Joker ★½

Very impressive lighting work, reverse engineering the aesthetics and by extension capturing some remnants of the atmosphere of the better and clear things it is homaging to gain weight by proxy.

Otherwise, a hollow, basically centrist exploitation movie whose hucksterism I might be able to find a begrudging respect for in a few decades. This is topical insofar as class struggle has been topical for centuries, but it goes out of its way to sidestep actual discomfort or ideology (note how the film very carefully does not show the two WoC deaths onscreen) to instead settle for vague provocation. Phillips is clearly a savvy marketing bro (and has been since his days of wearing ironic NAMBLA shirts to sell the pedofiles doc he distributed), but that instinct for flash doesn't seem to allow anything genuinely gross or upsetting to vomit onto the screen - other than that he thinks that dwarfism is inherently funny (and while that obviously isn't true, the utter brazenness and stupidity of the jokes in question are some of the few things that got more than an eye roll out of me, so they are the best scenes in the movie).

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