'Joker' Film Gets Poor Reviews, Makes Big Money

2019-10-05

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1
  • The long awaited Joker opened Friday in theaters across America.
  • 2
  • If you have not heard, the movie is the latest examination of the Joker character, a 1940 creation of DC Comics.
  • 3
  • Joker is an especially tricky criminal, who serves as an enemy to the superhero Batman.
  • 4
  • Filmmakers have been creating "origin" stories for the Joker character for years.
  • 5
  • This latest effort, directed by Todd Phillips, took home the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
  • 6
  • Yet, many American and British movie critics are laughing at the film -- and not in a good way.
  • 7
  • Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a man with a brain problem that makes him laugh uncontrollably.
  • 8
  • Often it happens in situations when others might cry or react differently.
  • 9
  • People do not understand his behavior.
  • 10
  • He dreams of being a stand-up comedian and making audiences laugh.
  • 11
  • But after being beaten and mistreated by strangers, Arthur launches into a life of a murderous criminal.
  • 12
  • Many American movie critics have praised Phoenix's performance.
  • 13
  • Rolling Stone magazine said the word "phenomenal" was too small to describe the actor's work in Joker.
  • 14
  • Variety, a film industry trade publication, called Phoenix's performance "astonishing."
  • 15
  • However, opinion on the movie overall is less favorable.
  • 16
  • Atlantic Magazine's David Sims writes that as the movie turns to "bloody violence, it becomes little more than a horror show."
  • 17
  • The headline of Time magazine's review of the film reads: "Joker wants to be a movie about the emptiness of our culture. Instead, it's a prime example of it."
  • 18
  • There is praise as well.
  • 19
  • Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times calls the film a, "dark, intense, well-photographed examination of a damaged and dangerous" person.
  • 20
  • Joker caused some fear and debate in America leading up to its release.
  • 21
  • Some argued that the film's social commentary could incite violence.
  • 22
  • Its historical context could be a reason.
  • 23
  • In 2012, a gunman in the U.S. state of Colorado attacked a theater full of people gathered for a showing of the movie The Dark Knight Rises, another Joker origin story.
  • 24
  • The violence left 12 people dead and more than seventy others injured.
  • 25
  • On Thursday, national security agencies warned about possible violence at the opening weekend of Joker.
  • 26
  • They expressed concern about online messages calling for mass shootings at theaters that show the film.
  • 27
  • Later that night, Joker played in a limited number of theaters and earned more than $13 million in ticket sales.
  • 28
  • It broke the record set last year for Thursday pre-opening movie showings in the month of October.
  • 29
  • I'm Caty Weaver.
  • 1
  • The long awaited Joker opened Friday in theaters across America.
  • 2
  • If you have not heard, the movie is the latest examination of the Joker character, a 1940 creation of DC Comics. Joker is an especially tricky criminal, who serves as an enemy to the superhero Batman.
  • 3
  • Filmmakers have been creating "origin" stories for the Joker character for years. This latest effort, directed by Todd Phillips, took home the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
  • 4
  • Yet, many American and British movie critics are laughing at the film -- and not in a good way.
  • 5
  • Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a man with a brain problem that makes him laugh uncontrollably. Often it happens in situations when others might cry or react differently. People do not understand his behavior.
  • 6
  • He dreams of being a stand-up comedian and making audiences laugh. But after being beaten and mistreated by strangers, Arthur launches into a life of a murderous criminal.
  • 7
  • Many American movie critics have praised Phoenix's performance. Rolling Stone magazine said the word "phenomenal" was too small to describe the actor's work in Joker. Variety, a film industry trade publication, called Phoenix's performance "astonishing."
  • 8
  • However, opinion on the movie overall is less favorable.
  • 9
  • Atlantic Magazine's David Sims writes that as the movie turns to "bloody violence, it becomes little more than a horror show."
  • 10
  • The headline of Time magazine's review of the film reads: "Joker wants to be a movie about the emptiness of our culture. Instead, it's a prime example of it."
  • 11
  • There is praise as well.
  • 12
  • Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times calls the film a, "dark, intense, well-photographed examination of a damaged and dangerous" person.
  • 13
  • Joker caused some fear and debate in America leading up to its release. Some argued that the film's social commentary could incite violence.
  • 14
  • Its historical context could be a reason. In 2012, a gunman in the U.S. state of Colorado attacked a theater full of people gathered for a showing of the movie The Dark Knight Rises, another Joker origin story. The violence left 12 people dead and more than seventy others injured.
  • 15
  • On Thursday, national security agencies warned about possible violence at the opening weekend of Joker. They expressed concern about online messages calling for mass shootings at theaters that show the film.
  • 16
  • Later that night, Joker played in a limited number of theaters and earned more than $13 million in ticket sales. It broke the record set last year for Thursday pre-opening movie showings in the month of October.
  • 17
  • I'm Caty Weaver.
  • 18
  • Caty Weaver wrote this report for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
  • 19
  • _______________________________________________
  • 20
  • Words in This Story
  • 21
  • origin - n. the place, social situation, or type of family that a person comes from​
  • 22
  • stand-up comedian - n. a person who performs humorous material alone on a stage​
  • 23
  • phenomenal - adj. very good or great : unusual in a way that is very impressive​
  • 24
  • astonishing - adj. causing a feeling of great surprise or wonder : causing astonishment​
  • 25
  • prime - adj. used to say that someone or something is a very good example of a particular kind of person or thing​
  • 26
  • context - n. the situation in which something happens: the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens​
  • 27
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