Qt3 Movie Podcast: Joker

Title Qt3 Movie Podcast: Joker
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Movie podcasts
When October 14, 2019

Well, its nothing if not divisive. So at least that part worked..

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River Phoenix what!!11

Dingus and his dark humor, huh. Very offensive.

Btw, I heard Bruce Geryk’s “over” for this movie is Meyerowitz Stories. Classic Geryk.

Did all 3 of you like the movie? Dislike the movie? Just trying to gauge if I need to stay spoiler free until I see it, or (if it stinks) I can just listen to the podcast without worry of spoiling anything since I’ll never see it anyway.

“Well, its nothing if not divisive. So at least that part worked.” - Well, its nothing if not divisive. So at least that part worked. Have not yet listened. Wonder if i should know the answer to rock8mans question before, after or not at all. eat fresh my ass. dig the question tho.

Edit5; that goes for all y’all Smiley!

I would say the three of us cover as wide a range of opinions as three people can cover. :) But definitely don’t listen if you haven’t seen Joker and intend to see it.


Is anyone else having trouble getting the feed to update and show this episode? I seem to be stuck on Ad Astra in all my clients.

Same here.

Same as well.

Okay, it should be fixed. Thanks for the heads-up!


There we go! It’s showing up now.

First movie podcast I have listened to in quite a long time and I really enjoyed it (as with the movie itself). Thanks for the discussion.

My thoughts on the movie are in the other thread, but one thing to add is that in the podcast it was mentioned by someone (forgot who) that all murders of minority characters are done offscreen and that this might be intentional. My wife had the same thought walking out of the theatre, but her angle was that all violence against women was shown offscreen, which includes the white mother.

I didn’t like the movie as a whole. The first part was slow and dark. I expected movie to end with Joker shooting himself and the message being “here’s how mad supervillain works in real life, kids” or something like that. You talk about how this guy doesn’t have classic Joker talents - being charismatic, genius, unpredictable, scary, manipulative. That guy is obviously not very bright, doesn’t understand people. All that political stuff happened in background and it was very clear Joker didn’t care about it or didn’t understand it unlike classic Joker who would lead it. He became a symbol of it later but he mostly cared about attention and audience it gave him. I liked how Gothic Gotham was replaced by Shitty Gotham. Especially Arkham having this depressive tiling.

But the last half hour throw it under the bus. Joker shows a unique competence which looks like luck but it happens again and again. It’s fine that he gets into a Chaplin Opera but then he kills a huge guy like Randall and evades police, then he flees the asylum. And he becomes superpowerful Joker guy worthy of fighting the Batman. He does feel scary in that TV show.

You say those might be halucinations. A friend who watched the movie with me argued the same thing: we supposed to see it as ambigious unreliable narration. And I don’t buy it at all. First, it’s a huge blockbuster movie from The Hangover director. A movie like this doesn’t have a “secret hidden ending”. Second, even if it were a Serbian Indie movie I’d still wouldn’t believe in any theories about ending not being what it seems. It’s not internally consistent: did he also hallucinated Waynes watching Zorro The Gay Blade (why did they brought a kid to this movie, by the way?) and being murdered later? Most importantly, the movie already told us how it treats hallucinations. It’s a movie that felt obligated to show us every scene with halucination again so that we don’t misunderstand it. It’s not a subtle movie.

So I feel like the parts of the movie are disconnected. Realistic story about mental illness clashes with supervillain origin story. And I liked both, I don’t like them together.

Also this was one DC movie I expected not to include Wayne murder scene.

its obvious, they went to see Blow Out with little Bruce

I totally get this and expected to feel the same way, but for some reason it worked for me better than it should have. Partly because the performance didn’t ape Ledger’s at all (Joaquin said he didn’t read any Joker comics beforehand; he went in as cold as Eisenberg did about Luthor, but obviously got the lion’s share of a concept to work with), and partly because it just decided to chuck the comics book medium entirely and went Joker-as-Bickle, which however one-note is still visually and thematically interesting to me. Prequels and origin stories suck as a rule, but maybe this wasn’t even that. It was just a crazy guy’s bad summer. And it takes guts to make Thomas Wayne an antagonist. Disney/Marvel wouldn’t.

