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Joker (2019)

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Joker centers around the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

Cast:

Joaquin Phoenix : Arthur Fleck / The Joker

Robert De Niro : Murray Franklin

Zazie Beetz : Sophie Dumond

Frances Conroy : Penny Fleck

Brett Cullen : Thomas Wayne

Douglas Hodge : Alfred Pennyworth

Dante Pereira-Olson : Bruce Wayne

Directed by Todd Phillips

Anticipated Release Date: October 4, 2019 (World Premiere August 31, 2019 at Venice Film Festival)

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I wonder if that little kid be gives a smile to from the other side of the bars is supposed to be Bruce. 

The look and feel of this Joker reminds me of Heath Ledger's version.

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Damn.  That looked better than I expected.

3 hours ago, cambridgeguy said:

The look and feel of this Joker reminds me of Heath Ledger's version.

Yeah, it almost looks like Heath's Joker's origin story.

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The more I watch the trailer the more I like it. I don't know how I feel, feeling bad for the Joker though.

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3 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

NO THANK YOU.

Ditto. I'll give Joaquin credit for having a good evil laugh, but while this trailer was...interesting...to quote one of my friends, we don't need 1500 Joker movies.

Plus my 2019 creepy clown quota is already filled by IT:Chapter Two.

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On 4/3/2019 at 4:57 PM, Spartan Girl said:

I'll give Joaquin credit for having a good evil laugh, but while this trailer was...interesting...to quote one of my friends, we don't need 1500 Joker movies.

I gave up on that logic after the 5th or 6th Incredible Hulk origin movie and like the 10th Spider Man movie. 

This looks really good--Joaquin Phoenix has always been one of my favorite actors. Wouldn't have cared about the movie if had been Jared Leto. 

But are those scenes with the emaciated torso CGI or prosthetics? IRL Joaguin is a slim but basically normal-sized man. 

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2 hours ago, topanga said:

IRL Joaguin is a slim but basically normal-sized man. 

Compare him in You Were Never Really Here (criminally underseen movie)

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23 hours ago, AimingforYoko said:

Compare him in You Were Never Really Here (criminally underseen movie)

It was all of those Skittles. M&Ms? Anyway, this movie looks really suspenseful and good. I stopped the trailer half-way through because I don't want the movie spoiled. Why have I not heard of this film?

Yeah, he bulked up for that role. And not in a Michael B. Jordan, Denzel Washington, Will Smith kinda way (why can I only think of black dudes right now?). 

But in most of his movies (Gladiator, The Village, Signs, Walk the Line) my memories of Joaquin are as averaged-sized, if not a little scrawny. So that emaciated back in the Joker trailer couldn't be him, right?  

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The trailer for a film usually tries to showcase its exciting moments. If this is as exciting as it gets, I don't think I want to sit through three hours of "sad guy who is destined to finally get interesting about five minutes before the movie ends." I do actually kind of like the idea of giving the Joker an origin story, but that doesn't change the fact that in the DCCU it's pointless, because we know they're just going to reboot the character every time he appears in a new movie anyhow. If they're not willing to commit for any amount of time, then neither am I. Not even if his mom is named Martha.

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I believe Joaquin was always conscious about his weight ever since he was a child. I remembered Ridley Scott commenting on Joaquin's pudgy appearance on Gladiator due to the costuming. Joaquin actually thought he looked like a fat hamster and this was on the commentary DVD section of Gladiator. Ridley actually heard the actor say this about his appearance. In case you have the DVD Gladiator, hearing them talk about Joaquin's weight was pretty damn rude.

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The Joker has never been one of my favorite characters, and I probably won't watch this. I will say, JP is phenominal, and he truly gave me the creeps here. I think it's going to be sad, but a gripping movie in the "can't look away even though I'm horrified" sense. 

I mostly came to comment though, because if it's true that Robert Pattinson is going to be Batman(I know people are freaking about that already) I can see the two actors in a scene together, and I don't hate the idea. I think their energies could mesh well. But then I think this Joker version isn't supposed to bleed over into the other DC movies ? Not sure.

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WTF?   No, just no.

Leave the Batman legend alone, assholes.

I hate what DC is doing to its properties.   Reminds me of a fine old town that falls into the hands of a greedy zoning board that allows money-hungry developers to build endless condos and strip malls and who gives a crap if the original character of the place is lost in the process.

They're just licensing the characters out and who cares about canon anymore.  

