Saturday, April 25, 2015

#JokerLeto, I'm Not Sure I Can Dig You (Alternate Title: Joker or Juggalo?)

When it comes to early looks at various elements of production design for movies, I try to be a "wait and see" kind of guy.  So many things can change and some things wind up looking a lot better on the screen than expected.  Hell, sometimes images leak or get thrown out there and shit that looks really dope comes across as totally lackluster when the movie finally arrives.  Having said all that, and with my Bat bias* thrown to the wayside, I'm not feeling it.  You know what?  I think Jack was the best, and I've got Cesar Romero higher on my list than you guys do.  Yet I'm not some crusty old dude who hates the new stuff.  I didn't hate the idea of Ledger in the role like many of you did.  I thought he would make it work.  I didn't dislike the initial images that I saw of him in character.  Can you say likewise?  But--you knew it was coming--I have to be honest here, kids, I'm not feeling this shit. 

Please let the joke be on us.  Get rid of the grill and the tats and maybe we can talk.  Until then, it's just not happening for me.  Now, I'm still buying Leto.  I think he's talented enough to make it work if they trot him out there looking like Ronald McDonald and have him rap with the Fresh Prince over the opening credits.  He'll kill it, I'm putting money on it, but the production team doesn't have to make it hard for him.  Personally, the tats just don't do it for me, but some of these are downright ridiculous.  The "J" tear?  Do what?  The smile?  The "HaHaHa" tats?  "Damaged" on his forehead?  Are you dead fucking serious right now?  He looks more like some Joker-obsessed scene-kid than the Joker himself.   

I'm seriously hoping that this is a trial run and not a finished product.  I'd rather not see the Joker covered in tats, but it might work better with tats that weren't so self-referential and dopey.  And let's drop the grill.  Come on.  I look at this, and I imagine the production team trying different things out while some dude with a lot of influence kept saying "It's getting better, but we still need more Flavor Flav."  Like I said earlier, I'm still down with Leto in the part, but I'm asking nicely: can we please avoid saddling him with a silly look? Yeah, it will generate a lot of short-term buzz, but it will probably yield a lot of long-term "we shit the character design bed" guilt as well.

*Honestly, I'm a comics guy, so it's not like I hate Batman or anything.  He's a cool character and he has a nice rogues gallery.  Some of you motherfuckers, though, wow.  The craziest and goofiest Spider-Man fan on the planet is a very normal cat when compared to roughly 40% of Batman aficionados.  Those dudes who are always ready and willing to tell you at length about how Batman could defeat _________** with enough time to prepare give the rest of us comic book lovers a bad name.

**Just fill in the blank.  It could be another comic book character.  It could be Godzilla.  It could be a black hole, an earthquake, . . . it doesn't matter.  These people and their Batman worship will never bow to reason.

"Jimmy's right, I did it better--and I didn't even shave my moustache!"

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