If you’re like myself and you love movies and basketball, well today was better than Christmas. Between LeBron James firing his team mates off in the trade cannon one by one. There was a TON of movie news. !
Joaquin Phoenix is being eyed to star in Todd Phillips Joker Origin movie.
According to someone over at Variety, Joaquin Phoenix is possibly in line to tell us how he got these scares. The guy behind Old School and the Hangover trilogy is looking to bring the Clown Prince of Crime to life. The Martin Scorsese produced movie has been “rumoured” for quite some time, and Todd Phillips was hand picked to direct. Now, do we really need a Joker origin movie? I don’t think so, not with everything already going in within the DCEU, and we already had Jared Leto take a crack at it in Suicide Squad. So my mind immediately goes, yeah, I don’t really think we need another person playing the Joker within the DCEU. It just seems like a little too soon, and WB should focus on getting out movies the fans really want to see, and course correcting the broken DCEU.
Now having said all of that………I really think Joaquin would absolutely crush this role. He has incredible range, and is such a talented actor. He’s one of the few actors that I could see tackling this role, and really diving deep into the character. I can see him as a The Dark Knight Returns Joker, more broad shouldered, classy, but at the same time insane. This is an interesting take, and if it’s true, only time well tell I guess. We didn’t even get to see Ben Affleck’s Batman have a showdown with Leto’s Joker. Even if Joaquin’s Joker exists outside of the DCEU, I think it may confuse the fans, seeing how Leto is suppose to pop up in the upcoming Suicide Squad 2. When you say Martin Scorsese and Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie, you kind of have my attention. Suppose to be a throw back movie, taking place in Gotham in the 1980’s. Replace Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, and you will probably end up with the Joker origin film.
It’s just a crazy leap for a guy who hasn’t appeared in a Hollywood blockbuster since 2000, when he squared off against Russell Crowe in Gladiator. You can’t have a Joker movie with Batman, they can’t exist without one another. Remember one is the unstoppable force and the other is an unmovable object. Batman creates The Joker, so I’m not sure how they will get around that? Will they have the new Batman in this movie? There are so many questions looming over this project for me, I don’t really know how I feel. I love the Joker so much, so seeing someone has talented as Joaquin would be dream, but if he’s not going toe-to-toe with The Dark Knight. Then I’m just not sure how I feel.
I had no idea it was Robert De Niro who made the mohawk cool
“A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.”
I haven’t done a throwback review in a long time, so I thought new year, new me. I’m going to try and do one throwback review each week. I’ll be reviewing some of the “greatest movies of all time.” These will also be movies that I’ve never seen before. I know, I only just saw Taxi Driver for the first time last night. You have every right to be mad at me. Martin Scorsese’s 1976 epic is regarded as one of the best movies of all time, and was a very interesting watch for me. “You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here.” – Travis Bickle
One of the most famous quotes in all of cinema, uttered by the emotionally scared, broken and deranged Travis Bickle, played by the legendary Robert De Niro. Now that line can be looked at and examined in a lot of different ways. Travis is a war veteran, having served time in the Vietnam War. He takes a job as a taxi driver in New York City because he is having difficulties sleeping at night. Thinking it would just be easier to make some cash during the sleepless hours in the night, rather than do nothing. Travis Bickle is a complicated character. For many people they connect with him on many levels, which is weird because he certainly is one of films most complex “heroes.” TaxiDriver deals with many things, the feeling of being alone, hopelessness, alienation and most importantly anger. I think that’s why so many people, when they do watch this movie, connect with Travis, because everyone at some point in their life has had these feelings. Travis just wants to connect with someone. Whether it’s with the woman is he fascinated with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd); a campaign volunteer who is helping out for Senator Palatine. Travis doesn’t know much about politics or political issues; he just wants to get close to Betsy. Travis is so alone and so alienated that he simply can’t connect with others. This is very apparent when he has his first date with Betsy and takes her to a pornographic movie. Outraged she storms off, and he can’t really comprehend why she would be so upset and distraught by this. Travis drives into the night and hates the “scum” of New York City. He despises these pimps, whores, and drug dealers. Yet he frequents pornographic movies, drinks constantly and takes painkillers. He essentially is all of the things he says he hates, and all of the characteristics that he thinks the city need to get rid of.
Travis can’t figure out his inner turmoil. He’s not educated enough and can’t come to grips with his haunting past in the war. All of this built up anger inside of him, leads to a life of being angry and violent on the outside. He is somewhat of a societal outcast, rejected by the outside world. Again Travis tries to connect with another individual, Iris (Jodie Foster) a 12-year-old prostitute, who Travis feels needs saving. I mentioned this was my first ever viewing of TaxiDriver, and I had no idea Jodie Foster was acting at such a young age. Both herself and De Niro were nominated for Oscars and rightfully so. The scenes they share together they are going toe-to-toe acting wise, and Foster puts in an incredible performance. The heart of the film is indeed the relationship between Travis and these two women. He is trying to assimilate back into society, so when he sees that Betsy is involved in the Presidential campaign, he wants to help in anyway he can. He wants to fit in. Betsy is pure and kind hearted, and even agrees to take a date with Travis. Here’s the thing, Scorsese does an incredible job making you connect and kind of root for Travis, even though he’s not a good person. Betsy and Travis are polar opposites and really have nothing in common. They might as well live on different planets, and I think this is well interrupted, when we see Travis in his taxicab watching Betsy from afar. I think Scorsese was trying to show us the space between them, that Travis is merely browsing, like a kid looking through the glass in a toy store. It’s something so unattainable. So when things don’t work out between them, he thinks she’s only being superficial, whereas she had every right to be angry with him. They are just not compatible. Whereas his relationship with Iris is vastly different. Travis wants to save her, from the moment she got into his cab, and was forced out physically by her pimp Sport (Harvey Keitel), he knew that he had to save this girl. Travis wants a purpose in life, and he thinks saving both Betsy and Iris, is how he will achieve something within his own lonely and isolated life.
