a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘The Joker’

The Ghost of Heath Ledger Stalks the Earth

Poor late Heath Ledger. He challenged the gods, if there are any, with his iconic performances in “The Dark Knight” and in “Brokeback Mountain.” We all hoped he could rest in peace, but it seems that is not to be.

The horror that unfolded Thursday night in Colorado, just miles from where the Columbine tragic shooting occurred, was ignited by Heath’s indelible, but deeply disturbing performance of the Joker in TDK. He then died himself not long after. I often thought that that performance killed him. It made him go to a place so dark, he couldn’t come back. He went over the edge, and it was all captured on screen. And made millions and it killed him.

He was shockingly young, as were most of the victims of BOTH Colorado shootings. He was too young to die. His great talent wasted. Drugs were to blame. A lethal concoction of either prescription or illegal substances. We’ll never know. There was a 20-30 min. delay in reporting his death, wherein one presumes, the Tribecca Loft he died in was cleaned up of anything incriminating. But in any case, poor Heath was dead.

But he lives on, especially in those two classic film performances. As Ennis del Mar in “Brokeback” and as the Joker in TDK.

And now this homicidal maniac in Aurora ,Colorado told the police calmly when they came to arrest him, waiting for them casually,  in the Parking Lot of the megaplex where he had just killed a dozen people and injured dozens more, some critically, he told them HE was “The Joker.”

He died his hair orange. However, the Joker’s hair was green. And only red when he wore a red wig in drag with a nurse’s uniform.  The Joker set booby traps as the killer seems to have done in his apartment.

A Ph.d graduate student in neuroscience, it seems he booby-trapped his door and left it unlocked, so that presumably anybody could get blown up, too, if they entered it unknowingly. One woman, a neighbor, disturbed by loud “techno-music” blaring exactly at midnight, as the killer was set to begin his rampage at the movie theater, this woman unknowingly nearly did. But something told her not to try to go in, so she didn’t. And thus saved her own life.

And it’s not just an accident that it was THIS movie that he chose to kill at. There have been big blockbusters all summer long. “The Avengers”, “The Amazing Spiderman” etc. etc. but no. He chose this one. He had been planning this for months, starting to buy guns, legally, it seems, in Colorado, in May as he died his hair orange and began to drop out of school.

We don’t know what made his Phi Beta Kappa mind snap. But snap it did. We may never know.

But he seems obsessed, deathly obsessed with the Batman trilogy, and of course, the Joker in particular. The Joker was the embodiment of evil in a way that perhaps was never depicted on screen before.

How horrible, I kept thinking, for Michelle Williams and also Anne Hathaway, who stars in this film TDKR, which is now going to be linked in the publics’ mind forever with this horrible horrible tragedy.

Michelle has a beautiful little daughter by Heath, the now six-year-old Matilda, who looks EXACTLY like her late father. And Anne Hathaway knew Heath, too, from “Brokeback.” It’s soooo ironic that SHE, of all people, should be the star of this movie. I worry about them all, and my heartfelt best wishes and concern goes out to them.

And the families of the victims who are still identifying the dead.

Marshall Fine, the critic, who received death threats just last week when he wrote the first negative review of TDKR to appear on Rotten Tomatoes, had his website crash and caused Rotten Tomatoes to close their comment section on TDKR, the emails were so heinous, threatening violence. And we can be sure that this avalanche of hatred directed at Fine and Rotten Tomatoes did NOT come from one lone gunman in Colorado. What is going on here???

It’s SOMEthing about this movie that his driving all these people over the edge of sanity. Just like it did poor Heath.

What is it?

I wasn’t wildly a fan of TDK, but I LOVED Heath’s  towering, unforgettable, frightening performance. Filmed during the break-up of his relationship with Michelle Williams, his Joker seemed beyond description. Someone who was totally out of his mind. He was a nightmare come to life. Scary is a way that no other Hollywood villain has ever been. And in a movie based on a comic-book yet.

And hence the Colorado gunman’s identification with the Joker. He has doing in his mind only what the Joker did, I’m sure he thought. And in doing so he would become as famous as the Joker, as famous as Heath Ledger. And unfortunately, he has.

