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  1. #16
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    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.
    He's definitely not cast as an evil person, but similar to prominent rich people who credit their success only to their own talents and not privilege or social circumstance. They beleive they hold the solutions to societies problems as saviors. I've never seen Thomas portrayed like that and I liked it for the most part.

    That cheering is part of the issue, I thought the movie spared us from killings we felt were truly horrific. Everyone Joker killed in some form "deserved" payback, if not necessarily in death.

    The Wall Street guys were jerks not just to him but to the lady, and flat out assaulted him.
    His mother lied to him and contributed to his abuse.
    His coworker ratted him out to his boss, almost set him up.
    Murray brought him on to ridicule him after making fun of his videos.

    In real life few would feel that murdering these people is justice, but in the context of a movie, all except perhaps the mom have an element of satisfaction. If he had killed the girl he fantasized about, perhaps someone in the audience, we might have felt that he was finally evil and lacking empathy, not just mad at the world.

    I think the film would have worked better if more than just his romantic episode was shown to have competing narratives.
    Last edited by Lightning Rider; 10-04-2019 at 09:24 AM.

  2. #17
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    One thing I didn't ilke was that on the Murray show, in the moment that he was supposed to finally transform into Joker, he was still ranting about society abandoning him. He was still the angry Arthur Fleck. Granted, he shed that identity through the public killing of Murray, but I felt like he kept trying to justify the killings and harp on the self-pity, whereas I wanted him at that moment to fully adopt the persona of a comedic nihilist psychopath. Instead of angrily pointing the finger at society, I would have preferred he laughably expose their hypocricy and treat them like a joke. I think of the Joker as someone who has abandoned notions of civility and societal justice, and Fleck was still angry at seeing his expectations not met. It may seem like a subtle nit-pick, but for me it's important characterization.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    If he had killed the girl he fantasized about, perhaps someone in the audience, we might have felt that he was finally evil and lacking empathy, not just mad at the world.
    Did he kill her? Would have loved for that to have been clarified. I know its implied that he killed either the psychiatrist or an orderly at the end of the movie.

    The film absolutely needed to have more competing narratives. I agree 100% with you on that.

  4. #19
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    One thing I didn't ilke was that on the Murray show, in the moment that he was supposed to finally transform into Joker, he was still ranting about society abandoning him. He was still the angry Arthur Fleck. Granted, he shed that identity through the public killing of Murray, but I felt like he kept trying to justify the killings and harp on the self-pity, whereas I wanted him at that moment to fully adopt the persona of a comedic nihilist psychopath. Instead of angrily pointing the finger at society, I would have preferred he laughably expose their hypocricy and treat them like a joke. I think of the Joker as someone who has abandoned notions of civility and societal justice, and Fleck was still angry at seeing his expectations not met. It may seem like a subtle nit-pick, but for me it's important characterization.
    One guy's take...

    He never really "Changes" into the Joker. Never was a change that was meant to happen in the film.

    The name he asked to be used during his introduction was a description of Arthur. Also, the guy that forced a smile before standing up and dancing on the squad was the exact same guy from earlier in the film.

    Never mind who he obviously is when the film closes.

  5. #20
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    The Waynes are killed by Simon The Pieman with an exploding pie.

  6. #21
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    Just saw the film and must say it met my expectations considering all the hype.

    First, it is a good contestant for being the best movie of the year and is easily the best comic book movie of the year.

    Second, after seeing the film the inevitable debates on who is the best Joker will begin but honestly we saw Arthur Fleck for over 90 minutes and saw Joker for maybe 30. All other iterations that we have seen were full joker within minutes of the film or they were joker the entire movie, so I don't think a fair comparison is really possible.

    Joaquin Phoenix was a phenomenal Arthur Fleck! While the whole story wasn't comicbook accurate (killing joke) it was okay because it didn't take anything away from the emotional portrayal and personality of the overall character.

    Todd Phillips deserves a lot of credit too imo primarily when it came to the presentation of the film. We are seeing everything from Arthur's point of view and that makes it hard to interpret the reality of the situations that were seen. For example we see that Arthur imagines himself in situations all the time that aren't real and as a viewer you begin to question almost every scene. It makes you question how mean was anyone to him truly? We are seeing things from his perspective so its unclear how people really treated him and how some situations truly played out. Did anyone else get the feeling that the scene at the end when he was being glorified by the rioters was a fabrication in his mind?

    The pacing was okay imo, there was room for improvement there. The musical score was excellent and really helped drive emotion.

    I disagree with some posters that stated his joker transformation was on the murray show, I think it was after he killed his mother. After that event he acts like joker straight out of Batman the animated series. He starts being manipulative and unpredictable. The scene where he kills Randall and let's the midget go shows that. Further, during the chase with the police, we see him acting like it's a game once it's clear that he won after the rioters jump the police on the subway.

