Just finished Joker....man, that was some god-awful schlock (spoilers obv)

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BilbeauLaggins

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#1  Edited By BilbeauLaggins
Member since 2010 • 68 Posts

How, exactly, did this movie rake in $1,000,000,000+ globally?

-Perpetuates stereotypes about the mentally ill

-"Story" was 100% predictable

-Characters were all one-dimensional stereotypes (the "mean rich kids", the "asshole boss", the "lying co-worker", the token "you were the only one who was always nice to me" guy, etc) and behaved in the exact monolithic way you'd expect; in other words: no depth

-Writing was sub-par and, at points, sounded like reddit incel fanfiction or a copypasta you'd find on r/politics

-Unironic uses of "Kill the Rich" and everyone dressing up like clowns to protest...something (it was never really explicitly explained)

-Joker being "raised from the dead" and held up as some sort of Christ figure at the end

I imagine this movie is how edgy redditors and bugmen envision the real world. Glad I got this as a free Redbox rental.

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uninspiredcup

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#2 uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 37040 Posts

Alright.

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nepu7supastar7

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#3 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 5381 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins:

Congratulations. Of the millions and millions of people who saw the movie and loved it - you are one of the few who hated it. *slow clap* 👏

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#4  Edited By Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9308 Posts

I don't think OP is wrong. It wasn't that amazing. I still thought it was a good and entertaining enough film. The main thing that kept me interested was Joaquin's decision to play Joker like a person with legit mental health issues. His mannerisms and actions reminded me of bits and pieces of people I've met over the years with various mental health issues, so he must have gotten some of that accurate.

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#5  Edited By MirkoS77
Member since 2011 • 14745 Posts

What stereotypes about the mentally ill does it perpetuate? As someone who is, I found it did a good job of conveying the feeling of a sick and twisted mind.

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BilbeauLaggins

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#6  Edited By BilbeauLaggins
Member since 2010 • 68 Posts

@MirkoS77: that mentally ill people are inherently violent

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#7  Edited By MirkoS77
Member since 2011 • 14745 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins said:

@MirkoS77: that mentally I'll people are inherently violent

I don't think there was the implication there that all are inherently violent, but the reality is some are. Arthur snapped, as people do. His character was also modeled after a villain who is by nature violent so you may be conflating mental illness with the nature of the character itself.

Though why does the movie even need the DC universe at all? It was odd to me, it can stand well enough on its own.

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#8 phbz
Member since 2009 • 4895 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins: You have to take in consideration that most of these are people that consider Endgame the best movie ever made.

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#9 uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 37040 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins said:

@MirkoS77: that mentally I'll people are inherently violent

But he isn't, it's the society he lives in that pushes him in that direction.

Seems you missed the point of the movie.

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#10 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 725 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins: ((SPOILERS)) I thought the movie was great. Phoenix was superb in the movie, there were great twists in the story too!

And the movie is so relevant to our times. The polarisation of wealth in society, the number of countries where citizens are rioting.

And of course the healthcare and housing issues too.

But it’s certainly not for everyone.

In my opinion it’s the best superhero type of movie ever made and I hope the new Batman film will move in this direction.

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BilbeauLaggins

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#11 BilbeauLaggins
Member since 2010 • 68 Posts

@MirkoS77 said:
@bilbeaulaggins said:

@MirkoS77: that mentally I'll people are inherently violent

I don't think there was the implication there that all are inherently violent, but the reality is some are. Arthur snapped, as people do. His character was also modeled after a villain who is by nature violent so you may be conflating mental illness with the nature of the character itself.

Though why does the movie even need the DC universe at all? It was odd to me, it can stand well enough on its own.

Good point. The attempts to tie it into Batman lore were hamfisted at best. The scene where he confronted Bruce was weird and out of place, and the scene where Bruce's parents died felt very contrived.

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BilbeauLaggins

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#12 BilbeauLaggins
Member since 2010 • 68 Posts
@uninspiredcup said:
@bilbeaulaggins said:

@MirkoS77: that mentally I'll people are inherently violent

But he isn't, it's the society he lives in that pushes him in that direction.

Seems you missed the point of the movie.

He shot Murray Franklin in the head on live TV for what, exactly? Lampooning his terrible comedy routine?

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BilbeauLaggins

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#13 BilbeauLaggins
Member since 2010 • 68 Posts
@phbz said:

@bilbeaulaggins: You have to take in consideration that most of these are people that consider Endgame the best movie ever made.

True. And I'll concede that Endgame was way better than this dreck.

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#14  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 37040 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins:

  • Denied mental help
  • Beaten up multiple times
  • Mother (herself mentally ill) lies about his origins
  • Socially excluded.
  • His hero used him a punchline akin to how Americas Got Talent points and laughs at people with problems deliberately invited on the show to be laughed it.
  • Encouraged to carry fire-arm
  • Provoked into killing assholes (potentially stopping a rape)
  • City itself is an unstable shithole on the brink that makes him a hero figure, giving him relevance he never had.

