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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Killmonger (WARNING: Black Panther Spoilers)

So if the Marvel movies have one problem - narratively - it's their villains.

Non-recurring and vaguely uninspiring mwahaha-merchants are nothing new. Just look at Shakespeare (Don John from Much Ado About Nothing) or our current political situation (Zing). The movies have, in fairness, mostly been about the main characters - so the villains have taken a back seat, simply due to time constraints.

I mean...who even was the bad guy in Thor 2? What was the point of that?

That, however, is changing.

Be warned, below this line, there's gonna be a bunch of spoilers.

Now, my undying love of Black Panther has become obvious to anyone that has spoken to me since I went to see it. For which I feel the need to apologise. There's a lot of reasons for this.

The characters in this movie are just superb. They have presence, they are distinct individuals, they have strong looks. Without going into detail about all the African cultural touches - I mean dude's lip plate is amazing, you check that out, his lip plate is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in a semi-main character in a record-breaking movie - look at the four leading ladies.

The legendary Angela Bassett as Queen Mother Ramonda. Beautiful, resplendent and strong. Zulu head dress, covering white dreadlocks. A woman that carries herself with grace, dignity and wisdom. Letitia Wright playing Shuri, now officially the best Disney princess. Brilliant, warm, a technical genius, unashamed to be young, undyingly brave. Lupita Nyong'o putting in a sterling performance as Nakia. Spirited, vivacious, smart and competent. Like James Bond but actually interesting and not a horrible sexist boor. Danai Gurira playing Okoye of the Dora Milaje. A ferociously loyal and devoted warrior, whose skill with a spear and raw martial prowess would put most of the cast of Civil War to shame.

Not one of them sexualised. Not one of them tokenised. Not one of them objectivised. They all shine, in their various forms and ways. They all have their moments. The movie isn't afraid of showing them being better than those around them.

The titular character himself. King T'Challa, the Black Panther. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and heavy is the burden of the secrets of those who came before. This story is a classic one - the trials and tribulations of the new ruler. I mentioned Shakespeare earlier, and let's face it, the actual plot of Black Panther wouldn't be out of place (in broad strokes) at the Globe four hundred years ago.

But of course, every good classic story of a ruler trying to make the right choice requires a sufficient foil.

Killmonger's first scene on screen is powerful in and of itself: a young black man in a museum, looking at looted African artefacts, asking a perpetually dismissive and presumptive white woman where they are from. He declares his intention of taking a particular item, and when told by the aforementioned white lady that it isn't for sale, he deploys some weapons-grade truth.

"How do you think your ancestors got these? Do you think they paid a fair price? Or did they take it, like they took everything else?"

Doesn't stop him taking a mask from the same case as the Wakandan item in question, but then - Erik Killmonger has been raised and trained to have little respect for any kind of authority except his own, since his father was snatched away from him.

What's his plan? He plans to buy his way into the Wakanda that he was denied by the previous king, with the body of Wakanda's most wanted criminal, a white man who thieved their natural resources under claims of their being savages. Once there, he plans on challenging the king of Wakanda for his rightful claim to the throne, being that he's the king's cousin - royal family severed from the line by his father's betrayal and the old king's murderous response.

Then when he claims this position - by right of ritual combat, an art that he has perfected over years of CIA-funded covert operations and regime destabilisation - he's going to take all that super-advanced Wakandan tech, and send it out to those struggling under the suppression of others.

Is he doing that because then he'll rule the world? Well, sort of. Because he is hoping that Wakanda will stop being a small secretive nation, and become something far bigger, far wider. A Wakandan empire, slaves throwing off their shackles and becoming their own masters. He literally states:

"The sun will never set on the Wakandan empire."

The means by which he won the throne become the means by which he will win the world - and whatever his intention, it becomes rapidly obvious that the driving force of justice and reparation has been pushed through a filter of the same imperialism that granted him his training.

It's a truth we all know, now. The dirty wars fought in other places using other lives as pawns, supplies and support thrown behind the side of the population we want to win. Iran-Contra was a scandal, but nowadays we are better informed. Hell - Rambo 3 is about the US literally funding, training and arming the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet invaders.

No prizes if you can guess who that funding, that training and those weapons got used against in the early 2000s.

