I've already expressed my thoughts at ridiculous length, and frankly, I don't think they've changed much from my initial reaction. What little that was good in the film was swamped and consumed by everything that wasn't as good, and the infuriating thing is, it's easy to see why it went wrong. Well, easy for this armchair analyst who really has no business talking about why a film flopped, but maybe a few shots in the dark will actually hit their target.
First of all, the producers seemed to think that appealing to the hardcore Conan fans meant taking the elements from the 1982 film. They figure "well, the HARDCORE Conan fans don't want to see a Conan film unless it has the essential Conan elements - that means we have to have Conan going on a quest for revenge against the warlord who killed his father! There we go, that'll keep the real hardcore fans happy!" Now they're all shocked and surprised that the Conan fans didn't turn up in droves to see what the "hardcore fans" considered a remake of their beloved 1982 film!
It simply didn't seem to occur to them that the hardcore Milius/Schwarzenegger fans simply aren't interested in a Conan film without Milius or Schwarzenegger involved. Without them, it wouldn't matter if it was a shot-for-shot retelling Gus Van Sant style - without those two, it isn't a film they'd be interested in. So why even bother with those elements in the first place, especially since trying to make it more Howardian ends up diluting and compromising both elements, the story?
A common complaint I hear about the film is that the 1982 film had a lot of pathos with young Conan: a sweet, innocent, doe-eyed little boy who has his parents murdered, people slaughtered, home destroyed, and childhood lost as he's sold into slavery, forced into manual labour for 20 years, and turned into a ruthless killer through years of abusive training. That's a pretty brutal upbringing, and you gain sympathy for the little boy who was transformed through no will of his own into a violent warrior, and watch him rediscover things like friendship, love and laughter over the course of the film.
This film has no such development, and it's intensely problematic because it spans over 20 years of Conan's life. None of Howard's stories show a marked development of Conan's character because none of Howard's stories take place over such a long time, but if you combined, say, "The God in the Bowl" with "A Witch Shall Be Born" and account for the time difference, one can see that Conan at each age was very different. There's nothing like that in the new film: Conan at twenty-something is about the same sort of guy he was when he was a precocious preteen. Thus, by removing Conan's slavery, gladiatorial training and martial arts schooling, you're removing that sense that Conan's been developing as a human being. The film basically condenses the considerable character growth Conan undertook from his thieving days in Zamora to the period in the film (which is stated to be after "Queen of the Black Coast") with a black screen and voiceover.
It's infuriating, because Howard fans know how Conan developed and changed during that period, but new filmgoers aren't going to have a clue. "Show, don't tell" is the mantra, and while I applaud Sean Hood for putting in the references to Conan's pirating days and Venarium, I can't help but wish the filmmakers decided to, you know, film Conan's pirating days and Venarium.
But then, this is all because of the innate problem of the origin story. The filmmakers were trying to compromise in an uncompromising situation: make it closer to Howard, or a remake of the 1982 film. Compromise just ends up in confusion and dilution: removing the most egregious elements of the 1982 film's origin (slavery, Wheel of Pain etc) may make it more palatable for REH fans, but at the expense of making the 1982's origin story watered-down and limp. Consequently, using the 1982 film as a basis means that the film would never be truly Howardian no matter how many alterations were made. This really was an "all or nothing" situation: either just go for a straight remake, or just make up an entirely new origin (preferably) based on what we know from Howard.
The problem is, I don't think a remake of the 1982 film would've made things any better, creatively or financially. Say they got Djimon Honsou for Thulsa Doom, Jaime Alexander for Valeria, John Foo for Subotai, Sonny Chiba as the Wizard, and so forth. With Marcus Nispel still directing, Tyler Bates doing the score, the same screenwriters etc, would it have any more interest? Would people go to the film when they see Thulsa Doom turning into a snake and getting in the inevitable final fight (having completely missed the point of the original film's understated climax), seeing Subotai and Valeria engage in preposterous wire-fu, a POV shot of the snake-arrow flying through the air, Valeria actively fighting the new CGI demons come to claim Conan's soul, all to a horrendous soundtrack?
Many of the things people miss from the 1982 film - Conan's prayer to Crom, "What is Best In Life," the Wizard, Valeria, Thulsa Doom - are things that people just assume would be in a film whose plot, according to the film's own promotional material, is about the exact same story arc as the 1982 film. Why wouldn't they assume it's a remake, and then think that the lack of the best things from the 1982 film was a case of the film being "unfaithful to the source material"?