Must have been odd to miss all that.

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#15 JustPlainLucas
Member since 2002 • 79707 Posts
@uninspiredcup said:

@bilbeaulaggins:

  • Denied mental help
  • Beaten up multiple times
  • Mother (herself mentally ill) lies about his origins
  • Socially excluded.
  • His hero used him a punchline akin to how Americas Got Talent points and laughs at people with problems deliberately invited on the show to be laughed it.
  • Encouraged to carry fire-arm
  • Provoked into killing assholes (potentially stopping a rape)
  • City itself is an unstable shithole on the brink that makes him a hero figure, giving him relevance he never had.

Must have been odd to miss all that.

Yeah, seriously. I don't think he bothered to give the film a fair shake, just started going off because of "mentally ill stereotypes!"

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nepu7supastar7

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#16  Edited By nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 5381 Posts

@bilbeaulaggins:

"The scene where he confronted Bruce was weird and out of place, and the scene where Bruce's parents died felt very contrived. He shot Murray Franklin in the head on live TV for what, exactly?"

Arthur had just learned from his mother's letter that he was the son of Thomas Wayne. How was the confrontation of that out of place? Also, we ALL KNEW from the get go that the Joker movie was a DC origins story. It would not have made sense if it didn't have Batman's origin at some point, as well as the Joker himself finally taking form. Also, he shot Murray because he realized that the only reason why he was invited to the show was so that Murray could make fun of him.

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#17 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19668 Posts

I had issues with the movie. Phoenix was great in it, but I'm pretty sure that guy brings 1000% to ordering pizza over the phone. I had no issues with him whatsoever, but more with the movie in concept.

Was the movie well crafted? Yeah, it was extremely well done but I've seen movies that were extremely well crafted but were also kind of pointless (Magnolia comes to mind, as does A Serious Man which was the first Coen Brothers film I actually didn't enjoy).

A movie about a working class poor guy just barely scraping by who gets beaten down over and over again until he resorts to murder with Robert DeNiro? Yeah, I've already seen Taxi Driver and that was frankly the better movie. Travis Bickle was another really effed up character but he was more sympathetic and actually had some agency. Arthur Fleck, which amazingly acted, was a nothing character. He had no agency throughout the film. Everything that happened just happened around what he was going through. Even I completely take a step back from how they fit this into the Batman mythos (which I also have many, many issues with) it doesn't even come close to what I'd hope for from a Joker character. He's not clever, he's not scheming, he just acts on impulse from moment to moment and while stuff happens on a larger scale as a result none of it is by his design. The movie spends literally no time justifying or elaborating on the disenfranchisement of the population, the class warfare, etc because it's all from Arthur's perspective. The most you get are some news broadcasts/papers to occasionally justify why suddenly everyone is wearing clown masks. Arthur is just too pathetic to get behind in any fashion. Ledger's Joker was a psycho and a remorseless murder but he was fun and stole every scene he was in. Arthur was just a miserable sad sack. There's nothing interesting about that for me.

I watch a lot of movies. Maybe if I hadn't seen the likes of Taxi Driver, Clockwork Orange, Audition, Requiem for a Dream, and many others as much as two to three decades ago this movie might have knocked my socks off but as is I find it overall to be just kind of there.

Even so, that didn't stop me from taking the D train up to the Bronx real quick to snap a photo or two the last time I was in NYC.

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#18 br0kenrabbit  Online
Member since 2004 • 16270 Posts

@Byshop said:
Yeah, I've already seen Taxi Driver and that was frankly the better movie.

I don't understand this sentiment. Taxi Driver feels to me like someone dropped the script and left half the pages on the ground. We never really get to know anyone, and we never really get to understand his fascination with that one girl over that one incident (trying to avoid spoilers, I know it's old but...).

I don't know, I feel like Taxi Driver never invites us much beyond the lens of the camera. And while I'm not going to proclaim Joker as the GOAT, at least we know the character enough to at least feel conflicted.

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#19 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19668 Posts

@br0kenrabbit said:
@Byshop said:
Yeah, I've already seen Taxi Driver and that was frankly the better movie.

I don't understand this sentiment. Taxi Driver feels to me like someone dropped the script and left half the pages on the ground. We never really get to know anyone, and we never really get to understand his fascination with that one girl over that one incident (trying to avoid spoilers, I know it's old but...).

I don't know, I feel like Taxi Driver never invites us much beyond the lens of the camera. And while I'm not going to proclaim Joker as the GOAT, at least we know the character enough to at least feel conflicted.

Again, Arthur wasn't an interesting or compelling in the overall story, he was just extremely well acted. Travis was more interesting to me and while I'm generally not a fan of voiceover narration as a device for delivering story that narration gave a more interesting picture into that character's mind.

