• fuwalda says:

    First I was curious about your thoughts on the Left Behind series of books and films. Now I’m curious about your thoughts on The A-Team.

    As for this commercial… I remember laughing the first time I saw it, and I laughed when I watched it again here. Heh.

    Sure, it’s a dumb commercial and I can agree with your philosophical stance against the very intentions of the marketing scheme, but give credit where credit is due: That main actor is funny.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I actually don’t know anything about the Left Behind series except that I think it’s fiction for crazy Christians who think that Armageddon is coming.

    A-Team, since I may never get around to talking about it: I liked it. It was a good action film.

    I guess he’s funny. He’s also a good actor in that he he very convincingly plays a total dickwad.

  • Anna says:

    DICKWAD. yes.
    Left Behind, isn’t that an episode on LOST, too, 3rd season maybe?

    does the mysterious FB app have anything to do with leaving it to chance in your pants?

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    All I’ll say is that chance has been left in the pants.

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Left Behind

I’ve been meaning to talk about The A-Team for a couple of weeks by now, but I’ve been too busy working on my super-secret Facebook application, amongst doing other things. But just so I don’t go too long without posting something, I’ll post a link to this AT&T 4G video:



  • fuwalda says:

    Your review should have *began* with the line about the naked breasts, because I am totally into that. What’s the naked breast count on the facebook movie?

    I’m sure that movie is really good and all, but I just don’t care about the history of Facebook so I’ll never see it. I just can’t be bothered. It’s just two hours of a bunch of people coding html and java, right?

  • fuwalda says:

    Also, I didn’t know Fincher directed this. I had wondered whatever happened to him. I remember when Seven and Fight Club came out, and I thought he was a brilliant filmmaker… but then I just lost interest because he started making movies I just didn’t want to see. I don’t think I’ve seen one of his films since Panic Room.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I don’t remember if there were any naked breasts in the Facebook movie, though it’s not impossible there were a few.

    I wasn’t too excited about seeing it either, but because it’s so thoroughly dramatized, the story works pretty well, regardless of whether or not you really care about Facebook.

    I liked Panic Room. That’s a movie I’ve watched a bunch of times. I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but it’s a film I only need to see once. It wasn’t boring, so I’ll give it that.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I’ll tell you what the next million dollar idea is–and I’m at least half serious about this: Leave It to Chance in My Pants Online. Remember how addictive that game was?

  • fuwalda says:

    I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to turn that into a facebook app. Which of your friends (and friends of friends) would you rather… you know. I’m surprised this hasn’t been done yet.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    It’s funny…at this very moment, I’m reading up on Facebook application development. Facebook would be the perfect platform, but I’m wondering if it’s technically possible.

  • fuwalda says:

    It’s probably technically possible, but not logistically feasible. I think that in order to be able to use people in the game, you’d have to get their permission first… and why would they grant permission? It wouldn’t work.

  • fuwalda says:

    Actually… it could work, as long as the app just used the names and photos from your own friends list. You could create an app that randomly pairs up different names from the user’s friends list and assigns different questions and scenarios. But that wouldn’t be all that fun, and it would get old real quick. But it’s theoretically possible, and it would probably be pretty simple to create.

  • fuwalda says:

    We should probably put the kibosh on this discussion already. In fact, once you read these comments, go ahead and delete them πŸ˜‰

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    heh. It’s okay. Nobody reads this besides you, me, my wife, and sometimes Anna.

    And yeah…that’s kind of what I was thinking. Whenever you access some Facebook app, you have to authorize it to access your profile information, so if it could also somehow get at the friends of your friends, that could potentially be a pretty large pool of users with which to play the game. Especially considering most people have about a billion friends on Facebook.

    Somehow I doubt the app can really get at that, though. Just for the hell of it, I’m definitely going to do a “Hello world” type of app just to see how it all works.

  • Anna says:


    and try to contribute in a way that doesn’t make me sound totally clueless (on comics I am, that’s why i don’t usually then).

    “loads of naked breasts. if you’re into that.”

    I was waiting to see what donald’s comment on that would be.

    i have a chip on my shoulder already about The Social Network. I’ll probably see it but I already know I’ll be scowling the whole time. I use facebook too but I’ve quit probably like 3 time and rejoined again. I dig Fincher, but think he’s gotten progressively worse over the years, what’s up with that? Panic Room was all right, I guess. Benjamin Button really just grossed me out because someone called BB “Golem” before I saw it and that was all I could think of. . . .

    What is this LEAVE IT TO CHANCE IN MY PANTS game you speak of?

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      It’s a game Donald and I invented in college, though the name is a little misleading. I’d say more, but you might steal the idea and make a million dollars off of it. πŸ˜‰

  • Anna says:

    and is that jennifer carpenter?

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      No. It’s some gypsy. At least, that’s what Liliana says. I don’t remember the actress’s name.

      • lily says:

        Actually, I read she’s of Hungarian and African American descent. Though she could be gipsy, too–there are a lot of them in that part of Europe. Yeah… Piranha was so ridiculous that I had to laugh most of the time.

  • fuwalda says:

    Hey, you didn’t tell me they were gypsy breasts. I just lost my interest.

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The Social Network, Piranha

The Social Network (2010)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

To this day, I’m still not quite sure why the creator of Facebook is a billionaire. First of all, the company only became profitable a year ago. Second of all…maybe he is some sort of coding prodigy and a very smart guy, but–and perhaps this is purely ignorance speaking–what’s so great about Facebook?



  • Anna says:

    Bad Santa is hilarious. I think I need to copy you and make it a holiday tradition as well. And I agree that Ritter and Bernie Mac were genius. I think Jack Tripper was one of my first crushes, sad as that sounds.

  • Anna says:

    also, i’m heading over to my blog to make sure I’m commenting on peoples’ comments. Just to, you know, make sure I’m not a narcissist or anything.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    heh. I wasn’t referring to you–don’t worry. There’s another movie blog on which I’ve posted a few detailed comments, but I stopped when I realized the author had no interest in responding.

    And yeah, I picked up the “Badder Santa” edition of the film for something like $5 at Wal-Mart a few years ago. More than worth the price, since they don’t show it on television as often as they should (probably since it’s so dirty and offensive that they’d have to cut half of it if they tried to show it on a non-movie channel).

  • Anna says:

    that’s happened to me a few times, too. i mean, i get that roger ebert is busy and doesn’t want to respond to my silly tweets but if you’re a blogger, yeah, generate some sort of discussion with your readers, for sure. i’ll be searching for BADDER SANTA immediately. . . . if i actually get it, it’ll probably be the best day of my husband’s life.

  • fuwalda says:

    I always assumed Jason Statham’s character from Collateral was actually Chev Chelios.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Somebody should do a movie where all of Jason Statham’s characters meet each other. Crisis on Infinite Stathams.

  • lily says:

    Bad Santa is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I like the story, too. The scene where the kid gives Santa that wooden pickle is the best–I have to fight back tears every time.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Yeah, that scene and the scene in which the kid shows Thornton the report card with all Cs and one B and asks if he did well enough to get a present, etc. I’ll be darned if that doesn’t pull at the heart strings.

  • fuwalda says:

    “Somebody should do a movie where all of Jason Statham’s characters meet each other. Crisis on Infinite Stathams.”

    So what you’re saying is that somebody should remake “The One,” only with Jet Li and Jason Statham switching roles? And I agree!

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      You know, I never saw that, but that’s it exactly.

      I just re-watched the ending to Crank: High Voltage on YouTube. Jesus, what a messed up movie.

  • fuwalda says:

    I can’t wait to see part 3. They’ve gotta make that, right?

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I dunno. He’s all melted at the end of the second movie. But I guess that’s probably less of a setback than falling from a helicopter…

  • fuwalda says:

    Crisis on Infinite Stathams wouldn’t really work because, aside from Chev Chelios, all of Statham’s characters are Frank Martin. I love Statham, but it’s not like he really has played a diverse enough number of characters that throwing them all together would be that great.

    I know you were just making a gag, of course, but I’m still thinking about it.

    You know what I’d love to see? Gremlins 3, where that old Chinese Man gives Gizmo to Frank Martin. Absolutely nothing would happen, because Frank Martin would never break the three rules to owning a Gremlin.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Nothing happens? That plot would make more sense as an episode of Seinfeld.

      You know what would be cool, though? Gremlins 3, starring John Glover as Daniel Clamp. I’ll just toss out a plot idea: Clamp thinks he has genetically engineered the Mogwai to be tame pets, and starts mass marketing them worldwide. Except something happens, and gremlins almost take over the world.

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Glomming onto the Christmarathon

I had meant to do this post back when Donald was still doing his Christmarathon, but I never got around to it. Around the holidays, I can’t and don’t want to accomplish anything.

Bad Santa (2003)

Rating: ★★★★½ 



  • Lily says:

    Yeah, I enjoyed Salt, mainly because it really kept me guessing right until the end on what side she was. I agree there were some ‘holes’ in the plot, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie. I’d wanted to see it for a while and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I agree with you on Easy A as well. Easy to watch and easy to enjoy.

    Haven’t seen the other ones.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    “Yeah, I enjoyed Salt, mainly because it really kept me guessing right until the end on what side she was.”

    Exactly. I mean, you kind of knew, but at the same time, you wondered if you knew what you think you knew. And to an extent, the way the film pulled this off felt like cheating, but it was all forgivable owing to some good surprises at the end.

    This is the kind of film that people will say, “I guessed it all within ten minutes”–I could imagine my dad saying this–because without any evidence, they assumed this or that character was going to turn out to be such-and-such way, but anybody who says that with regard to Salt is pretty much full of balogna.

