First the Argument
I only thoroughly enjoyed 6 films this year and liked one more enough to give it a thumbs up.
Those films I loved are Joker, Endgame, The Lighthouse, Richard Jewell, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
Shazam got a very slightly enthusiastic thumbs sorta-kinda up from me.
For the most part, the rest of the film releases this year were fucking garbage, released in an overall garbage year from an increasingly garbage-focused, Progressively woke industry.
Among those films, there were only two genuine works of art, Joker and The Lighthouse.
What It Wasn’t Was What It Was
Joker was not a Disney-MCU-DCEU driven superhero movie extravaganza.
Joker was not a Hollywood movie that rang out from any era but in the mid-’70s.
Joker could have been a Scorsese movie circa 1974.
Joker was one part King of Comedy, one part Mean Streets and one part Taxi Driver.
It was shot on digital by cinematographer Lawrence Sher whose experiences with film and love of celluloid come through.
He was clearly influenced by the work of Kent Wakeford, the cinematographer who shot Mean Streets with Scorsese, along with Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver).
Joker is not a copy of those other, older films, but instead is a loving wholly original homage from one hell of a director who has been making dopey dick joke films for the last 15 years.
Joaquin Phoenix deserves an Oscar for his role in the film. Todd Phillips deserves two as does the cinematographer, Lawrence Sher.
I hope that Warner Bros. doesn’t dare make a sequel or even talk about making one.
It’s a near-perfect film and shows what The Batman could be after Nolan in the right hands, but never will considering the bloated cast and considering the previous film track record of Matt Reeves, a director committed to walking the line between story and technical but always seeming to love the technical.
Joker is simply the BEST film of 2019.
Turns out that Rupert Pupkin lives on.