While Travis's actions in the end were to some degree altruistic, I don't need a character to be good to be able to get behind them. They could be straight up evil and sadistic, but Arthur wasn't even that. He was just sad, dumb, and full of self pity. I wanted a Joker character to be... more. Honestly if they make a sequel where Arthur actually has some agency in the plot or has grown into a compelling psychopath, I think I'd like to see that movie.

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#20 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 39977 Posts

Here's my opinion when I saw Joker back in October 2019.

I didn't like it as much as I hope I would. Phoenix's performance is amazing, but that's all that can be said good about it. It's 2 hours of an effeminate, mentally ill pansy loser and whining and then killing some people. That's the movie. It's a meaningless, and highly irritating experience to sit through. It's derivative, it's dull, and when put into the world of Batman, it honestly doesn't make any sense. The Joker depicted here is not intelligent, he's not a criminal mastermind, he's the exact opposite really, he is just a mentally damaged dimwit, he's not the Clown Prince of Crime we all know who he really is. How does this figure become the biggest criminal figure in Gotham? Joker is more than just some deranged serial killer, should be anyway.

I thought the movie was alright if you don't think too much of centering around The Batman and can see why people would be rooting for The joker. Although not a hero, he's obviously still the main focus of the film and his story draws sympathy. I really don't want to see this version of the joker in a sequel against Batman tho, this joker seems extremely incapable of being some crime lord going against the likes of Batman. And I hated the slow motion artsy "feeling myself" joker dancing scenes, so much cringe for me.

As far as, who's the best Joker, is it Heath Ledger or is it Jack Nicholson? My answer will always be Heath Ledger's Joker for obvious reasons and Jack Nicholson's Joker will always be in second place for me.

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#21  Edited By nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 5381 Posts

@Byshop:

"he just acts on impulse from moment to moment and while stuff happens on a larger scale as a result none of it is by his design."

- That's actually classic Joker to a T. Even Heath Ledger's Joker said it.

Ledger: "Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... *do* things."

And if things go his way then he takes credit for it. That's how Joker has always been. I get why you didn't like Arthur though. He did fill himself with self pity towards the end but he eventually got passed that - once he met his fans. The next movie will undoubtedly be better in that aspect. Because he's finally grown as the Joker.

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#22 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19668 Posts

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

"he just acts on impulse from moment to moment and while stuff happens on a larger scale as a result none of it is by his design."

- That's actually classic Joker to a T. Even Heath Ledger's Joker said it.

Ledger: "Do I look like a guy with a plan? I just do things."

And if things go his way then he takes credit for it. That's how Joker has always been. I get why you didn't like Arthur though. He did fill himself with self pity towards the end but he eventually got passed that - once he met his fans. The next movie will undoubtedly be better in that aspect. Because he's finally grown as the Joker.

That is not how the Joker has always been, nor is it even how he is in that movie. Yes, he says that to Harvey (you left out some of the line) but literally everything he does in The Dark Knight is the result of plans within plans where he constantly out maneuvers everyone including Batman in spite of his claim that he's just a dog chasing cars. Even his speech in the hospital to Harvey is about his whole philosophy of showing everyone who wants order that their desire for order is just an illusion and that nobody is really good or evil, they are just motivated by self interest in the end. Even that is interesting because he's a villain who's not motivated by money or power. His battle is ideological in that he wants to corrupt the incorruptible and prove that everyone is really garbage. That unto itself is fascinating, even if you leave out all the stuff he actually does in the movie.

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#23 Master_Live
Member since 2004 • 19956 Posts

Exactly, just because he says "do I look like a man with a plan" doesn't mean The Joker doesn't have any plans. It is clear through out the movie that The Joker has perfectly laid a set of highly sophisticated plans.

The Joker says one thing and does another. It clear that he is a unreliable narrator (multiple versions of "do you wanna know how I got these scars?").

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#24  Edited By nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 5381 Posts

@Byshop:

Still, I think you misunderstood. Obviously the Joker plans but he's always very loose with the execution. That's because he just loves the chaos and destruction. A perfectly executed plan would be an incredibly boring day for him. It's not fun to him if it's not complicated or messy. This is true for every common iteration of the Joker. Like flies to garbage, the lowest scumbags are attracted to him. They love a boss who lets them run wild and do whatever they want.

True, we haven't seen Arthur pull off or attempt to pull off big heists yet. But keep in mind, he barely falls into his true persona 95% into the movie. Because y'know, it's an origins movie. Keep in mind that he also looked like a weak, pathetic sad sack in the origin story of The Killing Joke too.

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#25 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19668 Posts

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

Still, I think you misunderstood. Obviously the Joker plans but he's always very loose with the execution. That's because he just loves the chaos and destruction. A perfectly executed plan would be an incredibly boring day for him. It's not fun to him if it's not complicated or messy. This is true for every common iteration of the Joker. Like flies to garbage, the lowest scumbags are attracted to him. They love a boss who lets them run wild and do whatever they want.

