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Conde Koma
8/20/2011 4:52pm,
In honor of one whole year doing Fight Film Fridays, I am glad to present my very first video review!

Conan the Barbarian
USA, 2011
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
112 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816462/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6m_FAtxdaI

And, of course, special thanks to everyone here at Bullshido. Without you wonderful bunch of barbarians, none of this would be possible.

It is Fake
8/20/2011 5:15pm,
Hahahahahaaa that was my exact problem. It felt like a TV Show condensed into a movie. Various episodes strung together to make a story. Stretch this out, like Game of Thrones, on a premium channel and it would be good.

It was to nerdy for mainstream and the fact it only pulled 3,5 mil isn't to good..

Styygens
8/20/2011 8:30pm,
Koma;

Your review was a million times better than the movie.

I will say you are right that it was nice to be able to actually see the action sequences unfold. Too many films give me twitchy, too-close camera work. And I did enjoy watching Rose McGowan ham it up.

Otherwise, I just going to agree with this review:
http://occamsbroadsword.blogspot.com/2011/08/conan-barbarian-in-3d-is-it-really-that.html

Oh, and nice video.

W. Rabbit
8/21/2011 1:02pm,
"Original film...features one of the most iconic movie soundtracks of all time".

http://i.imgur.com/cBp4g.jpg

Styygens
8/21/2011 6:21pm,
One more thing I should've said before.

Why should I feel the least bit guilty about comparing this schlock with the original movie or the stories? I'm not the one who decided to title it "Conan the Barbarian in 3D." The producers, script writers (there were three credited script writers -- THREE!!!), and the director are all begging for the comparison.

They could've remade The Beastmaster.

hapkido_keith
8/21/2011 10:53pm,
They could've remade The Beastmaster.

I would actually be more likely to see that than this current heaping pile of mediocrity.

Hiro Protagonist
8/22/2011 10:03am,
What I wrote about the movie:

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=51337&start=60


Hehe, I TAKE OFFENSE!!!

Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves is my favorite movie of ALL time!
(I was nine years old when I first watched it; some of you surely played with barbies as kids, so give me a break. :wink: )


As to the new Conan, I am glad they tuned down the racism and the white supremacy <i><expletive deleted></i>, and instead of the original stories moved on and based this movie mainly on the comic book line:
In particular, I think Timothy Truman's "Conan the Cimmerian" run seems to have been a huge influence on Nispel and the writers.

Apart from that, it's a thoroughly solid movie; you get what you pay for, which is naked chicks, muscles, gore, and special effects. However, probably to budgetary concerns, the movie lacks originality, and is completely devoid of any moment of surprise.


In short:

Jason Momoa = good Conan.
Score = remarkably bad.
Aesthetics/design/make-up=Very, very good.
Rose McGowan = FAIL.

Overall, I can name two movies of the same genre that I watched in the last year and that I enjoyed more, them being "The Eagle of the Ninth", and "Centurion". Not sure if it is a good thing for the movie that I watch this newer one and look at them so fondly.

If I had to buy, I would rather recommend Nispel's "Pathfinder", which has an equally bland story, but better graphics.



...Though the sandmen scene freaking ruled!

WHEN A BARBARIAN FEELS THIRST, HE THIRSTS FOR BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!





Also, YES, Costner's Robin Hood is really my favorite movie of all time.

It is Fake
8/22/2011 10:14am,
White Supremacy when a Black Man was running everything?
Bwaaahaaahahaa thanks for that. No, don't go into detail that's just funny.

Hiro Protagonist
8/22/2011 10:27am,
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_GYNsrrVsJhY/SptZEqReg0I/AAAAAAAAAM0/EQz8-92Upaw/s400/conan+%3DGJ.jpg

It is Fake
8/22/2011 10:47am,
Wow. It couldn't beat spy kids 4 in America.....damn

Styygens
8/22/2011 4:16pm,
I think it's time to check in with Robert E. Howard himself about how he envisions Conan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2MwAy6njlM&feature=related

Butter on a hot skillet? You know what would go great with that?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okpByy-F_WA&feature=related

That's right: wild blueberries.

Yum.

