Monthly Archives: October 2019

We #Review: #GeminiMan – Will Smith is a great actor. I’ll give it 4 stars – Action packed fun – MR

Gemini Man

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gemini Man
GeminiManPoster.jpeg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ang Lee
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Darren Lemke
  • David Benioff
Starring
Music by Lorne Balfe
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Edited by Tim Squyres
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 1, 2019 (ZFF)
  • October 11, 2019 (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $138 million[2]
Box office $149.3 million[2]

Gemini Man is a 2019 American action thriller film[3] directed by Ang Lee and written by David BenioffBilly Ray, and Darren Lemke. Starring Will SmithMary Elizabeth WinsteadClive Owen, and Benedict Wong, the film follows a hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself while on the run from the government.

Originally conceived in 1997, the film went through development hell for nearly 20 years. Several directors, including Tony ScottCurtis Hanson, and Joe Carnahan, were all attached at some point and numerous actors, including Harrison FordMel Gibson, and Sean Connery, were set to star. In 2016, Skydance Media purchased the rights to the screenplay (which had been through several rewrites) from Disney and in October 2017, Ang Lee signed on to direct for Skydance with Paramount handling the distribution rights. Filming took place from February through May 2018.

Gemini Man premiered at the Zurich Film Festival on October 1, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on October 11, 2019, in standard 2D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX as well as in HFR (high frame rate) “3D+” on select screens (including 16 Dolby Cinema[4] and 47 IMAX with Laser screens worldwide).[5] The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who complimented the performances but lamented the script and plot. The de-aging of Smith and the high frame-rate of 120 FPS also drew a mixed response, with some critics praising them as technical achievements, while others felt they were unconvincing.[6][7] It has grossed $149 million against an estimated budget of $138 million, becoming a box-office bomb, with projected losses as high as $75 million.

Plot

Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin, is sent on a mission to assassinate an anonymous terrorist aboard a bullet train. During the mission, Henry’s spotter warns him of a young girl approaching the target, causing Henry to delay his shot until the last second, shooting the man in the neck despite aiming for his head. Disillusioned with killing, Henry retires from government service.

While adjusting to retirement, Henry meets boat rental manager Dani and reconnects with an old friend, Jack, who reveals that an informant named Yuri told him that the man Henry killed was innocent; demanding proof, Henry has Jack arrange a meeting with Yuri. In retaliation for Henry knowing their deception, agency director Lassiter plans to kill him; Clay Varris, head of a top-secret black ops unit codenamed “GEMINI”, requests permission to eliminate him but is denied.

Realizing Dani is a fellow agent sent to monitor him, Henry befriends her. After his home is broken into by government agents, Henry calls his spotter, who is killed along with Jack and his mistress. Henry warns Dani about the attack and they manage to kill the assassins sent after them, learning the agency wants them both dead.

Escaping to Colombia, Henry and Dani go to the home of Henry’s former colleague Baron, and plan to meet with Yuri for further options. Meanwhile, Clay dispatches his top assassin to kill Henry. Fighting him off, Henry realizes the assassin bears an uncanny resemblance to himself as a young man, with a similar skill set. When the injured assassin arrives at a safehouse, he is revealed to be Clay’s adopted “son” Junior. Although he is curious about his similarities to Henry, Junior is ordered to finish the job.

Henry is also troubled by his similarities to the assassin, whom Dani suggests might be his child despite Henry’s denials. Testing DNA samples recovered from Junior, Dani discovers that his and Henry’s DNA are identical – Junior is Henry’s younger clone. Desperate for answers, Henry meets Yuri in Hungary, and learns of the cloning project and that the man he killed was one of the project’s scientists. Having designed a method to produce clones devoid of pain or emotion, the scientist tried to leave the project and was killed upon being discovered.

To try and get Junior to turn away from Clay’s intentions, Henry calls Lassiter, who agrees to send Junior to bring Dani safely back to the United States. Collecting Dani, Junior sets up a trap for Henry, but she warns him via a covert listening device hidden in her tooth. Ambushing the younger assassin, Henry explains to Junior that he is a clone, convincing him by revealing their similar traits that no one else could know. Escaping back to GEMINI, a heartbroken Junior confronts Clay, who claims that he must defeat Henry in order to surpass him.

