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Having watched the trailer for this... it feels very odd in a lot of ways. I suppose that's because I'm very used to comic book based films being superhero ones with action and such. This feels quiet and in a way, I like that. We've gotten a great monstrous Joker (Several great monstrous Jokers come to think of it) so it might be nice to get a more quietly unnerving Joker. I really liked Joaquin's performance so far, it feels very disturbing in a way that both feels familiar to Heath Ledger's take and yet it feels like it's own beast. In general, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this trailer. I might need to watch it again to get my feelings in order.
Found this glowing review of Phoenix's previous roles in the suggested list:
For me it's the way he leaps down the stairs. :)
Everything else could have been a boring, far-too-serious modern take on the character. But it's that bit of levity, the way he leapt down the stairs in time with the music that made me go, "ok, they get this character."
He's got Nicholson's arresting presence, Ledger's grunge appearance, Leto's manic energy, combining everything I like about Nicholson, Ledger, and Leto while having Romero's color scheme and goofiness.
Edited by Soble on Apr 4th 2019 at 5:09:19 AM
I did like that. It felt both really goofy and yet somehow... kinda disturbing. Sort of how I hope the films as a whole is. Joaquin in general seems to be really making the role into his own sort of creepy yet not unsympathetic character. It lets him fit in nicely with the other Jokers and actually differentiate himself from them (Something that is really important when you have as many variations of the character as we have had to be honest.)
The more I think about this film, the more I'm optimistic for it. If nothing else, I'm betting that Joaquin is going to be great as Joker and be a highlight of the film good or bad. Still not sure on my overall feelings though. The trailer itself is somehow both goofy, sympathetic and yet somehow despite both of those... really unsettling. I don't know specifically what is making my skin crawl while watching it, but something is creepy about it. I kinda like that for a Joker film without Batman.
Also, watching Joaquin dance with his shirt off in the trailer with his ribs sticking out at bizarre angles is just incredibly disturbing to me. He looks so twisted and warped.
Just in case anyone wants to hear the song used in the trailer, here it is.
Also, here's the normal version of that song, by Jimmy Durante.
I’ve not been able to get that out of my head the last three days
…You know, I'm starting to wonder if this couldn't have been a completely original film instead of a "Joker" film…
I mean, if you strip away the Joker then it's just a Taxi Driver remake.
Edited by Dirtyblue929 on Apr 6th 2019 at 5:31:13 AM
If Travis Bickle decided to burn down the city instead of shoot a pimp. Which seems like an interesting difference.
Plus Fleck doesn't appear interested in saving someone as Bickle was. I'd say it seems as much Falling Down as Taxi Driver.
So there have been a few worries about this movie glamorizing the Joker and possibly inspiring some real life awful people into emulating him.
Not helped that the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting was committed by a Batman fan.
Edited by windleopard on Apr 7th 2019 at 1:00:05 AM
There were videos declaring that "Thanos had a good point," what if someone declared that to be their motivation for a mass shooting? Taxi Driver itself inspired an attempted assassination. There is a growing obsession with trying to censor media and holding public figures accountable for the actions of private citizens. While there may be some culpability, the alternative is moral committees determining what should be appropriate for mass media. I actually find that more concerning because that kind of bottleneck is way too much power for any one organization.
Once Phoenix was attached to the film I had a feeling it was going to be interesting, the trailer confirmed it has a very offbeat approach to the material and certainly not a traditional villain-centric work. The lack of any sign of Batman is interesting, as while Joker himself is iconic removing Batman from the equation entirely redefines Joker's "The world is mad anyway" mentality. The smartest thing to do would be glimpses of Batman on the edges of the story but never on camera, let the movie end before a major confrontation.
Considering Bruce is in this as a kid, I assume the movie will end with him on the steps to becoming Batman.
Not as a Sequel Hook of course but like a how life goes or something like that if ya get me.
I dont think the only alternative is having committees censoring media. Ideally, people who produce content will keep in mind how their content affects people and set rules for themselves. There have been calls for news organizations to do this by not releasing the names and faces of mass shooters - no-one is suggesting the state intervene
There is already a certain amount of self restraint that the media put on themselves, that's partially why we have tropes like Don't Try This at Home and And Some Other Stuff. But that largely comes from a sense of personal responsibility to themselves and the public. It's ingrained into the system, truly extreme radicals tend to alienate anyone who isn't as extreme as they are, and so their message has limitations (many are forced to dilute their message to reach a bigger audience, which in turns makes them somewhat less dangerous because they are bringing in more moderate viewpoints). The problem comes from activist groups who do think there needs to be censorship boards and will use every tragedy to further that agenda. And like I said, the concentration of power is more dangerous than the issue they are trying to solve.
