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Don Rosco

Joker origin film - Joaquin Phoenix Confirmed

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50 minutes ago, Strafe said:


Yes, I know. I get it’s a twatish thing to say but I just didn’t really buy into it

Spoiler

that it would cause everyone to slash and burn given the context (3 people have just been murdered, he isn’t actually a politician).

 

Careful with the spoilers, Strafe. And @Delargey

Spoiler

It's not about the murders. Wayne announces he's running for mayor of Gotham. He's a man of wealth and power, and has called the little people 'clowns'. 

 

Plus, as Delargey said, the city was on the brink. Strafe, I just think you weren't paying attention. 

 

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5 hours ago, Mawdlin said:

I saw this again today and was slightly worried it may have shrunk on a second viewing but I enjoyed it more.

 

The first half is very tight, not a single scene I didn't enjoy more second time around. But noticeably

 

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the scenes about his possible link to Thomas Wayne are the weakest. Fortunately these are very short and while not bad in themselves don't have the artistic merit of everything else.

 

I was with a much larger audience today and the black humour came across better, with noticable laughter towards the end. First time I wasn't sure if it was just me finding some of the bleaker parts funny.

 

It does what all good cinema does - take you blissfully out of the real world for a couple of hours and immerse you in a fantasy that is utterly compelling. I was thinking of nothing but this for the duration; it really doesn't let up.

 

My favourite scenes:

 

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are all to do with his posture and gradual transformation into a monster. It's a kind of tortured ballet where Phoenix contorts into these wonderful shapes to the strains of heavy violin.

 

The part where he rehearses his interview with Murray (a nod to The King of Comedy) but doesn't have the chutzpah to pull it off is amazing second time around.

 

And then we see him backstage before the show, behind the curtains, and he begins to transform his body shape ready for the battle ahead. The two stage-hands look at him like he's a freak (because he is). Spine-chilling.

 

The colour palette in this movie is terrific too. I love that Murray's gaudy stage drapes match the suit Joker eventually choses.

 

And that scene on the stairs. Magnificent. Surely wherever that staircase is it's going to be the new Philadelphia steps from Rocky. Tourists queing up to get a photo or film clip.

 

 

 

With the Murray scene  I took it

that it wasn't that he didn't have the chutzpah but that Murray kept stepping on his punchline, ruining his dramatic moment his own little gags

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8 minutes ago, Thor said:

Careful with the spoilers, Strafe. And @Delargey

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It's not about the murders. Wayne announces he's running for mayor of Gotham. He's a man of wealth and power, and has called the little people 'clowns'. 

 

Plus, as Delargey said, the city was on the brink. Strafe, I just think you weren't paying attention. 

 

 

Soz. Added spoiler tags.

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3 hours ago, Strafe said:

I don’t quite get why 

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The murder of 3 businessmen (are they meant to be bankers?), by some unknown dude is the main catalyst for the riot. 
 

It’s a stretch that a society is that fucked up that people, upon hearing of a (from their perspective) senseless slaughtering of 3 innocent people taking the subway home would rally people into protest.

 

If joker had been a cop that would make sense - look at Mark Duggan or Rodney King - but some dude in a creepy outfit killing 3 people for no apparent reason doesn’t seem like cause for civil unrest to me. 

 

 

I don't think it was the murder of three rich dudes that caused things to kick off...their deaths and TW comments gave an image to a movement, but then Joker was going to the interview on the these people were just going to protest, I think the brawl with the cops on the train (did one of them accidentally shoot a bystander while chasing the Joker?) Probably kicked off the violence. Jokers actions on the live T.V probably just added more fuel to the fire.



 

That said, I do think that plot line was pretty weak and kinda set up in a few headlines and soundbites, but it's fair enough because it's was all about Arthur.

.

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20 minutes ago, Thor said:

Careful with the spoilers, Strafe. And @Delargey

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It's not about the murders. Wayne announces he's running for mayor of Gotham. He's a man of wealth and power, and has called the little people 'clowns'. 

 

Plus, as Delargey said, the city was on the brink. Strafe, I just think you weren't paying attention. 

 

 

I was, I just didn’t really buy it. 

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1 hour ago, Delargey said:

 

With the Murray scene  I took it

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that it wasn't that he didn't have the chutzpah but that Murray kept stepping on his punchline, ruining his dramatic moment his own little gags

 

I should clarify: I mean

Spoiler

the scene prior to his encounter with Murray where he's still in his apartment rehearsing and he lacks confidence.

I like the contrast between his old self, and what he becomes.

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Utterly magnificent. I spent most of the film thinking it was the best film I'd seen in many years, but was a little disappointed in some of the last few scenes.

