Joker

Joker

DVD - 2019
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Most days, Arthur Fleck is bullied in public as he works as a clown-for-hire, but his slow descent into madness is hurried along by his mother's failing health, their strained connection with the rich Wayne family, and his failed comedy career.
Publisher: [Burbank, California] : Warner Home Video, [2019]
Call Number: DVD F JOKE
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (122 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,rdatr
optical,surround,5.1 Dolby surround,rdarm
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DVD video,region 1

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Oscars 2020: SFPL
SFPL_StaffPicks Dec 30, 2019

Nominated Best Picture; Lead Actor, Joaquin Phoenix (winner); Director, Todd Phillips; Adapted Screenplay, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver; Cinematography, Lawrence Sher; Film and Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; Makeup and Hairstyling; Original Score (winner)

Outstanding Leading Male Actor, Joaquin Phoenix

Nominated Best Motion Picture; Actor, Joaquin Phoenix (winner); Director, Todd Phillips; Original Score, Hildur Guðnadóttir (winner)


From the critics


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s
SkyHook
Dec 12, 2020

Excellent. A Joker origin story as expected, but pleasantly meaty, gritty, realistic, violent, and even believable, all while tugging real emotions under recognizable circumstances you’d be afraid to admit to your best friends. It was barely fiction, with most settings and elements pulled from real headlines. I cheated and checked the special features, thankfully agreeing with commentaries and interviews. On a technical note, I was amazed how some simple sets were mostly CG, while the complexities of all Gotham were digital mattes; I assumed city shots were filmed in some basic and crusty neighbourhoods but it was only the tight-framed scenes, leaving horizons, elevations, graffiti, and probably a lot of street garbage to the computer.

Arthur Fleck is brought to life brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix, so I can finally forgive him for “I’m Still Here,” which I choose to recall, now, as unfortunate performance art. He’s done many good things before and after, but I never forgave his disruptive talk show appearance. It was probably staged but it wasn’t art, it was just bad and rude. I think it’s also obvious, like most great performances, that Joaquin fuelled his Joker fire with some shared memories and recognition of Arthur’s history.

We pay to share the Joker’s path, starting with a boatload of sympathy for a guy struggling with a bad hand: physical scarring, mental illness, mental abuse and harassment, violence, neurological disorder, broken family, unemployed and broke, and in the worst time at the worst place in recent history, all while responsible and caring for his ailing mother. He almost made it, and you might find yourself cheering for him. It’s barely disguised that Gotham is 1981 NYC; I guessed mid-‘70s, but I wasn’t there. As the path extended, we strung together the stressors that fully formed the Joker, and we gradually shifted from feeling sympathy to observing sociopathy. Unfortunately, if you stepped over the line into empathy you went too far, and will end up giving Joker 4/5 stars instead of 5. Don’t compare Arthur Fleck to your own life or your disgust will make it hard to enjoy the film.

It was also amazing how they dovetailed Joker stories with Batman canon, while completely original and not reworked from graphic novels. Joker was born as a film, which might explain its brilliance, not tied down by outside forces. Can't unsee comics or a dozen previous Jokers, so it's hard to know if this film stands alone very well. When it did respect the comics, it added unexpected twists and evoked emotional connections, stayed in its period, and still had legs to reflect modern societal foibles. In the end, the Joker we left with was the Joker we recognise, after enjoying the ride to Arkham Asylum.

m
manoletters
Nov 24, 2020

My first review somehow got deleted, so I will be brutally honest; don't waste your time on this. It is excruciatingly slow and for the most part rather boring. I've enjoyed watching paint dry more than I didn't care for this. D-

s
sprocketnut
Oct 25, 2020

very good

r
ROBERTFREDALLEN
Aug 16, 2020

What a sick movie, the best part was the rich voice of Frank Sinatra singing "Send in the Clowns" What's happened to America?

y
YoDiggity
Aug 07, 2020

A lot of hype on this movie from Bollywood. I would have felt ripped off
in the movie theater paying for this dud. Worth a watch for free,
if you like to watch violence and someone who constantly laughs uncontrollably.

a
anonymouswe
Aug 04, 2020

This movie was horrible in pretty much every regard. No joke, if I was handing out grades, it would get an F-minus. The overall plot is incredibly intriguing (grounding the founding of Joker in mental illness and societal oppression instead of chemical baths, etc.), but the execution was a complete and total failure. First and foremost, it was incredibly boring. Second, but almost as equally important, is that Arthur Fleck is a psychopathic imbecile - he has all the psychopath but none of the elite mastermind of Joker. Even the extras were incredibly boring. How is there such slow, boring pace throughout everything connected to this project? The answer is the Writer, Director and Producer were the same person. Mr. Phillips clearly did not have anyone in his corner who would stand up to him and help him make better decisions. It is clear as a style, Mr. Phillips believes a great film has no action on the screen, with over-bearing music blaring - 3 of the 4 extras are exactly that - two are literally no speaking and only still pictures with music playing over them. Mind-numbingly boring film, including the extras. Total waste of time, IMO. Two-thirds of critics found greatness in this film - I agree with the other third that found this to have completely missed the mark. An incredibly intriguing plot fell into the wrong hands in this case.

g
greatflicks
Aug 02, 2020

A very dark, dark movie, it is all about a struggle with a mental disorders. Even though I cannot stand Joaquin Phoenix and avoid his movies he did a terrific job of acting and can see why he got the best actor award. I ask myself what did I get out of this movie and I said absolutely nothing. I wish I had not spent the two hours watching it. However, some people love dark movies with misery & glum so go at it folks you will be thrilled beyond any expectations.

j
johnnybookreader
Mar 04, 2020

Well, he isn't Caesar Romero, that's for sure. But this is a can't take your eyes away from it extravaganza. The score helps a lot, creating a very creepy vibe of foreboding doom. Though after watching Joaquin Phoenix' post Oscar rant I'm thinking the portrayal isn't far below the surface. I think they gave the little golden bowling trophy to the iron guy.

h
hooppii
Feb 12, 2020

I thought this was going to be a Batman vs Joker movie but was I ever wrong. This is an incredibly well produced, directed and performed movie. JP definitely deserved the Best Actor Oscar. I was mesmerized from beginning to end. You've got to watch this.

l
lindy919
Jan 20, 2020

.
As I'm sick to death of Batman (and Spiderman) with the constant, unending reboots and cross-platform advertisements, I held out little hope for this one.
.
But... This is really good. For most of the movie, it is a study on madness, itself, without mention of Bruce Wayne. The last 30 minutes gets more involved with Gotham but by then I was fully immersed.
.

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SF_READER
Feb 06, 2020

SF_READER thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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