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(film review) - Joker

I've probably said this before in a review somewhere, Warner Brothers have no clue with what they are doing since Marvel Studios released a movie called "Avengers".  Quaking in their boots and doing the only thing Hollywood does when something is successful, and they want IN, or they think that they have a great idea, they force it.  They copy and paste.
Warner Brothers (WB), would have done soo well if they followed Man of Steel with Wonder Woman and then The Flash or (from what they said at the time) the Flash and Cyborg movie and build their characters first.  However, they decided on shortcuts and they rushed out a Batman v Superman (in which I had a much better storyline from my own head which would have spanned over 3 movies leading to Justice League).  They rushed out Justice League which was, decent-ish.  They released Suicide Squad which was, "Meh", ok at best I guess and now the only pretty decent films since, have been the Aquaman movie and a pretty good Shazam movie.  In comparison to the line-up they gave many moons ago, what they have done fails miserably in comparison and that is not even comparing it to what Marvel has done.  Not to sound like a Marvel purist, but this is one of the reasons why people look at the DC "universe" with disappointment because there is NO structure whatsoever.
NOW, we can only "look forward" to Wonder Woman 1984, Bird's of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), The Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad 2) and Joker as it seems Warner Bros has thrown caution to the wind and seem to be getting their foot-in, solidifying who they are as a studio whilst simultaneously still confusing the audience and messing it up by announcing a new Batman movie called 'The Batman' yet rumour has it, the commissioner may be played by a black actor where in the Ben Affleck version, is played by a white actor, #sigh.
We can only hope that this Batman "year one" movie IS a prequel to Ben Affleck's and they bring back Henry Cavill for Superman at some point, he deserves it.  As for this Joker movie with the actor not being Jared Leto and is a different Joker altogether, we can only hope this "elseworld" or "standalone" movie is good, well we hope.

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a guy who wants to become a comedian.  He lives with his mother and looks after her whilst working in a world that doesn't give a shit about the poor and unfortunate.  Gotham is a society where the rich stay getting rich and the poor stay getting poor.  However, trying to navigate through his tormented life and caring for his sick mother, an incident on a train leads to a stream of unfortunate events, accompanied by some truths that help escalate and bring Arthur onto the path of becoming, the Joker.

I can't write much more than that, unless I would be going into spoilers, but there is a great deal of talk surrounding this movie stating that it is "unsafe" for society and it is "dangerous". That the film presents crime and villainy as something to aspire to, that it makes murder and such, right or that it is ok if you have been treated in a way, that acting out violence is the way to go about it.  No, it doesn't.  If you think that. It is possible you are missing the point.  The world depicted in this movie is not soo far off from actual life.  In actual fact, everything that happens in this movie is currently happening somewhere in this world or is leading up to it, although we wouldn't want to believe it.  The movie touches on the social and socio-economical construct of the world and what we humans do to one another and then wonder why these things are happening to us.  It's happening to us because we get what we deserve and THAT is the message of the movie.  Somewhat political, I guess, but IS the fact of life.

Todd Phillips did an excellent job here.  I know him from films like, Starsky & Hutch, Borat (he was involved in the story [who knew]), Due Date and The Hangover films.  The comedy in this movie, the little it has, is a little dark (but what would you expect?).  However, Todd has been receiving backlash from before it was even released! The movie is currently receiving mixed reviews (also there are movie critics who claim he has taken huge elements from ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘King of Comedy’ - I haven't seen those movies), it goes to show, the cord it has struck with people and this is possibly why people are upset.

Joaquin Phoenix is excellent.  There isn't a lot of movies I've seen from this guy.  Gladiator, Signs and now Joker.  I've heard a number of great things about the movie ‘HER’, but I've still not seen it.  From the way he would run, contort his body, laugh, dance, his facial expressions and display his emotions, you could empathise with the character, but at times he could terrify.  Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beetz were both excellent in the small roles they had and accompanied with an excellently directed psychological thriller that not only leaves you with questions, also makes you want more from Todd and cast, it seems we are onto a winner.  I mean, what was real in that movie and what wasn’t?  If Warner Bros continue to make quality movies like this, people will start paying more attention to them.  It's like they do a great movie, every 10 years.  Let's just hope these up-and-coming movies at least reach the benchmark of a Aquadman or Shazam and maybe WB will get their confidence to start linking the old with the new as well as doing some standalone movies un-connected like this movie, (we hope) to set them apart from Marvel.  Imagine a movie all about Mister Freeze or a movie about Killer Croc, Hush, Ventriloquist, Firefly or Clayface.

I left the movie having to gather my thoughts before I wrote this.  And although I was falling asleep during the movie (so so tired), it didn't take away from the story, pacing and soundtrack - great! Just don't expect that Cape Crusader stuff and that action you'd get in most Superhero Movies, this one is different and all the better for it.  I mean, they are talking Oscars.  Well done Warner Brothers.  Enjoy!


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