The Joker is directed by the guy who made one of my all time favorite films, Old School.  This is another triumph for Todd Phillips.  I mean, getting Joaquin Phoenix to act like a disturbed weirdo isn’t exactly trophy worthy in and of itself – but still.  Dark and fucked up, that’s how I’d describe the movie.  It’s set back in the early 80s or late 70s and the era really comes to life.  All jabs aside, Phoenix is terrific as the famous Batman foe.  He takes the scary clown crown back from “It”.  Sorry Stephen King.  Is he as good as Heath Ledger? Maybe.  Depends what kind of Joker you’re in the mood for.  I probably have Heath Ledger bias because The Dark Knight was filmed in Chicago and because he’s dead.  Speaking of death, the mom from Six Feet Under (if you ever watched that HBO show) plays the Joker’s mom and Robert De Niro plays a talk show host.

I had a few hours to kill (no Joker intended) after a delightful lunch in Westmont at Neat Kitchen and before a walk through for an upcoming DJ gig in Western Springs.  BTW – lunch consisted of a meat and cheese plate followed by this insane short rib grilled cheese:

 

 

 

Drove to Oakbrook Mall and parked at the AMC.  It was 4:09 and The Joker started at 4.  Figured I could catch on to what happened if the film already began, but there were 10 more minutes of bad previews even after I stopped in the men’s room.  Only 1 other person was at the matinee.  Some lady sitting in the back.  I sat up front.  She stood and applauded at the end.  I walked out, nodding my head in approval for 2+ hours of entertainment.  Going to the movies by yourself: still a pretty great time.

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