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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Default "Joker" (Spoilers!)

    Wanted to make a thread on its own for those who had seen the movie to discuss it.

    My review:


    8/10

    There's a lot to digest and I had mixed feelings throughout, but ultimately it was a solid satisfying well-shot story about a man descending into violent madness, which is what was advertised. I was a little bit concerned that the film was too eager to abandon its comic book roots, but it didn't shy away from existing in Gotham and acknowledging central events, characters, and themes. There are multiple "political" angles you could view the movie from, and they're interesting to dissect, but it's more a character study than a societal statement. My main criticism of the movie would be that some of the early attempts to invoke pity feel contrived, and that you can find yourself rooting for him for a lot of the movie, which in my view kind of takes it a step too far in "humanizing" him and does a disservice to the evil of the character. But at the same time, you're not seeing the Joker for most of the film, you're seeing the man who becomes him through a gradual evolution. In the end a lot of what makes him tick is narcissism, and they capture that extremely well. I didn't think the film outright promoted dangerous ideas, but some who have concerns that the film celebrates vengeful violence may have a point.

    In any case, definitely worth seeing. This is one I'll have to think about more, watch again, and talk with people about to get a more solid idea of what the movie means to me and what it says about #society. I expect some people to go overboard and call it a masterpiece because of Joaquin Pheonix's acting; it wasn't that for me. But it was a damn interesting and entertaining movie that took risks. Can't ask for much more than that.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    The one real issue with the film as I saw it...

    - Phillips' personal opinion on comedy coming out of Arthur/Joker's mouth near the end of the film.

    If you are intent on having anything like a serious discussion about how much freedom of expression artists should have when it comes to comedy, it coming out of the mouth of an unhinged and delusional character is not exactly the best way to pose that question.

    Also took me right out of being able to suspend disbelief for a minute or two.

  3. #3
    the devil's reject choptop's Avatar
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    Think it's pretty close to a masterpiece.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by choptop View Post
    Think it's pretty close to a masterpiece.
    Got to politely disagree there.

    The nods/lifts also messed with my suspension of disbelief.

  5. #5
    the devil's reject choptop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    Got to politely disagree there.

    The nods/lifts also messed with my suspension of disbelief.
    That's cool I'd probably disagree with your version of close to a masterpiece to.

  6. #6
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    I'll repost what I wrote in the other Joker thread (before it totally got derailed by arguments over The Killing Joke.)

    Just watched the film. A gritty love letter to 1970s cinema (complete with that era Warner's logo.) The only thing that could have sealed the deal is if Phillip's filmed it on Eastman 16mm stock. A great character study. It is also unnerving because we don't know what is real and what is just a delusion conjured up by Arthur. So if you think the film is going one way, it pulls a total 180 on you.

    It won't be for everyone. Heck, some movie goers in my session were perplexed because they expected a Joker film with Batman in it. Apart from being set in Gotham, Arkham, and the Wayne's with Alfred, there isn't overwhelming shackles to comic book lore. This film works as both a comic book movie, but if you removed those elements it also works.

    And yes we get another cinematic depiction of the Wayne's being murdered. Victims of a society that has reached boiling point and is tipped over the edge by Arthur's actions. some are going to be filthy on that as some fans are want to do.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    Wanted to make a thread on its own for those who had seen the movie to discuss it.

    My review:


    8/10

    There's a lot to digest and I had mixed feelings throughout, but ultimately it was a solid satisfying well-shot story about a man descending into violent madness, which is what was advertised. I was a little bit concerned that the film was too eager to abandon its comic book roots, but it didn't shy away from existing in Gotham and acknowledging central events, characters, and themes. There are multiple "political" angles you could view the movie from, and they're interesting to dissect, but it's more a character study than a societal statement. My main criticism of the movie would be that some of the early attempts to invoke pity feel contrived, and that you can find yourself rooting for him for a lot of the movie, which in my view kind of takes it a step too far in "humanizing" him and does a disservice to the evil of the character. But at the same time, you're not seeing the Joker for most of the film, you're seeing the man who becomes him through a gradual evolution. In the end a lot of what makes him tick is narcissism, and they capture that extremely well. I didn't think the film outright promoted dangerous ideas, but some who have concerns that the film celebrates vengeful violence may have a point.

    In any case, definitely worth seeing. This is one I'll have to think about more, watch again, and talk with people about to get a more solid idea of what the movie means to me and what it says about #society. I expect some people to go overboard and call it a masterpiece because of Joaquin Pheonix's acting; it wasn't that for me. But it was a damn interesting and entertaining movie that took risks. Can't ask for much more than that.
    The film is very big on social class warfare and the 99%/occupy wall street movement. Gotham is depicted as a city already on the road to social and economic degradation. Arthur is a man who is repeatedly let down by the system (the mental health care/access to prescriptions that could have kept him in check are cut and, later on, we find out he was the victim of severe child abuse and should have been put into foster care). Those with the wealth and power to change things for the better don't seem too concerned about doing that. Preferring to keep themselves above everybody else.

    It is a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to the breakout of violence. It was always going to erupt at some point. Arthur's actions are the spark that ignites the flame. Now, I don't condone Arthur killing those 3 guys, but there is no doubt that they would have tried to force themselves on that young woman had Arthur not been there in the subway car with them. Then they decided to beat up on Arthur. Because they were wall street types, they would have found some way to avoid the law.

