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Author Topic: Heath Ledger to play the Joker  (Read 20596 times)
MuffinMan
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on: July 31, 2006, 10:35:21 PM

It's been rumored for a while but was announced today. I can't really picture him playing the Joker and not a fan of his either. I hope they don't fuck this up. They could always dub his voice over with Mark Hamill.

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Reply #1 on: August 01, 2006, 02:28:08 AM

Lame.
Xerapis
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Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 02:31:20 AM

Actually, I think he has the perfect mouth for it.

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Reply #3 on: August 01, 2006, 02:40:20 AM



This guy has the perfect mouth for it. And all the skills to boot. He would have made a crazy fucking, kick ass Joker. I don't care how old he is now.

Seriously.....WTF?

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Reply #4 on: August 01, 2006, 05:01:35 AM

Good.  He'll do fine.

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stray
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Reply #5 on: August 01, 2006, 05:08:34 AM

This is the Joker, man. Not some bullshit part. "Fine", my ass. Even if does "fine" (which he won't), I don't want "fine". Even Jack Nicholson sucked balls as the Joker. Heath Ledger is a million times worse.
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Reply #6 on: August 01, 2006, 08:49:13 AM

You're not correct.

It'll be ok.  Breathe.


It's not about the actors.  How many actors do we have to see fuck things up before you understand that.  It's NOT about the actors.

Scarecrow, Gordon, Flass, Alfred, Lucius, Batman AND Bruce Wayne were exceptional for the first film.

Stop worrying.  Until proven otherwise, the franchise is in good hands.

Heath will do fine.  Calm.

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Merusk
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Reply #7 on: August 01, 2006, 09:07:37 AM

Even Jack Nicholson sucked balls as the Joker.

Wow.. way to be wrong.

I dunno what Joker you're going for, but Jack's was great.

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Reply #8 on: August 01, 2006, 09:16:09 AM

Watch that shit again. Imagine that you're not 10 years old anymore. It's horrid. I mean really, really fucking horrid. Like Vanilla Ice/Ninja Turtles horrid. Worse than Tokyo Drift even.

And Ironwood, as someone obsessed with acting, I disagree. Hell, all of those examples you used from the first film don't make any sense anyways -- Gordon = Oldman, Lucius = Freeman, Alfred = Caine, Ras = Neeson, Falcone = Wilkinson, even Linus Roache was great in the small part of Bruce's father. Those are all fantastic actors. They matter. The only bad thing in the entire movie was due to an actor -- The decision to cast Katie Holmes.
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Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 09:22:26 AM

I agree with Stray.  Nicholson was horrible.  Fucking, fucking horrible.

However, my point was not that those characters were perfect because of the actors.  (Indeed, I didn't mention Ras.  I thought it was fairly meh the performance turned in by Neeson.  However, it didn't actually matter.  He was just a moustache twirling bag guy.  It wasn't that important, really.)

My point was that even the best of actors can royally fuck up when they are given no direction or, worse, the wrong direction.  I would say that Katie Holmes, though a woman who should be shot in the head and left in a ditch, turned in no better or worse performance than Neeson or 'Falcone'.  The reason she seemed odd and out of place is because YET AGAIN they tried to shoe-horn in a love interest which, let's be honest, DOES NOT FIT in Batman's world.  Women just have little or no place there.

Sure, the people I mentioned are good actors, but what was more important was the direction and story of the film.

Heath will do fine.  What's important is what the DO with the Joker and what the direction and story is.

Don't get hung up.

Please.

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dusematic
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Reply #10 on: August 01, 2006, 09:22:53 AM

Actually I watched it recently and thought "Damn, Jack was perfect for this role."  Dude I don't know why you're putting the role of the Joker on a pedestal, it's weird. Especially since if you didn't like Jack, what kind of standard do you have in your head as the "gold standard" for a Joker? 
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Reply #11 on: August 01, 2006, 09:24:12 AM

He didn't play the Joker.  He played Jack Nicholson.

AGAIN.

That's the problem.

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dusematic
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Reply #12 on: August 01, 2006, 09:25:04 AM

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that point.  I daresay that you're in a very tiny minority on that one though.
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Reply #13 on: August 01, 2006, 09:29:02 AM

Hmm, that must make me wrong then.


Look, when I watched Batman, I didn't for one second believe that the Joker was psychotic.  He was just a prancing, over the top, angry Jack Nicholson.  That's NOT the Joker.

The Joker should be geniunely creepy and disturbing.  Look at Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow.  He epitomised that role because he was really, really fucking creepy.  "Would you like to see my mask ?"