Finding Henry after sneaking out of GEMINI, Junior allies with him to bring down Clay, while he urges Junior to quit in order to become someone better. Baron is killed in an ambush ordered by Clay, with Junior knocking Clay unconscious after a brief hand-to-hand fight.

After defeating a wave of GEMINI operatives, Henry, Dani, and Junior face another clone with special body armor who feels no pain or emotions. After shooting the clone repeatedly and along with several secondary explosions, they manage to kill it. A defeated Clay tries to justify his actions towards Junior, who almost shoots him. Henry persuades Junior otherwise and kills Clay himself, having already lived with the heavy burden.

Ensuring that there are no more clones that were produced and that they are finally free from harm’s way, Henry later meets with Junior, who has enrolled into college under the assumed identity of “Jackson Brogan” after Henry’s surname. Together, Henry and Dani plan Jackson’s future.

Cast

  • Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Ex-Marine corps, regarded as the best killer of his generation.
    • Smith also portrays Jackson Brogan (codenamed “Junior”), a cloned assassin of Henry sent after him, and “Senior”, another cloned assassin sent after him. Smith was “digitally de-aged” through the use of motion capture and computer generated imagery.[8]
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Dani Zakarweski, a Navy veteran and DIA agent who helps Henry after he saves her from being assassinated.
  • Clive Owen as Clayton “Clay” Varris, the ruthless director of GEMINI who creates Junior to “retire” Henry and take his place.
  • Benedict Wong as Baron, an old friend of Henry’s who works as a tour operator.
  • Ralph Brown as Del Patterson, Henry’s handler at the DIA.
  • Linda Emond as Janet Lassiter, the director of the DIA.
  • Theodora Miranne as Kitty, Jack’s mistress.
  • Douglas Hodge as Jack Willis, an old Marine Corps colleague of Henry’s.
  • Ilia Volok as Yuri Kovacs, a Russian operative who has been secretly monitoring GEMINI’s history.
  • E. J. Bonilla as Marino, a DIA agent killed for his association with Henry.
  • Björn Freiberg as Keller

Our Thoughts

This was a good flick. I have a few gripes about the effects, but those are only about the few places where the climbing and fighting was so cartoon-ish as to seem “B rate.” Other than that it was well made and pretty much family friendly save for a bit of violence and language. The age effects are cool, and Will Smith is a great actor. I’ll give it 4 stars for Action packed fun – MR

Find Gemini Man and see the new trailer here.


We #Review, #Zombieland: Double Tap “Zeek blasting laughs for (most of) the whole family. I’ll give it 4 stars for fun.” – MR

Zombieland: Double Tap

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zombieland: Double Tap
Zombieland Double Tap teaser poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by Gavin Polone
Written by
Starring
Narrated by Jesse Eisenberg
Music by David Sardy
Cinematography Chung Chung-hoon
Edited by Dirk Westervelt
Production
companies
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • October 18, 2019 (United States)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $42–48 million[1][2]
Box office $39.3 million[3]

Zombieland: Double Tap is a 2019 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett ReesePaul Wernick, and David Callaham. A sequel to Zombieland (2009), it stars Woody HarrelsonJesse EisenbergAbigail Breslin, and Emma Stone reprising their roles from the first film, alongside new cast members Rosario DawsonZoey Deutch, and Luke Wilson.

Talk of a Zombieland sequel began before the release of the first installment, with Reese and Wernick suggesting ideas, and the cast voicing their desire to make a second film. However, the project languished in development hell for several years before finally being confirmed in July 2018. The four main stars and Fleischer all signed on that month, while additional cast members, including Dawson and Wilson, joined in early 2019. Filming took place from January to March 2019.

Zombieland: Double Tap was released in the United States on October 18, 2019, by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label.[4] It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $39 million worldwide.