Why is he an excellent villain? Because we can partially sympathise with his motives and his methods. We understand why he's doing what he's doing, and he's not just evil for the sake of being evil. His entire life has led to the point in which he joins the film's narrative. We know that it can happen.

He could have set out on this journey to bring down King T'Chaka and his entire family, to burn Wakanda down around the royal family as a punishment. He could have had the goal of doubling down on Ulysses Klaue's initial foray into Wakanda, to steal as much Vibranium as possible and sell it to the highest bidder - probably making himself a billionaire.

Instead, he did the harder thing - the more admirable thing - the thing that a lot of us may have tried and failed to do. He decided to enforce change, to force the society that made him who he was different, so that people like him wouldn't have to exist any more.

How easily could he have been the protagonist?

In his final scene - as he is shown the sunset over Wakanda that he was promised as a child - he kneels on the ground, breathing ruined, thoroughly beaten by T'Challa in combat. T'Challa, who in Civil War showed that in victory he is both gracious and wise, suggests quietly to his cousin that he can still be saved. Erik's response is blunt and raw.

“Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, 'cause they knew death was better than bondage.” 

Erik Killmonger - his bare chest covered with the ritual scarification of hundreds of kills - is a warning. The path of the righteous isn't just to do the right thing. It is to learn from your past, to strive toward your future, but to be mindful of where that future is leading you. To know the casualties that might arise from your actions.

And like any good hero - any real hero - T'Challa can take a lesson from this conflict. He learns. A thought he was forming before becomes a full-fledged plan, and the doubt he had in his ability to be king fades as he takes hold of his new drive and new responsibility.

And so Erik Killmonger, whose goal was to bring Wakanda into the world stage and to lift up those who need it most - achieves his goal, even in death.

There's your villain.

Are you taking notes, DC?

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Wading Through Sludge

Sometimes settling on one topic for the blog each week is difficult.

Like, a lot will have happened - a lot that I have opinions on or want to think about or discuss - but actually picking one of those things can be difficult. Or, sometimes, very little has happened that I am aware of, and I can't stir anything out of my mind to put onto the page.

As of right now I am vaguely torn between subjects.

The horrible events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida, are both awful and sickeningly familiar. You noticed the Onion article that they just put out every time? Because every point is still valid? Because nothing changes? Even after the eighteen mass shootings this year alone, and we are still in February?

The ways to prevent it are complicated - if only because the obvious right thing to do is counterbalanced by what people want, and by the information being put out by a variety of sources, some of which genuinely don't give a damn about how many children have to die - as long as the rifles and ammo keep being sold.

The change is a thing that is hard to enact, because it will be fought against at every turn, by everyone from people who sympathise in principle but think your methodology is flawed, all the way up to the kind of people that want a handgun in every teacher's hip holster.

But then I have said a lot of this before, because this happens constantly, so I move on.

Black Panther was amazing. One hell of a movie. A classical tale of power and statesmanship, with a beautiful cast, cinematography and soundtracking to die for, characters that are absolutely popping with life.

I knew that people would complain about it. It was absolutely guaranteed to draw detractors - the kind of people that throw around the terms SJW and Snowflake. I heard claims of a lack of diversity, which made me laugh, because what the individual is actually saying is "there's not enough white people to make me happy".

I mean, I haven't been there, but I am fairly convinced that the border region of Uganda and Kenya doesn't actually have a lot of white folks hanging out there. Even before we take into account Wakanda's secrecy and closed borders, thus its lack of a colonial past.

So representation in movies is getting better, and that is a slow thing to happen, but each success makes it happen faster - even if movies with good POC representation always have to jump through more hoops and adhere to better standards than your average white-guy action flick.

Altered Carbon - neocyberpunk crime/action drama. I love the books, and the author has done some great work, so I was worried about the Netflix adaptation. It's pretty good. I mean it has its problems but it also shines in a lot of ways that are, maybe, not the ways you might think.

For one thing it has a nicely diverse cast. I don't often see a character who is a Muslim, whose faith is not only a character trait but a relevant one, who doesn't get played as an "other" or insinuated to be a bad guy. Most of the characters are multilingual.

The women of the series are treated pretty horribly. In general. This isn't ideal, but at the same time, I can see how it would be the way things pan out. It's not a GOOD thing, far from it. It just indicates to you who is in charge, how they treat other people, and who those people tend to be. That even in a future wherein technology exists that means nobody has to really die, society's class structure never really changes. The gap just gets bigger.