True, we haven't seen Arthur pull off or attempt to pull off big heists yet. But keep in mind, he barely falls into his true persona 95% into the movie. Because y'know, it's an origins movie. Keep in mind that he also looked like a weak, pathetic sad sack in the origin story of The Killing Joke too.

There's a big difference between playing fast and loose versus having no plans. Dark Knight's Joker's plans were complicated to the point of potentially being implausible that they'd ever successfully work. Arthur Fleck had no plans. He basically just reacted to everything, and when things went his way it was basically luck. It's hard to imaging Arthur Fleck doing anything even in a future film because again, he's an idiot. This is a guy who literally gets stuck trying to push open a door labelled "pull" so I'm not sure what kind of capers he'd get up to in a sequel. One of the most interesting characteristics of the Joker is his intelligence, but "Joker" took that away.

Yes, the backstory for the Joker in The Killing Joke made him out to maybe be a sad sack in his -possible- origin story flashbacks, but even then that origin it's used as context for the present events and it's not the entire story. Even then, the character is trying to do good but it all goes horribly wrong. But in the present day, he had a whole plan for how he could prove that the only difference between someone like him and someone like Gordon is "one bad day".

Yes, Joker is an origin story but it was an origin story for a character that honestly works way better when you have no origin for him.

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#26 nepu7supastar7
Member since 2007 • 5381 Posts

@Byshop:

"He basically just reacted to everything, and when things went his way it was basically luck."

- That's also a big part of the fast and loose attitude Joker always has. The most fun part about his character is how he could get lucky or just watching him react to a plan gone horribly wrong. He looks angry but he actually expects it to happen. If you really stop to think about it, The Joker is just a crazy guy who wants you to believe that he's a mastermind. It's gone to the point where he believes it himself. And all his creepy groupies solidify it more. But that's all part of his ego. Which is why I pointed out that Heath Ledger quote.

The Joker is just a guy who enjoys doing stupid stuff. He has no actual plan or agenda behind it all. Just to spread chaos and enjoy himself. He could tell you that he plans to take over Gotham but he wouldn't know the first thing to do if he actually succeeded. The same thing for robbing banks. Even though you'd think that Joker would take the money to invest in his organization but in reality, he'd rather just burn it all and start over. Because it's not about the money. Then when Batman comes around, it's just compromise after compromise. His big ego and reputation would have you to believe that he's some evil genius threatening to kill everyone and make life a living hell. But in reality, Joker just wants to play cat and mouse. He's really not sophisticated enough to carry out a plan from start to finish and make good on such a promise.

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#27 Gamerno6666
Member since 2013 • 7044 Posts

Imma hijack this thread and say I am so glad Parasite got some oscar nominations. Hope it wins in those categories.

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#28  Edited By Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 2125 Posts

I still don't feel like ever watching it. You could call me a Batman fan, having read and owning some of the graphic novels, owning the two Burton movies and the Nolan trilogy, the complete animated series, having 100 percent completed all the Rocksteady Arkham games, and having watched a few of the direct to video animated movies from the 2010s... But the idea of a Joker movie has zero appeal to me. He needs Batman.

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#29  Edited By Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19668 Posts

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

"He basically just reacted to everything, and when things went his way it was basically luck."

- That's also a big part of the fast and loose attitude Joker always has. The most fun part about his character is how he could get lucky or just watching him react to a plan gone horribly wrong. He looks angry but he actually expects it to happen. If you really stop to think about it, The Joker is just a crazy guy who wants you to believe that he's a mastermind. It's gone to the point where he believes it himself. And all his creepy groupies solidify it more. But that's all part of his ego. Which is why I pointed out that Heath Ledger quote.

The Joker is just a guy who enjoys doing stupid stuff. He has no actual plan or agenda behind it all. Just to spread chaos and enjoy himself. He could tell you that he plans to take over Gotham but he wouldn't know the first thing to do if he actually succeeded. The same thing for robbing banks. Even though you'd think that Joker would take the money to invest in his organization but in reality, he'd rather just burn it all and start over. Because it's not about the money. Then when Batman comes around, it's just compromise after compromise. His big ego and reputation would have you to believe that he's some evil genius threatening to kill everyone and make life a living hell. But in reality, Joker just wants to play cat and mouse. He's really not sophisticated enough to carry out a plan from start to finish and make good on such a promise.

You're confusing improvisation with a lack of premeditation. In the opening bank robbery, he planned to betray his entire crew to the point that he was the only one who made it out by telling each member of the crew to kill the guy working below him until there was no one left. That's a plan. Even when the second to last crew member figured out he was a target and turned on the Joker, he said "no, I kill the bus driver". Again, planned. The fact that the bus driver ran that guy over is a bit of luck but it still fell into his overall design. When he kills the bus driver and drivers the school bus out into the fleet of school buses driving by to escape that was obviously planned.

