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Joker (2019)

Director: 
Writers: 
Cast: 
Released:  Friday, October 4, 2019  
Length:  122 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros.
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: Joker is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Joker Synopsis

“Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

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Purchase Soundtrack   Listen to the Joker soundtrack on Apple Music.

Joker images are © Warner Bros.. All Rights Reserved.


Joker Sequel In The Works at Warner Bros.  6/8/2022 3:42 PM EST
A sequel for the Warner Bros. film "Joker" is in the works from director Todd Phillips. He made an Instagram post about the film today, posting a picture of the script that he wrote with Scott Silver.The script is titled "Joker: Folie à deux", which is a French term referring to a mental disorder that affects two or more people.Joaquin Phoenix hasn't yet signed on to reprise his role as Arthur Fle...  More>>

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"The Batman" debuted here in the United States on March 4 to an opening of $134 million, but in China, it's not going as well.As of today, ticket sales have only rung in at about $3.6 million. There are a few factors at play, including COVID flare-ups that are closing theatres again. The country is experiencing its biggest uptick of the virus since the pandemic began, closing about 30% of movie th...  More>>

The Batman Spawns Series Spinoff  3/9/2022 3:37 PM EST
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The Batman Runtime is Released  1/20/2022 4:50 PM EST
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Joker Returns to Theaters January 17  1/14/2020 2:46 PM EST
"Joker" will be returning to theaters this Friday, January 17th. The film has earned 11 Oscar nominations, as well as 11 BAFTA nods, and two Golden Globe wins, including Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix's performance. The film will hit over 750 theatres across North America.Jeff Goldstein, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, stated, "With the continued interest in ‘Joker' as a...  More>>

BAFTA Film Award Nominations Announced  1/7/2020 10:59 AM EST
The BAFTA Film Award nominations were announced today. The 73rd annual event will award ceremony will take place on February 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Graham Norton will host. Below is the complete list of nominations.BEST PICTURE"1917""The Irishman""Joker""Once Upon a Time in Hollywood""Parasite"BEST DIRECTORSam Mendes, "1917"Martin Scorsese, "The Irishman"Todd Phillips, "Joker"Quenti...  More>>

The Dark Knight Coming Back to IMAX Theatres for Batman's 80th A...  3/14/2019 10:52 AM EST
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Batman, Warner Bros. will be returning all three "Dark Knight" films to IMAX theatres. Jeff Goldstein, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, made the announcement."Christopher Nolan broke new ground with the ‘Dark Knight' Trilogy, and this is a rare chance for today's audiences to experience these extraordinary films as they were meant to b...  More>>

Batman's 80th Anniversary Events Announced Around the Globe  3/7/2019 4:04 PM EST
Batman will turn 80 this year, and celebrations for the event are being announced.On March 30, DC Comics will hold a "Happy Birthday Batman" panel at WonderCon, which takes place in Anaheim, with tie-in events that will be held at this year's ComicCon in SanDiego. To celebrate Batman Day on September 21, more events will be held, such as a 5K and 10K cosplay run and a display of Bat-signals in cit...  More>>


Joker Theatrical Review


Joker Theatrical Review

Throughout the years, Batman has had numerous nemeses including Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, and The Riddler to name a few.  Perhaps one of his most well-known antagonists though is probably Joker.  The menacing figure in clown makeup and a purple suit has always come across as highly unstable.  However, we never truly knew what made Joker so evil and crazy. While it had always been said he fell into a vat of chemicals that disfigured him and made him go mad, we never knew anything about his early life…until now.  Warner Bros. offers audiences a possible look inside Joker's origin story with their latest feature film, Joker.

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix; Walk the Line) lives with his ailing mother, Penny (Frances Conroy; Six Feet Under) and works as a clown.  He also has a disorder that makes him laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate times due to previous brain trauma from having been abused as a child.  Arthur wants to be a standup comedian and tries to write jokes.  He has an active imagination and daydreams about his pretty neighbor, Sophie (Zazie Beetz; Deadpool 2), being his girlfriend and about being on the Murray Franklin (Robert DeNiro; Raging Bull) Show.

In the course of several days, Arthur is beaten up on the subway by some young businessmen that he shoots and kills, he finds out his social services and medications are being cut off due to budget cuts, and he gets fired from his job.  His mother also has a stroke and while in the hospital he kills her because she is delusional and believed her former employer, Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen, Person of Interest), was Arthur's father even though Arthur finds out he was actually adopted.  Finally, after trying standup, Arthur is made fun of on television by his idol, Franklin, who then invites Arthur to be on the show.  Once there Arthur admits to killing the three men on the subway, shoots and kills Franklin and becomes a symbol for all of those in Gotham who are poor and tired of the inequity of wealth.  

Phoenix is masterful as the mentally disturbed Arthur/Joker.  He plays on one's sympathy while alternately coming across as creepy.  Cullen makes Wayne less likable than past portrayals and the whole film has an undercurrent of a political agenda of "us" versus "them". Conroy is the stereotypical sweet, old woman who seems innocent but who has a disturbing past.

It is easy to see why theaters and authorities are concerned that the film will incite violence.  The film has an uneasiness to it both from Arthur's story and from watching the public becoming fed up enough to riot in the streets.  Director Todd Phillips (The Hangover) offers some spectacular shots that help set the overall tone and feel of the film, such as the rain falling as Arthur enters Arkham State or how we watch Arthur's disjointed ballet movements in a dirty, public restroom after the subway shooting. He also utilizes darker lighting to give the whole movie a sense of heaviness. 

The Joker has always been portrayed as a menacing, demonic like psychopath in the past so it was difficult for me to reconcile this version of a vulnerable, mentally ill, disturbed man with the pure evil villain I am used to.  I never thought I would pity the Joker but Arthur is someone who evokes sympathy from the audience while at the same time making us angry at his lack of empathy.  The film overall is a little difficult and uncomfortable to watch and the whole subplot of the neighbor was completely unnecessary but it is an interesting take on one of Batman's best-known arch enemies and Phoenix delivers an Oscar-worthy performance.

Grade: B+

 

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  • 1/6/2020 10:34 PM EST

    Home Video Review


    For today's home video review, FlickDirect's Austin Putnam reviews JOKER in 4K UHD!🍅 Read Allison Rose's tomato approved review here...
     
  • 4/3/2019 10:45 AM EST

    Teaser


    “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur...
     
  • 8/28/2019 12:10 PM EST

    Trailer


    “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur...
     


 

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