Everywhere, we are held back and down by the shit that sticks to us.

All the worst of humanity, colouring even the best art we can create, because while the sublime is hard to grasp - our sins and our vices are omnipresent and inescapable.

And they are what will kill us all, in the end - or make us so crippled as a society, so weighed down by the chains of greed and ignorance.

All we can do is wade through the sludge, day after day, to get to the dry land of our own greatness.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

All Tomorrow's Tomorrows

Scifi is my thing, has been since I was a wee babby.

When I was knee-high to a grasshopper I was obsessed with space and planets and astronauts. I had the notion that anything to do with space would be better than its mere earthly counterpart, that a "space thing" was just inherently better than a "thing". I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, obviously, but I also wanted to be Optimus Prime, so I don't know if I can put much stock in that.

As writing is a practicable skill, so is reading. Grasping nuance and context is a thing that comes through experience and exposure. Science fiction as a genre is one of those that relies more heavily on context than one might think - to understand the relevance of the future the writer has envisaged, it helps to understand the present and the past the writer is from.

It doesn't forgive problematic content, of course. Explains, but doesn't forgive.

Take Lovecraft. Dude was racist and sexist as hell, had a Disney-esque dose of antisemitism, but if you follow his writing chronologically it becomes clear that his attitude mellows. He's still reluctant to allow women to achieve or succeed at anything in his work, unless they are woman-shaped beings from outer realms or - in one case - a woman's body being driven around by the spirit of her own dad. (Seriously.)

His work from the early 20s - Arthur Jermyn, Herbert West - features a lot of comparisons between POC and gorillas or bestial creatures. Which is, let's be real, loathsome. It's the kind of shit that I can't help but think of when I see chibi Cthulhus. Then ten years later - having spent some time in New York, and experienced more of the world than previously - he releases The Shadow Out Of Time, barely two years before his death via cancer. Of course, the racism is still virulent and omnipresent - the aboriginal natives are named Blackfellows - but nary a comparison to animals or subhuman creatures in sight. A very tiny step forward from way, way back there somewhere, but a step forward nonetheless. Insert joke about how low the bar has to be set for cis white men.

Let's look at the difference between, oh I don't know, Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Haldeman's Forever War. Approaching a vaguely similar topic from two different directions and emerging with two different conclusions, it isn't surprising that the two authors had radically different influences on their writing and had observably opposing views on the subject of warfare.

Robert A. Heinlein - whose rules of writing I quote often, even if his attitudes to the world aren't something I subscribe to entirely - abandoned writing Stranger In A Strange Land (an arguably better story) to write Starship Troopers after being frustrated by Dwight Eisenhower putting a hold on US nuclear testing. He and his wife actually started up a society in support of the US nuclear programme. He served in the US Navy for 5 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant before he was discharged in 1934 - tuberculosis. Notably, he didn't see any actual combat during his service. His writing started some five years further after he left the Navy.

Joe Haldeman's writing started after military service, too - he won a purple heart serving as a combat engineer in Vietnam. The man went to war, the man was injured fighting it, and The Forever War was out before the war even came to an end.

I don't think I need to tell you the particular attitudes reflected in their work. You can probably guess. Let's touch on it anyway. In Troopers the war is a good and necessary thing, as is preparing for it, as is a society of brutalism that embraces it. The movie adaptation actually lampoons this, is actually fairly anti-war in how it looks askance at the whole affair, while being an unrepentant sci-fi action broo-ha-ha. Forever War, though? At no point during this book do you see the war as being right or just. It's seen as a sad sorry state of affairs, even if the primary focus is how the time dilation endured to fight the war is what does the real mental and social damage to those fighting it.

Yes, the reading of the stories is well and good. Understanding them is better - but understanding why the writer wrote them, and where they were coming from in their experiences that may have led to the story choices in particular, is important.

Look at the scifi that we read today. It's markedly different to anything that came out before. Every year we march further into an uncertain future, and we grasp certain concepts quicker, while others become distant and alien to us. Works that would have required an intense pre-emptive dump of information and an almost upsetting amount of exposition can now be presented quickly and easily, because not only are writers getting better at presenting vastly different settings rapidly and accessibly, we're getting better at reading them.

