Conan the Barbarian

After quoting Conan the Barbarian in response to GeeCee’s post here, I decided I’d actually watch the movie.

And man was it… good?

The movie follows Conan, the last survivor of his quaint happy village, on a quest of vengeance against the men who killed his family and sold him into slavery – the villain is played my James Earl Jones. In the process, he befriends some thieves and promises a king that he’ll steal back his missing daughter.

So, the plot – not the greatest thing the world. There are lots of small, strange things – like why do you teach a gladiatorial slave to read?! – but I’m willing to excuse that, because the writing for the movie was excellent. There wasn’t much of it – the whole script was probably like three pages, tops – but the lines that were said were pure gold. IMdb will hook you up – and honestly, that one page probably has the majority of the dialogue anyways.

The music was also awesome. No crazy 80s rock pieces (which are awesome, in their own way). Just good, fantasy-esque bits.

No, the weakest part of the movie was pacing. There were just really long periods of the movie where nothing happened. Scenes of horses galloping over the steppe, or slaves being led away, or thieves sneaking around. arrgghhhh

I’ve heard there is a remake in the works, and I wonder if it’ll be good. The 1982 version was fantastic, in its own fantastically bad way. I’m afraid that a remake would miss out what made this film so good.

Anyways – I’m not certain that the Conan MMO is for me, but I’ve definitely ordered the first book of short stories. So! A good day!

15 thoughts on “Conan the Barbarian

  1. OMFG you are awesome. Is this the first time you watched it? I love this movie…I actually own a copy of the DVD, which also has the sequel on it. I don’t even care how cheesy/corny it is, it’s one of those movies I can put on and watch a gazillion times without getting tired of it.

    And I can’t believe you wrote this review without mentioning how awesome Arnold was. This was him in his prime, where everyone takes a look at him and just goes, holy crap, what a beast. You did mention the music though, so that’s good. It’s so epic that Medieval Times uses its soundtrack in its commercials ๐Ÿ˜›

    I’ve always wanted to read the stories too, that or the graphic novels. I love the IP, and seeing as I enjoy the movies and the game, I figured the literature would be my next step.

    • I thought the awesomeness of Arnold went without saying! ๐Ÿ˜›

      I really liked the movie. The more I think about it, the more it grows on me. And man, was the dialogue awesome!

      Conan: I remember days like this when my father took me to the forest and we ate wild blueberries. More than 20 years ago. I was just a boy of four or five. The leaves were so dark and green then. The grass smelled sweet with the spring wind.
      Conan: Almost 20 years of pitiless cumber! No rest, no sleep like other men. And yet the spring wind blows, Subotai. Have you ever felt such a wind?
      Subotai: They blow where I live too. In the north of every man’s heart.
      Conan: It’s never too late, Subotai.
      Subotai: No. It would only lead me back here another day. In even worse company.
      Conan: For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.

      But, as someone who has loved the movie and played Age of Conan – what do you think? Should I give the free trial a spin? Is it fun and awesome the way the movie is?

      • One of the most memorable scenes from that movie for me was the beginning, when little boy Conan and his mother were cornered by James Earl Jones. Well, you saw it, you know what happened. It’s just the way that scene was shot, something so poignant about it. It’s amazing and awful at the same time, one of those scenes that just make you go, “holy crap, did that just happen?”

        And then the scene where the boy Conan turns the wheel of pain and grows up as the soul survivor to become Arnold. There were just so many great moments from that movie. I actually bounced up and down with excitement when I saw the wheel of pain in the Age of Conan game.

  2. Ah, so it was simply a wheel designed to cause pain. My friends and I were like “maybe they’re drilling for water on the steppe?” I theorized that it might just be a device used to inflict suffering and make slaves stronger.

    Glad to see my inherent madness has left me suited to understanding Hyboria.

  3. But seriously. How does The Hyborian Age stack up beside one of the most awesome B-movies evar?

    Best supporting scene: Arnold punching a camel.

