FULL BLEED: BUT YOU'RE NOT FUNNY
Saw JOKER. Spoilers follow.
It was beautifully shot, well-acted, locations curated and lit and retro-aged perfectly. Great costuming and sense of other place that mostly stuck aside from a few really notable exceptions. I think Joaquin Phoenix did a good job with the role. I think. It's tough because it's the kind of role that will elicit all manner of "it must be great acting because it looked so arduous and awkward and painful" but I don't know that it really rang.
The script was kinda funny in places, mostly too-heavy in others. Unfortuntely, it centered around not just a visualization/realization of the character that I really don't care for. Also, giving the Joker an origin is like giving Cthulhu an origin. All it will do is take away from the power of the character. You know, like when George Lucas and his writing crew took Darth Vader's mask and showed the aging hulk of greyed flesh and weakness beneath it, killing him utterly? Yeah, like that. I know, we're in the Superhero Age and origins are all the rage. Gotta explain why someone puts on the funny suit.
"We do it because we're compelled." Alan Moore got that right. Of course, his characters are all compelled, all characters are compelled, by their very nature. They're not real. Only in our heads. This makes fiction difficult sometimes.
It's a movie I would have liked a lot better (not that I would have found it more meaningful, mind you) had it been about a sad dude who gets trounced repeatedly by the world and snaps, igniting the powder keg of the city at the same time. And, as my daughter and I were spitballing around the ending, a far better and more interesting ending would have been Fleck escaping the studio, taking a police cruiser and driving down to the riot, admiring it.
Only to have the rioters that apparently he himself inspired smash the car because of their desire to rebel against something, anything, then the car subsequently crashes and Fleck is consumed by the crowd and the flames they light. That ends the franchise, you'll say. And then I'll suggest that the original Joker is like the Velvet Underground of Jokers. He goes on to inspire copycats of every stripe. When one is killed, another steps forward. The franchise goes on forever.
Then we might've had something like irony instead of the boulder rolling down the hill as we watch it gain steam for a couple hours to try and smash us.
I guess my largest problem with it, and you doubtless did not have this problem, was that every single instance of shoehorning it into the Batman mythology just felt forced. Oh, and ZORRO THE GAY BLADE? Well, I guess you gotta stay close to the original timeline, but come on. Not a bit of that story worked. But the story of a man who just snapped? Sure it's been done. But it could be done well again.
I know. I'm not supposed to try and fix movies. I'm supposed to let people just enjoy them.
More later. Working on some kind of structured posting schedule here, because, as is evident, I can't take actual social media any longer. That's a me problem, mine to solve.