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Opinion: The top ten movies of 2023

Edited by GreenReaper
Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

2023 movies

This year’s list contains movies directed by Wes Anderson, Greta Gerwig, Hayao Miyazaki, Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese.

It also contains two adaptations of toy properties and two Marvel movies! Got to let people know it’s still me.

So, a few words of explanation before we begin, but this is a top ten list of movies, and that shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. I’m going by commercial theatrical release rather than, say, film festival release to count as a 2023 movie, but there aren’t any borderline cases here to begin with. This is not a furry list, which should also be pretty obvious. I’ve been doing this since 2011, and people do occasionally grumble, but the editors keep running it, anyway. Going the other way, if anyone is actually interested in my other non-furry movie opinions, I did join Letterboxd last year. Also, I traditionally give out a blatant attempt to tilt the Ursa Majors Best Furry Movie mention, and for 2023, that movie is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Now for the main event! Keep in mind all picks, good or bad, are from me. Film titles and posters link to IMDB or Flayrah reviews for more information. Have fun!

John Wick Chapter 4
The Marvels
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves
Godzilla Minus One
2022-6-drstrange2.jpg

10. John Wick: Chapter 4

Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Of the four John Wick movies, I still like Chapter 3 the best. But I interrupted my own mini-review of the best episode of Helluva Boss to gush about the dragon’s breath shotgun scene in this movie, so it’s fair to say I enjoyed this one, too.

There’s not a lot to say about John Wick movies, other than they are really well done action movies. I mean, that’s the point, right? I could tell you how exciting some of the action scenes are, but this movie is perhaps best explained by watching it. It effectively asks, “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if our action hero did this?” and then having the stunt men do that.

9. The Marvels

Directed by: Nia DaCosta
My number nine spot I traditionally reserve for my “really, you’re going with that?” pick, which often means going with a movie that the consensus has mostly agreed was bad. I don’t even have an argument against that, but I like it anyway. The Marvels is an unusual case, because it’s not “bad” (people are just mean), it’s still a good movie, but it’s not great, either.

So, why a spot at all? Well, while mostly being just another slightly-above-average Marvel flick, one scene wound up being my favorite of the year. It was so great, I won’t spoil it, but I will say, it also means my number nine spot still fits in with another running gag with my number nine spots.

8. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves

Directed by: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
I’m doing a year end top ten list, and honestly, I would not be surprised if the thing that annoys people more than anything else is that I basically called Dungeons & Dragons a toy property in my introduction. Well, I’m not going to take it back, and further double down that the movie understands its property very well, and makes a fun movie out of its toy.

Furthermore, this one could be considered borderline furry, for those interested in keeping up the quota. Plenty of magical creatures, both anthropomorphic and non-. One main character can transform herself into a variety of animals; there’s inventive uses of this power throughout.

7. Godzilla Minus One

Directed by: Takashi Yamazaki
This is a Godzilla movie that does two things that are very hard for Godzilla movies to get right. First of all, it made Godzilla scary in a personal way. He’s too big and powerful to target individuals. But in Godzilla Minus One, whether it was an early scene featuring a pre-atomic Godzilla, or a scene where he chases a lone wooden boat, he focuses on individuals in way he hasn’t in the past.

But those individuals being menaced are also one of the few times the human characters are actually really worth caring about in a Godzilla movie (which also helps with the menace). Oftentimes in a kaiju movie, the human story feels superfluous - or, let’s face it, just plain bad. But in Godzilla Minus One, acting, writing and themes come together to finally actually give us humans worth worrying about at an individual level.

6. Killers of the Flower Moon

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Living in Oklahoma, I’m basically surrounded by the American destruction of entire native cultures. Looking back at my education, I feel lucky to have had teachers that didn’t shy away from pointing out that this was not really my land. But, at the end of the day, they were still a bunch of white people.

Oppenheimer
Barbie
The Boy and the Heron
Asteroid City

And so is Martin Scorsese, in case you’re unaware. But he went even farther, getting closer to the story. Maybe not yet as close as we really need, but closer, anyway. The true story this movie is based on is still not widely known, even in Oklahoma. At least it wasn’t, until the movie came out.

