Will Todd Phillips’ new “Joker” prove the exception to the rule that villains are best left mysterious? That’s the focus of our latest “Low Key” podcast, which you can listen to on your favorite podcast app (scroll down) or right here:
This week on “Low Key,” we’re joined by special guest Sam Perrin of the “Sam Said It” podcast. All of us are comic-book nerds, but despite that, we weren’t necessarily desperate for a solo “Joker” film.
As Hannibal Lecter and Darth Vader can attest, sometimes it’s better not to know a scary villain’s entire backstory. But we’re cautiously excited for Todd Phillips’ highly praised “Joker,” which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Crown Prince of Crime in an homage to Martin Scorsese-Robert De Niro classics like “Taxi Driver” and “King of Comedy.”
Our discussion of the Joker leads us to speculate about what other comic-book villains deserve origin stories (looking at you, Doctor Doom), which leads into a discussion of fanfic, which leads into a discussion of “Twilight,” which delves smoothly into some praises for Lil Nas X, and the oft-forgotten contribution that Nine Inch Nails made to “Old Town Road.”
That in turn leads us into a lengthy discussion of the time Garth Brooks adopted a kind of emo R&B alterego named Chris Gaines, and the beauty of the Chris Gaines’ single “Lost in You.” It’s really pretty. Have you listened to it? You should.
Anyway, given that Joker won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, we’re prepared to be pleasantly surprised by Phillips dark vision. Also pleasantly surprising is the way Gaines’ voice goes liltingly high at around the 1:40 mark of “Lost in You,” before going into a delicate and impeccable guitar solo. Is “Lost in You” our favorite Garth Brooks song? Are we allowed to say that?
Needless to say, this is a wonderful episode, and you should subscribe to both “Low Key” and “Sam Said It.”
Here are some of the key issues we talk about this episode, with timestamps:
3:40: Batman questions aside, could the Joker beat Superman?
4:27: “You tell 10-year-old me, hey, you want to hear about Darth Vader? The answer would be, ‘Sure, why not? I would love to see how Darth Vader became evil.’ And then we got it, and it was like, now I renege on that. I don’t want that again.”
7:19: “I think Doctor Doom needs a movie.”
11:43: Some thoughts on Namor as a potential villain in “Black Panther 2.”
15:10: Why you should keep writing all that fanfic.
16:30: The whitest thing that has ever happened on the podcast happens
17:13: Keith informs Aaron of the existence of Chris Gaines and the Chris Gaines phenomenon is discussed at length
21:44: “Jojo Rabbit looks incredible to me”
25:00: A confession about “The Dark Knight,” and a lengthy discussion of that complicated scene with the two boats.
33:50: Let’s talk about “The Killing Joke”
Listen and subscribe to “Low Key” here: