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Conan The Barbarian (2011) - Movie Mistakes And Nonsense


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#1 ambiente

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 06:42 AM

Please contribute by listing movie mistakes and absurd situations found in CtB 2011.

You can either follow the funny approach, as done by amsterdamaged in the Reviews thread, where he borrows from Vibradiant on IMDB.

Or you can take it seriously and categorize mistakes or simply list them.

If you have arguments claiming that a potential mistake is just enlightenment provided by the auteur, or supporting its validity, post them, but please remember to maintain a civilized (non-corrupted) discussion. Also, please avoid using that predictable argument...

Thanks in advance!



To the moderators: If you agree, please move the related posts from the Reviews thread (posted after #1078) to this one.
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#2 KG Thunder

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

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In the shot of the pict throwing the thing at Conan's feet, why are there no trees above him? We see him swinging it under a wide clear sky, yet every other shot shows the scene is in a wooded area...Not sure if it's a goof, but it always seems like bad editing to me.

Edited by KG Thunder, 27 October 2012 - 04:34 AM.


#3 Kahn

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:09 AM

Probably the fact that the picts look like Shawnee/Mohican/(insert appropriate tribe) warriors?

#4 Fernando

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 05:06 PM

Probably the fact that the picts look like Shawnee/Mohican/(insert appropriate tribe) warriors?


The only Picts who REH depicted are the ones of BtBR (close to Aquilonia's westermark), TBS (Pictish coast) and WBtB (close to Aquilonia's westermark, too). Howard never said anything about the Picts close to northwestern border of Cimmeria. ;) Plus, the savages young Conan faces and kills are too tall and white-skinned for being Picts. I believe they were Ligureans instead of Picts.

Edited by Fernando, 29 December 2011 - 11:49 PM.


#5 knifemaker

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:43 PM

When they made the sword it was poured from molten metal into a form. That is how they made bronze aged weapons not steel. So those Cimmerians still haven't learned the riddle of steel but have the hymn of bronze covered.

#6 amster

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 01:04 AM

Plus, the savages young Conan faces and kills are too tall and white-skinned for being Picts. I believe they were Ligureans instead of Picts.


Having read the screenplay, the novelization, and the end credits, I'm fairly certain they were Picts.

Probably the fact that the picts look like Shawnee/Mohican/(insert appropriate tribe) warriors?


Probably due to the fact that the Picts' clothing as Howard described it (naught but loincloths) would not have been believable as winter attire, and that the Picts would have looked far too generic on film, conveying none of the Native American "feel" that is found in the original stories.
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--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#7 Ironhand

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:03 AM

Absurd situation: how about the Elephant dreadnought?
"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
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"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

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#8 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:09 AM

So if I understand the comments on this thread, picts should look like mohawks?? Jumping Crom!
Why all the fuss when having rasta picts then? Picts are neither mohawks nor zulus nor jamaican slaves nor papus etc. they're just "picts" and should be represented in loincloths and hammered copper adornments (which mohawks did not have ) to hold their savage black manes. Not to mention they're supposed to be short and have a tanned skin.
We tall white dudes sporting native american crests running around with pointy teeth going "ROARRG" with overprocessed inhuman voices as if they were coming from "Underworld" flicks or "Night of the living dead". No problem with having them growl, but not like some monsters, it's plain silly. To me that's not picts at all and from what I've read from Howard , it isn't neither.They were just mutant native americans in Conan 2011.

I think Fernando was spot on but was jesting when referring to ligureans: in the movie, young conan clearly fights tall european extras dressed as 19th century mohawks with piranha false teeth.

One severe goof in conan 2011 was to have Zym refer to swords & steel when handling Corin's weapon (not to say what this same weapons resembles) saying " Cimmerians, they do not pray, this is their church (referring to Corin's forge), this is what they worship(referring to Corin's sword ,steel and blacksmithing in general) " .
Ok, celts and probably protocelts did bend swords as votive offerings to honour a deity or to celebrate a battle, (who really knows what for ), but here this is nothing like it, Nispel's intent was clearly a nod to Milius' "secret of steel", some sort of well kept steel fabricating secret made into a philosophical/religious matter.
For a franchise supposed to be completely rebooted and cleanly rebuilt from scratch it's a miss: we get in an bundle secret of steel and similar looking "father's sword".
Angry 2011 fans will come screaming to me that it's not a deer skull this time on the hilt but a ram and that it changes everything. Crom strike me on the spot!