    You might have enjoyed Clash of the Titans, since you like mythology.

  • fuwalda says:

    I fear that I may have hyped up the Expendables to such an extant that the film may never have been able to live up. But still, I loved it.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Well, maybe, but there’s also the fact that I simply had a hard time getting into it. There were things I liked, such as Statham’s character trying to get Stallone’s character to open up about his emotions and rejection, but there were too many explosions and people getting knifed and not enough character moments.

    One thing I will say is that the more I see of Jason Statham, the more I like him.

  • fuwalda says:

    “but there were too many explosions and people getting knifed and not enough character moments”

    Those *were* the character moments, stupid!

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    heh. I told you I may have missed something!

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Action Weekend + Bonus

The Expendables (2010)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

I’m quite sure I won’t be the first person to have noticed this, but there’s an irony that must be mentioned in the fact that, though the film is called The Expendables, not a single member of the team is actually…you know…expended. Hell, even Dolph Lundgreen returns at the end for a few drinks with the boys, and once you see the film, you’ll realize how phenomenally dumb that is.


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Canceled Television Shows

Is it just me, or has television changed in the past…I don’t know…20 years or so? When I was a kid, I don’t remember all of these mid-season replacements and such. When a show went on hiatus, it seemed like you just got reruns until new episodes were ready. That’s still the case with popular shows like House, I suppose, but in the case of so many shows, they just disappear from TV for months at a time, and I assume they were canceled until months later I’m flipping through the channels and discover new episodes.

Anyway, here’s a list of shows from the 2010 season that actually have been canceled.



  • fuwalda says:

    I’m with you all the way.

    I think as acting exercises go, Ledger’s performance may have been more nuanced and subtle, and maybe even a little more creepy and scary. But he was also more boring. More importantly, I don’t care how brilliant his acting was in that movie, since the character he was portraying wasn’t the Joker. Jack Nicholson was playing the Joker, and he did it to perfection.

    Batman is an awesome movie.

    • Boo says:

      Hack nicholson was not playing the joker because the character he played did not match the joker in the original comic books. Meaning we arent supposed to know who the joker really is because that one of the main traits of his character. There for ledgers joker was closer. However jack is not to blame it is the writers fault.

      • Hagen says:

        What the crap are you talking about. Jack Nicholson was closer to the actual Joker in the comics than Heath Ledger could ever hope to be. The comics portrayed him as a giggling, joke-making freakshow who wanted to kill people and ‘put a nice, big, smile’ on their faces. Jack Nicholson played that exact character.

        Heath just licked his lips for two hours and whispered a couple of emo monologues.

        I have no idea what comic you’ve been reading.

        • Justin Garrett Blum says:

          ^^ This guy gets it.

        • Overrated Joker says:

          THANK YOU! Damn, I really thought I was the only person on earth who didn’t want to point out the white elephant in the room: that Heath Ledger’s Joker was highly, highly overrated and he got a “sympathy” Oscar because he died.

          Let me first say that I am not a Jack Nicholson fan. I loathe his same old portrayal which is all the same: McMurphy from “Cuckoo’s Nest”, George Hanson in “Easy Rider”, Terms of Endearment,…it’s all the same. The grinning, I’m-smarter-than-you, wise guy.

          BUT, his Joker (or really, Tim Burton’s Joker) was on the money. A maniacal, quick-tempered, compulsive joking and laughing psychopath.

          I have no idea how or why people can say Ledger’s non-performance is a masterpiece worthy of an Oscar. Are you kidding me?

          Even if Chris Nolan’s version was supposed to be less gothic, and more of a straight up crime drama, there is nothing about Ledger’s performance that screams Oscar. Just because he can lick his lips every five seconds and talk in a nasally afflicted American-English accent?

          Sorry but, maybe it’s subjective bias overall, but I liked Tim Burton’s “Batman” better. It maybe a bit “old school” but I prefer Tim Burton’s apples, to Chris Nolan’s oranges but I do think Nolan has maintained a better continuity throughout sequels. Burton choked on Batman Returns.

          • Justin Garrett Blum says:

            Well, as you’ve probably discovered reading the comments on this post, it’s not a very popular view. Still, I can’t complain about the steady stream of traffic it brings to this blog, even if it is only to this single post!

          • Will says:

            Ledger was better. Nicholson played the joker more accurately because he portrayed someone directly from a comic book. Heath Ledger by NO means got a “sympathy” oscar. Did you even watch the Dark Knight? Rather than portray the comic book character like every Joker actor before him, he shocked all of us and went utter sociopath on the role. And to him…. he was funny. The Joker laughed at all of his own perverted and disgusting murder “jokes” if you will. For those who think he got a sympathy oscar…. you’re all morons. The oscar wasn’t between him and nicholson dipshits. It’s between him and all the other nominees that year. So go ahead, be wrong and think Nicholson did a better job, but don’t say Heath Ledger got the oscar because he died. That performance was unreal.

        • Mike says:

          Heath Ledger played The Joker.

          Jack Nicholson played generic crazy Jack Nicholson in clown make up.

      • Mike says:

        Thank you Boo. Someone else finally realizes that these two men were given scripts and scenes by writers to work with. Jack Nicholson’s scene with the shopping cart was a scene MADE BY SCREENWRITERS, so basically Nicholson was given more opportunity than Ledger to be funny, and the director wanted a “funnier” joker. For all you know Christopher Nolan may not have wanted a joker quite as funny. Now, if Nicholson and Ledger were given the same script and scenes, we might have a real debate here.

    • Kappa says:

      Ever heard of dark comedy?? As far as my sensibilities go, the character Heath portrayed transcended all levels of excellence…. the dry, schizophrenic attitude in him made way for the sarcastic and yet sometimes oddly true comic views that came up occasionally; and I’m not even entering into the mannerisms and the body language. Heath Ledger immersed himself so deeply into this character that I’m surprised he did manage to resurface before he was gone.

      [Clipping some of this, because the author clearly needs to switch to decaf.]

      • Dingle, Barry says:

        Heath Ledger did a shitty Tom Waits impression and got an Oscar for it. Those old fucks at the Academy actually voted for that over Philip Seymore Hoffman and Michael Shannon?! WTF? Will, since we’re all “morons” and “dipshits” it shouldn’t bother you too much that you come across as a smug, butthrt little f@g. Your crush on Ledger, along with your silly sentimentality, seem to have clouded your judgment. Ledger was much better as Jake Gyllenhaal’s donut puncher in Brokeback Mountain. Nicholson is leaps and bounds better than ledger could have evr even hoped to be. He couldn’t even carry Jack’s Oscars… seriously, they’re heavy and he has a lot of ’em.

    • Isaiah says:

      In all honesty, I feel like your point is kind of flawed. The Joker isn’t one concrete character, there’s a series of different incarnations and interpretations of him. There is no REAL Joker. Heath’s version of the Joker was better, because Jack’s was honestly a joke…. Christopher Nolan’s Joker was flawless, as he was ambigous, careless, and funny, as the joker should be..

    • Biggie says:

      yadda yadda yadda. ledger’s joker was by no means darker or more realistic (i needn’t point out how much more sadistic Jack’s killing methods were, many previous commenters already have), and it definitely wasn’t, as one commenter put it, ‘more nuanced.’ & it’s funny, cos that was one of the big problems with ledger’s portrayal – there was no nuance at all. i actually like heath ledger a lot, but grunting, lip licking and voice warbling isn’t ‘nuance’, they’re cheap devices for an actor to relax on when he doesn’t quite have what it takes to just go out there and scare the bejesus outta ya. Jack managed to do that in a straight forward manner, naturally & with subtlety, & that’s something that a lot of ledger fans–really most moviegoers today–don’t get. that’s real acting, & it’s now sort of a lost art–lost, for sure, on younger TDK fans who are just hungry for a grunting, grimy, overly-sarcastic & totally obvious portrayal. Part of what makes Jack’s joker superior (yes, you can compare them, & no, Ledger’s was not by any means superior) is that he was portraying the joker. Ledger, minus some clown-like facial smear and a purple suit, was portraying ‘Generic 2010s Thriller Film Psycho Killer’ who–get this–dubs himself ‘an agent of chaos’ & claims to’ve ‘blackened gotham’s soul’ after killing 4 small-time thugs… & that represents the brunt of his killing throughout the boring, 2-hr. tediousness of TDK.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Yeah, that’s all I’m saying: I’m not disparaging Ledger’s performance in any way, but it gets a little bit under my skin when people say that “true comic book fans” know that Ledger’s character was closer to the Joker of the comic books.

    First of all, the Joker of the comic books has been written a number of ways over the years, so you have to be more specific about which Joker you mean. Do you mean the Joker of the Killing Joke?

    But second of all, almost regardless of how the Joker has been written in the comic books, he has always been at least one thing: funny. So no–I disagree that The Dark Knight’s version of the Joker is the obvious choice of “true comic book fans”. Nicholson played the character of the comic books, and contrary to a lot of stupid opinions, he wasn’t playing Jack Nicholson.

    • Somebody says:

      I’m sorry, but I don’t possibly see how anyone can say Nicholson’s Joker was better. Sure, you could argue that Nicholson’s Joker is more true to the comics. He’s a sillier, more pandering sort of Joker. The same as the one in the comics. But, the Joker started out as a psychopath. That was what he was meant to be. He only became the silly clown he’s known for because the target audience was preteen nerds and because in that time period, darker characters were not as readily embraced as they are today. If you were to imagine the Joker outside of the cartoon world, Ledger’s Joker is much closer. He’s darker and his jokes are less funny to us, mostly because he has a much more perverse sense of humor. The best example I could think of is when one of the Joker’s underling gets shocked by Batman’s armor, the Joker laughs gleefully and starts kicking the downed underling and mimicking the electrocuted underling. The audience may not have found it funny, but the Joker did. Heath Ledger was definitely the better Joker.

