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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Alex Proyas
Cast:
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Rufus Sewell, Geoffrey Rush
Writing Credits:
Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless

Synopsis:
Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

Box Office:
Budget
$140,000,000.
Opening Weekend
$14,123,903 on 3,117 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$31,141,074.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-X
Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS—HD MA 2.0
English Descriptive Audio
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 127 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 5/31/2016

Bonus:
• Both 2D and 3D Versions of the Film
• Deleted Storyboards
• “A Diving Vision” Featurette
• “Of Gods and Mortals” Featurette
• “Transformation” Featurette
• “On Location” Featurette
• “The Battle for Eternity” Featurette
• “A Window Into Another World” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Gods of Egypt [Blu-Ray 3D] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 6, 2016)

When a movie costs $140 million, it needs to make a whole lot of money to recoup that investment. When such a film earns only $31 million in the US, profitability becomes tough to achieve.

Such was the fate that greeted 2016’s Gods of Egypt. With that large budget around its proverbial neck, the film flopped in the US. Its foreign revenues bolstered its total take to $142 million, but that didn’t become nearly enough to turn a financial corner.

So don’t expect Gods of Egypt 2 anytime soon – or ever. The film posits an alternate Egypt in which gods and mortals co—mingle freely. Osiris (Bryan Brown) rules the land while his brother Set (Gerard Butler) remains relegated to the desert due to anger management issues.

With Osiris’s son Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) about the take the throne, Set stages a coup and captures that position for himself. This results in dark days for Egypt – and a counter-rebellion, as Horus pairs with mortal Bek (Brenton Thwaites) to deal with Set’s threat.

I’ve probably said this in other reviews, but it bears repeating: whatever happened to Alex Proyas? 20 years ago, fresh off the success of The Crow, he fell into the “cinematic up and comer” category. While it didn’t make money, 1998’s Dark City turned into a cult classic and seemed to foretell bigger things.

But Proyas stalled after that. 2002’s Garage Days found few viewers, and Proyas’s 2004 shot at the “big time” with I, Robot failed to live up to expectations. 2009’s Knowing obtained a minor audience and Proyas sat on the sidelines for seven years until Gods.

Given the film’s box office failure, I can’t imagine it’ll do much for Proyas’s career – other than make fans wonder where all his potential went. The Proyas of the 1990s created stylish movies that still managed to provide compelling stories, whereas Gods boasts little more than fancy visuals.

Though not as fancy as I’d like. As I noted earlier, Gods cost $140 million, and that begs the question: where did all that money go? The movie lacks major stars to suck down huge salaries, and I can’t figure out how something as cheesy and tacky as this used the budget in other ways.

Usually visual effects use up a lot of money, and perhaps that occurred here. However, given the poor quality of these elements, I find it hard to believe Proyas and company invested a lot in them.

I won’t say that the CG looks like it comes from circa 1990s CD-ROM games… but it kind of does. This mainly affects CG characters such as the creatures the gods turn into, but it also impacts other aspects of the movie. For instance, background and buildings fail to convey any sense of reality, and given that the film used entirely CG sets, this becomes a major issue. It all looks phony - and cheap.

Even with the iffy production values, Proyas seems much more concerned with visual design than storytelling or character development. The movie opts to depict the gods as much larger than the mortals – and does so for no apparent reason beyond pointless contrivance. This choice seems odd and distracting and it adds nothing to the tale.

In terms of story, Godsfeels like a mish-mash of Clash of the Titans and Aladdin. It plunders other movies and fails to bring much new to the table, which makes it a plodding, trite narrative experience. We get no sense of action or momentum, as instead we find a meandering, random plot that never builds a head of steam.

As for the actors, Butler adds a little campy fun as the mustache-twirling villain. However, the rest of the actors seem flat and dull. They never threaten to add life to the experience.

Not that I can blame them, as Gods submerges the actors under its visual choices. The movie cares more about looks than substance, and that makes it a monotonous piece of work.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Gods of Egypt appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a stellar transfer.

Sharpness excelled, as even in the widest shots, the film appeared accurate and concise. If any softness occurred, I didn’t see it. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and the film lacked edge haloes or source flaws.

