Subscribe to our channel for new videos every Wednesday • Share/Like/Post your comments below.

Brought to you by: On Location Tours

Discover where your favorite superheroes saved the day on The Super Tour of NYC. You’ll see over 40 filming locations from movies and TV shows like The Avengers, Spider-Man, and Jessica Jones. Receive 10% off with code SECRETS at checkout. Heroes, comics, more!

URL: super-tour-of-nyc/?utm_source=blog- owned&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_content=secrets- of-the-shire&utm_campaign=st-us

PODCAST | Controversial. Breathtaking. Empty. Captivating…

The name of the film is #Joker and it’s ALL of these. We bring in Syfywire writer Kevin Sharp on to help us parse through the noise as we review Todd Philips new film. PLUS: We recap our NYCC 2019

Download the Secrets of the Sire Mobile App

For Android:

Joker Movie Review

Segment 1: #Sire Bytes

‘Joker’ Slays B.O. Records

Laughing All The Way To The Bank

Box office: Joker slays the record books. The Warner Bros. film opened to $93.5 million domestically and $140.5 million overseas for a $234 million haul globally. It’s the biggest October opening ever, topping last year’s supervillain flick Venom, which debuted to $80.3 million, and the best domestic opening for Warner Bros. in two years, since the first It. Joker delivered despite (or perhaps in part because of?) the scrutiny the film has faced over its nihilistic story, and concerns around violence in theaters. The numbers.

+In fact, Joker broke a number of records, delivering the best opening weekend for any film from Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix, and director Todd Phillips, a slew of October records, both domestic and international, and the fourth best weekend for any R-rated feature, behind only It and the Deadpool movies. The list.

+Joker‘s “wake-up call” to Hollywood. Pamela McClintock examinesJoker‘s blockbuster opening, with 62 percent of the audience male (comparable to other superhero flicks) but only 8 percent between the ages of 13-17, below the average for the genre. The success reveals a potential box office opportunity for studios willing to take the risk.

Quote: “I think Joker‘s debut is another wake-up call — one that is coming in on Batman’s red phone — telling everyone in the industry that R-rated superhero films are here to stay,” says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. “Hopefully Disney will take that call soon. If they don’t, DC will be happy to staff the call center with its people.” The story.


Joker Movie Spoilers

Segment 2: Joker Review

The Comic That Explains Where Joker Went Wrong

Alan Moore’s classic 1988 story, Batman: The Killing Joke, was an inspiration for Todd Phillips’s grim new film—but not in the one way that really mattered.

In The Killing Joke, Moore took that earlier tale and tried to deepen it. The 45-page “one-shot” story reveals the Joker’s past: He was a struggling stand-up comedian who had lost his wife and unborn child in an accident, embarked on the robbery of a chemical plant to make ends meet, and fell into a vat while fleeing Batman. The narrative removes the Joker’s background as a master criminal and emphasizes that he was a relatively ordinary man who had “one bad day” that drove him to lunacy. In the present, the Joker kidnaps and brutalizes Barbara Gordon (the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon and the current Batgirl), paralyzing her and torturing her, then taking lewd pictures of her to torment her father with.

It was a shocking story within the parameters of DC Comics, all the more so because it was presented as canon, not as an adult-oriented tale existing outside the monthly Batman story lines. Barbara Gordon remained paralyzed for decades, all because of a stunt by the Joker intended to demonstrate that what had happened to him could happen to anyone. “You had a bad day, and everything changed. Why else would you dress up like a living rat?” the Joker says to Batman. “When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it!”

The story ends with Batman bringing in the Joker “by the book,” as Commissioner Gordon insists, to “show him that our way works”; the Joker’s efforts to drive Gordon mad fail. Batman, also transformed into a costumed creature by trauma (the death of his parents), reminds the Joker that he himself never succumbed to evil. But despite that bittersweet ending, The Killing Joke helped cement the villain’s reputation for nihilism, forging a modern template for a man once portrayed as a vicious trickster.

Phillips’s film keeps much of Moore’s characterization, tracking the life of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) as he struggles with mental illness, is attacked and harassed in the street multiple times, and becomes a figure of public ridicule when one of his strange stand-up sets is mocked by a legendary talk-show host (Robert De Niro). But the thing that Joker lacks is Batman. The film does include a young Bruce Wayne (Dante Pereira-Olson), but flips the order in which the characters’ alter egos are created, having Joker’s transformation into a public menace spur a riot that ends with Bruce’s parents getting murdered.

Without Batman to play off, the reason for Joker’s existence as a protagonist in Phillips’s film is vague at best. The narrative tracks his evolution into an evil creature, providing a revamped and simplistic origin story for a figure who has only ever existed as a distorted mirror image of the Caped Crusader. Even when compared with Moore and Bolland’s comic, Joker is a bitter and humorless work, an attempt to add gravitas to a character who typically hasn’t stood for anything broadly metaphorical. In the movie, Joker commits an act of murder on live television and somehow becomes an icon of rebellion and class upheaval as a result. It’s an arc that tries to justify his leap from supporting player to star—and fails spectacularly

Batman The Killing Joke

Segment 3:

Kevin Sharp
“Jack of many writing trades, master of none.” Author, recovering screenwriter, video game writer, comics blogger, podcaster.
I currently run the comic creator interview series “Between the Panels” @ Fanbase Press. I’m also a staff contributor for SyFy Wire & a few other geek sites.
Depending how much in depth we want to go, there’s the Joker’s comics history from killer in the Golden Age, to harmless clown in the Silver Age, then swinging back to dangerous in the Bronze Age (& continuing on from there w/ Killing Joke, Death in the Family, etc).

Could also discuss different onscreen Jokers and/or favorite Joker stories in comics if time.

Twitter: @thatkevinsharp

NY ComicCon 2019

Segment 4: Spin the Racks: NYCC Review

Download our Podcast:

Or check out the show any podcasting app for your iOS or Android phone. Just search “Secrets of the Sire” or “Host Michael Dolce” to find us.

Stream our Videos:

And don’t forget to go to our page and support our show! Listen to us every Wednesday night 8pm ET

NEXT WEEK: We Review ‘Joker’ with Monkeys Fighting Robots writer Kevin Sharp