  • adam barnett says:

    I agree that a cursory review of the character (just like Batman) will give you an astounding number of variations, from the larcenous mischief-maker to the homicidal maniac, so there is no way to say whose portrayal is closer to the Joker of the comics.

    That being said….

    IMHO, Nicholson’s performance was bloated, forced and awkward. It’s not so much that he was too chubby or too old for the role, he was just unconvincing to me. The “zany” moments didn’t have the manic energy needed to pull them off, which is where I think a lot of the “it’s too obvious it’s Jack playing a role” comments come from.

    The Dark Knight version was a different take on the character from a writing perspective, so that is simply a matter of taste and hardly the fault of either actor. However, Ledger did a much more convincing job with his role as the evil guy wearing clown make up than Nicholson did with his as the gangster-turned-loon.

    To me, not having the Joker be funny is addition through subtraction, just like not having the live-action version of the Incredible Hulk speak. It was much more effective to be scared by the Joker than amused by him, at least in this sort of media. I don’t mind when they don’t follow the source material if it makes for a better movie or tv show.

    Fun topic! At least give me this…. didn’t having Bruce’s parents murdered by a younger Jack Napier in the 1980’s Batman movie stretch the coincidence fabric just a *little* thin? πŸ™‚

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Thanks for commenting, Adam. I think you’ve enlightened me a little.

    The Joker not being zany enough is a criticism that I can understand. To be sure, I don’t think Nicholson’s Joker is any crazier, really, than Bruce is (which is to say, kind of nuts, but still functional). Whether the writing is to blame for that or Nicholson is, I don’t know, but I’ll concede that when looked at in that light, the portrayal really is a far cry from, say, the bat-shit insane Joker of the animated series. (That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by the way.)

    Ultimately, it doesn’t bother me because–gosh darn it–Nicholson always makes me laugh.

    As to the young Jack Napier…I don’t know. It’s a little contrived, I guess, but it’s not as bad as in Spider-Man 3 when Raimi retconned the first movie so that the Sandman killed Uncle Ben. That’s a change that severely detracts from the origin story. Having Jack Napier be the murderer of Bruce’s parents doesn’t make the origin story worse. Since the film killed the Joker off, maybe it makes it better for the purposes of Batman as a stand-alone narrative.

  • fuwalda says:

    My opinion about Batman Begins and the Dark Knight is that it was made by and for people who don’t like the comics. I think it’s possible to be a fan of the comics and still like the movies, but they both seemed as though they were made by people who scoff at comics and think that the films had to be “better” and “more mature.” Or whatever. So Chris Nolan’s interpretation of the Joker was certainly more realistic in terms of having him actually seem like a sociopath who might exist in real life.

    But who cares about that? I’m not watching real life, I’m watching a movie. More than that, I’m watching a movie on Batman, so the Joker should damn well be similar to the guy from the comics. Ledger was called the joker and wore a suit that was purple. Other than that, the fidelity to the source material is pretty thin.

    So, yeah, I think the Joker from the original Batman film is way better. I think the Batman from the TV series is way better. Just my opinion, however.

  • Anna says:

    and as a person not from a comic background, I agree. I dug Jack way more. I’ve been meaning to write this for like 2 weeks but the first time i read it was on my phone and I couldn’t comment because my hands were too cold.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I should talk to more people who aren’t nerds. It’s always interesting to get the “normal person” perspective.

  • Anna says:

    i aspire to nerd-dom.

  • R.G. says:

    Way to nail it.

    I have always maintained that Ledger’s Joker was basically a punk with a crappy makeup job.

    Nicholson’s Joker had more style.

    I’ll take “Wait ’til they gt a load of me” over “Why so serious?” any day.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:


    Yeah, I dunno…I’m content to agree to disagree with others, but I still think the Joker should be funny, regardless of everything else.

  • Mocha says:

    I disagree that it was a better portrayal of joker. I see jacks portrayal as a completely different incarnation only. If ledger had simply copied Nicholson it would have been a train wreck. Nicholson nailed the comic joker while ledger reinvented the character into one that better suited the tone of the movie. you really can’t compare the two jokers only the approaches that the two movies took on the entire mythology. All that aside mark’s voice will always be the default joker voice in my head when I think “joker”

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Fair enough. In any event, I liked Nicholson’s portrayal better. To me, it felt like the character as I understood him, whereas Ledger’s Joker, while interesting and perhaps suited to the tone of the film, almost felt like some other character.

    I do think it’s possible to do a dark and funny Joker. Hamill did it in the Revenge of the Joker, which bridges the gap in a way between Nicholson’s approach and Ledger’s.

  • fuwalda says:

    Mocha makes an excellent point that Ledger’s portrayal of the character was more fitting the tone of Nolan’s Batman film, and that having him play it closer to the way Jack did would’ve been a train wreck. However, that just shows why I prefer the Tim Burton film over the Chris Nolan film. Burton’s film was dark yet fun and entertaining, while Nolan’s was just bleak and pretentious.

  • Mocha says:

    I will say that ledger got the internal workings of jokers mind perfectly if you look at the way he thought in the killing joke. The multiple choice back story, the lack of justice in real life, and his telling batman that they are both nuts

  • Alexis says:

    I agree to disagree on this topic as well, but in my perspective i think that the best character really depends on what theme the movie will be. A serious and rather creepy type of joker is great for Ledger while it may not have been as fitting for Nicholson, but a very funny and crazy joker works wonderfully for Jack because he has always been great at comedy. Not only did both actors do well but they both left imprints in your mind of them doing their best in the movie. Each moment was cherished as they made those great memories. If i had to choose between the two I don’t honestly know 100% if i could but I will. My choice would be…Heath. Sorry fans of Nicholson but I really like the depth in the movie and the seriousness. It was fitting for him and I loved it. I love Batman and I really love them both in these movies and I’d like to say thanks for putting this up because it brought something different to my attention. I love movies like this and even if people don’t agree I think that movies out of comics can be wonderful like X-men(sorry if you don’t like it but I’m a total X-men fanatic) and many others…well sorta. Thanks for listening fellow Batman fans(:

  • Ron says:

    I really hate how there are tons of topics/videos etc… where both of them are compared,its just useless.I liked both movies and for me both Jack and Heath made them that great (especially Jack as he was pretty much the only reason I watched that movie to the entire end,while in TDK everyone gave such a strong performance including…do I even need to say their names…)
    I personally don’t compare both films as they are different as it was mentioned above.Though if I had to choose which Joker I liked more (Not who was better because both play a different Joker)I would go with Heath because I prefer his portrayal of a darker joker rather then a more cartoony one much more.

  • Claudio Bezerra says:

    Man, if you read the comics, you know that only a psycho would find his jokes funny. That’s the fun and the criticism in the whole story: the reader (or someone watching the movie) will find fun in his jokes if (s)he likes dark humor. That’s why I laughed at many of his jokes and his sarcasm: it’s a very raw humor, only recognized if you recognize that much of our humor is based on villains. I see more emphasis on the madness of the character in Nicholson’s performance, who always did great crazy ones. Who can forget the Shining?
    Most important of all: Nicholson has showed us many times that madness is frequently mortal, but amoral. Ledger’s Joker is mad, but is also irredeemably evil, to his core and beyond. The comic contrasts this evil with Batman and this contrast is obvious there, but Bale fails to do that and causes the movie’s failure in portraying this same contrast, which is one of the great points of the story: both characters are “crazy”, but are opposites nevertheless.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Interesting comment. Thanks. At first I thought you were going to come down on the side of Ledger’s portrayal with the assertion that you’re not meant to laugh at the Joker’s jokes, because they’re only funny to him. But yes, I do agree with you. Were the Joker a real person, any rational person would be horrified, but as a fictional character, he’s hilarious in a very morbid way.

      In any event, I’m not sure I expressed this in my post, but I do think both portrayals work within their respective films. My personal preference is for Nicholson’s character, however. I had to take a somewhat firm stance on it for the sake of controversy, but everybody is entitled to an opinion, of course.

  • The Truth says:

    Heath Ledgers Joker is obviously better…Move along children.

  • Echelon says:

    While I can certainly see your point of view and recognize the perceived validity of the opinion; I can’t get on board with the comments that say that the new films aren’t good because they aren’t close to the comic books, that they are produced by people who aren’t fans of the comics.

    Just writing that idea out blew my mind (in a bad way).

    Considering how many variations there are of each of the major comic book characters through all of the arcs, writers and artists; it kind of makes my brain shut down when it comes across that the new Batman films are nothing like the comics.

    While it is true that the Joker is essentially the same through any of these renditions, maybe a touch darker here or a tad bit more “zany” as you say in another; he is essentially the one character who never really changes in the comics. And thats fine, it is something I will certainly admit to: they changed the Joker quite a bit for the film.

    But that’s why the films are so good … no, GREAT. It is completely interesting and intriguing to watch these iconic character brought into a world that is more realistic. To see them in a light in which we could see them in the real world… how is that not a good idea?

    But I guess this is slightly off-topic. I guess if we’re talking about the basis of the article written and my opinion; I think Ledger’s portrayal from an acting standpoint was far above what Jack produced. Despite a ledgendary career and undeniable talent; if you put the two along side one another and say, which of these performance required more acting chops to pull of to me it would be hands down the new Joker. Whether or not Nicholson’s version of Joker is more akin to the comic book version or not; acting-wise it has to be Ledger’s.

