Articles, Blog


2019’s surprise hot new trend in blockbuster
filmmaking appears to be: Ideas that sound like (or were…) parodies sketches in trailer form… but they’re trailers for actual, not-a-joke-but-the-real-thing movies – starting with “what if Dora the Explorer
but now it’s Tomb Raider” “I have to keep going no mater what.” “She fricking awesome.” “Boot!” “Of course she knows this monkey.” and continuing with Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker;”
a serious-minded prestige drama that reimagines a new origin story for a Batman villain apparently
playing out in a grounded, realistic world without a Batman or any other superheroes,
villains or powers. [Joker] “Is it just me…” [dark music] “…or is it getting crazier out there?” [Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile”] And it looks… fine? Kinda potentially good, I guess? [Joker] “I use to think that my life was a tragedy.” “Now I realize…” …it’s a comedy.” I dunno – this is such a bizarre idea you
kind of expect it to either be incredible or a disaster and instead this looks.. Ya’know, like another of a dozen totally
average movies about a bitterly self-involved white guy going nuts and taking out their shit
on the world that have descended in an unbroken line from Taxi Driver and the likes since the late 70s and early 80s. I mean I’m not saying it can’t “work”
as what it’s trying to be, but apart from the clown makeup gimmick you have to question
what actually makes this a story that was demanding to be told again: The last half-century
of filmmaking is positively drowning in characters like this, and I’m almost given to question
whether trying to divorce The Joker (or, at least, the Hannibal Lecter by way of Tom Ripley
psychopath mastermind version that’s been popular from the 80s onward) from the Batman
mythos is ultimately misguided in the same way that trying to do “realistic” standalone
Punisher movies was; i.e. The Punisher isn’t really all that original character very much outside seeing a character “like him” interacting with superheroes. Now look, I get it: “The King of Comedy
but now even more like Taxi Driver and he’s The Joker” is… not an illogical place
to go with this …okay, since I know even in film school
they only make you watch three Scorsese movies now and none of them are this one (and it’s
never on TV anymore) The King of Comedy was a dark comedy released in 1982. It stars Robert DeNiro as mentally unstable
struggling stand-up comedian named Rupert Pupkin who takes a late-night talk show host
played by Jerry Lewis (who’s actually really good in this by the way) hostage in order
to force him to let Rupert perform a televised set on his show. Though not a box-office success in its day,
it’s come to be thought of as an underappreciated work in the filmography of all involved and
(depending on who you ask) is often suggested to have inspired (in some way) both Alan Moore’s hypothetical “failed comedian” Joker origin from The Killing Joke story and the Joker-centric Batman
the Animated Series episode “Make Em Laugh.” So… yeah. …with this, but it also feels like it’s going to a place where we’re either supposed
to like Joker or even sympathize with him or that whole circa-2008 edgelord meme bullshit
about how “When you grow up you realize The Joker is the one who make or sense!!!” which
is just… the most exhaustingly idiotic take from just the most tiresome kind of fanboy
(well, maybe second most tiresome after the one’s who’re still protesting for the studio to blow millions
finishing the even worse version of Justice League…) “I am so tired.” Now, look: I get how The Joker ended up gradually
turning into one of these “charismatic psychopath” characters that Hollywood and popular fiction
have both been way too in love with for the last 50-60 years or so – even as the character originally was more just a gangster/professional-criminal type with a strange facial deformity and a
mystery as to where he came from and why he looked that way. He became “the” Batman pretty much because…
he was the original “gimmick” bad guy in Batman #1, the whole “Scary Clown”
gimmick always kinda works historically and they really did hold fast to the whole “we’re keeping
the backstory a mystery” business (apart from at one point revealing he’d previously been
an unheard of villain called “The Red Hood” who fell some acid and that probably
explained the clown-face stuff but nothing else before that) so he was enough of an open
book to never go out of style and fit pretty much wherever they wanted to put it. And then when it became trendy to turn as
many top-tier recurring comic book villains a possible from gangsters, bank-robbers and
mad-scientists who liked to play dress-up into just straight-up serial-killers in the 80s (who also
liked to play dress-up) Joker was one of the easiest of the Big Guns to make that happen with
because… y’know “Murder Clown” was a thing that had actually happened in real
