Although there have been many interesting and successful film and TV releases in 2019, this year has been dominated so far by the people behind The Hangover trilogy: Todd Phillips and Craig Mazin. 2019 has already seen many of the most anticipated releases in both the big screen and television (including streaming, of course), such as Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things season 3, but there are still more to come – and others that were released earlier this year are still quite popular.
Among the biggest titles still to be released this year are Terminator: Dark Fate and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but one that made a big impact before its release is Joker. As for TV, viewers have enjoyed shows like Euphoria and Russian Doll, but HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl has had all the attention since its release, and continues to be a frequent topic of discussion. Funnily, both Joker and Chernobyl come from the people behind fan-favorite comedy trilogy The Hangover.
The Hangover trilogy was created and directed by Todd Phillips, and Craig Mazin co-wrote The Hangover Part II and The Hangover Part III. Mazin had his big break this year with Chernobyl, a series created, written, and executive produced by him. As the title says, this historical drama focused on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, telling the stories of those involved in it, directly or indirectly. Although Chernobyl got its dose of criticism and controversy over the accuracy of the events and the portrayal of Soviet officials, the series was a big hit, earning 19 nominations at the Emmy Awards and taking 10 of these home, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special.
On the other hand, Todd Phillips is currently in the spotlight thanks to his latest film, Joker, and everything surrounding it. The film premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, where it received the Golden Lion, but it was met with controversy a few weeks before its worldwide release. Joker will not screen at Century Aurora Theater, where a shooting took place in 2012 during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, and other theaters are taking special measures to ensure all visitors are safe. Such measures include the banning of face paint, masks, props, and even costumes in some cases. Joker’s controversy is rooted on its level of violence, prompting Phillips to defend the film, comparing it to John Wick and blaming “woke culture” for killing comedy and leading him to make this film.
All in all, Joker is on its way to be an Oscar contender, mostly for the performance of Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character and its cinematography. Chernobyl’s run might be over, but the series is still talked about, thanks to its performances and its combination of drama and political satire. Who would have thought that two of the minds behind The Hangover would be leading the year with their (very different) works.
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019