Re4
8/24/2011 2:19am,
haven't seen it yet but this has happened before, filmmakers try to remake a successful classic, attempting to make it more faithful to the literary source material. Here they are trying to one-up the collective work of Oliver Stone, John Milius, Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones. Mako gets honorable mention.

In other words if the source material is not brought to life with the hands of masters like those above, then who cares about the source material. The "WHAT IS BEST IN LIFE?" scene may or may not be original, i doubt it. Most likely a coked up oliver stone just made up the whole thing, but there are some awesome badass lines in the original, i doubt anyone will be quoting the new one.

Styygens
8/24/2011 4:06pm,
haven't seen it yet but this has happened before, filmmakers try to remake a successful classic, attempting to make it more faithful to the literary source material. Here they are trying to one-up the collective work of Oliver Stone, John Milius, Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones. Mako gets honorable mention.

In other words if the source material is not brought to life with the hands of masters like those above, then who cares about the source material. The "WHAT IS BEST IN LIFE?" scene may or may not be original, i doubt it. Most likely a coked up oliver stone just made up the whole thing, but there are some awesome badass lines in the original, i doubt anyone will be quoting the new one.

The "what is best in life" scene was a collaboration between Stone and Milius based on a quote from Genghis Khan. It was not in the source material, nor was it entirely original to either the writer or director -- coked up or not.

I keep hearing the new one is an attempt to be more faithful to the original. Uh... "more faithful" is a relative term. Slapping a place card with a Hyborian Age name on the screen is arguably more faithful to the setting, namechecking a couple of Howard stories, using one or two direct Conan quotes completely out of the original context... this isn't being faithful in the same sense that Peter Jackson was faithful to the LOTR source material.

And that's what Conan needs, a Peter Jackson or Christopher Nolan to take the reins of a movie reboot.

But that's not likely... [sad face.]

W. Rabbit
8/24/2011 6:22pm,
... this isn't being faithful in the same sense that Peter Jackson was faithful to the LOTR source material.


Jackson changed soooo many things. But one has to, in an adaptation.

I am one of the biggest Tolkien fanboys you'll meet and I got over it.

Personally, I thought what I read of the Conan books were bleeech....crap.

The movie Conan (original) is by far the most memorable version because of the great writing, and of course the score.

Just like the Jackson version of LOTR didn't sink because the writing was good, and the CGI sold it.

Tolkien's writings, of course, form the bedrock of the entire genre. I just personally think of Howard as a cheap knock off. The Stone/Milnius work took something that was dime store and made it epic, with help from St. Basil.

Let us praise Brasil..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kUl5ItfVoM

Soldiermedic
8/24/2011 6:26pm,
Jackson changes soooo many things. But one has to, in an adaptation.

Trust me I am one of the biggest Tolkien fanboys you'll meet and I got over it.

The original Conan stories are bleech.

There were very few changes, additions and omissions that Jackson did that overtly upset me(at least, when it did upset me, I could see his point...I really couldn't fathom Tom Bombadil on the big screen) but I have a lot of reservations about The Hobbit when I heard about the new character "Tauriel".

Styygens
8/25/2011 9:39pm,
Sean Hood, one of the Conan script writers, on experiencing a flop:


When you work "above the line" on a movie (writer, director, actor, producer, etc.) watching it flop at the box office is devastating. I had such an experience during the opening weekend of Conan the Barbarian (http://www.quora.com/Conan-the-Barbarian-Creative-Franchise) 3D.

A movie's opening day is analogous to a political election night. Although I've never worked in politics, I remember having similar feelings of disappointment and disillusionment when my candidate lost a presidential bid, so I imagine that working as a speechwriter or a fundraiser for the losing campaign would feel about the same as working on an unsuccessful film.

One joins a movie production, the same way one might join a campaign, years before the actual release/election, and in the beginning one is filled with hope, enthusiasm and belief. I joined the Conan team, having loved the character in comic books and the stories of Robert E. Howard, filled with the same kind of raw energy and drive that one needs in politics.