life a few times by then. And then Killing Joke happened and that’s
pretty much the default Joker persona ever since (even though it doesn’t really
hold up all that well and even Alan Moore considers it one of his lesser works or at least
the version that every other version seems to use as a jumping off point. But the funny thing about Killing Joke
(whatever else you can say about it) is it’s one of the only versions of this whole “egomaniacal psychopath monologuing about
his personal philosophy” routine that really understands that type of person in an honest way. Because despite so many fanboys only taking
a surface-level appreciation of how gritty and violent the story was and what an edgy
move it was to cripple and maybe/maybe-not off-camera sexually-assault Batgirl and what
a “badass” this made Joker and by extension Batman himself… the whole overriding point
that Killing Joke not only keeps hammering at in the backstory, the origin, the content
of Joker’s speechifying and even the whole denoument that it builds to… is that The
Joker – like every smarmy disaffected nihilist who thinks they’ve “cracked the code”
of life by virtue of detachment – is actually just kind of pathetic. If you only know it by reputation: The plot
of The Killing Joke involved Joker abducting Commissioner Gordon and tormenting him with
a slideshow of Joker and his henchmen shooting and mutilating his daughter Barbara aka “Batgirl.” Intercut with this and Batman’s attempts
to rescue Gordon, we get flashbacks to what may be Joker’s actual origin as a failed
stand-up comic whose crummy but not that unhappy life falls completely apart through a series
of dumb random accidents all on the same day that he’s tricked into wearing the Red Hood
costume by some crooks and falls into the acid because he’s frightened by Batman, completing
his descent into madness and turning him into The Joker. The hook, though, is that we’re seeing this
origin because Joker’s torture of Gordon is meant to be a demonstration proving what
has apparently been the “premise” of Joker’s otherwise random career of disconnected crimes
and schemes, etc. over the years: That the life and the world are random cruel and pointless
and anyone – even a fine upstanding citizen like Gordon – is just one bad day with enough
trauma in it away from snapping just like he did (and if you’re thinking wait a minute “Why would
he care about proving anyone could’ve turned into the Joker if he supposedly doesn’t
feel guilt about being The Joker?” Well pour yourself an extra drink, you just understood
the point of this book better than most of the people who’ve claim to love it) because it didn’t work. He’s not broken, everyone isn’t
one step away from being The Joker and he probably wasn’t just a regular perfectly
good guy with nothing wrong with him even if he did get a raw deal that day – and as Batman points
out, all the grandiose “how I see the world” B.S. Joker has been lecturing about this whole
time is… actually really dumb. Just a bunch of edgy angry teenager crap that
every smug crank with delusions of grandeur thinks they’re the first person to figure
out (he even starts in on WWII was caused by telegraph poles and German war-debt, in
case you were worried they’d be too subtle about this.) I mean really… to miss this, you’d have to be
one of those people who does get that Fight Club isn’t about emasculated overcompensating
white-collar dweebs secretly being charismatic sexy badass god-kings but rather about said
badass god-kings not existing and just being emasculated overcompensating dweebs you shouldn’t
listen to (and also, y’know, the Project Mayhem guys are literally skinheads) “Like the monkey really to be shot into space.” “Space monkey.” “Ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good.” …and yeah that tends to be exactly the same dudes who missed the point there. And even though more than a few of them are
good, I really have a hard time (especially at this particular moment in time, not to
put too fine a point on it, right?) getting all that excited for another movie where a
weird loner rambles about how unfair the world is and how that renders whatever insane shit
he’s doing either reasonable or righteous or whatever. I’m not saying this is gonna be bad! I have no idea, we’ve seen the one trailer. The cast is good, Phoenix is a hell of an
actor, Todd Philips is an interesting director – they got DeNiro to do a part in the movie
as a shout-out to King of Comedy, I like the reimagined Joker “look” and (good lord) anything is better
than more Jared Leto. And it’s unfair to hold the Internet weirdos
who’re stupidly obsessed with the Joker character for dumb dumb reasons against a movie. It just also feels like one of those instances
where someone went to a studio with an interesting idea and got an “Okay fine – but only if you
deliver the least interesting version of it.” But, I guess we’ll find out. I’m Bob and that’s The Big Picture.


