Anyone who knows me knows I love movies. And more specifically, I love going to the movies. As someone who sees about two movies or more a week on average, I have not only memorized Nicole Kidman’s AMC monologue but have formed a pretty critical eye for movies.
Don’t get me wrong, I can still have fun watching something fundamentally bad. But I’m also known amongst my friends for having very harsh opinions — I won’t hold back. And so I wanted to share my very uncensored opinion on the movies in 2023 I want to see and the ones that I wish would never come out.
Shazam! Fury Of the Gods
Opening: March 17, 2023
Initial Feeling: Meh
Anyone else sorta sick of superhero movies? Of course, there can still be good superhero movies if done right. But I’m sick of these superhero movies — the ones with generic, overly done CGI worlds, predictable action, no stakes, random and convenient solutions, and 20380238432 quips per second. And this seems to be DC’s attempt at catering to the unwaveringly loyal fans of this genre who somehow still clap whenever a superhero or celebrity “surprises” us by showing up in a Marvel film.
I remember the first Shazam being good. Not offensively good or bad. Just good. It was enjoyable to watch and had some funny moments. But (and this won’t be popular) I didn’t like the scene where all the kids randomly had powers and kicked butt. This is something that superhero films rely on way too often and it just has no impact on me at this point.
Oh, and Zachary Levi is not Jewish.
Will I See It? Sure, why not.
John Wick Chapter 4
Opening: March 24, 2023
Initial Feeling: Oh, sweet!
I’ll admit, when I initially heard that a new John Wick was coming I was excited. The non-stop, mindless action of the previous films was the right balance of entertaining and adrenaline-pumping. I’m a sucker for movie violence, I must say, and the John Wick films had a lot of unapologetically violent moments that didn’t care how realistic or believable it was. And neither did I.
The plots of the John Wick films have always been flimsy but nobody is there for the plot. The film itself even knows that, proudly parading around its weak premise of a man killing 100s of people over a dog — something surprisingly relatable to many pet parents in a fantastical kind of way. Revenge is always a satisfying thing to see, especially when done so dangerously.
But this new John Wick film lost me when I saw the trailer for the second time. It looks so convoluted with its stupid High Table plot. The trailer didn’t really even show a lot of potentially violent scenes and instead seemed to have a focus on this absurdly pointless political-type drama. Trust me, I don’t give a crap about the hierarchy and inner-most workings of the High Table.
The director did note, however, that Chapter 4 might not have a “happy ending” for Keanu Reeves’ beloved character. The stakes are higher than ever.
Will I See It? Most definitely.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Opening: March 31, 2023
Initial Feeling: Oh brother…
I play Dungeons & Dragons. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’ve played as an android oracle and a dragonborn druid. But don’t worry if you don’t know what that means — this movie is completely removed from Dungeons & Dragons at its core. While the trailer revealed some familiar beasts, the plot, atmosphere, and vibe of the film has nothing to do with Dungeons & Dragons beyond using its name in the title. This is a snoozefest of a blockbuster attempt if I’ve ever seen one.
To me, this movie feels like its relying on a familiar name to create more hype for an otherwise generic action film. The trailer is completely void of anything novel or exciting, and the dialogue is straight out of my nightmares. At one point, a character sees a dude beating up some other dudes and says, “I’m glad he’s on our side.” Are you serious? This is the most uninspiring and generic quip I’ve ever heard and you still felt it was good enough to put in the trailer? That makes me fearful of how bad the rest of the dialogue is.
This movie is sure to get the job done. You’ll be semi-entertained. You’ll laugh sometimes. You’ll see some CGI action. This will be enough for fans of action films and nostalgic nerds alike to pretend it’s a satisfying film. And it is if you don’t care about Dungeon & Dragon’s actual potential as a universe.
Will I See It? Begrudgingly because my friends have already said they will.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Opening: April 7, 2023
Initial Feeling: Noooooo
You can tell I’m a hater by now, right? I’m a proud hater and haven’t tried to hide it. But let me explain. I’m a huge Nintendo fan. I’ve played since the N64 from Mario Kart to Super Mario Bros. to the platformers and 3D World to Mario Party to even Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Yes, I even played the Wii and don’t regret it. So yes, I am quite protective of the Mario universe and initially didn’t want it destroyed for profit by none other than Illumination.
I. Hate. Illumination. I HATE the Minions. Illumination has terrible character designs, relies on pop culture references for jokes, and uses celebrities instead of professional voice actors. They put in random music and have dance numbers. So when I heard they were going to be taking on the Mario Bros. Movie I was distraught.
Working in the game industry, however, I’ve been following the movie quite closely and have studied all of the trailers. And honestly? It doesn’t look too bad. I fear what horrible jokes and references may be hidden within the movie, but the trailers show a very colorful and vibrant take on the Mushroom Kingdom that is full of life. The characters look great, especially my unsung hero Toad. The callbacks to the games are nice so far. Peach seems pretty badass.
