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Why Did Conan (2011) Fail At The Box Office?


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#181 Ironhand

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:46 AM

Thanks for linking the Coffman review.

Why is Valhalla Rising abbreviated VH? That was confusing for a while.
"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
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#182 gungnir_1972

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:47 AM

I have to agree with Amster watching Valhalla Rising was about as entertaining as watching paint dry,I literally fell asleep watching it.Maybe my tastes aren't "refined" enough...my bad I want to be entertained and not bored to death.No disrespect to anyone who liked the movie but it just wasn't my thing.Like Amster I'd go to a Motley Crue concert any day rather than listen to classical music for the same reason.Conan 2011 was an entertaining movie,Valhalla Rising wasn't .I think the Frank Coffman review Amster posted sums up Conan 2011 perfectly.

#183 monk

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:42 AM

you know it's funny gungnir, I was just at a bar and there was a vince neil/Mötley Crüe tribute band. ironic.

i wonder if in a few hundred years people will still be listening to it. another buddy of mine just mashed home sweet home into a dubstep remix. so maybe. i kinda doubt it, but maybe.

try and pronounce the band name with the umlauts. the shyte drinking high alcohol volume beer gets you to do heh heh heh.

ps. you didn't like Valhalla Rising!!!!!!??????? Odin wants his spear back lol

pps- wasn't Mötley Crüe's first manager named Coffman...coincidence?

personally, and let me just ask you this, I mean I see the quality in music, not for the genre of music per se, but for the quality/artistic merits/enjoyment of it...isn't that what people should be looking at? Some say Shakespeare was just writing the equivalent of the soap operas of his day, like Days of Our Lives level writing. Which is why I was using the analogy of painting in response to Coffman's point about the cinematic techniques Nispel was using. It's like Howard, he was a pulp writer, a self admitted writer who was in it for no highbrow reason nor felt he was making any grand artistic contribution- and yet here we are and the man is lauded as one of the greats, a founder of a genre...

to me, it's clear that it's that extra something, that extra spark that is missing in so many of the efforts related to Conan from the flicks to the comics.

if bach or mozart were alive today I'm sure they would be composing dope stuff with modern instruments etc., and maybe it would be blowing your mind.

people like things for all sorts of different reasons, hell for the life of me I can't figure out how some people order dominos repeatedly...but to many that is their definition of pizza.

I mean look at it this way- you like Mötley Crüe, but let's say your first brush with glamrock was Poison. I mean, they can't hold a candle to Mötley Crüe right? Would you say the committed Poison fan's tastes would be less refined than if he rightfully (by all that's holy or unholy lol) judged Mötley Crüe to be eventually better than Poison?

Just curious.

Edited by monk, 14 April 2012 - 07:07 AM.

"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#184 amster

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:54 PM

Thanks for linking the Coffman review.

Why is Valhalla Rising abbreviated VH? That was confusing for a while.


...because I'm stupid. :wacko:
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#185 amster

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:13 PM

interesting...

http://moviereviewin...barbarian_2011/


Sure, you win that argument. The vast majority of critics gave Conan a bad to terrible review. However, it means nothing to me, because I absolutely despise the vast majority of mainstream critics and put absolutely no stock in their opinions.
Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#186 Dave the Rage

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:34 PM

Threw me too the VH reference lol.

Thanks for the heads up on VR, I will watch that later with a few glasses of Vino. I like foreign flicks better at times than the english speaking ones tbh, I watched Wolfhound and thought for a film done on a smaller budget than the USA counterpart, jeez could they do a better Conan in respect to Nispels?
Wolfhound Trailer
We can't debate personal choice and whose is more informed than the other as it turns to bad blood soon enough. I tend to see both your points though on the new Conan, but I weigh it up on the scales of which is worth spending 2 hrs watching if a gun was put to my head. Momoa wins for me on a personal choice, as it is better paced, actioned fuelled and beautifully scored (plus better looking chics). Then again, I love the Arnold film for its simplicity and limited action, but when there is it is gruesome and more barbaric.

Can a foreign country outside of the copyright zone reading this consider doing a great REH Conan please, starting with TotE and ending in Hour of the Dragon, 3hr long joyride! chrs :P

Edited by Dave the Rage, 14 April 2012 - 02:36 PM.