The palette opted for a mix of gold, red and teal. Within stylistic choices, the hues looked fine. Blacks were deep and dense, while low-light shots depicted appropriate clarity. This was a terrific visual presentation.

Gods came with a DTS-X soundtrack that downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system. With plenty of action scenes, the mix often opened up to give us active information. These used the various speakers to create an involving, effective sense of these situations and circumstances. The elements meshed together well and moved in a satisfying manner.

Audio quality also pleased - mostly. Music was peppy and full, while effects demonstrated good clarity and range, with fine low-end response as necessary.

Unfortunately, dialogue came with some distractions. I heard an odd sense of reverb to some of the speech, and this left the impression that the mix occasionally suffered from bad ADR. Though the track usually worked well, the iffy dialogue knocked down my score to a “B+”.

The package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Gods. The technical comments address the 2D edition – what does the 3D platter bring to the table?

Picture quality seemed good but not as strong as the 2D’s visuals. Definition was a little looser, colors looked a bit less vibrant, and some light ghosting created mild distractions. The image still appeared appealing, but it didn’t match up with the excellent 2D picture.

As for the 3D effects, they added some zip to the proceedings. The image boasted a good sense of depth, and a variety of scenes – usually those with flying or falling – demonstrated impressive immersiveness. The 3D version lost points due to a weaker transfer but benefited from the positive 3D presence.

Two Deleted Storyboards show up here. We see “Horus’ Coronation Party” (1:13) and “Bek and the Phoenix” (4:31). One assumes these scenes never got filmed, so instead, we see computer-animated pre-vis versions of the sequences. “Party” offers a minor addition, but “Phoenix” offers a decent action sequence.

Six featurettes follow. A Divine Vision goes for 11 minutes, 48 seconds and offers info from executive producer Kent Kubena, costume designer Liz Palmer, production designer Owen Paterson, visual effects supervisor Eric Durst, and actors Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Brenton Thwaites. “Vision” covers design elements such as sets, costumes, and creatures as well as pre-visualization and visual effects. “Vision” delivers a nice overview of some of the movie’s choices.

During the 10-minute, 52-second Of Gods and Mortals, we hear from Kubena, Butler, Coster-Waldau, Thwaites, and actors Elodie Yung, Rufus Sewell, Chadwick Boseman, Emma Booth, Courtney Eaton, and Bryan Brown. The featurette looks at cast, characters and performances. Some fluff emerges, but we get a decent array of notes.

Next comes Transformation. In this 11-minute, 10-second show, we discover comments from Palmer, Kubena, Butler, Coster-Waldau, Yung, makeup/hair designer Lesley Vanderwalt, and actor Rachael Blake. Here we learn about the movie’s costume, makeup and hair design. “Transformation” offers a quick but informative overview.

With the 12-minute, 44-second On Location, we get details from Kubena, Paterson, Durst, Boseman, Yung, Sewell, Blake, Coster-Waldau, Thwaites, and special effects supervisor Dan Oliver. The program discusses shooting in Australia and the ample use of bluescreen and soundstages. Some of this repeats info heard elsewhere, but it still manages a reasonable number of new details. I especially like the bits about how the film mingled “9-foot-tall” characters with regular size people.

The Battle for Eternity fills 11 minutes, 38 seconds with material from Kubena, Butler, Oliver, Coster-Waldau, Thwaites, stunt coordinator Glenn Boswell, and fight choreographer Tim Wong. “Eternity” covers stunts and fight sequences. Like its predecessors, it does so in a compelling manner.

Finally, A Window Into Another World occupies 10 minutes, 58 seconds with info from Durst, Butler, Coster-Waldau, Thwaites, Oliver, Paterson, Boswell, and film editor Richard Learoyd. “World” examines various effects used in the film, and it accomplishes its goals in a satisfactory manner.

The disc opens with ads for Now You See Me 2, The Last Witch Hunter, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and The Crow. No trailer for Gods appears here.

A third disc provides a DVD copy of the film. It includes “Battle” and “Window” but lacks the other supplements.

With a massive budget and a grandiose world, Gods of Egypt comes with the potential to offer a lively fantasy adventure. Unfortunately, a combination of factors conspire to make the end result messy and unsatisfying. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals, mostly strong audio and some informative supplements. Gods winds up as a forgettable disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.25 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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