Now available for home viewing on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and 4K Ultra HD is one of the most talked about movies of 2019, Joker.
Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert DeNiro,
I did not see this film while it was still in the movie theater, but it was one of the movies my husband and I were anxious to see. Our son saw it with his girlfriend and he couldn’t stop talking about it (he almost gave us too many spoilers). Our son doesn’t really like going to the movies. He’s never liked movies and rarely watches television. The fact that he saw this film and wouldn’t stop talking about it, speaks volumes to me.
I received a free screener copy of the film to review. I couldn’t wait to see it.
Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck. He’s a stand up comedian who lives with his mentally and physically ill mother, Penny (Frances Conroy). They reside in Gotham City, which if you follow the comic books, is the home of Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman (Batman is not in this movie, but his younger self is).
Arthur is a part of society that is poor and riddled with crime. He is also mentally ill and takes medication. He laughs a lot, even at inappropriate times.
Arthur gets brutally attacked by group of men. To help it from happening again, Arthur’s friend and co-worker provides him with a gun for protection. That turns out to be a bad idea after Arthur gets fired after accidentally revealing that he was carrying a gun. This sets off a serious of events that turn Arthur into the infamous Joker.
Using the gun that he was given, Arthur kills three men in self defense on the subway. The men are employed by billionaire Thomas Wayne, of Wayne Enterprises.
Thomas Wayne denounces the murders on the subway, and makes a comment about how crime like his is created by people who are jealous of wealthy, well off people (such as himself). He refers to such people as “clowns.”
Things start to spiral out of control for Arthur. His stand-up comedian job, issues with his medication, his mother’s health and a revealing secret about his paternity, all causes Arthur to “snap,” and thus the insane Joker is “born.”
I didn’t want to give away too much detail about the film. I just wanted to give you a bit of a “teaser” so that you have an inkling as to what the movie is about. Trust me, there is A LOT more to the film. I just touched upon the surface to give you a taste of the film.
Wow… just wow. I knew what to expect with this film, but I didn’t realize just how disturbing this movie truly was.
I have heard from others who have seen the film (both movie critics and friends) that this film has an underlying message to it. Most told me it had to do with society and people’s status based upon where they live, and how much money they make. There is also a theme dealing with mental illness and why it is so important the people with mental illness have the opportunity to get the support and medication they require, regardless of their social status and income.
I don’t believe that Arthur was innately a murderous criminal. I think he turned into the savage Joker because of the events that happened to him in his life. Another words, I believe in his case it was “nurture” and not “nature.” Although, his mom was also mentally ill, I believe it’s all of the events that happened to him that were the catalyst to making his “snap.” Arthur was a good man in the beginning, despite his mental illness.
I grew up watching Batman (Adam West). Joker appeared on the series, but there wasn’t any backstory for him. I don’t know if any of the comics touched upon Joker’s story. I appreciate this insight into the character and why he is the way he is.
This film is rate R for a very good reason – it’s violent, “dark,” and disturbing. A clown with blood on his person is the thing of nightmares for a lot of people.
When I first learned about the movie and found out that Joaquin Phoenix was going to be the Joker, I was like “meh.” I wasn’t much of a fan of him or his movies. After seeing Joker, I cannot image anyone else playing that part. He IS the Joker. He has the look, the laugh, and the acting chops to pull off such an intense, insane role.
Overall I am very impressed by this film. It’s not something I would typically watch, but I loved it. I plan on watching it again to see if I missed any of the details. This is one of those films that you end up thinking about long after the credits are done rolling at the end of the film. I even lied in bed that night thinking about the film.
There are a lot of bonus features with the Blu-ray. I’m not sure about the bonus features available for digital, DVD or 4K Ultra. I only have the Blu-ray copy. I would have expected more than there actually was (unless the other formats have more features?). Some of the features include;
- Behind the scenes look at making this film
- Alternative outtakes
- Costume Tests
I have not watched the bonus features (yet), so I cannot comment on them (or remember all of them – sorry).
Joker is available where ever movies are sold or rented.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. It’s the theatrical trailer. The film is no longer in theaters.
If you don’t like clowns, don’t watch the trailer (or movie).
*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.