Entertainment

Murder Is Legal and Torture Is Mandatory, Because Gods of Egypt Exists


Gizmodo / Charlie Jane Anders on io9, shared by Mario Aguilar to Gizmodo

Murder Is Legal and Torture Is Mandatory, Because Gods of Egypt Exists

Go ahead, commit cannibalism! Slaughter your neighbors and feast on their still-warm flesh. Nobody can judge you, because the mere existence of the film Gods of Egypt has dissolved all social contracts, and eliminated forever all concepts of good and evil.The moment I walked out of a screening of Gods of Egypt, I set about building a massive throne out of human pelvises. I worked feverishly through the night, barely pausing to listen to the sounds of the city fracturing into seven brutal revels: a chainsaw maze, a great pit full of vengeful lobsters, a poisoned rave, and so on. As I climbed at last atop my pelvic majesty, I had a perfect view of the inundation of viscera that had turned the very streets into canals: For even if nobody else ever saw this movie, its very existence was enough to sunder every human relation for once and ever. There could be no language, no society, no kindness, after Gods of Egypt.How did this happen? Why didn’t somebody involved with the creation of Gods of Egypt realize what they were setting in motion, and that this movie was not just bad, but obscenely, devastatingly bad? I wondered this the whole time I was watching Gods of Egypt.I’m going to give you a spoiler warning here, even though spoilers are a concept that belongs to the old order, before the rise of the murderpocalypse.So Gods of Egypt is loosely based on Egyptian mythology, if the Egyptian gods were mostly white people who could turn into animal robots, sort of like Transformers. Basically, director Alex Proyas and his crew tried to turn the ancient beliefs of the Egyptians into a standard action-adventure movie, full of wacky set pieces and wild romps. And they wound up something that actually makes a river of entrails seem totally reasonable.This movie starts when the god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones) is about to be crowned King of Egypt—until his uncle, the evil god Set (Gerard Butler), overthrows him. To get back his power and reclaim the throne, Horus must work with a plucky human thief named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) to pass a bunch of tests, with a little help from the sun god, Ra (Geoffrey Rush.) So yeah, it’s a buddy comedy about a god and a mortal teaming up to save the world and stuff—which could actually have been good, in theory.In fact, in theory, this movie could have been awesome—generally any film with giant fire-breathing snakes, huge scarab-drawn chariots and holy spaceships is automatically great, in my book. But instead, Gods of Egypt squanders all of its incredible potential.Gods of Egypt has been justly criticized for its policy of casting white people as almost all of its Egyptian characters—to the point where it might be the first movie whose director apologized months before it was released. But the casting is just one of the many problems that eat away at this movie, which seems to have fed slices of Egyptian cultural traditions into a typical Hollywood “Save the Cat Goddess” structure, to try and create something familiar and comfort-foody, with an exotic veneer.The result is a movie in which nothing particularly makes sense. The stakes are completely unclear, and the moment that you think you have a handle on what’s going on, the movie lurches off in another direction. The actors stand around in front of greenscreens, saying terrible dialogue that they know is meaningless, and none of it carries any weight at all. This is also the umpteenth movie I’ve seen lately that has 90 minutes of action padded out to over two hours.Bek, the movie’s ostensible main character, is supposed to be desperately in love with a mortal woman named Zaya (Courtney Eaton) who dies early on—so Bek is helping Horus in the hope that the god-king can bring Zaya back from the aferlife. But Zaya’s death puts barely a dent in Bek’s chipper action hero banter, and he just carries on leaping from CG obstacle to CG obstacle, while saying things like, “roll the bones!” Meanwhile, every few minutes, the movie asks us to care about stakes-raising weird ideas like, “Set has changed the rules of the afterlife!” and “Set has stolen the glowing blue brain of the only black person in the movie!” At the same time, you don’t get the impression that any of the human characters actually worships these gods or considers them more than just oversized people with random powers.But the result of taking all this grand metaphysical weirdness and putting it into a formulaic action-movie template is to create a movie where nothing means anything, but the film keeps dragging you from set piece to set piece every few minutes anyway. This isn’t just a film where it’s impossible to care, but one that negates the very idea of giving a shit.Nothing has meaning! Everything is monstrous.And that brings us to the central problem of Gods of Egypt—this movie can’t manage to find an interesting tone. At all. It’s either a comedy, in which there’s exactly one funny line of dialogue, or it’s a breezy action-adventure romp in which the characters are unlikable and the plot is mush, or it’s a semi-serious epic about the struggle of the gods. The overwhelming tone is one of blandness, like a rejected Disney Channel TV movie starring the younger brother from Hannah Montana and one of the less gifted wizards of Waverly Place.And meanwhile, this movie’s aesthetic is a weird mixture of Egyptology pastiche and VFX overkill. As I mentioned, the Egyptian gods are sort of like off-label Transformers. Their fights, for the most part, look pretty awfully rendered, with a lot of bits that look like 90s video games. And the film’s aesthetic is pretty much a solid gold—all the buildings are gold, the gods are blinged out, and they bleed gold blood.And one of the film’s most interesting visual innovations turns out to be its greatest liability: all of the gods, including Jaime Lannister, are much bigger than ordinary humans. Like, maybe 10 or 12 feet tall, I’m guessing. This yields a few startling shots early on in the film, but also means that at no point can the actors just be in a scene together, without everything being rendered digitally. I have a feeling that’s one reason for the utter lack of chemistry or personality in any of this movie’s character-building moments.This movie feels like a dull, joyless monument to excess and cultural exploitation.I’m just going to repeat the word “joyless” a few more times—joyless, joyless, joyless—while reminding you that I’m writing this review on a computer keyboard that I fashioned out of the fingernails and ribs of my former best friends. (The keyboard’s not connected to anything; I’m not even sure how you’re reading this, to be honest.) I love an over-the-top bad movie as much as the next Joe Bob Briggs acolyte, but Gods of Egypt is just too fucking bland—even with Gerard Butler shouting his heart out in a few scenes—to be anything but brain-compacting.That said, there are a handful of incredibly beautiful images, that leave you with a sense of just why anybody thought this film was a good idea at all. At one point, when we first visit the spaceship belonging to Geoffrey Rush’s Ra, there’s a stunning visual of the flat Earth that Ra is sailing over. A few bits inside the land of the dead are also just gorgeous. You can sort of see how someone might have seen a few of those renders, early on, and thought this might be a distinctive, even eye-popping, film.But for the most part, Gods of Egypt feels like such an abdication of story, and such a bastardization of culture, that the only sane response is to abandon sanity, and enlist in the murder-police of the senseless new era. As I write this from atop my pelvic cathedra in a world of unspeakable mayhem, I testify that Gods of Egypt has liberated us all. You do not need to see this movie to know that you live in the world it created. Mercy is a cast-off from the time before the coming of Gods of Egypt.Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All The Birds in the Sky, which is available now. Here’s what people have been saying about it. Follow her on Twitter, and email her.http://www.amazon.com/All-Birds-Char…

