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Conan The Barbarian (2011) - Reviews & Comments & *spoilers*


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Poll: Conan The Barbarian (2011) - Reviews & Comments & *spoilers* (233 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate Conan the Barbarian (2011)?

  1. Excellent (24 votes [10.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.30%

  2. Good (71 votes [30.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.47%

  3. It's Just OK (46 votes [19.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.74%

  4. Voted Poor (32 votes [13.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.73%

  5. Bad (50 votes [21.46%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.46%

  6. Won't be seeing it (10 votes [4.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.29%

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#1001 Reaver

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 06:59 PM

I would have been much happier with a reboot rather than the remake or homage to Milius Conan or whatever it was that we actually got in CTB2011.

I think that's the crux of the problem with this movie. When it started out, it was supposed to be a complete reboot, ala Batman Begins. I seem to recall reading about that last year. But, as the film got written and filmed, it slowly began to morph in different directions. What we ended up with was a collection of little pieces of different peoples' views of what it should be, which all added up to a sloppy movie that, while enjoyable on some level (to me and a few others), was not loyal to any one mythology.

I would daresay that, had Nispel been allowed to just make the movie as he envisioned it even, it would have at least been more consistent. Or, if they would have just concentrated from day one on making it a remake, or based it off of the Marvel Conan, or, better yet, gone 100% REH (or as close as possible), it would have been much better in any case. As it was, we got a little bit of each made into a shepherd's pie of a movie.

I know I'm starting to sound like I hated it, which I don't. I just want it to be clear that I can reccognize all of the flaws, regardless of the fact that I still had fun watching it. :)

Edited by Reaver, 16 September 2011 - 07:00 PM.


#1002 grim cimmerian

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:09 PM

I know I'm starting to sound like I hated it, which I don't. I just want it to be clear that I can reccognize all of the flaws, regardless of the fact that I still had fun watching it. :)

Not at all, just seems like you have evaluated it further than the initial enjoyment you got during the film. I know you enjoyed it and never really faulted you for that it was just hard to understand from my point of view when I thought so many things were wrong with the film. I think you have expressed yourself well.
It was most interesting to see your early posts before you had seen the film filled with worry then your posts about how/why you liked it and then the discussion on what both sides found in the movie. Like in Jeremiah Johnson, "You have come far pilgrim." "Feels like far."
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#1003 Mark Finn

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:51 PM

I never made any reference to your views on the first film just expressed incredulity on your favorable review of the new one. If your unfavorable opinion on the first film is based on the un-Howardian aspects of Conan in that film who could blame you? If you disliked the film on its own merits that would be harder to understand as it was better crafted than the new movie. The major point of contention I have is that by your own admission you gave up on it being a Howard Conan film so were able to bottom out your expectations in order to just enjoy it as a brainless action flick. I would have expected a scathing review of why it was not Howard from you, or a review that blasted the films technical faults. Instead you went out of your way to sugar coat whatever scrap you could. It just was so unexpected from you. I would agree that certain aspects of Momoa's performance were more like source Conan than Arnold's portrayal but to write a favorable review on that one point alone seems like a huge stretch.


I'm sorry that I didn't write what you thought I would write.

How I initially felt about the first Conan movie, lo, these many years ago, is not how I feel about it now. Someone will eventually do Conan right, and when they do, I'm certain that my feelings about the second movie will change to match.

What can I tell you? I like underdogs. It's a Howardian thing.
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#1004 cherryfunk

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:30 PM

Please find any post on this forum where I said that I didn't like Arnold's movie. I've never said that. Let me summarize what I have said, for years, on this forum, in print, etc:

-The movie is not so much REH's worldview as it it Milius' homage to the samuraii films of Kurosawa. As such, the themes run parallel to Howard's themes, and are complimentary, if not exact.

-Arnold is a terrible choice for Conan. He's even more terrible in the second movie. There's exactly ten seconds of the second movie that can be classified as "Howardian."

-Milius and Arnold had a ball working together, but Milius doesn't know anything about REH. That didn't keep him from opening his big fat flapping mouth and spewing out horrible untruths about the author on the Special Edition.

-Despite all of these shortcomings and a bewildering mix of imagery, Conan works as a movie in that big, dumb, way that most other cultural artifacts manage to to. As a time capsule, it takes me right back to my Dungeons and Dragons days, usually in a good way.