  1. Daniel Author

    The fact that you listed Funny Games as a continuation of the trope you just cited shows the significant limitations of your mental capabilities. Completely missed the point of the movie.

  2. kap1618 Author

    Personally I prefer the joker when he just doesn't give a damn. With his backstory being unexplained (in universe) and the guy being so far off the deep end you agree with Jason Todd in Under the Red Hood as to why Batman hasn't killed him yet? I don't mind sympathetic villains but joker isn't someone we should find sympathy with because we have Doctor Freeze, Two Face, and Harley for that.

  3. Blaklyon Den Radio Author

    You might disagree with the video but, it is not like he is lying… And, I firmly believe that most of villians in the Batman pantheon, collectively define him… Meaning, Batman was created to respond to the crime in his city caused by that Villian. Without the villians, Batman doesn't need to exist. However, The villians don't need Batman… So, the Joker doesn't need him to exist. And, that makes the Joker archtype a great open source in protagonist, character creation in film making. Despite how overused it is…

  4. Endless Mars Author

    A phenomenon I have noticed from opinion based content, opinion beats. This video hit them all. Congratulations.

    1. The trailer makes one feel sympathetic towards the character, check.
    2. Self-absorbed white guys are bad and we don't need more of this type of film, check.
    3. Compare the trailer to Taxi Driver even though there has been only one trailer, check.
    4. The movie will cause young white men to align their own philosophies with a fictional psychopathic villain, check

    The Joker literally asks in the trailer, "Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?" Out there, as in a fictional, hyper violent version of 1970's New York. The normal response to this question would be, "It's just you."

  5. Robert Tauzer Author

    You're overthinking it. Joaquin is a phenomenal actor. Can't wait for this movie, and I'm not even a fanboy. And yes, I know I can still be disappointed but whatever.

  6. DigitalParallel Author

    Tried to give moviebob a second chance, and he blew it. He's not even talking about movies, but rather trying to hammer home his own personal ideology and rant to whoever will listen. If that's for you, then great, but it just comes off as massively confrontational to me.

  7. Helios5868 Author

    The one thing that we NEED to see in order to actually evaluate this whole enterprise is who Joker's antagonists will be. A character with a shit life being changed by their experiences is the premise of quite a few good stories (to say the least). The question is, what will he actually do. If they're actually going down the serial killer road, as they seem to be, they'll need to do more than just create empathy, they need Joker's actions to be semi-justified.

  8. Tom M. Author

    I never understood why people love the Killing Joke so much. I've read it and personally thought it was awful. Though I guess people who love it don't understand why I think its trash.

  9. McCaptain Author

    He said nothing this whole video. Just "that's dumb, that genre is dumb, people who like it are stupid, smart people agree with me, and there's actually one really great thing… Oh wait, you probably haven't heard of it because you're dumb. Oh, the movie about the joker? I have no opinion about it yet. ".

    How is that "the big picture"?
    Was there a fucking point to this video, Bob?

  10. Phil Perkin Author

    i know you will probably not read this, but i really worry about how bitter you are getting, i use to love to sit down and watch your videos with my nephews, but they are tried of your Bitterness. i hope you are just going through somthing and there is an other side i will still keep watching your videos.

    your fan always.