The New Daredevil Trailer Is All About Elektra


Gizmodo / James Whitbrook on io9, shared by James Whitbrook to Gizmodo

The New Daredevil Trailer Is All About Elektra

Last week’s first big look at Daredevil season two introduced us to Matt Murdock’s next big rival, the Punisher. But in its last few seconds, we got to see Matt re-encounter a familiar face from his past, Elektra Natchios—and this giant new trailer explores her connection to the Man without Fear.http://io9.gizmodo.com/say-hello-to-t…We got a brief glimpse of the Greek ninja in action in a short teaser yesterday, but like the “part one” trailer before it, this one is jam-packed with stuff—and not just more of Elodie Yung’s Elektra. More Daredevil, more Foggy and Karen, more Punisher… more everything! And an even better look at the updated Daredevil costume, complete with creepy looking red eyes.But it’s not all snazzy costumes and punching bad guys in store for Daredevil—it’s time for Matt to struggle with the consequences of his actions. Gangs are on the rise after he dealt with the Yakuza in season one, and the escalating violence of the Punisher is testing him physically and ethically as he questions whether Daredevil is going far enough, which also causes an even bigger rift between Matt and Foggy. The avocados at law may not be in partnership for much longer!Oh, and ninjas. It wouldn’t be true to Daredevil if there weren’t copious amounts of ninjas.Considering we’re little more than three weeks away from getting the whole season, it’s likely that this is the last big batch of new footage we’ll get to see of Daredevil before season 2 hits Netflix on March 18th. It’s done plenty to whet my appetite for a return to Hell’s Kitchen though.Contact the author at james.whitbrook@io9.com.

