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JOKER Post-Release Discussion (Brought to You by HT and Wawa!)
#1
Video 
More detailed thoughts when I’m sober, but:

-Joaquin Phoenix is great.
-Todd Phillips is a halfwit. If this was the vision of a director who had nuance, sincerity, and a less masturbatory view of his characterization, this would be a classic.
-The supporting cast is shafted.


I’m glad it exists, and it has more than its share of positives, but I just can’t call this a home run. Awesome in 70mm though.
"PREDATOR 2 feels like it was penned by convicts as part of a correctional facility's creative writing program, and that's what I love about it." - Moltisanti
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#2
Joaquin Phoenix and the cinematography are the best things about this movie. Other than that, this is well treaded ground, with a few wrinkles here and there to make it look like it’s some sort of new reimagining of the character. If you know the Joker, this movie isn’t going to surprise you at all, and everything that you’ve interpreted from the trailer is probably what you think is going to happen in the movie.

The movie even pads it’s runtime with Joaquin just doing his own physicality on the camera for some scenes that really doesn’t add anything to the movie. I don’t have the Joker on some high pedestal, but I expected the film to hopefully to something interesting and unique with the character, rather than doubling down on what we’ve already seen in other mediums with this character.
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#3
It definitely thinks it’s more clever than it actually is. If this movie had zero connection to the DC characters I’m doubtful it would have gotten any notice beyond film buffs that would have heard about it just from Phoenix’s involvement.
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#4
Really enjoyed the film. It's story is not particularly surprising, but I'm not sure it really tried to be "that" kind of film. I think the "controversy" surrounding this film is exceptionally dumb. That being said, this is not a film with "cartoon" violence, which makes the depictions of violent acts in this film land a lot harder than something like John Wick (which I loved). Phoenix really is terrific and I'm so glad he's in a film like this instead of something like Dr. Strange.

Side note: A moronic couple actually brought a baby (1yr old or younger) to the 7:00pm show I saw. Then they got pissy when a manager asked them to leave once their precious cherub continually interrupted the showing.
"I'm not a smart man" -F. Gump
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#5
Laughed my ass off when the gun falls out of his clown pants at the children's hospital.
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#6
(10-04-2019, 12:06 AM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: It definitely thinks it’s more clever than it actually is. If this movie had zero connection to the DC characters I’m doubtful it would have gotten any notice beyond film buffs that would have heard about it just from Phoenix’s involvement.

We basically got the movie you're describing with Observe and Report, which is my favorite comedy of the last 20 years.

It does work as an incredible original concept that needed the IP to get made. Conversely, the concept of The Joker being a developmentally disabled, aspiring standup comic corrupted by those who declare themselves socially, emotionally, and/or financially superior to him is fucking brilliant. There are parts of Joker that feel like a lost 80's DC graphic novel sprung to life, especially since it boasts elements of The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns.

The sequence where Arthur is cornered by those yuppie bullies and then pulls a reverse Bernie Goetz on them is a great example of my paradoxical take on this. The good part is how that scene immediately rebukes the media narrative of this movie - not that I advocate violence, but these are guys who deserve what's coming. Conversely, it's not far into the narrative, approximately after he gets fired. Putting that there feels very zero to sixty.

Other than the concept, setting (I love the way it presents Gotham as New York in '81), and Phoenix, it's not very good. A lot of the blame goes on Todd Phillips. I felt with The Hangover that he had a lot of potential to go beyond comedy. At least the first two of those (I remember being fine with the second one) have a lurid atmosphere that set itself apart from others in the genre. Unfortunately, the comedic mindset doesn't translate well. Phillips lacks the emotion and maturity that this concept needs. It's too prestigious to be exploitation, too gonzo to be formidable. He sees Phoenix's Joker as a muse for cosplay, posters, T-shirts, iconography that's cool without explanation.