The ambush on the convoy carrying Dent was obviously set up ahead of time, with the route detour being created, the vehicles and weapons procured in advance, and a -multiple- contingency plans for if (or when) he got captured including ordering Rachael and Dent kidnapped and put in death traps and the arrest of the crazy guy with the cell phone bomb in his chest which he eventually used to escape. Yes, he gets out of the interrogation room by goading Keith Szarabajka's character into attacking him and gaining the advantage using a piece of broken glass from the mirror that broke off when Batman was wailing on him (improvisation) but it's plausible because the movie establishes him at being pretty adept at hand-to-hand early on. But using the cell phone bomb to escape was obviously planned.

Also he does have an agenda and he lays it all out for Harvey and Batman throughout the movie. His agenda is basically an anti-agenda. His goal is to tear down the agenda of everyone around him, cops and crooks alike. That's still an agenda, but because his goal is different from anyone Batman has encountered before his actions are difficult to predict. His twisted version of "The Trolley Problem" that he sets up with the ferries is planned out meticulously with the intention of trying to prove that everyone is corruptible, which is his goal for all of the good guys. Although he doesn't succeed with the ferries, he does with Dent.

I could go on and on with that movie in how planned out the Joker's actions are because it's a complex and interesting movie with an interesting character. But even the fact that it's even debatable shows that there's something to debate. I can't make the same argument for Arthur because "Joker" has none of that. Arthur shoots some guys who were beating him up. He kills his mother when he finds out she abused him. He stabs his old co-worker in his own apartment in front a a witness and then gets chased by the police. He gets away by blending into a crowd that he indirectly incited, but not by his design. He escapes from the police cruiser because it gets in an accident during a riot. Very little agency and his impact on the world around him happens entirely by accident.

@davillain- said:

Here's my opinion when I saw Joker back in October 2019.

I didn't like it as much as I hope I would. Phoenix's performance is amazing, but that's all that can be said good about it. It's 2 hours of an effeminate, mentally ill pansy loser and whining and then killing some people. That's the movie. It's a meaningless, and highly irritating experience to sit through. It's derivative, it's dull, and when put into the world of Batman, it honestly doesn't make any sense. The Joker depicted here is not intelligent, he's not a criminal mastermind, he's the exact opposite really, he is just a mentally damaged dimwit, he's not the Clown Prince of Crime we all know who he really is. How does this figure become the biggest criminal figure in Gotham? Joker is more than just some deranged serial killer, should be anyway.

Pretty much this. It's a well crafted movie but there's little to enjoy. The character is dumb and he wallows in self-pity, eventually turning that into outward violence. You can have a main character who's evil. You can have a main character who's unlikable even if they are interesting. You can even have a dumb main character, but there's a limit to how many of these negative traits you can combine before it just gets hard to watch. A dumb character can be someone the audience can root for but not when they are motivated by entirely selfish motivations.

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#30  Edited By uninspiredcup
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@ezekiel43 said:

I still don't feel like ever watching it. You could call me a Batman fan, having read and owning some of the graphic novels, owning the two Burton movies and the Nolan trilogy, the complete animated series, having 100 percent completed all the Rocksteady Arkham games, and having watched a few of the direct to video animated movies from the 2010s... But the idea of a Joker movie has zero appeal to me. He needs Batman.

Can't say I really have a problem with it as it nothing is definitive. I'd totally be down with more villain origin stories, specifically Bane as a child growing up in prison.

The series has been running that long, it's inevitably going to morph and shift with the times much like James Bond or Doctor Who.

New takes and new angles I welcome, although I wouldn't consider Joker a Jesus-level-movie, it's at least interesting and different. Which I wouldn't say about MCU or DC's last couple of attempts. Should act as a spring board.

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#31 Byshop  Moderator
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@uninspiredcup said:
@ezekiel43 said:

I still don't feel like ever watching it. You could call me a Batman fan, having read and owning some of the graphic novels, owning the two Burton movies and the Nolan trilogy, the complete animated series, having 100 percent completed all the Rocksteady Arkham games, and having watched a few of the direct to video animated movies from the 2010s... But the idea of a Joker movie has zero appeal to me. He needs Batman.

Can't say I really have a problem with it as it nothing is definitive. I'd totally be down with more villain origin stories, specifically Bane as a child growing up in prison.

The series has been running that long, it's inevitably going to morph and shift with the times much like James Bond or Doctor Who.

New takes and new angles I welcome, although I wouldn't consider Joker a Jesus-level-movie, it's at least interesting and different. Which I wouldn't say about MCU or DC's last couple of attempts. Should act as a spring board.

