Tag Archive: joaquin phoenix


‘Joker’

Been a little busy as you may have heard, so just now seeing this. I’ve heard every reaction, positive and negative to this film, and in a way, I think everyone is right.

My thoughts:

First, what I liked. Joaquin is definitely different (enough) to me than what everyone else has done. So that’s a win. I don’t know how much I buy the laugh as a disability, but I did like the mental illness angle to a point. The fears of creating a new real life madman (any more than anything else) may have been a bit overblown, but watching this did make me think of ‘Fight Club’ in a good way. (I’m a fan of that movie and didn’t think this one was on that level but same ‘angry loner’ vibe.) The nods and twists to the Batman mythology we all know I really liked. Won’t spoil them here for my friends who haven’t seen it yet but I definitely liked how they took advantage of the lack of an established Joker origin. And Bob. DeNiro playing off one of his old iconic roles was a nice touch that didn’t feel overly forced to me.

On the flip side, I don’t feel like I saw a great film because it never fully committed to any of the points it was making. When I was ready to go all in on the mental health angle we had to spend time with Thomas Wayne. When we were digging deeper into the Thomas Wayne angle it became about his dream of being a stand up comedian. All interesting plots that mostly come together. Maybe too many stories?

Joaquin will probably be one of the five when nominations start rolling around. His performance wasn’t the problem. We’ll find out sooner as opposed to later.

Has DC figured it out? It’s starting to figure out DC has figured out its lane…

Every movie is its own thing (like most comic books). Some silly, some over the top, some stories great metaphors…

I’ve heard about the allusions to Taxi Driver and the King of Comedy for awhile, now that I’m seeing this trailer…

I’m intrigued. I’m definitely intrigued.

We shall see…

‘Her’

 

Jaoquin Pheonix in Spike Jonze's Her

The latest film from Spike Jonze, Her, is funny, and creepy, and it’s a dead on social commentary…and it’s brilliant.

Set in the ‘very near future’, the story revolves around Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix as Spike’s on screen avatar), a shy guy who still hasn’t fully jumped back in the game after a messy divorce.  He buys the latest technology, an artificially intelligent operating system for his computer that’s marketed as more ‘intuitive’ than anything we’ve had before.  And as I’m sure you know, when Theodore chooses a female voice for his OS, the voice that comes back is…Scarlett Johannsen.  (And let me the 10,000th guy to make the joke, ‘So…when is this OS going on the market for the rest of us?)  As Theodore and ‘Samantha’ get a feel for each other’s temperament and mood, they begin to fall in love.  And like with all relationships, the honeymoon stage is great (capped with one of the most clever ‘hookup/morning after’ scenes in a little bit).

Her really takes off when, naturally, Theodore has to deal with real people, especially women.  Scarlett never appears on screen, but the rest of the female cast includes Amy Adams playing completely away from her looks, Rooney Mara (in the Sofia Coppola role, let’s be honest), and Olivia Wilde fairly accurately representing the L.A. dating scene.  That is a geek wet dream list of actresses in any film, and they all work great here.  The bulk of the film is just Joaquin onscreen reacting to something invisible though, and this role makes great use of his quirkiness.

At this point, I want to think my friends and fellow film geeks for not talking too much about this film.  Even having the beats of the genre burned in my brain, when the film hit its third act ‘twist’ (which I won’t ruin here), I yelled ‘OH HELL NO!’ at my TV.  The story is told well, and you feel for what the characters are going through.  That’s all the audience wants, most of the time.

Oscars 2013 – Best Actor

 

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Rough day personally, so apologies in advance if the comedy is sucked out of today’s post.

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role…

  • Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables
  • Joaquin Phoenix in the Master
  • Denzel Washington in Flight

Who Should Win: In a weaker year, 4 out of these 5 performances would be locks to win.  But this year, I have to give Day-Lewis his due.  I’ve always respected his method more than I loved his work (Gangs of New York the exception), but seeing him as the polar opposite of one of his trademark psychopaths (brilliant career move as well) has me respecting AND loving his work again.

Who I’m Cheering For: Denzel’s performance was great, but I really do have a little more love for Day-Lewis this year.

Who Will Win: This is probably the biggest Oscar lock since Titanic.  Have to give Daniel Day his due this go round.

Tomorrow we’ll quickly go through the rest of the awards…