5. Oppenheimer

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Yes, I did Barbenheimer, opening night. Of course I did! It was fun. It wasn’t a really big deal where I was from (that was last entry’s movie), but it was fun. Admittedly, fun isn’t a word I’d readily use to describe the movie Oppenheimer. It’s a somber piece. Though it had scenes in black-and-white and color, unusually, it was the color scenes that came out more somber.

Ironically, a major strength of Oppenheimer (or Godzilla Minus Two, as a possible alternative title) may have actually hurt it a bit as a part of Barbenheimer. The bomb goes off, and I was ready to go home, especially after already watching Barbie. That’s where biopic movies like this usually end, right? But Oppenheimer, like the life of its protagonist, keeps on going. It’s not just about doing the thing. It’s about the consequences of doing the thing.

4. Barbie

Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Okay, practical advice, if you’re going to do a double feature, whether it’s an at home Barbenheimer or something else down the road, aways start with the lighter feature. Going into the comedy in a somber mood doesn’t do anyone any favors.

That’s why I did Barbie first. And I’m glad I went that way, because going into this in a somber mood would have put me out of an otherwise great experience. Maybe I’m just a sucker for meta comedies over portentous biopics, but I was probably always going to like Barbie more. Unlike Oppenheimer, I can describe Barbie as fun without it coming out weird!

3. The Boy and the Heron

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
I like a good ghost story, and the first half of this movie is definitely that. The Heron is a genuinely creepy “ghost”, and I liked that. The second half isn’t bad, either, though it’s the first half that really got stuck in my throat. It could have made a very good supernatural horror movie, if desired.

Of course, this is not the first time Miyazaki has told a similar story. Even Totoro started out as a bit of a “ghost”, just much more benign than the Heron. But Miyazaki can get darker when he wants to, and this is maybe the closest he’s come to wanting to do a good supernatural horror movie.

2. Asteroid City

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson is one of those directors I’ve started to count on, almost take for granted. Oh, he’s got a movie out this year? Well, there’s a spot in my top ten list taken care of. Probably top five. Heck, probably second, if there’s not something furrier that more appeals to my specific cinematic fetishes out that year. Ahem. [More than we needed to know, crossie…]

But Asteroid City is still a weird, wild movie for Anderson. It’s his first science fiction story, probably. He’s obviously done fantasy before, but there’s something special about Wes Anderson science fiction. He may not even get science fiction, but that’s okay. He just keeps telling the story, and I just keep watching.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Directed by: James Gunn
So, how’s this for a twist? Since I didn’t really get to talk about it when I reviewed it as I didn’t want to run afoul of spoiler-phobes, I’m going to complain about my favorite movie of the year for it’s top ten blurb! Still wish they could’ve found something, anything, to do with Lylla the otter other than just fridge her (again!), but, to be fair, it’s not like she did much in the comics but be a damsel in distress.

Oh, well. Also wish Jame Gunn, given the perfect opportunity to bow out of comic book movies on top, wouldn’t have just gone right back to them, except not even with any talking animals, next time. Then again, he just seems to like comic books. And he does seem to make good ones. So, never mind the quibbles, favorite movie of the year.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Opinions are like nipples....

Top ten movies? Gosh who watches that crap?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Opinions are like nipples....

Pretty awesome, actually?

Look, you can rag on me all you want, but nipples do not need to be catching your strays, here.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

I think you totally missed the point. Anyhoo, he wasn't "ragging" you as it were. He said the movies were crap.
Oh wait, you're a furry, woke as fuck and your feels got hurt... Jesus Christ, because someone says who watches that crap, which, if I look at it, its ALL CRAP I won't be watching at all, because its, erm, well, crap, you're already offended.

Are those piercings too much to bear? I hear that having them removed and retiring them does bring relief.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Oppenheimer was based for nuking Japan.
But can you really say he was a furry?

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

In those days this furry shit didn't exist probably.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

Count this as my traditional grumbling.