-Over time, I've gotten used to the movie and now when I watch it, I tend to mentally sub out the name Conan for Kargor or Craaggon or anything else. Helps keep the bile production down.

There you go.

I thought you were on record strongly disliking the Milius film, I apologize if I was incorrect and appreciate the effort to put your feelings out there. I agree with most of what you write, although I have grown somewhat fond of Arnold's performance -- he's not great, but his physical presence is effective and he manages to carry the film well enough.

If you're detecting a defensiveness among some forumers here, I think it might be due to many years of having insults heaped upon us for daring to praise the 1982 film, which is of course a horrific abomination of all things REH and should be derided at every opportunity if you're a 'real' Conan fan. Then a new film opens which not only mimics the old one in 'non-Howardian' plot points, but is also worse in many essential ways (story, score, action, etc.), and rather than being derided it's actually praised by some of the same people who slammed the '82 film at every opportunity. It's all a bit confusing to us old school Milius fans.

#1005 Reaver

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:40 PM

...it might be due to many years of having insults heaped upon us for daring to praise the 1982 film, which is of course a horrific abomination of all things REH and should be derided at every opportunity if you're a 'real' Conan fan.

QFT

It's a big part of what drove me away a year ago.

#1006 Mark Finn

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 10:53 PM

I thought you were on record strongly disliking the Milius film, I apologize if I was incorrect and appreciate the effort to put your feelings out there. I agree with most of what you write, although I have grown somewhat fond of Arnold's performance -- he's not great, but his physical presence is effective and he manages to carry the film well enough.


I'm on record as strongly disliking Milius. I came into Howard partially because of the hype around the movie. I couldn't go see it at the theaters, but I could read about Conan, and did. Loved the books. Then I got to sneak the movie on HBO, and was sorely disappointed. At the same time, there was nothing else like the film to bolster all of the kids who were playing Dungeons and Dragons at the time.

Later, when the floodgates opened and every oiled muscleman available was swinging a sword at a $hitty rubber monster, Conan started looking pretty darn good by comparison. If only it had more REH in it...

Of course, now that we are Post-LotR and other films of that ilk, it seems doubly damning, especially since Paradox has demonstrated that they DO care about the property in lots of other ways. Hey, I get why a lot of you are angry. I got angry, too, at first, when the script hit the interwebs. But then it occurred to me that I was not in charge of anything. Moreover, I could see that Paradox was tired of dancing around trying to get something done. So they rolled the dice. They gambled, took a chance, and did what they thought was best--at the time--for their business.

I don't have to agree with it, nor do I have to particularly like it. And I promise you this: kvetching about it online does nothing to help. It never has, not when CPI held the purse strings, and it didn't help in this case. Right now, the fans enjoy a good relationship with Paradox. They don't always invite us in, but they do come to the front door and tell us what's going on. I want to keep that line of communication open for future projects.

You guys feel cheated out of your nine bucks? Think about how many millions of dollars went into the making of this movie. It wasn't chump change. But I do know this: whatever deals had to get made so that the Conan movie came out, I'll bet you a jelly donut they will be a lot more careful with the rest of the on-deck projects. I could be wrong, but I've met and talked to a lot of people in the company and they have all struck me as very smart, very knowledgeable, and very canny when it comes to their properties. I'm prepared to forgive them this error in judgement.

Now, if they get Steve Costigan wrong...LOOK OUT!

If you're detecting a defensiveness among some forumers here, I think it might be due to many years of having insults heaped upon us for daring to praise the 1982 film, which is of course a horrific abomination of all things REH and should be derided at every opportunity if you're a 'real' Conan fan. Then a new film opens which not only mimics the old one in 'non-Howardian' plot points, but is also worse in many essential ways (story, score, action, etc.), and rather than being derided it's actually praised by some of the same people who slammed the '82 film at every opportunity. It's all a bit confusing to us old school Milius fans.


Well, it wasn't me that heaped insults upon anyone for liking the movie. I put the insults where they needed to go: on Milius' big fat flapping wrong-headed mouth... I can, and occasionally do, watch Conan as a cultural artifact, a key to my past, and I do it wincing at the stuff I don't like as I do. Do I contradict myself. Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes.

