Joker (spoilers)

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Joker (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-10-03 11:12pm

Just got back from seeing it. I was the only guy there even wearing a Joker shirt, and it's my Alex Ross Legion of Doom one. I enjoyed it, but I'm a fan of such films.

This film is pretty much Taxi Driver meets The King of Comedy. The key term here is subjectivity. We know certain things happened, and we know certain things didn't happen. It certainly paints Gotham as a city rapidly on the decline, and a guy like Arthur Fleck is pretty much due to both his own problems, and no one seeming to care that someone like him is falling through the cracks.

Here's what we know is going on.The city is going through a huge garbage strike. Social services, like social workers and medication for the mentally ill, are being cut back. Beatdoqns and robberies are a fact of life. Thomas Wayne, candidate for mayor, calls all the poor people who can't hack it in Gotham city clowns, because you have to be a clown to not make it in Gotham city like he did. While this is mostly through the lens of Arthur, the city seems like a powder keg ready to blow, and he is only the match. The lack of care about such things when they happen to regular folk are a shrug, but when three yuppies die, suddenly Gotham gives a crap about crime. This incites protests and riots due to the perceived, real or not, apathy of those in charge of the rest of Gotham.

At the same time, Arthur's personal life is crashing all around him. He loses his job, his mother is sick and practically an invalid, and abuses from his past come to the surface. Pieces of his life turn out to be invalid. No one cares, and he has no one to talk to. Arthur went through things at an early age that probably helped mold him into what he's struggling through.

When he's investigating his past, he asks a clerk at Arkham about what it takes to receive treatment. The clerk notes that you have to be a threat to yourself of others, or have been arrested for said behavior. He makes a recommendation that if Arthur is having trouble, city services do help out, not realizing that Arthur's already lost those same services to budget cuts.

Make no mistake, Arthur Fleck is definitely mentally ill, and he demonstrates questionable behavior through most of the film as he falls further apart, but Gotham, and its apathy, created the Joker, because it doesn't seem to care about him, or people like him.

Could this film incite violence? No more than Taxi Driver did. The film seems to make it more that Joker was preventable. Talking with some friends of mine that work at nonprofits, this will be a great film to point to when looking for signs about someone falling off the edge, and need to look out for, to help or report. For that alone, I say the film is worth watching.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Darth Yan » 2019-10-04 12:36am

At least some people back in may worried that having Bruce's parents be killed by poor people might have a bad effect on Bruce Wayne and have an anti poor message. That might have some unfortunate implications.

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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-10-05 12:49pm

Most people find an anti-rich message, not “anti-poor” message...
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-10-05 01:27pm

Darth Yan wrote:
2019-10-04 12:36am
At least some people back in may worried that having Bruce's parents be killed by poor people might have a bad effect on Bruce Wayne and have an anti poor message. That might have some unfortunate implications.
The film seems to be portraying Thomas Wayne as a bit of a prick, being tons deaf to the people's needs at press conferences, and just digging himself deeper as the movie goes. His personal interactions with Arthur Fleck may or may not be justified, but he comes off as out of touch and an asshole towards Fleck.

Bruce comes off as just a kid, and if we didn't know what direction he was heading, his fate would be very much in question. Though I guess you could argue that having the anti-rich riot be the cause of his parents death puts a rather negative spin on why Bruce takes up the Cape and cowl.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Xisiqomelir » 2019-10-06 04:44am

Really interested to hear Stark's review (does he still post?)

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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-10-06 06:57am

Xisiqomelir wrote:
2019-10-06 04:44am
Really interested to hear Stark's review (does he still post?)
I haven't seem him post for years.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-10-06 09:58am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-10-06 06:57am
Xisiqomelir wrote:
2019-10-06 04:44am
Really interested to hear Stark's review (does he still post?)
I haven't seem him post for years.
You can talk to him readily enough on the SDN Discord, he frequents that chat pretty well. He's not likely to come back here anytime soon though.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Lord Insanity » 2019-10-06 04:32pm

Am I the only one that watched the trailer to this and thought: "Oh good another lame origin story movie."? I really can't imagine this would be nearly as good as what they pulled off in the TV series Gotham let alone hold a candle to the Joker of Batman the Animated Series.

Why the hell is a middle aged guy playing Joker before he became Joker? I guess the same reason Lex Luthor was a 20-something in Batman vs Superman. It has to be an improvement over Not-the-Joker from Suicide Squad.

As a serious look at someone that has mental disorders how does it compare to Split and Glass. Those were easily the best M. Night Shyamalan movies since Unbreakable and Sixth Sense.

The trailer for Joker looks like it wants to be a cross between Split and origin of the Joker. It just elicits as solid "Meh. Been there done that."
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-10-06 05:53pm

Lord Insanity wrote:
2019-10-06 04:32pm
Am I the only one that watched the trailer to this and thought: "Oh good another lame origin story movie."? I really can't imagine this would be nearly as good as what they pulled off in the TV series Gotham let alone hold a candle to the Joker of Batman the Animated Series.

Why the hell is a middle aged guy playing Joker before he became Joker? I guess the same reason Lex Luthor was a 20-something in Batman vs Superman. It has to be an improvement over Not-the-Joker from Suicide Squad.
We have to remember that Jack Nicholson was in his fifties when he played the Joker in Batman. There's precedent there.

As a serious look at someone that has mental disorders how does it compare to Split and Glass. Those were easily the best M. Night Shyamalan movies since Unbreakable and Sixth Sense.

The trailer for Joker looks like it wants to be a cross between Split and origin of the Joker. It just elicits as solid "Meh. Been there done that."
Well, on the plus side, being mad doesn't give Joker the ability to climb on walls like mental illness somehow gives you superpowers. Most of Fleck's issues can be traced to trauma discussed in the film, with the developments of the film erasing what he has left in the world to hold onto.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Xisiqomelir » 2019-10-07 11:27am

8/10 did enjoy

Gotta say Joaquin really put in work this film, the physical x-form is near-shocking and he's on-screen basically the entire run.

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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Themightytom » 2019-10-07 04:00pm

I dunno, I am interpreting the entire movie as Joker's sick joke, right before he killed his therapist. It seems like his thing to tell a riveting take where he is central to everything only for it to be a lie to distract you.

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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-10-08 05:49am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-10-06 05:53pm
Lord Insanity wrote:
2019-10-06 04:32pm
Am I the only one that watched the trailer to this and thought: "Oh good another lame origin story movie."? I really can't imagine this would be nearly as good as what they pulled off in the TV series Gotham let alone hold a candle to the Joker of Batman the Animated Series.

Why the hell is a middle aged guy playing Joker before he became Joker? I guess the same reason Lex Luthor was a 20-something in Batman vs Superman. It has to be an improvement over Not-the-Joker from Suicide Squad.
We have to remember that Jack Nicholson was in his fifties when he played the Joker in Batman. There's precedent there.
Cesar Romero was 59 when he played the Joker in the 1960s Batman. The show lasted 3 seasons so he was into his sixties and still clowning around. :D

That being said, I get the feeling these days the Joker is expected to be younger.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Khaat » 2019-10-08 10:49am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-10-08 05:49am
That being said, I get the feeling these days the Joker is expected to be younger.
I think that comes from the current state of dissatisfied youth looking to associate with Joker. Across all the origins, he's only ever been "young and hot" in Suicide Squad, and that was about as crap a portrayal as there could be without just making him "handsome sociopath dedicated boyfriend". Oh, wait, that's exactly what they did. Granted, the alternate would be to show him abusive in the relationship, which would reflect poorly on Harley.

Head canon: the Suicide Squad Joker is a broken Robin, remade by the actual, original Joker, who's since gone off and "Killing Joke"d himself. That's why Robin's uniform is hanging in the batcave with Joker's scrawl all over it (BvS). It covers his age, his hard swerve into this look (tats and grill? really?), and he's passing on the abuse he suffered when he was remade, himself, by remaking Doctor Quinzell.

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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-10-08 02:29pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-10-08 05:49am
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-10-06 05:53pm
Lord Insanity wrote:
2019-10-06 04:32pm
Am I the only one that watched the trailer to this and thought: "Oh good another lame origin story movie."? I really can't imagine this would be nearly as good as what they pulled off in the TV series Gotham let alone hold a candle to the Joker of Batman the Animated Series.

Why the hell is a middle aged guy playing Joker before he became Joker? I guess the same reason Lex Luthor was a 20-something in Batman vs Superman. It has to be an improvement over Not-the-Joker from Suicide Squad.
We have to remember that Jack Nicholson was in his fifties when he played the Joker in Batman. There's precedent there.
Cesar Romero was 59 when he played the Joker in the 1960s Batman. The show lasted 3 seasons so he was into his sixties and still clowning around. :D

That being said, I get the feeling these days the Joker is expected to be younger.
I suppose there's a certain expectation that as Batman's rival, Joker is basically the same age? It's never mattered to me. He was already a career criminal, looking roughly middle-aged in his first appearance. Most recent portrayals have him looking roughly similar to Bruce's age, not that comic book art is great at depicting age.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Lord Insanity » 2019-10-08 09:51pm

Khaat wrote:
2019-10-08 10:49am
Head canon: the Suicide Squad Joker is a broken Robin, remade by the actual, original Joker, who's since gone off and "Killing Joke"d himself. That's why Robin's uniform is hanging in the batcave with Joker's scrawl all over it (BvS). It covers his age, his hard swerve into this look (tats and grill? really?), and he's passing on the abuse he suffered when he was remade, himself, by remaking Doctor Quinzell.
That is... genius. I am not going to be able to think of Leto's Joker performance in any other capacity now. That rather neatly explains everything that was wrong with that "Joker."
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-10-08 02:29pm
mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-10-08 05:49am
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-10-06 05:53pm