I'd been bending over backwards trying to explain to people that this isn't a remake of the 1982 film - even the Arnold Fans are saying this isn't a remake - but when faced with the film's own promotional material concentrating on "the tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village," sometimes I feel at a loss. I just think, why even bother? Remake, reboot, reimagining, reincarnation, reinvention, reinvigoration, reconstitution, repeat, retread, rehash - it doesn't matter, it's just not even worth the effort of proper terminology.
The Little Things
As with Solomon Kane, sometimes the little things could be just as irritating as the big things. I was planning on doing an Unanswered Questions post on Conan, but there were just so many that simply couldn't be answered satisfactorily outside of "it's in the Vilayet Sea Scrolls, so we don't consider it Canon" and they just kind of bugged me too much.
Note that none of these have anything to do with deviations from Howard. They'd take up their own page. These are examples of the story just not making sense by itself, given the information we have in the film, independent of any divergences from the source material.
- The film can't seem to decide whether Acheron was an ancient evil empire, or a relatively modern evil empire that was destroyed just a generation before. The Acheronian bloodline is apparently old enough so that purebloods are exceedingly rare and unaware of their dark origin, the Mask is old enough to foster a prophecy of being remade, and the last remnants of Acheron appear to be subterranean ruins accessed by a skull cave; on the other hand, Khalar's soldiers wear exactly the same armour, bear the same standards, and use the same methods as the Acheronian soldiers in the prologue. This is not helped by the fact that some get the impression Corin himself led the Cimmerians against Acheron, as in the film's Wikipedia page, and that the attack which resulted in Fialla's death was somehow connected to Zym, making him responsible for the deaths of both of Conan's parents. So is Acheron ancient or modern? Making it the former jives more with Howard, but making it the latter just makes more sense in the context of the film.
- Why do the barbarians not just, you know, destroy the Mask of Acheron? They've already broken it, they're barbarians so they have a hatred and fear of magic... why didn't they just keep cutting it into pieces until there's nothing left?
- It sure was nice of the
VanirGeneric Barbarian Marauders to give Corin and Fialla some alone time as Corin delivered his son. What smarts is we see the Cimmerians make a shield wall in the battle at the village: would it have been so difficult to have the other Cimmerian warriors realise Fialla was giving birth, and instinctively form a ring around her, showing the solidarity of the Cimmerians and not leaving Corin and Fialla completely open to attack?
- Conan is meant to be an untrained warrior. The whole point of the Egg Race was to see which of the Cimmerians would be given the right to train with the warriors, and since they're completely unarmed and no reference is ever made of prior training, it stands to reason that they are indeed raw recruits. So where did Conan learn his lovely kata from? From whence did this allegedly untrained warrior get his perfect form?
- Conan screaming, chomping and opening his mouth during the fight with the
PictsBeast-Men, yet somehow never breaking, swallowing or spitting out the egg. Crom almighty, was the continuity editor drunk, sleeping or just shouted down?
- In an early iteration of the script, Conan kills three of the Picts, and the other escapes. That Pict is later seen leading Khalar's army to the Cimmerian village, with the promise to take "all the Cimmerian heads he wishes" as payment. He assures Khalar that there is only one head he desires.
In the final film, there is no such plot: Conan defeats all four Picts, and the way the scene is cut suggests Conan kills the final survivor. However, he comes back to the village with three heads... and the Pict he "killed" turns up later with Khalar's army. It isn't even as if it could've been some other Pict, it's very clearly the same character, and there's definitely something more going on than what we see in the final film. It isn't even as if he's seen in the background: he's front and centre in a crucial shot of the army roaring in triumph. You've seen it in the trailers. Instead of just cutting that shot out, they leave it in, presenting us with a Dead Character Walking. And here I thought only Transformers had that problem...
- So Conan's been searching for Khalar Zym. Zym, it transpires, has been running roughshod over the Hyborian Kingdoms and set himself up as king somewhere in Zingara/Argos/Shem/TheDirectorObviouslyDoesn'tCareSoWhyShouldYou. You'd think that Conan might have encountered him before that, what with Zym being a freaking king and all, and that word from his conquest of the hitherto unconquerable Cimmerians (the same barbarians that destroyed Acheron, don't forget, in this film continuity) would've reached his ears sometime in the last decade. How on earth did Conan only now discover that the man who's set himself up as king after a wave of conquests was the same man who destroyed his village?
- Whenever the film has a major battle scene involving many extras, they always cut it short. The Cimmerian village battle and the Monastery siege were about two minutes apiece, while fights with maybe a dozen or so warriors get much longer, and are essentially variations on a theme. Couldn't they have taken out ten or so of the meaningless fights from elsewhere in the film and combined them into the bigger battles to make them more satisfying?
- For that matter, if Conan believed Khalar was just a "common bandit," then how could his village be so easily destroyed? You'd think they'd be set up for defence against those sorts of things. Did Conan really believe that a common bandit could so easily rampage through Cimmeria? Did he truly believe that a common bandit's army would boast hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers from all over the world clad in plate armour and wielding the finest weapons?
- Conan's "no man should live in chains" mantra strongly suggests that Conan's anti-slavery. So why does he insist on not only calling Tamara his property, but treating her like his property? He even ties her up and gags her. Maybe he's just taking it literally, implying that no men should live in chains, but women were perfectly fine: after all, he did get Lucius killed through proxies, saying that "I wouldn't kill you."
- Let's suppose Marique as seen in the flashback scene shows her at about five, at the very youngest. Marique can't have been older than 15 during the attack at Conan's village. During that time, at most ten years, Khalar has conquered Ukafa's, Akhun's, Cherin's and Remo's people, all of whom are evidently from many different parts of the world. Once he has the mask, it takes him twelve years to find the monastery which is hiding Tamara... and which happens to be within a few day's marching distance from his own fortress. It takes Khalar Zym longer to find the last pureblood a stone's throw away from his capital than it does to conquer half a dozen barbarian tribes hundreds of miles apart. What.
- Why does Khalar Zym haul that giant ship over land anyway? Why is it imperative that he have thousands of slaves and dozens of elephants dragging this gargantuan boat hundreds if not thousands of miles? If it's so he can breach the walls of the monastery... dude, battering rams. Look into them. Requires roughly one thousandth of the effort, resources and manpower for the same effect. Hell, even if we're supposed to think "he's an eccentric warlord with a flair for the ostentatious," you'd think someone would at least mention the elephant(-drawn warship) in the room.
- Tamara: helpless damsel in distress, or competent woman warrior? The film never could make up its mind. In some scenes she's cowering in terror screaming for Conan to save her: in others she's taking as many heads as Conan himself. Sometimes she's timorously holding a dagger like someone completely unfamiliar with weapons, others she carries herself with the assurance of combat experience. Totally inconsistent.
- Marique conjures four Sand Warriors from a handful of dust. She never does this again. See, Jason and the Argonauts dealt with this easily, since the skeletons were spawned from the Hydra's teeth, and there was only a finite amount of Hydra-gnashers. But sand is everywhere, and there's no indication that this was magic sand, or that the magic had a limited time offer.
- Marique also dips a blade into poison, which she uses to incapacitate Conan, with enormous success. It never seemed to occur to her to use that poison again. It would've been handy in her scrap with Tamara. Nor did it occur to Khalar to coat the edge of his sword in it, especially since Conan was kicking his arse until the poison kicked in.
- Considering we get a reference to Conan's days as a notorious and dangerous thief, what on earth could he possibly need Ela-Shan for, especially when it transpires that he isn't really much of a thief at all, and especially especially since Conan's thieving reputation was referenced before we meet Ela-Shan in the first place?
- Where did Khalar Zym's army go, and why was nobody guarding Khor Khalba? Khalar's massive army conquers all over the place, invades a monastery, a few forces get dispatched by Conan, and then... nothing.
ARGH, I've ranted enough.
So anyway, over to you folks.
I think the title for my own blog post about the movie pretty much summed it up. Two hours of my life, wasted. Jeez, what a horrible film.ReplyDelete
You stop before the crappy climax!! That's dissapointing, Al...ReplyDelete
As fantasy movies go, it wasn't terrible... it was about par. It's biggest problems were a complete lack of consistency in character and character power-levels. Whatever the script calls for at a given moment, that's what characters can or can't do, or how they behave. Sloppy, pathetic writing. But I've seen far, far worse.ReplyDelete
As a Conan movie, it went wrong when they decided to do an origin story (again) and when that origin was yet another "My name is Conan. You killed my father. Prepare to die." set-up. If they HAD to do an origin story, couldn't they have cribbed from Marvel Comics' swan song of the comic book when they were doing "Young Conan" stories? At least those were internally consistent. Or, better yet, the Thomas/Smith adaptation of "The Frost Giant's Daughter" and then spin the antagonists from that?