Sorry. Got a little Profrock on you just now.
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#1007 cherryfunk

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:09 PM

Browsing online for other fan reactions, I came across this comment at the Bullshido forum. The writer makes a case for Conan 1982 being more Howardian than Conan 2011, and I think there's some truth to what he writes. There is a depth to the first film that I don't detect in the new one, a sense of themes and truths being explored and tested. I myself spent years pondering the 'Riddle of Steel' before puzzling it out to my satisfaction (in essence, Conan's father is wrong, and Thulsa Doom is correct -- flesh is stronger than steel, as demonstrated by Conan depending on his companions, particularly Valeria, in order to overcome his enemies.)

In any event, Styygens at Bullshido writes:

Peter Jackson made some changes to LOTR. But what he did not do was take one of the LOTR characters, introduce a new cast of supporting characters in place of the Fellowship, and tell a completely new story about the"hero" in a setting that seems to be Middle earth only because itshares some of the same place names. That's what CtB3D did.

Now, to be fair, the Milius CtB did much the same thing. That story steals acouple of scenes from Howard, but not the plot. But where Milius succeeded is that his movie was about Will, Power, Civilization, The Noble Savage, and Manhood. These were very much Howard themes. Milius' take is a little different, but there are some similarities of treatment -- some might argue the similarity is a certain adolescent, arrested development treatment of the themes. The themes are explored through some decent writing, a well-crafted movie, and an awesome score. So even Howard purists tend to regard CtB with affection because, despite its deviation, it feels like a Conan movie.

By contrast, the new movie has all of the adolescent, arrested development of the original, but it never dares to ponder any deeper. Conan simply "is." There is no consideration of his iron will, let alone the twisted reflection of it in the villain. The villain's quest for power is taken for granted; whereas the original's Thulsa Doom seemed jaded and world-weary after achieving his quest for power. the contrast of Conan's noble savage against the backdrop of civilization is barely there in the new movie because his interaction is so one-dimensional: he slays, and slays, and slays. And when he gets bored, he reives. Or screws. Watch Arnold's encounter with civilization in the original. he is intrigued by civilization, even pleased by it. But he recognizes it as a veneer for a different kind of savagery.

The Conan source material isdeeper than "Slay with sword; bed wench." The original movie stoodfor something, the new movie is vapid.


http://www.bullshido...t=108475&page=3

#1008 stonecold-mike

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:27 AM

Here's a review from someone who is a fan of Howard and the Milius film: http://www.thehorror...011-review.html

Here are some fragments:

"Yes, the original film will always be one of my favorites. Whenever I reach for a Conan film to watch, nine times out of ten, it will most likely be the original, but comparing the new one to the old one isn't fair; They are two very different films. Keep that in mind whilst reading the remainder of this review."

"Jason Momoa is a force as Conan. Whereas Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan was a much more introverted and brooding character (which was perfect for that particular film), Momoa's Conan wears his emotions on his sleeve and is far more impulsive and bloodthirsty; a definite antihero. During Momoa's many fight scenes, there seems to be an ever present smirk on his face; he genuinely enjoys the mayhem of battle. I have to say that this is the most faithful interpretation of Robert E. Howard's Conan ever captured on film."

"I was actually quite impressed by Marcus Nispel's directing here. Gone is the cookie cutter format that he seemingly used on both The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th; Conan the Barbarian has a much more sharp, high contrast look. The fight scenes and swordplay are very well choreographed and very little of the dreaded shaky-cam that plagues most modern action/adventure films is used."

"However, as cool as that sounds, a bit of character development is sacrificed in favor of packing in as many battle scenes as possible inside of the film's 113-minute running time. A little more on the history of Conan's people who have been nice, as well as a bit more info on Zym's background."

#1009 Mark Finn

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 04:39 AM

In any event, Styygens at Bullshido writes:


Now, to be fair, the Milius CtB did much the same thing. That story steals acouple of scenes from Howard, but not the plot. But where Milius succeeded is that his movie was about Will, Power, Civilization, The Noble Savage, and Manhood. These were very much Howard themes. Milius' take is a little different, but there are some similarities of treatment -- some might argue the similarity is a certain adolescent, arrested development treatment of the themes. The themes are explored through some decent writing, a well-crafted movie, and an awesome score. So even Howard purists tend to regard CtB with affection because, despite its deviation, it feels like a Conan movie.


