Still recovering from gamer’s hand after all day Halloween after playing through the story mode on Mortal Kombat 11. Took off my movie watching hat and went all in on videogaming.
Purchased the Ultimate Edition and played a ton of fighting matches. Part of the charm buying the series, besides following it off and on since its original debut in the 90s via Midway, is that it offered playing bonus characters from 80s action movies.
It was recently announced that the characters Rain and Mileena will be making their return to the hit fighting game, while ’80s action star, John Rambo, will be the surprise third DLC character. With his addition to the roster, Rambo joins characters likes RoboCop and the Terminator as classic blockbuster action stars to join the ranks of Mortal Kombat 11. This ’80s nostalgia might seems a little random to some fans, but it’s actually deeply rooted in the history of Mortal Kombat.
When Midway started the fighter series which is famous for graphic brutal fatalities performed like ripping the spine out of your opponent at the end, playing as guest characters in game was all the rage in their other popular game, NBA Jam.
You could play all kinds of different famous basketball players and people like President Clinton.
Midway eventually was sold to Warner Bros. and they have decided to add more characters, including the Joker to Mortal Kombat. They need to add Harley Quinn to the game, she’d fit perfect.
Joaquin Phoenix gave a brilliant performance in 2019 as the laughing hyena comic book villain Joker. Taking nothing away from him or any other actor, but in the current movie business climate a company like WarnerMedia — that is deeply in debt — offering an actor $50 million for a two picture sequel deal is nuts.
Is Phoenix worth the money? He might very well be. I mean, WarnerMedia must be thinking we can bank another $1-2 billion in sequel money.
The problem is this isn’t 2019 and moviegoers aren’t going to as many movies in the theater. Will they be in 2021? Maybe, maybe not. 2022 will life in the cinema be back to “normal”? That’s a long shot bet.
Joker star Joaquin Phoenix has reportedly been offered $50 million for two sequels to the Batman spinoff film. The Mirror claims to have an inside source who is claiming that, “Joaquin initially felt Joker was a standalone movie. But he’s changed his tune now. He says he wants to play this character again, despite the controversies that came with the release last year. “It’s still being negotiated but the scripts are being written and Joaquin is very engaged with it.” This is a big jump from the much more ambivalent stance that Joker Todd Phillips had about Joker 2, back at the start of 2020.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people shouldn’t get paid what they’re worth and if Phoenix can get the $50 million deal, if it is truly offered to him up front, my goodness especially for his family and his own personal situation, he should take it.
From a business standpoint, however, WarnerMedia should offer Phoenix something more “modest” (cough!) like a couple million per picture and points on the back end that could possibly earn the actor more than $25 million if the sequels perform at $X level. That gives Phoenix skin in the entire deal’s performance and the possibility to make even more than $25 million per film, but also potentially a lot less if the films do not make anywhere close to the amount of the first film.
In fairness, we don’t know the specifics of this alleged deal made to Phoenix, and maybe it’s structured closely to how I described, so keep that in mind. Still, the timing of this story and the offer being leaded and/or made public is suspect. Especailly when WarnerMedia is laying off workers that make a pittance of the money described here (see: Majority of DC Universe staff have been laid off by WarnerMedia, report says). It could also be a negotiating tactic on Phoenix’s part, perhaps through an agent, wanting to test the water. We don’t have the specific details, so it makes it harder to speculate.
Keeping it real, but most sequels don’t earn anywhere close to the first film. Superhero films admittedly are different in that regard, because they tend to be more episodic like TV and can span multiple films reaching an epic arc or conclusion (a la Avengers).
What do you think? Stupid for any studio in these current cinematic times to be writing checks for large amounts of money for a film that won’t even be released for 2-3+ years? Or do you think the studio is smart to lock up Phoenix while he’s willing to star in more Joker films?
His acceptance speech got mixed reactions from actors and other audience members at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Then the social media reactions piled in, with some praising the actor, and others wondering what the heck had just happened.
Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ just keeps chugging along, racking up more and more box office sales. Last weekend it still had over 2,000 screens and it was on week #7 of its run!
So, why not greenlight a Joker sequel?
And now that Joker has crossed the $1 billion mark, a sequel is on the way. As the movie keeps raking in money overseas, Phillips is in talks to reprise his role as director for a second Joker outing (he and Scott Silver, who penned the gritty Joker screenplay, will write the follow-up), THR has learned.
If they will reboot and put out sequels to Charlie’s Angels, there is no way there won’t be a sequel to Joker.
But there isn’t a signed contract … yet, said director Todd Phillips:
“Here’s the real truth about a sequel,” Phillips said. “While Joaquin and I have talked about it, and while touring the world with Warner Bros executives — going to Toronto, and Venice, and other places — of course, we’re sitting at dinner and they’re saying, ‘So, have you thought about…?’ But, talking about contracts, there’s not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we’ve never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel. Will that happen? Again, I just think the article was anticipatory at best.”
When the obvious sequel is made, not sure where the story will go from the ending, assuming it can’t go down the Batman path (seems like DC Universe tie-in is a given) but one could speculate that if Harley Quinn performs well, maybe something involving those two (since they used to date, after all). Perhaps an expansion with the Joker uprising or maybe something involving The Riddler or Penguin?
Congratulations all around for Joker and company. It proved a lot of people wrong about its longevity and crowd interest and there wasn’t any real crazy incel violence at the theaters as feared.
More Joker Reviews
As of this writing, there are over 63,000 (!) audience reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and more new reviews from others keep getting posted, so here are some recent ones. Not separating from recommended or not, because the vast majority of them are recommending. Also, now that it’s the #1 R-rated movie of all time and part of the billion dollar club, it seems like one most everybody is seeing anyway.
Reviews that come out many weeks after a film have been released tend to be even more spoiler-laden, but can also provide deeper analysis, which are enjoyable. This movie is a film debate and discussion magnet!
Zeegawd Media: “Overall, I give the film a 8.5/10. As much as I want to give it a “9” or a “10”, the movie did indeed had moments that I felt could’ve been done better. But when it’s all said and done, Joaquin Phoenix definitely deserves an Oscar for this film.”
ReelDecisions: “…a lot of people will actually find it too dark and too violent to be truly enjoyable. It’s something you should see, but something you might not actually like – if that makes any sense. Just be prepared for something you’ve never seen before and to be challenged mentally (perhaps even emotionally)”
Wizard Dojo: “…provides a fresh take on the super hero/villain genre, turning its origin story into a grounded, realistic character study. Helmed by Joaquin Phoenix’s unforgettable performance.”
SadGeezer: “…a nightmarish, gritty origin movie of a nasty and menacing super-villain. It’s set in 1981 and is absolutely marvelous!”
A Cultured Life: “I can understand now the reason of why Joker became a villian and I have more of an understanding, but it was more about the depth of the character of Joker himself and his struggles. Joaquin Phoenix did an amazing job as an actor. So amazing in fact that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d be nominated, and even win, an Oscar.”
Goose Reviews: “I believe that the joker movie had so much potential. The cinematography was top of the line. The acting was superb. But the amount of empty and complete lack of reliable conflict makes this movie fall short.”
The Keystone Newspaper: “…so far has singled itself out as a masterful film, but the controversy surrounding it may ruin the reputation it’s garnered.”
One of those Film Blogs: “Joker does pull back the curtain on the character to a large extent, showing us what’s behind the mask/face paint in a way that other backstories haven’t truly done before.”
Brown Girls Byte: “Phoenix is totally different. You know who he is. You know how good he is. But every time you watch him, he redefines the standards of an actor and he shows you what great acting is really capable of: empathy.”
The Plaid Line (9/10): “This film also sets a very high message to real life. Whether it’s debates, the economy, or the way people are treated these days. It kind of makes you think about how awful individuals can be to each other.”