I don't want to see another 'over the top' Joker.  If I wanted that, I'd watch the Adam West show.  I want the Dark Knight Returns Joker.  The one that poisons kids at the county fair.  The one that breaks his own neck out of sheer spite.  The one that dresses women up as Wonder Woman and then beats them.  I want the one from the Killing Joke that shoots the girl through the spine and takes pictures just to prove a point.  I want the one that shakes hands on a deal just to watch you die with a smile on your face.

I'm fairly sure I might get what I want.  Stray isn't.

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Reply #14 on: August 01, 2006, 09:30:26 AM

My point was that even the best of actors can royally fuck up when they are given no direction or, worse, the wrong direction.

Ok, I'll agree with that much. Still not liking it though. Really fucking hating it. I will get hung up on it.

We at least agree what we want out of the Joker though.

...

Lol to duse. Go watch Top Gun or something.
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Reply #15 on: August 01, 2006, 09:34:07 AM

Can I also just say that your Avatar looks more like Ribisi as The Joker.

Which disturbs me a little.

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Reply #16 on: August 01, 2006, 09:35:17 AM



...

Lol to duse. Go watch Top Gun or something.

SorryI'm not a comic book guy and I like mainstream cinema.  I MUST BE AN IDIOT.
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Reply #17 on: August 01, 2006, 09:41:06 AM

If anything, the first four Batman films suffered for the 'let's cast a star and let them do their take on it' syndrome.  That's not good enough if you want a comic book film taken seriously.  I honestly can't think of ANYONE who starred in the first four Batman films, with the possible exception of Keaton himself, who actually acted at any point.  They were all unconvincing cardboard cutouts and parodies.

With Nipples.


Which was why Batman Begins almost brought me to tears.  Sure, it was a comic book movie.  Sure, it was based on total fantasy.  But at no stage in the production did it ever lose my willing suspension of disbelief.  I even bought the Microwave Emitter.  I still have no problem with the Microwave Emitter.


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Reply #18 on: August 01, 2006, 10:16:08 AM

SorryI'm not a comic book guy and I like mainstream cinema.  I MUST BE AN IDIOT.

This has nothing to do with knocking "mainstream" cinema. For crissakes, we're talking about BATMAN, not Billy Jack. Batman Begins was mainstream in the same way that Burton's film was -- The difference between the two was that Burton made a kid's film. Batman Begins paid homage to the comic, and was still mainstream.
 
As for the comics.....Batman comics are more akin to James Bond. That shit you've been watching is more akin to, not Austin Powers, but worse...An unfunny Austin Powers impression. It's not Batman.

I could go into a short history of comics from the 60's onwards, but needless to say, characters like Batman were fairly serious originally (don't mind the batsuit -- it's just a story of revenge and vigilantism). After that TV show, it was no different than Archie and Jughead.

It wasn't until the 80's that the original spirit of the character was captured again, and all comic readers want to see now is a film that pays homage in the same way (which happened with Batman Begins). The goofy, campy stuff has it's legacy with a TV show made for kids. Not the actual literature.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 10:19:39 AM by Stray »
Riggswolfe
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Reply #19 on: August 01, 2006, 10:32:56 AM

The Joker needs to be serial killer creepy. I'm talking Kevin Spacey in Seven creepy. If Heath Ledger can pull that off it's all good. I think he has the acting chops for it possibly, but I've never seen him go that far in a role so I'm a little cautious at this point. I think that new movie with him as the magician may give us a good idea if he will work as the Joker.

I think the most important thing Nolan needs to do is sit down Ledger and say "ok, this is serious. We're doing the Joker as a real person. He's a sociopath, he's evil. He's not a clown despite his costume. He's the killer clown from IT. (the book not the miniseries.)"

If Nolan does that we're probably going to be ok.

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Reply #20 on: August 01, 2006, 11:03:24 AM

SorryI'm not a comic book guy and I like mainstream cinema.  I MUST BE AN IDIOT.

This has nothing to do with knocking "mainstream" cinema. For crissakes, we're talking about BATMAN, not Billy Jack. Batman Begins was mainstream in the same way that Burton's film was -- The difference between the two was that Burton made a kid's film. Batman Begins paid homage to the comic, and was still mainstream.
 
As for the comics.....Batman comics are more akin to James Bond. That shit you've been watching is more akin to, not Austin Powers, but worse...An unfunny Austin Powers impression. It's not Batman.

I could go into a short history of comics from the 60's onwards, but needless to say, characters like Batman were fairly serious originally (don't mind the batsuit -- it's just a story of revenge and vigilantism). After that TV show, it was no different than Archie and Jughead.

It wasn't until the 80's that the original spirit of the character was captured again, and all comic readers want to see now is a film that pays homage in the same way (which happened with Batman Begins). The goofy, campy stuff has it's legacy with a TV show made for kids. Not the actual literature.


