ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Conan(2011)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Marcus Nispel

Starring:
Jason Momoa/Conan
Stephen Lang/Khalar
Rachel Nichols/Tamara
Rose McGowan/Marique
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Born during a vicious battle and then robbed of his father; king shit Conan (Momoa) has a chip on his shoulder and violence coursing through his veins and he will stop at nothing to avenge his pops death. My kind of dude!
THE LOWDOWN
NOTE: I can't bring myself to call this movie CONAN THE BARBARIAN; as there is only one of those and it was directed by John Milius in 1982 and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. So for me this movie is simply called CONAN.

As you can read HERE and HERE in my in depth two part “love letter” to Conan; I am a big fan of the character; having followed him throughout the years via the Arnold Schwarzenegger films (Conan the Barbarian is still one of my favorite films of all time), the TV show, the comic books, the cartoon; shit even through the XBOX 360 video-game (which I still play to this day, I aint done yet). I am right now finally delving into Robert E Howard’s original stories via the collection “The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian”… a long overdue read I know... I did it all upside down... better late than never. Now to say that my hopes for this update to be any damn good were low would be an understatement. The trailers did jack and shit for me, Momoa looked too soft to be Conan and the whole 3D angle put me off…cause the last thing I think of when I hear the name Conan is freaking 3D. So I rode on into this screening eager for the best, fearing the worst and came out of there with a big smile carved on my bruised and blood stained face. Yup, I was wrong about this new Conan…dead wrong.

The moment I witnessed Conan’s birth (talk about a ballsy and unique scene) I knew I was in good hands. This flick proudly stated with that bit: "I got a big pair and here they are…recognize bitch". I actually kept waiting for the movie to drop the ball, for the pace to slow down, for the cheesy scenes to kick in, for it to trip over its own feet or for it to pussy out; never happened. This badass celluloid killer kept swinging till the bitter end. Awesome! At the end of the neck snap; ask yourself this question: "Do I enjoy seeing brutal and plasma heavy violence splashing the screen non-stop for nearly two hours?" If your answer is yes, then let Conan be your pimp, he’ll hook your ass up with love you long time! Once the set up established in a grisly fashion; the bulk of the flick was all about following Conan around as he f*cked people up. If like me, that means high entertainment to you, you’re all good. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film be so relentless with its action and violence and for that I raise my Ale to thee! I was giggling like a legal of age school girl getting drilled in the yapper throughout this watch; marveling at the ample gore, getting off on the well staged and totally INSANE fight choreography, wowing at the jaw dropping settings and blowing loads over Nispel’s kinetic visual style.

The same went for the performances, wow, was everybody into it or what? Talk about an enthusiastic group of actors who went all out for the cause! Leo Howard was astounding as Young Conan, selling the character early on and Stephen Lang relished in his role of the evil Khalar. Moreover, Rachel Nichols put out an endearing mix of wholesomeness, vulnerability, sensuality and take charge, Ron Perlman made his small role count with his intense show while Rose McGowan (aided by her freaky makeup/get-up) chewed the scenery fervently as the oddball, sexy yet frightening Marique. With that; the film belonged to Conan and Jason Momoa uppercut an upset my way by nailing the part. Dude wielded that sword(s) like a freaking champ, aced the stunt work (which he pretty much did all himself… no doubles here), but more importantly, he channeled the Conan found in the comic books, giving us a hard man, but one with a heart and that felt at home within the dire situations that he was in. Momoa had a razor glimmer in his eye, moved like a panther and sometimes sported an elated smirk during his many fight scenes; Conan loves this shit and Momoa perfectly conveyed that. It was also swell to see that they didn’t PC the character up for today’s more “safe” (and boring) times. Conan was all man’s man. He was a Mack, he was sexist, brash and rude but yet the mofo was always charming and likable none the less. NOTE: My only complaint about Momoa; dude needed another 5 pounds of muscle on him, but hey that’s just my opinion and last I checked it aint worth Dick Tracy.

Any complaints? A few but nothing major. I wish Nispel would have stuck to the grim mood he had displayed in PATHFINDER for this one. The movie was a bit too bright for my liking, specially when taking into account that we’re dealing with Conan over here. Furthermore, the thing was maybe too tight for its own good. Don’t get me wrong; I can watch a buff dude slash peeps into Kibbles and Sluts for hours on end; but it would’ve been nice if the action would have taken a pee break sometimes to explore the depth that comes with the Conan character and his plight. Moreover; one action scene having to do with a giant creature kind of left me cold in its staging and editing; there was so much more to do with a sequence like that, but it kind of came and went. And was I alone in thinking that Tyler Bates score was a tad underwhelming? I mean for a movie like this, you need music that will rouse ya, music that will want to make ya stand up in that theater and start beating people up. Didn’t happen here, it was serviceable. Where’s Basil Poledouris when you need him?! Finally; the CG effects weren’t always tops. Sometimes I was wowed and other times the CG was too obvious (like some of the blood). No biggie though. NOTE: The (post conversion) 3D was fairly useless here, even when shit was flying at the screen, it wouldn’t fly OUT the screen, so save your dough and see it in 2D.

All in all; I am f*cking IN as to this reintroduction to Conan becoming a franchise. With that; carrying a budget of 80 to 100 million bucks on its shoulders and a hard R; I fear that the flick will flop. I mean is there still an audience for testosterone fueled, gleefully violent and un-PC films such as this f*cko? I know I’m there for them, but am I alone? The Box Office returns will tell. You in the mood for an action packed, violent and loving it, uber engaging ride? Hop on that horse with Conan; mothef*cker will give you the guided tour. LONG LIVE CROM!

NOTE 2: How does it compare to John Milius 1982 CONAN THE BARBARIAN? It doesn't. They are two very different films. Both are badass for their own reasons and both rock in their own rights!
GORE
Conan aint playing here; the flick was all about chopped off limbs, severed heads, stabbings, disfigurations and big red splashes of blood flying in slow motion. Conan be angry, which made me happy! F*ck yeah!
T & A
Conan digs on the ladies! We get all kinds of tit shots, shite even Rachel Nichols gave up the "so fine" goods here. UPDATE: Those boobies were not hers; they used a boob double. BOOOO! The ladies get Momoa shirtless for the bulk of the running time and he put out a butt shot that put Mel Gibson to shame. Everybody’s happy!!
BOTTOM LINE
What can I say other than... I LOVED IT! Conan is now one of my favorite summer movies of the year and it will most likely make my Top of 2011. Who knew?! Action driven, oozing of testosterone, sporting a F-U attitude and a unapologetic violent streak that resulted in stand out action scenes. On top of that the gore was plentiful and Jason Momoa owned all as he echoed the Conan found in the comics (which I am devouring now of late). Yup! This new Conan had me by the throat! Not a movie for pussies! Granted some of the CGI was so-so, I hoped its cinematography would have been darker, the score was "okay"and more depth would have been appreciated; but on the whole; this was the most fun I’ve had this summer at the movies! It was lean, mean, brutal and goretastic! If that’s your bag, get in that theater and support it! Just remember to not waste your coin on that shitty post conversion 3D…not worth it. LONG LIVE CROM and LONG LIVE CONAN! I want more! Bring it or die at the end of my blade!
BULL'S EYE
In the film Conan lets out this gem of a line: : “I live... I love... I slay... I am content".” Here’s the unedited version of it, straight from Howard's mouth:

"Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."

Momoa beat Kellan Lutz for the role. Thank fucking Crom!

The great Dolph Lundgren was a up for a role at a certain point; it didn't happen. Bummer...
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