Plot ***SPOILER ALERT***

Ten years after the events of the first film, in an America overrun by zombies dubbed “Zombieland”, survivors Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock have become experts in identifying and disposing of various zombies. Living in the abandoned White House, Columbus decides to propose to Wichita using the Hope Diamond, while Tallahassee rebuffs Little Rock’s hopes of meeting a boy and starting her own family. The next morning, Tallahassee finds a note from Wichita and Little Rock, who have left due to Little Rock feeling Tallahassee still treats her like a child and Wichita’s fear she is too attached to Columbus.A month later, while exploring a mall, Columbus is startled by Madison, who has survived Zombieland alone since she was 14 inside the freezer of a Pinkberry. Madison quickly annoys Tallahassee, but Columbus invites her back to the White House, where she has sex with him. Returning and discovering Columbus has slept with Madison, Wichita explains that Little Rock has left for Graceland with a pacifist named Berkeley, and informs the group of more agile and durable “super zombies”. Fearing for Little Rock’s safety, the group head toward Graceland in a rundown minivan.

On the road, the group tries to commandeer a luxury RV, but Madison triggers the alarm, and zombies attack them. Annihilating the horde, they encounter a super zombie that takes multiple gunshots to kill, leading Columbus to nickname it the “T-800“. Madison shows signs of “zombification”, forcing Columbus to lead her into the forest to shoot her. Arriving at Graceland, the group finds “the Beast”, Tallahassee’s modified presidential limousine stolen by Little Rock, at an Elvis-themed motel run by Nevada, who reveals Little Rock took another vehicle toward Babylon, a hippie commune. Bonding over their love of Elvis, Nevada and Tallahassee spend the night together.

The group awakens to find the Beast being crushed by a monster truck driven by Albuquerque and Flagstaff, who strongly resemble Tallahassee and Columbus. Super zombies arrive, and Albuquerque explains they have turned back from their journey west due to hordes of super zombies moving east. Facing the super zombies alone, Albuquerque and Flagstaff seemingly triumph but are both bitten. Turning into super zombies, they are killed by the group with Nevada’s help.

Bidding Nevada farewell, Tallahassee is unable to drive Albuquerque’s monster truck; Columbus takes over driving duties in the minivan. The group finds Madison, alive and driving an ice cream truck. Rejoining the group, she explains that her nut allergy caused symptoms similar to zombification when Columbus spared her in the forest. At Babylon, Little Rock and Berkeley learn guns are prohibited and melted down to make peace medallions. The group arrives at Babylon, relenting to the no-guns policy, and find Little Rock. Realizing she is now grown up and no longer needs his protection, Tallahassee leaves, as the hippies celebrate the group’s arrival with fireworks. Tallahassee finds a massive horde of super zombies attracted by the fireworks and returns to warn the group. Left without guns, Tallahassee devises two plans: First, using fireworks to lure the zombies into an enclosed area, and exploding a tank of biodiesel. Second, commune members armed with barricade shields will corral the zombies off of a skyscraper, lured by Tallahassee.

The first plan proves disastrous when the zombie horde is more massive than expected, and the unarmed group is surrounded. Resigned to their fate, they thank each other for their companionship, but Nevada arrives in the monster truck, rescuing the group. The truck flips over, forcing them to journey up the skyscraper as Tallahassee delays the zombies. The survivors use shields to create a single path off the edge of the building. Pursued by the zombies, Tallahassee jumps off the building, catching the hook of a construction crane as the horde falls to their deaths. Two zombies seize Tallahassee’s leg, but Little Rock shoots them with a forgotten pistol given to her earlier by Tallahassee.

With Tallahassee saved and the zombie horde destroyed, Little Rock reconciles with Tallahassee, and Wichita accepts Colombus’ proposal of marriage. Little Rock breaks up with Berkeley, who hooks up with Madison; they stay behind as the group, joined by Nevada, leave Babylon. Columbus remarks that they have finally found their home in each other.

In a mid-credits sceneBill Murray witnesses the start of the zombie outbreak ten years earlier while promoting a third Garfield film, before partaking in killing multiple zombies. In a post-credits scene, Murray is shown earlier practicing coughing up a hairball as a joke in his interview.

Cast

In addition, Bill Murray reprises his role from the first film as a fictionalized version of himself. Entertainment reporters Al RokerGrace Randolph, Josh Horowitz and Lili Estefan cameo as fictionalized versions of themselves.

