Author Topic: Joker (2019 Joker film)  (Read 58332 times)

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #600 on: February 02, 2020, 08:13:52 AM »
I've just remembered.  The Joker's uncontrollable laugh is rather like the part of Vic Reeve's Big Night Out where Vic, seated at his desk, used to start laughing then seemingly be unable to stop until Bob slapped the side of his head.  I remember him doing that a couple of times in the series.

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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #601 on: February 02, 2020, 02:48:26 PM »
Before Arthur takes to the stage, there's an establishing shot of the comics being filmed via an in-house video system. The owners of the club presumably leaked it to De Niro's show for a bit of cheap publicity (he mentions the club in his intro?).

Ah, I must have blinked. Seems a bit contrived though. And doesn't make a lot of sense. How many aspiring comics would want to work for a place that's going to leak bad sets to the equivalent of David Letterman's show? How many people are going to want to go to that club if the performers suck? What other reason do they have for filming every act?

It's just a weird contortion to make a modern-minded script work within the unnecessary aesthetic they've chosen.

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #602 on: February 02, 2020, 03:21:02 PM »
Ah, I must have blinked. Seems a bit contrived though. And doesn't make a lot of sense. How many aspiring comics would want to work for a place that's going to leak bad sets to the equivalent of David Letterman's show? How many people are going to want to go to that club if the performers suck? What other reason do they have for filming every act?

It's just a weird contortion to make a modern-minded script work within the unnecessary aesthetic they've chosen.

Every comedy club has open mics for terrible amateurs who are not funny. In fact a viewer could infer that in the grotesque world of the movie the comedy club owners and DeNiro's show had an arrangement for them to record terrible stand-ups to air on TV later as "found" footage.

It's much less realistic that DeNiro's late night show would bring on (for a guest segment?!) an amateur stand-up whose set wasn't even that bad. But that's just the creative license of any movie.

I don't know, the aesthetic all felt very true to its 80s New York/Johnny Carson-era vibes to me.


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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #603 on: February 02, 2020, 04:51:59 PM »
Every comedy club has open mics for terrible amateurs who are not funny. In fact a viewer could infer that in the grotesque world of the movie the comedy club owners and DeNiro's show had an arrangement for them to record terrible stand-ups to air on TV later as "found" footage.

Well (1) no, every club doesn't, and (2) even those that do aren't going to waste time filming shit comics to "promote" the show for the reasons I mentioned before - it's bad publicity to the punters (why go to the comedy club with the shit stand-ups?) and to the acts (why go there if there's a risk of being humiliated on TV when you have a bad set?).

I don't think a mainstream Hollywood film based around a comic book character can ever really be "substantive" in it's ideas, because it also has to be fun and entertaining and digestible for a mass audience. Films like Joker, The Dark Knight and Captain America 2 all deal with complex, socially important themes, but they're still fundamentally simplified, accessible perspectives that don't really dig down into the ideas - they're just more thoughtful than the average blockbuster.

Joker doesn't have any ideas, is my point. It's not even substantive by the standards of another superhero movie.

Look at Black Panther, for example - obviously the focus there is on attractive people leaping about and punching each other, but it still manages to seed the central conflict between T'Challa and Killmonger with important themes: the cultural divide between African-Americans and Africans; the loss of roots and cultural story that many black people in the US feel; colonialism and anti-colonialism (Killmonger is a product of colonialism and basically practices it himself when he takes the mask from the British Museum - the one that is pointedly not a Wakandan artefact - because "I like it"; and again when he attempts to, US-style, start an interventionist war without an exit strategy to exercise his own prejudices under the veil of liberating oppressed people);  the sense of abandonment that some American black people feel towards their ancestral homeland.

Ultimately the triumph of T'Challa over Killmonger, and T'Challa's subsequent sponsorship of underprivileged black US communities, summarises the message the film carries: violence in pursuit of societal change only leads to more misery, more death, more hatred and backlashes. Repairing the damage done to African-Americans means uplifting them, not tearing down the rest of society.

Even the smaller scenes have significance. The moment when Killmonger and his father cry upon seeing each other in the afterlife vision was held up by some African-American commentators as a repudiation of the macho attitude in much of US black culture that views crying as a sign of weakness.

All of that stuff is laced throughout the story, and entwined with the action and suspense, to make it a holistic part of the film. Whether you agree with the conclusions the filmmakers come to, it's there.

Joker's purported themes don't have anything close to the same level of presence in the story, nor are they integrated comfortably into the narrative. You get, at most, a couple of scenes each to namecheck the 1 percent, poor healthcare provisions and exploitative media. None of them have any greater message than the obvious (not giving medication to people who need it is bad, etc). Arthur's motivations and experiences are so specific to his fabricated mental illness and contrived familial situation that they don't play meaningfully into those "messages". The wider Gotham society beyond Arthur's own experiences is barely seen except for when a crowd of angry people needs to materialise. The 1 percent are bad, I guess, because those guys on the subway were arseholes? That's about all we get there. Poverty is bad, yes, but honestly Fleck's apartment block doesn't look that bad (you'd be forking out $2,700 at the barest minimum for that place in Manhattan today) and his lack of money doesn't seem to affect his diet, his mother's living conditions or his access to bespoke suits.