Spoiler

I loved that the entire film and Phoenix, until the Murray show, were very believable and in essence not part of the Batman universe. I wanted him to appear on the talk show, of course, and loved his entrance, but the subsequent scene was laboured. I also didn't like the very unrealistic riot scenes after the show. Still, what a performance and a great film in so many ways.

 

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9 hours ago, Blue said:

Utterly magnificent. I spent most of the film thinking it was the best film I'd seen in many years, but was a little disappointed in some of the last few scenes.

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I loved that the entire film and Phoenix, until the Murray show, were very believable and in essence not part of the Batman universe. I wanted him to appear on the talk show, of course, and loved his entrance, but the subsequent scene was laboured. I also didn't like the very unrealistic riot scenes after the show. Still, what a performance and a great film in so many ways.

 

Re the talk show:

 

Spoiler

The part where he tells a bad joke about a kid getting run over works brilliantly, but when he admits to killing the men it stars to flag. It's probably only an extra minute of screen time but it does feel off. It would have been more convincing for Murray to try wind it up but his insistence doesn't ring true. We've all seen car crash interviews but Wogan etc. all queue music at the first sign of things getting out of their control. Murray gives him one chance to bring it back but when he hands over the floor the second time he's doing it for the convenience of the script and denouement.

 

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1 hour ago, Mawdlin said:

Re the talk show:

 

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 It would have been more convincing for Murray to try wind it up but his insistence doesn't ring true. We've all seen car crash interviews but Wogan etc. all queue music at the first sign of things getting out of their control. 

 

 

Hmm, I dunno.

 

There are real world instances of interviewers not quite knowing when to wrap it up. Bill Grundy with the Sex Pistols, for example. I think Murray's insistence was due to him not wanting to feel like he'd lost control of the show, especially to someone he deemed to pretty pathetic and a joke. 

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I know, right?!

 

Bloody loved that scene. I loved Joaquin's whole take on Joker's dandy side. Visually, I think it's the closest we've seen to Neal Adams' Joker. There's a real grace to him.

 

I also liked how he often seemed to walk or run as though he were wearing the clown shoes, even when he wasn't, and his more cocksure stride came later. It's a brilliant physical performance.

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I don’t think it’s the masterpiece it was initially made out to be, but I found it hugely compelling, especially the first half. The second half gets a little muddled, the climax was actually kinda disappointing compared to what I imagined, and it also gets less clear what the film is aiming for. Still, it’s something new for comic book films and mostly a success. 

 

Joaquin was always going to be good, but credit to Todd Philips for stepping up too. His material up to now didn’t fill me with confidence but he really pulled something off here. 

 

Spoiler

I could’ve done without all the Wayne family stuff, those were the weakest scenes by far. Favourite bit was the buildup to the subway killing with the carriage lights periodically blinking out. That one touch really put me on edge.

 

I really liked the way Arthur didn’t seem to understand comedy at all, he laughs at the wrong moments in the comedy club and his own material is full of weird anti-jokes that don’t work. Makes perfect sense for what he eventually becomes.

 

In moral terms (yawn) most of the film makes Arthur an unambiguously grotesque character, but like I said it gets a bit muddled towards the end. Still I think The Dark Knight does a lot more to glorify the Joker than this. 

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15 minutes ago, Made of Ghosts said:

most of the film makes Arthur an unambiguously grotesque character

 

I don't think so. He's a downtrodden man with mental issues who was trying to get better, but he was abandoned by the government.

 

Fair play for shooting those Don Jnr. cunts.

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I really want to give this a another watch, and it may have actually been more overt than I think but in regard to his mother,

 

 

did anyone else notice that he seemed to be giving his medication to her? In one scene it shows him opening his pills, then it looks like he ground them up and seemed to scoop it into her porridge / oatmeal.

 

Actually, do we ever seer him actually taking his medication?

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21 minutes ago, Made of Ghosts said:

In moral terms (yawn) most of the film makes Arthur an unambiguously grotesque character, but like I said it gets a bit muddled towards the end. Still I think The Dark Knight does a lot more to glorify the Joker than this. 

I disagree.

Spoiler

He's practically a messiah at the end of the movie. The glorification of the character is substantial - far more than in TDK for me. 

 

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2 hours ago, Made of Ghosts said:

 

 

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I really liked the way Arthur didn’t seem to understand comedy at all, he laughs at the wrong moments in the comedy club and his own material is full of weird anti-jokes that don’t work. Makes perfect sense for what he eventually becomes.

