Let’s Take A Look Back At This Year’s Best Articles
Last year, I took a look at some of my favorite and least favorite pieces of media I reviewed for 2022. And while it was a ton of fun revisiting all of those articles, I don’t usually enjoy being negative about art. I already bashed certain things last year; there’s no need to do it again. So, this time, I wanted to look over only my favorite reviews. These are not necessarily my favorite books/movies/shows in recent memory—though there is some overlap. This list is, instead, the articles that were the most impactful, interesting, or fun to write, and I’ll be presenting them in publication order.
Chadwick Boseman was an incredible actor and was taken from us too soon. And this movie, in no small way, was the first on-screen mourning I’ve ever seen. There’s no other way to describe it than mirroring the tragedy through a superhero story. The full weight of Disney and Marvel’s CGI budget, filmmaking, and score was put into honoring this actor, and the first thirty minutes or so hit harder than I ever could have expected. This is a movie ultimately about grief and how it affects people—and the performances from so many of the actors embody that.
I distinctly recall going to the theater expecting dreck. I couldn’t tell you the plot of the first Puss In Boots if I tried. But, within only a few minutes, the movie gave me hope. If it wasn’t for a different film on this list—with a very similar animation style—it would’ve been, hands down, the best animated movie of 2023. It’s funny, poignant, and has fantastic action scenes. When you’ve been a critic for as long as I have, movies don’t tend to surprise you much. This one did. I want a third one.
Worldbuilding is not easy in visual mediums. Often, media will rely on generic shorthand like vaguely Victorian architecture in fantasy or misty woods for horror, but Lockwood & Co still has, to this day, the most interesting world I’ve seen in a show. It makes ghosts not only threatening but also integral to how society now functions. It’s fantastically holistic. I’ve still yet to read the books, but since it’s unlikely there’ll be a second season, I might just need to for more of this excellent story.
Despite how much I talk about horror, I’m not a big horror movie fan. I like basically every other form of horror media, but not the grungy, loud, often derivative stuff I see from a lot of horror cinema. Nope has none of those issues. There’s a level of creativity and thoughtfulness that most other movies, regardless of genre, cannot match. Perhaps my most ringing endorsement is I still sometimes look up at the sky and worry about the monster in this movie.
Considering I reviewed six of these books, it would be a little weird if none of them made it on my list. Let this book represent all of them—and let these words apply to them all. By which I’m also saying that they are my least favorite thing on this list. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them. It was fascinating to see the place children’s horror is at and what is deemed scary enough to let a child read. The best of these books’ plots was when they blended the property they were riffing on with what would be a fairly normal Twilight Zone story. If they release a seventh book, I would not mind returning to this series.
Come Back on 1/3/24 for Part 2
Possibly Related Posts:
- The Marvels: A Blandly Fun Little Movie
- The Magnus Protocol Reviews: “Introductions”
- Friday Fiction: Necessary For Organic Life
- Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts Is So Much Worse
- The Magnus Protocol Reviews: “Personal Screening”