    Again like most of the posters so far have said, it is all relative to the vision you are looking at in the Batman part of the comicbook universe I suppose.

    I can definitely agree that in a critique of Jack’s performance while zany it doesn’t necessarily offer the pychotic “on the edge” part of the character’s craziness. Its just him being silly. Not “silly but could at any moment cut your face off.”

    I think I just jumbled like 8 different thoughts into one comment and apologize for the cluster f it ended up becoming.

    Love the blog by the way, great topics all around. Definitely adding it to my “blogs to check out while I’m not working at work” list. πŸ™‚

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      ha! No worries–most of the stuff I post here is just a jumble of barely connected thoughts, so I understand. Thanks for the comment and the compliment.

  • Shelby says:

    I agree with mocha, but i dont think the movie was made to be a comedy. i think Ledger was meant to play some seriously disturbed, but somehow very intelligent, man. Yeah i agree that maybe there should have been some more comic relief in the movie, but “The Dark Knight” was meant to be a drama/action movie. Dont put it on Jack’s or Heath’s shoulders anyways. They do what they’re told. If they portray a certain scene in a way the director or screenwriter or whoever doesnt like it, they have to do it over the way “it was supposed to be”.
    You know when someone dies, you here a million different stories as to how and why they died, well I heard, and believe over any other story, that he died because he got so into playing the character of the joker, that i guess he overdosed on some drug that kept him calm or just helped him sleep because he spazzed. Do you think if he was supposed to be the comic relief of the movie, he would have died?? I think he was an amazing actor and maybe he thought he knew what he was doing when he took the role, but he was so into getting the character down to a “t” (like a lot of other actors should start doing)and put his entire focus on this character, that he cracked.
    Oh and I apologize now for any facts i didnt get right about what drugs he overdosed on or whatever else, but i dont spend my day with my eyes glued to the computer making sure i know every fact of every situation that happens. I honestly loved the way Heath and Jack played the joker. The way “The Dark Knight” was panned out, i think Heath played it perfectly, and the same goes for Jack. So why dont we get off the computers, away from the tv screens, and quit nit-picking at everything everyone does or says. If you dont like it, dont watch it. end of story.

  • Mat says:

    WTF! shut up man Heath Ledger is a WAY better joker then Jack Nicholson!

  • TobiasX says:

    The problem is that, as you briefly mentioned, all comic characters are reinvented again and again to better suit the audience of the era. Both Nicholson and Ledger played the Joker they were chosen to play, each bringing their own twist on the building blocks that have stuck with the character from the beginning. Because of this I don’t think either of them can be said to be ‘best’ so much as ‘preferred’.

    Ledger’s Joker was, in my opinion, a better portrayal of the violent insanity behind the laughs. Nicholson, in contrast, was able to make the character more off-the-wall and bring out the amusing insanity.

    Neither of the performances was perfect by any stretch of the imagination but now the standards have been set for both sides of the character’s personality we have to wait for somebody to top them both.

  • Frankazm says:

    Okay so I’m late. Was just looking up some Joker related things. I saw many great points way up there. I thought I was going to come into this thread all pissed off but I was pleased. Only thing I disagree with is that Ledger’s Joker wasn’t funny. Honestly, I laughed throughout the entire film.

  • fuwalda says:

    I still maintain that Nicholson was a better Joker, and that Batman was better than either of Nolan’s boring, pretentious films combined.

    And I’ll go one further: I even liked Tommy Lee Jones better as Two Face than Arron Eckhart.

    Gary Oldman is way better than Pat Hingle, however.

    • Furqan says:

      fans of Jack’s joker. You are all old farts, who never grew up from thinking that comics are supposed to be funny and movies based on comics should be funny too. Enough said

  • tB says:

    Jack Nicholson’s Joker was too… giddy. I mean he overacted many parts. Heath Ledger brought out the best Joker voice, and the greatest performance to date in my opinion.

  • tB says:

    For those criticizing the latest Batman movies, I just don’t understand why. The latest movies are breaking box office records. They’ve won many Oscars and other awards. These 2 movies already won more than Burton/Schumacher’s 4 films combined. The hype for Dark Knight Rises is amazing. Everyone is talking about it.
    Those who prefer the older Batman movies only grew up on them. I remember growing up on a lot of things and it seems more exciting then.
    The latest Batman movies have already grossed more than all the previous combined. That says a lot.

  • fuwalda says:

    No, I prefer the Tim Burton Batman film to Nolan’s because I think it’s better. Here’s some advice: Don’t presume to tell somebody why he or she likes something, because it just weakens your entire argument because it makes you seem illogical and foolish. Then again, saying that Nolan’s films are superior because they made more money and won more awards is already illogical and foolish.

    Since when do money and pointless awards (at this point, I’m pretty sure that I’ve won an Academy Award) equate to quality? And even if they did, that would mean that Burton and Schumacher’s films are amazing too, since they also made millions of dollars. We’re talking about hugely successful films here, let’s not quibble over which was more successful, considering how they all made hundreds of millions of dollars. Well, maybe not Batman and Robin, but that was shit.

    But, again, like whatever you want and I’ll like what I want. But Nicholson was better.

    • Boo says:

      Batman and robin was shit XD for these reasons
      Bat nipples
      Bar credit card
      Ice jokes/one liners
      Banes misrepresentation
      Batgirls lack of bat nipples
      Bad CGI
      Robins cowabunga shout
      Rubber icicles
      And many more minor errors that add up to Joel Schumachers bungle of shit

  • kim says:

    Lets see Bob Kane right, Yeah Bob Kane is the Creator? Which he also was an advisor to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman set. Well i remember his comment on 20/20 back then and you can correct me if i’m wrong in some of the wording. But Bob Kane said, “when they told me they’d use the Joker i thought Jack Nicholson, he is the Joker, the Joker is Jack Nicholson”.

  • kim says:

    And if you call frying a human, dance while doing so, and then holding a one on one conversation with the dead corpse not sadistic while being lol funny? Somethings wrong with you.

  • KJ says:

    can someone let “fuwalda” go back to his time machine because he really likes to make an argument silly that jack is better…. so bye bye classical moron…..just accept that present (heath) will always overcome the past (jack)…

  • carla says:

    I agree with u. Jack Nicholson is the best Joker. He didnΒ΄t need to die to prove it.His performance is natural, and very funny.

  • Boo says:

    You could not be more wrong. Nicholson was NOT funny as the joker he was more goofy. Val Kilmer is renown as the worst batman. George clooney just happened to be in the worst movie of the series. Tim burtons film (though I love most of his films) was so far away from the original comic book that it is actually scary. Heath ledgers performance as the joker was brilliant and he has probably portrayed a character In a batman movie better than anyone else. And the joker doesn’t appear in the first ten minutes of the film, it is jack; the alter ego that is made up and doesn’t actually exist out of the film which makes no sense because the point of the joker is that he is mysterious and NOONE KNOWS WHO HE IS. The best joker in my opinion is the arkham video game joker and the ending to city is just AMAZING if you haven’t seen it YouTube it NOW!!!
    And if you are thinking that I only saw the ’89 batman yesterday I saw them all in order YEARS ago before the modern movies and have recently watched all six old and new in chronological order recently. Accept that ledger was the better of the live action jokers and do your homework on the batman actors. The animated series is great though, seen em all XD even the shitty batman forever in the future crap. LONG LIVE ADAM WEST!!!

  • McMurphy says:

    I think Jack is one of the best actors of all time, but his Joker as said previously did not have that sort of chaos one expects from a psychopath, the worst part was for me that Jack is accustomed to those roles, he was in his element, but something just did not click. Maybe he isn’t suited to that Tim Burton surrealism, which I did not like either. If it had been a combination of The Shining Jack and the One Flew Jack, Ledger would have never been remembered and Jack might have gotten that fourth Oscar, but it just never happened. The Joker was Jacks greatest performance that never was. Heath on the other hand synced perfectly with that bleak Nolan grit, which was not meant for comic book fans. It just never worked out for Jack, he seemed uninterested. So long for now.

  • B-man says:

    For me, between Jack and Heath, I would pick Jack over Heath, but not entirely for Heath’s lack of comedic moments (though it did play a factor in my decision). For me, Jack’s portrayal is better because the ’89 Joker was more true to what I grew up with in comics and television in means of creativity. It seems that deadly gags, such as Joker Gas, the Electrocuting Joy Buzzer, and the Loaded “Bang” Gun, were replaced for more realistic executions. The closest Joker Kill in the Dark Knight was the Magic Trick, other than that, Joker was just a deeply disturbed sociopath without any flare or pizzazz that made the Joker the iconic villain that he is.

    Having said that, my ideal Joker would have the creativity of Jack’s Joker and the intensity of Heath’s Joker.

  • Scott says:

    I disagree with Heath Ledger’s joker not being funny. The gas grenade. The pencil trick. Throwing the wine out of the glass and acting like your drinking it. “I’m only burning my half.” When he says “Hiiii” to Harvey in the hospital. Those were funny moments. Not campy comedic moments. Sick, twisted, dark comedy. I think the idea of someone being funny as they light a stack of money with a guy on top of it is too dark for most people. In my case, I get it. It’s funny, but f*cked up.

  • Thor says:

    Just watched the original Batman for the first time since I was a kid and holy shit it was terrible. Jack Nicholson’s Joker was mediocre at best. What really bothered me was that Batman was going around killing people at the end of the movie. That IS NOT Batman.

  • Sam says:

    Heath’s Joker was indisputably the better of the two. His performance was nuanced, unnerving, subtle, and yet still keeping the darkly comedic flair of the character. Here are some of the reasons that you’ve said Nicholson’s performance was better.

