Double Feature: Joker (2019) & Ready or Not (2019)

Taking a little break from the alphabet double feature as we take a look at some rental viewings in the past while. Its always good to have a chance to catch up with some 2019 titles that I had missed and this time, its looking at Joker followed by a title that I had missed during its film festival run, Ready or Not. Let’s check it out!

Joker (2019)

joker

Director (and co-writer): Todd Phillips

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp

In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker. – IMDB

At this point, we’ve seen Joker in so many different DC Universe movies (and video games). There’s always some form of familiarity to the character and its villainous nature. 2019’s Joker takes the origin story and character study path as it looks at Arthur Fleck and the events that lead him to become the villain Joker that we know. The struggles and the not being accepted by society as well as other underlying issues in his life that all culminate to propel this character into this mentally unstable comedian that lives in his own world and starts finding a way to be seen in a world that ignores him. Its definitely a unique angle to take the character as well as a much more dramatic one.

Joker’s most outstanding element undoubtedly has to go to Joaquin Phoenix who truly takes Arthur Fleck into a fresh direction. He captures a lot of the little things of the character that makes it increasingly unsettling to watch unravel as each event and knowledge all come together. Its really nice to see how he interacts with each of the other supporting characters as well as how his morals and ethics are balanced. In reality, it also gives his character a deeper element than just being crazy like other movies and a basis of what he has gone through to lead him to this stage and the more and more violent and extreme actions.

Of course, in the world of Gotham, some things are still familiar especially signs of the Wayne family being a family in control and finding a way to connect the young Bruce Wayne to Arthur Fleck and bringing up questions of lead to them having a connection to the Batman that we know which is a nice touch. There’s a very entertaining role as Murray Franklin by Robert De Niro that adds to the film. The cinematography also builds up the environment and each scene.

Ready or Not (2019)

ready or not

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Cast: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Elyse Levesque, Nicky Guadagni

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game. – IMDB

*originally posted on Movies and Tea for Friday Film Club*

Every wealthy family has their secrets and very much so for the Le Domas who run the Le Domas Family Games company who has their own wedding night ritual. When the youngest brother Alex (Mark O’Brien) gets married to a “normal girl” Grace (Samara Weaving), she ends up meeting his very odd family and introduced to their wedding ritual to honor their family business and that is to draw a card from their prized possession, Le Bail’s puzzle box which names a game they must play as initiation. Grace draws “Hide-and-Seek” which turns out to be the deadliest choice in the pile when she finds out that she is now being hunted by the entire family in their locked down mansion.

Ready Or Not might seem like an escape room sort of deal and some twisted family. While the Le Domas family is a bit odd, they definitely fit into the dark comedy element presented for the movie as it’s obvious that this draw is not frequent. Through the movie, it’s much more than that as Grace outsmarts each of the members of the family, it becomes clear that the Le Domas have no choice to do this and their own reasons as we learn who Le Bail is and what the puzzle box is all about. The story itself being deeper than what its presented at the beginning along with a fast-paced chase around the house with each of the characters having their own agenda and quirky personality all adds to this being both violent but comedic and striking a nice balance between the two.

ready or not

Each of the members of Le Domas family as well as Grace is so colorful. The standout would of course go to Samara Weaving who has been landing these crazy roles in the indie film realm and yet again, pulls off a great role with Grace. The unknown factor is where each person feels about this Hide and Seek game on hand. The female characters actually play mostly the stronger roles just like the intense Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) and Grace’s mother in law (Andie MacDowell) who has more of a calm and manipulative personality. However, Alex’s character also has its inner conflict much like his brother Daniel (Adam Brody) who ends up  having quite a surprising turn of events in their choices.

Ready or Not is a fast-paced fun dark comedy thriller. It’s violent and intense at times yet at the same time, there are moments of dark comedy elements that relieve the tension a little. With some well-written characters and a unique twist to the story, it’s an absolute blast to watch.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen these two films? Thoughts?

What’s Up 2020: Week 22

Week 22 wraps up the month of May and marks over 2 months of lockdown phase. Its been one of the slowest weeks in terms of progress as I had a lot of work stuff to take care of that affected a lot of other progress. However, I still managed to get a few things ticked off the list. Let’s check it out!

READING

to wake the dead

  • To Wake The Dead (The Dead Dreamer #2) by Sarah Lampkin (Review)

Currently reading: No Signal

Book 2 of To Wake The Dead was definitely a fun read. Its a series that reminds me a lot of watching TV series like Shadowhunters and The Vampire Diaries both in the fullness of events and the direction it chooses to take. Its mostly compliments and you can check it out in the review which is already posted and linked above.

I’ve moved on to an upcoming blogging commitment as I tackle another sequel of a book that I reviewed earlier this year called Proximity (review). This has a wonderful world building set up from the first book as well and is something of a tech thriller which is rather well thought out. So far, the sequel is pretty decent and hopefully it will remain that way. However, I am still in the first half so we will see.

PLAYING

orwell

  • Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You (2016)

Orwell was released in 2016 and is something similar to the premise of No Signal where this reality has a government sets up outside people to monitor the information of everyone to protect their society. Of course, the debate is whether it works for the people or against them, right? Its an investigative style of game where you read through articles and find info to put together target people profiles. This is just Season 1 of Orwell and its out upcoming game review on Game Warp so I won’t talk too much about it.

WATCHING

joker

  • Flowers in the Attic (1987)
  • Joker (2019)

Another slow week in movie watching! I’ve just been incredibly indecisive on watching movies so its slowed down the progress as I compile a watch list for the alphabet themed Double Feature. Its cutting it close since I’m running out of movies to review so need to pick up the pace. However, we did have to catch up on a rental for Joker that was about to expire. Joker had a lot of talk last year and we wanted to give it a watch to see whether it lived up to all the good reviews. For the most part, it did. Joaquin Phoenix takes on Joker in a different way and I’ll talk about it more in an upcoming double feature (once I find a film to pair it with outside of the alphabet double feature…).

BINGING

please love me

  • Please Love Me (Season 1, 2019)
  • Youth With You 2 (Season 2, 2020)
  • The Great Canadian Baking Show (Season 3, 2019)

Currently binging: Produce Camp 2020, Me to Us, Woof Meow Story, Go Fridge 6, Welcome Back To Sound, Yes I Do 2, The Big Flower Fight

A show knocked off the currently binging list from last week but as usual, I’m adding more to it while catching up with some that I’ve put aside for a week or so. At the same time, I didn’t return to one or two shows this week while at the same time starting up some completely new shows. One of them is going back to a show I had meant to watch last year but didn’t called Please Love Me which was pretty bingeworthy other than a few elements that I’ll talk about when I get around to the TV Binge. I’m deciding on what my next show to watch is since I’m debating on whether to watching something currently releasing or catching up on another of last year’s dramas (or this year’s) that I didn’t get a chance when it was first released. Either way, I’ll figure it out while watching a bunch of variety shows.

That’s it for Week 22 recap!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?