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Old 10-18-2019, 04:55 PM   #21
Friday
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Default Re: Joker

(Spoilers)
I had a completely different reaction to it. I thought it was brilliant. Joaquin was the best Joker. He's the most realistic Joker. The other two Jokers were great, but they were more cartoonish, so I never really felt like I'd ever encounter them in real life. Joaquin feels like a scary guy that can go off on you in Hollywood Boulevard. Criminal masterminds, mass killers and even successful killers are a complete mess in their personal lives. Just because they are a zero in their personal lives, doesn't mean they aren't capable of great destruction. The only real problem I had with it was the scene where he killed his mother. The others were culpable, while his mother felt like a mentally ill woman who couldn't help it. I had fully expected the Joker to defend the Subway girl, but the scene played out differently. Which is why that scene was so brilliant. He's not going to react in the same way that you'd think everyone else is. He's not following the script. He's a wildcard. He caught those Subway guys by surprise. We're projecting how he'd be written if he were following a hero arc. But, he's a villain. His antagonist is society in general, especially those abusive people in power. People are going to react differently to movies. I've seen this one several times now and the audiences seemed to really love it. I usually do not hear that much dissection of the movie afterwards, but I heard people keep talking about it for a good 15 minutes out the door and into the lobby.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:08 PM   #22
figment
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Default Re: Joker

Spoilers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
We're projecting how he'd be written if he were following a hero arc. But, he's a villain.
Sure, but (for me), if there were more of an escalation rather than just piled-on trauma after trauma I would've been more involved with him as a character -- rooting for him to overcome. The movie never let me have any hope for him. So my emotions weren't a rollercoaster, they were just a death spiral from the get-go.

I did like the mob of clowns. But again, there was an opportunity for him to feel accomplished at having inspired that, but the movie wouldn't even give him that much.

I'm not trying to convince you, just unscrambling my own thoughts.

Definite Oscar nom for Joaquin, though. Looked like he lost half his body weight. His rib cage didn't look human.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:51 PM   #23
Friday
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Default Re: Joker

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Originally Posted by figment View Post
Spoilers...



Sure, but (for me), if there were more of an escalation rather than just piled-on trauma after trauma I would've been more involved with him as a character -- rooting for him to overcome. The movie never let me have any hope for him. So my emotions weren't a rollercoaster, they were just a death spiral from the get-go.

I did like the mob of clowns. But again, there was an opportunity for him to feel accomplished at having inspired that, but the movie wouldn't even give him that much.

I'm not trying to convince you, just unscrambling my own thoughts.

Definite Oscar nom for Joaquin, though. Looked like he lost half his body weight. His rib cage didn't look human.

Yeah, we're definitely going to experience the movie in different ways. That's what I like about the movie. It's not sugarcoated trying to please everyone. Well, the pile on kind of reflects life. For some people, it just keeps piling on. That's more realistic. I can see him struggling to cling to his humanity. At first, he's trying to be a comedian and following the "Put on a happy face" that his mom tells him, but that doesn't pan out. The world turns out to be much crueler and you can see him devolving. This is the type of drama with heavy character study you'd expect to see at a Laemle. I am surprised they had the guts to bank a whole franchise on. I have a newfound respect for Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix. I had a high opinion of them before, this movie just floored me.


I think if you look at it more from the tragedy viewpoint and not the hero viewpoint, you might have a different appreciation for it. I've seen this movie a million times, so I've had time to digest it and unpack it different ways. At first, I was fighting it, trying to project how I'd want him to be sympathetic, but then I realized that they had to walk the line of him being a villain. In Scarface, you just know there's never going to be hope of Pacino ending well...
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:41 PM   #24
Merrick
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Default Re: Joker

I'm in the this was good / not masterpiece camp.

The highlights:

* Joaquin Phoenix.
* De Niro.
* The score.
* Great and rare depiction of mental illness, pretty much never captured in mass market film.

The lowlights:

* Relies too heavily on Taxi Driver / King of Comedy, way too heavily.
* Lack of direction in the character for the greater chunk of the movie (literally just a guy that things happen to).
* Pretty much no story, which can be okay but not in conjunction with above.
* Batman stuff not needed at all.

I still liked it. But being currently #13 movie of all-time on IMDb is ridiculous.
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