    1. Ledger was boring.
    In what way? He completely dominated the screen every second he was on it. Every twitch, every little inflection riveted your attention onto him. You were just waiting for him to arrive back whenever it cut to Bale again.

    2. Ledger’s performance strayed too far from the comics.
    Ever read Lee Bermejo’s Joker graphic novel? The Joker portrayed in that was extremely similar to Ledger’s. If anything, he was even darker. But beyond that, TDK Joker was actually very close to many of the comics, particularly The Killing Joke. Just because he had forgone 3-foot long pants guns doesn’t mean that he was a totally different character. Many of his actions and quotes contained a kind of dark humor that was much better suited to the tone of the film than if they had copied Nicholson’s Joker.

    3. Nicholson’s Joker was better acted.
    Here you’ve lost me. His performance was forced, unfunny, and not frightening in the least, despite what some of you have said. He sounded like a bad stand-up comedian on a variety of drugs. Every joke he made sounded as if he was being forced to say it at gunpoint.

    4. Batman was better than TDK.
    First of all, Batman currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 70%, as opposed to TDK’s 94%. Batman was a good film for its time, but nowadays it just seems dull and dated. Are you just going to discount everything any critic has ever said about TDK? Because if you are, I’d love to hear it.

    5. Ledger’s performance only became famous because he died.
    No, it didn’t. It was helped by it, certainly, but it was a stunning performance on its own. This argument mainly seems to be used as a quick way of simultaneously insulting Heath Ledger’s Joker, Heath himself, the people that awarded him Best Supporting Actor, and anyone who thinks (rightfully so) that he played a better Joker thank Jack Nicholson.

    There are plenty more reasons that I could list, but at this point I’m getting somewhat bored of looking over the Nicholson fans’ posts. Just to let you know, by the way, for any of you saying that Ledger fans are just trying to be ‘hip’ or ‘following the crowd’: not everything popular is shallow commercial hack work. Some things are popular for a reason, just as many UNpopular things deserve their obscurity.

  • Robyn says:

    Even though Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker was closer to the comic book version of the character; Heath Ledger’s performance was much better. Heath’s Joker was not funny but it was not meant to be. It was meant to be terrifying and hit hit all the right notes.
    Jack’s performance was too hammy and he played the Joker like an old letch. One thing you could never call the Joker is a letch, if anything, he is almost asexual. I hated the way Jack’s Joker was panting after Vicky Vale. Joker would not have done that, he would have killed her, but not have gotten some schoolboy crush. It just was not a facet of his personality in the comics.
    For sheer edgy acting, I have to go with Heath. He might not have looked like the traditional Joker, but he really caught the madness and evil of the
    Joker. It was because of his strong performance and air of menace that comic book movies are finally being taken seriously.

  • fastpoose says:

    Having just watched the orginal ‘Tim Burton’ Batman again tonight, I have to say that the Jack Nicolson version of Batman is brilliant! I don’t call myself a ‘nerd’, but I have always been into comics/roleplaying games/movies, and was totally blown away many years ago when the first Batman film was released. I wasn’t that wrapped with ‘Batman Returns’ or any of the others after that.

    When the new francise started I thought ‘Batman Begins’ was a very good movie dark, mysterious and Bale was absolutely amazing … but ‘The Dark Knight’ was pretty average in my opinion. Just as the Batman francise went too comical and stupid one way (Clooney/Schwarz etc) the new francise has gone far too dark and depressing. The Dark Knight was very boring and considering ‘The Joker’ was involved, the main funny line of ‘why so serious’ was just weak. No comical socio/psycopath, just a crazed lunatic with a white face.

    Jack Nicolson nailed it, and so did Tim Burton. Am looking forward to the next edition but won’t hold my breath, Christian Bale is the only one keeping this series watchable in my opinion.

  • notanidiot says:

    sorry, ledger was better by far.

  • Yoker says:

    Jack had the smile. Heath won the Oscar. 2 very different movies from top to bottom. Jack has never even commented on Heath’s performance and she said she was furious about not getting asked to play the role. 70 year old joker? What a prick. I loved both performances but lost some respect for her (Jack).

  • Christian says:

    I personally enjoyed Heath ledger’s joker more. I’m slightly biased because I’ve never been much for comic books but that’s not to say I don’t like them or the way the batman story is told in them. I enjoyed ledger’s joker much more because he (and the entire dark knight movie as a whole) conveyed a very real and dark atmosphere which I liked. Ledger made the joker feel like someone who the world should be worried about. As for funny, I think he did portray it but not like most would think. He laughed and made jokes all the time but not ones you(the audience) would like because well… Your not mad men. Jack nicholson felt very goofy and too easy. I felt that he played the crazy part decently but I didn’t feel like he was very evil or powerful. I felt like given the chance any average joe could take the joker(provided he doesn’t pull out some ridiculously long pistol out of his ass). His only real power was the fact that he had ties with the mob. Ledger on the other hand, was never afraid to get in there and do the work himself as the opening scene of the dark knight shows. All in all if the joker was real, I’d be absolutely shitting myself if he was like ledger because he’s crazy and finds things like blowing up a hospital randomly funny, jack Nicholson on the other hand really wouldn’t scare me near as much. Also I liked that ledger’s joker had at least somewhat “logical” motives for his crimes, whereas Nicholson kind just went crazy and felt like gassing Gotham. I’m sure many people will feel I have a few facts wrong and what not but this is just my opinion.

  • Crujir says:

    Personally, I liked both performances for different reasons. I’ve been a Bat-nut since I was a kid, and I loved the Tim Burton movies. I think Jack Nicholson’s performance was stellar, but you have to first get past the “holy crap that’s Jack Nicholson” stage to truly appreciate it. I’m a firm believer that Nicholson is effing insane in real life, so he did well, especially with the psychotic laugh.

    I had to take Ledger’s Joker as it’s own thing. Batman is a universe where I’m willing to accept multiple versions of things, whereas others I am not (Dragonball Evolution, anyone? Damn). So, when I watched The Dark Knight, I loved it. I did wish at times that he was a little more crazy and laughed more, because when he did laugh, he did a good job, but I thoroughly enjoyed his performance nonetheless.

    Just take each one as their own version, and try not to get into any more flame wars.

  • Rafael says:

    Actually the Joker in the first few issues of Batman wasn’t funny, he was more of the sick sociopath that Ledger portrayed, then later in the 40’s early 50’s he became more of a jokster then a killer

  • Woods says:

    You people are so stupid for thinking that Jack’s Joker was better. You don’t get that Christopher Nolan(the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy) likes real world type stuff. Not ever guess why he never brought Freeze or Penquin or Riddler into the story?? He was trying to show that this stuff could actually happen in the real world, that yes there could deffinately be a Joker who is psychotic. Ledger’s Joker did a perfect job at being a psychopath who also loved to have fun with killing people. If people had a sense of humor and tried acting like a psychopath themselves they’ll realize that there were funny parts in The Dark Knight and yes it was more scary. That was the main purpose of the Joker from the beginning: to be scary and to have his own way of fun and make his own jokes to where he likes them best. Ledger’s Joker was perfect for that, perfectly scary. Jack’s Joker doesn’t scare me a bit. His version is too too funny and that takes away the scariness. Nolan did all of the movies perfectly, Christian Bale was the PERFECT Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Heath Ledger did the best Joker that will ever be played and he deserved that Oscar, and I bet money he still would’ve gotten it if he was still alive. To sum it up: Everything Christopher Nolan did to his series of Batman was perfect, the choice for Bruce/Batman, choice for Ra’s Al Guhl, Scarecrow, Joker, Two-Face, Bane, and Catwoman. Why? Because they’re more realistic than the old ones. They showed an actual comic book type Gotham with Batman and his villians in it. These ones showed it real world, and thats why Heath’s Joker was perfect.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Well, let’s not go throwing around words like “stupid” now. Everybody is entitled to an opinion.

      For the record, I don’t envy you attempting to make an argument for “realism” in a discussion about a movie in which a guy dresses up like a giant bat and fights crime. Additionally, you might want to include fewer claims of perfection. Even if you think that’s the case, it reads as hyperbole.

  • fuwalda says:

    “guess why he never brought Freeze or Penquin or Riddler into the story??”

    Because he doesn’t understand Batman.

  • Woods says:

    No Penquin and Riddler are the worst of Batman’s villians, meaning, they’re not good villians, they’re just there. So it wouldn’t be a good movie at all to bring them into it. He didn’t bring in Freeze because it’s impossible for something like that to happen to someone in the real world. He wanted it real.

  • fuwalda says:

    In the comics the Penguin and the Riddler are fantastic villains. I’ll admit that they wouldn’t work in the sterile, boring, completely unoriginal universe Nolan created for his films. But that isn’t a slight against The Penguin and the Riddler, but a slight against Nolan.

    He wasn’t making real Batman films except in name alone, so that’s why the actual characters from the comics don’t work in his universe unless they are drastically modified and changed… for the worse, in my opinion.

    Look, I’m not saying Nolan’s trilogy are bad films, I’m simply saying they failed as any kind of real, faithful adaptation of the Batman character. But I like that so many people like them. I just wonder how many more people would have liked them had they been better and more faithful to the source material.

  • Michelle says:

    I read a ton of my dad’s old comic books when I was a kid. I LOVED the Joker best of all. He was totally crazy, but had a “wicked” sense of humor. Jack nailed that. Ledger just didn’t get it right. I don’t know if it was the writing or just crappy acting, but definately did not deserve an Oscar. Should have saved everybody the dissappointment and given it to Peter O’Toole. JACK’S THE MAN!