The New Star Wars Theme Parks Coming to Disney Look Out of This World


Gizmodo / Germain Lussier on io9, shared by Adam Clark Estes to Gizmodo

The New Star Wars Theme Parks Coming to Disney Look Out of This World

This past summer, Disney revealed they would be making massing Star Wars-themed additions to their two U.S. theme parks. At that time, we just saw a few hints. But Sunday night, Harrison Ford himself revealed some amazing new looks at the parks.The 14-acre expansions are coming to Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida sometime in the next several years. We don’t know exactly when, just that construction has already begun. Then, Sunday during a TV special celebrating 60 years of Disneyland, Ford revealed some new concept images from what he called “The Star Wars Experience.”First up, here are some images of what the land itself is going to look like. We’ve already heard the lands will be a brand new Star Wars planet and here we get a taste of its marketplace, dining establishments and, of course, its cantina.Next, these are images from the two main rides. One will put fans in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and another will put them in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and First Order.You can see some more in the video segment below. Suffice to say, these expansions are going to be can’t miss stops for Star Wars fans all over the world.Disney [H/T Hollywood Reporter, SW Underground]Contact the author at germain@io9.com.

The House Of Cards Season 4 Trailer Is Equal Parts Terrifying and Exciting


Gizmodo / Chris Mills

The House Of Cards Season 4 Trailer Is Equal Parts Terrifying and Exciting

House Of Cards Season 4 is coming in less than a month, but don’t worry: while you’re counting down the remaining 552 hours until you can binge on Frank, Netflix has released a new trailer to relieve the boredom. The trailer is everything we’ve come to expect from Netflix’s hallmark original programming: overly tense music, serious corruption, a little sex, and enough plot material to keep you scheming for months. March 4th can’t come soon enough. [YouTube]

This True American Hero Built a VR Version of Duck Hunt


Gizmodo / Bryan Lufkin

This True American Hero Built a VR Version of Duck Hunt

Joseph Delgado is my new hero. The 21-year-old computer science student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, took his Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 and morphed the 8-bit NES classic into a virtual reality adventure. It looks super fun.The development process sounds relatively simple, too. Delgado converted the 2D sprites into 3D models with a Python script. The gray-and-orange NES Zapper is replaced by the VR handset Razer Hydras for the controller, though that iconic plastic gun still appears as your in-game weapon. Leaving the Hydra’s base station on a desk screws with the accuracy and response time of the controller though, so Delgado 3D-printed a headmount and stuck the base on his head. He made the game for Global Game Jam 2016, a sort of round-the-world hackathon for game developers.Delgado also tweaked the gameplay so that it’s a seven-day challenge, and each day, the ducks get faster and the game gets harder. He even made an original hub world that you access in between days that tells you your goal for the day. It’s also got a TV on static and is filled with empty liquor bottles you can practice shooting on.Delgado commented on YouTube that he plans on releasing it for free, and will probably port it to HTC Vive when it comes out. Read more about his process behind making the game on his blog. Joseph, are you taking requests? Can you do Metroid next, please?[Joseph Delgado]GIF via YouTube

A Producer Is Tweeting Descriptions of Women from Movie Scripts and It’s Hilariously Awful


Gizmodo / Charlie Jane Anders on io9, shared by Mario Aguilar to Gizmodo

A Producer Is Tweeting Descriptions of Women from Movie Scripts and It’s Hilariously Awful