The only film there that I've seen is Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves and it was really good! Maybe not perfect filmmaking or whatever weird things film snobs look for but it was so much fun! And I watch films to be entertained.

"Looking back at my education, I feel lucky to have had teachers that didn’t shy away from pointing out that this was not really my land."

...then whose land is it? When will it belong to the people that actually live there?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

Well, technically, I grew up in an area literally called "No Man's Land" in state who's official song contains the lyrics "we belong to the land", so my answer is to your questions is "no one's" and "never was and never will be". But thanks for being racist in addition to being tedious this time, a switchup every now and then is appreciated.

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How do you manage to get racist out of that? The fact is that borders and land ownership change over time, they always have. I'm curious to know when you think that changes. Because saying it's not US land, seems to me not to be too different from Putin's justification for invading Ukraine or the Reichsbürgers rejecting the German government. We don't claim that most of Asia is really the Mongol Empire or that everything around the Mediterranean should still be the Roman Empire. So how are you deciding who should own land? The first one there forever and for always? Do you feel that pretty much every country is stolen land?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

I don't know if you've realized after spending so much time interacting with people on the internet, but peppering questions is not really seen as a position of strength these days.

If you don't know about the history of indigenous Americans at this point, or where you can go to find those answers on your own then I don't know what to tell you. Especially given you have a PhD.

Some of us are working 60 hours a week while you sit hear asking questions you have clearly shown you should be able to find the answers to on your own.

How a person feels, or doesn't feel about said history is not really your's to change. And peppering questions isn't some form of exorcism that you're going to use to convince people away from said feelings. Especially when your statements after the first question showed that the first question may have been less than genuine and you kind of knew what was being alluded to.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

The questions I am asking here are not questions of fact, they are questions of opinion. I can't look up another person's opinion, I can only ask that person.

The reason I ask here is mixed. Partly I am interested in the thinking behind the position and partly I am interested in whether that same thinking is applied consistently in other places. At the moment there seems to be a bit of a movement, particularly in the US, where similar historical events are interpreted very differently according to who a person considers good or bad. For example, seeing the Spanish colonists and conquerors as bad people who destroyed the indigenous civilisation but not seeing the Aztec as bad even though they also conquered the other local tribes and brought them under their rule.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

This one kind of hit me out of nowhere, but ...

For example, seeing the Spanish colonists and conquerors as bad people who destroyed the indigenous civilisation but not seeing the Aztec as bad even though they also conquered the other local tribes and brought them under their rule.

... who the fuck is making movies about fucking conquistadors and Aztecs? Is this like a thing in Europe or something?

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In response to your final question: Duh.

I mean, never mind the Roman Empire, the fighting in Gaza is based on the land occupied by a kingdom that you probably don't even believe in during a time period that pre-dates the Roman Empire. And the most sacred part of their sacred texts, when not spelling out the rules, is basically "the story of how we stole our kingdom from the people already living there".

But, in the specific case of the incidents behind Killers of the Flower Moon, the land was literally stolen from people who had legal ownership of the land according to the laws of the U.S. by a combination of fraud, extortion and straight up murder. And you are kind of putting words in my mouth; I said this should be acknowledged, I never said any action should be taken. In the specific case of the story of the movie, when people were (finally) caught using illegal tactics to illegally steal land, they were (more or less) punished for their crimes. But in the case of the American West in general (or most other cases of colonization/conquest through war/etc./etc.), no, I'm not arguing we should give it all back to the Native Americans, and I didn't fucking say that.

But you and your ilk, Rakuen, are so fucking fragile you can't even take someone pointing out the fucking fact that some people that kind of looked like you fucked over and took advantage of and fucking straight up murdered another group of people that kind of don't look like you for fucking oil (it's not always fucking oil, but it sure has been a lot recently). Maybe reparations are needed for certain crimes of the past; maybe not. I don't know! But I can't fucking learn the answer if you're not even willing to entertain the idea that you shouldn't get everything you want, Rakuen, which, remember when we talked about cultural appropriation and AI and free speech I pointed out you take the side that gets you more every time. The best you could come back was with, "well, vegetarian", oh, wow, the one fucking sacrifice you make ... which also allows you to be an annoying dick to restaurant staff without feeling guilt.