  4. Oops, I got so excited talking about the movie, I totally forgot to answer your question about the game *blush*

    The game is undoubtedly fun, I was actually planning on writing a one month review on it in a couple of days. It is awesome at capturing the spirit of the Conan IP. Everything that makes the world of Conan awesome is there. I personally enjoy the game play, though I’m currently playing a healer so a caster’s life is all I know. People who play the melee classes say it’s a lot of fun, that the combat is very reflexive and fast-paced.

    One thing to keep in mind though, you do need a pretty good set up to run the game…it’s pretty heavy on the graphics. My computer is pretty good, but I still have to play it on medium quality to have the client run smoothly.

    Anyway, I say if there’s a trial, go for it and see if you like it. It’s free after all, so what do you have to lose? One thing though, I would read up on the game a little before you decide, just so you know a little of what to expect. For example, the first 20 levels of that game takes place in Tortage and is heavily single player to let you go through your character’s main story as well as give you time to get the hang of playing. Those 20 levels go by quick though, it’s just that some people get turned off basing their experience on Tortage and think the whole game is like this.

    If you’re interested, let me know. There’s a free trial out there that’s unlimited, and I think it allows you to play all the content on Tortage island. I think there’s a recruit a friend feature in my account somewhere that offers a free trial period good for 7 days. Just another option.

      • Wiccana!

        67 Priest of Mitra – Kyela
        50 Bear Shaman – Breawyn

        Oh, the reason I got the lvl 50 is because it’s a “veteran reward” ๐Ÿ˜€ you get a one time offer to create a level 50 character once you hit lvl 50 with your first character. Cool, eh?

  5. Oh, and keep in mind I’m speaking as someone who played AoC at release, canceled after a few months, and just recently re-subbed.

    My review might be a little biased as a result. It’s because I see just how much this game has improved. It wasn’t like it was a train wreck of a bad game at launch, just unstable and had the distinct feel of being unfinished. Environments literally crumbled around me (they still kinda do now, but it’s better when I play the game on lower settings…hence running it on medium quality) and I would be painfully grinding out the levels because there weren’t enough quests. I quit at 47 because I couldn’t take it anymore. Now that I’m back though, in a little less than 2 weeks, I managed to get to 60-something. They added new zones, new content, and I haven’t run out of quests yet. My goal now is to get to max level (80) before the expansion arrives.

  6. “Iโ€™ve heard there is a remake in the works, and I wonder if itโ€™ll be good. The 1982 version was fantastic, in its own fantastically bad way. Iโ€™m afraid that a remake would miss out what made this film so good.”

    Well, the remake is ostensibly based more on the source material than the 1982 film, which is good. If it doesn’t have Arnold in it, most Conan the Barbarian fans wouldn’t be interested. Plus despite people having the woolly idea that it adapts the “spirit” of Robert E. Howard… it really doesn’t. The Conan in the film is almost the polar opposite to Howard’s creation. It’s a good film, I appreciated the classic film homages and philosophical musings, it just isn’t a Conan film.

    Unfortunately, the little we do know about the upcoming film is that it’s just as divergent from the source material, just in different ways. Then when you factor in the writers are the idiots behind Sahara and A Sound of Thunder, and the director is most famed for unwanted horror remakes and Pathfinder… yeah, doesn’t look good.

    • Well, I’m glad to hear that I’ll have something new and unique to read when my book gets in from Amazon. Thanks for the informative post!

  7. I’ve read all of the original R.E.H. Conan stories and would recommend them without a second thought. I also enjoyed the unfinished stories that were later finished by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter (I believe.) Good stuff.

    • So far, I’ve read “The Phoenix on the Sword,” “The Frost Giant’s Daughter,” and “The God in the Bowl” (i.e. the first three in The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian.) I’ve been pretty impressed, even though the first two had a “no one believes Conan OH WAIT” theme. I definitely like that the stories jump around in Conan’s life, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

  8. Pingback: Follow The Path Of The Godslayer « MMO Gamer Chick

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