http://www.bullshido...t=108475&page=3


See, I disagree with this guy's interpretation of the first movie, and especially his interpretation of Howard's themes. I think he missed the boat, but he DOES manage to arrive at the same conclusion as many of us. It parallels Howard's work, running along beside it, and in general going in the same direction. And what the hell..."a certain adolescent, arrested development treatment..."? Why doesn't he just say 'For a fat chick, you sure don't sweat very much.' I regard the movie with affection because it's an entertaining sword and sorcery movie. It does NOT feel like a Conan movie, as he would have ME attest. It's too sparse, to spartan, too Kurasawa-esque. There's no real movement in the backgrounds. Everything feels isolated and spread out over vast plains and distances. It's not Howard's world, and Arnold has never been, and never will be, my idea of Conan.
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#1010 ThuleanWarrior

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 05:31 AM

Everything feels isolated and spread out over vast plains and distances.


As opposed to the new film where everything was 5 minutes apart from each other.

#1011 Mark Finn

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 06:13 AM


Everything feels isolated and spread out over vast plains and distances.


As opposed to the new film where everything was 5 minutes apart from each other.


I made no endorsement for the treatment of space and distance for the new movie. But at least there was life and movement in the bar scene. And a city that looked like something out of Howard's world. As well as the temple. And best of all? No Wheel of Pain. That right there is worth a tilt of the mead horn.
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#1012 cherryfunk

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:22 PM

You guys feel cheated out of your nine bucks? Think about how many millions of dollars went into the making of this movie. It wasn't chump change. But I do know this: whatever deals had to get made so that the Conan movie came out, I'll bet you a jelly donut they will be a lot more careful with the rest of the on-deck projects. I could be wrong, but I've met and talked to a lot of people in the company and they have all struck me as very smart, very knowledgeable, and very canny when it comes to their properties. I'm prepared to forgive them this error in judgement.

Well... okay, I guess. I have no contact with the team, only the facts that they went with a pretty crappy script that was a half-baked 'do-over' of the Milius film rather than something based on REH's stories, and the fact that they hired a hack director. If you say they're smart, maybe they are, but they made some pretty poor decisions on this one. Perhaps they'll learn from this as you say. I certainly hope they do. The one thing we all want above all else is a faithful, compelling and successful REH film -- after 80 years you'd think it wouldn't be asking too much!

See, I disagree with this guy's interpretation of the first movie, and especially his interpretation of Howard's themes. I think he missed the boat, but he DOES manage to arrive at the same conclusion as many of us. It parallels Howard's work, running along beside it, and in general going in the same direction. And what the hell..."a certain adolescent, arrested development treatment..."? Why doesn't he just say 'For a fat chick, you sure don't sweat very much.'

Well, Milius is basically a 13-year-old in a grown man's body, and you could argue that REH was as well to some degree -- at least, he was certainly writing for a young audience and his stories are filled with the things boys are fascinated by. It's not a coincidence most of us fell in love with Conan in our teens.

I regard the movie with affection because it's an entertaining sword and sorcery movie. It does NOT feel like a Conan movie, as he would have ME attest. It's too sparse, to spartan, too Kurasawa-esque. There's no real movement in the backgrounds. Everything feels isolated and spread out over vast plains and distances. It's not Howard's world, and Arnold has never been, and never will be, my idea of Conan.

I agree with this -- when I read a Conan yarn I see a colorful, crowded world filled with different peoples, cultures, nations, with complex politics and a deep, powerful sense of history. The Milius film (and the new one as well, in a slightly different way) is sparse and empty. They just didn't have the money to do justice to the Hyborian Age (which is why, incidentally, a tale like BEYOND THE BLACK RIVER or RED NAILS would be well suited for a film, with their more limited settings). This is also why most of the 'Barbarian' films of the 1980's (and the post-apocalyptic films as well) are set in a desert -- it's cost effective.

Edited by cherryfunk, 17 September 2011 - 12:32 PM.


#1013 terryallenuk

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:32 PM


You guys feel cheated out of your nine bucks? Think about how many millions of dollars went into the making of this movie. It wasn't chump change. But I do know this: whatever deals had to get made so that the Conan movie came out, I'll bet you a jelly donut they will be a lot more careful with the rest of the on-deck projects. I could be wrong, but I've met and talked to a lot of people in the company and they have all struck me as very smart, very knowledgeable, and very canny when it comes to their properties. I'm prepared to forgive them this error in judgement.