There’s also enormous precedent for ignoring comic book source material: Iron Man (and Thor) aren’t funny in the comics, and no movie yet has figured out Robin. (A dark brooding loner suddenly wants a young buddy in colorful clothes hanging around him?) And I’m so burned out on superhero movies in general, I’m eager for anything speeding off in the opposite direction. This one didn’t even have a third-act battle climax. Like Chaplin skating, it was always on the verge of falling but somehow never did (for me).

Maybe I’m too easy. But I’d rather watch movies like this than Deadpool at this point. I’m stunned anyone wouldn’t.

Joker > Endgame. Far and away.

Well, one is a movie and the other is polygons smashing into each other and dispensing one-liners so of course, I agree. I felt something when I watched this movie, I wasn’t just passing time in an entertaining manner. It also means that you examine one of them as a piece of art. The other is good enough if it’s not boring or offensive.

Dingus pointed that out, but I must be having a brain fugue, because I can’t remember what you guys are talking about. Which minority characters? And which women? Just going back in my memory, there are the three guys on the subway, big Randall, DeNiro’s character, and his mother (a woman killed onscreen)? What am I missing? What happened to minorities and/or women offscreen? I feel really dumb having to ask…

Ha, way better than me tying it to malaise in the 70s. Shitty Gotham! Nice.

I actually noticed him getting awfully self-confident when the cops accost him at the hospital. He’s pretty brash with people who are presumably hot on his tail for the subway murders. But then he walks into a door.

And I also felt that way – at first – about Arthur leaning back in the chair and comfortably holding forth before a studio audience and his lifelong hero during the TV broadcast. When did he get so, well, self-assured? But then it occurred to me that he was comfortable and self-assured because it was a moment he’d lived through again and again, in his head, watching the Murray Show every night. As someone who’d gone mad and was disconnected from reality, he was exactly where he thought he was supposed to be and he acted exactly like he did in his fantasies.

But, yeah, how he gets to the criminal mastermind Joker from the comic books or even the goofball in the TV show is a mystery to me. Mostly, I don’t care, because the movie told me it’s never even going to happen. “The End” is the end, after all.

As someone who doesn’t interpret any of the “objective” stuff before the asylum as a hallucination, I have three responses to this.

  1. I couldn’t care less what else Todd Phillips has directed. To use a phrase I hate, this is what it is. It’s a self-contained movie. If Scorsese can direct Taxi Driver and Hugo, Todd Phillips can direct Joker and Old School.

  2. That said, I have to think a lot of the credit goes to Scott Silver’s script – dude wrote 8 Mile, by the way – and certainly Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. Maybe Phillips’ contribution was just not screwing it up.

  3. As for internal consistency:

Not true! His appearance on the show early in the movie was a hallucination. That didn’t get a gratuitous debunking. But, yeah, those Fight Club shots were there to prep dumb people for the scene in Zazie Beetz’ apartment. Otherwise, Trump voters would be confused.

I like that you can see the pearls scattering off Martha Wayne’s neck, but there’s no Zack Snyder close-up on scattered pearls. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it felt like a dig. Take that, style over substance!


not to forget, that at that point in the story he already killed 3 guys in the train and the big guy with the scissors, which is more intense than pulling a trigger. As Joker said, people start noticing him. I think he felt pretty empowered at that point. Didn’t he say so later? That he feels invincible…

I went to see it a second time after a couple of days with a friend. Second time was even better, first time I felt overwhelmed and disgusted by the darkness, bleakness. But on second viewing I noticed a lot more nuances…

Didn’t the camera pan away when he put the pillow over his mother’s face? Is that considered offscreen?

The other two I can recall are more ambiguous: the neighbour and her kid (although I don’t really think that counts), and the therapist at the end. There may have been more. I didn’t think anything of it, but it’s noteworthy that both Dingus and my wife had the same impression coming out of the theatre so there might be something to it.