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 31 December 2011 - 03:15 AM.


#9 KG Thunder

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:20 AM

We tall white dudes sporting native american crests running around with pointy teeth going "ROARRG" with overprocessed inhuman voices as if they were coming from "Underworld" flicks or "Night of the living dead". No problem with having them growl, but not like some monsters, it's plain silly. To me that's not picts at all and from what I've read from Howard , it isn't neither.They were just mutant native americans in Conan 2011.

Aside from being extremely slow and weak, I also can't stand the way the picts roar, even when in pain, and it's never explained! It seems like they were demonized so it would be less 'brutal' when kid Conan kills them, since killing monsters is less harsh than killing humans (apparently).
They did the same thing with Akhun. Was he a monster or what? Seems like they just said "Put fangs on him! Fangs are cool" with no real thought behind it.

#10 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:35 AM


We tall white dudes sporting native american crests running around with pointy teeth going "ROARRG" with overprocessed inhuman voices as if they were coming from "Underworld" flicks or "Night of the living dead". No problem with having them growl, but not like some monsters, it's plain silly. To me that's not picts at all and from what I've read from Howard , it isn't neither.They were just mutant native americans in Conan 2011.

Aside from being extremely slow and weak, I also can't stand the way the picts roar, even when in pain, and it's never explained! It seems like they were demonized so it would be less 'brutal' when kid Conan kills them, since killing monsters is less harsh than killing humans (apparently).
They did the same thing with Akhun. Was he a monster or what? Seems like they just said "Put fangs on him! Fangs are cool" with no real thought behind it.

I think you nailed it.
It's going the easy way to follow the rules of pre-teen oriented cartoons (monsters are annihilated, human foes are simply knocked out, put in jail etc except if they're demonized, then they're treated as monsters), and doesn't make the movie seem mature as it should be.

#11 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:37 AM

Having Conan sport a slight scar (due to Momoa's real life scar) after being "burned by molten iron" is a mistake.

To justify Momoa's scar, the scenarists should have thought of something like Conan practising seriously with his father and getting hit, or even better , having conan refer to his scar as being a souvenir from VENARIUM * , not from "molten iron".

Molten iron doesn't just give you a light scar it burns right through your skull, I've seen such scars in real life on people who work at the factory, it isn't pretty, even when it's just a spoonfull, heck it's liquid iron at 1500°Celsius!! Flesh just vaporizes into gas at that heat, receive some on your hand and you can see through or count less fingers (not to mention you can't use your hand correctly if ever something is left) ! I could only imagine what happens if it falls on the side of one's face...ughhh. Mutilation or death is the result, we're not dealing with molten pewter, lads.
Logically Conan should have been -at least!- one-eyed if he had received molten iron on his cheek.

*Which brings us to Venarium: taking that part out of a Conan "origins" movie is the most serious mistake, that and having him skip literally his official pirate adventures we've all read. These "holes" will be difficult to fill in unless the franchise is rebooted a third time or some genius comes up with a master plan to glue the pieces back together.

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 31 December 2011 - 03:41 AM.


#12 amster

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:25 AM

So if I understand the comments on this thread, picts should look like mohawks?? Jumping Crom!


If you're referring to my comment, of course, that's not what I said, but in typical JT fashion, you ignore my actual quote in favor of your own made up quote, so that you can frame the argument to suit your response.

Why all the fuss when having rasta picts then?


Because the Picts during the Hyborian Age are neither black, nor do they have anything remotely resembling a "rasta" culture. They do, however, have a culture akin to a native American one.

Picts are neither mohawks nor zulus nor jamaican slaves nor papus etc. they're just "picts" and should be represented in loincloths and hammered copper adornments (which mohawks did not have ) to hold their savage black manes.


