Well I think this is going to be a long post so forgive any misspellings. I'll try to use bullet points to break down a bit. - I grew up reading a lot of comic books and Batman has always been my favorite, I have all of them still in shoe boxes. Some rares were from my father like some first editions from The Phantom and his marriage as well in a special cover edition. I watched all Batman movies and probably will ever do it in the future. I like Heroes movies as well. - This is a great movie in it's own way, it's really difficult to make comparisons because it's unique and I'm not saying that like "brilliant unique" like some fabulous piece, just unique and that's great for a movie in these days. Critics who are trying to make comparisons are going to make a fool of themselves. Comparing the Jokers (Ledger/Phoenix) it's foolish as well, I'll get to that in a specific topic. Also, it's one of those movies that really needs 2 or 3 views, over time, and it gives room for a lot of interpretations, in this regard, pretty much like Nolan's version, with conspiracy theories about military background (No identity, dental or fingerprints, knowledge about restricted firearms and explosives, the strategics in his plans, the interrogation/Torture room "Never starts with the head, the victim gets all fuzzy", also could handle taking a beating to a pulp by a graduated Ninja). But in this case, the interpretations are about the overall story not the main character. - In my opinion this is a movie about mental illness and craziness and I was thinking about that right now reading the thread, you could just take the Joker character and the Wayne backstories out of the equation and make practically the same movie with Arthur Fleck or John Nothing being just the same guy he was in the movie that didn't turn into the Joker but just in a "regular" psychopath. That could be a low ratings movie though, even with Phoenix brilliant performance, the Joker brand is a big one and always will draw a lot of attention. It's almost like they borrowed the Joker story and fit it like a glove in a already existent story. I'm not saying that this is what happened, probably the idea has always been to create a Joker origins story but it's a line of thought and it's a positive for the movie in my opinion, not something to complain. The Joker is such a interesting character, with no known origins and such a unique level of psychopathy (now I'm leaning more towards the comic book character) that you could create him out of nowhere. They can make 10 awesome Joker movies in the future with all of them originating from a different scenario. In my opinion the Wayne connections were not even necessary in this movie. - That's (the above) why I think comparisons between Ledger's Joker and Phoenix are pointless. I mean they are different Jokers, in different points in time and "career". Even the movies are decades apart with Nolan's movie being a modern version and Phillips looking like some late 70s vibe (that part with the cab and Cream's white room out of nowhere was orgasmatic if that's a valid word). One point I think they could explore better is this old pre-Batman Gotham that was a filthy and dirty city with criminal ratings going through the roof. I noticed some lack of mafia involvement or references, maybe on purpose since it would draw comparisons to Nolan's Dark Knight. Oh Jack Nicholson? Really? People should never even bring it up to the discussion in respect for Jack. Heroes movies back then had a bit of comedy on it. We're not talking about comedy. - Still about the comparisons between the 2 Jokers, I am such a fan of Nolan's/Ledger version that I was kind of pissed of with this movie coming out. I always thought "Man they are going to make a movie designed to win an Oscar for Phoenix and create an eternal discussion about who was the best Joker", you know when you hate things that are done by design in the minimum details like a rock/metal band who makes a record that sounds more like an engineering project instead of something that came out of a garage or by pure inspiration? Like Dream Theater? I love Dream Theater by the way. Well guess what, it worked. It could have been a disaster but it was not, you have an outstanding performance by Phoenix (and yes, Oscar worthy !) with a story that is simple, not huge plot twists and that makes you think about a lot of things. As others have said, it's not a comic book movie, more, there's art on this movie, not something you really see in these movies. - Some negative for me is that the movie seemed like an extended version of the trailers like there's nothing there new for me that wasn't on the trailers. The story had some logical way to develop but not being boring obvious. At some point in the TV show you knew he was going to kill Murray, but it was shocking anyway. The idea I exposed above about the movie being made "by design" was a negative for me before watching that I just dismissed leaving the theater. My girlfriend who knows nothing about heroes and probably hates movies like this or action movies was impressed and enjoyed this one. - About the Incel discussion, I had to look up on the internet since I never heard about this, no surprise for me they had to create a new label for something that always existed. This is like the world works now, actually it's been for a while. You have to fit a person into a god damn stereotype. I see no connection with Arthur Fleck, he actually went after that neighbor better than I would. Maybe there's a cultural aspect I'm missing for not living in the US but what he is really for me, is a guy who is a product of a damaged brain from childhood brutal beatings, a ton of meds all his life, poverty, growing and living apart of a "normal society" and also the medical condition he was diagnosed. Well that's it, I had so many things to say I got a little lost, if I recall something I'll add up later.