As anyone who grew up on Batman knows, the Joker became the Joker after falling into a vat of chemicals.   He was not a failed comedian.  (And he was certainly NOT who the spoiler proposes.)   He was a ruthless crook called the Red Hood.  Not knowing much about his background is what made his metamorphosis so easy to believe in. (I think that very same air of mystery is bolstered the Ledger version.)

Whether or not the spoiler content is true, I say "Fuck you, DC."

First Jared Leto and now this?   Joaquim Phoenix is no Joker, unless you count that bullshit attention-seeking stunt he pulled several years ago, which deserves a small "j", and a very small "j" at that.

I recall reading a couple years ago that Phoenix was telling the media he'd like  to play the Joker and I thought, "Hopefully that will never happen," but I guess all it takes now is for a celebrity to say they want to play a Batman character and suddenly the filmmakers come running.

Sorry, Sean Young.   You were about 30 years too early.

If they're going to make Batman movies, I wish somebody would take a chance on talented, unknown actors.  That way we might actually get a Batman or Joker on-screen, instead of a celebrity cosplay convention starring Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson, Jared Leto, Joaquim Phoenix, etc.

Edited by millennium
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11 hours ago, millennium said:

WTF?   No, just no.

Leave the Batman legend alone, assholes.

I hate what DC is doing to its properties.   Reminds me of a fine old town that falls into the hands of a greedy zoning board that allows money-hungry developers to build endless condos and strip malls and who gives a crap if the original character of the place is lost in the process.

They're just licensing the characters out and who cares about canon anymore.  

As anyone who grew up on Batman knows, the Joker became the Joker after falling into a vat of chemicals.   He was not a failed comedian.  (And he was certainly NOT who the spoiler proposes.)   He was a ruthless crook called the Red Hood.  Not knowing much about his background is what made his metamorphosis so easy to believe in. (I think that very same air of mystery is bolstered the Ledger version.)

Whether or not the spoiler content is true, I say "Fuck you, DC."

First Jared Leto and now this?   Joaquim Phoenix is no Joker, unless you count that bullshit attention-seeking stunt he pulled several years ago, which deserves a small "j", and a very small "j" at that.

I recall reading a couple years ago that Phoenix was telling the media he'd like  to play the Joker and I thought, "Hopefully that will never happen," but I guess all it takes now is for a celebrity to say they want to play a Batman character and suddenly the filmmakers come running.

Sorry, Sean Young.   You were about 30 years too early.

If they're going to make Batman movies, I wish somebody would take a chance on talented, unknown actors.  That way we might actually get a Batman or Joker on-screen, instead of a celebrity cosplay convention starring Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson, Jared Leto, Joaquim Phoenix, etc.

Ditto. FUCK THIS SHIT AND FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, DC and whoever came up with this fucked up idea of a "twist.

angry will ferrell GIF
 
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On 5/17/2019 at 12:29 AM, IWantCandy71 said:

The Joker has never been one of my favorite characters, and I probably won't watch this. I will say, JP is phenominal, and he truly gave me the creeps here. I think it's going to be sad, but a gripping movie in the "can't look away even though I'm horrified" sense. 

I mostly came to comment though, because if it's true that Robert Pattinson is going to be Batman(I know people are freaking about that already) I can see the two actors in a scene together, and I don't hate the idea. I think their energies could mesh well. But then I think this Joker version isn't supposed to bleed over into the other DC movies ? Not sure.

No, this Joker is a total Elseworlds / Black Label and has nothing to do with the core DCEU or Reeves's film.

11 hours ago, millennium said:

They're just licensing the characters out and who cares about canon anymore.  

No one who actually creates the comics cares a whole lot about canon anyway; they're there to tell the stories they want to tell.  That goes double for DC which was never as wound up about it as Marvel.  But really, canon is more of a fan thing, always has been.

Plus, they way Hollywood is going nowadays, it's hard to get money to even make a movie if you don't have recognizable IP to hook it to, and at the end of the day WB is in the business of making movies.

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11 hours ago, millennium said:

As anyone who grew up on Batman knows, the Joker became the Joker after falling into a vat of chemicals.   He was not a failed comedian.  (And he was certainly NOT who the spoiler proposes.)   He was a ruthless crook called the Red Hood.  Not knowing much about his background is what made his metamorphosis so easy to believe in. (I think that very same air of mystery is bolstered the Ledger version.)

