Tag Archives: Brett Cullen

Cinema Dispatch: Joker

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Joker and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Todd Phillips

Are we ready to do this?  Alright, let’s do this.  So Joker always seemed like an odd choice for a movie as his defining moments have always been in relation to Batman.  Take him away, and what are you left with?  Well if the trailers are any indication, you get something akin to Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver by way of Krusty the Clown.  I mean I was at least interested to see where they were GOING with it since the trailers did a solid job of obscuring what the actual plot was, but the last few weeks of bad press have really drained any enthusiasm I could muster for what was already seeming to be a novelty at best.  Does this manage to rise above the controversy surrounding it, especially the controversies cynically generated by those who have an active stake in the film’s success, or will this all be for a movie that ultimately isn’t worth the time and effort?  Let’s find out!!

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is one of many residents in the city of Gotham who is barely getting by and can feels that life has given him a rather crappy lot.  All he wanted to do was be a comedian and make people smile, but street punks keep beating him up at his job, the rich politicians and lobbyist keep cutting social services that he needs, and on top of all that he has to take care of his elderly mother Frances Conroy) who’s unshaking belief that Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) will help her and her son has only become more and more obnoxious as the years have gone by.  Why… it’s almost enough to drive someone MAD isn’t it!?  Like say… if someone got so tired of this that they started wearing clown makeup and robbed banks!  Well leave those fantasies at home as this is the REAL Joker for the modern age in that he’s really angry all the time but doesn’t do a heck of a whole lot about it and what he DOES do about it isn’t as… let’s say FLAMBOYANT as his comic book persona would have you believe.  Still, the walls are closing in more and more as Arthur’s life goes further and further into chaos to the point that he may just be forced to fight back in a way that no one could possibly expect; least of all himself.  Will Arthur’s miserable life come to some sort of hilarious denouement that gets all the squares to pop their monocles?  What effect will his actions have on the rest of the city, and is he really so different from all the normal people out there?  Seriously, is this REALLY the guy Warner Bros wants to be spouting his manifesto on the big screen right when they’re getting the DCCU back on track?

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“I call it… MY JOKE BOOK!”     “…”     “Seriously?  Nothing?”     “Oh, uh… no, that’s clever!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Shallows

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The Shallows and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Everyone wants a crack at that Jaws money, or I guess that Shark Week money now that THAT has become a cultural touchstone… for some reason, and this is no exception.  The big innovation this time though is to make it a bottle film which makes a certain amount of sense considering that any situation other than STRANDED AT SEA means it would be hard for a shark to get you.  It’s either that or you’ll have to stick them in a tornado, and that shit got old REALLY quickly.  Does this manage to be a taut and exciting thriller as Blake Lively tries to outsmart a shark, or is this just a low budget imitator of much better films?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Nancy (Blake Lively) who’s gone to Mexico to find a beach that her mother visited long ago, and the reason she’s there in the first place is to work through some problems by surfing them away.  Unfortunately, a whale had died close to the beach which has attracted a shark that then proceeds to attack Nancy while she’s catching waves alone.  She survives the attack and manages to climb her way onto a nearby rock, but she’s got no phone, she’s got a huge bite mark in her leg, and the rock will sink back under the water once it’s High Tide.  Can Nancy manage to find a way back to the shore without getting eaten?  Will someone come by to rescue her before the sea rises?  What is this shark’s problem!?

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“It’s eating them.  And then it’s gonna eat me!  OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOODD!!”

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