  11. The Great Azal Author

    Has it hit anyone else that these “bigger picture” videos always go nowhere because bob drags his feet and hides it with sped up audio the whole time? Appreciate the king of comedy reference though even if joker is really cribbing more off a The Shadow villain then anything

  12. Freek314 Author

    You started off on a bad foot with the "another white guy doing x" thing and then kept blowing smoke up your own ass until the finale where you not only dismiss the effects of traumatic experiences, but betray your own ignorance of WW2. The French used a delayed shipment of telegraph poles as a reason to push the Weimar Republic, which resulted in a takeover of factories and passive resistance by many people there as well as an attempted coup by Hitler and the Nazi party. The US made loans to help but demanded too much after the stock market crash of 1929, which in turn led to an economic crisis and the rise of the Nazi party. Without their attempted coup and the resulting trial and imprisonment of Hitler, the Nazi party would've had far less clout to work with, which potentially could have left more moderate factions in control. I do believe that another war was inevitable due to the economic strain placed on the Weimar Republic, but I don't think it's a stretch to make a causal link between the failed telegraph pole shipment and WW2 as we know it at all.

  13. Drunk on Media Author

    Moviebob is once again missing the point in a series ironically called “The Big Picture” and ends up looking like a joyless, braying jackass

  14. Tanen Renzy Author

    Movie about one the most fucked up murders and psychopaths somehow trying to make him the hero. Fucking kidding me. This is garbage.

  15. Kevin Learner Author

    Huh. Never thought of it that way. I guess you see way more of those movies in film school than you would otherwise. Usually they just sort of pop up once every 10 years or so once they've faded from the collective conscious.

  16. Nameless Nocebo Author

    I think it will definitely be a decent to good movie maybe but I'm just so annoyed by all the annoying fanboys and clueless fucking comic book movie goes who just flip their shit at anything that even remotely resembles the joker, the kinda people who couldn't even tell Jared Leto joker or suicide squad was garbage even though it was obvious from a single glance. They'll literally eat up anything joker like.

  17. Christoph13131 Author

    Is this not common knowledge? People who identify with the Joker are the same ones who base their personalities and philosophies around Rick from Rick and Morty, failing to realize the obvious, that both characters were specifically designed to be pathetic pieces of shit, not admirable.

  18. Robert Daley Author

    if anyone is reading this please use the like dislike on the video to show this SJW obsessed, self hating white neck bread just how tired we all are of his bullshit rants on YouTube. Because the escapist website is a hell nightmare to load and this needs to stop.

  19. Mephistophelolz Author

    I love when you can tell that Bob has already made up his mind about a movie months before having seen it. He also apparently has no idea what Funny Games or Nightcrawler are about

  20. Sjono Author

    I don’t mind a Joker movie being made, but I seriously don’t like the precedence Warner Bros has been giving its villains than its superheroes. You see them giving Joker, Harley & the Suicide Squad more attention than the likes of Flash, Green Lantern & Batman himself

  21. Josh Wolske Author

    I like that I don't always agree with you, but I still watch your videos with commitment; However, the pretentiousness I consume from your videos like pollen to a bee, occasionally reaches an unpalatable fever pitch that folds over into cringe. As if i am consuming just the right amount of salt…until I'm consuming too much salt. I do love the joker as a character, and I personally have an idea of his best interpretation (Thank you Heath Ledger), but reducing the idea of chaotic evil to nihilism understates the idea. Nihilism takes many forms for many reasons, and I've always believed that is what made the joker so intriguing in all rights. Not clown makeup, or murdering, but why he does what he does. If the answer is "because" everyone is left hungry for actual reasons. Everyone wants to know "why". But that's the Idea of chaos, there is no "why" it just is. You are absolutely right that the joker is a sad character. A man who has somehow come upon such hell that he adopts the idea that nothing matters and nothing ever will "Nihilism" but essentially becomes a terrorist for the ideal. Why would someone who believes in nothing try so hard to convince the world? Radical followers of Islam don't try as hard as the joker does. That's intrigue. Reducing the joker to no more than some fuckstick with paint on his face and a penitent for laughing after he blows shit up because it doesn't matter is an oversimplification. One that I believe not only doesn't understand the psychology of why the joker is so popular, but also reduces your credibility.