Edited by KJMackley on Apr 7th 2019 at 3:12:23 AM
I see more people complaining about people trying to censor media than actual calls for censorship.
Yes, there is a growing discussion about the effect of media on behavior and the responsibility of creators of said media. However, that is not, at all, not even remotely, the same as asking for a committee to decide what is acceptable and what is not. And pretending it is, is more often than not just a distraction tactic to avoid talking about uncomfortable stuff.
In other words: there will be no great call for this movie to be removed. But, yeah, there will be a discussion about how harmful this movie may or may not be. Let's not shut down that discussion by pretending it is a call for government intervention.
Well full context of bringing up that topic is that there has been recent issues with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and You Tube doing censorship-related things like shadowbanning, demonetization, account suspensions and even policies on holding content creators accountable for the comments section. This threat is genuine and not a myth of the future, but I agree there is a lot of vocal pushback against that too.
Similarly, the issue of glorifying or normalizing troubled or disturbed individuals is certainly worth it's own discussion, but I think the "this will bolster another school shooter" argument is a fundamentally flawed position. There are too many things involved with someone doing such an act to place the media itself as being at fault. I mean, obviously the Aurora shooter didn't get the idea from the movie that had just opened.
Also the supposed inspiration he took from the Joker was greatly exaggerated.
Incidentally, this is pretty much exactly how I feel about blaming fiction for acts of violence.
Well, first, this comes from tumblr, a site from which I take any complaint about society or art with a grain of salt.
Second - it sounds like this could be almost any movie that features a sympathetic protagonist with any sort of crippling financial/social problem who then uses violence to fix said problem in some capacity. I'll only give that we're not sure if the Joker will be defined as "insane" like he often is, or if this movie is conscious enough to draw a line between Arthur being "crazy" and being "cruel."
Third - I think the Joker's given an unfair shake here. He's ingrained in the public consciousness as the unforgivable psycho mass murdering clown. That's the fault of many writers but, as has been pointed out, that is not the only characterization the Joker has been given. Look at Lego Joker, Batman The Brave and the Bold, heck, even Telltale's Batman. We don't truly know what direction this movie is taking the character. So far we've seen him sit down with a therapist, hug his wife, be a creep to little kids, and get hit by a car.
All that said I still think it's asinine that a character who is 70+ years old is suddenly too problematic for the big screen, to an extent that some of the people on that blog claim they're not going to watch the film.
My kneejerk solution to this possibility that someone will be validated by this film is to include a tagline that reads, "white folk should not imitate this character."
Failing that, have the movie end like Scar Face with the Joker gunned down.
Though truth be told I wouldn't want that. I would want a Villain Protagonist story where the Joker actually comes out ahead over some other dude he dislikes, or has a petty grudge he's trying to settle. Because I have a pretty clear distinction between the Joker being someone I should imitate and the Joker being a fictional character who can survive falling into a vat of toxic chemicals for an extended period of time - so this kind of movie is just fun to me. We don't get supervillain films often.
Creative freedom should outweigh society's current paranoia. Speaking broadly I don't think we need to censor films because some people might take it too far otherwise a lot of movies/concepts would be going down the drain in an effort to be "conscious" about media. A film is a film. People are going to interpret it differently. We can't sanitize every film.
You can think and argue about what a movie says, identifies, or gives a platform to sure, that is your right, but in this case it's too early to judge this film for validating the sort of behavior described, or validating acts of violence that haven't happened yet. I doubt we even have a consistent pattern of these movies having that sort of effect to make that sort of judgment.
Edited by Soble on Apr 9th 2019 at 8:32:28 AM
You know it just hit me what actually does bother me about this rewatching the trailer for a 4th time: The Joker persona seems to have originated from a literal kick to the balls. Without Batman around Arthur could still fall into a vat of chemicals, but judging from what we've seen so far it seems unlikely.
I'm okay with Nolan's depiction but... I'm real curious how Arthur's breakdown will be handled. I suspect his wife's death but, still, that fall into the chemical vat feels too iconic to leave out.
Edited by Soble on Apr 15th 2019 at 5:58:00 AM
That still counts as a push into madness, whether it's a kick to the nuts or a Batman punch into a vat of acid.
It's "one bad day" (as per Killing Joke) that tips him over the edge. What varies is what said day entails.
But it be less dramatic!
But The Killing Joke involves him being a comedian, having a loving wife, and leads to a life of crime which leads to the tank of acid.
There aren't too many ways that varies that I know of. The Killing Joke only features Joker saying that he prefers his origin to be multiple-choice.
In the 89 movie and the animated series he was a gangster before he became Joker. In one version it was Alfred in clown makeup. But it's always been best as a multiple choice story and this film doesn't invalidate that necessarily. It's just one more possible origin.
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