Examples of this, in particular, are easily found in several books I sell up on the regular - Becky Chambers' A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet and A Closed And Common Orbit. John Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire. Neal Asher's Dark Intelligence trilogy. Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy. Everything that James S.A. Corey writes in The Expanse.

We are all writing from somewhere, and towards somewhere. Sometimes we are writing towards something. Sometimes our way to get to that thing is soaked in neon and the weakness of the species. Sometimes our way is through a single small change that becomes a huge one. Sometimes there IS no change - just viewing the same bit of the world from a different angle.

The important thing is that we read critically and we write constantly.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Readers Request - Fandoms, Self Care, Reviewers, and Gods of Egypt, Apparently

Well it's about that time again, folks. Every now and then I do like doing this reader-contribution blog, because you lot are funnier than I am, frankly.

But this time we've had a couple topics that demand a lot more attention, homework and space than others, so if it is an unbalanced read... hey, democracy at work.

Names removed to protect the innocent. Some suggestions trimmed down for sake of brevity.

*coughObligatoryboobiescough* - Thank you. I almost thought we'd have another Readers Request without boobies. You have put a smile on my face, mystery reply-merchant.

Which fandoms have you come across over the years that have left the best/worst impressions? - Problem is that every fandom has good people and bad people, and volume and metrics are fluid. But one of the fandoms I have been simultaneously disgusted and overjoyed with recently is Star Wars. So much of the fandom has showed such grace and welcome for changes and respected the spoiler warnings. And a small amount of it has turned into such loud and obnoxious man-babies... so I guess it is much like the human race.

If you could have have any animal adaptation like melded onto you what would you have? - Axolotl health regeneration. And maybe their little feeler things. They're awesome.

If you watched the trump state of the union address (really don't blame you if you didn't), how much of a train wreck did you find it to be? - I didn't, because the entire administration is a train wreck. And it just keeps ploughing on. Through the hospital. Through the nunnery. Through the school. It just isn't stopping, not for anything. It makes me sad, and angry, and tired, but the only way it all stops is if he ends up out, and if the people running him end up out. I saw a few highlights. You know the thing that really struck me? Him, applauding himself. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why even the Zodiac Killer was a better repub candidate.

New A.I sex dolls...So when it's a doll or toy it's not cheating but when you factor in AI and that they can have personalities this will make things tricky. - Oooh so this is kinda one of the topics I love - not the sex doll part specifically but what makes sentience, what divides entities between thinking and simulation of thought, what makes one have a self. To get down to the brass tacks of it, and this is probably a good rule for life - ask your partner/s about it. Talk to them about it. Whatever it is. If you DEFINITELY know that they will try and knock you out for even thinking it? Yeah, put that back in the box, sentient doll or not. The problem comes from attitude. If Person A thinks something is okay and Person B doesn't - and it isn't obviously TOTALLY NOT OKAY, like moralistically - that is something for them to solve. Whether or not we should be programming sex toys that can think and feel, well that is a different matter; but I would say that if a personality has sentience and can think, that it gets the option of if it goes into the DildoMatic 19000 sexdroid or into the observation module of the next ISS shipment. Consent is important. If we're not okay with our sex toy deciding it doesn't want to be a sex toy, we probably shouldn't give it any AI whatsoever.

All the reasons why the Magicians is the best tv show - So I watched the trailer... and... I... am... going to watch a couple of episodes... and withhold judgement until then. The trailer doesn't impress me but I am wary of trailers, they're not made for me. Requesting Reader should be aware, I'm only doing this cos she was insistent and I trust 98% of her judgement.

I put one on your page! - Yes you did! That page of course is << My Facebook page!

how full of shit people are when they say "oh you just need to do some self care" - People are often full of shit when they lack knowledge on a topic but wade into it anyway. I've been told that my depression / rheumatoid / pulmonary fibrosis would be a lot better if I just did these simple things, all of which are straight out of a BuzzFeed headline. I think the people giving the advice think these things will genuinely help, which is sad, because of course they won't.

As 'the better half' has just been in hospital, how about an 'oldie but goody' and give us your take on what can do to stave off the privatization of the NHS... - What WE can do as people? We protest, we push, we write letters, we protest some more, but ultimately - those responsible and those who will profit from its sell-off can push it through without our say-so, and are even doing so already. What WE need to do is get the bastards out of the halls of power, before they can hand over the keys.

