Alex Proyas

Alex Proyas

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Gods Of Egypt Review

Good

With a massive scale and a digital cast of thousands, this ancient Egyptian romp tries to be both a new version of those 1950s Biblical toga epics and a generous dose of camp silliness. The result will be a guilty pleasure for some in the audience, especially those who enjoy watching grown men leap around in short skirts. The actors are sometimes lost in the overwhelming animation, and the casting of Westerners as North Africans is more than a little dubious. But the script is smarter than it looks, and director Alex Proyas is clearly in a playful mood.

The premise conflates the golden age of the Pharaohs with the ancient world of Egyptian gods. And things kick off when the bitter god Set (Gerard Butler) launches a reign of terror by killing his brother, blinding his nephew Horus (Nokolaj Coster-Waldau) and taking over the mortal world, enslaving all humans. Horus' greatest fan is the muscly slave Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who, encouraged by his glamorous girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton), sneaks into Set's palace and steals one of Horus' eyes. He then strikes a deal to help Horus assume his rightful throne. But this means travelling into the sky to confront his grandfather Ra (Geoffrey Rush), then teaming up with sneering god of wisdom Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) and duplicitous Hathor (Yung) to take on Set.

All of this is so ridiculous that it's difficult to stop giggling. And that seems to be part of the idea, as Proyas merrily cranks up the snarky wit in every scene, especially as he indulges in a series of ludicrous set-pieces that feel like videogames populated by toy action figures. The digital effects continually engulf the characters, transforming the gods inexplicably into animal-headed metallic robots. But they also create some genuinely gorgeous moments of spectacle, with sprawling landscapes and whooshing action. Basically, the actors have little choice but to hang on for the ride along with the audience.

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Gods Of Egypt Trailer


When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset, non-more so than his wife Isis. Piecing her husband - and fellow god - Osiris back together, she manages to resurrect him for long enough to conceive Horus. So begins a lifetime of battles for the Kingdom.

Set, the brother of Osiris and god of storms, disorder and violence on one side and Horus, the son of Osiris on the other. When Set and Horus go head to head in combat, the mortal citizens of Egypt hope for one victor (Horus) but in a moment of weakness, Set makes his move and steals the eyes of Horus.

Soon after the downfall of Horus, Set takes over Egypt and enslaves the mortals, knowning there's little hope of being saved, one mortal hero decides to help steal the eyes of Horus back in order to gain the trust of the cast out god. To take the kingdom back (and save Bek's love), he and Horus face vast armies of mortals and immortal demons cast under Set's spell.

Continue: Gods Of Egypt Trailer

Knowing Review


Excellent
In the list of filmmakers packed with wasted potential, Alex Proyas has to be near the top. While Dark City sparkled with a kind of surreal sci-fi magic, his other efforts -- including the gloppy Will Smith epic I, Robot -- have felt strained and unrewarding. So when you see his name attached to the lasted Nicolas Cage effort (said actor himself a perfect example of the law of continued diminishing returns), one fears a flop coming on. But as luck would have it, Knowing is actually very good. It proves that Proyas is perhaps one mainstream mega-hit away from finally fulfilling his so far unrealized possibilities.

Fifty years ago, the students of a small Massachusetts school buried a time capsule filled with their drawings of the future. In 2009, it's opened, and what's inside will change the fate of MIT Professor John Koestler (Cage), his son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), and the actual world as we know it. Seems the boy gets a weird list of numbers, scribbled by a troubled child five decades ago. Now, Koestler sees a pattern in the randomness -- they appear to be predicting cataclysmic events, providing the date and the actual number of casualties. Luckily, most of the tragedies have already occurred. Unfortunately, there are three remaining. With the help of Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne) and her daughter Abby (Lara Robinson), our hero will try to understand the omens before life as we "know" it no longer exists.