    Did anyone else think that the part at the end where joker is locked up and in Arkham and is laughing and tells the doctor that she wouldn't get the joke was implying that the events in the movie never occurred and the joke is actually on the audience. I ask because it seems to be hinted that parts of the Arkham scene is his imagination like his feet being bloody. Why would his feet be bloody otherwise?

    I'm still thinking about a few things in the film so I'll probably have more to add later.
    Last edited by ComicJunkie21; 10-04-2019 at 06:06 PM.

  7. #22
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    If you sat through all the credits at the end, then you saw that in addition to crediting Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson they also thank Brian Bolland, J. M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen and Irv Novick.

    I wonder what you all made of that.

    For myself, Brian Bolland is obvious (KILLING JOKE), but the other three I had to give some thought. Irv Novick is one of my favourite Batman artists, but I think the comic work they were most especially acknowledging was Novick's work on the short******d JOKER comic in the 1970s. I'm sure DeMatteis and Giffen have done some comics with the Joker in them, but I expect that Todd Phillips was thanking them for JUSTICE LEAGUE. That comic has a weird sensibility as it mixes broad comedy with some serious takes.

    Still it's interesting they would focus in on those four and not all the other comic creators involved with Batman and Joker. But maybe Phillips was really drawing a lot of inspiration for his movie from those specific comic books.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by williamtheday View Post
    The Waynes are killed by Simon The Pieman with an exploding pie.
    The Wayne's getting killed by a guy wearing a clown mask means there is absolutely no way of ever identifying him and it also foreshadows his eventual hatred of the Joker in the future. So whenever he beats down on him he'll more than likely imagine he is kicking the crap out of the guy who shot his parents.

    Its also funny how Thomas Wayne thinks those who act outside the law and hide behind masks are "cowards." Means he never would have approved of Bruce becoming Batman. Whereas Bruce becomes Batman with the idea of honouring and avenging them.

  9. #24
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    When the pearls got pulled off Martha's neck, I actually yelled out loud "Pearls!" And then felt silly for that. But it's something that Roxy Striar says she never has to see in another movie--and then there it was again!

    Of course, we don't know if any of this actually happened or if it's all in his head. Maybe in his world, everything is just a story he's telling himself and it never actually happened.

    Like the A. Fleck thing bugged me over a year ago when they said that was his name. And then you have Penny Fleck who worked along side Pennyworth. You'd think those things would be dropped from the rought draft, because they take you out of the movie. But maybe that's the point. Maybe you're supposed to think that these clanging name choices don't ring true. How much can we trust the story that we're being told?

    Or like when Murray Franklin let's Joker keep talking, even though the producer is signalling to cut. I then thought of Phoenix on Letterman and how Dave indulged him and just let him do his thing, without trying to cut the bit. Murray is probably thinking this will be great for his ratings--not realizing how much danger he's in. Since this thing happened in real life, it adds a weird authenticity to the moment.
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  10. #25
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm definitely into the theory that he is an unreliable narrator, and perhaps people weren't as mean to him as we see on screen. But beyond the fantasized gf, there aren't enough alternate realities to drive that point home, so I think most of the audience takes most of the movie as accurately presented.

    Quote Originally Posted by ComicJunkie21 View Post
    I disagree with some posters that stated his joker transformation was on the murray show, I think it was after he killed his mother. After that event he acts like joker straight out of Batman the animated series. He starts being manipulative and unpredictable. The scene where he kills Randall and let's the midget go shows that. Further, during the chase with the police, we see him acting like it's a game once it's clear that he won after the rioters jump the police on the subway.
    I think killing his mother is definitely a big moment for the character, but the fact that he's still venting frustration on stage contradicts a full Joker transformation IMO. Joker would never whine and wallow in self-pity like that; it makes sense that it formed his eventual persona, but that eventual persona no longer communicates anger, he laughs and acts violently without ever letting on that he cares.

  11. #26
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    Joker's apotheosis is when he "dies" in the squadcar and is pulled out by the crowd and resurrected as their new saviour. The bone-chilling moment is actually when he spreads the blood into a smile.

    Well, that's one possible answer that I have.

    There are several places in the movie where you could say that it breaks from reality--or that reality breaks in. The very end, where he's a mental patient could be the only actual reality in the movie. Or it could be an unreal state, because with all the white it looks like he's in heaven or in his own dream world.

    It think all these questions make for a great movie. I like movies that provoke questions for which I have no firm answers. THE DARK KNIGHT was a movie like that--it posed a lot of questions about morality and what a society should do. People seemed to like that movie because it opened up a debate. Strange that in so short a time another movie that asks more questions than it answers is being slammed for doing that.
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  12. #27
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Joker's apotheosis is when he "dies" in the squadcar and is pulled out by the crowd and resurrected as their new saviour. The bone-chilling moment is actually when he spreads the blood into a smile.