  8. #8
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    Its also amazing when you take into account that Phillips is best known for The Hangover Trilogy. When you sit down and watch this, it is the exact opposite of those films in every single way. It is also heavily influenced by Scorsese films to the point that Joker almost mirrors Taxi Driver with a number of visual cues, nods and homages throughout. The blueprint is very similar and I can already see some fans tearing into over that alone.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    One small thing that I don't think that the film is going to get anywhere near enough credit for(actually, I'd guess folks will turn it into something it isn't)...

    That the functional close of the film(Arthur on top of the squad car) is a very subtle bookend to match Arthur forcing a smile while putting his makeup on at the start of the film. The look before he put that smile on for the crowd was one of the strongest moments in the whole film.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    Its also amazing when you take into account that Phillips is best known for The Hangover Trilogy. When you sit down and watch this, it is the exact opposite of those films in every single way. It is also heavily influenced by Scorsese films to the point that Joker almost mirrors Taxi Driver with a number of visual cues, nods and homages throughout. The blueprint is very similar and I can already see some fans tearing into over that alone.
    While I know that folks tend to know Phillips for those "Hangover" films, his first film was called Hated: GG Allin And The Murder Junkies. While it is a essentially a documentary film, some really subtle nods to that film(The name of the comedy club being the same as the "Clown" name that John Wayne Gacy used. A piece of Gacy's art essentially wound up funding the making of the documentary. Also, GG has an interview where he talks about not being part of any "Scene". The color scheme of Arthur's makeup matching Gacy's.) seem like they are there in Joker.

    The aspect that you mentioned is obviously there, but some of that first film shows up if you have seen it.
    Last edited by numberthirty; 10-04-2019 at 04:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    The film is very big on social class warfare and the 99%/occupy wall street movement. Gotham is depicted as a city already on the road to social and economic degradation. Arthur is a man who is repeatedly let down by the system (the mental health care/access to prescriptions that could have kept him in check are cut and, later on, we find out he was the victim of severe child abuse and should have been put into foster care). Those with the wealth and power to change things for the better don't seem too concerned about doing that. Preferring to keep themselves above everybody else.

    It is a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to the breakout of violence. It was always going to erupt at some point. Arthur's actions are the spark that ignites the flame. Now, I don't condone Arthur killing those 3 guys, but there is no doubt that they would have tried to force themselves on that young woman had Arthur not been there in the subway car with them. Then they decided to beat up on Arthur. Because they were wall street types, they would have found some way to avoid the law.
    There’s definitely a strong class element to the movie. On one hand I liked that because I do think people are deluded into thinking millionaires will save us, and Thomas was a kind of villain for the first time, but the class hatred depicted in the film was violent and aimless, which is a trope used all the time, the specter of mob violence. It was there in The Dark Knight Rises too and I feel it kinda cheapens real life movements for class struggle.

  12. #12
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    My review:
    Joaquin delivered one of the most enthralling and most intriguing performance as the Joker
    The supporting cast (albeit minor) were perfect in the development of the Joker character in context of the story
    The story was paced perfectly and what I like about it was, there's an "air" of ambiguity in it, we are subjected into a narrative that can be interpreted depending on how you perceive Arthur's POV of the events.
    The cinematography was nothing short of a beauty.
    The score was perfect, it feels like the music Hildur composed was a character of itself.
    The overall vibe really captured the 70's-80's style of character study type films, there's even a scene that is directly influenced by "The King of Comedy"

    My score: 10/10 - a masterpiece

  13. #13
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    I went in thinking I wasn’t going to like it, and for the first half I wasn’t, but then it got pretty damn good.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    There’s definitely a strong class element to the movie. On one hand I liked that because I do think people are deluded into thinking millionaires will save us, and Thomas was a kind of villain for the first time, but the class hatred depicted in the film was violent and aimless, which is a trope used all the time, the specter of mob violence. It was there in The Dark Knight Rises too and I feel it kinda cheapens real life movements for class struggle.
    I think the hated was amplified to such a dramatic degree as to hammer home just how oppressive the society in Gotham is. It needed to do that to help solidify the fact Arthur is a victim of it. Plus Gotham has always been a city of extremes. But yes, they certainly didn't try to hide that fact. In fact, they embraced it wholeheartedly.

    Was Thomas really a villain? Phillip's went back and forth on this throughout the movie. Ultimately it is left ambiguous. We don't know what Thomas's motivations were for running for Mayor. He may have been genuinely passionate about saving the city and getting it back on track. However he could have just wanted to get into office to further his, and Wayne Enterprises, interests.

    The Wayne's hold significant influence via their wealth and power. But those things can only get you so far in a society/system controlled by someone such as a mayor, governor or President. His cold attitude and indifference towards Arthur caused a part of me to cheer for his eventually comeuppance. Yet, I also understand that he has been bailed up by Arthur and the fact Arthur travelled to Wayne Manor/interacting withe Joker.

  15. #15
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    I'm seeing it tonight can't wait! It's funny that the mainstream critics are ripping this film now after all the good reviews from the venice film festival and the TIFF festival but the audience is loving this film and most who have seen it are calling it the best movie (not just comic book movie) of the year. Yet these same critics gave Star Wars amazing praise.

    Currently sitting at a 69 RT score and 58 Metacritic.

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