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... I really can't remember the last time I walked out of a theater with absolutely zero reservations about giving a film 4 stars. There is always something I need to think about or something that causes me to deduct 1/2 star or more. The Joker is a masterpiece on every level: Story, acting, cinematography and soundtrack. Joaquin Phoenix should win the Best Performance Academy Award and all other awards for Performance. We saw it in Imax and I went in thinking it was unnecessary, but it deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible with an excellent sound system. 

... SPOILER ALERT: I wil not give anything away but be warned it is a disturbing, depressing and very, very dark film. 

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hmmmm ".....disturbing, depressing and very, very dark film" is not really on my list when I go to be entertained!

Pity as I'm a big Joaquin fan.

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A lot of hype, but I won't see it.  The world is already too dark for my tastes.

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... This is art at it's absolute highest form. It is an experience like very few others. That said, I posted the spoiler alert to warn people that do not want to see something so dark and depressing. It is if a comic book character was possible in the real world so it is not a comic book interpretation, which of course is what makes it so amazing and unique. As an actor I obviously see this on a different level and most of the time I also see enough darkness in the world and have seen my share of depressing subjects, so I certainly understand why some maybe even many will not want to see this film. 

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It’s nice to hear you say this. Obviously, your work history gives you a lot of credibility in offering an opinion on a performance.

Heath Ledger’s portrayal was one of the most authentic and captivating performances I’ve ever seen. The cast had said repeatedly that it was intimidating to sit across him during scenes as he was so immersed into the role that it was difficult to separate reality from fiction.

Smart casting on Phillips’ part as Phoenix really is one of those artists who is durable and believable to fit this role.


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4 hours ago, bens197 said:

It’s nice to hear you say this. Obviously, your work history gives you a lot of credibility in offering an opinion on a performance.

Heath Ledger’s portrayal was one of the most authentic and captivating performances I’ve ever seen. The cast had said repeatedly that it was intimidating to sit across him during scenes as he was so immersed into the role that it was difficult to separate reality from fiction.

Smart casting on Phillips’ part as Phoenix really is one of those artists who is durable and believable to fit this role.

 

... Ben, taking it to another level I was lucky enough to be in The Dark Knight and the 2 days I shot, the make up people were a little shook up because Heath Ledger stayed in character as the Joker 24/7 so the line of fiction and reality was most definitely blurred. The Make Up and Hair people are usually the friendliest and most artsy people on a set and to scare them is really saying something. And I agree with you, that performance is a standard for others to hold going forward. I will not spoil anything for those that want to make up their own minds but they are 2 completely different interpretations in 2 completely different style films. 

Edited by chisag
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25 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

... Ben, taking it to another level I was lucky enough to be in The Dark Knight and the 2 days I shot, the make up people were a little shook up because Heath Ledger stayed in character as the Joker 24/7 so the line of fiction and reality was most definitely blurred. The Make Up and Hair people are usually the friendliest and most artsy people on a set and to scare them is really saying something. And I agree with you, that performance is a standard for others to hold going forward. I will not spoil anything for those that want to make up their own minds but they are 2 completely different interpretations in 2 completely different style films. 

After watching The Dark Knight in its entirety, I could appreciate why he won an Oscar. Superhero films aren’t necessarily my favorite, yet Heath’s portrayal was a work of art. 
 

There’s this perception from the previews that this film casts a light on outcasts among society.  I’m excited to see it. 
 

Thanks for sharing. 

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I really didn't enjoy this film. I think it was an extremely poor attempt at providing a backstory for the Joker that woefully misunderstood the character.

I just felt uncomfortable the whole time, and not because the film managed to create any real tension throughout. I felt uncomfortable because I thought it handled its subject matter extremely poorly.

The film does some things well, most of these technical and behind the scenes. Makeup, costumes, production design, score, and cinematography were all excellent and Phoenix does immerse himself in the role and his performance was solid.

But this is a comic book movie in the most superfluous of ways. It barely draws on any source material other than some limited inspiration from a one-off graphic novel, and it really shows.

Phillips tries to convey a decent message that society needs to do more for those suffering from mental illnesses, but he also undermines that message continually with some of his choices. A certain needle-drop near the film's climax is exhibit a of this.

Of the three cinematic depictions of the Joker of this millenium (Ledger, Leto, and Phoenix), only Ledger was able to accurately portray the character. As good of an actor as Phoenix is, this was not an accurate representation of who the Joker is as a character.

The Joker is a psychopath who kills because he thinks its fun. He's an agent of chaos and the complete anti-thesis to Batman. This is why Ledger's Joker really is the gold standard.

Passing him off as a man suffering from undefined mental illnesses who only starts killing because society doesn't care about him and people beat him up is not how the Joker is meant to be presented.

I've typically enjoyed psychological thrillers, but the mismanagement of the character and the way Phillips handled the subject matter, which is all too fresh for many in the current climate of mass shootings, really did not sit well with me.

This was, to me, a Scorsese-wannabe type film that was delivered with the amount of nuance and care that you might expect from the guy who directed The Hangover movies, which is to say, there wasn't much nuance or care put into handling its subject matter in a responsible fashion.

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Were you one of the SWAT driving the armoured truck carrying Harvey Dent? Specifically the one who comments "that is not good" when the helicopter gets taken down?

 
... Ben, taking it to another level I was lucky enough to be in The Dark Knight and the 2 days I shot, the make up people were a little shook up because Heath Ledger stayed in character as the Joker 24/7 so the line of fiction and reality was most definitely blurred. The Make Up and Hair people are usually the friendliest and most artsy people on a set and to scare them is really saying something. And I agree with you, that performance is a standard for others to hold going forward. I will not spoil anything for those that want to make up their own minds but they are 2 completely different interpretations in 2 completely different style films. 