I enjoy a far greater than fair share of nihilistic art, but that stems from the creator understanding their world. Joker is the work of someone who copies and pastes sociopolitical trends without reason. That's why it didn't make a firm connection with me.
"PREDATOR 2 feels like it was penned by convicts as part of a correctional facility's creative writing program, and that's what I love about it." - Moltisanti
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#7
I think if this movie had someone else's name on it other than Todd Phillips, reaction here would be much more positive. Cheerio.
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#8
You're saying people have a narrative bias against the movie because of Phillips being the Hangover guy and his recent comments?
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#9
(10-04-2019, 04:41 AM)freeman Wrote: You're saying people have a narrative bias against the movie because of Phillips being the Hangover guy and his recent comments?

Yes.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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#10
What were his comments? That comedy is dead or something? I don't get the big deal of that, and why it has anything to do with JOKER.
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#11
(10-04-2019, 04:54 AM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: What were his comments? That comedy is dead or something? I don't get the big deal of that, and why it has anything to do with JOKER.

Because people have trouble separating a film from it's director. Or they don't. Freeman and The Dark Shape are going to figure it out.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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#12
Ummm I think it was something along the lines of complaining about cancel culture and how comedians don't want to do sets anymore because everyone's so sensitive, blah blah blah the usual sort of whiny basic things to say.

(10-04-2019, 05:00 AM)waaaaaaaalt Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 04:54 AM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: What were his comments? That comedy is dead or something? I don't get the big deal of that, and why it has anything to do with JOKER.

Because people have trouble separating a film from it's director. Or they don't. Freeman and The Dark Shape are going to figure it out.

Hey hey hey now I'm just talking don't start throwing me under some kind of metaphorical bus here. Geez.
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#13
(10-04-2019, 05:02 AM)freeman Wrote: Ummm I think it was something along the lines of complaining about cancel culture and how comedians don't want to do sets anymore because everyone's so sensitive, blah blah blah the usual sort of whiny basic things to say.

I get it, and his brand of gross out comedy is no longer something audiences go for these days. He was brought up on ANIMAL HOUSE, STRIPES, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, all movies with the narrow perspective of white frat dudes, thus made movies of that vein until it became outdated in our culture.

I'm glad he at least tried to branch out with JOKER. I'm not sure I agree with the narrative that this film is an allegory of Todd Philips' brand of comedy no longer being considered acceptable in society, but it's an interesting take.
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#14
So is this movie actually genius with something to say or "we live in a society"? Which was it ultimately hunter?
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#15
I think Hunter's comments are spot on. It has a solid concept for a Joker origin story, but overall the execution is lacking.
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#16
Just to be clear, unless I'm forgetting something, most of that origin story is just The Killing Joke slightly adapted. Right?

I suppose the "Taxi Driver" element is not in the comic.
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#17
Two things:

1. The idea of NYC undercover cops in the theater for this is cracking me up. I just keep picturing some sweaty alpha nerd from comic con being the only one who can spot a cop, going all departed: "PROVE TO ME YER NOT A CAWP! WHEN DID HARLEY QUINN FIRST APPEAR? WHO'S MORE IMPORTANT, BOB KANE OR BILL FINGER? WHAT'S THE RIDDLER'S FIRST NAME? TELL ME YER NOT A CAWP."

2. A.O. Scott has a rep for being cuddly, but like Ebert, he will cut you if he doesn't like your movie:

Quote:To be worth arguing about, a movie must first of all be interesting: it must have, if not a coherent point of view, at least a worked-out, thought-provoking set of themes, some kind of imaginative contact with the world as we know it. “Joker,” an empty, foggy exercise in second-hand style and second-rate philosophizing, has none of that. Besotted with the notion of its own audacity — as if willful unpleasantness were a form of artistic courage — the film turns out to be afraid of its own shadow, or at least of the faintest shadow of any actual relevance.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/movie...eview.html

Anyway, my plan is to do what I did with ONCE...HOLLYWOOD and see this in a month!
home taping is killing music
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#18
(10-04-2019, 06:25 AM)freeman Wrote: Just to be clear, unless I'm forgetting something, most of that origin story is just The Killing Joke slightly adapted.  Right?  

I suppose the "Taxi Driver" element is not in the comic.