Ok point taken, but I liked both films.  I actually liked the latest Batman movie more.  I understand what you're saying about how a true comic book fan would appreciate one over the other.  But from the perspective of a guy who never read Batman comics, I really liked Jack as the Joker, and I think the vast majority of people like myself, who never read Batman comics, would agree. 

Also, I liked Top Gun, it's the quintessential 80s action movie.  Especially enjoyable with a sweet home theatre setup.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 11:11:25 AM by dusematic »
HaemishM
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Reply #21 on: August 01, 2006, 11:39:41 AM

It wasn't until the 80's that the original spirit of the character was captured again, and all comic readers want to see now is a film that pays homage in the same way (which happened with Batman Begins). The goofy, campy stuff has it's legacy with a TV show made for kids. Not the actual literature.

That is a quite untrue statement. It was actually the late '60's. Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil's Batman was exactly the type of thing you talk about, and it bled over into all the Batman books. There were a ton of great/good runs in the '70's as well that did Batman right, including the late Jim Aparo's work, the Marshall Rogers issues, etc. The depiction of Batman you are talking about was over by 1968, other than in the SuperFriends TV shows.

As for Jack Nicholson, he did a fantastic job. Yes, he was Jack, but he made that movie. Michael Keaton did not, as evidenced by Batman Returns. The problem with the Batman movies that Tim Burton did was that they weren't kids movies, they were Tim Burton movies with Batman in them. Fuck, Johnny Depp could have been Batman and it still would have been a Tim Burton movie. Nicholson played the Beetlejuice character.

Ledger will do just fine as the Joker. I agree with Ironwood, it isn't the actor, but what the director can get out of the actor. And Nolan's already proven he can do magic. Ledger is a decent actor, and I think he'll actually be a more sympathetic Joker than others might, because he's got a likeable face. That is if they show the Red Hood part of the Joker's story.

Nolan made the goddamn joke of a villain the Scarecrow into a creepy motherfucker. He could turn Heath Ledger into the Joker easy enough.

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Reply #22 on: August 01, 2006, 12:14:40 PM


 Yes, he was Jack, but he made that movie.


Yeah, but made it what.  That's the argument.  As far as I'm concerned, the closest he came to my Joker was shooting Bob and asking for time alone.  Even then, it was just played for laughs.  We shouldn't be laughing along with the Joker.  That's not the point.

Anyways, it hardly matters.  I've already got the Batman movie I wanted.  Anything else is a bonus.


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Reply #23 on: August 01, 2006, 06:22:26 PM

The depiction of Batman you are talking about was over by 1968, other than in the SuperFriends TV shows.

As for Jack Nicholson, he did a fantastic job.

These two statements are hard for me to understand together. That you liked Jack's depiction makes me wonder how critical you were of the comics. That you at least allowed for some cheesiness.

As for the TV show being responsible for the direction things took, OK, I'm not entirely right here (though I was only trying to convey that it was largely responsible. Not totally). Technically though, one could say that the campy, lighthearted take on Batman goes back much further than that even -- Back to the 40's when Robin was created. That period still isn't quite as bad as what would come later, but it was probably the first step.
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Reply #24 on: August 02, 2006, 12:17:40 AM

I personally don't see anything "cheesy" about Jack's performance in Batman.  Like I said, I can understand if you're into comics having a different perspective.  But Haemish seems pretty into comics and he liked Nicholson too.  I don't know, I think this is just one of those times that proves seriously arguing about acting is usually pretty dumb. 
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Reply #25 on: August 02, 2006, 01:00:28 AM

Oh c'mon. Watch that scene where he goes to meet Vicki at the museum. The one where he and his thugs are jamming out to Prince (not even a good Prince song, mind you). That's kind of shit that the word "cheesy" was invented for.
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Reply #26 on: August 02, 2006, 03:00:09 AM

And why the fuckeration is he after Vicki Vale anyway ?  Eh ?

The only two scenes where Jack 'got it' were the Vale Sketchbook scene and, in a way, the 'Bob, Gun' scene.  And even then it was played too much for laughs.

Stop making me agree with Stray on this.  It's making me sound like I care.

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Reply #27 on: August 02, 2006, 06:12:41 AM

On a sidenote: Bob may have been the straight man to Jack's Joker, but funnily enough, he was partially responsible for fucking up the Conan films. Barbarian is possibly the greatest fantasy flick ever, and Destroyer is one of the cheesiest. And it's because of Bob.

He was pretty great in Repo Man though.
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Reply #28 on: August 02, 2006, 10:35:57 AM

The depiction of Batman you are talking about was over by 1968, other than in the SuperFriends TV shows.

As for Jack Nicholson, he did a fantastic job.

These two statements are hard for me to understand together. That you liked Jack's depiction makes me wonder how critical you were of the comics. That you at least allowed for some cheesiness.

