The Academy Awards revealed this year’s nominees, and surprisingly, Todd Phillips’ Joker leads the pack with 11 nominations. Of course Joaquin Phoenix was going to be nominated, there was no doubt about that, but the sheer amount of other noms for the film is pretty staggering, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture. And it begs the question….are they all warranted? Read the rest of this entry
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beets, Robert De Niro, Francis Conroy
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Being a big Batman fan, I’ve seen a lot of takes on the Dark Knight. That also means I’ve seen a lot of takes on his arch nemesis, the Joker. From Heath Ledger’s scarred anarchist to Jared Leto’s tattooed thug, The Joker has had arguably the most interpretations of any comic book character in history, and since he’s my all-time favorite villain in fiction, I’m pretty protective of him. Which is why I was going into Todd Phillips’ Joker with some pretty heavy skepticism. On the one hand, you have Joaquin Phoenix, arguably the best actor of our generation, in the lead. On the other hand, this is a Joker origin movie (strike one) that doesn’t feature Batman (strike two), and is from the director of The Hangover and Due Date (movies that I find funny, but strike three). Add in the fact that it seems to be more influenced by early Martin Scorsese films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy than anything from the Clown Prince of Crime’s myriad comic book appearances, and I was starting to get a feeling of confusion over what the point of even calling this film “Joker” was . With the storm of controversy and furor surrounding the film’s release, including winning the Golden Lion at Cannes and increased police presence at showings (plus Todd Phillips’ increasingly stupid comments on the state of comedy), and it was getting to a point where I was looking forward to seeing the film less out excitement and curiosity, and more out of a feeling of “let’s just get this over with”. The end result has me falling somewhere squarely in the middle on Joker, a film that has many flaws, but an undeniably great lead performance in Joaquin Phoenix. Read the rest of this entry
Last week, we got our first glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix as “Arthur”, the man who would become The Joker in next year’s Joker film directed by Todd Phillips. Was it underwhelming? You bet. But it did help set expectations for what type of film Phoenix and Phillips would be creating, even though it was a bummer that we didn’t get to see Phoenix all done up as the Clown Prince of Crime.
Until this weekend, that is. Read the rest of this entry
So that Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie is officially happening. Yup, the one that has The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips directing. And HAD Martin Scorsese (yes, THAT Martin Scorsese) producing, but now will just be produced by his production company. It’s Warner Bros’ big attempt to not only differentiate themselves from the superhero movie market, but also try and salvage whatever goodwill they have left after the disappointing critical (and some commercial) performances of Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, and especially Justice League, as well as maybe get some Oscar play for their studio. While I’ve already made my feelings widely known in regards to the idea of giving the Joker an origin movie, there is a part of me that can’t deny the curiosity I feel regarding this. It’s either going to be brilliant or a colossal mistake, but it could be the thing to save WB’s DC films. Read the rest of this entry