Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Mastadge, Jan 21, 2010.
I'm guessing you've never seen Stargate: Atlantis?
The metal soundtrack I hope isn't in the movie (i hope it has a proper score that at least tries to do justice to something standing in Basil's shadow), but I don't mind it for the trailer. Metal and fantasy imagery are heavily associated with each other, so as a commercial it makes some sense (even though it comes across more like a youtube remix fan trailer).
I'm not too thrilled with what I've seen of this new Conan film. Though I've been a big fan of the franchise (books, comics, movies) since I was a kid back in the day, the metal soundtrack on the trailer for this new one really takes away from the gothic tone/vibe that the film should have. I really liked the heavy, brooding soundtrack for the first AS film (1982), and thought it was extremely effective in transporting you back to the time period when the film was set.
Conversely, the metal soundtrack for the Kevin S. Kull film (1997) was very out of place and really took me out of the film (and, I did like the story/effects for Kull, so if the soundtrack had been more instrumental and/or appropriate for the film, I know I would have liked this more). In any case, it sounds like this new Conan film will have the same problem, unless the metal soundtrack on the trailer is not used in the film (which is possible I guess).
I really doubt that there's going to be a metal soundtrack. Because the only thing more insane and inexplicable than using Hollywood Undead in a trailer would be using it in an actual film.
So my wife is gonna have a "girls' night out" to see this...
It's decent. It's not great, unfortunately, but it is serviceable. Momoa is good as the character and all the various elements are achieved well. It's got a larger scale than the Arnold movie and a more developed storyline (though, particularly towards the end, it occasionally goes to far and has characters talk about things that should have been left to the viewer to behold and recognize) and way more action (which is generally pretty good).
The score is not a metal soundtrack (though there are some thumping metal-like crashes at times), but while it does aim to be big, it's not very memorable (and, even when it manages to build on "being big" in the movie, the way the film is structured, it goes from "really big" to near silent in the next scene, so it's difficult for the film to build any momentum, musically).
I think what they went for with the music was a more eastern/asian vibe to the music (possibly to match Momoa's samurai stanced take on the character), which would explain why it feels so different.
I'm definitely tempted to see if I can re-edit the movie with the Basil score once this one is on DVD. I think it'll improve it tremendously.
Villain wise, Lang is good, but [hl=black]even when he gets the evil mask powered up, he doesn't actually do anything with it, so it's kind of a dead macguffin[/hl] and McGowan is quite good as the witch daughter.
The movie was LOUD too. Especially first noticeable during the boulder attack on the slave camp early on.
The only part of the movie that falls short of the rest is [hl=black] after the sex scene, when the girl wanders off into the woods instead of back to the ship, just so she can be captured as the plot demands[/hl].
I think, ultimately, in their attempt to make it more epic and more action-packed, the faster pace makes things feel a tad rushed- not cripplingly so, but still.
Also, to it's credit, the movie does not hold back- even I was giving a few "ooh!"s during some the violent attacks. Definitely earned it's r-rating.
As I?ve posted elsewhere, it helps to think of ?Momoa Conan? not as a remake of ?Ah-nuld Conan,? but that they?re both adaptations of the same source material.
I enjoyed both, and my hat goes off to whoever did the fight choreography. In particular, Momoa?s crouched ?ready stance? was impressive. I would say though, that both Momoa and Arnold used a lot of ?samurai-influenced? moves and stances, though Momoa was definitely faster and more graceful.
A recommendation: catch it in 2-D if you can. The 3D effects were pretty lame-to-nonexistent.
In interviews Momoa has said he intentionally used a lot of samurai stances, as well as studied the motion of large cats for his movement and silverback gorillas for his stationary/planning moments.
Although I stand by my point that both iterations used a lot of samurai influence. Both Conans and Valeria (and incidentally, Qui-Gon Jinn as well) used hasso-no-kamae as their ready stance, although Momoa's crouching version looked totally badass. "Arnold Conan" also used a lot of strikes from the jodan position as well as a kind of iajutsu looking two handed reverse-grip draw and strike.
Subotai also used a samurai style of sheathing his weapon.
Heh, I named the Jedi Master of a SW fan film I attempted to produce about 11 years ago Jodan Hasso, after those forms (the lower ranked Jedi characters also used names based on lower stances as well).
*by that, I mean both of us
This is an edited/expanded post, taken from one I made on another website:
Being a big Robert E. Howard & Conan fan from way back, I was looking forward to this new Conan film, but didn't have very high expectations. However, I did want to catch this in the theatre over the summer, but it wasn't playing for that long and was in limited release; so, I had to wait to see it on DVD.
Now that I've recently seen this, I am hugely impressed. Not only did this film exceed my expectations, it blew them away! I was halfway expecting a moderately bad movie, but I was truly amazed - and, now, it's my second favorite film of 2011 (my first being Rise of the POTA, but that's a different thread). This film reminded me a lot of the old original Conan stories by REH, as well as the Marvel Conan the Barbarian comic & the b&w Savage Sword of Conan magazine from back in the day. I also thought it was much truer to these books/comics than either of the AS '80's films.
My review (SPOILERS below):
- Great opening battle sequence, and very disturbing death scene re: Conan's mother.
- Ron Perlman did a great job as Conan's father in his scenes; his facial features & look made him fit the role like a glove.
- Incredible & vicious battle scenes with the young Conan & the Picts. This really reminded me of the comic, i.e. the barbarian Picts were traipsing around shirtless in the freezing cold/snow, which would have been unrealistic if this hadn't been a Conan movie. I also liked how the Picts were depicted, i.e. almost demonic - very cool.
- Great battle sequence when the young Conan's village was attacked - Extremely well-done.
- Jason M. did an excellent job as the adult Conan. I also thought he did a much better job as Conan than AS in the '80's films.
- The evil daughter/demoness was both horrific and seductive at the same time, a combination that's hard to pull off, but was done perfectly here. Again, this reminded me of the various evil sorceresses (sp?!) that Conan ran into in the Marvel comics.
- The sequence when Conan was fighting those creatures that were magically created out of sand was superb - truly incredible.
- Overall, the film was very epic in scope, i.e. large, dangerous walled cities with huge spires rising up out of the middle of nowhere, an evil magician, sword-fights, battles at sea, etc.
IMHO, this film is better than the two previous AS '80's films, though I know a lot may disagree with me on this. Note that I tend to have the opposite reaction to films than the general public.
Unfortunately, I don't think it did too well at the box office, so we may not see a sequel?!
Yeah, it cost $90 million and only grossed 48 worldwide, so there definitely will not be a sequel- which is a shame, for all the flaws of the movie, Momoa really could have done something with that role.
Maybe they were covered with some special gel or they were different then humans.