KillDawg’s Wife: “The actor Joaquin Phoenix that played Joker, did such an AMAZING job. Dark, haunting, grotesque and spookish too, not to mention the emotion(s) that you feel towards the Joker. Such a roller coaster ride of emotion.”
Rami Talks Movies: “…triumphs with flying colors in that respect and on pretty much every front, primarily because its astutely assembled screenplay opts for subtext, nuance, and misdirection in lieu of being on the nose about everything. Verily the fuse of this dynamite script couldn’t have been lit absent the hauntingly evocative cinematography setting the mood or the bona fide Mr. Joaquin Phoenix, whose Herculean transmutation of a performance’s praises will be sonorously immortalized in the annals of history for generations to come.”
Nonstop Nerd: “The most fun part about the film is that it plays like a Batman movie in reverse, topped off with the infamous scene with the Waynes in Crime Alley appearing at the end. There are several scenes with characters questioning Arthur “hiding behind a mask,” and we see him rise to the top from a tragic childhood, creating chaos instead of order. What’s the Joker if not a reverse Batman?”
simplyjorge (3.5/5): “The things taking away from it in my personal opinion is that I did not fully grasp a lot of the plot of the film and felt there was pacing issues in the movie bringing us to so many different shots so quickly”
skoce: “The movie was numbing. Its desire to shock, to provoke radiates from every scene. But the movie doesn’t actually have anything provoking to say. It is utterly bleak, but that bleakness isn’t expressing anything. It isn’t a black comedy; there is nothing funny here. This is just two hours of ugly posturing that has nothing to say.”
Dorian Parks: “Todd Phillips delivered a game changing comic book film, and I cannot wait to see it again. Just a side note: Joker’s laugh is likely to haunt you for days after seeing this film.”
legendofmati: “…definitely up there in the conversation for movie of the year. It ticked all the boxes for me including; directing,perfect shot selection, great casting,above par writing and last but not least,the performance of Joaquin Phoenix “
Deadpool 2 is no longer the #1 R-rated film. More on that at the end after we talk about movies and the dead.
Respect the dead, yes, I get it.
But. They are dead. Gone. Not coming back the way they were. It’ s going to happen to everybody reading this unless someday they find the key to immortality is unlocked.
The following story is making me not wanting to be buried in a cemetery with others …
Lafayette Memorial Park in Fayetteville, N.C. planned a free, kid-friendly film night with snacks scheduled for Oct. 26, according to a Facebook event post. The post said that the movie night was being held in honor of the late grandparents of Heather Bosher, the owner of the park. Bosher wrote in the post that her grandparents enjoyed going to the movies.
But, no, the event was canceled because relatives of the deceased complained that the event was disrespectful to the dead.
See, this is why I probably will not be buried next to other people in a cemetery. Maybe I’ll put a statement in my will to cremate me and take a tiny bit of ashes into movie theaters and shake a little bit of me on the floor. Sure, that’s morbid, probably illegal if actually executed, and my remains will be swept away. But then we’ll all be dust in the wind someday.
Isn’t this common in the movie business? It’s a little bit like being in sales and not getting the sale. Handling rejection is part of the gig.
No idea if any of this is true, but am reading many different news reports that Jared Leto who played Joker in the Suicide Squad is upset that he wasn’t cast by Warner Brothers to play the part.
Sources say the actor felt his agents should have told him about the Phillips project earlier and fought harder for his version of Joker. Sources say Leto told his agents that they should stop the rival project, arguing that he wasn’t being treated properly as an Oscar winner (for Dallas Buyers Club). But a person with first-hand knowledge of the situation contends that by then, Leto had burned through four different teams of agents at CAA and there was little love for the actor there.
I haven’t seen Suicide Squad Jared Leto’s version of the Joker, but last time I checked, he was in the long line of actors having played the Joker. I spotlighted Cesar Romero in a post: 1966 Joker vs. 2019 Joker.