I’m still skeptical but I have an open mind and am hoping for the best.
Will I See It? Let’s a go!
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
Opening: May 5, 2023
Initial Feeling: Get over it already
When I first saw this trailer I took comfort in someone saying “one last ride” at one point. Basically, there was a reference to this being the last of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies! I was overcome with emotion at the notion of this possibly finally being the last time I’d be forced by my friends to see another generic Marvel movie full of 230483208 boring characters and repeated references and jokes for 2.5 hours!
When I tell you I can’t remember anything about this trailer it’s because it’s just a bunch of CGI nonsense, overdone and boringly perfect space environments, and the same ol’ characters saying the same ol’ crap once again. During Thor Ragnarök I counted the amount of times they made a joke about the goat screaming. This time, I will probably see how many times we are supposed to laugh at Groot saying his own name. I’m sure once I see the movie I’ll also notice many more repetitive jokes I can keep track of in an attempt to keep myself awake.
Like every other superhero film, I will most likely fall asleep during the action because — let’s be real — we all know how it will end. NOBODY important will die. And if they do, they’ll come back later anyway. There are no stakes and no tension and I don’t care what happens.
Will I See It? If my friends pay for popcorn
Opening: May 19, 2023
Initial Feeling: Zzzzzz
Fast & Furious became boring when directors started being aware. The last Fast & Furious movie had Ludacris driving a car in space and we all know that was based on the meme about the movies becoming so insane that they would be in space next. Don’t steal our joke, Justin Lin. So after being a self-aware meme, what’s really next? What could top a car in space?
Honestly, the trailer wasn’t as over-the-top as I expected. In fact, it was boring. I can’t even remember any of it right now except for the word “family” being used every few seconds. But the action? I truly can’t recall a single moment. Looks like another half-assed sequel with nothing original about it coasting off the fact that it’s a popular franchise.
Will I See It? I have the AMC Pass so yes, but this doesn’t even look funny bad
The Little Mermaid
Opening: May 26, 2023
Initial Feeling: Another Disney “live action” thing
The trailer is so vague that I can’t really say much about it other than that the ocean animation looks great and that I’m glad for the diversity. Honestly, I would be lying if I didn’t feel more fueled to see it due to the hate the trailer received from weirdos who suddenly felt very strongly about the representation of bright red hair on mermaids in films. But I also wonder if Disney made this choice with the drama in mind since I feel they haven’t handled diversity very organically and effectively in the past.
Still, seeing the heartwarming reaction to seeing representation in a classic Disney story is enough to make me support The Little Mermaid. And I’m excited to see how they handle a lot of the other elements of this film, including the musical numbers, Sebastian, and what the people world will look like. Will it be a masterpiece? Probably not. But I think I’ll like it for what it is.
Will I See It? Yep! Hopefully opening weekend.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Opening: June 2, 2023
Initial Feeling: Oh, nice
When it comes to superhero films, the first animated Spider-Man film was most definitely my favorite. The stylish comic-book animation paired with the fun action and quirky humor was really refreshing in a sea of generic Marvel films. I especially loved Spider Noir and Peni Parker. It was a great film about family, trust, and believing in yourself that kept you drawn in with stunning visuals.
A lot of times when great films announce a sequel I get pretty frustrated. Why can’t it just end on a good note? Why can’t we just remember it fondly? But the trailer was promising. I like the focus on his relationship and his continued inner-growth. The trailer also hints at a few interesting new characters and a lot of action.
Will I See It? Definitely an opening weekend must!
Opening: June 16, 2023
Initial Feeling: Hell yeah
When The Flash was first announced back in like 1845, I was so excited. I really liked Ezra Miller’s portrayal of Flash in 2017’s Justice League and his on-the-spot decision to mention that Flash is Jewish in an adlib. This made Flash cannonly Jewish in the DCEU. Unfortunately, Miller has become very problematic since then and I’m no longer as happy to see them portraying Flash (or a Jewish person).
It’s an interesting choice to not recast. But aside from Miller, I can say that I still am looking forward to see more of Flash’s backstory. The recent DC movies — the ones that start with “the” — have been really killing the gritty, intense feeling of a superhero comic in my opinion. The Joker, The Suicide Squad, The Batman… I have to say that it’s been quite refreshing instead of watching superheroes eat gyros and make jokes about being superheroes all day.
From the trailer, it looks like The Flash will be another more serious superhero movie. But you can probably expect some witty lines from Miller, who has previously portrayed Flash as being a pretty quirky Jewish guy. I’m a bit conflicted about this entire thing.
