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August 19th, 2011

Movie Review - Conan the Barbarian


Conan the Barbarian









Starring: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Leo Howard, Ivana Staneva, and more.





Directed by: Marcus Nispel  Based on: Robert E Howard Conan Universe Written by: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood. Original Music by: Tyler Bates





Premise:
Conan spends his days freeing slaves, fighting, loving and drinking as
he seeks information on the man responsible for the destruction of his
village when he was a boy. When he sees one of the men in the original party, he seeks him out to get more information. Vengeance will be his.





Review: Jason Momoa was a great Conan. All the
actors and actresses were great. Especially the kids who played young
Conan and young Marique. The character of Tamara was both gutsy and
real, not just a token female, which was nice.




The settings were very well done. And the vistas of the
far off cities and towns, incredible. (Loved Skull Cave!) There were
several to die for moon sky shots too. Lots of attention to detail -
funky amalgamation for the armors and clothing of different countries.
Several of the 'real' locations added so much more to sell the 'movie'
locations, it was wonderful. They found some truly amazing places in Bulgaria for this film.




Loads of good fights. Some nudity and a hefty amount of
gore, so this one is not for kids. The special effects were excellent.
The sandmen battle scene totally fun! Oh and it'd been a while since I'd
seen a tentacled monster fight - oh yeah!




There were several levels to some of the characters and
even levels of motivation especially for Khalar Zym (main baddy) and
Marique (main baddy's daughter). For a bunch of other characters,
however, we got a lot of nada. They looked interesting, they had parts
to play, but unfortunately we found out little to nothing about them,
which meant when they were gone, it wasn't as satisfying as it could
have been to have seen their demise.




All the story and buildup was pretty good. But the last twenty
percent of the movie, they seemed to lose it. Unfortunately, since this
was the most important section of the film... The bad guy achieves goal
one of two, and this should have had some major impact, but aside from
getting a cool new hat and cracks opening in the flooring, it didn't
seem to do much for him. (Though the did have a very imaginative battle
on the sacrifice wheel while falling!) Marique was shown as having
magic, yet when the big battle was at hand, she's got nothing to show
for it - not even the poison she'd used before.




Worse
though was the ending of the film. After the big bad has been dealt
with, we get like a minute of post between the two main characters, and
then Conan is gone. Then another minute as he comes full circle by going
home and then the movie is over. Not even voice over letting us know he
has more adventures in his future. It pretty much sucked all the
previous fun out the window. :( Pretty much ruined it.




So for cool fight scenes, some great CGI, and neat
locations the payoff is there. Plot wise, not so much. Also, aside from
the beginning and ending credits, the 3D is lost on the film. Not worth
the extra bucks for that - 2D should be fine.





Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Matinee price)




 

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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