Gods of Egypt (2016)

Than reading reviews of my own movies. I usually try to avoid the experience – but this one takes the cake.


Than reading reviews of my own movies. I usually try to avoid the experience – but this one takes the cake.

This is true. Reading reviews of your own film is stupid, unless you only choose to read the positive reviews (Rotten Tomatoes can filter the rotten from the fresh). So that said, I have to ask; why did Proyas choose to read reviews of Gods of Egypt? Maybe if Proyas is that rampantly stupid, the negative reviews are correct: Gods of Egypt is directed by a self-confessed rampant idiot.

Often, to my great amusement, a critic will mention my past films in glowing terms, when at the time those same films were savaged

Well, The Crow currently holds of rating of 82%, Dark City a 74% and Garage Days a 43%- one contemporary review from Urban Cinephiles’ Brad Green says

Alex Proyas, coming off darker material, sets himself a huge challenge in taking on a genre that requires outcomes of dreams satisfied. It’s an American genre. He subverts it. And it isn’t totally successful, but the flaws are almost too small to identify.

So there’s that. Even I, Robot holds 58%, which is still a majority. Knowing is on 33%, so really, it’s only recently that Proyas has begun what Proyas himself calls a

descent into mediocrity

That’s something to consider, especially since Proyas says that he’s

rarely gotten great reviews…

But the numbers just don’t add up. Proyas has only rarely “gotten” great reviews recently – Proyas’ early work was received well.

apart from those by reviewers who think for themselves and make up their own opinions

Which is exactly the case. Proyas seems to believe that critics only dislike Gods of Egypt because everyone else does, even though that’s a lack of consideration over the important factor here: those critics have nothing to lose. Their career doesn’t change depending on what films they like or dislike. Ultimately, critics are paid to have opinions, but that wage is fixed; it doesn’t fluctuate based on whether they agree with other critics. 13% of those registered to Rotten Tomatoes seem to like Gods of Egypt, at least – are they following each other’s consensus? And ultimately, a consensus isn’t consciously created, it’s just something that’s there. Are the 41 critics who liked The Crow following the crowd?

Sadly those type of reviewers are nearly all dead.

Really? Well Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is on 51%, nearly an exact split. Or are the critics just conspiring to give either a positive or negative score?

Good reviews often come many years after the movie has opened.

That’s an interesting statement to make, except for being completely and provably wrong. Positive reviews include Cinema Crazed‘s Felix Vasquez (a month after release), Cine140‘s Erick Gallardo (a month after release), John Hanlon (a month after release), The Atlantic‘s David Simms (opening weekend), Guardian‘s Jordan Hoffman (opening weekend), Cine Premiere‘s Alejandro Murillo (opening weekend), MTV‘s Amy Nicholson (opening weekend), New England Movies Weekly‘s Daniel M. Kimmel (opening weekend), New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis (opening weekend), Film Journal International‘s Ethan Alter (opening weekend), Sydney Morning Herald‘s Jake Wilson (opening weekend), Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson (opening weekend) and FILMINK‘s Anthony O’Connor (press screening). That’s thirteen positive reviews within the first month of Gods of Egypt‘s release – that’s less than years, Proyas.

I guess I have the knack of rubbing reviewers the wrong way – always have.

Except clearly not. Your earlier work did well. It’s just your more recent film that haven’t; but that’s not against you, personally. No critic should decide to dislike a film because of it’s director, but those critics wouldn’t be the kind of critics Rotten Tomatoes thinks are worthy of its aggregation. Nobody cares about Alex Proyas – Gods of Egypt could have had Steven Spielberg’s name on it and the reviews would still be about what’s on screen. Why else would Hook have such negative reviews?

This time of course they have bigger axes to grind – they can rip into my movie while trying to make their mainly pale asses look so politically correct by screaming “white-wash!!!”

Okay, first of all – Alex Proyas is white, so accusing most of Gods of Egypt‘s critics of being white is meaningless (apart from there being no such race as “white” to begin with). Also, only four reviews mentions whitewashing: CraveOnline‘s William Bibbiani:

Takes bonkers ideas and whitewashes them

Boston Herald‘s James Vernier and Movie Nation‘s Roger Moore:


and Crikey‘s William Buckmaster:

Given diversity in Hollywood is currently a hot topic of debate, the so-called #OscarsSoWhite Academy Awards rolling out its red carpet on Monday, the timing of director Alex Proyas’ epic turkey Gods of Egypt could hardly be worse. Not only does the film indulge in a right royal round of whitewashing, it also gives star Gerard Butler a brownface.

