Wednesday, January 8, 2020

In Retrospect: Joker

I'll admit I only know one joke. No one gets it.

It still truly holds up for me, Joker is still the movie that could live in the regular world of movies and comic book movies. There's been tons of talk about the movie, implications, theories, studies, what have you and all from just a comic book movie with a realistic tone. It's really amazing to see this movie do so well and my boy Joaquin just got a Golden Globe for this movie now we take on the Oscars! Is there much more to say about it since last time? Partially, I did discover a crucial puzzle piece that countless individuals have not brought up before when they talk about the aspect of the film regarding the narration. People say Arthur is the unreliable narrator, he imagines things therefor the whole movie could just be in his head while he's banging his head on a door in Arkham. This is wrong. The truth is found in simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius, of each particular thing ask what is in itself? What do we see in these daydreams of Arthur Fleck? We see him happy. He's on Murray's show and goes up on stage to huge approval of the audience and Murray saying he wants a kid like him, we see him go on dates with a nice girl he meets who is there to comfort him in a dark and troubling time. We never see him unhappy, downtrodden, or a failure in these daydreams. Thusly, many aspects of the film's story happened. Meeting Thomas Wayne, finding his mother's file, his various crimes, all happened. We never once see a daydream turn into a nightmare. I always saw it as Arthur was once in Arkham but was released and lived with his adopted mother and the story plays out as it's told. No twists or misdirects. I know that may seem boring and uninteresting but I'm simply not one for fan theories or heavy speculation (which we'll talk about more when Episode 9 hits video). The film is simply there to simultaneously tell a new story and expand upon previous stories about how The Joker came to be and it does it incredibly well. Joaquin Phoenix does usurp the throne that Heath Ledger has ruled for over a decade for me, though of course I'm still in love with his performance in The Dark Knight. It doesn't feel like a comic book movie with it's tropes and peculiar ideas, but simply tells the story of a man who is beaten down by the city he lives in and starts taking action that plunges the city into chaos and makes him something more than just another person on the corner. It's a damn well made movie considering the script was practically being rewritten daily, and the direction by Todd Philips can be very funny at times, and down right heartbreaking and cruel at others. I'm still personally debating on how I feel about there being a good possibility of a sequel, on one hand I'd love to see Joaquin Phoenix broadening the role and see where the story goes next but on the other hand I'm incredibly happy how this film ended. The fact that the film ends on the Joker thinking about Bruce Wayne standing over his dead parents and having a good hard laugh is iconic in it's own right, and then proceeds to end Tom & Jerry style with a 'The End' title card is just about as great an ending as you can get. The film has broke many records and stands as the highest R-rated movie to date, put that in your pipe and overdose on it Deadpool, and has been making too many appearances on best films of 2019 lists to even count. I'm proud DC took a chance on something so different to the comic book movie engine of today but the results are speaking volumes to the public. Something different can be amazing, and maybe we shouldn't always have the same formula that Marvel has been cranking out for an ungodly period of time. In fact that's probably the only reason I liked Doctor Strange and Black Panther is because I'm not familiar with that style of movie, hell I'm pretty sure I could count all the Marvel movies I've seen on one hand (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Doctor Strange, Black Panther) so maybe my opinions will change if I ever intend to eviscerate, uh I mean dissect the Marvel movies. I really hope we see more movies like this one though, taking risks and changing the game a bit if only just to make movies more interesting again. Joker still gets a sterling 4 stars, 9/10 from me, and I'm sure this movie will be watched, talked about, evaluated, and enjoyed for years to come. So I guess I got to tell the joke right? Alright. There were these two guys in an insane asylum, and one night they decide they don't want to be in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to break out. So they bust out and make a run for the roof, and there just across the rooftops is the city. Freedom. The first guy jumps across no problem, but the second guy doesn't dare make the leap. He's afraid of falling. So the first guy says, "Hey I brought a flashlight with me, I'll shine it across the gap and you just walk across the beam of light and join me on the other side.", but the second guy says, "What do you think I am? Crazy?? You don't walk towards the light at the edge of a rooftop!". You didn't laugh.

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