The cultural appropriation is why I know you're racist, because, my stupid, racist little friend, if you were in Osage, Oklahoma in the 1930s, you would totally be killin' some Osage. You would. You're literal argument for why "appropriation" is okay without permission is because, "oh, it's okay, I was going to use it better than the people who originally owned it, anyway" and that is the exact reasoning the murderers of used. The only difference is they wanted land and you want culture, or what you would be willing to lie, cheat and steal (and perhaps even murder) for. You have told me, repeatedly, and even proudly that you think you are superior to other peoples and that you know better than them what to do with their own culture.

THAT IS RACISM, YOU STUPID FUCK.

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This was a very weird reply. The first half actually answers my questions (and clarifies what you originally meant) but the second half is really weird and more often than not based on completely misinterpretations of my positions.

For clarification, I don't mind people "someone pointing out the fucking fact that some people that kind of looked like you fucked over and took advantage of and fucking straight up murdered another group of people that kind of don't look like you for fucking oil (it's not always fucking oil, but it sure has been a lot recently)." It doesn't bother me in the slightest because they aren't my actions.

As for the sacrifices conversation, I do remember that. I also explained why it was a poor argument and gave two (arguably three) examples. You might also recall that only did you accept my point at the time but when you followed up with more "semi-veiled insults" (your words), I again pointed out how they were wrong and I was not just basing my positions on self-interest.

I really don't understand why your response is so vitriolic and when you seemed to get such a warped opinion of me. It's quite a stretch to go from being in favour of mixing cultures to "you'd be okay with killing people over land." There's a big difference between those and, since my stance on violence is generally pacificism, it really doesn't fit with my values at all. You're really twisting my words, I did not claim to know better than people what to do with their own culture. My position is that we should be separated by race and we should embrace other cultures and the aspects of them which improve our own. Unless we've gone completely down the rabbit hole, separating people by race is racism, a society which embraces diversity is the opposite.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

My position is that we should be separated by race

Uh, let's just say I do respect you enough to think this is a really unfortunate typo and there should be a "n't" at the end of your "should" (especially as your concluding sentence thankfully contradicts this statement). But I do still object to this:

we should embrace other cultures and the aspects of them which improve our own.

#DontHugMeBro, but once again, we're seeing your fuzzy understanding of "consent". If another culture wants to help you improve your culture by sharing theirs, sure, fine, but if someone says they don't want you to take their shit, usually it's at least rude to, you know, take their shit. The ends do not justify the means; progress and improvement through theft leads to cultural trauma. And don't tell me that's not real; it's real enough you apparently have an avoidance complex to even the idea that crimes of the past might still have consequences today to the point you apparently got offended by me even saying they happened. (You also don't like consequences in general, if I recall.)

Your statement implies that "improving" your culture is more important than respecting someone else's; that's the really racist part, because the implication is that, once again, your culture is more important. Your racism is not a racism based on hatred of other races, but in entitled sense of superiority. Your ethos in most things is basically, "You should let me play with your toys because I can play with them better than you." (You actually do kind of keep implying this; you lack a certain sense of humility, Rakuen.) It's not that you believe your "race" is superior, but you do believe your "culture" is, and you refuse to acknowledge that your culture does advantage your race (but that's a whole 'nother thing).

Your feelings on violence are a bit beside the point; you commit intellectual violence, like, all the time, and argued passionately in defence of sexual violence to the point you're kind of notorious for it. Your protests of innocence along those lines is a matter of degree, at best. You have sided with intellectual thieves and rapists before; maybe you're more the "defraud" than "murder", but stealing is something you are very capable of justifying to yourself. If I sound vitriolic, it's because I am. You are kind of the anthropomorphic personification of the idea of the "banality of evil" sometimes.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Evil is really just a matter of opinion. But I'm not quite sure what this has to do with furry or movies.