And now 12 people are dead and countless lives maimed or destroyed by this one madman’s two-minute shooting spree, which movie goers all thought was part of the movie.

Until they saw people dying in the seats next to them.

I don’t know that I’ll ever see this movie now.

But anyone who does is not going to be able to shrik the horrible reality of what happened in Aurora, Colorado.

They are all haunted by the Ghost of Heath Ledger, who does not lie quiet in his grave.

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Batman Opens. I stay home.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is opening to the general public in a matter of minutes. The midnight screenings in IMAX are going for $100 a pop. So says the Wall Street Journal. I could care less. I’m glad that people EN MASSE can still get so excited over a movie. But I’m just shrugging it off…

Anyway, I couldn’t get in if I wanted to this weekend it seems it’s TOTALLY sold out!

I can wait.

I didn’t like “The Dark Knight” particularly either. Though of course, the screen just ignited whenever Heath Ledger’s The Joker appeared, and posthumously, he totally deserved his Oscar. Sad. And Frightening.

The only reason I’d want to see this film is Anne Hathaway’s Cat Woman. Oh, and Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate, who seems to be Batman’s wife in this.

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone raved about the two women’s performances, but as I looked over all the Top Critic reviews I could stand on Rotten Tomatoes, NOBODY mentions Annie or Maid Marion except to say they’re THERE.That’s not good for Oscar.

The only one whose buzzing about them is Sasha. Still, there’s “Les Miz” where that TRAILER! That trailer for “Les Miserables” with Annie singing “I Dreamed a Dream” just hits it out of the ballpark! And if Catwoman isn’t an Oscar-ish role, the doomed Fantine in “Les Miz” IS. So Catwoman and the mega-hype and the mega-millions that “The Dark Knight Rises” is going to inevitably make is not going to hurt her Oscar chances, but I don’t think ANYbody in TDKR is going to get Acting Nods for this one. Just based on how the major critics are reacting.

Rex Reed’s review was so negative I couldn’t bare to read it. And of course, there’s the whole Marshall Fine~Death Threats scandal that forced Rotten Tomatoes to close down its’ comments section on TDKR. I am NOT going to go any further into THAT brouhaha, but you can read what Sasha has to say about it at http://www.awardsdaily.com.

I don’t think Marshall Fine will ever be FIRST with a negative review of ANYthing ever again. Oscar Grouch Jeffrey Wells loved it sez Sasha, but again, he, even if it loves something, he spoils it rotten in his reviews, so I guess since I AM going to see this film eventually, I’m just staying away from what everyone has to say as much as one possibly can in this Bat Blitz were going through. Just read the headline captions of the Top Critics at http://www.rottentomatoes.com That tells you everything you need to know, without spoilage.

Me? I wasn’t even INVITED to see it! I did see TDK in IMAX at at press screening, and thought it was too dark and TOOOOO long. But there was wonderful Heath giving a performance for the centuries…

It was like he was having a nervous breakdown and Christopher Nolan(the director) just recorded it. It’s like the camera was pressing him to madness. Or was he just going mad anyway? Poor Heath…

I guess the question is will the Academy having snubbed TDK, which caused SUCH a furor back in the day, will they nominate it NOW? Now that it’s the last one, and it’s finished? Maybe….

They’re NOT nominating it several years back for Best Picture is what caused the Academy to change that category to Ten. Then change it again.

Will they try to make amends now? Well, the overall favorable reviews indicate they just might.

Me? I’ll wait til the stampede of the crowds is over.

This also begs the question ~ Will the Academy FINALLY nominate Christopher Nolan? He’s been snubbed, notoriously, over and over and over again. With only five Best Director slots, will he get in or remain in the Comic Book Ghetto for several years more? Until he does something AWAY from Batman? The fact that the actors and actresses are not being praised(except for Sasha) then I don’t think it will win Best Picture, no matter if it surpasses “The Avengers” which was just total crap-ola.

And “Spiderman”? It’s like it didn’t even open…

And the weather in NYC was back in the heavenly 70s for a most welcome change! It’s been over 100 one way or the other for what seems like a month!

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