Sunday, November 17, 2019

Joker is Almost At The $1 Billion Mark

Looking at Thursday's numbers, the cinematic masterpiece on the Clown Prince of Crime is almost at the $1 billion mark in receipts worldwide. 

After 43 days, Joker has earned an estimated $994,462,180 at the box office – and it just needs to sell another $5 million worth of tickets to reach the cinematic milestone. 

Joker is a slow-burn story of an iconic comic-book character that is told in a predictably unpredictable manner – and it has this strange ramification of making me strangely sympathetic to a strange man who erupts uncontrollably into cackling laughter at the most inappropriate moments. 

This, of course, is due to a real medical condition called pseudobulbar affect (PBA). It is characterized by involuntary and intermittent bouts of crying, laughter, or other emotional displays, which are disconnected and even exaggerated from the individual's actual emotional state. It is most commonly caused by brain injuries or neurological disorders that impact how the brain processes emotion. 

I don’t know about you but this is a fascinating film that has Joaquin Phoenix in a spellbinding and unforgettable role. He gives us a daring yet disturbing performance that gutsily invites us to endear ourselves to Arthur Fleck, that much-maligned character whom he assumes. 

And I can still remember that chilling line in the wickedly weighty movie: “Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?” 

US health officials on Thursday reported 2,172 confirmed and probable cases and 3 more deaths from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping (right), taking the death toll to 42, so far this year. 

Health officials last week also dubbed the discovery of Vitamin E acetate – believed to be used as a cutting agent in illicit vaping products containing marijuana components – in all lung samples from 29 patients as a breakthrough in their investigation. 

Investigators have not linked the cases to any specific product or compound, but have pointed to vaping oils containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, as being especially risky.

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