Any film production, like a long grueling campaign over months and years, is filled with crisis, compromise, exhaustion, conflict, elation, and blind faith that if one just works harder, the results will turn out all right in the end. During that process whatever anger, frustration, or disagreement you have with the candidate/film you keep to yourself. Privately you may oppose various decisions, strategies, or compromises; you may learn things about the candidate that cloud your resolve and shake your confidence, but you soldier on, committed to the end. You rationalize it along the way by imagining that the struggle will be worth it when the candidate wins.

A few months before release, "tracking numbers" play the role in movies that polls play in politics. It's easy to get caught up in this excitement, like a college volunteer handing out fliers for Howard Dean. (Months before Conan was released many close to the production believed it would open like last year's The Expendables.) As the release date approaches and the the tracking numbers start to fall, you start adjusting expectations, but always with a kind of desperate optimism. "I don't believe the polls," say the smiling candidates.

You hope that advertising and word of mouth will improve the numbers, and even as the numbers get tighter and the omens get darker, you keep telling yourself that things will turn around, that your guy will surprise the experts and pollsters. You stay optimistic. You begin selectively ignoring bad news and highlighting the good. You make the best of it. You believe.

In the days before the release, you get all sorts of enthusiastic congratulations from friends and family. Everyone seems to believe it will go well, and everyone has something positive to say, so you allow yourself to get swept up in it.

You tell yourself to just enjoy the process. That whether you succeed or fail, win or lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.

The Friday night of the release is like the Tuesday night of an election. "Exit polls"are taken of people leaving the theater, and estimated box office numbers start leaking out in the afternoon, like early ballot returns. You are glued to your computer, clicking wildly over websites, chatting nonstop with peers, and calling anyone and everyone to find out what they've heard. Have any numbers come back yet? That's when your stomach starts to drop.

By about 9 PM its clear when your "candidate" has lost by a startlingly wide margin, more than you or even the most pessimistic political observers could have predicted. With a movie its much the same: trade magazines like Variety and Hollywood Reporter call the weekend winners and losers based on projections. That's when the reality of the loss sinks in, and you don't sleep the rest of the night.

For the next couple of days, you walk in a daze, and your friends and family offer kind words, but mostly avoid the subject. Since you had planned (ardently believed, despite it all) that success would propel you to new appointments and opportunities, you find yourself at a loss about what to do next. It can all seem very grim.

You make light of it, of course. You joke and shrug. But the blow to your ego and reputation can't be brushed off. Reviewers, even when they were positive, mocked Conan The Barbarian for its lack of story, lack of characterization, and lack of wit. This doesn't speak well of the screenwriting - and any filmmaker who tells you s/he "doesn't read reviews" just doesn't want to admit how much they sting.

Unfortunately, the work I do as a script doctor is hard to defend if the movie flops. I know that those who have read my Conan shooting script agree that much of the work I did on story and character never made it to screen. I myself know that given the difficulties of rewriting a script in the middle of production, I did work that I can be proud of. But its still much like doing great work on a losing campaign. All anyone in the general public knows, all anyone in the industry remembers, is the flop. A loss is a loss.

But one thought this morning has lightened my mood:

My father is a retired trumpet player. I remember, when I was a boy, watching him spend months preparing for an audition with a famous philharmonic. Trumpet positions in major orchestras only become available once every few years. Hundreds of world class players will fly in to try out for these positions from all over the world. I remember my dad coming home from this competition, one that he desperately wanted to win, one that he desperately needed to win because work was so hard to come by. Out of hundreds of candidates and days of auditions and callbacks, my father came in....second.

It was devastating for him. He looked completely numb. To come that close and lose tore out his heart. But the next morning, at 6:00 AM, the same way he had done every morning since the age of 12, he did his mouthpiece drills. He did his warm ups. He practiced his usual routines, the same ones he tells his students they need to play every single day. He didn't take the morning off. He just went on. He was and is a trumpet player and that's what trumpet players do, come success or failure.

Less than a year later, he went on to win a position with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he played for three decades. Good thing he kept practicing.

So with my father's example in mind, here I sit, coffee cup steaming in its mug and dog asleep at my feet, starting my work for the day, revising yet another script, working out yet another pitch, thinking of the future (the next project, the next election) because I'm a screenwriter, and that's just what screenwriters do.

In the words of Ed Wood, "My next one will be BETTER!"

As the judoka around here know, "Knocked down seven times, get up eight."