Well... okay, I guess. I have no contact with the team, only the facts that they went with a pretty crappy script that was a half-baked 'do-over' of the Milius film rather than something based on REH's stories, and the fact that they hired a hack director. If you say they're smart, maybe they are, but they made some pretty poor decisions on this one. Perhaps they'll learn from this as you say. I certainly hope they do. The one thing we all want above all else is a faithful, compelling and successful REH film -- after 80 years you'd think it wouldn't be asking too much!



Don't know if I'm right in my assumption but the feeling I get is that Paradox couldn't find anyone - either a big film company or a good director who were really interested in doing the film.

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#1014 Rusty Burke

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 09:29 PM

I probably should just bow out of this discussion since the general consensus seems to be that, as a movie critic, I'm a pretty good book editor. But I'll try to answer a few direct questions put to me, I guess.

It is similar to science in many respects that the consensus can be viewed as a fact when actually it is just the best of our understanding to date.


Well, no, that seems a bit garbled to me. A "scientific consensus" can emerge regarding a given theory as the best eplanation to date of certain observable facts, but the consensus itself is not a substitute for the facts. How many "experts" might agree on something is perfectly irrelevant. Look at how many scientific and critical ideas emerged from obscurity to eventually displace once widely held consensuses. It turned out the world was not flat, no matter how many people, including distinguished "scientists," believed it.


Art can never be judged objectively, only subjectively.

I certainly disagree with this statement as an artist/illustrator. For instance a teacher might say "you rendered the subject matter well but your composition is bad and the perspective lines are not well done." Art can and is judged objectively all the time then afterwards ones' opinion subjectively influences the final judging.


When your teacher says your composition is bad, he's stating an opinion, a subjective judgment. His judgment may indeed be shared by 99.9% of the world's artists and art teachers (probably not, but let's allow it for the sake of argument) -- but it's still a subjective opinion, not a statement based on a universal, observably true rule. Art has changed over the years, and artists keep reworking the rules. The rules under which the sun operates, or grass grows, have not changed. Any two science teachers, widely separated not only in locale but also in temperament and belief systems, will still describe the process of solar combustion or of mitosis in plant growth in the same way, because these are objectively observable facts. But you can have two art teachers in rooms next door to each other who will offer very different descriptions of what makes for "good composition."

This seems to be the heart of our disagreement as I would assume that if one says this is a good movie then one would also be wondering why it did not do well, why it was not liked by the critics and general public, etc.


And I do wonder at the vehemence of the criticism of Conan2011, which I did not think was as bad as all that. As I say, it is evident that I am well out of the mainstream of critical thought, though apparently am joined in my tasteless opinion by at least some others.

Now I had one question that I wanted you to answer that you seem to have glossed over:
When does it become so unlike Conan that it should not have been given the title at all? Steve Perry pastiche novels come to mind as well as the Conan the Destroyer film. Since this is entirely subjective I would like your opinion on the matter. I feel that the current film should have just been a generic barbarian movie instead of a Conan film because as you and mark have both stated well in your reviews this was not Howard's Conan.


At one time, I probably would have said that if it wasn't Robert E. Howard's Conan, it shouldn't carry the name. But the question does get murky when you leave the printed words of REH, doesn't it? Just how closely must an adaptation into another medium match Howard's words, before you say it's too far away? The Roy Thomas Marvel Comics are okay, but the Michael Fleisher aren't? CtB1982 was okay, but Conan the Destroyer wasn't? Steve Fabian's illustrations, in which he pays close attention to the details of scene and costume that REH actually described, are okay, but those of Frank Frazetta, who preferred to divest Conan of garments as much as possible, aren't? Which is best: the Thriller episode of "Pigeons from Hell," or Scott Hampton's graphic novel adaptation, or the Joe Lansdale/Nathan Fox comic miniseries? Me, I liked them all, at least after I got over the initial shock of how much liberty Joe had taken in creating a new story from the bare bones of REH's.

Someone in the thread (apologies for not being able to keep everything straight from a quick casual lookover) asks how I (and others) can have made such a fuss about the Milius movie and then comment positively on this one? I think it is that over time, my outrage over the '82 movie subsided; a number of people (such as David Smith, who wrote a very lengthy and detailed critique of that film) convinced me that, as a film, it was better than I was giving it credit for (I still think it had a lot of real flaws); and -- this probably shouldn't have a bearing on the question but it does -- I saw that the movie had brought hundreds, possibly thousands, of new Howard fans into the fold over the years, so I began to view it a bit more charitably due to that.

