Friday, August 19, 2011

Movie Review/Public Service: Conan (2011)

Viewed, most decidedly, in NOT-3D*.

Short review - Even though it was in color and in focus: don't. Just don't. I really wanted to like this movie, but couldn't. If you absolutely must see it, wait until it hits the $1 overnight rental or your public library.

The new Conan movie has been treated as something completely divorced from Arnohld's CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982) and CONAN THE DESTROYER (1984)**, and it was a very messy separation. It's a whole new Conan: a re-imaging of an interpretation AND a rebooting, too. Admittedly, a franchise piece tends to give the audience old enough to remember the earlier incarnations certain expectations. The Wild Wild West (1999) took fond memories of the 60's television show and had the fresh prince trample them to death. I won't even discuss AVATAR: The Last Airbender (2010).

Nothing against Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan and the rest of the cast as they did the best they could with what little the writers gave them. A wealth of Robert E. Howard's original works, fifty years of pastiches, comics, and even 3 of its own TV shows (two animated, one live-action), and this is the best they could come up with? The music wasn't even memorable.

Though filmed in Bulgaria, the computer generated landscapes were more Azeroth than Hyborian. As were the weapons. As was the armor. Sigh. Does Blizzard get a cut?

Instead of groaning on about this, I'll just list some of the thoughts that were going through my head while watching this movie.

... born in a shieldwall...

Ron Pearlman! Cool! Like the beard.

Rubber-baby made out of buggy bumpers!

The Last of the Mohicans takes a very strange turn.

Remember all these faces, kids, 'cause they're all gonna die - one at a time and in great pain!

Hey! It's Kahl Ronon!


More computer generated blood than mankind was meant to endure!

Eight elephant drive! How much more green can you get in a SUV?

It's the little brother of the octopus monster from Pirates of the Caribbean!

We waited 30 years for this?

I can't imagine how 3D would improve this theatrical experience. Maybe scratch-n-sniff.

Update: It finally hit me. The story was basically DEATH RIDES A HORSE, minus Lee Van Cleef's character, with Hyborian swordsmen and wizards instead of wild West gunfighters. DRaH was a great little movie, and still has the most vindictive gunfight in film history!

So, in conclusion: don't.

*Like 8-tracks and pet rocks, this too shall pass. Unless 3D evolves to a point where it doesn't require glasses, stops inflicting headaches on the paying public to create its illusions, no longer requires a premium and, dare I say, some worthwhile programming, it shall remain a novelty that doesn't justify the added expense or aggravation.

**I would add a snarky comment about CtD, but what can be said here that hasn't been said everywhere else in the past 29 years?

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