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 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'

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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'   Mon 15 Aug - 5:10

LOL


Quote :
For a good quarter of a century, since Arnie hung up his loincloth in 1984’s “Conan The Destroyer,” people have been trying to bring Robert E. Howard‘s pulp sword-and-sorcery hero back to the big screen, most notably in John Milius’ unmade “King Conan,” while The Wachowskis, Robert Rodriguez and Brett Ratner also made various attempts at the material. Finally, he’s returned for some rapin’ and pillagin’, thanks to Lionsgate and “Friday the 13th” director Marcus Nispel, with “Game of Thrones” star Jason Momoa as the Cimmerian. We caught the film’s European premiere at Empire Big Screen tonight: was it worth the wait?

Emphatically, no. But we’ll get to that in a moment. The film opens, after some scene-setting by the voice of Morgan Freeman, with l’il Conan being born in the heat of battle, removed via caesarean from his dying mother by his father (Ron Perlman, looking remarkably like an extra from “Battlefield Earth”). Soon he’s left fatherless too, thanks to the efforts of bandit Zim (Stephen Lang), who’s seeking to reunite the pieces of an evil mask, or something, in order to bring back his dead wife, a sorceress. A decade or so later, Conan has grown to Momoa-size, and is hunting Zim, now a feared warlord, who in turn is hunting a young monk (Rachel Nichols) who he believes holds the secret to his wife’s resurrection.

Almost all of the stuff that works about Nispel’s film is contained in that paragraph. Starting off your film with a shot of a womb being pierced by a sword from the inside is, at least, arresting. The villain is, at least, motivated by something other than wanting to rule the world (although he wants that too). And otherwise, Nonso Anozie (”Atonement”) emerges the best out of the cast as the barbarian’s best mate—indeed, he would have made a far better Conan than Momoa, had anyone had the balls to cast him. So that’s it. The small victories of “Conan the Barbarian,” the 2011 edition. Because everything else is truly, truly awful.

Let’s start with Momoa. We’d had some hope after his turn on “Game of Thrones” that the actor might at least stand out in the film, forgetting that he only spoke half-a-dozen words of English across ten episodes. He’s fine at the sword-slinging, but delivery of dialogue? Not so much. And the rest of the cast aren’t much better: Lang is on sneering villainous autopilot, reprising his “Avatar” turn with an unplaceable accent, while Rachel Nichols fails to give any personality to what is, in fairness, a role that’s not so much underwritten as never-written. Worst of all is Rose McGowan, made up to look like a cross between Christina Ricci and an IMAX screen, and horrendously overplaying her part as Lang’s sorceress daughter.

But it’s not like you go to a Conan movie for the acting: you go to watch some heads being cleaved. Even there it falls short, however. It’s not like there’s a lack of action—indeed, the film has little else, moving from battle to sword fight to battle to fight to battle to stagecoach chase to another sodding battle almost continuously, with little room to breathe in between, with the end result being that you never care, because the stakes are never particularly high, and the wall to wall violence means that the pace feels glacial. Even the gore is disappointing, although it may be that we missed some of it thanks to the single worst, most impenetrably murky 3D conversion we’ve seen to date, resulting in much of the film’s third act looking more like a display of shadow puppets than an actual movie.

Some of the blame has to go to the writers: the world is thin, the stakes are never clear (the characters don’t change much from beginning to end), and what little dialogue there is (most of the film’s noises are grunts and roars) includes gems like the Pythonesque exchange “I have a claim to you.”/ “What?”/“Death!”. But really, it’s director Marcus Nispel who’s got to take the hit here, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows his previous work. We could have forgiven the cheapness of the whole endeavor: the TV-level production values, the terrible CGI, the fact that virtually every scene seems to have been shot in the same Bulgarian wood. But what’s really offensive is how anonymous it feels, and how entirely absent it is of anything approaching imagination or wit.

