First Glance: “Joker”


Some say the DC Extended Universe has struggled to find its identity. DC Films has been working hard to redefine its MCU-like movie landscape, but at the same time they’re doing something else really interesting. They are putting together a series of movies completely separate from their broader connected DCEU. The very first of these stand-alone films is simply titled “Joker” and the first trailer looks really promising.

Right off the bat the trailer showcases a truly dark and twisted tone. As a big fan of Joker’s grittier comic book storylines I’m loving how the film looks to have a menacing, psychological focus. Shades of Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy” and even “Taxi Driver” can be seen everywhere. That’s a good thing. And who better to dig deep into the twisted psychology of a madman than Joaquin Phoenix? My one concern is Todd Phillips. His brand of comedy has never resonated with me. But so far so good!

“Joker” hits theaters October 4th. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be checking it out or giving it a pass.

15 thoughts on “First Glance: “Joker”

  1. Eh. I find the Joker to be such an overused character. And Phoenix was always overrated to me. This looks fine but people are going crazy over it, have they even see the first trailer for Logan? That is just….ok comparing to that

    • I’ve heard several people say that he is an overused character but I don’t know if I agree. Animation aside, this will be the third film version (I refuse to count Suicide Squad’s existence. It’s a personal thing) but it looks to be dramatically different than any of the others. And I actually like Phoenix so that is definitely a plus for me.

      Interesting comparison to Logan. I too liked it’s first trailer, but they are wildly different movies. It will be interesting to see if they can pull this thing off.

  2. I’m curious. This looks really, really bizarre and that may very well be the point. I think Phoenix will make a better Joker than Leto, but I honestly don’t know. I’ve been on a DC movie binge lately, so I am looking forward to checking this one out, but I’m just not sure it’s going to hit the mark.

    • Oh I think Phoenix will be tons better than Leto. Jared’s was some weird gang-banger Joker where Phoenix looks to be digging into the warped psychology of the character (something his best comic storylines often did). I’m really anxious to see if they can pull this off.

  3. After watching this trailer yesterday, the one thing I wanted to say to Jared Leto is this: Go back to acting school you overrated hack. You and your fondness for method acting is nothing more than an overused gimmick. You didn’t get the Joker right and all you did was make him look stupid. Oh, and 30 Seconds to Mars sucks!

    I admit to be mixed on Todd Phillips as a filmmaker but this looks incredible. Phoenix looks like he is bringing something totally different to the character as I think he’s going to pull it off. He, Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero, and Mark Hamill are the ones that should be in the list of the top 5 Jokers. Hamill gets the voice right on for the animated film versions. Say, have you ever seen this clip of Mark Hamill’s Joker voicing Emperor Palpatine? It’s fucking insane how awesome and meta it is:

    • Hamill kills it in the Animated Series. Absolutely kills it. As for Leto, I’m not high on his acting but I really disliked his Joker. I mentioned elsewhere that he was channeling a street-wise gangbanger and had zero depth. Phoenix and Phillips seem to be digging deep into the psychological side of the character. To me that is what makes him so fascinating.

      Oh, and thanks for the link. Can’t wait to check it out!

    • I don’t think Jared Leto is a bad actor. Far from it. His approach to the Joker in Suicide Squad, though, was all sorts of wrong. This is not a character that’s going to be suited for everybody, because not everybody can pull it off.

      • He has done some good films and could do some excellent work but his approach to method acting really turns me off. It made me hate method acting.

  4. Like a great deal of others, I was skeptical. And then I saw this and I felt so stupid for doubting what Joaquin Phoenix could bring to the role. (Also, I just love thinking about Joaquin not-at-all giving a fuck about what the fanboys think.) The Taxi Driver and Kings of Comedy-vibes are strong and promising. There’s also an air of You Were Never Really Here, but perhaps that’s a post for another time.

    Post-Leto, I like the idea of other prestige actors trying their hand at the Joker. There will be MANY iterations of Batman and Superman for years to come. Why not standalone stories of villains? That’s perhaps the most exciting prospect for me – this film is entirely separate from the DCEU, giving it authority to do virtually anything it wants without worrying about “interconnected universe” repercussions. That’s madly exciting.

    • I love your last paragraph. So much of what you said parallels how I feel. I love that they aren’t beholden to DCEU mythology. A series of stand-alone villain movies like this could be REALLY good.

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