We have to remember that Jack Nicholson was in his fifties when he played the Joker in Batman. There's precedent there.
Cesar Romero was 59 when he played the Joker in the 1960s Batman. The show lasted 3 seasons so he was into his sixties and still clowning around. :D

That being said, I get the feeling these days the Joker is expected to be younger.
I suppose there's a certain expectation that as Batman's rival, Joker is basically the same age? It's never mattered to me. He was already a career criminal, looking roughly middle-aged in his first appearance. Most recent portrayals have him looking roughly similar to Bruce's age, not that comic book art is great at depicting age.
I never got the impression that Nicholson or Romero were playing "20-30 years older than Batman" characters even if the actors themselves were older.

But yeah I guess I just expect that Joker and Batman would be roughly the same age give or take at most 10 years. That is part of why Leto Joker made no damn sense compared to Bat-fleck's older "Dark Knight Returns" style portrayal. (Khaat's head canon explanation rather neatly deals with that. I wonder if that was the original idea all along.)

On the TV series Gotham it makes sense that the proto-Joker is younger because he is not yet actually the Joker and Bruce is still a teenager. Cameron Monaghan really managed to channel all the best parts of Nicholson, Ledger, and Hamil's Joker portrayals so Phoenix has a tough act to follow. (Alexander Siddig (Yes Dr. Bashir) also managed to portray the best live action Ra's al Ghul by far and away too. Gotham really wound up being far better than it should have worked at all.)
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Gandalf » 2019-10-08 10:07pm

Nicholson's Joker killed the Waynes, so he should have a good twenty years on Batman at least.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Lord Insanity » 2019-10-09 07:00pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-10-08 10:07pm
Nicholson's Joker killed the Waynes, so he should have a good twenty years on Batman at least.
I completely forgot that Burton's Joker was also "Joe Chill." (It's been a good 15 years since I watched the movie and I thought that part was idiotic.) You could really force it if you wanted and say Jack Napier was 18 to Bruce being 8. Though it is more likely a good 20+ year difference as depicted in the movie.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Gandalf » 2019-10-09 07:41pm

Indeed. I'm not too sure they considered his age when doing that scene, as they could only make Nicholson look so much younger.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Batman » 2019-10-09 08:47pm

So what if the Joker is 20 years older than the Batman? We have 'no bloody idea' how old comics Joker is (other than not a teenager anymore and not yet a decrepit old man). The Joker's age was never relevant.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Lord Insanity » 2019-10-09 09:26pm

Considering Joker routinely holds his own against you I'd say he should be at least relatively close to the same general fitness level. Considering your usually depicted as "peak human" that heavily implies Joker would be in roughly the same age range. There aren't too many good reasons why Joker would be a significantly different age.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Batman » 2019-10-09 09:44pm

Our track record WRT HTH is inconsistent as hell (superhero comics not being consistent over an 80 year span. Shocking.) Sometimes he's my equal, sometimes it takes outside intervention to save him. And considering we both live in a world with people who consider Lightspeed a mild jog, can casually benchpress a planet and Joker is NOT an ordinary human with a skin condition I wouldn't rule out him being a metahuman with powers (though he's admittedly never been presented that way).
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'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-10-10 10:51am

There was a comic where Batman gets locked in Arkham and the entire inmates attack him, including the Joker. One would think if the Joker was comparable to Batman the inmates would overpower him, but it's not even a contest. With the comics noting psychosis doesn't help much against Batman's skills.

So given the multitude of inconsistencies on comics, I suppose arguing the Joker needs to be similar age to Batman to have a "realistic" chance of matching him in HtH might not be the best argument.

I guess I had just had a younger Joker in my mind as recent iterations from the animated series just seem to be younger.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-10-10 11:28am

Comic books are inconsistent, news at eleven. But in general Batman is usually a better fighter than most of his opponents; it's unusual when someone can actually match him in combat rather than just being physically stronger. Hush would be an example. Joker usually fights dirty, but he's not very strong (compared to Batman anyway) so he typically depends on trickery and stuff like gassing his opponents before actually beating them up.
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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Darth Yan » 2019-10-11 11:47pm

The Joker is usually portrayed as being incredibly smart even if his hand to hand fluctuates (he beats Ra's at chest and it's implied HE created the joker venom formula)

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Re: Joker (spoilers)

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-10-12 08:29am

Darth Yan wrote:
2019-10-11 11:47pm
The Joker is usually portrayed as being incredibly smart even if his hand to hand fluctuates (he beats Ra's at chest and it's implied HE created the joker venom formula)
Isn't it generally implied that reason the Joker is a threat to anyone is because he's so smart and even when he's protraid as competent fighter he's no match to Batman and would be just another generic thug if he didn't have his intelligence.
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