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I just re-watched the clip that I linked in the post above, and I’ll be damned if I don’t laugh every single time. What I love about the portrayal is that Nicholson’s Joker is just an evil fucking guy who isn’t satisfied to merely kill somebody–he’s got to almost make his victims complicit in their own deaths by putting a smile on their faces, as though they were in on the joke.

      What I didn’t care for about Ledger’s performance is that he seemed so miserable all the time. While I can begrudge other people the right to enjoy that interpretation, it didn’t work for me. All arguments above attempting to persuade me otherwise will always fail, I’m afraid, just as any arguments I could make will fail with anybody who preferred Ledger’s performance.

  • fuwalda says:

    Here’s what I’ve taken away from this little debate: The people who prefer Jack Nicholson seem reasonable, logical, in possession of a sense of humor, and don’t really care all that much about who was “better” or “worse,” so much as they just want to voice what they consider to be their own opinion.

    And the people who prefer Heath Ledger are assholes.

  • Richard B. says:

    I think that Jack Nicholson portrayed the character closer to the more classic comic book appearances. Contrary to popular ideas, he was not merely playing a Joker version of himself. In addition to the comedian who is also a homicidal maniac, he also hinted at a sense of sadness and feeling that his character was a monster because society has dealt him that hand. Heath Ledger’s Joker is an evil man who wears clown paint for effect. The character is important to Batman’s world, however Ledger’s performance makes the Dark Knight the least powerful of the Nolan trilogy. Burton’s 1989 Batman is old school but overall is the best single Batman film. Nolan’s work is by far the best movie series of the Batman films and does not repeat the mistake of altering the franchise’s tone. Burton’s Batman Returns is a good movie, it’s just not a good Batman movie. The Schumacher movies taken together are a disgrace. Batman Forever has some entertaining moments but it has not aged well. It is true that Batman has many facets in his comic book history, but at his core is the sinister hero striking at evil from his mysterious Batcave. The first Burton flick and Nolan’s films captured the essence of the character very well.

  • penfold says:

    It comes down to one simple truth. The Joker would never in a million years say “and I thought my jokes were bad”. Never. That line sums up everything the Ledger was up to in TDK. There’s no demented sense of humor, no joke only he understands. He’s just a sadist in makeup. That’s not the Joker. Ledger played a very interesting and engaging character. But he didn’t play the Joker.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Yeah, that was pretty much the point I was attempting to make in the post. I never said anything bad about Ledger’s performance–which I liked on its own merits–except for the idea that to me, he just didn’t play the Joker of the comics very well. I’m not certain that even that is a criticism. To my mind, Nicholson already played that character pretty well, so I can appreciate that Nolan and Ledger wanted to go in a different direction with it.

      At the time I made this post, I was just fed up with hearing people disparaging Nicholson’s take on the character as though it was too cartoony. I mean, that’s the Joker. If you didn’t like Nicholson in that role, then you don’t like the Joker.

  • fuwalda says:

    Here’s the thing: If both Batman and the Dark Knight were on TV at the same time, I’d watch Batman hands down.

  • Sakuryu says:

    Bookmarking this page even though the arguements I’ve read are ALL Ledger licked his lips and whispered stupid crap while attempting at the twisted humor we all love from the burton movie and animated series near the end(I still love that music when he did his deeds hehe) and Nicholson played the twisted happy fiend great showing the essence of the joker we all love to hate and fear. And In essence, Nicholson Is the joker in all his movies. A character that’s smart and knows it and wants to show off in his own twisted ways through manipulation and acts of grandeur.

    And on Ledgers side we have, He played more sociopathic(ok I guess…) he was a darker version of the joker and could only be interested by true comic fans (Again….okay I guess I’m not a fan…) That his dark acts were more true to how a sociopathic villain would attack (being that Jokers sociopathy hinges on his clown persona which ledger did not use other than the rapidly fading make up and suit I didn’t see this. I mean I understand Nolans *no tech that couldn’t happen* thing for like Joker Venom, but cmon… Jokers a tech guy, he could alter or make a joy buzzer taser or a flower lapel acid sprayer… or any of the classic Joker/clown weapon/tricks) And that people who dislike ledgers portrayl automatically hate him and condemn his soul or whatever.

    I personally did not like him, the mumbling (not just ledger, I have had many I HATED batman in this movie! conversations) the incessant lip licking and finger rubbing (Yeah its a sign you have a disorder but really?) And the lack of any true twisted humor ala joker, the only *remotely* jokerish thing I saw was the *pencil* scene and that only got a pity laugh. I disliked how he portrayed it, sorry he’s dead, doesn’t make any difference for the character. Just my two Cents.

  • Me says:

    Well Heath made me laugh without actualy trying…

  • Abi says:

    Honestly. I am going to have to disagree with you on that one. And to be honest in all fairness, why are we comparing them? They are two totally different actors with totally different directors with a totally different view of how the joker should be played. Heath and Chris didn’t want to copy Jack nicholsons joker, Heath said “I couldn’t touch what Jack had done with the Joker.’ The dark knight, immiteadly, was darker than Tim Burtons movie, but it’s because Chris wanted to make it different and to show a more darker side to the joker. You also say that Heaths joker didn’t have any funniness in the movie and you didn’t laugh at all, which I find hard to believe. What about when he does his ‘pencil trick,’ or when he is in a nurse outfit, waking out of the building with everything blowing up behind him. Especially in that scene, Heath showed how crazy, and also how funny the joker is, cause he never looked back once. Jack showed a more comedic side to the joker, which was funy to watch BUT I watched the movie, and it simply didn’t have me on the edge of my seat. That’s what the joker is supposed to do, right? Keep you on the edge of your seat? But, they they both had unique twists on the character. But in my opinion, Heath showed a far better joker than Jack did. R.I.P Heath Ledger. One of the most talented, sweetest and friendliest actors to walk this earth.

  • Jeffus Maximus says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I won’t add anything as this blog post completely sums up my sentiments perfectly. Huzzah to you, good sir, and huzzah to the real Joker!

  • Babbadaboopy says:

    I disagree with those who say Heath ledger didn’t deserve the Oscar he did put his all into the preformance but I think Nicholson did a better job, he was funny, he was sadistic, he was evil but had a child like charm to him, and he gave it his all too and I just think he did a better job. As much as I loved ledger as the joker I say jack just about does it better

  • eric says:

    i honest;y think jack was way better then heath in my opinion heath was by far the worst joker ever played he didnt even have the flower… so he apeared nothing like joker and his humor sucked. therefore jack was better however in the new video game arkham asylum and city i believe the joker in those games is an amazing joker even voiced by “luke SKywalker” so i dont think anyone can compare to that joker besides the original voice of the joker.

  • chris says:

    Which performance is prefered will always be devided as its down to personal preference, I like Heath’s more as the charater is more layered, darker, more charismatic, carried with more presence, scarier and more entertaining, but each to his own.

    Claiming that Jacks Joker is the “real” Joker is such an ignorant statment, please read the source material properly and you wont look like such a fool.

    Heaths Joker, agent of choas, no plan, he just does things, no real orgin, no logical purpose other then watching the world burn, has no fear, love hate relationship with batman, cant live without batman, will never kill batman.

    Jacks Joker, egotistical, narcissistic, craves money, craves power, craves women, craves fame, fears batman, fears death, wants to kill batman.

    One of these captures the essence of the comic book Joker, the other is Jack in clown make up.

    Just saying.

  • evelin says:

    hello there…
    to my opinion, heath ledger was better. i am a girl, who did not read any of these comics. i have just seen the movies.
    in the dark nights, heath legder, to me, portray a role of this complicated figure, joker, you can just not forget. maybe because of the increadible face, he had, or because of the fact that he managa to give us a different person, with emotions and a so so so crazy character. the way he moved and acted reminds me of jack sparrow (i love jack sparrow).
    jack nicholson was also good, but i think he was hypocritical. he wanted to be funny and he did that, but in a tim burton’s movie.
    and that’s the point to me..
    jack nicholson was tim burton’s joker. he was like from a fairytale, or a ballet. dancing and laughing. he wasn;t that bad, actually, i do like tim burton very much, but batman, wasn;t his best movie.,
    heath ledger ( for whom i am very sorry, he died, he was a real talent i will never forget), was a normal, 21th centure joker, and a killer. joker is a killer, maybe crazy or maybe funny, but he has a dark backround and he kills people, just for fun.
    heath ledger was to me a little funny, in a modern way…
    (my problem to both movies was batmen. i hate them both)

  • persondude says:

    the main difference is that nicholson’s joker was more “in-your-face” funny. ledger’s was much more subtle . i personally laugh any time i watch him do that magic trick. (slams guy’s head into the pencil ) “TA DAAAA ! πŸ˜€ ” or ” harvey harvey harvey dent. oh, S’CUSE MEEE. I WANNA DRIIIIVE (pushes unconscious driver out of the car)

  • Liquid Wolverine says:

    Jack was the best, hands down. I can barely stay awake while watching the Dark Knight Trilogy… Ledgers Joker had a better plot, but was Boring… You can have a “Serious” Batman film, with a crazy, killer that is a prankster and entertaining. Ledger did what?… one trick throughout the entire movie? Where is the Giant Boxing Glove gun? Where are the awesome pranks?!!! Jack Nicholson could have had more of an overall sinister plan for Gotham, but his character is what made him so great…Funny, yet Deadly!