Continue reading: Knowing Review

Director and Alex Proyas - Director, Alex Proyas New York City, USA - Screening of 'Knowing' at AMC Loews Lincoln Square Monday 9th March 2009

Director and Alex Proyas

Dark City Review


Extraordinary
For all of the acclaim Dark City received after its initial, disastrous theatrical release in 1998 -- movie-of-the-year and DVD commentary honors from Roger Ebert; cult adoration; an eventual director's cut -- it probably still hasn't reached anywhere close to the number of people who saw, say, The Matrix (released just about a year later). Perhaps this has to do with the way the film shrouds its ideas in noir mystery rather than cyberpunk fashion; if The Matrix turned a broad audience into geeks who wanted to know kung fu, Dark City seemed ready-made for those whose geekery was established, though the film is broad enough to welcome nerds of the film, sci-fi, and perhaps even architecture varieties.

The Matrix is not a random comparison, mind you; the two films toy with similar ideas about the meaning of humanity, memory, and self-perception (they also share a second-unit director, though unless he is a brilliant stealth screenwriter, it is probably a coincidence). Dark City, directed by Alex Proyas, is less thrilling and sleek than its cousin, but equally imaginative, full of twisty images and clever synthesis of the movies that inspired it. It gives geeks a good name.

Continue reading: Dark City Review

Dark City Review


Extraordinary
For all of the acclaim Dark City received after its initial, disastrous theatrical release in 1998 -- movie-of-the-year and DVD commentary honors from Roger Ebert; cult adoration; an eventual director's cut -- it probably still hasn't reached anywhere close to the number of people who saw, say, The Matrix (released just about a year later). Perhaps this has to do with the way the film shrouds its ideas in noir mystery rather than cyberpunk fashion; if The Matrix turned a broad audience into geeks who wanted to know kung fu, Dark City seemed ready-made for those whose geekery was established, though the film is broad enough to welcome nerds of the film, sci-fi, and perhaps even architecture varieties.

The Matrix is not a random comparison, mind you; the two films toy with similar ideas about the meaning of humanity, memory, and self-perception (they also share a second-unit director, though unless he is a brilliant stealth screenwriter, it is probably a coincidence). Dark City, directed by Alex Proyas, is less thrilling and sleek than its cousin, but equally imaginative, full of twisty images and clever synthesis of the movies that inspired it. It gives geeks a good name.

Continue reading: Dark City Review

Garage Days Review


Very Good
To borrow a phrase from Tolstoy, all pop music success stories are the same; every pop music failure is different. That's the genius behind VH1's Behind the Music (Why spend time listening to a good album when you can spend an hour learning about Styx's hubris?), and it also explains why most movies about the glamour of hitting it big in rock and roll are usually so disappointing. Stuck with an obvious story, the results are either campy (Help!), earnestly boilerplate (Almost Famous), or pretentiously awful (The Doors). But director Alex Proyas has the right idea with Garage Days, his likeable comedy about a hopelessly mediocre Australian rock band that can't get a decent gig.

Still, every rock movie good or bad needs a young kid with good looks and ambition, which here takes the form of Freddy (Kick Gurry), a sandy-haired singer with a vendetta against gambling machines and tendency to lose to his girlfriend's vibrator in the sexual sweepstakes. Worse, the girlfriend happens to be Tanya (Pia Miranda), the bassist in his go-nowhere Sydney band, which is filled with neurotic lead guitarist Joe (Brett Stiller) and drummer Lucy (Chris Sadrinna), an amateur pharmacist whose concoctions tend to produce more vomit than highs. Add to this Bruno (Russell Dykstra), a manager with no schmoozing skills to speak of, and Proyas winds up having great fun bouncing his characters against one another, revealing both their ineptitude and their charms.

Continue reading: Garage Days Review

Alex Proyas

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Alex Proyas Movies

Gods of Egypt Movie Review

Gods of Egypt Movie Review

With a massive scale and a digital cast of thousands, this ancient Egyptian romp tries...

Gods Of Egypt Trailer

Gods Of Egypt Trailer

When Set brutally murderers his brother, Osiris the great deities of ancient Egypt are upset,...

The Knowing Trailer

The Knowing Trailer

Watch the trailer for The Knowing. Caleb Koestler and the rest of his class at...

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Dark City Movie Review

Dark City Movie Review

For all of the acclaim Dark City received after its initial, disastrous theatrical release in...

Dark City Movie Review

Dark City Movie Review

For all of the acclaim Dark City received after its initial, disastrous theatrical release in...

Garage Days Movie Review

Garage Days Movie Review

To borrow a phrase from Tolstoy, all pop music success stories are the same; every...

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