Favourite cake of: You / Your favourite hero / Your favourite villain / Random character of yours - Red velvet cake / Probably coffee & walnut / I can't PICK a favourite villain / Crowbar's favourite cake is plum wine served in a glass and without cake.

The commissioner of the NHL has had his position for 25 years. - Wow. That's either a good or a bad thing. Having done a little research, Gary Bettman looks like the kind of guy who is a semi-villain in a kid's movie about a local ice rink that is being bought up to be turned into a SUPER ARENA that won't have any room for kids to just skate around in. You know? Increased turnover is great, but labour problems and kinda forgetting where the sport came from - hard sell. But hey. It's not like he's the only rich man interfering with sports.

Gin! The cultural re-branding - It's super-popular now, even I've noticed this, and I don't really go out a whole lot. Used to be the thing you drank when you wanted to be super-sad, everyone knew it as Mother's Ruin. Now I see a lot of similarities with the way a proportion of the beer market has changed. Market on its differences, the craft that goes into making it, small makers, different varieties and flavours. It's like a hipster miracle but for a thing that I don't innately hate. (I mean I don't LIKE gin, but that's a taste thing. I don't hate the IDEA of gin.)

The recent super blue blood moon. - It was fucking cool, wasn't it? Looked absolutely great. And yet it was in the few days after that everything seemed stressy and tense. Full Moon Fever and all.

Who are some critics/reviewers whose work you like (and optional why or particular links) - For cinema and film, I am very fond of Every Frame A Painting, Movies With Mikey, Lessons From The Screenplay and Belated Media - mostly because they all speak thoughtful sense, without being weirdly judgemental, which I know sounds weird from a bunch of reviewers and critics. The other reviews I tend to pay attention to are GunPla - which my man at Shoky Reviews covers really tidily - and Transformers, which are very aptly and entertainingly brought into my life by the very metal Thew and the eternally chipper Emgo. You can get a lot worse video game yak than Dunkey, too.

Spice Girls. In general or a thought on their cultural significance - A lot of people liked them a lot. I wasn't one of those people. Ferociously successful, even for a pop group in a time when pop groups were expected to be. Crossed the Atlantic with relative ease. Unabashedly positive pro-girl message, Inspirational for a swathe of society. The upsides certainly overshadow the downside. Which is. Um. Basically the songwriting equivalent of mad libs.

Your take on hunting in a modern day society, considering all forms of hunting. - Practicality. You hunting an animal that is already profligate to survive and resource-gather? For yourself? Sure. You hunting a dangerous creature that needs to be put down for a larger good than its own existence? Sure. You hunting for a trophy? Go eat yourself. You going to kill a fox because you feel like it? Choke on yourself. I'm not against the concept of hunting, but like in every arena, wastefulness and pointlessness for ego stroking and other bullshit irks me. And hunting shit that simply won't recover? Putting animal civilisations to the sword, knowing that they are going extinct? Worst kind of fucking scum.

In light of what happened to me last year, and what [redacted] has been going through last 2 days, crowd funding at it's best. - While I am desperately sad that the world is in a state wherein to support ourselves and achieve things we need to rely on the kindness of others, my heart swells to see that those others step up to the plate. None of us have much, but when we have enough, we share what we have. We want to see people - people like us, who are struggling - do better. We want people to be okay. And if we could actually make society work that way, rather than just us; well, we'd be in a better situation.

Penis envy.. - I don't think penis envy exists. I think a keen awareness of injustice does. And if that injustice was classically associated with those on top having dicks, well, it's obviously the thing those with dicks would think. "Those womenfolk can't possibly just want to be treated as our equals," they would say, waving their glasses of brandy about and gesturing with cigars. "They must be jealous over this naked mole rat looking thing that is attached to our groins. And why WOULDN'T they be? Our penises are so glorious that, in an age wherein we will own hand-held objects that can transmit messages and even - AND EVEN - our likenesses across great distance, we should endeavour to show as MANY women as possible our particular assemblage of flesh! Yes, even the detestable little scrotal blob beneath! All of it! And they shall be SO jealous!"