    And don’t get me started on the Dark Knight Rises…probably one of the worst Batman films…had so much potential and was highly Over-Rated, and Over-Hyped. Mmehelsnalo shommmeksjo kmmmmsinsmmksjs (that was me cursing out this film in my Bane voice)

  • Liquid Wolverine says:

    Quick question: I just read someone who said Ledgers Joker had fun killing people throught the entire movie…blah, blah, blah… How many of the people he killed in the movie, he actually laughed at because it was his sense of humor? No where in this movie did it look like it was fun or a joke for him. I can’t even remember Ledgers laugh…did he laugh?..Great… .now I need to rewatch the movie to see if he ever laughed!!! Maybe that’s what was missing, Laughter! How can you have a Joker that doesn’t have a memorable laugh?!!!

  • Liquid Wolverine says:

    My bad, I guess there was laughter in there…it just doesn’t stand out as much as Jack Nicholson’s or the Animated Series. His first laugh, should have been over the top…the Hoo-Hoo-Hoo-hee-hee-hee-ho-ho-he-ho but it wasn’t, it was like, who the hell, is someone even in here? Is a ghost laughing, it wasn’t the over the top, laughter that freaks people. If I had to rate laughter it would be Animated Joker, Jacks Joker, then Ledgers Joker: http://youtu.be/hAWlKvYNoEg

  • Squidalz says:

    I honestly think comparing Heath Ledger to Jack Nicholson is a tough one. Yes, they both portray the Joker, but they both took the characters is such different paths. Where Nicholson’s character stayed more true to the comics with his dark humor and giddiness, Ledger took his Joker down a much darker path. I grew up watching Tim Burton’s Batman, and I still love it to this day. I also enjoy the Dark Knight immensely. I love both performances by Nicholson and Ledger. If I’m in the mood for some dark comedy that will give me some laughs, I’m gonna watch Batman. If I’m in the mood for something dark and just down right psychotic I will watch the Dark Knight. Again, I love both, I think it entirely depends on what your looking for in the joker.

  • Essie says:

    I have read all these comments and as a person that is not an avid reader of the Batman comics but grew up with the show and movies of yesteryear, I have to say Heath Ledger deserved his Oscar. While Jack Nicholson embodied the Joker as he’s supposed to be but let’s face it, that’s not a stretch for him. While Nicholson is a great actor, that was a type-casted role for him. It is extremely easy to see him as the Joker, and that’s what works against him.

    On the other hand, Heath Ledger immersed himself completely in this role. If you did not know that Ledger was portraying the Joker, you literally would not know that Ledger was portraying the Joker! Heath Ledger, this campy teeny bopper of an actor, did what he was supposed to do, create a character and make us believe it or in this case be creeped out by it.

    Now does this in anyway bring up nostalgia for the Joker of the past? No, it does not, but we are missing a very important point in this discussion about Jokers. The comic Joker, in its beginning, is considered a psychopathic murderer before writers gradually began to make him more gimmicky at the behest of his creator Jerry Robinson. Not, to mention that, Batman was originally a dark comic, and for our time Christopher Nolan does a great job making Batman dark enough for our current era! Nicholson was great but his manic portrayal would not work in Nolan’s Universe, or for the majority of current audiences today to get on board with.

    Heath Ledger was great addition to the Batman universe, Nolan did a great job revitalizing a franchise that was continually doused with talented actor repellant spray….which was conveniently located in the batcoptor!

    also: Kudos for creating a very interesting blog!

  • MW99 says:

    Mostly, we’re comparing apples and oranges here, and both performances are very good, and very different from each other, but in the end, I do have a preference for the Ledger’s Joker.

    A lot of it isn’t just the acting, but the character as written – though I do feel, as some other people do, that Nicholson is playing himself, to an extent.

    Nicholson’s joker might be a zany in some ways, but in the end, he really is just another villain, albeit a rather zany one. He does a lot of stock-villain things – shooting the henchman because he’s upset, killing people for the sake of killing them, kidnapping the hero’s girl. And in the end, he gets into a fight with batman at the top of a tall building/tower/whatever.

    And while he does his zany laugh while he has the best of batman, as soon as batman turns the tables, he stops laughing. And when he’s falling to his cliche villain-death, he does the cliche villain scream.

    Ledger’s joker is a lot more interesting. Sure he’s willing to kill, and when he does, he has fun doing it. But he seems much more interested in just the craziness for its own sake. He doesn’t want to kill interesting people like batman. Nor, for that matter, Harvey Dent – much more fun to drive him insane. Nicholson’s joker might have been willing to expend money to further his terrorist plans, and may even be willing to throw money into the streets to lure people to heir deaths, but he’d never burn a mountain of cash – hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars – just to screw with a bunch of mobsters.

    And in the end, when batman throws him to his movie-villain death (he doesn’t know batman will save him, and is surprised when he does), as he’s falling, Ledger’s Joker does what the real joker would do:

    He laughs.

  • Isaiah says:

    If you’re considering this without and form of prejudice, then it’s Heath Ledger hands down

  • R. Howard Lawrence says:

    Heath Ledger was a real to life sociopathic personality, someone who may actually exist and that is why his portrayal grabbed so much attention and probably scared so many viewers, but in a nutshell Ledger’s character was a serial killer that had access to vast amounts of resources to propel him into the limelight of a Batman villain, without it he would have been traced down by the ‘Criminal Minds’ cast and locked away.

    Jack Nicholson was the comic book Joker in his mindset (barring the unfortunate coincidence of replacing Joe Chill killing the elder Wayne’s) I too was disappointed that Nicholson had been picked to portray the only true Batman arch enemy (in my opinion) his face, voice, and physical condition all took away from the comic character in a huge way (not that Ledger was any closer) but from the moment Nicholson danced into the fray surrounded by his boom-box toting henchmen his acting was on the mark for the comic mastermind and showed why even if pennyless, Joker would always be more than ordinary law enforcement would be able to contend with. (I also think that Hamill, especially after viewing the behind the scenes video of Mask of the Phantasm would have been able to pull off the same role with a much better voice)

    Cesar Romero was a clown, his character constrained by writers and television censors so that even if he could pull it off he would have never been allowed to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I think he may have done justice to the role if he could have just been allowed to.

    For those that don’t know:
    Joe Chill in many versions of Batman’s origin story he is the mugger who murders young Bruce Wayne’s parents, making him indirectly responsible for Batman’s existence and if time travel was ever to be used in a Batman movie or comic I would hope that stopping this man from creating the Dark Knight (or Caped Crusader)would be a prime desire of Batman’s enemies.

  • Dan says:

    I’ve never really understood how being quieter or not as ‘giddy’ or whatever you want to call it, makes heath darker.
    Sure Jack was louder and brighter but are we forgetting that he burned a guy alive down to a skeleton all the while keeping contact with his hand… and then struck a conversation with the corpse once he was the only living person left in the room?!
    What the hell did Ledger/Nolan’s Joker do that was darker and crazier than that?
    If you like Ledgers Joker better than Jacks, I totally get that. I dont agree but everyones entitled to their own opinion… but on the basis of him being darker…? Maybe in his appearance but his actions were no darker than Jacks. I think its just fresher in our minds.
    I for one would probably be more frightened of a man that was giggling like a maniac after killig someone than a guy licking his lips. That was what was missing for me. Not even that Jack was funnier (which I feel is an important part of the Joker) but that he LOVED everything he did. Every evil thing he did he enjoyed! Ledger was doing it for doing its sake… which is also cool, dont get me wrong. But yeah, I think Jacks was scarier, not to watch but to imagine being there.

  • L says:

    They are playing two completely different jokers. Nicholson’s Joker was funnier because it was supposed to be funnier. There are several different interpretations of the Joker, because the character has been written by many different authors over the years. Some see him as a carefree comedian who does crimes for shits and giggles. Others see him as a disturbed, possibly schizophrenic monster. They are nowhere near comparable. But if I had to choose a favorite, I would choose Ledger’s simply because I prefer that interpretation of the character.

  • Shiro says:

    They both did excellent jobs in their respective films. Button wanted dark and funny while Nolan wanted a more realistic approach. While Nicholson appeared to resemble some comic versions Ledger also resembled Alan Moore’s version. With how many versions of Batman there are including New-52 there are also different interpretations from readers as well. There is no “one way” to portray the Joker.
    Ledger hit it right on the nail always changing his story about how he got his scars while the comic versions origins always change.
    It all depends on which version you want to compare it too.

  • joel says:

    Wow, honestly jack’s and ledger’s jokers were impressive. Jack’s joker was funny and humorous, but it laked thatinsane, crazy, and scary feeling the joker from the comics gives.Ledger’s joker gaved that feeling. Psychopath, insane, crazy, and scary feeling. It lacked some sence of humor but he had a darker humor which was amazing to. Either way. Both actors did an amazing job at playing joker. Personally i like both.

  • Naid says:

    The scene where Heath Ledger’s joker speaks to Harvey Dent who is in the hospital bed, he says: “You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan’. Even if the plan is horrifying. If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when I say that one little old mayor will die” AND ESPECIALLY THE WAY HE FINISHES OFF WITH “well then everyone loses their minds!” is sheer genius. How joker was portrayed by Nicholson and Ledger may have differed in great degrees. but in this moment of the movie we see a portrayel beyond the actor, beyond a mere “role”, I felt the joker. I felt justice done to the character in especially the last line and how Ledger did it. With Nicks joker we knew it was nick, much less so for Heath. But in that moment there was no actor, just the JOKER!!

