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Old 07-27-2013, 04:54 PM   #851
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

To me, it's Jack playing Jack. He's still a great Joker. But it's still Nicholson to me doing his classic stuff. I never once saw Ledger in his performance. Also, I just prefer a Joker with no name or origin, not dancing to Prince (which I liked btw). Nicholson was a fantastic playful Joker. But Ledger brought playfulness (not as campy as Jack's obviously) AND a scariness. I prefer my Joker to be that mixture. I want to be scared of what he's going to do. I never felt that with Jack.

I DO however want a nice middle ground between Ledger and Nicholson in the reboot, with a slice of Harley Quinn on the side. The closer to the Hamill/Bruce Timm version of the Joker, the better. Especially with how he was in the Arkham games.

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Old 07-27-2013, 04:57 PM   #852
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

Edit: @ Milost

Totally agree. Nicholson is not a method actor: his Joker is clearly voiced by Jack Nicholson, and played literally. But it is a well observed and executed performance. One endorsement of it, rarely cited, is the clear impact of Nicholson's little 'Joker noises' (ie when hanging off a ledge) on the universally lauded voicework of Mark Hamill.

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Old 07-27-2013, 04:59 PM   #853
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

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To me, it's Jack playing Jack. He's still a great Joker. But it's still Nicholson to me doing his classic stuff. I never once saw Ledger in his performance.
Hah! Freudian slip, one suspects.

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Old 07-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #854
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BTW Nicholson didn't have to lose himself because he was always like Joker anyway. But I just prefer Ledger disappearing into his role. I like that when an actor has to play a role that requires a mask or heavy makeup...I don't really like seeing the actor. Especially if theyre well known.

It's more for me as an adult now. Nicholson is a legend and Ive seen way too many of his movies lol. So when I watch it back im just seeing Jack. Especially when the writers purposely call him "Jack Napier" you just cant help it but think it was a little nod to the actor. I imagine in 20 years ill watch Heath's Joker and still not see the man behind the makeup. I like it that way. Like Tom Hardy as Bane. The eyes and walk are very "Tom Hardy" but a lot of times his voice or size is just Bane and not the actor behind the mask.

I imagine ill feel the same way with the next Joker or Black Mask if they cast a big name.

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Old 07-27-2013, 05:18 PM   #855
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

I think the Ledger Joker is better and I guess I could even say I like him more than Nicholson (just like I prefer the Keaton Batman to Bale), but I still love the Nicholson Joker and think he did a terrific job. There's nothing I don't like about him in the film. I love his origin, I love his end game, I enjoy everything about him. Every time he's on it doesn't get old, same with Ledger.


Ledger's take on the Joker is sort of immortal in a way. The fantastic hype (that delivered, unlike most comic book movies these days), his unfortunate death, not being able to shed light on his actual performance through post-film interviews/Nolan and WB. being mum with behind the scenes material, etc. The character even lives on at the end of the film only to never appear again. There's almost this mystical quality to it PLUS the actual performance itself with all it's great character, quirks and such. It's great.

I don't like to compare them, because they both did the character justice, just in different ways. What one has, the other doesn't it, which isn't just true of the Jokers, but of both Batmans, and the whole, "Burton vs. Nolan" thing as well.



To put it this way, I don't think Nicholson or Ledger did anything "wrong" with their performances. Out of all the cinematic comic book villains from DC, Warner Bros, Marvel, Disney, Fox, Sony, etc. I rank Ledger and Nicholson at the very top.






As for "scariness", I think the Ledger Joker is a lot tamer than what I imagined before July 2008 where we were getting those "reports" that the character picked his scars, wore make up that started to rot, etc. The Brian Azzarello Joker is what I would consider "scary" and just downright ruthless and disgusting. I mean, he skins a man! He shoots a guy through the neck! He rapes his girl!

But the Ledger Joker not being that extreme isn't a bad thing. He wasn't camp by any means, but I never felt "afraid" of him. He was more fun than truly evil. He had a different kind of edge to him and was still a colorful, likeable villain even with some of the nasty things he did. I laughed at the mob meeting with Ledger's little idiosyncrasies like replying to Gambol with "yeah", or his child like behavior with Rachel or even how playful he was at the MCU. There's that great moment where that goon is complaining that his stomach hurts and it cuts back to the Joker looking the other way like, "oh crap, I don't know what he's talking about". I thought him being disgusted at the look of Dent's injuries, "forgetting" Rachel's name, and using handsanitizer was fantastic. It's great.

The only time he's freighting, to me, is the Why So Serious scene with Gambol, that's it. But him not being scary isn't a bad thing or negative thing. Quite the contrary.


Nicholson's the same way. I don't really think he's all that scary either. Like Ledger, he has moments or scenes where's he looks scary, like the post-surgery scene with the mob doctor or when he kills Grissom, or just his look overall with the injuries he sustained (especially at the mob meeting with the flesh make up and brimmed mob hat) but I was never frightened. The thing with Nicholson's Joker was how disturbing he was. I could buy that he was someone with "bad wiring" before the Axis Chemicals incident and falling into the vat triggered the Joker persona.


