Joker

  1. Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant. He certainly deserves the Academy Award for Best Actor.
  2. The theme of economic inequality is important in 2020. It will be one of the big issues of the next 10 years.
  3. Joker is a story of mental illness. A cautionary tale warning us to provide better health care or the worst can happen.
  4. It will be studied by film students for decades alongside Taxi Driver. I thought the cinematography superb. Robert De Niro perfect casting.

Joker .. was inspired by 1970s character studies and the films of Martin Scorsese (particularly Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy) …

The film polarized critics; while Phoenix’s performance, the musical score, cinematography and production values were praised, the dark tone, portrayal of mental illness, and handling of violence divided responses. … (68% on Rotten Tomatoes)

Joker has grossed over $1 billion, making it the first R-rated film to do so …

… the most profitable film based on a comic book …

Phoenix is interested in doing a sequel.

 

 

 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book has sold well over 4.5 million copies. And it’s legit.

Excellent.

The audio version superbly well read.

Pretty much anyone would enjoy the life story of the marsh girl, who attended only 1 day of school surviving alone from about the age of 10.

It’s at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.

Reese Witherspoon will produce the film.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a 2018 novel by Delia Owens.

It has topped the The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 for 27 non-consecutive weeks.

The story follows two timelines that slowly intertwine. The first timeline describes the life and adventures of a young girl named Kya as she grows up isolated in the marsh of North Carolina from 1952–1969.

The second timeline follows a murder investigation of Chase Andrews, a local celebrity of Barkley Cove, a fictional coastal town of North Carolina. …

Blinded by the Light (2019 film)

Continuing the string of recent Hollywood films inspired by classical musicians.

I liked it.

Cheesy and lightweight, but still a feel-good film.

Blinded by the Light is a 2019 British comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha, inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen. …

Set in the town of Luton in 1987 Thatcherite Britain, the film tells the coming-of-age story of Javed, a British-Pakistani Muslim teenager whose life is changed after he discovers the music of Springsteen. …

I discovered Springsteen in about 1974. Influential music critic Jon Landau declared him the future of Rock and Roll that year.

This film is set in 1987. The Boss is no longer new and cool.

Nor are his fans.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

Born Standing Up – Steve Martin

With friends in Idaho, summer 2019 I saw Martin Short and Steve Martin LIVE in An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.

It was hilarious.

That was Steve’s return to stand-up after decades.

Steve is age-74 now. Everyone of my generation loved his comedy. Indeed, I thought he was an overnight success — like Robin Williams.

Not so as I learned in his 2007 memoir Born Standing Up. Steve Martin paid his dues. He had many, many very hard years breaking into the business.

It chronicles his early life, his days working for Disneyland, working at low tier coffee shops and clubs as a comedy act … and the reason why he quit stand-up comedy altogether at the height of his fame in 1981. …

The audiobook is read by Steve. I recommend it.

Brittany Runs A Marathon

This charming little movie is 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is a 2019 American comedy …

It stars Jillian Bell  and  Utkarsh Ambudkar.

Jillian Bell is FUNNY. A former writer for Saturday Night Live.

Utkarsh is hilarious too.

The film follows an overweight woman in New York City who sets out to lose weight and train for the city’s annual marathon.

The story of Brittany was inspired by a real person – Brittany O’Neill, who appears in photos before the end credits.

 

The Mule – Clint Eastwood

I can’t recall a Clint Eastwood film I didn’t enjoy. He is a master storyteller.

He’s a curmudgeonly Republican in real life. And is very believable as a politically incorrect old man in his recent films.

It is Eastwood’s first acting project since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve, and his first starring role in a film directed by him since 2008’s Gran Torino. …

He is facing financial ruin and is estranged from his ex-wife Mary and daughter Iris, for always putting work before family. … Desperate for money, he … becomes a “mule” transporting cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.