  • DAMN says:

    Ledger is so bad…he’s worse then Arnold portraying Mr.Freeze

  • MJ says:

    As pointed out by another person, above, Ledger didn’t portray THE Joker, based on his own words. He knew he couldn’t match or compete with Jack Nicholson’s performance. Due to this, his portrayal was really a different character with the same name. The fact he, himself, felt he couldn’t do ‘a Jack’ performance justice, kind of proves whom was the better Joker.
    Heath played a great sociopath, no one is denying that. If he could have gone without explaining the ‘why’ behind his ‘misdeeds’, his characterization may have even flawless. Did he really have to tell us he was all about chaos for the sake of chaos? Not really. His actions throughout the film were explanation enough, already. The other problem for me with HL in his film is that he sounds like he has cotton mouth during some of his scenes. (it’s like nails on a chalkboard for me)
    Out of the Nolan trilogy, TDK is my least favorite, to be honest. It’s not because of HL, I think it was the portrayal of Rachel, possibly. (Batman Begins was my favorite of the three, then TKDR, then TDK.)
    I am not a huge Jack Nicholson fan, but I feel his portrayal is the definitive live action characterization to date. And as much as I love Christian Bale, Michael Keaton always edges him out for the best Bruce Wayne/Batman. (Batman and Batman Begins are my top two of all the live action films.)

  • Heosphoros says:

    I just wanna say that before comparing Jack with Ledger, you should remind a little something… the influences the directors had or the direction they wanna give to the movies.
    first: you can’t compare Burton with Nolan
    They’re two great directors with complete different styles
    second (and most important, for me, on this discussion): you can’t compare a movie made in ’89 where Burton got inspiration from the first strips of Batman, by Bob Kane and so (there for the more “cartoonish” like style of Jack’s Joker) with a tryology for wich Nolan got inspiration on a short serie of Batman BD’s signed by Frank Miller…. Think a little bit about Sin City, just for example.

    Stop comparing things you CAN’T compare. They’re BOTH great in their respective way, in their respective line…

    but these are just my two cents.

  • GOD says:

    And on the seventh day I will watch Batman 1989

  • Dan says:

    “Heath Ledger was better, straight up. He played a homicidal maniac that made horribly funny jokes that he would crack up at. He was frightening and funny, with a poor twisted sense of humour that was great and scary, everything the Joker was”

    This actually describes Nicholson too, maybe even more so. He also:

    Played a homicidal maniac (Probably killed more people in Batman 89 than Dark Knight, and as I mentioned before I can’t think of anything darker in Dark Knight than when Jack fried the guy down to a skeleton while laughing his ass off),

    Made horribly funny jokes that he would crack up at (“Oh I got a live one here!” “As you can see, I’m a lot happier ” “I’m glad you’re dead! ” to name a few),

    He was frightening and funny (he looked like a clown, had that creepy grin stuck on his face with actual bleached skin, killed plenty of people and found it absolutely hilarious. He poisoned the cosmetics and made a funny commercial about it, leaving the viewer crapping their pants about whether they’d already bought the products or not. That is the perfect blend of scary and funny imo. It had a poor twisted sense of humour that was great and scary. Everything the Joker was. More so than the “People will die, I’m a man of my word.” video.)

    If you really look at Jack/Burton Joker, he really is just as twisted, evil and dark as Ledger/Nolan Joker. He’s just more bright and animated which makes us forget it. But the Joker is meant to be bright and animated. At least in everything I’ve read/seen. That’s part of what makes him creepier than many other homicidal maniacs.

    The other thing that I feel tricks us into thinking Ledgers Joker is actually darker is the great lack of background. As much as the gangster origin flows well for the 89 movie it isn’t as chilling as a man with no name or history. This is what I feel Ledger/Nolan Joker got right. But either way, Napier was a bad man to start with and once he snapped he was just as dark crazy and scary as Ledger. I personally think more so.

  • Stejo says:

    I watched all the Batman movies from 89 forward again recently. After watching the 89 film again (not seen it since I was a kid). There is no doubt in my mind that Jack was the better Joker by a mile. After reading this blog I thought about something, take Heath’s performance, take the make-up off him and he is playing generic psychopath no.1. Take Jacks performance and do the same thing and there’s no doubt that he is playing the Joker.

    Heath put in a great performance no doubt and despite his death probably would have gotten that Oscar anyway. I do think some people, not all but some do overrate the performance because he died. When I say that I mean the comments or articles which are or where calling it one of the greatest performances ever put on film (and yes they are out there).

    That being said when you look at both as the Joker it’s Jack for me all the way. For anyone who is planning to reply saying well you’re old or you’re looking for it to be the comic book Joker (because I’ve saw a fair few of those in some of the comments here to just dismiss people). I’m 23 and have probably read about 5 Batman comics in my lifetime.

  • Joshua says:

    First thing to be considered are the actors. We are dealing with two very different actors. Jack, as phenomenal of an actor he is (and a better actor than Heath was), usually has a trace of “Jack” in him in his movies. Anyone who has seen his movies can attest to this. Tim Burton and the producers wanted people to be able to tell that it was Jack under all that makeup. They wanted him to be Jack for the Joker.
    Heath on the other hand, liked to disappear into his characters, and Chris Nolan knew that when casting him. He did not want the audience to be able to see Heath Ledger in the character of the Joker. He wanted a purely psychotic madman.
    Context also matters. Jack Nicholson’s Joker would have looked ridiculous in the gritty world of Christopher Nolan’s. The character of the Joker needed adjustment,and Heath and Chris Nolan did great with that. They adjusted his humor to be toned down a bit from the comical level, to a more sickening, realistic level. He thought it was funny how scared Rachel was when he was telling her about the scars. That’s his idea of funny.
    In conclusion, Jack Nicholson was born to play the comic book Joker you seem to be obsessed with. He nailed it. Spot on. Completely flawless. However, in terms of acting alone, Heath wins. It took a lot of talent to play the toned down, realistic, villain that at the same time is entertaining to watch. Heath did not overdo it, which I thought he would. He nailed it.
    Even Michael Caine said Heath Ledger would win this battle. And that was before Ledger died.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      To be sure, I never attempted to make the point that Nicholson’s portrayal was a better acting performance: merely a better Joker. Others in this thread may have asserted the former, but I didn’t. I’d just as soon stay away from that discussion.

  • Chris says:

    its all subjective, people will have there own fav (personally I think Heath was way better) but what makes no sense is this idea Jack was closer to the comic, what is that based on? sure he looked more comic like, more traditional looking and the burton series was more comic book, but that’s where it ends, in terms of the essence of the character, the really important motivations and world views, Jacks Joker wanted money, power, he saw batman as an obstacle he wanted to remove, these are NOT the characteristics of the Joker, not even close, Heaths Joker with the super sanity look on the world, the agent of chaos, see batman as his only equal, plays a cat and mouse game with the batman because they have a twisted love/hate connection, willing to die for the sake of proving a point, these are the traits that readers have been pouring over for years, heath is just packaged slightly different to fit into the Nolan series, but make no mistake, that is the true to the comic book Joker, not Jack.

  • bill says:

    The joker character is not supposed to be “funny” he is a psycopathic mass murderer. Batman is a dark tale where there is little good and everything is mostly grey. There is no “funny” in batman which is why Burtton’s version of batman nicholson’s joker is a complete dog turd.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I totally disagree. There’s a reason that the Joker has endured as probably the most iconic villain in Batman’s rogues gallery, and it isn’t because he’s merely a psychopath.

      • Dan says:

        If that were the case, Carnage from Spider-man’s rogues would be just as popular.
        The fact the Joker is genuinely funny, is the scariest thing about him in some way.
        Take an episode of Batman The Animated Series for example (often referred to as the definitive Batman for some fans), The Joker’s Favour. If you’ve seen the episode you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s hilariously chilling.

        The biggest thing about the Joker imo is that as a viewer you laugh out loud, but as soon as you take a minute to think about being there in the situation, you couldn’t think of anything worse.

  • Kaleb says:

    This article has gone dead for a while, but it always amazes me when people jump down each others throats over ‘opinions’ on fiction.

    Both Batman and The Dark Knight are very different types of movies. It’s easy to understand why people would prefer either one over the other. It’s purely personal taste.

    They’re just movies, and discussions about what worked for you in a movie and what didn’t work is healthy and thought provoking. Simply saying ‘sorry no, HEATH LEDGER FOR LIFE!’ or ‘Jack was the best, you guys are stupid’ doesn’t add anything to the conversation. If anything, it just shows that you have a very narrow mind.

  • Thanos X says:

    Nicholson had no need to act to portray the Joker, simply because he was the Joker, just like Christopher Reeve was actually Superman, with no need to act. Not only Nicholson is a much more skilled and better actor (and that’s a fact: all that Ledger did in his entire career is portray a gay cowboy that basically become a famous movie because of the scandal and the Joker who become famous because of his death). Ledger was not even close to be the Joker, he was just some anarky terrorist and that’s basically both the reason on why he is so media-loved and why he sucked: the Joker is not suppose to be a terrorist, the Joker is a super-villain. But hey, after the 11/9, all the villains in the grand media must be terrorists, that’s the new way. We can also said that Jack Nicholson was Robert Englund’s Freddy Kruger and Ledger was jackie’s freddy. They think that by making him serious, less funny and sarcastic that would make him a better character: it is not. The reason on why the Joker is one of the most iconic villain is because of his lethal combination of funny humor and cruelty.

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Jack Nicholson Was a Better Joker than Heath Ledger

If I’d made this claim a couple of years ago, I might have been lynched. But perhaps in 2011, we can finally look back with a bit of historical clarity and, at worst, agree to disagree.

Listen, Heath Ledger was at the top of his acting game in The Dark Knight and his Joker was an interesting character with an even more fascinating portrayal; but after watching a mere 10 minutes of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman yesterday, I laughed more than I laughed throughout the entirety of The Dark Knight. And that’s the problem in a nutshell: Ledger’s Joker just wasn’t funny.

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