Wonder if this rumor is even true? It sounds like Leto is in a dispute with his (former) agency and someone from there might have leaked this out to make him look like he’s difficult to work with. Just the kind of BS to mess with someone’s career because you didn’t get your commission. Boo hoo.
Let me break away from Jared Leto momentarily to share a brighter story, a real story, where the people are recreating their favorite scene … on the Joker stairs:
And it seems like those stairs, which connect Shakespeare and Anderson avenues at West 167th Street, are becoming a popular tourist attraction, potentially to the chagrin of actual Bronx residents.
Cool stuff, huh? If/when I ever get to New York (Kara has been there, though), I want to check out these Joker Stairs.
Sorry, back to Jared Leto…
This is all speculation on my part, but for now I’m siding with Leto, especially because he is still working with Warner Brothers. He probably was disappointed that he didn’t get the Joker part, who wouldn’t be (it’s making a ton of $$$), but I doubt he’s going through some sort of Joker jealousy rage. Joaquin Phoenix did a great job playing Joker, but not even Joaquin will always be the definitive Joker. Somebody else will come along.
the largest October domestic opening weekend of all-time and the fourth largest opening ever for an R-rated feature. The film was the #1 movie domestically and overseas, kicking things off with a $234 million global launch.
Congratulations go out to Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ for setting an October record, seizing #1 R-Rated Venom from 2018.
Here are 20+ recent Joker Reviews from around the Blogosphere. Did my best to separate into recommended and not recommended based on the review rating. If there wasn’t a rating of any kind or it was unclear whether the reviewer recommended or not, then put under “unrated.”
WARNING: some of these reviews contain spoilers, just in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may want to wait until after seeing to click through and read the details of what/how/why others thought (as we normally do ourselves).
Knapp on the Go: “…. a character study on an interesting man that just needed help from society. ” 9/10
Keith At The Movies: “…. an audacious film that isn’t cavalier towards its violence nor numb to its effects. I saw it as a terrifying warning and an indictment of a society that not only creates monsters but lifts them up” 4.5/5
Long Time Geek: “… Joker is the most important movie of the fall, if not of the year.”
Mark Gorman: “… you don’t get a 9.1 rating on IMDB without reason.”
Inside Out – ” It’s also a narrative to the economic divide, extremist nationalism and uprising we see in so many societies today ” 4/5
thefilmera.com: “…provides a wretched, revolting, and terrifying villain at its core…” 3.5/5
cultfaction: “… Phillip and Phoenix have combined to produce a stark portrait of what society can do to someone who is stuck on its wrong side ” 7.5/10
matthewliedkeonfilm.com: “… It can hold a person’s attention with its thrills and because the character study lends enough interest, plus Phoenix is great.” 3/5
TheLostHighwayHotel: “… There’s nothing to get worked up about here. Despite the best efforts of everyone, Joker is thoroughly – perhaps even fatally – so-so.” 2.5/5
Bib’s Corner: “…if you are interested in the Joker’s origins, if you don’t mind some graphic violence, and you don’t care about the larger extended DC Universe it’s a great movie. I am the opposite of all three and that is why Joker didn’t do anything for me. “
thelegionnaire.net: “…what makes a good movie for me is one that attempts to elevate my spirit to a higher plane. There is none of that here, and thus my recommendation is to steer clear of this one “
Kendall Lacey: “…. Great cinematography, perfect performances, this really is special.”
hellogines: “… This move was dark. There was no one to root for. It was a clash of fantasy versus reality.”