The most important thing, though, is that at some point I became able to separate Robert E. Howard's Conan from all the other "pop culture Conans" floating around out there. I became a "purist" in this sense -- only the Conan expressed through the actual words of Robert E. Howard is the real Conan of Cimmeria. Those stories are now collected into "pure REH" editions, so the Conan Canon is now fixed. Anything that is not in those books is not the real Conan, but simply someone else's interpretation of Conan. Some interpretations strike me as pretty close to Howard, some not. Even some of those that are pretty far from REH (in my subjective opinion) are pretty good for what they are trying to be.

Would I have liked Conan2011 better if it had been closer to REH, even an adaptation of an REH story? Damn right I would have. Given how much I liked Momoa in the role, I think a truer-to-REH film would have been killer. But I knew, from all the years of rumors, the leaked screen treatments, etc., that the movie wasn't going to be the one we'd all been hoping for. So I readjusted my expectations. To be honest, if the trailer I saw in Cross Plains, and the excerpted early scene on the internet, had not piqued my interest, I wouldn't even have bothered to go to the movie, just as I've neglected to watch the Kull movie all these years, and am not particularly dying to see Solomon Kane. But they did pique my interest just enough to get me to go. Shelly and I both had a good time, and like I say, she's not easy to please with this kind of movie. I could have just quietly enjoyed it and left the criticism to others, but I saw it was getting a lot of bad knocks, many of which I thought not well deserved. In particular, I thought Momoa did a very good job as Conan, and didn't deserve all the "well, he's no Arnold Schwarzennegger" remarks. So I took my enjoyment of the film public, with, I thought, quite a lot of plainly stated qualifiers.

Was it a good Robert E. Howard movie? No, not even close. But was it a good Conan the Barbarian, of comic-book and movie and action figure and trading card and RPG and etc etc etc fame, movie? Yes, I thought it was. You quite obviously did not. It's hardly the first time in the history of Howard fandom we've found large numbers of us disagreeing with one another. I do have to wonder if, in time, the harshness of your views on this movie will mellow, as mine did for the 1982 film.

Rusty

#1015 Rusty Burke

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 09:37 PM

That, for me, is what I find odd about Rusty and company's comments. You'd think they might reconsider their harsh judgement of the first film, given the lameness of the new one.


Ah, it was you who asked about this. As I said in my response to Grim, I have indeed mellowed in my views of the first movie over the years, though I still don't think it's quite as superior as you suggest. For one thing, that "Conan" is a complete wimp. He docilely accepts his mother's beheading (I think real Conan would have sunk his teeth so deep into Doom's ankle that for years Thulsa would have been walking around with a little Cimmerian skull attached to his foot); he accepts years of slavery chained to a pointless wheel; he is cowed by an "owner" he could have snapped in half at any time; he breaks down in tears when he fails to kill Doom the first time... I could go on, but won't. And the story? Morgan Holmes aptly called it "Conan vs. The Moonies." Well, like I say, I view it more charitably now, not least because a lot of people liked it well enough to become Conan fans, and many of those became REH fans, and that's a good thing.

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#1016 Rusty Burke

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:07 PM

My question for Rusty would be, "Are you satisfied with the way the Conan character was portrayed, and pleased with the film overall?" Keeping in mind that I am deeply grateful for the work that you and many others have put in to provide us with the Del Reys. What I mean is aside from being able to enjoy the film as just a film, are you happy with the way that Howard's work has been put forth to the masses?


I see I missed this question when you first posted it, sorry 'bout that. It's a good question. I'd have to say that, yes, I was pretty happy with the way Conan was portrayed. Not 100%, no, but I thought Momoa did very well, looked great, and I thought he was portrayed as pretty much the composite of "prizefighters, gunmen, bootleggers, oil field
bullies, gamblers, and honest workmen" that REH claimed he was.

Pleased with the film overall? Harder question. I'd have to say that, if you listed all the aspects of the film on which it might be judged, for most of them I'd probably give it a "C", maybe a few "B"s and a miscellaneous "D" here or there, and Momoa would get a qualified "A" (I'd base it on what he did with what he was given, not on what he should have done with what he was not given). The one thing that really brings the whole enterprise down, though, is the story (script, screenplay, whatever): that one gets a big honkin' "F". And it's too bad, because it seems that one thing really messed up what was otherwise a promising effort. (For those of you unfamiliar with U.S. school grading systems (at least those of the remote past when I was a student), "F" is "Failure", "C" is average (with "D" below and "B" above average), and "A" is outstanding.)