 

 

 

Maybe some of the time but he also 

 

Spoiler

used one of the greatest jokes ever told. First one here:

:wub:

 

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1 hour ago, Don Rosco said:

 

Neal Adams reviews Joker:

 

https://13thdimension.com/neal-adams-reviews-joker/

 

"The first half hour you’re going to hate, OK?

It’s like a French movie.

'What the hell is this?' you’ll think. It’s like, “Oh, Jesus, am I gonna watch two hours of this guy going through crap? And then nothing will happen at the end – because it’s like a French movie?"

 

 

I was riveted from the start. But then, I love French movies.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Thor said:

I disagree.

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He's practically a messiah at the end of the movie. The glorification of the character is substantial - far more than in TDK for me. 

 


exactly

 

everything in the film is designed to make you sympathise with him - everything that happens to him, the way it’s shot, the way he’s framed.  He’s attacked, lied to, mistreated & unfairly treated by others, his support & medication is stripped away, and he’s told that the system doesn’t care about him.  That’s before you add in his mental health issues with leave him feeling alienated, his situation with his job & mother which make him feel trapped.


For the director & co-writer to say you’re not meant to feel sympathy for the character feels disingenuous because that’s not the movie he made.  I mean look at the start he’s beaten up by the teenagers who stole his sign, and the woman on the bus gives him shit over amusing her child.

Every act of violence can be justified by the character:

- the guys on the subway are attacking him, after being pricks to the woman in the carriage 
- he kills his mother after finding out she’s lied to him his entire life - being adopted, being beaten by her boyfriend, etc.  It shows she wasn’t a good mother in the past & she’s a burden now. 
- he kills Randall who he believed was a friend but betrayed him
- he kills Murray when he realises he is there to be nothing but a punchline, and he can’t control that situation because Murray will keep stepping on his prepared bit.

Now I’m not saying he was right to kill anyone, I’m saying the movie gives the character justification for it.

There’s nothing he just does because the character has spiralled, he never crosses that line so never makes the character unsympathetic.  If, for example, he’d killed Gary then that line would have been crossed, and I imagine you’d lose a large part of the audience.

At no point in the movie was the way it was shot critical of his actions, he was always shown sympathetically & as the hero.  He even got the Spider-Man messiah treatment.

For me that’s the difference between this and films like Taxi Driver and King of Comedy is they know their main character isn’t sympathetic.

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Not long got back from seeing this and still kinda deconstructing what I thought of it in my head.

 

One thing I will mention is that, considering it’s a comic book character origin, I liked how blessedly free of JJ Abrams school of filmmaking clunky forced nerd bait references to was. Every time a side character appeared I was waiting for them to 'Oh, it's that Selina Kyle' or it would turn out the Penguin owner the comedy club or some shit. Thanks for not doing that filmmakers.

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1 hour ago, The Bag said:


exactly

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everything in the film is designed to make you sympathise with him - everything that happens to him, the way it’s shot, the way he’s framed.  He’s attacked, lied to, mistreated & unfairly treated by others, his support & medication is stripped away, and he’s told that the system doesn’t care about him.  That’s before you add in his mental health issues with leave him feeling alienated, his situation with his job & mother which make him feel trapped.


For the director & co-writer to say you’re not meant to feel sympathy for the character feels disingenuous because that’s not the movie he made.  I mean look at the start he’s beaten up by the teenagers who stole his sign, and the woman on the bus gives him shit over amusing her child.

Every act of violence can be justified by the character:

- the guys on the subway are attacking him, after being pricks to the woman in the carriage 
- he kills his mother after finding out she’s lied to him his entire life - being adopted, being beaten by her boyfriend, etc.  It shows she wasn’t a good mother in the past & she’s a burden now. 
- he kills Randall who he believed was a friend but betrayed him
- he kills Murray when he realises he is there to be nothing but a punchline, and he can’t control that situation because Murray will keep stepping on his prepared bit.

Now I’m not saying he was right to kill anyone, I’m saying the movie gives the character justification for it.

There’s nothing he just does because the character has spiralled, he never crosses that line so never makes the character unsympathetic.  If, for example, he’d killed Gary then that line would have been crossed, and I imagine you’d lose a large part of the audience.

At no point in the movie was the way it was shot critical of his actions, he was always shown sympathetically & as the hero.  He even got the Spider-Man messiah treatment.

For me that’s the difference between this and films like Taxi Driver and King of Comedy is they know their main character isn’t sympathetic.


 

Spoiler

I totally agree with everything you’ve said. I really think you’ve nailed it. 
 

But I do think the film is based completely on being a mixture of fantasy and reality told from his point of view. The whole thing is unreliable, I couldn’t confidently say what’s real and what isn’t.
 