Dr.Alderman: “…this type of renditions happen once in a blue moon, great work, great actor, great aesthetic experience.”
localbibliofile: “…a beautifully shot film that gets under your skin, making you shiver with thrills as it exposes and condemns Gotham City and the world we live in “
sickflickreviews: “…causing the viewer to ask herself what about the film is really happening and what is merely a delusion.”
dsfilmreviews: “…showcases a society that had become too complacent with a harsher way of thinking, and lack of empathy for those sitting on the edges with nowhere else to go. “
9takes: “…follows a fairly known path, but Joaquin makes the journey tolerable in spite of some bumps along the way, “
On Thursday 10/3 when I went to see the Joker movie, they charged me $3.50. It wasn’t a 3D or IMAX or 4DX showing, so there should not have been any surcharge for the Regal Unlimited members. The employees both told me that “some movies will have an additional charge.”
I questioned them because of the almost 30 movies I’ve seen in 2D so far under this plan, none of them have had any movie surcharge, but they insisted this was correct. So, I paid and then went out to my car and dialed up the 1-800 Regal Cinemas customer service line. I was on hold for about 10 minutes before I reached a gentleman and he put me on hold while he checked into it.
He came back on the line and asked me if I was still at the theater and if he could speak with the manager there. Seemed a bit strange that he’d want to speak from Regal help line on my phone to the manager at a Regal Cinema location, but hey, I went with it.
When I walked back inside a woman was there nicely dressed who looked official enough to be a manager. I asked her if she was the manager and told her that the Regal customer support line wanted to talk to her about me being charged $3.50 for a ticket to joker when I already had a Regal Unlimited plan. She rudely shut down the customer support guy and then berated me for calling them instead of talking with her first.
I said, “I”m sorry your employees told me there was nothing that could be done, so I called the Regal customer service line and asked if this was the correct procedure.”
She refunded me the $3.50 again complaining at me for not seeking her. I replied, “Maybe you need to train your people better?”
Anyway, I share this story for other Regal Unlimited members. This is a great plan and I’ve seen a lot of movies using it the last couple months and this is the first time I’ve had any sort of question or issue with it. Just beware some Regal employees apparently do not know how to charge for tickets at the concession area.
As for Joker , the movie? You can click the title and read my no-spoiler review or I recorded a YouTube Joker movie review (no spoilers either) as I left the theater:
I guess it is a timezone thing (?), but we can actually start seeing Joker that opens on 10/4 on 10/3 starting at 4:00 PM PST. Kara mentioned wanting to go see a movie tomorrow and I’m hoping she’ll want to see this one. I’d rather go earlier, though like at 4pm than later, but we’ll see what happens.
Unless you’ve been completely off the grid the last month, this new Joker movie has created quite a bit of controversy so far. There is some concern that some socially-adverse people might commit violence in/around theaters. I am pretty sure these miscreants will be less likely to do this at a matinee over an evening showing, but am most hopeful no violence whatsoever is committed anywhere. This is a movie, after all. It’s fantasy, fiction. Nobody should ever get hurt going to the movies. Let’s not ruin something that is meant to do good in the world for mankind, not sow seeds of disharmony and evil.
Now, as for the movie itself? It’s #5 on my list of my most anticipated Fall 2019 films. I am curious to learning about the Joker’s origins. As I mentioned in the 1966 vs. 2019 Joker post, I’ve been historically partial to the more jovial, comical, zany joker played by Caesar Romero. That doesn’t mean I’m turned off to the concept of a much darker Joker, I just have tried those Jokers and not been as partial to them. Curious what Joaquin Phoenix brings to the table.
I am not too familiar with Joaquin Phoenix, so checked out his Wikipedia just now. Remember him from Walk The Line as Johnny Cash. I liked that film, and need to rewatch it. Phoenix has been in quite a few movies according to his filmography. Then checked out what Amazon Prime and Netflix have of his movies available to stream.
Of interest to me without just random watching starring Phoenix and available on Amazon Prime as of this writing (in no particular order):
We Own The Night
You Were Never Really Here (Amazon Original)
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Amazon Original)
Netflix as of this writing:
Her (I tried to watch this once before, a false start)
This gives six movies to explore starring Joaquin Phoenix. I like how the streaming services will have older movies featured at a new release. Smart marketing.