Anyone who owns the Del Rey's will immediately see that the Picts in the film are clearly based on both the Keegans' and especially Gregory Manchess' designs. So you're saying that you don't like Manchess designs? Because I seem to remember you saying this a few weeks ago:

For the storyboard, costume design, settings, weaponry style and general art direction, I would NOT ask some dumb producer who plays golf with me his lousy opinion but I'd rather hire those same artists (still alive) which make Conan fans jump with enthusiasm: any of the following ,Tony deZuniga, Tomas Giorello, SanJulian, Greg Manchess, Gary Gianni, Mark Schultz, Boris, Cary Nord and so on ...

Not to mention they're supposed to be short and have a tanned skin .


And how exactly are you able to determine how tall they are, since the only scene they appear in is with an 11 year old boy? Against him, any full grown adult is going to look tall. And how exactly were you able to determine how tanned their skin was supposed to be from your reading of Howard?
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--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#13 monk

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 05:01 AM

the whole death of corin scene was pretty hilariously absurd.
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"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."

#14 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 06:23 AM



So if I understand the comments on this thread, picts should look like mohawks?? Jumping Crom!


If you're referring to my comment, of course, that's not what I said, but in typical JT fashion, you ignore my actual quote in favor of your own made up quote, so that you can frame the argument to suit your response.



you said exactly "Probably due to the fact that the Picts' clothing as Howard described it (naught but loincloths) would not have been believable as winter attire" bla bla bla "native american feel" .

Who are you to decide Howard's descriptions are suddenly not realistic enough for winter attire? He never described any winter attire, which means these savages just used something similar to what Howard wrote , who cares, perhaps they greased up their skin like some Inuits did or wrapped themselves in crude boar skins, one thing is sure, they weren't dressed in fringed deerskin pants and didn't sport iroquois crests.




Why all the fuss when having rasta picts then?


Because the Picts during the Hyborian Age are neither black, nor do they have anything remotely resembling a "rasta" culture. They do, however, have a culture akin to a native American one.


Who wouldn't agree. I was saying that having native american "picts" in full heritage festival costume would be as stupid as having black picts, that's why I said "why all the fuss".
I'd like to know what is so similar in native american culture that is so akin to Howard picts that would not be found in any stone age level culture, and that even in European prehistory.
I don't see any quotes there.

#15 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 06:25 AM


Picts are neither mohawks nor zulus nor jamaican slaves nor papus etc. they're just "picts" and should be represented in loincloths and hammered copper adornments (which mohawks did not have ) to hold their savage black manes.


Anyone who owns the Del Rey's will immediately see that the Picts in the film are clearly based on both the Keegans' and especially Gregory Manchess' designs. So you're saying that you don't like Manchess designs? Because I seem to remember you saying this a few weeks ago:

For the storyboard, costume design, settings, weaponry style and general art direction, I would NOT ask some dumb producer who plays golf with me his lousy opinion but I'd rather hire those same artists (still alive) which make Conan fans jump with enthusiasm: any of the following ,Tony deZuniga, Tomas Giorello, SanJulian, Greg Manchess, Gary Gianni, Mark Schultz, Boris, Cary Nord and so on ...


You just choose ONE name to justify a whole vapid argument. Manchess is excellent, so are Buscema, Nebres and other favorites of mine, some of which you may share in the list.

But none of them are 100% faithful in all aspects. It's all in the interpretation. Manchess prefers the native american approach whil Buscema for example made picts small hunched stone-age savages with copper axes (copper ...an anachronism very Howardian since stone age people did not sport pig iron nor hammered copper nugget artifacts. some native americans discovered native copper but that was an exceptional event in a very particular case).

Buscema was closer than Manchess this time (concerning this particular aspect).

Where neither Buscema nor Manchess respected Howard is the use of swords by picts (probably crude swords, but nevertheless swords, that neither represented).



Not to mention they're supposed to be short and have a tanned skin .


And how exactly are you able to determine how tall they are, since the only scene they appear in is with an 11 year old boy? Against him, any full grown adult is going to look tall. And how exactly were you able to determine how tanned their skin was supposed to be from your reading of Howard?