Rusty

#1017 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 03:00 AM

The one thing that really brings the whole enterprise down, though, is the story (script, screenplay, whatever): that one gets a big honkin' "F".
Rusty


I know someone called Marcus N. who deserves a whole lot of honkin', screamin' and shoutin' consisting if words starting with "F" for having spoiled the project.

CPI should ask you guys to keep an iron grip on the (eventual "sequel" if ever there is one ...) project from beginning to end, eventually teaming up with comics fan favourite scenarists , after all it's Hollywood and if you want to go "adapting original material", the best compromise would be to fill in the blanks -comics style- of an original REH story or two (eventually linked together in a tasteful and realistic manner). Taking inspiration from the already adapted stories, the best ones , in the old savage swords or the new dark horse.

Speaking of faithfully adapted stories into comics: Tower of the Elephant, Buscema and Alcala version in savage sword. The storyboard is the d*mn comics itself, a director could simply use these pages as a storyboard and start working on it.
Black Colossus (in the same old savage sword first issues) : same thing. The inkwork is magnificent and the graphic style is reminiscent of old Sinbad adventure movies with a Frazetta touch. Any director would see his amount of work substantially reduced when all this previous WORK is waiting there in an old pile of comics.
Many fans dreamed and are still dreaming to see one day a film describing these stories in a similar way.When will CPI and Paradox understand this simple fact?

What I perceive as a traitorous move from Paradox and Nispel is that Conan2011 has been promoted agian and again as being a reincarnation of the comics and very close to the source material: you said it yourself, Momoa is close to Conan graphically and in spirit, but the story has zilch in common with either comics or Howard's writings (and worse, not even the slightest connection with the paperback pastiches neither). That is there is a connection with one paperback in particular: the novelization of the Milius film. Holy smokes.
Conan only "in spirit" : a movie going that way could be refreshing if it had a quality pastiche for scenario, but alas what we had was an (according to me) insipid rehash of Conan the Barbarian from 1982.
Why did the executives literally -lie- when they insisted upon the fact that conan2011 would be a "reboot with no connection anyhow to the first 1982 movie and would be a genuine new start for the franchise" ?
Suffices to read imdb's faq, this claim now proven wrong is still there!

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 18 September 2011 - 03:01 AM.


#1018 ThuleanWarrior

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:08 AM

Why did the executives literally -lie- when they insisted upon the fact that conan2011 would be a "reboot with no connection anyhow to the first 1982 movie and would be a genuine new start for the franchise" ?



I imagine once they sold the rights in reality they had no control what so ever.

#1019 EM Erdelac

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:10 AM

Well guys, I planned on going to see this tomorrow with the wife so I could finally chime in with an informed opinion....

...and the movie is gone.

Barely a month old and it is nowhere to be seen on any screen in Los Angeles.

We couldn't believe it and went on several different movie sites to confirm. It's not playing anywhere on any screen in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. The only theater I was able to find running it is up in Lynnewood, Washington.

Bit of a drive for me. Guess I'll be seeing it on video.

But wow! Harry Potter is still out and that came out in July. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men First Class, Cowboys and Aliens, all of these I have the option of seeing tomorrow - even Pacino's Scarface....but not Conan.

Edited by EM Erdelac, 18 September 2011 - 06:10 AM.


#1020 Ironhand

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:47 AM

I agree with this -- when I read a Conan yarn I see a colorful, crowded world filled with different peoples, cultures, nations, with complex politics and a deep, powerful sense of history. The Milius film (and the new one as well, in a slightly different way) is sparse and empty. They just didn't have the money to do justice to the Hyborian Age (which is why, incidentally, a tale like BEYOND THE BLACK RIVER or RED NAILS would be well suited for a film, with their more limited settings). This is also why most of the 'Barbarian' films of the 1980's (and the post-apocalyptic films as well) are set in a desert -- it's cost effective.

I think it is impossible, in any practical sense, to build the world of the Hyborian Age in a single movie. It would require several movies, or several TV episodes, as in Game of Thrones. Even LOTR required three movies to build a complete Middle Earth.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject