Thursday 23 September 2010

Gateway to the Conan Mythos: Conan the Barbarian!?!

This is an... interesting article. (Bold emphasis mine)

After all that buildup of Robert E. Howard, it might seem odd to recommend an entry point he had nothing to do with. But what sets apart the original Conan The Barbarian movie (a remake is planned for 2011) is that its primary creative forces, director John Milius and screenwriter Oliver Stone, had a genuine affection for and understanding of the character. Milius, an old-school Hollywood conservative, was drawn to the warlike nature of the character and his simple, brutal philosophies, while Stone liked his essentially gloomy, melancholic nature. Stone’s script is full of lines drawn from Howard’s original Conan stories, and Milius infuses every scene with the lively pulp energy of the stories. They play a bit fast and loose with the character’s history, but overall, it’s one of the best realizations of Conan: effective, thrilling, and a perfect way to draw new fans into the mythos.
The film has plenty of other merits, as well; it provides a good overview of the geographies and cultures of Howard’s “Hyborian Age” (a thinly veiled amalgam of the classical era of a number of European and Asian cultures), and has a tremendous soundtrack by the late film composer Basil Poledouris. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t do the world’s best acting job, but he looks perfect, and is surrounded by a great supporting cast. The action scenes are terrific, the dialogue is highly quotable, and it captures the spirit of Howard’s stories surprisingly well. (It also has an amusing DVD commentary track featuring a wry Milius and a goofy Schwarzenegger.)

Uh... huh.

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