?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century

#187 Cuchulain

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

I watched Wolfhound also, they did a hell of a job making that movie

#188 monk

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:39 PM


interesting...

http://moviereviewin...barbarian_2011/


Sure, you win that argument. The vast majority of critics gave Conan a bad to terrible review. However, it means nothing to me, because I absolutely despise the vast majority of mainstream critics and put absolutely no stock in their opinions.


Many of the reviews did provide coffman with reason to write his defense, but I think he did not address the points raised by the best of them. I just thought it was interesting to see what both sets of reviews contained and what people were identifying as plusses and minuses between both flicks.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#189 monk

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

Wolfhound looks interesting.

No one can deny alina puscau definitely prettied up CtBs screen lol...glad she didn't get run over with a boulder.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#190 KG Thunder

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:44 AM

I own Wolfhound, and found it enjoyable. What they managed to do with (by Hollywood standards) a fairly small budget impressed me.
-Also the pet bat is really cute. Just sayin'.

Edited by KG Thunder, 15 April 2012 - 06:44 AM.


#191 gungnir_1972

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:13 AM

You know I'd be willing to admit that Valhalla Rising has a few good things going for it whether it be the way One-Eye fights,the filming location whatever it is about the movie that appeals to you.I may have to try watch it again as I don't remember much about it...I think they lost me when they were on the water.I'm sure there are good points to the movie but I'm glad Conan 2011 wasn't made the same way.I know it could have been better,I'm not trying to say it's a masterpiece or anything I know it's not and it doesn't have to be.It checked enough boxes in my mind to entertain me.I liked the sword play,I liked the look of the cgi rendered cities and etc.I would have liked to have seen more of that.I would have liked to have seen what was cut or edited out.The movie isn't perfect but it doesn't have to be to entertain me.I would have liked to movie to have been as good as say 13th warrior or Centurion,Ironclad,The Last Samurai ...while Conan 2011 may not have been as good as these it doesn't deserve all the heat it gets.

It's kind of like the Motley Crue thing...I know there are better bands,In your mind it may be Led Zeppelin,The Rolling Stones,Aerosmith or whoever it doesn't really matter if you'll remember them decades later they all have good songs,high points in their music.They don't have to be Beethoven or Mozart or Bach to be good nor should they try to be.The new Conan movie wasn't made to be some masterpiece of film,I'ts a sword and sorcery film..should we expect it to be?Granted if it had say the same production and adherence to the source material as Game of Thrones it would have been a lot better.It's still a good movie regardless.Much like the band Poison doesn't have to be the greatest rock group of all time to be good...they're not my favorite but they've got some good songs and enough fans to be considered successful.

#192 RJMooreII

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:45 AM

3: The flaws of the film didn't help, but really, I think a Conan film would need to be a masterpiece in filmmaking to be the kind of sensation every Howard fan would want it to be, and we all know that will never happen.

I realised at some point that a serious treatment of Conan would probably look as much like I, Claudius as it does any kind of action film. Puip in general straddles a combination of 'high literature', feeding on mythology, Shakespeare and Dunsany as it does; whereas action films tend to be just about fighting (even if they're made with some deliberate quality). Conan is about existential treatments and anthropology, as well as fighting. Not easy for many people to pull off, and once you realise that most artists are hacks you can understand why so many film-producers don't even know they're mistreating the source material. They simply never understood it to begin with.
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#193 Rockamobile

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:54 AM

3: The flaws of the film didn't help, but really, I think a Conan film would need to be a masterpiece in filmmaking to be the kind of sensation every Howard fan would want it to be, and we all know that will never happen.

I realised at some point that a serious treatment of Conan would probably look as much like I, Claudius as it does any kind of action film. Puip in general straddles a combination of 'high literature', feeding on mythology, Shakespeare and Dunsany as it does; whereas action films tend to be just about fighting (even if they're made with some deliberate quality). Conan is about existential treatments and anthropology, as well as fighting. Not easy for many people to pull off, and once you realise that most artists are hacks you can understand why so many film-producers don't even know they're mistreating the source material. They simply never understood it to begin with.


Or they simply never bothered to read it. Or they decided they could do a better job of it then the original writer/creator. That's how a re-imagined classic is born.

Edited by Rockamobile, 17 April 2012 - 12:05 PM.


#194 RJMooreII

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:05 PM


3: The flaws of the film didn't help, but really, I think a Conan film would need to be a masterpiece in filmmaking to be the kind of sensation every Howard fan would want it to be, and we all know that will never happen.