Will I See It? Most likely
Indiana Jones & The Dial Of Destiny
Opening: June 30, 2023
Initial Feeling: Okay
I’ll be real with you — I’m not an Indiana Jones fan. I don’t even think I’ve watched any of old films in full. I have, however, ridden the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland countless times. So when I saw the trailer for this new film I immediately thought, “Alright, another old IP getting a new film instead of directors coming up with entirely new concepts.”
But the movie itself looks harmless. It looks fine. It looks like a generic action film except that an old man is the main character. I would say this is a unique element but Hollywood has been having a field day with “isn’t this old man a real badass?” movies for the past few years. Boomers beating up Millennials has been a pretty big thing in a lot of movies, including Nobody and anything by Clint Eastwood. We get it, old guys are sick.
I think this film will be fun and good. I think it’s awesome to see Harrison Ford reprise his classic role. I think this movie will be forgotten a few days after it’s seen.
Will I See It? For sure
Mission — Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part One
Opening: July 14, 2023
Initial Feeling: Whatever
Speaking of “old man is a badass” movies…
Will I See It? Blah, probably
Opening: July 21, 2023
Initial Feeling: Interesting
I was never a Barbie girl. I was a remote control car and plushie girl. But this movie looks like a lot of fun. The plot is simple: Barbie ends up in the real world. This is such a classic 90s and early 2000s plot that is sure to bring the nostalgia on so many levels. The fun outfits, the bubbly personalities, the wacky concept right out of our childhoods? This is sure to be a fun movie.
Will it be some huge hit with astounding cinematography? Probably not. Does it matter? Probably not. I just want to see Barbie get into some wacky shenanigans.
Will I See It? Definitely!
Opening: July 21, 2023
Initial Feeling: Ooooh
I’m a sucker for this time period in movies. I love the outfits, the cars, the overall vibe. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this is sure to be an incredibly intense film that should be seen in IMAX. A black and white IMAX film? It just sounds like a thrilling experience.
The trailer alone gives me goosebumps. The film centers around physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists during the Manhattan Project, leading to the development of the atomic bomb. It’s going to be an emotionally charged roller coaster that will have you at the edge of your seat.
Will I See It? ASAP!
Opening: August 11, 2023
Initial Feeling: Okay, I like it
This is not your standard video game adaptation. While it shares the same name of the iconic racing game, the Gran Turismo movie is actually about a teenager who won some Gran Turismo video game competitions and then became an actual professional race car driver. What’s even crazier is that it’s actually based on a true story!
Will I See It? Most likely
The Nun 2
Opening: September 8, 2023
Initial Feeling: NOOO!
If you thought I hated Marvel, wait until you hear how much I f@&$! hate the Conjuring Universe. I cringe even writing such a phrase. I hate the corny couple that stars in this “universe” and found it almost painful to watch them fight whatever “demon” was antagonizing them in some allegedly dramatic final moment of another dull PG-13 ghost film.
The Nun is specifically a crap horror movie concept. The bad CGI nun just isn’t scary and the jump scares are cheap and predictable. The visuals are flat, the story is weak, and it’s just not creepy. There’s no tension. No atmosphere. It’s probably my least favorite “horror” movie ever made. The scariest part is that they bothered trying to take money from idiotic teenagers with a second Nun film.
Will I See It? To make fun of it, if a friend asks me to
Opening: October 27, 2023
Initial Feeling: Nice
On the other hand, Saw is a horror movie franchise I can get behind. I love the psychological aspect behind the films, the creative gore and the tension of each challenge, and the over-the-top life lessons. The goofily twisty plot is beyond entertaining to me. Like doing brain surgery on Jigsaw? Come on. It’s just ridiculous enough to be great.
Saw X is said to take place between Saw and Saw II. This could be quite the interesting look at Jigsaw’s life and his relationships, especially when it comes to Amanda, his successor. It’s sure to be a bit convoluted but if it means more crazy gore and insane torture devices, I’m down.
Will I See It? Opening night!
Opening: November 10, 2023
Initial Feeling: Stop
Will I See It? No
Other Movies To Look For In 2023:
- Tetris, March 31, 2023: An over-the-top look at the story behind the old-school game (Eh)
- Beau is Afraid, April 21, 2023: Weird surreal movie starring Joaquin Phoenix (Definitely)
- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, June 9, 2023: CGI car gods with no personality (Nah)
- Asteroid City, June 23, 2023: Wes Anderson’s film about a 1955 Junior Stargazer convention (Heck yeah)
- Haunted Mansion, July 28, 2023: Disney adaptation of a ride… (Nah)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, August 4, 2023: Seth Rogan’s zany animated story of the crime fighting turtles (For sure)
- The Exorcist, October 13, 2023: A follow-up of the original 70s horror classic (Sure)
- The Killer, November 10, 2023: A neo-noire thriller based on a French graphic novel (Definitely)
- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, November 17, 2023: Whatever (Nah)
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, December 25, 2023: DC superhero thing (Eh, I guess)