Movie Reviews

Joker (2019)

joker-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Todd Phillips

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 122 Minutes

Main Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais

Plot: Simple enough, this is the story about how a troubled man called Arthur Fleck descended further into madness and took a name familiar to most, Joker.

My Thoughts: Let’s skip past all the drama and controversy around Joker for this post, shall we? Enough people have covered it far better than I can, anyway.

I wasn’t expecting to love this movie. I hated the last Joaquin Phoenix movie I watched, I’m not a big Batman fan, and whilst I avoided reading too many reviews before I got to see it myself, I kept seeing Joker being compared to Taxi Driver…a classic which I can’t stand! So yep, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Although, enjoy and love are two strange words to use to describe your feelings for Joker, because it’s dark. Hella dark.

In fact, in between feeling uncomfortable, our audience laughed quite a few times during the movie. Not because we’re all sickos who found what Arthur was doing funny, but because the tension was getting so thick we seemed to find that collective nervous laughter was the best way to relieve it a little! I always find that the best bad guys are the characters who are utterly evil, but you can see and sympathise with how they ended up that way. You don’t have to condone their actions at all, but you can understand them.

Noone (in their right mind) thought Thanos’ idea to wipe out 50% of the planet with a click of his fingers was a good act, but we couldn’t help but admit that he had a point, you know? I hope the Academy throw some love this movie’s way, even if it’ll inflate Todd Phillips’ ego even further…maybe we’ll get some more stupid quotes from him!

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Best Bit: When Arthur made his appearance on Murray’s show. I felt like I knew how that scene was going to pan out, but it still didn’t prepare me for that moment.

Worst Bit: *BIG SPOILERS* The second we got to see a young Bruce Wayne I thought to myself, if we have to sit through Batman’s goddamn origin story one more time I will scream. WHY do we need to keep seeing this?! We KNOW what happened. It could have been left as a subtle hint, just a glimpse, something off-camera, but no. Let’s make a big deal of it. Again. 

Fun Trivia: The ending of the film where the Joker is in Arkham is meant to be ambiguous as the viewer is given to draw a line about what exactly did happen and did not happen throughout the movie because everything is from Arthur’s perspective. This is further hinted when he says to the doctor “You wouldn’t get it” when he was asked what he finds funny implying that the whole thing was one big joke to him.

My Rating: 4 and a half guns which you should NOT take with you to work if you’ve got a gig pretending to be a clown in a children’s hospital…

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Movie Reviews

Blind Spot Series: Heat (1995)

heat-movie-review-1995-blind-spotDirector: Michael Mann

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action

Runtime: 170 Minutes

Main Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Tom Noonan

Plot: Neil McCauley and his group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from the police when they leave a clue behind at their latest heist.

My Thoughts: You can’t win them all, and not even the greatest of movies will appeal to everyone. I think I’ve found a very specific genre that I just don’t enjoy at all, cat and mouse, robbers and police movies. I’ve got nothing against crime movies as a whole, in fact, I love watching heists and I love seeing a detective’s case unfold, but none of what happened in the nearly 3 hours of the movie Heat appealed to me.

I just don’t care about any of these characters. 170 minutes long and not enough time to let me build up any kind of sympathy? The only character I really liked was Natalie Portman’s – and oh my goodness how young is she here?! I’m so old. My biggest problem with it is probably the reason it’s so loved. It’s too much like The Departed, and yes I know that one is more recent. But I couldn’t stand The Departed. The whole thing seemed so pointless to me and it was just dull.

Here’s the thing, someone in your gang of robbers is probably going to turn against you. Maybe they’re into some shadier business than you’re already aware. Everyone is moody, has a troubled relationship at home. At the end of the movie, half of the cast is dead and they were terrible people anyway so you don’t even care! Sorry – I’m just ranting now. I know Heat is a well-loved movie. There are parts that I can appreciate, but at the end of the day, it’s just not my thing.

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Best Bit: Robert De Niro’s character says something about not getting attached to anyone or anything that you can’t leave behind in 30 seconds if it all goes south, and when this actually happens to him towards the end of the movie it was a pretty cool moment. Probably the only time I actually felt any emotion whilst watching the movie but it was really memorable.

Worst Bit: The restaurant scene with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino had me rolling my eyes. You guys are making each other’s lives miserable but you’ll have a happy chat over a coffee and talk about respect and what not? Ugh, please!

Fun Trivia: In the director’s commentary, Michael Mann noted that Al Pacino ad-libbed the line “Because she’s got a GREAT ASS!” and Hank Azaria’s look of exasperated shock was totally genuine.

My Rating: 2 full-size bags of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs that I ate whilst watching this movie over the space of 3 days…I am a disgusting human being.

heat-1995-movie-review-mini-eggs

blind-spot-series-2019-banner-v2The Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.