Joker (2019) 14A

Movie Review Submitted by: Ramje Uthayakumaar

Joker, directed by Todd Philips, is essentially an origin story for the super villain Joker. A man named Arthur Fleck, who was an aspiring stand-up comedian, gets pushed to edge by the people and the society of Gotham City. Gotham City is a dump of a city with a huge wealth gap that can be seen throughout the film. Arthur also has multiple mental illnesses, such as Depression and Schizophrenia, and also a medical disorder that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times. This all adds to his outcast characterization that has him shunned by society for being different.

In the movie, Arthur tips over the edge after being assaulted by three rich young men and is forced to defend himself by shooting one of them. But, one can say this was more psychopathic in nature than it seems because after shooting two of the men in the subway, he chases the other one who tries to escape through the station. In the end, he catches up with him and shoots him, not once, but unloads the revolver into him. This kind of shows the viewer that he has started to change into the Joker.

The movie was very well-shot, the cinematographer Lawrence Sher knew how to engage the audience with every scene. He paid attention to the colour in each shot. I also really enjoyed Joaquin Phoenix’s acting. It was amazing. I’m not much of a critic, but I know good acting when I see it. I think he should be considered for an Oscar for the “Best Actor in a motion picture” award because of how dedicated he was as he lost almost 50 pounds for the role!

One thing I didn’t like was the lack of a clear theme. Though not all movies should have a theme or a motive that it’s telling the audience, I feel like the Joker could have had a bigger one because of its take on the way society treats those with mental illnesses.

Movie Smoking or vaping status: This film contains various smoking scenes

What was happening in the scenes with smoking / vaping? This movie did have scenes with characters smoking cigarettes. Arthur Fleck had many scenes that showed him smoking a cigarette and in some of these scenes he’s doing nothing but sitting down, thinking and smoking or he’s dancing or running. It appears that having the character smoke was to make him do something and not just look boring.

Did the movie show the real health effects and consequences of tobacco use? Smoking looked natural for him because it was clear that Arthur Fleck didn’t care about his well-being at all and the film may of implied a bit about mental illness and it’s relationship to smoking.

Ad Astra (2019) PG

Movie Review Submitted by: Ramje Uthayakumaar

The movie Ad Astra was directed by James Gray and featured Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. Ad Astra is about a successful astronaut named Roy McBride going on a dangerous mission to Neptune to contact his father, Clifford McBride. At the time, he was recognized as the greatest astronaut because he has been to many planets and went the further into space than anyone else. Clifford McBride went on a mission called the “Lima Project” to find intelligent life in the Solar System, but went missing and was presumed dead. In addition to finding out more about his father, Roy McBride also has to stop a series of powerful electrical surges that are coming from Neptune and are affecting all of the planets and scientists say that it can destroy Earth. Roy must go on a dangerous mission through space to find his father whom he hasn’t seen since he was 16 and hopefully save the Earth from destruction.

I really enjoyed the movie’s take on future space travel and discovery. Overall, there wasn’t anything I did not like, and it was a great movie to watch!

Movie Smoking or vaping status:

Did the absence of tobacco or vaping affect the plot or quality of the movie?

The absence of tobacco and vaping had no affect on the overall quality of the movie.

What are the benefits of not having tobacco or vaping products (e.g. e-cigarettes) present on the screen?

Smoking in this movie would of been ridiculous in terms of the modern space travel and fear of unnecessary explosions!

Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)

Reviewed by: Sahana Maheswaran

Black Panther is a story about a man named Tchalla and his country Wakanda. The country appears to be a third world country but they have a metal called Vibranium which allows them to live comfortably and create weapons far ahead of any first world country. After his father, the king died in a terrible accident, he returns to Wakanda to claim his rightful spot as King. Unfortunately, his enemy appears and wants to dethrone him and take over Wakanda. They want to steal the vibranium to sell it and put the entire world at risk. Together with the help of his friends and family, he has to disguise himself as the Black Panther and ensure the safety of his people.

I loved the battle scenes and the cool tech (even if they were imaginary!) One part I didn’t like was when background characters did or said something and they were never mentioned from then on.

Movie Smoking or vaping status:

Did the absence of tobacco or vaping affect the plot or quality of the movie?

The absence of tobacco and vaping had no affect on the overall quality of the movie.

What are the benefits of not having tobacco or vaping products (e.g. e-cigarettes) present on the screen?

Black Panther has a adventurous and meaningful plot-line. Having tobacco in the movie wouldn’t be portraying a good message especially for being the first revolutionary movie about a black hero. Most people who watch Black Panther are kids, so why would it be necessary to promote tobacco use or vaping to underage kids?

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