Says who?  The Killing Joke Joker was a failed comedian who ended up taking a dip in the chemicals when he was a patsy dressed up as the Red Hood.  Jack Nicholson's Joker was just a high ranking gangster who also turned out to be the guy who killed the Waynes.  It's unlikely Heath Ledger's Joker took a chemical bath since he was wearing makeup.  The Joker has no definitive origin - it's up to the writers to make it good or bad.

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4 hours ago, cambridgeguy said:

Says who?  The Killing Joke Joker was a failed comedian who ended up taking a dip in the chemicals when he was a patsy dressed up as the Red Hood.  Jack Nicholson's Joker was just a high ranking gangster who also turned out to be the guy who killed the Waynes.  It's unlikely Heath Ledger's Joker took a chemical bath since he was wearing makeup.  The Joker has no definitive origin - it's up to the writers to make it good or bad.

The Joker's origin story was established in 1951; The Killing Joke, when published 30 years later, was ambiguously billed as a quasi/elseworlds "one possible origin story."   But, unfortunately, like Frank Miller's awful but speculative Return of the Dark Knight series, The Killing Joke has wormed its way into mainstream Bat lore, so a lot of people who don't know better (or don't care) have come to accept it as canon.

If characters and origin stories are as malleable as you suggest, then what is the point of having any established character histories?   What's stopping them from making Batman a tax accountant in the next movie?  Or a dentist?   Maybe Batman could be non-binary because the issue is very topical and would make money as a curious twist?  Batthey/their?

Probably some segment of the audience would have no problem with changing up the characters and their origins with every outing, but I would not be among it.

Edited by millennium
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5 hours ago, MarkHB said:

No, this Joker is a total Elseworlds / Black Label and has nothing to do with the core DCEU or Reeves's film.

I have no problem with Elseworlds and other speculative stories -- Gotham By Gaslight, for example -- as long as it is clearly and firmly established that they are fantasies-within-a-fantasy.   The trouble is, more and more DC is grafting off-canon stuff onto the main storyline if it looks like it might be profitable.   One day it's just a "what if", and the next we're stuck with Harley Quinn forever.

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I just saw this trailer on the big screen and I was left screaming “No, no, heck no!” in my head. I have a complete and total lack of interest in seeing this. The trailer itself I found boring and stupid. I’m over Actors, with a capital A, being over the top in their performance. The trailer alone made me feel like it was “staring Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker!” not a movie about the Joker, or as @millennium said celebrity cosplay. Just no. 

On 5/30/2019 at 8:00 PM, millennium said:

If they're going to make Batman movies, I wish somebody would take a chance on talented, unknown actors.  That way we might actually get a Batman or Joker on-screen, instead of a celebrity cosplay convention starring Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson, Jared Leto, Joaquim Phoenix, etc.

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13 hours ago, ramble said:

I just saw this trailer on the big screen and I was left screaming “No, no, heck no!” in my head. I have a complete and total lack of interest in seeing this. The trailer itself I found boring and stupid. I’m over Actors, with a capital A, being over the top in their performance. The trailer alone made me feel like it was “staring Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker!” not a movie about the Joker, or as @millennium said celebrity cosplay. Just no. 

Aren't most actors in comic book movies OTT in their performances these days, though ? They are either OTT or underwhelming. I think very few find that balance in the middle. But when you're playing a comic book character, I think a little bit of "look at me" is okay. 
I actually get the opposite feeling watching the trailer. I don't think you'll forget you're watching JP play a role-he just has that kind of presence.

But the second time watching the trailer, I could feel more of the sad, mentally unbalanced aspect of the man himself instead of the persona of the Joker. The two times I've seen it, I kind of get an "American Psycho" vibe-and while that is way too violent for me now, it's one of Christian Bale's best roles and movies thus far. If this movie is even remotely like it in tone, the critics will love it, I think. Not sure about the general audience. It seems like a "niche" type of film, for sure. Probably polarizing- it'll be loved or hated by those that see it.

On 5/31/2019 at 7:26 AM, MarkHB said:

No, this Joker is a total Elseworlds / Black Label and has nothing to do with the core DCEU or Reeves's film.

Too bad, I think JP and RP could be good opposite one another.

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Saw this trailer recently myself.  I found it deeply disturbing.  I don't question its validity as one universe's Joker, but I'm not sure I'm up for it.  Monsters I can take, but psychological horror can be tough to watch.

