20 Movies on My Radar in 2023
Greetings! It’s Oscar Sunday and I thought it might be a good idea to have a post about the 2023 movie slate. Honestly, my free time is being gobbled up by errands and gaming. I haven’t seen a single movie this year, but that will change eventually. Next week, I’ll give you my reactions to the Oscars. I’ve lost faith in the Academy Awards, but the aftermath might be worth discussing. In the meantime, let’s check out 20 movies on my radar in 2023. Enjoy!
This sci-fi action film came out a couple days ago. 2023 has a huge schedule, but I’m keeping my expectations very low. I had too many disappointments from the past few years. Now I’m just looking for some basic entertainment on digital or streaming. 65 seems like the right type of movie to scratch that itch. We’re talking about time travel, guns, and dinosaurs. Count me in!
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
I suppose the sequel to Aquaman is finally coming out during the holiday season. What’s going on with the DC universe? I hope they reboot the entire franchise pretty soon. Regardless, I really enjoyed the first Aquaman film and The Lost Kingdom could be one of the stronger sequels in the DC catalogue. I want to remain optimistic with this one because it might be the final entry in the current DC universe.
You’re going to see a handful of horror movies on my post. I always thought the concept of boogeyman lore was really interesting and creepy, but we don’t see many film adaptations. Originally, this movie was going to be a Hulu exclusive. It’s getting a theatrical release instead, which might be a good sign. Film studios will often move their streaming titles to theaters if the content is good.
I have to admit, this comedy horror film didn’t hit my radar until it received great reviews from critics and movie buffs. The idea of a bear high on cocaine is absurd, but weird things happen because this one was actually based on a true story. I heard the script is pretty good, which is surprising for any modern horror movie. I’ll wait for Cocaine Bear to drop on Peacock. It sounds like a fun popcorn viewing.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Truthfully, I think the trailers and marketing look really bad. However, I can’t resist a Dungeons & Dragons movie. All of the prior films adaptations of D&D were awful, but they have a certain level of charm and entertainment value. In today’s streaming landscape, dumb and fun is perfectly acceptable. Honor Among Thieves is coming out at the end of the month, so get ready for an adventure with CGI dragons.
Evil Dead Rise
I’m a huge fan of the Evil Dead franchise. However, it had recent missteps with the Ash vs. Evil Dead tv show and Evil Dead: The Game. Maybe Evil Dead Rise will bring some fresh material to the franchise. However, I feel skeptical because the red band trailer was super weird. I’m not sure what’s going on in this film. Hopefully, it’s just going to be a decent horror movie instead of an arthouse flick with excessive social commentary.
The Expendables 4
Is this action movie going to be good? I doubt it, but that’s not the point. The Expendables was always a parody and ode to blockbuster actions flicks. Again, I don’t have a problem with dumb fun. It might be a decent experience on the big screen for those of you who are still participating in theatrical attendance. Make sure you see it in IMAX!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
There was a time when I was excited for the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It still looks okay, but the trailers aren’t impressing me. Lately, Marvel is experiencing a decline and it makes me wonder if this film will be a shadow of the previous Guardians of the Galaxy entries. I’m pretty sure it will be the final movie with the original cast, so let’s see what happens. I’ll wait for digital or Disney+.
Here’s another Disney film that’s giving me conflicted thoughts. The ambiance, ghosts, and visual effects look perfect for a Haunted Mansion movie. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite rides at Disneyland. Unfortunately, the characters look terrible. It seems like the human characters might be bland and out of place in this type of movie. Hopefully, I’ll be wrong about that part. For some reason, Haunted Mansion is debuting in late July instead of the Halloween season.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
I have to laugh. Harrison Ford needs to retire from this role. Granted, it won’t stop me from watching this movie. Dial of Destiny looks underwhelming, but you never know. Trailers aren’t always an accurate measure of a film’s quality or entertainment value. I’m pretty sure this movie will either relaunch the Indiana Jones franchise or put it in the grave for good.
John Wick: Chapter 4
This action movie is on the top of my list for 2023. The John Wick franchise is infamous for exciting and innovative action scenes. It might not be heavy on the storytelling, but that’s not the main reason why people love this franchise. Keanu Reeves is a great fit for the titular character and I hope Chapter 4 can justify keeping the franchise alive. There comes a point when a movie has too many sequels and I hope the newest release won’t hit a roadblock.