Jack's Joker was batshit insane, homicidal, looked the part and fit in with the rest of the movie. Was it Frank Miller's Joker? Not exactly, but there were elements of it. Jack's Joker was pretty spot on, if not letter perfect. The fact that it was Jack being Jack just added to it, IMO, instead of taking from it. No, the villain performance you should be pissed off about is Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face, who was really nothing more than Jack's Joker with a different fucked up face. Or all of Batman & Robin.

The original movie Joker WAS NOT the comics Joker, and neither was its Batman. Keaton did a good performance for what he got, but really, they only got the spirit of the comics right in a movie setting. Batman Begins was so much better because it got the spirit, most of the letter, and the essence. But for its time, the original Batman movie hit the nail on the head as well as it was going to, based on the previous depictions of Batman in media other than the comics. But really, it was a Tim Burton film that happened to have Batman and the Joker in it. Jack's Joker was more akin to Keaton's Beetlejuice than he was the comics' Joker, and I'm ok with that because it was an entertaining performance.

You'll probably be surprised to note that my favorite Batman movie after Batman Begins was Batman Forever... yes, even with the bat nipples. I thought Kilmer's Batman was the best of the 3 before Bale, I liked the action, and I like O'Donnell's Robin. Despite its depictions of Two-Face and Riddler as just more Joker ripoffs, despite it's gayass color palette, I liked the movie.

Quote
As for the TV show being responsible for the direction things took, OK, I'm not entirely right here (though I was only trying to convey that it was largely responsible. Not totally). Technically though, one could say that the campy, lighthearted take on Batman goes back much further than that even -- Back to the 40's when Robin was created. That period still isn't quite as bad as what would come later, but it was probably the first step.

The campy take on Batman really didn't start until the 50's, when no one was buying superhero comics. Even the introduction of Robin was not a bit of camp, seeing as how Robin's family was brutally murdered in front of him. The 60's TV show was responsible for the campiness of the character in media other than the comics, but it did have its roots in the comics of the 50's and early 60's. But even before the Neal Adams stuff, right around the beginning of the DC Silver Age, the campiness in Batman comics was on its way out.

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Reply #29 on: August 05, 2006, 09:37:02 PM

Ledger should do well.  He does have a smile that could be just creepy enough to do it.  I am satisfied.

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Reply #30 on: August 07, 2006, 08:40:38 PM

I think since they are probably going the ultra-violent psychotic route, minus the camp, Ledger has a chance of pulling it off with some decent success.
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Reply #31 on: August 07, 2006, 11:01:57 PM

After a few days of letting it sink in, I guess I've opened my mind up enough to give him a chance.

Still though, that doesn't mean there isn't at least 20 actors who could do it better. Because there is. That's why I'm pissed -- Because of all the things that could have been.

Ledger is competent enough to listen to Nolan and not be totally sucky -- But competence isn't an advantage. That should be a given. What else does he bring to the table? The whole reason why I think that the "actor matters" is because the Joker is the type of part that needs brilliance and creativity on both sides of the fence. Unless you want something totally 'meh', it can't be all up to the director to support this kind of role. Contrary to popular opinion, actors are not models. They're actors. An actor needs to act -- Not just pose, follow directions, or find his inspiration from the script. Villain roles, out of all things, require someone to dig a lot deeper than that -- Because they're so easy to operate on the level of cliche. A great actor will take the road less traveled, and surprise the fuck out of people every time --- And I just don't see Heath Ledger that way.
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Reply #32 on: August 07, 2006, 11:59:24 PM

We're not really arguing that he's going to be great.  But he'll be decent enough that the movie should still be quite good.  It's really nothing to flip out over.  I mean, I'm not jumping out of my chair screaming "WMG HEATH LEDGER BEST JOKER EVER" but it's not like they cast 50 Cent or anything.

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Reply #33 on: August 08, 2006, 03:59:57 AM

50 Cent as the Joker.

That would work.

I said to the wife five minutes after I left the theatre for Batman Begins "It's a fucking shame Cillian was in that."  She looked at me strange and said "I thought he was brilliant and creepy."

"He was.  He'd have made a stunning Joker."

Let's not recast just yet is all I'm saying.  We'll give Heath a shot.  All I really want is for the sequel to contain the same sense of realism that the first film had.  If that means dulling some of the Jokers 'over the top' edges, I'm all for it.

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Reply #34 on: August 08, 2006, 04:24:06 AM

If you think Neeson did a good job in Begins you can't really call yourself a competent judge, "obsessed with acting" though you might be. Though his performance was fitting of the yawnfest that was his character...

Just give Ledger a go, who knows what it might bring. I think it's safe to assume that the director that you think did so well the first time has a better idea of how to get it right the second too.

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