In fact, NOWToronto‘s Radheyan Simonpillai made a case against the whitewashing controversy:

Yes, they are mostly white, though Black Panther himself Chadwick Boseman shows up as Thoth, the god of wisdom, a character who tips this movie’s diversity scale by cloning himself a hundred times.

What Proyas is doing is inventing his own reason for Gods of Egypt receiving a negative consensus, even though few reviews show that reason to be a part of the general consensus, which – either way – is only incidental anyway. That’s what “consensus” means.

They fail to understand, or chose to pretend to not understand what this movie is, so as to serve some bizarre consensus of opinion which has nothing to do with the movie at all.

See what I mean?

this modern age of texting will probably make them go the way of the dinosaur or the newspaper shortly

Well, an opinion’s an opinion. It doesn’t matter if it’s printed in a newspaper or published on a blog, they’re all equally valid. And quite apart from anything, it’s the World Wide Web that’s helped Gods of Egypt‘s reputation spread so quickly. Were the blogosphere not considered mainstream journalism, those newspapers would be the only place to read reviews, and a lot of people would probably not see them out of sheer disinterest.

Seems most critics spend their time trying to work out what most people will want to hear.

Do they? Why do they? Their status as a critic isn’t affected by whether they agree with the general consensus – look, we’ve gone over this already.

How do you do that? Why these days it is so easy… just surf the net to read other reviews or what bloggers are saying – no matter how misguided an opinion of a movie might be before it actually comes out.

So, first Proyas praises online critics for being free-thinkers, and then condemns them for influencing mainstream critics by writing reviews of films that are yet to be released. The difference is, this doesn’t even happen. Sure, there’s a lot of speculation about whether a film will be good or not, but no one’s claiming to have actually seen it. And if they do, they’re not taken seriously because of something called common sense. And ask any critic, and they’ll tell you that they don’t even consider online reviews to be legitimate. And why should they? Online critics only review what they choose to see – mainstream critics review every film indiscriminately. Not to mention that online film criticism challenges the traditional form on-which they depend, so they’re not going to defend it.

contrary to what a critic should probably be they have no personal taste or opinion, because they are basing their views on the status quo.

Are you sure about that? I think Under the Skin‘s the worst film ever made, despite the 85% of Rotten Tomatoes critics who think otherwise. In fact, Sacramento News & Review‘s Daniel Barnes gives it five stars. So I’m pretty sure Barnes isn’t judging Under the Skin by what I want to hear. Whereas I think Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a fantastic film, which I give a perfect 10. But Film Freak Central‘s Walter Chaw gives it 1/4. So I’m pretty sure Chaw isn’t judging Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) by what I want to hear either.

None of them are brave enough to say “well I like it” if it goes against consensus.

Speaking in Entertainment Weekly, St. Cloud State University’s assistant film studies professor Ross Morin called The Room

the Citizen Kane of bad movies.

And yet, seven critics give it a positive review. So those critics are certainly brave enough to say “I like it”, despite it going against consensus.

Therefore they are less than worthless.

Therefore, they are not.

Now that anyone can post their opinion about anything from a movie to a pair of shoes to a hamburger, what value do they have – nothing.

So, anyone capable of posting an opinion online is valueless? What about the thirteen critics who like Gods of Egypt – is there opinion valueless? What if they were to post a Facebook status about something, would that be valueless, too?

Roger Ebert wasn’t bad. He was a true film lover at least, a failed film-maker

But Roger Ebert wasn’t a failed filmmaker. He wrote the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls – that’s only got 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. The only reason film critics wouldn’t unanimously praise a film written by a film critic is if they have their own opinions. Ebert also wrote Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens and Up!. So Roger Ebert isn’t a failed filmmaker. Not to mention that in For the Love of Movies, Ebert expressed approval toward online amateur film criticism.

Now we have a pack of diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass.

Describing Gods of Egypt as a “dying carcass” is hardly going to help, is it?

I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality say is good or bad.

Well, there’s a measurement system for this: Cinemascore. Cinemascore poll cinemas and exiting audiences to rate the film they’ve just seen, and compile an average. Gods of Egypt gets a B+. Make of that what you will. I think we’re done here.

Author: the Purple Prose Mage

I'm not Batman, but I wish that I were.

One thought on “Gods of Egypt (2016)”

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