For Betsy it is ridding her of her political side and he wants to accomplish that by assassinating Senator Palatine. Travis and Palatine actually have an interaction when he ends up in his cab. The conversation goes well, until Travis explains how the new President needs to flush the “scum” of the city down the toilet. Palatine uses his charm and charisma to get out of the conversation and make Travis feel important. For Iris, Travis feels the need to rid Sport in her life. The man he thinks is keeping her beyond her will. He wants to prove is masculinity to both woman and he does this through violence. The assassination attempt and the killing of Sport.
Robert De Niro is hypnotic in his performance. We’ve all be watching him our whole lives, and maybe sometimes forget that he’s been acting for so long. I just think of DirtyGrandpa now. He memorized me in TaxiDriver. The whole movie is hypnotic, the portrayal of a hellish New York City in the late 70’s. The colors are so vibrant, especially the use of the color red. The use of the yellow taxi, it almost serves as Travis’s horse, as he acts like a cowboy for most of the movie. The whole movie is seen through the eyes and perspective of Travis, with close up shots of his face. His performances is just so dark, haunting and at the same time beautiful.
After watching the movie, I had to go read about the ending, because they leave it up in the air for you to interrupt. Travis is seen as a local hero, when he guns down some pimps in the “red room” shootout. No one knows the real motives behind Travis’s behavior and why he was actually there. He is dubbed a hero in all the newspapers. Now the last scene in the movie, Travis gets a costumer in his taxi, it’s Betsy. The whole cab ride you are only viewing it through Travis’s perspective. Very tight close up shots of his face while driving, smiling, and you only see Betsy through his eyes in his rearview mirror. You really only see her face. She says that she has read about him in the paper, and they make up for what went wrong on their date. When they arrive at her house, she asks how much the fare was and Travis simply smiles and drives off. You see her disappear in the distance, and again we are just seeing Travis. He looks into his mirror only to see his derange self-come out again, and he refocuses the mirror only for us to see it completely empty. Some believe that he died in the shootout; others think this is a dream sequence. I’m still not sure, one thing I know, the whole movie is through Travis’s eyes, and this last scene was no different. Travis wanted to gain the respect of Betsy and he got it, whether in reality or not. The ending kind of brings this emotional journey we have been on with Travis full circle. Travis seemed so unhappy, so lonely, so removed from society, that in the final scene it appears some of that is gone. He finally earns the redemption he was so desperate to achieve through the film. It’s a study of how men deal with solitude and loneliness. Travis is a ticking time bomb, he’s full of anger and PTSD, and he can’t control it or fully grasp how to deal with his problems.
Taxi Driver is a film that will stand the test of time, and that is honestly one of the greatest compliments you can ever give a film. I can’t believe I’ve only seen it once. So for my next throwback review I will be watching another Scorsese and De Niro team up, and that is Raging Bull.
I really have no idea what is going on with Warner Brothers and the DCEU anymore, makes me sad.
Seriously? What in the bloody hell is going on over at Warner Brothers? Just when you think they finally got it figured out, especially after the recent success of WonderWoman. Which is now the highest-grossing movie of the summer. The last 24 hours have been kind of a cluster. First, we get word of a stand-alone Joker movie, that will not only not take place within the DCEU, but it turns out will cast a new lead??? Now we get word about The Batman, not being part of the DCEU either. Matt Reeves wants to make it his own thing, and tell his own story.
Honestly, have they learned nothing from Marvel? Do they not realize with the success of Wonder Woman, that this universe was finally heading in the right direction. Yes, I understand Justice League is going through MASSIVE reshoots, but I still have very high hopes for that movie. Why are they letting this news come out before it gets released? Ride this Wonder Woman wave all the way up to the release of Justice League. Why are you making the fans doubt the stability of the DCEU at this point in time? We do not need a Joker stand-alone movie, even if the legendary Martin Scorsese is on board to be a producer. I’m sorry it’s just not something that needs to happen right now. Todd Phillips (the guy behind The Hangover movies) is apparently directing, and he is certainly hit or miss. Like focus on what’s in front of you right now WB, and that’s getting Justice League out, without the entire world hating it. How about making two good movies in a row, before announcing about 15 upcoming projects, that quite frankly WE DON’T NEED. Jared Leto was a fine Joker, but we really don’t need another Joker cast. This is entering Spider-Man territory.
As for Matt Reeves and his standalone Batman movie. Having that be separate from the DCEU is actually kind of fine by me. What that probably means is, it will take place before the events of BvS, we will still get Affleck in the role, and that way, they feel ZERO pressure to add in any of the other Justice League members. Just let him tell a great Batman story, without having to worry about connecting it to all the other movies that are in the works over at WB for the DCEU. As long as Ben Affleck is still Batman, in these upcoming standalone Batman movies, I’m totally on board for whatever they want to do. In fact, I think it’s best if it’s completely different from the DCEU, maybe that’s just what this character needs.