The importance of nuance and context? - Absolutely critical. Every situation must be viewed in the context it exists, for clarity, for a full understanding of why it happens and what can be done about it. After all, we all exist in the context of the human race. That's something that needs to be considered whenever we make a decision. Another thing to consider is one of my favourite lines from Star Trek Discovery, which neatly covers something I often point out regarding morality and legality not being the same thing. "Universal law is for lackeys - context is for kings."

I would like to see your thoughtful and critical review of Gods of Egypt. (Tell you what, you write it and I’ll write one about everything I would do to fix it and make it better.) - ...I will begin this with a Fuck You for making me do this. That said. What follows is my thoughtful and critical review of Gods of Egypt.

Let it be known for the record that during the watching of this movie I didn't look anything up whatsoever. I think that to do some actual research into the aforementioned Gods of aforementioned Egypt would actually ruin the experience, as it is clearly not meant for anyone with even an amateur beginner's level grasp of Egypt as a historical and mythological entity. 
Right. So. 
Going into this film I expected very little, and yet, was disappointed by how precious little I was actually given. 
To address the very obvious elephant in the room, precisely two non-background people in this film actually looked like they could have been from Egypt. Neither of them were mortal. If we handwave the gods as getting a magic pass and being (mostly) white folks, then surely the mortals should reflect the actual ethnicity of the region, historically. Luckily, nobody who worked on this film has ever read a book, so we didn't have to see any of THAT awful forced diversity. 
On the topic of character, this film has no protagonist. We spend the entire movie hating everyone we are meant to like, or even the people we're meant to be indifferent to. The only person in this film I didn't want to see dead was Anubis. He was just doing his damn job, and kept getting interrupted by these gods who don't know how to behave. They keep talking about the rules of the Underworld, but those rules keep changing, for no apparent reason. Like Superman's strength, they change to suit the plot, moment to moment. 
The plot is as poorly written tripe as you can imagine. I'm fairly sure I read more complicated stories in primary school. Stories with character development. Characters that learn things, and learn not to do things. And if the overarching plot is bad, the actual script is lamentable. Even when delivered competently - which Gerard Butler seems to manage, no real competition mind - it is a sludge of cliche and bungled bullshit. When in the verbal grasp of the film's apparent mortal protagonist? Bek, I think his name was? Awful. Viscerally awful. It made me flinch, let alone cringe. 
But it's a fantasy action film, yes? So it's not meant to have a great story, or even a good script. It's meant to look great, exciting. It's meant to have feats of exceptional bravery and skill. It's meant to have stunning vistas and impressive backdrops with life-or-death struggle in centre stage. 
Whatever world this was set on, it was very, very varied. Full mangrove swamps. A city swathed in a fecundity of trees. A large grassy plain. A mountain with a forty-foot tall rock ring on top of it. An inky darkness with hard-to-see geographic features. Another inky darkness. Another inky darkness. And through it all, stunts and combat that seem to lack the basic understanding of how physics and motion works. 
The gimmick - each of the gods apparently being some kind of transformer that can turn into their classically-envisaged beast-head form - is...wasted. The design of each of them is competent, looking visceral, powerful. So when they go into battle with each other, we get some combat choreography and camera work that actually makes my head hurt. One cut per hit. Snapping from shot to shot, blink and you'll miss it. No sense of impact. No sense of harm done. No sense that this fight means anything at all. 
The message of the movie is that love is super important, and so is not killing your brother and trying to eat the entire world. 
This doesn't answer questions like - why is Set's slavery in making a huge monolith bad, while the slavery needed to build an ENTIRE METROPOLIS with RAISED STREETS FIFTY FEET ACROSS is okay? Why are the women in this film apparently just there to die or suffer for the benefit of the men or the plot? Why is the only black main character a literal Mystical Negro? Why was everyone in this movie aside from Anubis and Bek's poor girlfriend an irredeemable asshole? Why is Set a less believable bad guy than Don John from Much Ado? How do any of the cinematographers sleep at night knowing that at least a dozen shots in this film are basically travesties against the art? Why is Geoffrey Rush Ra? Why is any of this happening? HOW is any of this happening? 
We will never know. 
It still broke even at the box office.

That's it for this time, folks. Thank you for your input. Thank you for reading. And remember:

Don't watch Gods of Egypt.