I'm all for breaking the mold. MCU movies are fun, but they aren't exactly high art. I'm down for comic book movies that deviate from the formula in interesting ways. I just think this one veered too hard to the point that its unrecognizable. You could take the "Joker" concept out of the movie and it essentially stays the same (again, it's basically Taxi Driver).

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#32 jaydan  Online
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I enjoyed the movie enough and the kind of conversations it brought to the table, but Joker is far from 11 Academy Awards nominations good. Considering how good 2019 actually was for movies in general and the amount that actually got snubbed, I find it laughable how Joker is stealing such a spotlight.

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#33  Edited By nepu7supastar7
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@Byshop:

Okay, so we're obviously at disagreement with how we interpreted the Joker's persona. That's fine. I was just trying to get you to see my point of view, which is why I was tying it to use the Heathe Ledger version as an example. Arguably, anti-agenda isn't really much of an agenda, it's just the concept of destruction. The real nit and gritty behind it is that Joker's not about succeeding in his "plans," It's all about the chase. And that's where I went back to that Ledger quote to Two Face. Again...read carefully between the lines.

Ledger: "Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... *do* things."

By "dog chasing cars." This could easily be interpreted as a game of cat and mouse. And that's a good way to describe Joker's weird frenemy-type relationship with the Batman. Joker does something, Batman stops him and puts him behind bars. Then Joker breaks out and does it all over again. It's basically a game. That's why he always fails his heists. He doesn't actually want the prize because he doesn't need it. Now when I say that, I'm referring to other versions of him, not just the Christopher Nolan movie. Maybe Ledger's Joker actually wanted something, I can't say I really know that much for sure.

I'm just saying that to the director's credit: Arthur Fleck isn't really that far from the other versions of the Joker. Obviously we didn't get to see him do much Joker work in this movie but that doesn't necessarily mean that we won't in the future. It doesn't have to mean that either, no matter how far of a leap that looks from his original persona. Realistic or not, this is still a comic book villain we're talking about. The leap from Fleck to Joker has to be drastic. It's all about the push that gets him there.

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#34 mrbojangles25  Online
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@uninspiredcup said:
@bilbeaulaggins said:

@MirkoS77: that mentally I'll people are inherently violent

But he isn't, it's the society he lives in that pushes him in that direction.

Seems you missed the point of the movie.

Exactly.

For similar viewing, I recommend the Michael Douglas film "Falling Down".

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#35 Ezekiel43
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@uninspiredcup said:
@ezekiel43 said:

I still don't feel like ever watching it. You could call me a Batman fan, having read and owning some of the graphic novels, owning the two Burton movies and the Nolan trilogy, the complete animated series, having 100 percent completed all the Rocksteady Arkham games, and having watched a few of the direct to video animated movies from the 2010s... But the idea of a Joker movie has zero appeal to me. He needs Batman.

Can't say I really have a problem with it as it nothing is definitive. I'd totally be down with more villain origin stories, specifically Bane as a child growing up in prison.

Hmm...

Nah, that's dumb. Batman or new IP.

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#36  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 37040 Posts

@mrbojangles25 said:
@uninspiredcup said:
@bilbeaulaggins said:

@MirkoS77: that mentally I'll people are inherently violent

But he isn't, it's the society he lives in that pushes him in that direction.

Seems you missed the point of the movie.

Exactly.

For similar viewing, I recommend the Michael Douglas film "Falling Down".

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Ha, funny. Joel Schumacher made that who everyone obviously shits on for Batman And Robin, but I'd say Falling Down is a better movie when up against Joker.

Joker's sort of the perfect movie for the perfect climate. It's more everything around the movie facilitating it than the movie itself, including it's detractors, who, with hindsight, come across as positively embarrassing.

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#37 Byshop  Moderator
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@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

Okay, so we're obviously at disagreement with how we interpreted the Joker's persona. That's fine. I was just trying to get you to see my point of view, which is why I was tying it to use the Heathe Ledger version as an example. Arguably, anti-agenda isn't really much of an agenda, it's just the concept of destruction. The real nit and gritty behind it is that Joker's not about succeeding in his "plans," It's all about the chase. And that's where I went back to that Ledger quote to Two Face. Again...read carefully between the lines.

Ledger: "Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... *do* things."

By "dog chasing cars." This could easily be interpreted as a game of cat and mouse. And that's a good way to describe Joker's weird frenemy-type relationship with the Batman. Joker does something, Batman stops him and puts him behind bars. Then Joker breaks out and does it all over again. It's basically a game. That's why he always fails his heists. He doesn't actually want the prize because he doesn't need it. Now when I say that, I'm referring to other versions of him, not just the Christopher Nolan movie. Maybe Ledger's Joker actually wanted something, I can't say I really know that much for sure.