  22. Daniel Huelsman Author

    "Another dozen totally average movie about bitterly self-involved white guys…"
    White? What does race have to do with this? If Joker is trying to say anyone could be him, then would that concept be racially agnostic?

  23. googleslocik Author

    Bob the white guy complaining about white man movies? Interesting, how cucked can one man get.
    And if this genre of fail of society and white mans revenge against it type of film is so popular why couldnt you come up with 4 examples?
    Why did you come up with only Rampage and Falling Down and had to throw in 2 random thrillers in hopes we wont notice, i noticed.

  24. Buzz3092 Author

    It’s videos like this that make me question if MB actually cares about comics and the like or if it’s just a paycheck he can fall back on because of interests he had at a younger age. It feels cynical and dismissive. Not that it’s any of my business what he’s into anyway, it’s just a bit jarring when there are so many other content creators who clearly have a passion for the subject matter.

  25. godofdun Author

    Hard to judge all of this from the trailer, the shot of him walking down the hall in the final makeup screams to me "there's way more to this than this trailer is showing". I could be wrong about that, and if I am the movie will be nowhere near as good as I'm hoping, but that's what I read out of it.

  26. David Comito Author

    Maybe Marvel should do it's Foolkiller run from the 80s to finally put to rest all the edge lords…On second thought no, the edge lords would midunderstand that character in all the wrong ways as well.

  27. D.E. Cipher Author

    Yeah, I love the Joker as a character. He's interesting and the lack of backstory thing makes him even more mysterious. But as a PERSON, I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole. As a person, he can absolutely go fuck himself, but as a character and foil to Batman, he's great. Only problem is, stupid fanboys can't seem to grasp that concept, and they admire the Joker because, I guess they like serial killer clowns? Ugh.

  28. Chemtrail Dreams Author

    Bob I see you constantly try to passionately explain the intended point of a lot of these works but at some point, the popular interpretation being what it is, we have to acknowledge a fundamental failure in this kind of storytelling and really condemn it for it's contribution to the rise of fascism

  29. Malachi Pash Author

    The way you say "White guy" sounds weird and unnecessarily divisive,
    like, I agree with the general idea you say in the video but why "white guy"?
    I'm genuinely perplex how is that necessary for your argument.

  30. Braheme Days Author

    From the trailer, the idea is that the Joker finds fortune and fame and respect(things he had never even considered for himself) through villainy. You missed the point on this one Bob

  31. Sidney Marlin Author

    A big rubber stamp that says "Okay, but only if you make the least interesting version." Would explain so much about how bad movies get made, I almost wish it were that simple.

  32. LORDBADASS Author

    I think the problem with the Batman franchise as a whole is that it never got over Frank Miller & Alan Moore. They keep trying to make people sympathise with an increasingly unhinged fascist asshole who beats up other unhinged mass murders, who keep upping the body counts of their crimes without paying the consequences , all while still passing themselves off as serious and dramatic. Anytime they try to harken back to the “old days” the fandom loses their mind that’s it gone back to being “camp” & therefore “terrible”. It’s just ridiculous how people still can’t reckon with the fact that Batman is a children’s character & not a deep, serious Shakespearean tragedy or epic crime thriller.

  33. Random faves180 Author

    That jab at the Snyder Cut was good. Not gonna lie. So sick of hearing that shit. Screw The Snyder Cut, screw Zack Snyder and Screw Jared Leto. End of story.

