31 December 2023

2023 at Eternium's Gate: Movie Moments, Songs, and THRILLS

It's time here now, at the end of all things to talk about whatever else there is to talk about this year. 2023 wasn't too bad, right? I mean, the world always sucks. In terms of film and art we were stricken with the writers and actor's strikes and are really at the crux of art and technology. I don't know what's going to happen with the studio system, we're seeing a lot of what had been working over the last few years completely melt down. I mean, who cares, these movies are terrible. We really need to burn the entire industry down and start again.

Let's get into the fun! And of course we here at NMW have some boffo picks.

Comedic Performance of the Year

Kid Cudi in House Party (2023). That's right, I've been sitting on this for a year. There aren't even good clips of this shit. House Party was actually decent, although it assuredly did not push its premise far enough. The Kid Cudi scenes offer a glimpse into this much more out there film and it's fun to think of this dude carrying a whole movie. He's great!

Hero of the Year

It's Rocket in Guardians 3 (2023). I mean, that's the whole point of the movie. I think this third installment lacked the novelty of the first one and the heart of the second, but it's still upper tier stuff. Rocket is sidelined through most of the present film, but we see his origin through extensive flashbacks, a moral code developing that is fulfilled by the end. A close second is Pete Davidson in Transformers! You forgot about that one, didn't you.

Villain of the Year

I'm tempted to go with Mamoa in Fast X, but ultimately we have too little of this kind of insanity, which I guess was on purpose?! How could you? This franchise is so dead in the water, we really could have used some of his chaotic energy to spice it up. But no, let's go with BOWSER from the Super Mario Bros. Movie. They really found the zone between his goofiness and threateningness and of course adding a signature Jack Black song gave us THE Movie song of the year (until "I'm Just Ken" came along). He's monstrous but also totally in character. A great villain.

Actors of the Year

This is tough. The obvious is just Margot Robbie, right? Can we go with Chris Melton or Ayo Edebiri? Chris Pratt was technically in two of the biggest films of the year, but it doesn't feel like he was ubiquitous. Can we go Jonathan Majors? Oof. Kang really should have been the greatest villain, him appearing in multiple platforms as a legit threat could have been a really cool way to show him encroaching on the entire MCU. Some What Ifs would have been great. Whomp-whomp. Creed III, too, but that was a bit of a thud. Is it weird to say Matt Damon had a big year? Same with Joaquin Phoenix, and Nicolas Cage. And Jason Statham was in a ton of movies!

Let's go Dave Bautista. Knock at the Cabin gave him indie cred and Guardians 3 gave him blockbuster cred. He's still a rising star and has a lot more interesting roles in him. I was thinking Florence Pugh or uhhh....Taylor Swift? But I think this is Margot Robbie's year again! Barbie is just a great film, the #1 film of the year somehow, and it doesn't work without Robbie.

Scenes of the Year

In no real order,  here are our favorites:

MCU's First F-Bomb I mean, I laughed out loud, an unreal way to send-off these guys.
I'm Just Ken - probably the #1 scene. The production is insane, I love re-watching and seeing the guys just dancing in the background. It's so incredibly melodramatic and the song is a genuine banger. Also the greatest film of the year climaxes with interpretive dance. Brillian.
All of Saltburn, but let's go with this. No clips exist, but if you know you know.
Jason Statham vs. Shark. The Meg 2 was somehow far superior to its predecessor and deserves a lot of moments here. Let's go with the entire final battle. Also, this movie mostly took place in the Trench, which I guess is the title, but the trailers were totally just this scene.
Oppenheimer crowd Most folks will go with Trinity, but THIS is the scene, man. This is where Oppie realizes the world-ending chain reaction.
Spider-Prowler super ending spoiler but damn is this well crafted
the stop motion alien in Asteroid City man I didn't like this movie but this was rad
John Wick Sacre-Coeur an OK end to two OK films after two great films, but John Wick falling down stairs was funny
DnD glitch I don't think I laughed harder at anything in this fun but not actually well written at all film.

Songs of 2023

This was a big year for music that was Spanish jibberish to my ears, along with Taylor Swift, and female rap artists. What a terrible year for racist uncles. You still got Morgan Wallen.

What do I like? "Paint the Town Red" by Doja Cat or "Hot City" by Bonnie McKee. The Barbie Album was non-stop bangers. "Kill Bill" SZA had a big year. And Olivia Rodrigo might not be an industry plant! Her wit reminds me of like 2017 Taylor Swift. And I'm a Gorillaz fan so it was a lot of fun to get Cracker Island on our butts. "Lil Boo Thing" is fun, feels like an old song.

That's it for 2023! What a wonderful year! Next year will be a big crossroads for Hollywood - mergers, streaming failures, non-superheroes and more! Stay tuned, folks!

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