Joker Image


By Chris Gore | October 6, 2019

Todd Phillips’ Joker is the most radical film released by a major studio since Fight Club in 1999. In fact, I find it amazing that Phillips was allowed pretty much free reign for what amounts to the most shocking and disturbing film based on a comic book. And here’s what you may find the most disturbing, that Joker is relatable because just like Arthur Fleck, we all have negative thoughts sometimes. We all face bullies in some form. And we all struggle in some way just to get by and hold onto some form of sanity in this increasingly crazy world.

“…like Arthur Fleck, we all have negative thoughts.”

So when we first meet Arthur working his job as a clown, we actually feel sympathy for him. But when Arthur’s negative thoughts come to gruesome fruition, that’s when that sympathy turns to revulsion and Fleck is reborn as the murderous clown we know from the comics, graphic novels and other incarnations of the character in movies, animation and on TV.

Joker (2019)

Directed by Todd Phillips

Written by Todd Phillips, Scott Silver

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, etc.

Movie score: 10/10

Joker Image

"…the most radical film to come from a major studio since Fight Club."

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  1. Mark says:

    Truly a terrible movie. The Phoenix’s performance is an insult to all who wrestle with mental health issues.

  2. Hillarykane says:

    Hard to believe that this is the same guy who was able to convince us for a couple of hours that he was the legendary Johnny Cash in the movie “I WALK THE LINE”……That seems so long ago that I had forgotten what a truly gifted actor this guy really is…as much as I loved Heath Ledger there is no doubt that this performance is the new gold standard.

  3. Linda says:

    Joaquin Phoenix was brilliant, nerve racking to watch and mesmerizing at the same time.

  4. anonymous says:

    A corporate-tentpole-franchise movie is still a corporate tentpole-franchise-movie, even when it’s pretending to be an art film, and a tour-de-force performance is really not a tour-de-force performance when it possesses all of the monotony of a single low note of “dysfunction” being struck over and over again relentlessly, a vase already cracked instead of cracking, without any real
    or organic sense of gradual human disintegration other than slickly executed dance moves, external tics, and Method-like histrionics rather than Method itself (did the audience see or feel any REAL tears flow, other than “symbolically” painted-on ones?) Here is an even more pertinent issue: In 2019 Hollywood, would a mainstream studio like Warners Brothers, instead of making and releasing an imitation TAXI DRIVER, re-release the real TAXI DRIVER from 1976? Would they re-release Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS from 1974? Or Peter Bogdanovich’s TARGETS from 1968? Richard Brook’s IN COLD BLOOD? I can assure you they would have no interest in that whatsoever. So you can make comic book homages to THE EXORCIST staircase, THE FRENCH CONNECTION subway chase, the APOCALYPSE NOW mirror dance, the end shot of Sidney Lumet’s NETWORK, but god forbid you actually expose a younger generation to discover and appreciate the actual films from that venerated 1970’s Golden Age of art and commerce working together in rare harmony.

    “They won’t get it”, indeed…..and the joke, in reality, is on all of us, culturally-speaking.

    • Chris Gore says:

      Hey anonymous. You make some valid arguments. Taxi Driver was actually rereleased in theaters in 2015 through Fathom Events and received a wide release. I watched Taxi Driver with my son (he’s over 18 and has great taste in movies) in a nearly empty theater unfortunately. I wish there was a wider market for classic films, but the truth is that mainstream audiences don’t care all that much for films more than 5 years old. And just try getting someone to watch a black and white movie. In any case, thanks for reading my review and your comment.

  5. Jason Romero says:

    You’re spot on Chris. I’m not a comic book movie junkie, admittedly I’ve seen probably 25% of the latest comic book movies and have been entertained no more though then an episode of Impractical Jokers, what we have here is Fight Clubesqe, yet where in Fight Club we learn later we’re dealing with mental illness… here we know from the first 3 minutes of the Joker it’s mental illness. Beautiful movie… beautifully shot… so many scenes where my eyes are just scanning the screen I can’t name them all. I loved it!!!

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