Gods of Egypt, despite coming from director Alex Proyas, looks like a whitewashed bag of shit, so rather than go see it just to have something to do on Saturday night, stay home and watch any one of these five movies from the actors and creative team behind Gods of Egypt.
Once upon a time, director Alex Proyas made two of the most stylistically exceptional films of the 90s in The Crow and Dark City. The latter of those was unexpectedly butchered by Warner Brothers and dumped into theaters in the box office doldrums of February. Even in its rough theatrical cut, you could sense greatness in the film and when Proyas finally released his director's cut in 2008, there was no denying the film was an exceptional piece of science fiction; it's certainly in the discussion for top 3 sci-fi films of the 90s. The good news is that no matter which cut you watch, it'll be better than Gods of Egypt, which incidentally finds Dark City star Rufus Sewell reuniting with Proyas for the first time since 1998. I wish I were more excited about the project they picked for their grand reunion. Available on Amazon and iTunes.
Geoffrey Rush has never been subtle, which is what made his King’s Speech performance such a revelation. He’s hammy, but he knows how to contain it—except in those god awful Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. The first time American audiences took note of the journeyman Aussie actor was in his Oscar winning turn as pianist David Helfgott in 1996's Shine. Easily one of the best films of that year, Rush does amazing work in this heartbreaking film, whose story is better to know as little about as possible. I knew nothing about it when I went to see it during Oscar season that year and was simply blown away by its simplicity, honesty, and most especially by Rush's sublime performance. Available on Amazon and iTunes.
How to Train Your Dragon
You'd think it would be easier to find a watchable movie with Gerard Butler in it, but it's not an easy task. The dude's CV isn't exactly jam packed with movies I would describe as enjoyable or even watchable, but there is one film of his I think you may have missed—unless you have children. 2010's How to Train Your Dragon remains the high water mark for the animation studio that has spent the bulk of its existence in the shadow of Pixar, and surprisingly enough, Butler's performance as the protagonist's stubborn father is one of the film's highlights. Add in the fact that the animators did a great job of capturing his essence and put it in the face of a fat viking king, and it's enjoyable to watch what Butler would look like if he really let himself go. It's also got a spectacular sequel. Available on Amazon and iTunes.
I must admit that at least a tiny bit of the morbid curiosity I continue to harbor in Gods of Egypt revolves around the involvement of Bryan Brown. As a kid, F/X was one of my favorite films and having watched it again a few years ago, it totally holds up. Well, it mostly holds up as the effects are a tad dated, but it was one of the more interesting high concept action films of the 80s. It's 1991 sequel is a bit of a disappointment but still totally enjoyable, and 90% of that is thanks to Brown's performance as Rollie, a special effects wiz who gets entangled with the mob. There's a healthy dose of nostalgia in my love of this film, but I guarantee you it's money better spent than Gods of Egypt. Available on Amazon or iTunes.
I know what you're thinking, but R.I.P.D. is connected to Gods of Egypt in a way: They were both high profile box office disasters. I figure if you've seen all of the other movies I've just listed—by the way, you've seen Shine and F/X and you're not me? Color me impressed—you might as well give your hard earned money to a fun big budget disaster movie. Yes R.I.P.D. is basically just Men in Black without the black guy, but it's got some inspired visual gags and a great rapport between Jeff Bridges—doing a riff on his Rooster Cogburn from True Grit—and Ryan Reynolds, whom everyone loves now because of Deadpool. It's certainly better than most of Reynolds' other high profile bombs like Green Lantern and that awful Wolverine movie. It's not a great movie, but I guarantee it's better than Gods of Egypt. Available on Amazon and iTunes.