I remember some excitement about this adaptation when it was being made, then it seemed to sneak into theaters and disappear fast.
No wonder, I actually quit watching about an hour in. I can’t even articulate why I hated the movie really, it just seemed very dull and lacking any artistic flair. The cinematography and colors alone were dull and drab, the Hyboria in this movie instead of looking exciting and interesting instead looks dreary and dull.
I thought the opening with baby Conan being born during a battle was eye rollingly bad, but I don’t know if that was canon in the REH stories or not. Ditto for the egg thing and coming back with severed heads.
And I am personally a fan of the two Arnold movies, no they are not faithful adaptations but I do think they are very well and artistically made(wonderful visuals) and do capture the essence of Conan. One thing is for sure they are watchable and fun fluff, this new movie is not unfortunately.
I wasn’t expecting much from it, but wound up really enjoying it. Can’t really ask more from a movie than that. It’s been years since I read any of the original stories (lent most of my books to a friend I wound up losing contact with), so any discrepancies were not a bother to me.
I enjoyed it. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a fun popcorn movie.
My complaint is, they spent the first two thirds of the movie building the villains up to be these uber-powerful badasses, and then the climactic battle did not live up to the hype. In the first part of the movie, Rose Mcgowan’s character is a skilled and competent sorceress. Then she ends up in a chick-fight. The Mask of Acheron is supposedly some ultra-powerful gizmo, yet in the end, it seems relatively easy to destroy. And the old man was an okay villain, but he was no James Earl Jones.
One thing the movies demonstrate, is that special effects are no substute for good writers. In the first Arnold movie, Oliver Stone did not have the budget to do the kind of special effects that he wanted, so he had to come up with a better story. (You may love or hate the final script, but it is much better than Stone’s original proposals.) The second Arnold movie, and the new film, often use special effects to substitute for storytelling.
If they’re goimng to make a Conan movie, why not actuall adapt it from Howard’s Conan stories? Arnold’s movies never felt like they actually had any connection to its literary inspiration. I haven’t seen he recent Conan film, but it doesn’t sound as if it does, either.
You know which film DID steal shamelessly from Howard’s stories (and never acknowledged the fact)? The 1981 Albert Pyun epic The Sworrd and the Sorceror. The film is wonderfully awful, and belongs on any list of Bad Films, but the film’s best moments are direct steals from Howard’s stories. The resurrection of the wizard Xusia from his tomb is stolen directly from the resurrection of Xuthltan at the opening of Howard’s Hour of the Dragon (Conan the Conqueror in the Lancer/Sphere/Ace versions). The ripping out of the heart comes from Howard’s People of the Blacj Circle, and the crucifiction and release of Talon is from Howard’s A Witch Shall be Born. (The cheesier elements, including the three-bladed jet-propelled sword, aren’t from Conan stories, thank Crom.)
Would it kill the,m to adapt The Tower of the Elephant or Rogues in the House or Red Nails? If people want to see Conan, then by Crom, give them a Conan story!
You’ve got to be kidding me. There are plenty of original REH stories that involve Conan killing uncounted hordes of less talented foes in large or small scale battles. And he absolutely thrills in it.
“A Witch Shall Be Born” - when the Shemitish mercenaries attempted to arrest him, and Conan leaves piles of dead around him.
“Black Colossus” - Conan is placed at the head of the Khorajan army, and slaughters his way through the opposing army.
“The Hour of the Dragon” - aka “Conan the Conqueror” - huge, huge battle between the Aquilonian army and the Nemedian army at the end. And Conan’s right in the middle of it, hacking away with the infantry, then slaughtering opponents by the wagonload with the cavalry.
“The Phoenix on the Sword” - Conan kills a roomful of would-be assassins.
Not directly in a story, but mentioned repeatedly that Conan was one of the first over the wall when the Cimmerians sacked the Aquilonian city of Vanarium, even though he had only seen fifteen winters.
Yes, every story involved a supernatural element at some point, and yes, he often killed monsters and the like, but Conan absolutely loved battle. If not, he would have found some other line of work.
Conan to me always seemed more like The Man With No Name archetype, Conan is not a nice guy but he also isn’t a sadistic monster. He kills when he must, such as assassins, but he isn’t going around looking for people to kill. Hell that might just be my interpretation.
He doesn’t murder people for absolutely no reason, but killing is his default reaction to pretty much any injury or slight. Make fun of him for being an untutored barbarian? He’ll kill you (the braggart thief in “Tower of the Elephant”). Try to sentence him to prison? He’ll kill you (the judge in “Queen of the Black Coast”). Just happen to be a prison guard who is foolish enough to enter Conan’s cell? He’ll kill you (“Rogues in the House”). Make the mistake of being the new boyfriend of the woman who turned in Conan to the police? He’ll kill you (Ibid.). Try to trap Conan and sell him to cannibals? He’ll cut out your tongue and hand you over to those same cannibals (“Shadows in Zamboula”). Be a pirate captain whose job Conan happens to want? He’ll kill you (“The Pool of the Black One”).
No, it was “Rogues in the House”. Our favorite Cimmerian got of jail (after braining the new guard with a beef bone), killed the new boyfriend, then accurately dropped his ex from her window into a pool of filth in the street below.
“Conan glanced down into the muck and slime of the alleys below; he listened briefly to the clamor inside and the pleas of the wench; then he dropped her with great accuracy into a cesspool. He enjoyed her kickings and flounderings and the concentrated venom her profanity for a few seconds, and even allowed himself a low rumble of laughter. Then he lifted his head, listened to the growing tumult within the building, and decided it was time for him to kill Nabonidus.”