So, wonder how many others are looking forward to seeing Joker this opening weekend? You? Somebody you know? Use that comments area below to be heard if you like. Or blog it and pingback.
On a scale from 1 to 10 (most interested), I’m probably a 6 for Joker, maybe a 7 I’m curious to see what kind of dramatic tension comes out of it. By comparison I was a 10 for Rambo: Last Blood ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ and 9 for Terminator: Dark Fate – PREVIEW. Other movies being released this 10/4 weekend include a solid 7 out of 10 interest for Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix) starring Eddie Murphy, 3 for Gemini Man and 2 for Lucy In The Sky.
There is an interesting history behind the comic book character Joker in both the original DC comic book, the 50s portrayal in the comics, the original TV show and movie and Hollywood movies since that is worth exploring.
Caesar Romero artfully played Joker in the 1966 movie and TV show Batman. A campy, colorful mid-60s romp that played the character as more light and quirky humor villain. Sure, he was a bad guy, but he was not the kind of bad guy that caused people watching to think of committing violent acts against others. This was also the comic book depiction of Joker in the 50s.
But how did this depiction come to be?
This was the result of the Comic Code Authority, (essentially a censoring bureau) inspired by research from a psychiatrist named Frederick Wertham, that changed the original 1940s darker coming book Joker.
By 1954, the Comics Code Authority had been established in response to increasing public disapproval of comic book content. The backlash was inspired by Frederic Wertham, who hypothesized that mass media (especially comic books) was responsible for the rise in juvenile deliquency, violence and homosexuality, particularly in young males. Parents forbade their children from reading comic books, and there were several mass burnings. The Comics Code banned gore, innuendo and excessive violence, stripping Batman of his menace and transforming the Joker into a goofy, thieving trickster without his original homicidal tendencies.
Book burning over comic book content? Seriously, doesn’t this sound extreme and, well, crazy?
“Wertham manipulated, overstated, compromised, and fabricated evidence—especially that evidence he attributed to personal clinical research with young people—for rhetorical gain.”
To recap: this psychiatrist claims comic book violence is bad, gets the Comic Book Cops to police and sanitize the comics version of Joker, only to turn out we learn some 60 years later that Wertham’s research was a sham.
So, the movies — other than Batman (1966) have attempted to retain the original vision of the comic book portrayal Joker as a dark, evil character, hellbent on destruction and mayhem. Both Joker characters have that sinister, hyena-like laugh.
Which Joker is best? The 50s falsely sanitized Joker or the original diabolical, psychopathic Joker?
If you are a purist for movie adaptions, you probably want the original Joker. That would be the version in all new Batman movie and sounds like the version the new Joker 2019 movie will be following, albeit with a normal guy turned dark by the cruelty of social environment.
(Ironic considering this is what Wertham claimed the original comic were doing to impressionable teenagers!)
I haven’t seen the new Joker movie yet, but it hits our local theaters this coming Thursday October 3, 2019:
I am looking forward to seeing this movie. Not as excited about this Rambo: Last Blood or Terminator: Dark Fate or even JUDY that I just saw this week..
As with all movies, I’m going to give the new Joker portrayal a chance. Maybe I’ll finally enjoy the original, darker version of the Joker. Up until now, I’ve preferred the 1966 Joker played by Romero. The TV show never tried to be anything serious, The cartoonish Batman was fun when I was younger and while it is dated now, it is still entertaining.
Some of the Batman movies have been good, but I like Joker as, well, a joker. A more comical fun character that is bad, but not nightmarish bad.
Whichever way you prefer Joker portrayed in film, it is fascinating that there is a parallel in time between 2019 and the 1940s when psychologists were looking at how Joker impacted people outside the comics.. Now we have people looking at Joker in 2019 as to whether or not a fictional story will cause violence in the theater. At least two theater chains have banned moviegoers from wearing masks and painted faces in the theater.