading that the movie is a political statement. Then I read the director said it isn't. So is it or isn't it?
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:17 AM
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I really enjoyed it. Phoenix was great. In particular i really enjoyed the bizarre physicality he brought to the role in many different ways: the way he ran, the dancing, that one scene in the alley where -after being fired- he was kicking a trash can in frustration (that last one seemed just perfect for the joker to me), and of course his gaunt appearance.

I don't know if this is a cold take (i avoided reviews/articles before seeing it last night) but
SPOILER:
i can't help but wonder if the entire move was in his head. As in... was he just a troubled person in an asylum that after hearing about the Waynes being murdered, he just created an entire fantasy in his head about how he was somehow a part of it (which was the joke that the therapist wouldn't get).

Last edited by Clawdio; 10-08-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:51 PM
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2) Is Arthur in fact Thomas Wayne's kid? I also lean towards 'yes' on this one. His mother supposedly suffers from delusions and narcissistic personality disorder, but as viewers we're not shown anything to support that in the movie's present day. Based on what we see of Thomas Wayne, it doesn't seem far-fetched to believe that the diagnosis was in fact cooked up to cover up his parentage.
At first, both Phoenix and Phillips had indicated that this movie was a one off and there was never any intention of a sequel. However, it seems that after the initial success, they are now both open to a sequel. I would love to think that some behind the scenes bribes at Arkham got the Arthur/Penny thing cleared up for the Waynes and that it was Hugo Strange who made it happen. That could make for an interesting sequel and would probably mean that Stranges knows the identities of both Joker and Batman.

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I keep reading that the movie is a political statement. Then I read the director said it isn't. So is it or isn't it?
Well, I'm not 100% sure, but I think that there was a reason the originally wanted Alec Baldwin to play Thomas Wayne....
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:55 PM
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I don't know if this is a cold take (i avoided reviews/articles before seeing it last night) but
SPOILER:
i can't help but wonder if the entire move was in his head. As in... was he just a troubled person in an asylum that after hearing about the Waynes being murdered, he just created an entire fantasy in his head about how he was somehow a part of it (which was the joke that the therapist wouldn't get).
I hadn't thought that when seeing the film, but I think that is a legitimate reading and I don't think there is anything that specifically goes against that theory. Was
SPOILER:
the therapist he talked to earlier the same actress as the one in Arkham at the very end? If they were the same person, then I think your theory may actually be accurate! I just thought that the car crash at the end and scenes of Joker acolytes cheering while he danced on the car was in his head and he was actually just arrested and brought to Arkham.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:04 PM
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If the movie
SPOILER:
is entirely in Arthur's head,
then what's the point? Who cares?
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:06 PM
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then what's the point? Who cares?
The movie would still be a study of a flawed person.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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At first, both Phoenix and Phillips had indicated that this movie was a one off and there was never any intention of a sequel. However, it seems that after the initial success, they are now both open to a sequel.
I'm down with that, but I really want a young Batman in there. Pheonix would have to be done up considerably older of course, which may be a problem, because he looked old as shit in this movie (I was shocked to find out he is only 44, I thought he was a bit older than me). I also don't know how this version would be a real threat to Batman.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:03 PM
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The movie would still be a study of a flawed person.
Yes, that's all well and good. But then there's no emotional involvement. It would mean
SPOILER:
no one died in the entire movie.
It would be an interesting, but hollow, movie. A nice episode of a tv show, but not a Major Motion Picture.

I don't mind an unreliable narrator, but the core of the movie should be grounded in the cinematic reality within. The audience should be able to tell to some extent what is true by the end of the film.

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Old 10-08-2019, 03:07 PM
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...I could never see the character he played being any sort of threat to Batman, or a criminal Mastermind in any sense. He was a mentally ill common criminal.
I like the theory that Joaquin's Joker might not be THE Joker. There sure were a lot of folks in Joker masks rioting at the end of the movie. It wouldn't even have to be one of them, but a younger criminally insane mastermind, more contemporary with Bruce, that takes inspiration from Joaquin's Joker 25 years down the road.

Last edited by divemaster; 10-08-2019 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:38 PM
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I like the theory that Joaquin's Joker might not be THE Joker. There sure were a lot of folks in Joker masks rioting at the end of the movie. It wouldn't even have to be one of them, but a younger criminally insane mastermind, more contemporary with Bruce, that takes inspiration from Joaquin's Joker 25 years down the road.
Also, this Joker doesn’t start off with an ability to ever ‘go big’. Ledger’s take on the guy had a knack for explosives and other military hardware; Nicholson’s was meant to have a real aptitude for mass poisonings, plus tricks with acids. This one, though, doesn’t seem to have anything extra up his sleeve; he’s just, y’know, mentally ill.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:43 PM
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You see, it's the name that matters - I, as you know, am not the real Joker - I met him when he kidnapped my family and he took me in as one of his goons - it was my laughter as he cut my sisters throat that drew him to me - each day we'd cause some chaos and he would tell me "good job, wesley - I'll most likely kill you in the morning" and then tie me to the floor so I could sleep.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:53 PM
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Yes, that's all well and good. But then there's no emotional involvement. It would mean
SPOILER:
no one died in the entire movie.
Well, except for
SPOILER:
The therapist at the end of the movie. After killing her and leaving bloody foot prints in the hall, he escapes and goes on to actually become the Joker from his fantasy, but the entire backstory is a fantasy, and he had nothing to do with the Waynes murder
  #41  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:22 AM
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I saw it and enjoyed it. Not sure if I'd ever re-watch it.