I'm just saying that to the director's credit: Arthur Fleck isn't really that far from the other versions of the Joker. Obviously we didn't get to see him do much Joker work in this movie but that doesn't necessarily mean that we won't in the future. It doesn't have to mean that either, no matter how far of a leap that looks from his original persona. Realistic or not, this is still a comic book villain we're talking about. The leap from Fleck to Joker has to be drastic. It's all about the push that gets him there.

You've done a decent job explaining yourself, but the two points where I disagree are Ledger's Joker being an entity of pure id even though that's how he describes himself. His goal is to ruin the plans of everyone else. That absolutely is an agenda. I'll give you an example of why.

When my wife was a teenager, she had a rebellious phase where she basically would do the opposite of what her mom wanted her to do because she didn't want her mom controlling her life. But after a while, she realized that by doing the opposite of what her mom wanted every time, she was still letting her life be controlled by her mom. Anti-agenda is still an agenda. Yes, he's motivated by the fun of it rather than achieving the goal, but he still has goals. I know he describes himself as pure impulse but at the risk of pointing out the obvious the murderous psychopath occasionally plays fast and loose with the truth. That whole scene is about him shifting the focus away from himself even though his men literally killed Rachael. He's manipulating Harvey, and he succeeds as Harvey is a villain from this point on in the film. Again, his agenda of corrupting the incorruptible. Even in The Killing Joke, the Joker's point is to prove that nobody is truly good and that the difference between someone like Batman and someone like him is just "one bad day".

But the other area where I disagree is that Arthur is similar to this. Sure, I get that it's an origin so it's not like he's doing Joker-scale actions, but my problem with Arthur is he's just too a) self pitying and b) frankly just dumb. It's very hard to imagine this incredibly ineffectual character ever evolving into something that can go toe to toe with someone like Batman.

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#38 nepu7supastar7
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@Byshop:

"It's very hard to imagine this incredibly ineffectual character ever evolving into something that can go toe to toe with someone like Batman."

- That's kinda the point. The transformation from Arthur to Joker is supposed to be enormous. Just like the transformation from Bruce Wayne to Batman. A transformation in itself that took years of traveling across the world.

I'm not sure I'd call Arthur dumb though. The guy took the time to research his mom's history and gathered as much information as he could. That's not something an idiot could do. He did have horrible handwriting though.

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#39 Byshop  Moderator
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@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

"It's very hard to imagine this incredibly ineffectual character ever evolving into something that can go toe to toe with someone like Batman."

- That's kinda the point. The transformation from Arthur to Joker is supposed to be enormous. Just like the transformation from Bruce Wayne to Batman. A transformation in itself that took years of traveling across the world.

I'm not sure I'd call Arthur dumb though. The guy took the time to research his mom's history and gathered as much information as he could. That's not something an idiot could do. He did have horrible handwriting though.

There was also the scene where the detectives watched in amazement while he struggled trying to exit by pushing on a door labelled "Pull"...

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#40  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 37040 Posts
@Byshop said:
@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

"It's very hard to imagine this incredibly ineffectual character ever evolving into something that can go toe to toe with someone like Batman."

- That's kinda the point. The transformation from Arthur to Joker is supposed to be enormous. Just like the transformation from Bruce Wayne to Batman. A transformation in itself that took years of traveling across the world.

I'm not sure I'd call Arthur dumb though. The guy took the time to research his mom's history and gathered as much information as he could. That's not something an idiot could do. He did have horrible handwriting though.

There was also the scene where the detectives watched in amazement while he struggled trying to exit by pushing on a door labelled "Pull"...

To be fair, explicitly The Killing Joke, he is portrayed as basically a naive pathetic person struggling with life, tricked by gang which inevitably turns him into the Joker, suddenly making him a mastermind.

In Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore wrote an alternative origin of the Joker and the Red Hood; the man who would become the Joker is portrayed as a former lab assistant, now a struggling stand-up comedian with a pregnant wife. He is approached by the Red Hood gang, who want him to lead them through the chemical plant he once worked at so they can rob the card factory next door. He accepts in order to make enough money to start a better life for his family. The gang gives him the Red Hood costume, which has been worn by many others; unknown to him, the gang plans to use him as a patsy in case they get caught. The day of the proposed robbery, police inform him that his wife died in a freak accident. He attempts to back out of the robbery, but the gang strong-arms him into keeping his commitment. During the robbery, the plant's security men spot the intruders and shoot the other criminals dead. The man who becomes the Joker tries to flee, but Batman appears and corners him on the plant's catwalk. Terrified, he jumps off the catwalk into the chemical basin to escape. As in the previous origin story, he goes insane after discovering what the chemicals have done to his face and becomes the Joker. The Joker himself is reluctant to admit that this iteration of his story is definitive, stating: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"

They could theoretically with a sequel hammer that aspect out, but given how desperately realistic it tried to be, be a very hard sell.

It's been stated they wouldn't have a sequel, but since it's printed a shit-load of money, I wouldn't count it.