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (3 votes)

Look, you're the one responsible for this Libertarian Experiment in Moderation (You Kind of Got Bored With a Decade Ago) we call a comment section, so, you know, mind your business.

If I was really disrespecting Rakuen, I'd imply unnatural congress with his dearly departed mother. But, also, he started it.

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So I suppose pedophilia is also a matter of opinion.
Now I full understand, so much so, my brain wants to explode.
This explains such an awful lot, and furthermore why there's the constant stench of pedo and zoo everywhere furfags are present.

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It's more evident in the general population. Because of the publicity the furry fandom receives, it may look like it's more evident in the fandom, which is entirely backward. When looking at the issue of pedophilia, there are many more pedophiles that have no ties to the fandom. The same can be said about zoophilia, giving a visit to, i don't know, an image board? That might show you the extent for zoophilia. Furthermore, Zoophilia used to be a very big thing in porn production in the early days of the internet. The general population (of zoophiles of course) consumed this content while furries who actively participated in such were open about it. The issue lies in the fact that the furry fandom will always seem like an oddball in the realm of the internet and will gain all types of attention, positive and negative. And people like you are too far up your ass to see that furries are more than what you like focusing on.

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Oof, yes. That's a bad typo.

I do not have some avoidance complex. I'm totally fine acknowledging what happened in the past. What I objected to was the view that somehow the past invalidates the present. It's one thing to say that a particular culture or war or whatever shouldn't have happened but it's another to act like it didn't. There can be time when some actions can be undone but as time moves on, that time runs out. There's no going back to the past. What happened happened and now we have to live with it.

Perhaps "improve" is not the right word. It's not about a superior culture, it's just about making one you feel more comfortable in. Like interior decorating. It's not that one style is necessarily better but you can have a preference. And perhaps you find that aspects of minimalism can be worked into your decorating to make it feel better. If one didn't respect parts of another culture, then why would they try and integrate them? No one says "Ugh, that's so horrible, let me make it a part of me."

There's not such a thing as intellectual violence. That's just a silly combination of words. And I've never defended sexual violence either. All I can say is that you have some very odd ideas.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (3 votes)

Honestly, you just compared culture to interior decorating; uh, yeah, that's in and of itself disrespectful. This design represents the most sacred and forbidden knowledge of your culture, but I think it looks really nice on top of my toilet's tank, so I'll just take that, thank you. You see how that might be a little, you know, rude?

But, I note you use a example of culture (minimalism) that a. comes from and is already a part of white European culture you belong to, b. was always intended to be shared, and c. is specifically a secular and non-religious example. You can't misappropriate that to begin with! But the problem with your takes on cultural misappropriation isn't that you specifically misappropriated anyone's culture; it's that you defended your right to should you choose to do so. Just keeping your options open. That's your thing, Rakuen. "I didn't do it, but here's why I could if I wanted to. I didn't steal your ideas without your permission, but here's why I could if I wanted to. I didn't scrape your art for my AI, but here's why I could if I wanted to. I didn't fuck the dog, but here's why I could if I wanted to." It's a pattern with you. Honestly, I would respect you more at this point if you just fucked the damn dog already! (Metaphorically speaking.)

Here's the other annoying bit:

It's one thing to say that a particular culture or war or whatever shouldn't have happened but it's another to act like it didn't.

Uh, Rakuen, I'm the one who watched, approved of and discussed a movie acknowledging and explaining a tragedy that occurred. You're the one who attacked me for doing so, while explicitly stating you have not seen it, and furthermore implying you have no interest in doing so. Part of the reason I am upset at you is that, for all intents and purposes, you seem to be the one trying to act like nothing bad happened.

There's no going back to the past.

You know what, buddy, maybe there is, maybe there isn't. But you know what? It's not your past! You don't get a fucking say!

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Look it's this one again...
Oh my gosh.. where then, pray tell is your land?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I gotta put in a good word for this year's Unicorn Wars, a Spanish-language animated movie concerning a disturbing sibling rivalry between teddy bear brothers. Highly recommended.

LOL at the "visitors" who were triggered enough to post here about "crap" without offering their own examples of anything better. Lazy.

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