I realised at some point that a serious treatment of Conan would probably look as much like I, Claudius as it does any kind of action film. Puip in general straddles a combination of 'high literature', feeding on mythology, Shakespeare and Dunsany as it does; whereas action films tend to be just about fighting (even if they're made with some deliberate quality). Conan is about existential treatments and anthropology, as well as fighting. Not easy for many people to pull off, and once you realise that most artists are hacks you can understand why so many film-producers don't even know they're mistreating the source material. They simply never understood it to begin with.


Or they simply never bothered to read it. Or they decided they could do a better job of it then the original writer/creator. That's how a re-imagined classic is born.

I think it's a bit weird to do that with a property film, though. I don't have a problem with a science fiction movie about people in leather who have super-powers, but do you have to call it 'X-Men'? There isn't enough real X-Men material to cobble into a film.

It's the same way with some of the REH Pastiches: some of them are alright fantasy books, but do you really need to call it 'Conan'? At least make it a 'What If'?

Cartoons remain vastly superior to feature films for fantasy, IMO. I prefer the Rankin-Bass version of LotR.

Edited by RJMooreII, 22 April 2012 - 11:06 PM.

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#195 cherryfunk

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:24 PM

<p><p>

Did you know who Frank Coffman is?

http://reheapablog.w...-the-barbarian/


Amster, thanks for linking to that review! This is my favorite bit:

Technically, the film uses an impressive, and I believe generally appropriate, variety of shots and camera angles. There are long shots, full shots, medium shots, close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, crane shots, aerials, dolly shots, pans, tilts, high and low angles, etc. All of these are aptly and interestingly used, showing the virtuosity of storyboarding, filming, and directing. There are several extra long shots, not all for "establishing shots," but many to emphasize the epic scope of the film—and this story of Conan IS an epic where none of the Howard stories actually fits that pattern.

My opinion of the film has changed completely now that I realize that it includes long shots, full shots, medium shots, close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, crane shots, aerials, dolly shots, pans, tilts, high AND low angles! What an achievement!

Also, I didn't realize that none of the original Howard stories were epic -- I once thought that THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON, certainly, was pretty epic, but now I realize that THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON includes NO long shots, full shots, medium shots, close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, crane shots, aerials, dolly shots, pans, tilts, high OR low angles!

Not a single one!!

Edited by cherryfunk, 25 April 2012 - 09:27 PM.


#196 Dave the Rage

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:17 PM

Release

Conan the Barbarian was first released on August 17, 2011 in France, Belgium, Iceland and the Philippines. It was released in Australia, Italy and Israel on August 18, in the United States, Canada and Spain on August 19,[38] in Switzerland on August 21,[39] in the United Kingdom on August 26,[40] among others.
As of December 21, 2011, the movie had a worldwide gross of $48.8m.
Critical reception

As of August 30, 2011, the film has largely received negative reviews, attaining a 23% aggregate approval rating based on 128 reviews on the review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[7] The website provided a consensus that "while its relentless, gory violence is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books, Conan the Barbarian forsakes three-dimensional characters, dialogue, and acting in favor of unnecessary 3D effects."[7] The film also received a score of 36 out of 100 from review aggregate Metacritic, which indicates "generally unfavorable" reviews based on 29 reviews.[41] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[42]
However not all reviews were negative. Scott Weinberg of Twitchfilm.com stated, "Some action scenes are tighter and more cohesive than others, but there's little denying that Nispel's Conan moves like a shot, tosses a lot of hardcore lunacy at the screen, and shows a decent amount of respect for basic matinee action-fests."
Although criticizing the stock characters and cliché ridden script, Variety magazine also gave a mildly positive review, stating "With all earnestness, Nispel embraces the property's classic roots, placing this new Conan squarely within the tradition of sword-and-sorcery pics."