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#41 Byshop  Moderator
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@uninspiredcup said:
@Byshop said:
@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Byshop:

"It's very hard to imagine this incredibly ineffectual character ever evolving into something that can go toe to toe with someone like Batman."

- That's kinda the point. The transformation from Arthur to Joker is supposed to be enormous. Just like the transformation from Bruce Wayne to Batman. A transformation in itself that took years of traveling across the world.

I'm not sure I'd call Arthur dumb though. The guy took the time to research his mom's history and gathered as much information as he could. That's not something an idiot could do. He did have horrible handwriting though.

There was also the scene where the detectives watched in amazement while he struggled trying to exit by pushing on a door labelled "Pull"...

To be fair, explicitly The Killing Joke, he is portrayed as basically a naive pathetic person struggling with life, tricked by gang which inevitably turns him into the Joker, suddenly making him a mastermind.

In Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore wrote an alternative origin of the Joker and the Red Hood; the man who would become the Joker is portrayed as a former lab assistant, now a struggling stand-up comedian with a pregnant wife. He is approached by the Red Hood gang, who want him to lead them through the chemical plant he once worked at so they can rob the card factory next door. He accepts in order to make enough money to start a better life for his family. The gang gives him the Red Hood costume, which has been worn by many others; unknown to him, the gang plans to use him as a patsy in case they get caught. The day of the proposed robbery, police inform him that his wife died in a freak accident. He attempts to back out of the robbery, but the gang strong-arms him into keeping his commitment. During the robbery, the plant's security men spot the intruders and shoot the other criminals dead. The man who becomes the Joker tries to flee, but Batman appears and corners him on the plant's catwalk. Terrified, he jumps off the catwalk into the chemical basin to escape. As in the previous origin story, he goes insane after discovering what the chemicals have done to his face and becomes the Joker. The Joker himself is reluctant to admit that this iteration of his story is definitive, stating: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"

They could theoretically with a sequel hammer that aspect out, but given how desperately realistic it tried to be, be a very hard sell.

It's been stated they wouldn't have a sequel, but since it's printed a shit-load of money, I wouldn't count it.

True, but -that- character is at least sympathetic. He's not successful but his motivations are easy to get behind. He's doing a bad thing for the right reasons. It goes badly for him in the worst possible ways but he was trying to do good. Watching a good person get twisted into the opposite of good is interesting. It's even relatable. And all of that possible backstory (because it makes it very clear that this is how it -might- have happened) is interspersed throughout the story of what is happening today so you can see the path that he may have taken from where he was to where he is.

Arthur, though, is just motivated by self-interest. He's such a sad sack he's not relatable. At most all you can do is feel sorry for him, and once he starts killing people over his sad life he doesn't even have that.

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#42 nepu7supastar7
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@Byshop:

I don't think the Joker movie was trying that much to make you feel sorry for Arthur. That's what made it easy to get repulsed by what he turns into. It was mostly just to get us to understand why he pushed himself to do what he did. Like @uninspiredcup: said, it was kinda like an expanded version of the Killing Joke. From the very beginning, Arthur wanted to do good and bring laughter and joy to the world. All while he took care of his mom. That's a pretty noble cause anyone can get behind, I think. It only distorted because he just snapped and couldn't take it anymore. But he struggled with money like everyone else, had debts and was used to getting stepped on and told he'd never make it as a comedian.

Really, the only self-pity part of the movie was when he went to Murray's show. And if you remember, it all started with him explaining why he killed the guys in the subway. Everyone took Thomas Wayne's side but no one gave a shit about Arthur's point of view. That's where he said:

"If it was me dying on the floor, you'd walk right over me!"

Everyone chooses what's right and wrong just like everyone chooses what's funny and what's not. Comedy is all subjective, like he said. He's not necessarily wrong about that. Right and wrong is just a human construct but it all comes down to what we were raised to believe in. But even then, some people chose to go a completely different path. And then all that chaos ensued and....yada, yada, yada....

In the end, it would be no harder to believe that this Arthur becomes the Joker than it was for the Killing Joke. They both started from nothing. They were both initially innocent and gullible and they were both struggling comedians. The concept behind them was pretty similar, the only difference is that the other tried harder to bring those making to a realistic world.

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#43 JustPlainLucas
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Honestly, I don't think it was realistic to expect that Arthur would ever evolve to the point where he can contend with Batman. But it's clear that Arthur did have a split, and when he doned the make up, he became a much different person. This person could have been more intelligent, more confident, more sinister, and obviously more violent, which we did see. The problem is, we won't see a sequel, so we'll have no idea just how further along the Joker side of Arthur Fleck would have developed. Remember, The Joker was not the cause of crime in the city. He was identified by one of the rioters after he killed DeNiro and made into a messiah. He very well may have decided he was the chosen one and started to lead a bunch of misguided rioters into organized crime.