How tall? The tan is only my interpretation? In Beyond the black river it is said:
"Crude bandages banded the limbs of some, and smears of blood were dried on their dark skins."
To me, that's not african dark, it just means a tanned skin, like many people on this earth do have: southern italians, people in maghreb, mongols, native americans, indians (from India), swedish people who didn't put sun cream on while skiing during their holidays etc etc.
concerning the height, if a pict in the movie appears to have a standard modern adult's height , not hunched , compared to young Conan, then the pict is too tall.
Another quote:
"Short men, broad-shouldered, deep-chested, lean-hipped, they were naked except for scanty loin-clouts."
I didn't see any of that in the movie. I saw tall agile native americans with crests ,fringed leather pants, odd tomahawks and filed teeth.
did Howard mention "filed teeth"????? Never. That's a goof. Did he mention Conan battling mutant picts growling like lions? Never.
But he did mention "tangled manes were bound back with bands of copper" and "Swords and axes were in their hands".
Where did we see swords and axes in the 2011 movie? They had some jawbone tomahawks.
Ok for partially shaved skulls why not but at least put a copper band to hold the mane or something, not Mohawk hairdos.
I thought the pict (Columbu) in 1982 was far from top notch, but when I saw the "picts" in the 2011 movie, I thought they were 20 times worse.

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 31 December 2011 - 06:33 AM.


#16 monk

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 07:50 AM

the weapons in general were pretty absurd and very unhowardian- early indications came from mr. hood we were going to get bunk on that, and speaking of the picts, who were definitely absurd, especially their beheading. the whole fight with the picts was literally absurd. besides their animal noises, it was completely unbelievable that 'conan' killed any of them, especially when he dropped one of their bone weapons to use karate.

the whole when a cimmerian feels thirst bit was pretty whack. the trailer was something like, enter the world of the barbarian, which basically screamed out 'we don't know a damn thing about conan' because he is a barbarian who enters the civilized world...that was a major theme and they got it pretty wrong, instead we got some bs about slavery. imagine we got someone in there who really knew what they were doing and instead of 'enter the world of the barbarian' we got 'barbarism is the natural state of mankind...'

99% of the crombots and anyone familiar with conan and howard would have been pitching tents.

anyway the whole movie story is absurd. to me it played like a bunch of people who thought certain things would just be 'cool' and not very well thought out, who set it up like a video game.
"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."

#17 amster

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 02:50 PM

Who are you to decide Howard's descriptions are suddenly not realistic enough for winter attire?


It's called common sense.

I'd like to know what is so similar in native american culture that is so akin to Howard picts that would not be found in any stone age level culture, and that even in European prehistory.


And that why people like Manchess', the Keegans, and the filmakers made the Picts more native American looking, because going strictly on Howard's descriptions would have resulted in generic looking cavemen.

You just choose ONE name to justify a whole vapid argument. Manchess is excellent, so are Buscema, Nebres and other favorites of mine, some of which you may share in the list.


Uh, no, that's you missing the entire point. It's not just "one" name, it happens to be the artist that the filmakers choose to patten their designs after. Since the filmakers didn't pattern them after Buscema's designs, he's irrelevant to the discussion.

So now my arguments are "vapid" are they? Didn't you get suspended recently?

I thought the pict (Columbu) in 1982 was far from top notch, but when I saw the "picts" in the 2011 movie, I thought they were 20 times worse.


Columbu was sporting red hair and an eloborate mustache. Additionally, he was wearing leather pants that were similar to the one' you found to be totally unacceptable in the 2011 film, the main difference being that Columbus' looked like the product of a more advance culture. The tribal war paint he wore was far more eloborate as well, suggesting a much more "artistic" culture (which directly contradicts Howard). So I guess it's fair to say that fidelity to the source material isn't the standard you're actually applying here.

Edited by amsterdamaged, 31 December 2011 - 03:18 PM.

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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--

#18 JainkhulTamhair

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:48 PM

It's not just "one" name(Manchess), it happens to be the artist that the filmakers choose to patten their designs after. Since the filmakers didn't pattern them after Buscema's designs, he's irrelevant to the discussion.