Pretty much, with bits of The Dark Knight Returns’ Joker elements peppered in for the final act.
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#19
Movie may not be perfect, but on this time and day of constant political correctness and moralizing, its a relief to have an interesting and darle character study about the mind of a Psychopath. Also, Todd Phillips directed the SHIT out of this movie. You guys are crazy.
"Stephen Sommers is the Duke Fleed of film directors"
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#20
I’m seeing this later tonight so I’ll see where I stand.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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#21
Personally the "this movie is too much for you PC pussies!" stance is the worst possible recommendation, santi-freak. Watch more movies.
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#22
(10-04-2019, 10:21 AM)abe froman87 Wrote: Pretty much, with bits of The Dark Knight Returns’ Joker elements peppered in for the final act.


Hmmm. Well then, given it appears from the trailers that Joker gets on a talk show (hosted by De Niro?), I'm gonna assume I know how this ends.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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#23
(10-04-2019, 10:44 AM)Mangy Wrote: Personally the "this movie is too much for you PC pussies!" stance is the worst possible recommendation, santi-freak. Watch more movies.

JOKER-NOT FOR SNOWFLAKES.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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#24
(10-04-2019, 05:22 AM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 05:02 AM)freeman Wrote: Ummm I think it was something along the lines of complaining about cancel culture and how comedians don't want to do sets anymore because everyone's so sensitive, blah blah blah the usual sort of whiny basic things to say.

I get it, and his brand of gross out comedy is no longer something audiences go for these days. He was brought up on ANIMAL HOUSE, STRIPES, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, all movies with the narrow perspective of white frat dudes, thus made movies of that vein until it became outdated in our culture.
Ohh I bet that isn't true. The audience is there but the studios of course don't want to deal with "backlash". I mean they were making those comedies still in like 2013. If they were smart enough to see this inspiring incels shit coming (and they should have) im sure they wouldn't have made this.
“I call upon you to stop this musical now,” she said to the board. “You tear a community apart if you don’t.” -Prachi Ruina                                                            
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#25
(10-04-2019, 11:14 AM)ska oreo Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 10:44 AM)Mangy Wrote: Personally the "this movie is too much for you PC pussies!" stance is the worst possible recommendation, santi-freak. Watch more movies.

JOKER-NOT FOR SNOWFLAKES.

If santi watched the movies Todd Phillips is eager to rip off, his brain would explode.
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#26
(10-04-2019, 10:45 AM)Neil Spurn Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 10:21 AM)abe froman87 Wrote: Pretty much, with bits of The Dark Knight Returns’ Joker elements peppered in for the final act.


Hmmm. Well then, given it appears from the trailers that Joker gets on a talk show (hosted by De Niro?), I'm gonna assume I know how this ends.

The DeNiro character humiliates and mocks the Joker and then invites him onto his show. It doesn't take Einstein to connect the dots.
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#27
Since this is the post-release, will someone please spoil me on the outcome of the Joker going on the TV show? Is it a variation of what Miller did in Dark Knight Returns, as we've been suspecting?
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#28
Wikipedia gotchu:

Quote:Before the show goes live, Arthur requests that Murray introduce him as Joker, a reference to Murray's mockery of Arthur. Arthur comes out to a warm reception, but begins telling morbid jokes and goes on a rant admitting to the subway murders and lamenting how society abandoned and mocked him. Arthur kills Murray, asserting that he got what he deserved, before being arrested. A mass riot breaks out in Gotham. One of the rioters pursues the Wayne family in an alley and kills Thomas and Martha Wayne, reiterating Arthur's sentiment that they got what they deserved. A group of rioters in an ambulance crash into the police car and free Arthur; he is hailed as a hero by the crowd and dances to their cheers.

Arthur is imprisoned at Arkham State Hospital. Laughing to himself, his psychiatrist asks him what the joke is; he replies that she would not understand. He is then seen running down the hall being chased by the orderlies, leaving a trail of bloodied footprints behind him.
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#29
(10-04-2019, 11:45 AM)MichaelM Wrote: Since this is the post-release, will someone please spoil me on the outcome of the Joker going on the TV show? Is it a variation of what Miller did in Dark Knight Returns, as we've been suspecting?

De Niro gives Joker a shot at the spotlight.

Get it?

Shot?

...

I’ll pack my things.
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#30
Oh please don't let this become a "you must be a pussy if you didn't like Joker" thing. Gah. Yeah, it takes a lot of sand to watch a movie, let me tell ya.