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There are a bunch of teases on social media, but I haven't caught all of them.  Here's the new trailer! I'm guessing we'll see some early reviews after the premiere in Venice this weekend.

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Does anyone else get kind of a Taxi Driver vibe from this? I've been trying to ignore this project, but the preview has got me interested. I love JP's laugh. It's not quite Mark Hamill level, but it's pretty darn good. 

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I don't care how good the early buzz is, I'm not seeing it.

If Todd Phillips wanted to make a movie about the tragic downfall of a comedian, he should have stuck with doing the John Belushi biopic -- he was flawed, but at least he wasn't an evil murderer.

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Warner Bros. has released a fuller synopsis in their recent production notes...

Spoiler

"Forever alone in a crowd, Arthur Fleck seeks connection. Yet, as he trods the sooted Gotham City streets and rides the graffitied mass transit rails of a hostile town teeming with division and dissatisfaction, Arthur wears two masks. One, he paints on for his day job as a clown. The other he can never remove; it’s the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel he’s a part of the world around him, and not the misunderstood man whom life is repeatedly beating down. Fatherless, Arthur has a fragile mother, arguably his best friend, who nicknamed him Happy, a moniker that’s fostered in Arthur a smile that hides the heartache beneath. But, when bullied by teens on the streets, taunted by suits on the subway, or simply teased by his fellow clowns at work, this social outlier only becomes even more out of sync with everyone around him.

"Directed, co-written and produced by Todd Phillips, Joker is the filmmaker’s original vision of the infamous DC villain, an origin story infused with, but distinctly outside, the character’s more traditional mythologies. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. Longing for any light to shine on him, he tries his hand as a stand-up comic, but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Arthur makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty, allegorical character study."

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2 hours ago, MarkHB said:

Warner Bros. has released a fuller synopsis in their recent production notes...

  Hide contents

"Forever alone in a crowd, Arthur Fleck seeks connection. Yet, as he trods the sooted Gotham City streets and rides the graffitied mass transit rails of a hostile town teeming with division and dissatisfaction, Arthur wears two masks. One, he paints on for his day job as a clown. The other he can never remove; it’s the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel he’s a part of the world around him, and not the misunderstood man whom life is repeatedly beating down. Fatherless, Arthur has a fragile mother, arguably his best friend, who nicknamed him Happy, a moniker that’s fostered in Arthur a smile that hides the heartache beneath. But, when bullied by teens on the streets, taunted by suits on the subway, or simply teased by his fellow clowns at work, this social outlier only becomes even more out of sync with everyone around him.

"Directed, co-written and produced by Todd Phillips, Joker is the filmmaker’s original vision of the infamous DC villain, an origin story infused with, but distinctly outside, the character’s more traditional mythologies. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. Longing for any light to shine on him, he tries his hand as a stand-up comic, but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Arthur makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty, allegorical character study."

Oh Boo-Fucking-Hoo. Cry me a damned river.😒😒😒

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1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Oh Boo-Fucking-Hoo. Cry me a damned river.😒😒😒

You beat me to it!

But seriously, "waaah, my mommy is sick and nobody likes me, and my idol thinks I'm a loser, I think I'll become a homicdal maniac"?! THIS is the guy that's supposed to be the Crown Prince of Crime?! 

Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill's Jokers would eat this loser for breakfast. Even Tim Burton and Jack Nicholson didn't try to make Joker sympathetic. If JP gets an Oscar for this I'll puke.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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People got mad at Gotham for trying to give the Joker a backstory. They at least kept him as being born evil and didn't try to give him a sad backstory. Even when they switched it around to make a twin brother, that one had issues too and didn't try to get pity for anything. People can complain about Gotham all they want but I thought they actually gave a reason for the obsession between the Joker and Batman. It was more they created each other, which is a good comic story. 

I feel like they wanted to make a movie about the dangers of a bullying society and slapped the Joker name on it so they can get more press and try to live off the Super Hero hype. This movie will have nothing to do with comic book Joker. I also think Joaquin Phoenix is overrated. He basically plays the same types of characters over and over again. Weird depressed loners. This one isn't any different. 

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20 hours ago, Sakura12 said:

I feel like they wanted to make a movie about the dangers of a bullying society and slapped the Joker name on it so they can get more press and try to live off the Super Hero hype. This movie will have nothing to do with comic book Joker.

That may be true, although I think it looks very similar to the backstory that was given in The Killing Joke.