A couple of things:

- As much as everyone is calling this a comic movie, I don't recall seeing the typical "DC Comics" movie montage intro. It was the "retro" Warner Brothers intro from the 80's (which was probably a creative choice from Todd Phillips)

- I'm not that bothered regarding the Gary Glitter controversy. I think that song choice worked for the movie. Now the fact that GG will make royalties doesn't really bother me. Could another song have been used? Probably, but I can't think of one off the top of my head (and yes i understand there are probably literally hundreds of songs that could have been use instead of that one, I just can't think of one)

- I was curious if Todd would have slipped "The Dan Band" into this movie. They are usually a staple of his movies. He could have had them be one of Murray's acts on his talk show I guess. But my guess is Todd wanted to create an Oscar quality movie, and that wouldn't include "The Dan Band".

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Old 10-09-2019, 03:50 PM
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I remember Rock & Roll Part 2 being in the movie but now I can't place the timing of it. Was it playing as he was making his way to The Murray Franklin Show? The timing of when played it could have some ominous implications.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:02 PM
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I saw it today. I can't say I "enjoyed" it, because I don't really consider it the kind of movie one can "enjoy," but I thought it was well done and I was more positive toward it than I expected to be.

I wonder about the political statement thing, too. Thomas Wayne seemed more than a bit Trumpian to me, and Bruce reminded me a little of Barron (especially in the still shot of the family together). Was Thomas Wayne always that much of a rich-guy dick in the comics, or was that added for the movie?

I thought they did a nice job of invoking Johnny Carson Show vibes from the Murray Franklin show. His sidekick was a dead ringer for young Ed McMahon, and they even had a "Dr. Ruth" clone!
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:06 PM
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Also, the multi-color curtain on the Murray Franklin show reminded me of a similar one on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
  #45  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:15 PM
Go_Arachnid_Laser is offline
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Originally Posted by Infovore View Post
I saw it today. I can't say I "enjoyed" it, because I don't really consider it the kind of movie one can "enjoy," but I thought it was well done and I was more positive toward it than I expected to be.

I wonder about the political statement thing, too. Thomas Wayne seemed more than a bit Trumpian to me, and Bruce reminded me a little of Barron (especially in the still shot of the family together). Was Thomas Wayne always that much of a rich-guy dick in the comics, or was that added for the movie?
I think that the script has been written for a while. I suspect that back when the 99% movement was still on the news.

And Thomas Wayne in any other continuity was a pretty swell guy. In the comics, he was a doctor who wasn't even paying attention to Wayne Enterprises.
  #46  
Old 10-10-2019, 11:37 AM
Iggins is offline
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Originally Posted by Clawdio View Post
I really enjoyed it. Phoenix was great. In particular i really enjoyed the bizarre physicality he brought to the role in many different ways: the way he ran, the dancing, that one scene in the alley where -after being fired- he was kicking a trash can in frustration (that last one seemed just perfect for the joker to me), and of course his gaunt appearance.

I don't know if this is a cold take (i avoided reviews/articles before seeing it last night) but
SPOILER:
i can't help but wonder if the entire move was in his head. As in... was he just a troubled person in an asylum that after hearing about the Waynes being murdered, he just created an entire fantasy in his head about how he was somehow a part of it (which was the joke that the therapist wouldn't get).
I had a feeling after the movie that everything after being chased by the two detectives was a delusion. They caught him and he's in Arkham after that point. I'm sure that on a rewatch, there will be details that invalidate my theory, but that's what I thought immediately after.
  #47  
Old 10-11-2019, 06:35 PM
MyFootsZZZ is online now
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Phoenix was great in this movie, and he deserves an Oscar. The movie itself, not so great.

Not worthy of the hoopla.

SPOILER:
Can you imagine 'Batman' in this universe? Joker as a stand alone, misses it's Mark in my opinion. I don't think the three rando killings on the sub would lead to people acting that way[, and I find it hard to believe how he made it on a show he's always wanted to be on without trying.

The movie try so hard to be 'Taxi Driver'.

I did like the aspect what it might be like for a man living with a neurological disorder like that.The whole story just didn't play out the way I would have liked it to.
  #48  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by McDeath_the_Mad View Post
- I'm not that bothered regarding the Gary Glitter controversy. I think that song choice worked for the movie. Now the fact that GG will make royalties doesn't really bother me. Could another song have been used? Probably, but I can't think of one off the top of my head (and yes i understand there are probably literally hundreds of songs that could have been use instead of that one, I just can't think of one)
The instant I heard that song in the movie, I assumed that they deliberately used it because it's controversial. It would fit with every other thing about the movie.
  #49  
Old 10-13-2019, 09:13 AM
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I really don’t get the controversy. It has to be an immensely foolish person who thinks that this movie supports Incels

Apparently the script went a rewrite and
SPOILER:

Originally Sophie did date Arthur out of pity. Until she broke up with him and he did a misogynistic rant (TM).
Much better they way the showed it. More realistic . Probably the best portrayal of “toxic masculinity” I have seen.
.
  #50  
Old 10-13-2019, 11:14 AM
Dewey Finn is offline
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FYI, you might find this amusing; it's a parody of Joker from Saturday Night Live last night. Instead of Joker from Batman, it's the dark, gritty origin story of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.
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