Knock at the Cabin
Yeah, I’m late to the party for this unusual horror film. Knock at the Cabin is part of the M. Night Shyamalan catalogue, which means I expect it to be really weird. I’m a huge fan of the post-apocalyptic genre and this movie seems to be showcasing a doomsday prophecy. So far, I’ve avoided spoilers. At some point, I’ll either buy it digitally or wait for a release on Peacock. It might be interesting.
Kraven: The Hunter
Naturally, I expect this movie to be quite bad. How can I expect anything less after watching both Venom films and Morbius? That doesn’t mean I’m not curious. I thought Kraven was an excellent Spider-Man villain who was underutilized in live action media. We still haven’t seen him in a mainline Spider-Man movie, which is ludicrous. I suppose this spinoff is better than nothing.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter
Universal Pictures is on a roll. The plot for this film is under wraps, but it seems like a blend of mystery and horror. I was always fascinated by mysterious disappearances, like the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon. Perhaps, The Last Voyage of the Demeter will explore this concept. I just know this movie is about a doomed merchant ship. That’s all I need for now.
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning- Part One
I was considerably more excited for this film during the beginning of the pandemic. At this point, I’m getting tired of waiting. I must admit, Top Gun: Maverick was a pleasant surprise and the next Mission Impossible movie has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling because it has a dreaded label of Part One. That’s usually a terrible direction for filmmaking. I want to see a complete film instead of a prologue to something else. Hopefully, Paramount will surprise me.
The Nun 2
It seems like The Conjuring universe is in a steep decline. I wasn’t impressed with The Nun, but it’s watchable. Again, The Nun 2 might be a decent streaming movie. Nearly all of the films on today’s post are theatrical releases, but hardly any of them seem like significant experiences for the big screen. I’m keeping my expectations in check and maybe this one will be a little better than the first Nun movie.
Peter Pan & Wendy
Disney is releasing the live action Peter Pan film directly on Disney+. Should we be worried? Streaming services are usually a dumpling ground for bad movies. On the positive side, the debut trailer looks really interesting and a bit edgy. I’m not typically a Peter Pan fan, but this version might be in my wheelhouse. Disney is over-saturating the market with live action remakes and some of them could probably boost Disney+ subscriptions.
The most recent Scream film is in theaters now. I really enjoyed the previous entry in the Scream franchise, so I’m pretty excited for this one. Scream VI takes place in New York City, which is an entirely different setting for this IP. I actually think it’s a good idea because we have six Scream movies and a little bit of variety can keep franchises in good shape. At the moment, I’ll wait for this film to drop on Paramount+.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
I adore the first Shazam! movie, but this long awaited sequel is making me feel nervous. The trailers looks pretty shaky. It just seems like Warner Bros. is having issues with the DC brand. They struggled with Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, and Black Adam. It doesn’t give me a lot of confidence for the upcoming Shazam! film. Again, I just want it to be entertaining. I’m crossing my fingers.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Sure, the Transformers series is a total disaster. That doesn’t mean we can’t have a decent entry once in a while. Like many films this year, Rise of the Beasts is coming in the near future with minimal advertising. That usually means the film studio knows their movie has problems. Will it satisfy me? It might. I’m just looking for robot animals and explosive action scenes. It’s a pretty low bar.
That’s it! You’ve seen my current list of anticipated movies in 2023. Later in the year, I might give you a revised post. It seems like we’re getting quantity over quality in 2023, but Hollywood might prove me wrong. What are your most anticipated films this year? Are you planning to see any of these movies in theaters or waiting for streaming? Leave a comment. I’ll write my post about the Oscars next week. Most likely, the Oscars will be a huge mess, but that’s part of the fun. Be safe and I’ll see you again next week. Have fun watching the Oscars!
Welcome back! You already know I’m an author of post-apocalyptic fiction. Cinema has a wealth of unique dystopian settings that caught my attention. Some apocalyptic scenarios in films are more realistic while others are utterly preposterous. Regardless, I find it fascinating. Today, I’m covering 20 specific apocalyptic scenarios in movies. I could easily cover more, but 20 examples will keep me plenty busy.
It seems like violent alien invasions are a recurring fad in Hollywood. Aliens from a galaxy far away invade Earth simply to destroy everyone. I suppose annihilating planets is a hobby for some intergalactic travelers. The main story never changes, but I’ve seen many great creature effects in various films. Alien invasion movies range from classic horror to gigantic blockbusters. It’s not my favorite apocalyptic scenario, but it’s definitely popular.