Anyway, the nice thing about some of these characters is that they lend themselves well to different variations and takes.  That seems especially true for the Batman universe.  Even though I'm a bit of a purist, I think it's a good thing when writers put their own spin on someone as iconic as the Joker and tell their own tell.  The mythos is strong enough to support it.  Once in a while, someone's approach will shine through, like Frank Miller's version.

I think this movie looks interesting.  I wouldn't care for it to be thought of as canon exactly, I see it more of a one off.

I understand your irritation though.  Even after what I said about writers putting their own spin on things, I was deeply irritated and offended by the most recent Fantastic Four movie.  The difference there though, is we haven't seen a good, well done Fantastic Four movie yet.

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I liked the previous two well enough. They weren't masterpieces by any stretch of the imagination, but compared well enough to the superhero movies that were being made at the time. And they got the casting more than half right!

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If we're trying to stick to the comic book version of the Joker, I never thought Heath Ledger's version was that close to the comic book version, although it was clever and entertaining.  The attitude was right, but the real Joker doesn't wear makeup, he fell in a vat of acid.  The makeup does fit well into Christopher Nolan's "realism" version of Batman.  I actually thought Nicholson's Joker was closer to the comics, with the laughing gas and all.  

We'll have to see how Joaquin Phoenix's Joker fits in.  By the way, is Batman supposed to be in this movie at all?

3 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

I liked the previous two well enough. They weren't masterpieces by any stretch of the imagination, but compared well enough to the superhero movies that were being made at the time. And they got the casting more than half right!

I thought they had the Ben/Johnny dynamic right.  I actually didn't have any problem with Jessica Alba, but it sounds like most fans did.  I thought they missed the mark by a wide margin with Reed and Doom.  So I'll give them 40% on casting.

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6 hours ago, rmontro said:

The attitude was right, but the real Joker doesn't wear makeup, he fell in a vat of acid. 

I thought that Nolan captured the essence of the Joker with Heath's version.  I think that falling into a vat of chemical waste is only incidental to the character.

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On 9/2/2019 at 10:43 AM, Dejana said:

The discourse around this movie is already exhausting and it won't be released for another month:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/sep/02/incel-violence-joker-rightwing-film-joaquin-phoenix

I feel this way anytime a Marvel movie comes out. I will never, ever get the hype. Certain characters, yes. I get the hype over some individual characters. But the movies as a whole do not warrant dozens, much less hundreds or thousands, of replies in threads. They just aren't that deep and you can pretty much wash, rinse, repeat all the scripts.

I won't be watching Joker-it just isn't my thing. But I am not going to begrudge DC, or JP, the attention.

Disclaimer that it really isn't just Marvel. I'm burned out on the whole superhero thing and have been for some time. I enjoyed Shazam and Glass this year (did not enjoy Captain Marvel and sadly, did not enjoy Dark Phoenix). But I'm ready for Hollywood to focus on something other than people in makeup, tights, and capes. Though I still do love Loki and will likely watch his TV show. "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in".

I still say Hollywood needs a really good mystery/suspense thriller where the twists can actually surprise us. We  haven't had one of those in a while. 

Edited by IWantCandy71

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On 9/8/2019 at 5:52 PM, rmontro said:

If we're trying to stick to the comic book version of the Joker, I never thought Heath Ledger's version was that close to the comic book version, although it was clever and entertaining.  

I'm in the minority because I never thought Ledger's Joker was all that great.  Extremely overrated. Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow was creepier to me. 

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Really interesting movie review and just general commentary.  Non-spoilery and worth your time.  What really freaks me out is how clearly disturbed both reviewers were by the film.  I have to admit I'm on the fence on this one.  I have a lot of reasons to be in the "no" camp (and I guess I'm in the minority that JP really doesn't interest me a lot as an actor.  Not saying I can't find him terrific in a given performance, and I have no doubt he is in this one, but telling me that he's Ah-mazing in a film isn't necessarily enough to get me to go see it) but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued.  

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I am really looking forward to the film, but I won't be sad if it takes over as "best film I ever saw that I never want to see again," a spot currently held by Silence of the Lambs.

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The Fandom review linked by @kiddo82 confirms all my impressions from the trailer.  On the one hand, kudos to the trailer company for the accuracy.  On the other hand, I've watched other videos from those reviewers, and I know they both have a higher tolerance for disturbing things than I do.  Their reactions make me think more than ever that this is not for me.

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