Ross Putman is a film producer with a few credits under his belt, and now he’s started a Twitter feed where he just tweets the initial descriptions of female main characters in the movie scripts he’s reading. It’s endlessly fascinating, and kind of garbage.According to Putman’s Twitter bio, “These are intros for female leads in actual scripts I read.” The only change he makes is that he changes all the names to Jane. Taken one at a time, these descriptions are kind of funny, like descriptions from old 1940s pulp novels.But when you read 20 of these in a row, it starts to feel kind of creepy and weird. Especially when you take in the part about “female leads.” In other words, these are the main characters (or female main characters, at least) in movies that people are trying to get made, and the writer of that movie only thinks of these characters in terms like “leggy” or “sexy.” Urk.Here are a few of the most notable:[Thanks Saladin Ahmed, from whom I also stole the top image]Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All The Birds in the Sky, which is available now. Here’s what people have been saying about it. Follow her on Twitter, and email her.http://www.amazon.com/All-Birds-Char…

Playboy’s First Nudity-Free Issue Targets Teens With a Snapchat Selfie


Gizmodo / Adam Clark Estes

Playboy’s First Nudity-Free Issue Targets Teens With a Snapchat Selfie

This is Sarah McDaniel, a 20-year-old Instagram celebrity. She’s on the cover of the newly nudity-free Playboy magazine, striking a very millennial pose. Notice anything odd about her eyes, though? McDaniel took the internet by storm a few months ago thanks in part to her particularly beautiful case of heterochromia irdum. This is why she has one brown eye and one blue eye. But that’s only a small part of what makes this cover interesting. Since Playboy decided to go PG-13 in October, the magazine says that traffic to its website has spiked by 400-percent and the mean reader age dropped from 47-years-old to 30. It seems like the pivot to being a better-behaved media empire was pretty smart.Cleverly, the new cover manages to evoke not only the obvious Snapchat reference but also a little bit of the internet cam girl allure. So it’s familiar, if not a little naughty at the same time. McDaniel said of the cover, “The idea was to look at me from a boyfriend’s perspective.” (The photo was, of course, taken by a professional.)It’s voyeuristic and alluring which is why people started “reading” Playboy in the first place. [Playboy, New York Times]Contact the author at adam@gizmodo.com.Public PGP keyPGP fingerprint: 91CF B387 7B38 148C DDD6 38D2 6CBC 1E46 1DBF 22A8

How to Watch Super Bowl 50 Online 


Gizmodo / Kate Knibbs

How to Watch Super Bowl 50 Online 

It can be a pain in the ass to stream live sports, but this year’s Super Bowl 50 will be easy to watch on February 7, even without a cable subscription. This is a fantastic innovation, because it means cordcutters will spend less time agonizing over how to watch the Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers and more time crafting delicious cheese-based dips, as God intended. If you own a Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or Amazon Fire box, you can download CBS’s Sports or National Football League apps and watch the game for free that way, even if you don’t have a cable subscription. The commercials played on TV will also play through the app.If you want to watch on your laptop or tablet from within the US, you can go to CBSSports.com. Verizon customers can stream the game on smartphones through its NFL Mobile app. It’ll probably destroy your data package if you’re not using wi-fi, so be careful. If you’re not in the US, though, it’s much harder to see the game for free. As The New York Times points out, international football fans will need to pay for access:International fans cannot stream the game without a subscription to N.F.L. Game Pass, a $99-a-year video service for watching football games, according to the N.F.L.That doesn’t mean Broncos or Panthers fans overseas are screwed. It’s just harder, and (in some cases) less legal to get the game digitally without paying for Game Pass. If you know someone who has a TV and a Slingbox, you can use the Slingbox to stream the game to your device, though it’s not really free because a Slingbox is pricy. I can see this option appealing to Americans who happen to be traveling during the Super Bowl, and who already own a Slingbox, but it’s definitely not ideal. Cult of Mac has another option—in theory, someone could use the service Uno Telly to spoof a US IP address, which would allow international viewers to use the CBS Sports app on Apple TV as though they were within the US. (Gizmodo has never tested the service and cannot recommend it.)And I’m probably not supposed to tell you this but if you Google “stream Super Bowl” you’ll likely find a malware-riddled stream that you can play directly in your browser. I have done this before in times of desperation, but the buffering situation was NOT ideal, also there’s a roughly 89 percent chance a ring of Russian hackers has been reading all my emails. THIS IS NOT ADVICE DON’T DO THIS I’M JUST SAYIN’ YOU PROBABLY COULD. Image: AP