Examples: Battle Los Angeles, Bird Box, The Blob, Independence Day, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Mars Attacks, Pacific Rim, A Quiet Place, The Tomorrow War, Transformers series,War of the Worlds
Angels and Demons
Occasionally, apocalyptic movies will have darkly religious themes. In some cases, the Antichrist or the minions of Hell try to take over the world. Other times, God’s Angels from Heaven rebel against mankind. Either way, it’s a disastrous scenario for the human race. Endings vary between hopeful and totally grim.
Examples: End of Days, Legion, The Omen, The Prophecy series
People assume we’ll remain on top of the food change, but that can change. Rarely, an apocalyptic movie will feature significant animal evolution that knocks human beings down several notches. Sometimes, animals evolve very quickly, and other times the story takes place many years in the future after gradual changes. Planet of the Apes also features human regression with caveman levels of intellect. Whether animals become sentient like humans or powerful enough to overtake the human race, it’s generally a scary situation.
Examples: After Earth, Love and Monsters, Planet of the Apes series
What happens when a single individual or a small group predicts the end of the world? Everyone mocks them. Unfortunately, the crazy weirdos are always right in apocalyptic movies. A sequence of deadly predictions comes true, usually with bigger and more frightening consequences as the film continues. Sometimes the protagonist can change these events, but it’s usually inevitable in most cases.
Examples: Knock at the Cabin, Knowing, Noah, Take Shelter
Dragons Burn Down Civilization
I’ve only seen this scenario in Reign of Fire, but it deserves to be on my post. It’s an apocalyptic movie with dragons! When you think about it, a real dragon invasion could be cataclysmic for mankind. Luckily, dragons are entirely fictional. Reign of Fire features a group of dragons who woke up from hibernation and burned down the world’s largest cities. They easily took down our military forces and reduced the world’s survivors to frightened hermits. Becoming a successful dragon slayer is a difficult task in this apocalyptic scenario.
Example: Reign of Fire
This example is uncommon in cinema, even though it’s one of the most likely and realistic apocalyptic situations. Perhaps, filmmakers avoid this one for a reason. It seems like global famines in movies have very little hope, which creates an incredibly bleak scenario. However, people found creative food alternatives in specific titles, such as Soylent Green and Blade Runner 2049. I must admit, slowly starving to death is a frightening concept.
Examples: Blade Runner 2049, Soylent Green
Audiences are tired of this situation, but it generates ticket sales and plenty of views on streaming services. Geographic disasters vary from earthquakes, tornadoes, tidal waves, and more. It’s common to see this scenario in blockbusters with impressive VFX and bad writing. Granted, nobody watches these movies for the plot. We just want to watch crazy action scenes. The rare exception for storytelling is Snowpiercer with an arctic wasteland setting, but that film is just weird.
Examples: 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Geostorm, Mortal Engines, San Andreas, Snowpiercer
Children of Men put this scenario on the public’s radar. It’s a depressing setting where the human race will go extinct within the next several years because the population is virtually infertile. One day, mankind will grow old, frail, and die. There’s a little bit of hope when an individual woman becomes pregnant, although it’s a highly dangerous revelation. Could this scenario happen in real life? I hope not, but you never know.
Example: Children of Men
Even animated films can have apocalyptic settings. Earth became a gigantic landfill in WALL-E. It’s a Disney movie, for crying out loud! Our ravenous consumption created tons of trash throughout generations. Eventually, the world became completely uninhabitable and mankind found blissful refuge on a huge space station. Over time, human beings became entirely dependent on AI helpers. Again, this situation might be too realistic for comfort in Hollywood and that might be the reason why we don’t see similar films.
Burned out Earths from the results of nuclear disasters are one of the most typical scenarios in apocalyptic films. Usually, the story takes place years or generations after the world was obliterated. I’ve seen variable tones and styles. Some of these movies are huge blockbusters while others are smaller indie releases. They can have horror elements or pretentious arthouse themes. It all boils down to the last humans on Earth who are fighting savagely for scarce resources.
Examples: The Book of Eli, The Last Survivors, Mad Max series, The Rover, Steel Dawn, Z for Zachariah
Only the Young and Beautiful
How do you keep the human race young and beautiful without genetic diseases? You kill everyone when they turn 30 years old. Problem solved. Logan’s Run is a false dystopia where everyone lives peacefully in absolute comfort. At age 30, people take place in elaborate public executions with the naive belief of being reborn. Naturally, death is permanent and it’s entirely a method to keep the human population under manageable control.
Example: Logan’s Run
Here’s another scenario that’s unique to a single film. Awake is a Netflix original movie that features a strange phenomenon. Somehow, every human being on the planet mysteriously loses their ability to sleep. Days pass and civilization slowly crumbles while people find desperate answers and solutions. For the record, sleep deprivation becomes fatal eventually, which means this apocalyptic scenario is downright alarming.
I’ve seen this scenario too many times. Many apocalyptic movies critique our dependence on technology with the rise of the machines. Various robots and AI devices rebel against mankind, which quickly becomes a losing battle for human beings. When people lose their technology, they become quite helpless against these machines. Most robot uprisings take the form of expensive blockbusters with elaborate action scenes.
Examples: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Matrix series, Terminator series, X-Men: Days of Future Past
Revenge of the Plants
This scenario might be one of the silliest apocalyptic settings, but it can be a fun watch. Once in a while, an apocalyptic film will feature sentient plants that try to wipe out mankind. Would this be a challenging task in real life? I’m not sure. Human beings have major fire power, but we shouldn’t underestimate nature. In cinema, sometimes the plants actually win.
Examples: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, The Happening, Little Shop of Horrors, The Ruins
Rising Sea Levels
I’m surprised this setting doesn’t appear in cinema more often. Granted, movies that feature water are often quite expensive. Global warming causes the sea levels to rise, sinking major cities and entire continents. Sometimes the entire planet is covered in water as seen in Waterworld. Other times, it’s a slow and steady change that’s gradually altering our way of life. In The Hunger Games, the last human beings on Earth live in a specific region of North America under totalitarian control. Overall, it doesn’t look good for mankind.
Examples: The Hunger Games, Reminiscence, Waterworld
A couple of movies explore this unusual concept. In one case, our shadows become homicidal and devour us in the darkness. That means you have to stay in the light! Another movie features a primordial entity of darkness that hibernates for centuries and wakes up periodically to feed. In both cases, these dark creatures are responsible for mass disappearances, including a large Mayan city, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and several ocean liners. Now they’re coming for the rest of mankind.
Example: Phantoms, Vanishing on 7th Street
Uncontrollable Crime Rates
Sometimes the world is on the brink of collapse because crime is literally out of control. Good luck surviving when murder is around every corner. Many of these movies are commentaries about our current cultures of anarchy and hedonism. In these scenarios, the violence is incredibly high and the storytelling tends to be low, but the results are effective. You would think world government’s would contain this violence. Unfortunately, they’re rarely successful.
Examples: The Bad Batch, Bushwick, Dredd, Escape from New York, The Purge series, RoboCop series, The Warriors
Vampires Rule the World
Honestly, I prefer this scenario over zombies almost every time. It’s not a popular setting in Hollywood, but occasional vampire films go in an apocalyptic direction. Vampires populate through bites and it’s easy to gain millions of members in a short period of time. Also, vampires must drink blood to survive and that means the human race is on the menu. Vampires as a species can range from highly intelligent to completely feral.
Examples: 30 Days of Night, Daybreakers, I Am Legend, The Last Man on Earth, Priest, Stake Land
Again, I wonder if this scenario is a less common apocalyptic setting because it’s too realistic for comfort. This setting endured for a long time and some films were more elaborate than others. However, they all share the same basic premise. A virus spreads rapidly across the world and threatens to kill nearly the whole human population. Our own brush with COVID-19 should hit pretty close to home. 12 Monkeys was over the top with time travel, but many were more grounded, such as Contagion.
Examples: 12 Monkeys, The Andromeda Strain, Carriers, Contagion, It Comes at Night, Outbreak, Songbird
I don’t understand why this apocalyptic setting is so popular. The zombie apocalypse reigns over the other settings by a landslide. These movies always begin with a patient zero who bites someone else, causing a widespread pandemic of flesh eating zombies within a few hours. Some zombie flicks are more in line with horror while others are comedic. They can be entertaining, but this setting has minimal variety. Regardless, the zombie outbreak is clearly the most successful apocalyptic scenario in cinema.
Examples: 28 Days Later series, Alone, Army of the Dead, Cargo, Dawn of the Dead series, Life After Beth, Little Monsters, Night of the Comet, Night of the Living Dead series, Open Grave, Pet Sematary, Pontypool, Quarantine, Resident Evil series, Shaun of the Dead, Splinter, Train to Busan, Warm Bodies, World War Z, Zombie Night, Zombieland
There you go! You should be ready to survive the Apocalypse! Later in the year, I might cover apocalyptic scenarios in other forms of media, such as comic books, novels, video games, and television shows. Apocalyptic trends might vary across the different mediums. What are your favorite apocalyptic settings in movies? Tell me in the comment section. I haven’t figured out next week’s topic yet, but you’ll find out soon enough. Take care of yourselves and have a great week!
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