And I think The Dark Knight is actually a darker movie than this one. Precisely because it didn't have an agenda to be edgy. Like Skyfall, it was a regular seeming blockbuster on the surface but with an actually fucked up villain with a real disturbing presence. This is just a loser who gets his fifteen minutes and becomes noteworthy almost virally. Batman would curb stomp this guy..
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#31
Did anyone see that Max Landis tweet about how King of Comedy is so interesting because Rupert is actually a good comedian?

This movie is a feature length adaptation of that tweet.
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#32
(10-04-2019, 11:59 AM)fraid uh noman Wrote: Oh please don't let this become a "you must be a pussy if you didn't like Joker" thing. Gah. Yeah, it takes a lot of sand to watch a movie, let me tell ya.

And I think The Dark Knight is actually a darker movie than this one. Precisely because it didn't have an agenda to be edgy. Like Skyfall, it was a regular seeming blockbuster on the surface but with an actually fucked up villain with a real disturbing presence. This is just a loser who gets his fifteen minutes and becomes noteworthy almost virally. Batman would curb stomp this guy..

I'd agree if one of the boats blew up. This movie seems to want to say that one of those boats would have.
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#33
That to me was one of the smartest things in The Dark Knight trilogy. A scene where Batman had to put his faith in the people and them actually coming through, thusly...proving that the people were worth his efforts. And no, I do not believe that The Dark Knight Rises walks that back when taking Bane's occupation of Gotham into account. The Joker WAS right to an extent...people can be awful and horrible but the Joker's error (probably his only one in the film) was pushing it too far. He gave them a common enemy for everyone to go "ok...we may not none of us be perfect...but we will NOT become him or dance to his tune any longer." It's the type of thing that works mostly symbolically because let's face it...in reality, SOMEONE on one or both of those boats would've done it. I just have to believe that person would have to fight the majority of everyone else off to do it. I wish that our society could see Trump that way and say enough is enough and come together. But, I'm not sure if he's not villainous enough or TOO villainous lol.

And yes, this Joker and this movie absolutely settles on humanity is the worst and that's pretty much that. Nihilistic does not mean darker or more effective or even scarier. Because there's not a lot of suspense if EVERYONE is a piece of shit (hello Saw franchise)..
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#34
(10-04-2019, 11:59 AM)fraid uh noman Wrote: Oh please don't let this become a "you must be a pussy if you didn't like Joker" thing. Gah. Yeah, it takes a lot of sand to watch a movie, let me tell ya.

And I think The Dark Knight is actually a darker movie than this one. Precisely because it didn't have an agenda to be edgy. Like Skyfall, it was a regular seeming blockbuster on the surface but with an actually fucked up villain with a real disturbing presence. This is just a loser who gets his fifteen minutes and becomes noteworthy almost virally. Batman would curb stomp this guy..


ummm..how?

And again, that's incredibly ironic considering the complaints for TDK were precisely because people thought it was taking an "edgy" approach to Batman.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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#35
Because Heath Ledger's Joker (and this is my opinion territory) was much more intimidating and mysterious than this Joker. The scars. The conflicting backstories. The impossible ethical and moral gauntlet he put everyone through. That stuff sticks out to me more when it's inside mega blockbuster trappings. I don't think The Dark Knight is all THAT dark as a whole. It's a big summer movie. With one really incendiary element right at the center of it. Joker (2019) is implicitly trying to be super nihilistic. You expect it. And then it just ends up being a Joker movie about a guy who says "fuck it." I think it strikes me that way in the same way that the almost bloodless Texas Chainsaw Massacre is infinitely more disturbing than any of its super gory silly sequels. There so much more implied darkness in The Dark Knight. Like, where does somebody like that even come from? With this one it's just "oh ok. yeah, he's flipped. Oooooo violence." TDK is a big summer ride with a few pitch dark elements that stand in stark contrast to the rest of it. There is nothing in Joker that feels like the implications of the broken pool stick scene in TDK or Lau burning on too of that money pile or the video of Joker and the fake Batman. This is just how it all struck me. Not speaking for anyone else..
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