    Well, that's one possible answer that I have.

    There are several places in the movie where you could say that it breaks from reality--or that reality breaks in. The very end, where he's a mental patient could be the only actual reality in the movie. Or it could be an unreal state, because with all the white it looks like he's in heaven or in his own dream world.

    It think all these questions make for a great movie. I like movies that provoke questions for which I have no firm answers. THE DARK KNIGHT was a movie like that--it posed a lot of questions about morality and what a society should do. People seemed to like that movie because it opened up a debate. Strange that in so short a time another movie that asks more questions than it answers is being slammed for doing that.
    See, I felt the exact opposite when I saw that scene.

    If anything, it felt like the guy who was seriously considering committing suicide as a punchline was crestfallen when he spit the blood out and realized he had lived through the collision.

    To me, that smile was strictly "It's time to make the donuts." Having lived through something where he would have been happy if it killed him, he just goes right back to being the clown with a forced smile that starts the film.

    "That's Life" at the end just seemed like it was there to cement that.

  13. #28
    Incredible Member Master Planner's Avatar
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    I love it as a film. Not my Joker, but certainly Arthur was interesting character which Phoenix handled like a pro.

    The strongest point of the film IMO is that it leaves things to your imagination or it gives you the freedom to choose what's true and what's not. For example, i feel that most of the story was a figment of Arthur's imagination and the whole story was delusions based on things that could or could not happen in his life. The narrative of the events gives you great hints about that, so it's up to you to choose what's going on.

    One thing that people tend to not notice, is that the criticism is both on rich and poor alike. Rich people and famous stars tend to ignore or not understand the difficulties of ordinary men, while we saw ordinary guys being equally cruel to Arthur. In fact,the great joke of the movie was that Arthur killed 3 douchebags that happened to be rich guys,so the angry feelings or impoverished people found a "god sent avenger".If Arthur had the gun earlier, when the kids attacked him, he would kill them and he would be seen by ordinary people and media as a crazy child killer. Phoenix's character was a time ticking bomb, it's luck and timing that made him an icon.
    " I am Loki Scar-Lip, Loki Skywalker, Loki Giant's Child, Loki Lie-Smith. I am Loki, who is fire and wit and hate. I am Loki. And I will be under an obligation to no one."

    Previously known as Nefarius

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Planner View Post
    The strongest point of the film IMO is that it leaves things to your imagination or it gives you the freedom to choose what's true and what's not. For example, i feel that most of the story was a figment of Arthur's imagination and the whole story was delusions based on things that could or could not happen in his life. The narrative of the events gives you great hints about that, so it's up to you to choose what's going on.
    I agree with this being the strongest point as it appears to be igniting alot of conversation among us and making us think and rethink about the events of the film. For instance, the more I think about it the more I realize there may have been more clues to the reality that we were presented with such as it being stated a few times that Arthur was locked up before however no details are ever provided about when, where, why, and how. This also prompts the possibility that when Arthur was locked up prior that he was never actually released and the entire movie was the joke in his mind.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComicJunkie21 View Post
    I agree with this being the strongest point as it appears to be igniting alot of conversation among us and making us think and rethink about the events of the film. For instance, the more I think about it the more I realize there may have been more clues to the reality that we were presented with such as it being stated a few times that Arthur was locked up before however no details are ever provided about when, where, why, and how. This also prompts the possibility that when Arthur was locked up prior that he was never actually released and the entire movie was the joke in his mind.
    The first big hint was his first visit to the psychiatrist.She told him if he remembered why he was locked up in Arkham and show as a brief flashback of Arthur hitting his head and later this info pretty much ignored.When Arthur went to Arkham, the stuff or at least someone should have recognised him, especially considering that they search a file about his mother. Also, being abused as a child and latter not remembering, being a possible relative of Bruce or the mockery of Batman as a symbol(the clown as symbol of Gotham) and the phrase "i thought a joke *cue Bruce standing over his dead parents*but you wouldn't understand it", pretty much tells as that in the end Joker is more close to our regular version or as mad that he is delusional of his own past or remaking it. The last murder before the credits showed that difference between the Arthur of our story with th Joker of the end. The first, through luck, killed people who one way or another, wronged him. The last murder is an innocent phychiatrist before the stuff or Arkham start to chase him.
    " I am Loki Scar-Lip, Loki Skywalker, Loki Giant's Child, Loki Lie-Smith. I am Loki, who is fire and wit and hate. I am Loki. And I will be under an obligation to no one."

    Previously known as Nefarius

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