The director doesn’t bring any of his music video chops here: it’s thoroughly workmanlike stuff, and could have been made by anyone—at least the original came from the barking mad John Milius, making it feel like something close to a passion project, rather than the paycheck gig this so obviously is for Nispel. The worst of it is how much he steals from other movies, and not even classics, but blockbusters from the last decade. The prologue, filling in back story, about a magical object being broken into many pieces and scattered around the world? “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (films that Nispel presumably loves, as he lifts from them multiple times). A mentor/mentee training fight on an icy lake? “Batman Begins.” Fighting formless sand creatures? “Spider-Man 3.” Yes, this is a film that rips off “Spider-Man 3.” The fact that Nispel chose Morgan Freeman, of all people, to narrate is a good demonstration of the lack of imagination on hand.

There are been plenty of bad movies this year, but at least you feel that people were trying with, say, “Battle: Los Angeles” or “Sucker Punch”—they didn’t actually set out to make a bad movie. “Conan The Barbarian” just comes across as half-assed; a quick, cheap, cash-grab with nothing but contempt for its audience, something that would look shoddy even if it were the direct-to-DVD movie it so often resembles. And you should stay away from it like it was a horde of bandits coming to burn down your village. [F]

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/2011/08/14/empire_big_screen_11_review_by_crom_conan_the_barbarian_is_unbelievably_awf/
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Flaming Turd
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PostSubject: Re: 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'   Tue 16 Aug - 14:10

Ludicrous movie from the very start pre-production point.
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The Axe
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PostSubject: Re: 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'   Thu 12 Jan - 16:31

I agree wholeheartedly with both of you. I really, really wanted this movie to work. They could have made something to rival lord of the rings. Instead they made a complete mess. best thing in it was rose mcgowan.

And don't get me started on the ludicrousness of the sword designs. My girlfriend almost wet herself at my expression when I saw the 'thing' momoa was using. It immediately brought to mind a comment by mark ryan (fight arranger and nasir of the old robin of sherwood series) he said of one fight scene in season three's robin of sherwood those "swords are what you get when you let someone who's never used one, design them"
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Prometheus
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PostSubject: Re: 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'   Sat 14 Jan - 15:27

Honestly I didn't want the movie to work , Actually I didn't want a remake at all ... .What's the point of remaking a masterpiece of Milius ? I'ts nota a 1950 movie that needed a remake , its 1982 and all the effects and such are pretty much acceptable till today ... I woudl have liked a sequel eventually and made by Milius and Schwartzenegger ... but Momoa?
Only the name inspires nothing worth for a Conan movie ...

come on Compare even Schwartzenegger!!! and momoa bah...
andthe last looks just like a tall model trying to scare childrens making a forced ugly face for all the lenght of the movie ... totally rubbish play ...
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The Axe
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PostSubject: Agreed   Sat 14 Jan - 16:08

Absolutely agree. On the other hand. Hollywood are too dumb to know when something doesn't need touched. The score, visuals, and Arnie were perfect. Hell Momoa doesn't even have the proper colour eyes, something the makeup department (and momoa who bangs on about how much more knowledgeable regarding conan he is than anyone else, should have picked up on immediately). Which considering they all bleat about how they were wanting to be faithful to the original source material (by the looks of things their source was 'destroyer', 'adventurer' and 'red sonja') is disgraceful. They'll remake films over and over again. Look at the spiderman franchise (2 remakes so far), the punisher franchise (3 remakes and counting), they're even talking about restarting the batman franchise!

It would have been nice if the remake had worked is all. As I said, they could've had another lord of the rings, as it was they got barbie goes to fantasyworld
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PostSubject: Re: 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'   Sat 14 Jan - 18:25

That guy is more suited for Fashion runaways than play as Conan , Schwartzenegger body is just perfect and massive for the role .... and at least he didn't try to look ugly all the time ...
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The Axe
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PostSubject: Re: 'By Crom, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Is Unbelievably Awful'   Sun 15 Jan - 11:58

No Argument there:)
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