I don’t have much affinity for Conan The Barbarian as a character and am not an expert in the Conan mythos. I never saw the Ahnold version and never read the comic books. So the idea of remaking and modernizing this cult character held no meaning for me. I watched the recently released 3D Blu-ray version cold.
Taking over for Schwarzenegger is Jason Momoa who many may recognize from Stargate Atlantis and the HBO hit Game of Thrones. The thing about this character is, you don’t need to know how to act. You just need to have a presence, the physical build and be able to grunt on cue to make it work. For the most part Momoa acquits himself well. Momoa doesn’t look as big barbarian like as Schwarzenegger (in his defining role) but he does the part justice.
For those that don’t know, Conan was born “of blood” on the battlefield and raised to be a warrior. When his father is killed and his village destroyed he travels the countryside doing whatever he could to survive. Conan is a simple man, with simple tastes. Momoa delivers the famous line with all the passion of a dead fish.
Director Marcus Nispel delivers some good sword, sandals, blood and guts. None of it is done in an innovative or imaginary way, but then that’s not what I expect from a Conan movie. It largely succeeds due to my limited expectations for the material. I can’t see how fans of Conan could be disappointed in this movie. Conan isn’t a character that emotes a lot, “I Live, I Love, I Slay, I’m Content.” This famous line sums up who Conan is and really what this movie is all about.
If there is a way to tone down a movie that should be all about severed body parts and nudity this is the way it should done. It does not shy away from it, but it also doesn’t go nuts with buckets of blood.
The movie is presented in a nice two-disc combo package that includes the 3D-Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray version on a single Blu-ray Disk and the Digital Copy and DVD version on a separate disk. I’ve been complaining for awhile about having separate disks for each version of a movie silly, so it’s nice to see a package that would normally be 4 disks a nice easy to use and manage two disc set. I especially like having both the 3D and Regular Blu-ray version on a single disk.
The 3D-Blu-ray transfer is solid, it’s not jaw dropping, but it’s clear and sharp. It doesn’t have the depth of field or richness that I would like to see. But it doesn’t detract from the movie at all – it’s just “there.” Not worth the extra money to get this in 3D.
The Digital Copy is standard iTunes Code and not that UltraViolet garbage that some studios are starting to push and is included on the same Disc as the DVD version.
- The movie includes two full length Audio Commentary tracks one with Director Marcus Nispel and another with Rose McGowan and Momoa.
- The Conan Legacy – A Nice featurette the goes into detail about the Conan Character – a really good primer for people who do not know anything
- Robert E. Howard – A look at the creator of Conan, very interesting history about how he created the character and his history
- Staging the Fights
- Battle Royal – Engineering the Action
I enjoyed the movie for what it is. Does it have “artistic” merit? What does that even mean? It’s fun, mindless, and isn’t nearly as gory as I thought it would be. This is an adequate Blu-ray package for people who liked the movie or this genre. Certainly not reference quality and not worth full 3D-Blu-ray retail, but worth at least a viewing.
- Movie B-
- Extras B
- Presentation/Packaging – A
Final Overall Grade – B-
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