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Rodrigo castellanos
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Joined: 03 July 2012
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 7:33am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Heath Ledger is overrated. Was it a brilliant performance? Yes.

Seems like you're disagreeing with yourself there.

I kid, I kid... I get what you're saying but just thought using the words "overrated" and "brilliant" in almost the same sentence was too funny to pass it over.

Like most of the times movie Jokers are discussed in this forum there's a lot of Ledger criticism and almost nothing said of Leto, whose performance I would be fairly confident in describing "objectively" as not only much worse but a lot less faithful to the comics character than Ledger's.

It's almost as if Ledger's "problem" was being a good actor and creating a memorable performance...


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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

My rankings, which don't include Joaquin Phoenix yet:

1) Mark Hamill 
2) Heath Ledger
3) Jack Nicholson
4) Cesar Romero
5) whoever did it on the old Scooby-Doo cartoon
6)-45) whoever the next 40 people to play the character are
46) Jared Leto
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 8:48am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I find that I have a character and actor list... and then I qualify the movies. And the film/TV show greatly affects how I appreciate the character. Would Jack Nicholson have worked with Adam West and Burt Ward? He's a hell of an actor, but I don't think he'd have fit. Likewise, Cesar Romero wouldn't have been so good with Michael Keaton. And I don't want to talk about the Dark Knight movies... they did little for me.

So, all things considered, I guess I go with:
Mark Hamill
Cesar Romero
Jack Nicholson

...and as they used to say on Gilligan's Island - "And the rest."

Incidentally, to those I've mortally wounded, I'm afraid I never saw what Heath Ledger brought to the role. So many people ranted and raved about him... and I never got it. (The fact that near the end of the film, he's practically free of makeup didn't help very much.) But as always, Your Mileage May Vary.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 8:51am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Rodrigo Castellanos wrote: "It's almost as if Ledger's "problem" was being a good actor and creating a memorable performance..."

He definitely made the part his own (for the length of that film,) but for me, he was like a walking, talking visible boom mike.


Edited by Brian Hague on 03 October 2019 at 8:53am
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

6)-45) whoever the next 40 people to play the character are
46) Jared Leto

Haha, my feelings exactly.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:10am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I still maintain that Ledger’s turn as Joker wouldn’t be so acclaimed if he hadn’t died. 
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Part of that is because the Joker in that film is a credible film bad guy of the over-the-top variety so popular among psychos these days, but otherwise, is unlikable and only as clever as the film tells us he is, because he himself has little to offer by way of evidence. 

Interesting. Much to dissect here, Brian.

It's true, and regrettable, that this version of the character seems popular among psychos these days and I think that's also the reason Phoenix's version is also generating backlash.

Travis Bickle, Alex DeLarge and Tyler Durden among other characters seem to generate a similar effect. TAXI DRIVER, CLOCKWORK ORANGE and FIGHT CLUB are terrific movies though, and in no way endorse this kind of behavior or philosophies, quite the opposite IMHO.

I just can't blame the creators or performers because of the effect they generate on people with half a brain but I get your point. It's tiresome.

I get the sense that he is walking into the scene and asking for a script, reading from it, and then going for it in some actor-y sort of deliberately interesting way of saying those lines rather than, you know, being in the scene, responding to events, or making things happen. He always seems to be wandering in from the make-up trailer.

I gotta disagree on this one. Ledger famously thoroughly prepared for this role for months, and I find it a truly multi-layered performance. If he seems incoherent, easily distracted, casual or tic-ish, it's very much intentional. And it's not just because of how he is, it's also about the different ways the Joker chooses to present himself depending on the "audience". He's a character playing various characters, so to speak. I find it fascinating.

Michael Caine and Maggie Gyllenhall said when they first saw Ledger in character (the party scene at Wayne's) it scared the beejesus out of them. Caine actually fumbled his line, and that's the take they used in the film. And we're talking about Michael Caine here, not some easily impressed newcomer.








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Brian Miller
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

But it wasn’t the Joker. Just like this new film isn’t the Joker. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 9:47pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Rodrigo, I may not have articulated my take on Ledger's Joker clearly. It's not so much that his performance seems ad hoc or made up on the spot, but more that it is so theatrically random and often inorganic to the scenes that he's in. If I get a chance to view the film again in the near future, I'll take another look and see if I can see what you're seeing.

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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 3:47am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Cesar Romero is my Joker. That's easy for me to say, though, as the Sixties TV show is still my favourite on-screen version of Batman. For decades I used to have to aplogise about this to 'serious' comic books fans, but the truth is that I wouldn't have got into comics at all if not for the TV Batman.

I remember seeing the 1966 Batman movie on the big screen when I was a boy, and how much I enjoyed it, as did my grandparents who took me to the cinema. It strikes me as terribly sad that Hollywood now makes movies about Batman and the Joker that are completely unsuitable for children who, by rights, ought to be the target audience.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 6:58am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I still maintain that Ledger’s turn as Joker wouldn’t be so acclaimed if he hadn’t died.

*******

I feel the same way. Ledger's Joker was a good performance but I didn't think he captured the character correctly. Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill work for me.

-C!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 04 October 2019 at 7:57am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Mark Hamill and Cesar Romero

That's it.
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