What does Joker actually say? What is its message beyond the surface? Nada. It's a vacuum that is filled by whatever the viewer carries with them, and in doing so appears to have meaning. But there's nothing. A hollow confection.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 07:06:46 PM by Mister Six »

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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #604 on: February 02, 2020, 05:09:19 PM »
To take another example, one of The Dark Knight's central themes is the use of surveillance equipment to monitor everyone, including innocents, in order to combat a chaotic terrorist. Batman - representing Patriot Act government - is in favour; Lucius Fox recognises the human rights implications and resists; Batman uses the surveillance system to capture the Joker, but then shuts it down permanently. The message of the film - whether you agree with it or not - is that these things are sometimes necessary in pursuit of protecting the population, but should be strictly temporary once the threat has been quelled. Again, seeded and discussed throughout the movie, and integral to the central conflict (even if that essentially boils down to Batman beating up some mooks).

Winter Soldier I don't recall quite as well, but the central idea of America drifting away from traditional conflict with external parties (which Cap is used to, and which is more morally permissible to him) and - via the Cold War - moving into surveilling and moving against its own citizens (which Cap is less cool with) is there. The conflict of purported American values of freedom and liberty (which Cap, as a symbol, represents) contrasted with the reality that the US government has moved in precisely the opposite direction since WWII, is there, as is the idea that this moral slide could have grave results down the line if the technological infrastructure is misused (as is attempted at the end of the film, with Cap trying to take down the gunships).

The moral is murkier here, since the threat is caused by subversion of state powers, ie. exactly what the gunships were created to oppose. Defeating the gunships doesn't stop the Hydra threat from existing, and so their existence is somewhat justified. And yet, Hydra is what almost made the gunships annihilate millions of people. But this in turn represents the morally ambiguous terrain that Cap is now forced to operate within - and sets up his going rogue and turning against the US government and the rest of the UN in Civil War.

Both of them shit all over Joker, basically, even within the constraints of a genre that requires at least a couple of action sequences and relatively broad strokes.

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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #605 on: February 03, 2020, 02:22:41 AM »
^ Look at this cunt and his essays.

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #606 on: February 03, 2020, 10:19:08 AM »
I've just remembered.  The Joker's uncontrollable laugh is rather like the part of Vic Reeve's Big Night Out where Vic, seated at his desk, used to start laughing then seemingly be unable to stop until Bob slapped the side of his head.  I remember him doing that a couple of times in the series.

The "waa hey!" glasses lift was the original choice for the film I believe but Morecambe estate weren't keen.

Personally I don't see too much difference from the Marvel films mentioned, Joker has some substance as a story of a mentally ill man abandoned by society but its not Taxi Driver in terms of looking to give it great depth, mostly about entertainment of seeing Phoenix act that role.

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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #607 on: February 06, 2020, 02:17:43 PM »
Jesus Christ, some people don't know how to watch movies.

Not everything has to be a by-the-book portrayal of something (and in any event mental illness manifests in so many ways that it's kind of ridiculous to say that something is not "realistic") to gesture toward a broader point with real world implications.

This is such a meringue-level deflection of criticism I have no idea why you bothered to write it mate.

ooh every head bursts different why did they bother making that bit in Scanners

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #608 on: February 06, 2020, 09:07:46 PM »
There's no need to have a go at meringues, mate.

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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #609 on: February 07, 2020, 12:14:53 AM »
Now I'm not really a movie person, and especially not a superhero movie person. All I know is that I really enjoyed Joker because it didn't require any real leaps of logic, physics or technology to imagine that the events could feasibly happen in the world as I know it. I watched The Dark Knight for the first time ever last weekend and, as I always imagined, hated it because of the leaps in logic, physics and technology required to go along with it.

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #610 on: February 07, 2020, 12:46:16 AM »
ooh every head bursts different why did they bother making that bit in Scanners

Essentially my point, you filmic Eton mess.

You: "Well actually it is very unlikely that a head would explode like that, much less without the application of physical force, hence Scanners is a bad movie I'm afraid."

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #611 on: February 07, 2020, 11:43:27 AM »
Now I'm not really a movie person, and especially not a superhero movie person. All I know is that I really enjoyed Joker because it didn't require any real leaps of logic, physics or technology to imagine that the events could feasibly happen in the world as I know it. I watched The Dark Knight for the first time ever last weekend and, as I always imagined, hated it because of the leaps in logic, physics and technology required to go along with it.

It's a rich dude in a latex body suit though, no leaps on logic, physics or tech there.
Next you'll be saying Vulcans are too unrealistic

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #612 on: February 07, 2020, 12:54:52 PM »
Had nothing to do with a criminal mastermind.  This was a victim not a planner and manipulator.

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Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #613 on: February 13, 2020, 07:50:22 PM »

Re: Joker (2019 Joker film)
« Reply #614 on: February 15, 2020, 09:08:43 PM »
So this is a one off right?
Only Hollywood would make a perfect prequel to a batman film that will never be made - kinda relate to Arthur here

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