  34. Johnathan Henning Author

    The King of Comedy may be a cinematic classic, but as the video pointed out, it was also a disappointment at the box office. So was Fight Club. Nightcrawler is not a big movie, and the Killing Joke is successful for a comic book, but comic books are not a strong medium anymore and most comic book readers today haven't even read it.
    The people who get into this material today already know that Tyler Durden is not the good guy or that the Joker in Killing Joke isn't a victim of his circumstances like he propounds and that the Joker in the Dark Knight is not really the hero of the story. These insights are no longer big revelations and very few people actually "missed the point" even when they came out.
    What was more significant for me in the films and stories was the ideal of heroism was a dangerous sales tool. From Taxi Driver to King of Comedy to Fight Club to Nightcrawler, the protagonists are following the "path of the hero" where they are allowed to do whatever they need to to accomplish their dream. Where everything and anything is justified. And then – unlike a traditional superhero or action movie with an 8th grade level of intelligence where the villains are unbelievably evil and there is no blowback for the heroes' dogged pursuit of justice – these movies just put that story in the context of a world with complex and messy relationships and volatile social tension. They are more about how the constant sales pitch of "be the hero of your own story" can really mess you up. Not just about white guys having crises.

  35. STOP THE CAR Author

    I like Bob and all but at this point I wouldn't be surprised if he decided that Rocky is a film about a disgruntled white man "proving himself" by attempting to put a successful black athlete back in his place.

  36. ukon bobette Author

    This movie is just another knockoff of an overused story? How embarrassing for DC, since Marvel has clearly demonstrated that you can make 20+ movies that are incredibly novel and unique from each other.

  37. Keld Tundraking Author

    This movie would look good if we hadn't seen anything from DC in the last 5 years. Unfortunately we know better than to believe WB can pull this off.

  38. Furwerks studio Author

    Honestly I am so sick of grounded realism, how about some twisted dream logic, how about a serious house on a serious Earth? Some the meta fouthwall breaking of animal man or the trippy Shades?

  39. John St Author

    Zero interest in seeing this movie. Sounds about as dumb and pointless as making a movie about venom without spiderman. Which is also a thing now.

  40. Gforce4999 Author

    I know I'm late to the party here but I really really liked the Thomas Jane Punisher and just thought it was well done for what it was as a Marvel movie that actually says something about life.

  41. thegreatunnamedone Author

    Having read about this movie on Wikipedia, the most interesting thing about this movie is that kid Bruce Wayne and still-Alice Thomas Wayne are in the movie with the implication they will be tied into Joker’s origin somehow and Joker will in turn be connected with Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. At any rate, the idea of Joker preceding Batman instead of the other way around will get me to at least read the summary when this thing comes out.

    Also, having seen the trailer for Dora, that movie looks like it was shot on Speed.

  42. Semantic Dragon Author

    I just don't care about hearing The Joker's origin story. The Villain who literally has no past, who shows up and wants to watch the world burn, shall now have an entire movie devoted to forcing a backstory upon him.

  43. ElderFan 1425 Author

    You forgot the whole Norman bates thing, bathing and being a little too close with his mother which seems suggested by the trailer.

  44. Trivial Punk Author

    If we're going to embrace comic book continuity, can't we also embrace thr iteration that gave its multivarious works their added imagination?

  45. disneylandw Author

    Am sorry but don't get the whole dumb idea of this "Joker"…guy whatever sadsack "starting" a clown uprising within Gotham!?!???

    The Joker DOESN'T care about causing an uprising since it feels more like someone like Bane and Ra's would do to make a point to Batman, but if this is taking place before any Batman….

    ….am not getting him wanting to take over the city, if his ego is not interested in it. Plus a CLOWN uprising!?!?

    Also what is it with making him look like an angry Ronald McDonald!?

  46. MrKilpatrd Author

    As a white man I just want to say I’m sick of narratives where the white man is the ‘victim’ of society. Maybe this movie will do something different but a real easy way to avoid coddling the LITERAL Nazis (not figurative, literal) would be to cast someone other than a white man.

  47. Ahegao -Chan Author

    Can't call the Snyder cut bad lol it's not even been seen. That's just bias. Could be amazing could be pure shit. Just shows how bias you am towards the man

  48. p sully Author

    I hate that watching yahtzee means by extension watching moviebob rip off his schtick but its movies is automatically implied. Moviebob is a douche. Can he have a seperate channel please?


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