Buscema is absolutely not "irrelevant" to the discussion, his own interpretation of picts is important to compare to Manchess' own interpretation.
I haven't read anywhere that Nispel said publicly he took inspiration from Manchess. Even so, both are wrong, picts are not native americans and should INSTEAD wear copper headbands or hair attachments, be small, hunched, dark skinned and crudely dressed, not in fringed leather pants. And no filed teeth neither. That's simply the end. No sense transforming Howard's savage small creepy people into tall, proud and ferocious mutant native americans.
Not to mention the picts should have had copper hatchets and/or primitive swords, as Howard mentioned. Not my ideas, Howard's, in Beyond the Black River.


So now my arguments are "vapid" are they? Didn't you get suspended recently?

Your arguments about picts being "correctly" described in the 2011 movie according to you are indeed vapid, they're based on personal preferences and not on actual descriptions by the author.
Me being suspended for a few days some time ago , THAT is irrelevant and out of topic. The suspension was for "arguing" on the forums, as the email I received from the moderator team mentioned, not for being wrong vs you.

On the "Howard 's Conan vs Conan on film " thread, it seems you should re-read post #121 by mod Deuce where he confirms my interpretation of Conan not being a backstabbing bastard who according to you violated the sacro-saint pirate code : "Conan didn't knife Zaparavo in the back. It was a stand-up fight over a woman. The "pirate's code" takes a backseat. NOT business. Personal."

Please get back on topic and not restart personal wars.

Back on topic, Manchess is excellent but his interpretation of picts and Nispel's and some other illustartors who describe picts as native americans with crests, typical 17th to 19th century local leather pants, no swords, no axes, no dark skin... are simply wrong. Not the end of the world a lot of artists make mistakes, Manchess oozes talent, his "mistake" can be easily forgotten, but the atrocious mistakes we saw in the theaters by Nispel are hard to swallow , fans willnot forgive him , especially when he presents picts like mutant native americans.

#19 amster

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:05 PM

On the "Howard 's Conan vs Conan on film " thread, it seems you should re-read post #121 by mod Deuce where he confirms my interpretation of Conan not being a backstabbing bastard who according to you violated the sacro-saint pirate code


Why do i need to re-read it? Because another forum member makes a comment that you interpret as being in agreement with yours, that somehow settles the matter? I respect Deuce's opinion and appreciate the fact that he weighed in on the debate. In response, I didn't have anything new to add except to rehash the same arguments I already posted, and I didn't see a point in doing that. It doesn't mean that Deuce (or you for that matter) have the final word and that all my prior arguments are somehow made to be invalid.

Your arguments about picts being "correctly" described in the 2011 movie according to you are indeed vapid, they're based on personal preferences and not on actual descriptions by the author.

Sigh. This is getting tiresome. Those are not my words, those are yours. It's pointless trying to have an honest discussion with you if all you're going to do is deliberately misinterpret my words, take them out of context, or outright ignore them. I could take the time to correct you, and explain to you what I was really saying, but what's the point. You'll just ignore me and cotinue with the same pattern of behavior. It's what you do.
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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--

#20 thedarkman

thedarkman

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 05:20 PM

When I read BTBR, in my mind, I picture Picts looking a lot like Huron or Mohawk warriors. It is not so much the actual physical description of the Picts, but rather the setting and mood that creates that image in my mind. These tales just feel like frontier adventure in the North American wilderness, sorta like Last of the Mohicans . And some of Howard's prose seems to describe a sort of N.A. Indian type people: "They wore beaded buckskin loin-cloths, and an eagle's feather was thrust into each black mane."(The Black Stranger). A great deal of Howard's description of Hyborian Age Picts just seems to remind me of Mohawks, and the similarity to frontier-type settler vs indian adventure is undeniable.

However, the filed teeth and "beast" roaring are the invention of the filmakers, and have no connection with Howard. I think this whole scene in CTB2011 would have played out a lot better if the warriors from the Cimmerian village got the word from the other boys about the Picts in the woods, ran into the forest, and engaged in a little skirmish with the Picts, alongside with young Conan. (This would also allowed the filmakers to give me an on screen skull-splitting, damn-it!)