Our Thoughts

If you liked Zombieland, you’ll want to see Double-Tap.  There is no sense in reviewing the flick. You know what is going to happen. This is a typical young love gone awry comedy story, only in Zombieland. Duh.  It was worth the cost of the premium ticket. I’ll give it 4 stars, for being fun, funny, and entertaining.  – MR

 

Find Zombieland: Double Tap and see the new trailer here.


We #Review – #Maleficent: Mistress of Evil “If you can forget it’s #Disney, it’s actually a pretty good fantasy tale. 4.5 stars”- MR

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maleficent Mistress of Evil (Official Film Poster).png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joachim Rønning
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Linda Woolverton
Based on
Starring
Music by Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography Henry Braham
Edited by
Production
c
ompany
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • October 18, 2019[2]
Running time
118 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $185 million[4]
Box office $157.3 million[5]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a 2019 American dark fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Joachim Rønning, and written by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, and Noah Harpster. It is a sequel to the 2014 film Maleficent,[1] with Angelina Jolie returning to portray the title role. Elle FanningSam RileyImelda StauntonJuno Temple, and Lesley Manville also return to their previous roles, with Harris Dickinson replacing Brenton Thwaites from the first film and Chiwetel EjioforEd Skrein, and Michelle Pfeiffer joining the cast as new characters.

After the release of the first film in May 2014, Jolie stated a sequel was possible. The project was officially announced the following June and Jolie signed on in April 2016. Rønning, who co-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) for Disney, was hired to direct the film in October 2017 and the rest of the cast was added or confirmed in May 2018, with filming beginning that month at Pinewood Studios in England, lasting through August.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was released in the United States on October 18, 2019, and has grossed over $157 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances of Jolie, Fanning, Ejiofor, and Pfeiffer, but criticism aimed at the “muddled plot and overly artificial visuals”.

Plot

Five years after the death of King Stefan,[N 1] Aurora continues to reign as Queen of the Moors while Maleficent serves as its protector. Despite her heroic actions, Maleficent is deemed a villain by the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip. When Philip asks Aurora to marry him and she accepts, Diaval, having overheard the proposal, relays the news to Maleficent, who warns against the union. Aurora insists she and Phillip will prove her wrong before persuading her to attend an intimate dinner with Philip and his parents, King John and Queen Ingrith.

On the night of the dinner, Ingrith attempts to provoke Maleficent by giving her iron silverware, mentioning the sleeping curse she placed on Aurora and openly accusing her of killing two men last seen near the Moors. Maleficent attempts to keep her composure but loses her temper after Ingrith dismisses her relationship with Aurora, seemingly cursing King John into an eternal slumber. She then flees without Aurora, who refuses to believe her claims of innocence, but falls into the ocean after being wounded with an iron bullet fired by Ingrith’s servant, Gerda. At the last minute, a mysterious creature with wings similar to hers saves her life.

Maleficent wakes up in a series of underground caverns where she discovers a group of winged and horned fairies of her own kind, among them Conall, their peaceful leader who saved Maleficent, and Borra, a warlike fairy who strives for an open war with humans. Maleficent discovers that she is one of the last Dark Feys, a powerful species of fairies that are almost extinct because of the human oppression. She is also told that her own bloodline ties directly to the Phoenix, an ancient and very powerful ancestor of the Dark Fey, and that is why she wields magic more powerful than the rest of her species. Both Conall and Borra believe that Maleficent is instrumental to end the conflict with humans, either by peace or war.

Meanwhile, in Ulstead, Aurora is disillusioned by her new life of a noblewoman but is happy that all of the Fair Folk from the Moors have been invited for her and Phillip’s wedding. On the wedding day, though, she discovers that Ingrith, out of her deep-seated hatred for them, has been secretly plotting to eradicate all of the fairies and woodland beings, forging iron weapons and inventing a crimson powder that can instantly kill them. It is also revealed it was Ingrith who cursed John with Maleficent’s old cursed spindle. As the Fair Folk gathers for the wedding ceremony in the castle’s chapel, they are trapped in and Gerda starts killing them with the powder, launched from the organ she plays. They are ultimately saved by Flittle’s selfless sacrifice, where ultimately, Knotgrass and Thistlewit cause Gerda to fall to her death.

