Whether you supported Barbie or Oppenheimer, you’d agree that 2023 was a fantastic year for movies. It seems like an eternity since we saw the fourth and ostensibly final part of the John Wick series, John Wick 4.
Other outstanding films have already been released, such as The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Meg 2; The Trench; and the very controversial- The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey. Even better, the release of Shanty Town, Jagun Jagun, and many other films have given us new-found optimism in the Nigerian entertainment sector.
The year has not ended, and the Flicksters have more in store for movie admirers as the year comes to a close. Here are a few films to keep an eye out for in the coming months.
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON –
The first on my list is this Western crime drama film by Martin Scorsese. The film follows the romance of Ernest Burkhart (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone). The movie also stars Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro and is incredibly star-studded with Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser in supporting roles. The movie tells the story of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder of the members of the Osage tribe in the United States in the 1920s, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation. It is a true story adapted from a book written by David Grann. It would prove to be an exciting watch, mainly because Martin Scorsese tends to make his movies as visually pleasing and stimulating as possible. He draws viewers into the film and makes it appear as if they are watching it from the characters’ point of view. If anything else, a reason to check this movie out is because the Italian-American film director has already proven himself a curator of American culture in the movie industry. To mention a few. Other notable films by Martin Scorsese include The Wolf of Wall Street, The Irishmen, Good-fellas, The Aviator, etc
REBEL MOON –
Zack Snyder adds to his impressive filmography with a Sci-fi space opera. If you’re a blooming fan of Star Wars, then this movie is for you. Zack Snyder had initially intended that the movie takes place in a galaxy, far away, as part of the Star Wars universe. His intent for the movie was to be a more mature take on the Star Wars universe. Luckily, Lucasfilm did not go for his pitch, so now we get the film as its own entity on Netflix by late December.
Rebel Moon is about Kora (Sofia Boutella), a lone-wolf soldier who has found community and connection on the quiet farming moon of Veldt. She’s a long way away from her former life fighting for the Imperium, the brutal interstellar royal empire bent on controlling the galaxy. This type of movie is straight up Snyder’s ballpark, as Snyder has a knack for thrilling set pieces, strange dream sequences, and daring action. In contrast to other directors who make several cuts and close-ups during a fight, his style frequently utilises slow motion, notably the technique of speed ramping, in and out of fight scenes in his films. Nevertheless, this manner may occasionally come off as tedious and time-wasting, as evidenced by his four-hour version of the Justice League movie, the “Snyder’s Cut.”
THE BLACK BOOK –
Nollywood continues its strong showing this year with this thriller about a deacon who loses his son in a kidnapping and, in retaliation, takes on a corrupt police force to clear his son’s reputation. Richard Mofe-Damijo, best known for appearing in King of Boys, Far from Home, and Shanty Town, starred in the film, among numerous others. Other actors in the movie include Ade Laoye, Sam Dede, Denola Grey, and others. Nollywood director Editi Effiong is known to be the brain behind the film, which will be released on September 22. The Direction was also in charge of the 2018 film Up North, as well as the Day of Destiny.
The upcoming Nigerian film Kanaani tells a compelling tale of love, selflessness, and resilience. Gabriel Afolayan, Ivie Okujaye, Robb Hudspeth, and Joseph Benjamin are among the great performers who appeared in this Hollywood and Nollywood cooperation. Tola Olatunji is the director, and Jennifer Mairo is the film’s producer.
Obehi and Gbovo, two star-crossed lovers from a small fishing hamlet in Edo state, travel throughout the film. As they work towards their goals of a better life in America, they encounter numerous obstacles and sail through tribulations. They ran into the ugly twists of migration, survival, and human trafficking. The film tackles themes of grit, willpower, and the resilience of love in the face of adversity.
The Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills had hosted the American premiere of Kanaani on April 7, 2023. The audience and critics gave the film high marks for its potent performances and compelling plot. At the 9th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA), the film received a nomination for Best Movie West Africa1. Later this year, Kanaani is expected to have its Nigerian premiere and theatrical distribution. The film is expected to be a classic of the cinema and have an impact on everyone watching.
If you enjoyed ‘Gone Girl’ and other dark and elegant thrillers directed by David Fincher, you might want to see ‘The Killer’. The movie is based on a series of identical French graphic novels created by Luc Jacamon and Alexis Nolent1. In the movie, Michael Fassbender plays an anonymous assassin who, following a close call, finds himself the target of a perilous and intense manhunt. As he struggles to survive, he must contend with his superiors, adversaries, and himself. Tilda Swinton plays a mysterious figure in the film who might be either his ally or enemy.
After releasing the critically successful biographical drama, ‘Mank’ in 2021, which won two Oscars, Fincher’s comeback to the thriller genre comes with ‘The Killer’. The film, a joint production of Netflix and Paramount Pictures, will make its international premiere in September 2023 at the Venice Film Festival. Additionally, the film will have a constrained theatrical run in October before becoming available on Netflix on November 3. The Killer looks to be an intense and thought-provoking film examining morality, identity, and violence. It also displays Fincher’s meticulous attention to detail and distinguishing visual flair.
Other honourable mentions include Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom, The Hunger Games, The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, Wonka, The Archies, The Mothership, and A Bag Of Trouble.