I look at the two this way. The Ledger Joker wanted to prove that everyone's spirit was as ugly as he was while the Nicholson Joker wanted to prove that everyone's vanity was as ugly as he was.


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Old 07-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #856
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

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Saying he just, "played himself" is sort of insulting. It makes it sound like he just showed up, slathered make up on, and portrayed himself with no thought process about the character when that's the farthest from the truth.
Agreed. Jack Napier was "Jack playing Jack", to an extent. But The Joker, a role Nicholson clearly had a blast with and valued, has some serious differences from other characters Nicholson has played in the past. Playing a role with lots of energy and enthusiasm and a dry wit isn't playing it "like every other role Jack has played". His voice was different, his basic mannerisms different (even from Jack to Joker)...people just don't seem to recognize these elements of his performance often enough.

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Old 07-28-2013, 03:04 PM   #857
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

Jack didn't play himself. He BECAME the Joker of a very different era than the one that LEDGER created. Jack was the Joker of the 70's and 80's who, while quite dark and homicidal, still had VERY SLIGHT elements of the 60's Joker who was campy, but fun. Jack was that Joker. LEDGER did a Joker more akin to the the early 40's comics or even modern comics without the perma-white chemical bath origin. Just a goon in makeup out to intimidate, make a name for himself and be as threatening as possible.

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:37 PM   #858
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:43 PM   #859
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

Love that Joker

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Old 07-28-2013, 05:06 PM   #860
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

Probably the best Joker scene on film.

No disrespect to Mr Ledger, but it all just comes together there.

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Old 07-28-2013, 05:08 PM   #861
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Best part of the scene.

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Old 07-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #862
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

There's no denying that Jack's Joker heavily influenced other incarnations of the character, including Heath's. Heath's meeting with the mob bosses, "hit me" scene, and falling from the building all reference similar scenes from Batman '89.

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Old 07-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #863
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

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How great is this moment?

Pure Joker!

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #864
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

I've always loved the green fingernails and melted gloves. That was a nice touch.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:19 PM   #865
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Permawhite FTW.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #866
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

Jack was great but Nicholson was amazing

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #867
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

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I look at the two this way. The Ledger Joker wanted to prove that everyone's spirit was as ugly as he was while the Nicholson Joker wanted to prove that everyone's vanity was as ugly as he was.
Brilliant way of looking at it. I never even thought of that before. I liked Jack's Joker a lot. He wasn't a patch on Heath for me, but still a solid portrayal of the clown.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:27 PM   #868
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Agreed. Jack Napier was "Jack playing Jack", to an extent. But The Joker, a role Nicholson clearly had a blast with and valued, has some serious differences from other characters Nicholson has played in the past. Playing a role with lots of energy and enthusiasm and a dry wit isn't playing it "like every other role Jack has played". His voice was different, his basic mannerisms different (even from Jack to Joker)...people just don't seem to recognize these elements of his performance often enough.
Finally.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:27 PM   #869
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

LOVE that scene. One of my favs from this movie. Don't think it's the best Joker scene of all time though. But still awesome.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:30 PM   #870
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

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Agreed. Jack Napier was "Jack playing Jack", to an extent. But The Joker, a role Nicholson clearly had a blast with and valued, has some serious differences from other characters Nicholson has played in the past. Playing a role with lots of energy and enthusiasm and a dry wit isn't playing it "like every other role Jack has played". His voice was different, his basic mannerisms different (even from Jack to Joker)...people just don't seem to recognize these elements of his performance often enough.
Hmmm. I don't remember him changing his voice to the point where I didn't recognize it was Nicholson. Also Jack always brings enthusiasm, energy and a wit to every performance.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:31 PM   #871
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

I really love the way it was shot in that particular scene, can't remember who did the cinematography but that guy did a great job.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:52 PM   #872
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Hmmm. I don't remember him changing his voice to the point where I didn't recognize it was Nicholson. Also Jack always brings enthusiasm, energy and a wit to every performance.
Changing your voice to the point of being unrecognizable is not a requirement to act. If somebody does, good, but it's far from being an unachievable deed.

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #873
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Brilliant way of looking at it. I never even though of that before. I liked Jack's Joker a lot. He wasn't a patch on Heath for me, but still a solid portrayal of the clown.

Thanks man.


Has there even been a bad portrayal or lame interpretation of the Joker (well, other than the animated, The Batman version)? There's a reason he's up there along side the Bat, he's just a great character.


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Old 07-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #874
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Changing your voice to the point of being unrecognizable is not a requirement to act. If somebody does, good, but it's far from being an unachievable deed.
I didn't say that...I was responding to Guard saying Jack changed his voice, and I responded with saying that I didn't think he did.

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Old 07-28-2013, 09:54 PM   #875
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I didn't say that...I was responding to Guard saying Jack changed his voice, and I responded with saying that I didn't think he did.
You implied he did but not "to the point where I didn't recognize it was Nicholson." Therefore my reply.

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