Does it matter now to us all with Howard in mind, the damage is done or not done to the future of this franchise indeed! We will not see an epic until someone puts money into the pot and creates gold from one of Howards little gems of the past. I cut and pasted directly from WIKI to show no matter what we think as a group the reality is above. I liked the movie as a romp, like Scorpian King etc, but as the film I waited half my life for, it fell way of the mark. As a Conan fan I have my comics and old stories to reread, but what I would love is a run of books by Thomas and other scripters that know Conan and deliver me some epic reads, as alas the silver screen is but a fading dream. :(
?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century

#197 monk

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:32 AM

<p><p>

Did you know who Frank Coffman is?

http://reheapablog.w...-the-barbarian/


Amster, thanks for linking to that review! This is my favorite bit:

Technically, the film uses an impressive, and I believe generally appropriate, variety of shots and camera angles. There are long shots, full shots, medium shots, close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, crane shots, aerials, dolly shots, pans, tilts, high and low angles, etc. All of these are aptly and interestingly used, showing the virtuosity of storyboarding, filming, and directing. There are several extra long shots, not all for "establishing shots," but many to emphasize the epic scope of the film—and this story of Conan IS an epic where none of the Howard stories actually fits that pattern.

My opinion of the film has changed completely now that I realize that it includes long shots, full shots, medium shots, close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, crane shots, aerials, dolly shots, pans, tilts, high AND low angles! What an achievement!

Also, I didn't realize that none of the original Howard stories were epic -- I once thought that THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON, certainly, was pretty epic, but now I realize that THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON includes NO long shots, full shots, medium shots, close-ups, over-the-shoulder shots, crane shots, aerials, dolly shots, pans, tilts, high OR low angles!

Not a single one!!


that was funny, lmao.
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#198 Rockamobile

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:45 PM

Release

Conan the Barbarian was first released on August 17, 2011 in France, Belgium, Iceland and the Philippines. It was released in Australia, Italy and Israel on August 18, in the United States, Canada and Spain on August 19,[38] in Switzerland on August 21,[39] in the United Kingdom on August 26,[40] among others.
As of December 21, 2011, the movie had a worldwide gross of $48.8m.
Critical reception

As of August 30, 2011, the film has largely received negative reviews, attaining a 23% aggregate approval rating based on 128 reviews on the review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[7] The website provided a consensus that "while its relentless, gory violence is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books, Conan the Barbarian forsakes three-dimensional characters, dialogue, and acting in favor of unnecessary 3D effects."[7] The film also received a score of 36 out of 100 from review aggregate Metacritic, which indicates "generally unfavorable" reviews based on 29 reviews.[41] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[42]
However not all reviews were negative. Scott Weinberg of Twitchfilm.com stated, "Some action scenes are tighter and more cohesive than others, but there's little denying that Nispel's Conan moves like a shot, tosses a lot of hardcore lunacy at the screen, and shows a decent amount of respect for basic matinee action-fests."
Although criticizing the stock characters and cliché ridden script, Variety magazine also gave a mildly positive review, stating "With all earnestness, Nispel embraces the property's classic roots, placing this new Conan squarely within the tradition of sword-and-sorcery pics."

Does it matter now to us all with Howard in mind, the damage is done or not done to the future of this franchise indeed! We will not see an epic until someone puts money into the pot and creates gold from one of Howards little gems of the past. I cut and pasted directly from WIKI to show no matter what we think as a group the reality is above. I liked the movie as a romp, like Scorpian King etc, but as the film I waited half my life for, it fell way of the mark. As a Conan fan I have my comics and old stories to reread, but what I would love is a run of books by Thomas and other scripters that know Conan and deliver me some epic reads, as alas the silver screen is but a fading dream. :(


I wish the people that had done the Mummy movies and the Scorpion King had done Conan . The film would have been at least fun watch and probably would have done alot better at the box office.

Edited by Rockamobile, 19 May 2012 - 09:45 PM.


#199 Maxmagnus

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

VH breaks the number 1 cardinal rule of art. It must, first and foremost, be entertaining.


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#200 Dave the Rage

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:38 PM


VH breaks the number 1 cardinal rule of art. It must, first and foremost, be entertaining.


Posted Image

I watched it myself and thought it was meant to be slow and under whelming as it was based on the hardships and gruesome reality of them times. Though as a big budget entertainer it was not, but as a solid story telling rump it was. I watched it to the end and thought it was OK, but not entertaining, but then again I think they were'nt trying to entertain but be more cerebral. But I would not wanna pay into a cinema to watch it! :) So Conan wins for the entertainment factor for me....
?I do not accept as matter of belief certain things in this history, or rather fiction; for some things are diabolical superstitions, some are poetical inventions, some have the semblance of truth, some have not; and some are meant for the entertainment of fools.? Book of Leinster ? 12th century