Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gods & Critters

So I recently took a bullet for the team and saw Gods of Egypt. "Meet Me at the Movies" is a show I enjoy doing and sure - I don't always like every film I see. But this - oh, the carnage! It was enough to make me wonder just what crimes I had committed in a prior life that caused me to suffer through this one. Perhaps I am a victim of the mummy's curse; I don't know. But this film is simply bad. As in MST3K or Rifftrax bad. The mythology is beyond muddled, the idea to have the gods be 1.5 times the height of humans is just off-putting, and the costumes are silly (especially those inflicted upon the women).

Gods of Egypt isn't even campy fun. (And with Geoffrey Rush as Ra, it could have been.) Chadwick Boseman as Thoth wants to have fun with it - and the man did play James Brown, so he can work a spangled costume - but the movie reins itself in when it should go full-on Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Perhaps if it didn't try to strike a balance of snark and grandeur or maybe if it reveled in the sheer ridiculousness of itself - but no. The best - the absolute best - thing I can say is that this film is what you could suppose the love child of Transformers, Part Whatever and Clash of the Titans might be. (But without a kraken, so really - there's no point. There almost is, when you see giant scarab beetles pulling a chariot, but -- no.)

"Release the Kraken!" (2010)

Honestly, this film is just a mess. Director Alex Proyas proved with The Crow and Dark City that he can wrangle large, improbable stories (and he uses Rufus Sewell from Dark City in this trainwreck, but hopefully, people will forget that), but this one just got away from him.

There's no reason to see this.

However, Zootopia restored my faith, and not just because it features the vocal talents of Alan Tudyk (as a real-life weasel) and allows Kristen Bell to actually play a slothZootopia could've just been a cute little tale of unlikely partners, but instead, I found myself seeing a touch more deeply into this one.

At its core, Zootopia deals with predators and prey. Animals have progressed to a point where everybody gets along (there's a hilarious school skit that opens the film to explain this - it's right up there with Scout-as-a-ham in Mockingbird), only maybe not everyone likes that idea. Hatred and fear do a great job of dividing folks, as we're seeing in the current run-up to the elections in this country. And yes, we can learn a few things from an ambitious bunny and a misunderstood fox. Go see this one - take the kids, and have a talk afterwards.

Also - be on the lookout for the Breaking Bad joke tucked away in the underground lab scene.

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