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Seems to be a good film. Just not "the Joker". 

 

As a huge comic nerd in the 80s-90s, it seems to me a lot of comic turned movie scripts seem to go along this path of veering away from the comic storyline. DC moreso. Justice League and Batman v Superman were such a warped combinations of several plots into 120minutes. 

For comic geeks, the Joker is just as iconic and "sacred" as Batman, Superman, and Luthor. DC destroys another one.

Edited by xxio
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18 hours ago, perseveringgolfer said:

hmmmm ".....disturbing, depressing and very, very dark film" is not really on my list when I go to be entertained!

Pity as I'm a big Joaquin fan.

+1. I know he’s a remarkable actor, but “dark & depressing” are never my idea of entertainment, and I knew just watching the trailers I wouldn’t be seeing The Joker.. It’s unfortunate as I do appreciate great movies. I won’t even watch it later on free TV much less go and pay to see it. I don’t understand why anyone does. YMMV

Edited by Middler
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... Art is subjective. Personally I never understand how some go into any art form with pre conceived ideas on "how it is supposed to be". I listened to Lee Childs Jack Reacher books on road tips and really enjoyed them. I saw the Reacher films and really enjoyed them as well. Books and films are 2 completely different art forms and may or may not be similar. Books do not need a star so describing Reacher as 6'5" and 250 is easy to do. Finding a bankable 6'5" 250 star that can be financially successful at the box office is not as easy. There is a saying in theater "leave your cloak of disbelieve at the door" meaning give up any pre conceived ideas and go into the show with an open mind. I read quite a few comments from loyal Jack Reacher book fans that were furious the shorter than 5'10" Tom Cruise played Reacher. Most never even saw the film but hated it sight unseen. A shame because Cruise captured the essence of Reacher even though he is not anywhere near the right size of the book character. 

... That said, again art is subjective and if you wanna hate Reacher films because they aren't true to the book that is certainly your right and I would never say you are wrong. Same applies to Joker. My son is a huge comic book fan and Batman is his favorite. He absolutely loved Joker because he viewed it as a stand alone film, his opinion not predicated on the comic books, earlier films or his own ideas of how the Joker may have started out. Again, I do not post this in rebuttal to those of you that either didn't like Joker or don't want to see it because it isn't true to the comic books. I post it to let you know if you can view this film on it's own merits as if you knew nothing about the Joker, it is an amazing film experience. 

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To each his own.

 

I react the same way when any movies are way off. If someone wants to do that storyline, use a different or an original character. It is a disservice to the originators of the character. 

If at least it was close I wouldn't mind.

I say the same things when Shakespeare plots using Shakespeare characters go way off as well.

Re: Reacher, I never read the books but enjoyed the movies. I heard the criticism as to size but aside from that reviews say the character was true to Reacher. However as you put it, choices were made for the sake of the box office.  

 

It has been mentioned Joker is truly just a violent remorseless maniac, this film does not depict him as such. There lies the problem vs Reacher being the wrong size.

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Expecting people to go into a movie that is adapting a character that has existed for going on 80 years in print and other media without any pre-conceived notions on the character is just not possible. Nor should they have to.

I'm all for reimagined takes on things, but the most crucial part of any reimagining is that it maintains the essence of the original. Joker does not maintain the essence of its character.

If a filmmaker isn't going to stay true to the essence of one of the most iconic villains in the history of comic books, he shouldn't be using that character in the first place. Create an original character instead.

I'm not advocating for picture perfect depictions of any character adapted from the written word, but I also don't think it's too much to ask that if someone wants to adapt a character that they do everything they can to capture the character's essence.

Tom Cruise works as Jack Reacher in those movies because they capture the essence of the character. Unless a character's apperance is a defining characteristic of who they are, I don't expect every adaptation to be picture perfect. All that matters is that the depiction of the character be true to its source. This is where I feel Joker failed as a comic book movie.

But that's not the only reason I disliked the film. This film easily could have been made as an original story entirely, with no connection to any comic books whatsoever, and I still would not have enjoyed it because I truly disliked how it handled its subject matter.

These are, of course, just my opinions and I know many have enjoyed the film. It's not my intention to take away from their enjoyment of it either, I'm just not one of them.

Comic book movies are very near and dear to me. One of my hobbies is writing for a comic book blog. I spend a lot of time with these movies and just wanted to share my feelings on the film.

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In Field of Dreams, they had the great Joe Jackson batting right handed.

Eight Men Out got it right, though.

I hate sloppy background research.  In the Showtime series Ray Donovan, they not only don't pronounce "Donovan" as it's pronounced in Boston, but they even pronounced the word "aunt" as "ant"  People born in South Boston might not have the most pleasant accent in the world, but they pronounce "aunt" as Queen Elizabeth herself would pronounce it.

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43 minutes ago, NiftyNiblick said:

In Field of Dreams, they had the great Joe Jackson batting right handed.

Eight Men Out got it right, though.

I hate sloppy background research.  In the Showtime series Ray Donovan, they not only don't pronounce "Donovan" as it's pronounced in Boston, but they even pronounced the word "aunt" as "ant"  People born in South Boston might not have the most pleasant accent in the world, but they pronounce "aunt" as Queen Elizabeth herself would pronounce it.

Krakatoa WEST of Java! nuff said!

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Thanks we saw the preview when we went to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and were considering this one - should be our next date night.


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I'm sure this is a great movie - cinematography , acting, etc. However, I'm not a fan of dark movies - so I'll take a pass on this one. 

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9 hours ago, perseveringgolfer said:

Krakatoa WEST of Java! nuff said!

That's an oldie. They knew that they had it wrong in time to fix it and went with it anyway.

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