It does glamorise it within the film because (he) glamourises it. But from the outside he’s a pitiful character.

 

You end up at the same endpoint, that is true. The film does glamourise his situation and makes his actions heroic. But I think there’s a distinction between a film showing a narrative as objective fact and glamorising what happens and a film that is so completely from someone’s personal point of view that it makes a difference.

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At my (surprisingly full for a Tuesday afternoon) showing someone loudly gasped 'Oh shit, he can't reach!' during the security chain bit.

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The last couple of episodes of The Big Picture podcast have some good discussions about this film (they really liked it).

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I’m not sure how I feel about the film yet but Joaquin is incredible. You can’t take your eyes of him he’s that mesmerising. His Joker could take a shit onscreen and I’d lap it up (not like that, that’s disgusting).

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On 05/10/2019 at 10:12, Mawdlin said:

There's a scene early on, in the dressing room, where Arthur's face is turned away from the camera and you see this emaciated, twisted, bruised body and I honestly thought it was a body double. There's a history of method actors fasting for roles but this is extreme. It's also to do with Phoenix's tortured posture. Just a fantastic performance throughout.

 

On reflection, I think that scene is deliberately reminiscent of Gollum. 

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1 hour ago, The Bag said:


exactly

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everything in the film is designed to make you sympathise with him - everything that happens to him, the way it’s shot, the way he’s framed.  He’s attacked, lied to, mistreated & unfairly treated by others, his support & medication is stripped away, and he’s told that the system doesn’t care about him.  That’s before you add in his mental health issues with leave him feeling alienated, his situation with his job & mother which make him feel trapped.


For the director & co-writer to say you’re not meant to feel sympathy for the character feels disingenuous because that’s not the movie he made.  I mean look at the start he’s beaten up by the teenagers who stole his sign, and the woman on the bus gives him shit over amusing her child.

Every act of violence can be justified by the character:

- the guys on the subway are attacking him, after being pricks to the woman in the carriage 
- he kills his mother after finding out she’s lied to him his entire life - being adopted, being beaten by her boyfriend, etc.  It shows she wasn’t a good mother in the past & she’s a burden now. 
- he kills Randall who he believed was a friend but betrayed him
- he kills Murray when he realises he is there to be nothing but a punchline, and he can’t control that situation because Murray will keep stepping on his prepared bit.

Now I’m not saying he was right to kill anyone, I’m saying the movie gives the character justification for it.

There’s nothing he just does because the character has spiralled, he never crosses that line so never makes the character unsympathetic.  If, for example, he’d killed Gary then that line would have been crossed, and I imagine you’d lose a large part of the audience.

At no point in the movie was the way it was shot critical of his actions, he was always shown sympathetically & as the hero.  He even got the Spider-Man messiah treatment.

For me that’s the difference between this and films like Taxi Driver and King of Comedy is they know their main character isn’t sympathetic.


I agree up to a point, however...

 

Spoiler

Killing his frail, helpless mother by suffocation was an act of irredeemable cruelty and I would say this is the moment when he snaps, where the downtrodden and sympathetic becomes the villain. 
 

After killing his mother without remorse, nothing else matters anymore. After having stared into that abyss, killing others doesn’t even register - he sets off on the march of revenge, culminating in the killing of the father-figure of Murray live in TV, the last person he believed in.


 

His evil persona is forged in the fires of revenge and by the end he emerges a complete psychopath. One last spoiler:

 

Spoiler

That brilliant scene on the subway where he instigates chaos and violence which begins with him stealing the mask and ends with a full-blown fistfight and violence against police officers while he dances off, revelling in the madness he’s brought about, was fantastic. It was, for me, the moment it all came together and the movie transitioned from a dark human drama into comic book action. 

 

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It's interesting watching the way the US media seems to be going a bit ape at the moment.

 

I recently watched Lindsay Ellis' video about how Disney is trying to appear woke to make profits. She talks about how it's all surface level stuff, it's never the institutions themselves at fault, it's just a bad seed individual causing trouble. A lion monarchy is a good thing. A Sultancy is great as long as the rIght person gets it.  Throwing in the occasional facile girl power scene while ignoring the organisation's problematic history when it comes to race and public ally patting themselves on the back.
 

This is the rare big(ish) budget mainstream film that goes after the institutions themselves* and many of the same outlets that like to pat themselves on the back about how progressive they are because they watched Punchman VII where Punchman happens to have a black sidekick or something are freaking out about how 'dangerous' the film is.  It's the Lib Dem school of film criticism.


* Of course I'm aware that this is a film from a multi billion dollar corporation.

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