In the year 2008, Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk The Line, The Master) announced he “retired” from acting to transition a new career in hip-hop. The news shocked fans of his work, close friends, peers and family members. He appeared in several interviews prompting his movie, “Two Lovers” spotting unkempt hair and a beard. His appearance on David Letterman confused the public, as they thought he lost sense to reality. As a result of his antics, he was spoofed by across the nation, especially Ben Stiller making fun of him by wearing a fake beard. A mockumentary revealed details about his “journey” to become a rapper is depicted in “I’m Still Here.”
I’m Still Here was released in 2010. It received mixed reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Many people thought Joaquin lost his mind or drugged up, but it turns out it was all a massive prank to fool a nation. He managed to get back into the limelight in critically acclaimed films including “The Master,” “Her,” “Inherent Vice” “Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot & “You Were Never Really Here.”
Joker is officially out right now. Before I see Joaquin’s portrayal as Batman’s iconic archenemy, I would like to share what is good or bad about this mockumentary.
Today’s review doesn’t contain any SPOILERS. This is a short review, because a documentary can speak for itself. I don’t wanna give any details. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Did Joaquin managed to knock it out of the park? Well let’s find out, shall we?
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Joaquin Phoenix did a hilarious job for his performance tricking people into believing he’s pursuing a new career as a rapper. He is a real life Joker.
Casey Affleck directed this mockumentary. He’s best friends with Joaquin. Casey is the younger brother of former Batman actor Ben Affleck.
Humor has some sort of surreal atmosphere. Let’s be honest, Joaquin can be a weirdo at times when it comes to his approach as a Method Actor.
Many famous people have cameo appearances as themselves.
Jack Nicholson & Danny DeVito who portrayed Joker & Penguin in separate Batman movies meet another Joker in person.
The mockumentary is set in 2008-2009. Back when Joaquin’s good friend, Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose. Heath ultimately won an Oscar for his portrayal as Joker in “The Dark Knight.”
Joaquin promotes his film “Two Lovers”. His onscreen love interest is Gwyneth Paltrow, known for playing Tony Stark’s love interest Pepper Potts in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” (MCU for short)
According to Joaquin, “Celebrity Rehab” is the inspiration behind I’m Still Here. He decided not to mock people struggling with real life addition, and he also struggled with alcoholism. I would assume he watched reality TV shows such like “The Simple Life,” “The Real World” & Keeping Up With The Kardashians” to go all out with his own version of a full-length feature film disguised as a reality show.
Don’t watch this with your kids, because it contains big ass tities and a guy’s pee pee. A double standard both genders. God knows how many.
Joaquin’s unkempt hair and beard resembles Zach Galifianakis & the late Ryan Dunn. This isn’t the first time Joaquin played a hairy animal. Does “Brother Bear” ring any bells?
Correct me if I’m wrong. The late River Phoenix makes an appearance from an old childhood tape playing an acoustic guitar.
Joaquin seeks advice from powerful hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy/Puff Daddy” Combs.
Joaquin’s rapping is played for laughs. I can picture a scenario with him auditioning for “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent.” I would laugh my butt off to see Joaquin’s reaction to Simon Cowell’s negative comments.
Joaquin’s talk show appearance on David Letterman is added to the film. His interview predicted his role as The Clown Prince Of Crime. It also reminded me of Joker’s interview with David Endocrine from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns.” Robert De Niro later played a talk show host named, Murray Franklin, who’s similar to Endocrine.
Ben Stiller & Natalie Portman make an appearance at “The 81st Academy Awards” presenting an award for “Best Cinematography” as they mock Joaquin with Ben wearing a fake beard.
Negative: The Pacing contains some padding, especially the last scenes. It can be a drab at times.
The Final Verdict: A-
In my opinion, I’m Still Here is a surreal yet funny as heck mockumentary showcasing an actor who thought he lost his mind, is actually a dedicated Method Actor capable of immersing himself into complex roles. I don’t think Joaquin lost his mind, he one of the most talented actors of the today. He’s this generation’s Daniel Day-Lewis. If you’re interested in watching this mockumentary to get ready for Joker, I highly recommend it.