At the same time, the Dark Feys launch an assault on Ulstead but are being massacred by the well-prepared soldiers until Maleficent, having channeled the power of the Phoenix, joins the battle. She nearly manages to kill Ingrith but is stopped by Aurora who appeals to her good nature, reassuring her that Maleficent is her mother. As the two reconcile, however, Maleficent saves Aurora from Ingrith’s arrow and dissolves into ashes. Ingrith proclaims herself victorious as Aurora weeps over the ashes. Maleficent is reborn in the form of the Phoenix.

Ingrith’s soldiers stand down, and the queen herself is transformed into a goat as punishment for her crimes. Phillip forges a peace pact with the fairies on the behalf of humans, Maleficent reverts back to her fairy form, gives Aurora and Phillip her blessing and breaks the curse on the spindle and spinning wheel altogether, awakening King John from his slumber. After the couple is wed, Maleficent flies away with a group of young Dark Feys, promising Philip and Aurora to come back for the christening of their child.

Cast

Our Thoughts

I’m tired of Disney films. I really am. But here, I was able to forget it was Disney and get lost in a pretty damn good fantasy tale, despite the princess and the over abundance of absurd fairies.  It is a typical forbidden love gone wrong type of thing until we are suddenly exploring Malificent’s unique race. This part was a bit too much like Avatar, but what can you do? The effects were superb, and it is well worth to cost of a premium ticket. We saw it in IMAX, which I highly recommend. 4.5 stars – MR

 

Find, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Joker “Oscar winning performance. But who really wants to see Batman as an entitled, elitist. 4 stars.” – MR

Joker (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joker
Joker (2019 film) poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Todd Phillips
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters
by DC Comics
Starring Joaquin Phoenix
Music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Edited by Jeff Groth
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 31, 2019 (Venice)
  • October 4, 2019 (United States)
Running time
122 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55–64 million[2][3]
Box office $258.1 million[4]

Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. The film, based on DC Comics characters, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. An origin story set in 1981, the film follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham CityRobert De NiroZazie BeetzFrances ConroyBrett CullenGlenn FleshlerBill CampShea Whigham, and Marc Maron appear in supporting roles. Joker was produced by DC FilmsVillage Roadshow PicturesBron Creative, and Joint Effort, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Phillips conceived Joker in 2016 and wrote the script with Silver throughout 2017. The two were inspired by 1970s character studies and the films of Martin Scorsese, who was initially attached to the project as a producer. The graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) was the basis for the premise, but Phillips and Silver otherwise did not look to specific comics for inspiration. Phoenix became attached in February 2018 and was cast that July, while the majority of the cast signed on by August. Principal photography took place in New York CityJersey City, and Newark, from September to December 2018. It is the first live-action Batman film to receive an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, due to its violent and disturbing content.

Joker premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, where it won the Golden Lion. It was released in the United States on October 4, 2019. The film received generally positive, albeit polarized, reviews; while Phoenix’s performance was praised, the dark tone, portrayal of mental illness, and handling of violence divided critics.[5] Joker also generated concerns of inspiring real-world violence; the movie theater where the 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting occurred during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises refused to show it. The film has grossed $258.1 million worldwide and set box office records for an October release.

Plot  *** SPOILERS ***

In 1981, party clown Arthur Fleck lives with his mother, Penny, in Gotham City. Gotham is rife with crime and unemployment, leaving segments of the population disenfranchised and impoverished. Arthur suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times and depends on a social services worker for medication. After a gang attacks him in an alley, Arthur’s co-worker, Randall, loans him a gun. Arthur invites his neighbor, single mother Sophie, to his stand-up comedy show, and they begin dating.

While entertaining at a children’s hospital, Arthur’s gun falls out of his pocket. Arthur is fired and Randall lies that Arthur bought the gun himself. On the subway, still in his clown makeup, Arthur is beaten by three drunken Wayne Enterprises businessmen; he shoots two in self-defense and executes the third. The murders are condemned by billionaire mayoral candidate Thomas Wayne, who labels those envious of more successful people as “clowns”. Demonstrations against Gotham’s rich begin, with protesters donning clown masks in Arthur’s image. Funding cuts shutter the social service program, leaving Arthur without medication.

Arthur’s comedy show goes poorly; he laughs uncontrollably and has difficulty delivering his jokes. Talk show host Murray Franklin mocks Arthur by showing clips from the routine on his show. Arthur intercepts a letter written by Penny to Thomas, alleging that he is Thomas’s illegitimate son, and berates his mother for hiding the truth. At Wayne Manor, Arthur talks to Thomas’ young son, Bruce, but flees after a scuffle with butler Alfred Pennyworth. Following a visit from two Gotham City Police Department detectives investigating Arthur’s involvement in the train murders, Penny suffers a stroke and is hospitalized.

At a public event, Arthur confronts Thomas, who tells him that Penny is delusional. In denial, Arthur visits Arkham State Hospital and steals Penny’s case file; the file says Penny adopted Arthur as a baby and allowed her abusive boyfriend to harm them both. Penny alleged that Thomas used his influence to fabricate the adoption and commit her to the asylum to hide their affair. Distraught, Arthur goes to the hospital and kills Penny. He enters Sophie’s apartment unannounced. Frightened, Sophie tells him to leave; their previous encounters are revealed to have been Arthur’s delusions.

Arthur is invited to appear on Murray’s show due to the unexpected popularity of his routine clips. As he prepares, he is visited by his former co-workers Gary and Randall. Arthur murders Randall but leaves Gary unharmed for treating Arthur well in the past. En route to the studio, Arthur is pursued by the two detectives onto a train filled with clown protesters. One accidentally shoots a protester and incites a riot while Arthur escapes in the chaos.

Before the show goes live, Arthur requests that Murray introduce him as Joker, a reference to Murray’s previous mockery. Arthur walks out to a warm reception, but begins telling morbid jokes, admits that he killed the men on the train, and rants about how society abandons the disfranchised and how Murray mocked him. Arthur kills Murray live on television and is arrested as riots break out across Gotham; one rioter corners the Wayne family in an alley and murders Thomas and his wife Martha, sparing Bruce.[a] Rioters in an ambulance crash into the police car carrying Arthur and free him. He dances to the cheers of the crowd and uses his blood to paint a smile on his face.

In an interview room in Arkham State Hospital,[7] Arthur laughs to himself and tells his psychiatrist she would not understand the joke. Leaving, he is chased by an orderly, leaving a trail of bloodied footprints.

Cast

  • Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck / Joker:
    A mentally ill, impoverished stand-up comedian disregarded by society,[8] whose history of abuse causes him to become a nihilistic criminal.[9] Phoenix had been interested in a low-budget “character study” of a comic book character, and said the film “feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe … It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”[10] Phoenix lost 52 pounds (24 kg) in preparation,[11][12] and based his laugh on “videos of people suffering from pathological laughter.”[13] He also sought to portray a character that audiences could not identify with and did not look to previous Joker actors for inspiration; instead, he read a book about political assassinations so he could understand killers and motivations.[9] Director Todd Phillips said that he intentionally left it ambiguous as to whether Arthur becomes the actual Joker as seen in traditional Batman stories or inspires a separate character.[14]
  • Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin:[15]
    A talk show host who plays a role in Arthur’s downfall.[16] De Niro said his role in Joker pays homage to his character from The King of Comedy (1983), Rupert Pupkin, who is a comedian obsessed with a talk-show host.[15]
  • Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond:[17]
    A cynical single mother and Arthur’s purported love interest.[17][18] Beetz, a “huge fan” of Phoenix, said that it was “an honor” to co-star with him,[19] and that she learned a lot working with him on set.[20]
  • Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck: Arthur’s mentally and physically ill mother,[21] who formerly worked for Thomas Wayne.[22] Hannah Gross portrays a young Penny.

Our Thoughts

Other than its slow pace, I really liked Joker. Phoenix gives an Academy Award performance and should win this year’s Oscar, hands down. I liked the theme, and the best part, well…. It held far too much satisfaction for my own comfort. This movie will make you see how bad of a human you can be, and there is no happy, redeeming ending. Still a great a night out, and well worth the cost of a premium ticket. 4 stars, and Highly Recommended – MR

Find Joker and see the new trailer here.