I thought the star made a better Conan than Arnold S. did, but this is yet another example of arrogant, semi-literate filmmakers taking a fiction property and failing to capitalize on what is actually present in the property because they can make it much, much better by applying their "genuis" to it.
i will only try to answer on three points where i think i can and mind you i will be stretching it quite a bitlol so bear with me ; 1) tamara. she was some sort of trained mon which explained some prowess in combat but her damsel in distress bit to me seemed more on the level of naivete', one who is trained but never experienced real combat, so fear could be natural. like a ( again i am stretching this) a meryl in metal gear solid 1. so i could accept her on both levels. 2: that weird land ship. an this one is a stretch but i did score that time with the opening of milius ( my cataclysim mythologised theory remember?)...that ship isnt real a ship per say but a sort of excessive warlord carraige designed like to look like a ship. it symbolized excess for one hubris ( that this warlord can go anywhere and do anything) and most importantly its unnatural. ships dont travel on land, it was designed as whim (for above reasons)..."a whim of circumstance..." see where im going with this. it was such perversion of whats natural and its a product of the civilized world. thats my theory and it helps me swallow it,lol!ReplyDelete
Lastly, elashan or whatever his name and why conan didnt run into any guards. Conan knew he could not get past zyms army alone, so he needed to get to the least guarded route, underground in the dungeons. the dungeons were not well guarded probably because that beastie dweller was all that was felt needed. and since he did not know his way there he needed to depend on someone he knew in the area to assist him breaking in. as scene in the story tote, good theives often do not work alone, so next to conan was mal- i mean ela shan who knew the area and owed conan a favor. there were no soldiers in that mountain sacrifice only because i imagined it to be a ceremony soldiers were not permitted to witness.of course these explanations i put together myself, one of my problems with the movie was there wasnt much exposition to explain this, but as a work of pulp, i do enjoy this movie. and i do completely understand and respect why others do not, there is never a need to bicker about it. although i do like it i do agree this was NOT the way to reintroduce conan.btw thanks for the birthday wishes Al!!!!-mario
"So is Acheron ancient or modern?"ReplyDelete
Hollywood says "History makes my brain hurt!"
"It takes Khalar Zym longer to find the last pureblood a stone's throw away from his capital than it does to conquer half a dozen barbarian tribes hundreds of miles apart. What."
Hollywood: "Geography makes my brain hurt, too."
I must agree with Mario about Zyms ship. Its a pretty good idea to show Khalars megalomania in this way, like the grand projects of the mad Roman emperors.ReplyDelete
About the movie in general, I still cling to the thought that they will release a 3 hour extended version to explain and expand the story (I wont say "directors cut" because honestly, thats probably what we saw in the first run)(much like I still wait for Tim Burtons sequel to his Planet of the Apes, where all will be explained)
"Conan screaming, chomping and opening his mouth during the fight with the Picts , yet somehow never breaking, swallowing or spitting out the egg. Crom almighty, was the continuity editor drunk, sleeping or just shouted down?"ReplyDelete
The robin eggs appear really tiny, much smaller than a chicken egg. If you don't have one handy, find something around the house that is roughly equilavlent, such as a marble, or cut a small piece off a candy bar or slice of bread. Stick in in your mouth, and using your tongue, push it between your cheek and gum, below your back molar. You'll find that there's a surprising amount of room back there to keep something safe and secure while you go about your business.
"The film can't seem to decide whether Acheron was an ancient evil empire, or a relatively modern evil empire that was destroyed just a generation before. The Acheronian bloodline is apparently old enough so that purebloods are exceedingly rare and unaware of their dark origin, the Mask is old enough to foster a prophecy of being remade, and the last remnants of Acheron appear to be subterranean ruins accessed by a skull cave; on the other hand, Khalar's soldiers wear exactly the same armour, bear the same standards, and use the same methods as the Acheronian soldiers in the prologue."ReplyDelete
I agree that this was a mistake that could have caused confusion had anyone bothered to actually go and see the film. The Acheronian army and Khalar Zym's should have looked distinct from one another, but I personally didn't have a problem with keeping it straight. While Zym and his minions wanted to resurrect the Empire of Acheron in order to use its power, they weren't themselves of Acheronian blood. They were simply modeling themselves aesthetically after the culture they wished to emulate.
"In the final film, there is no such plot: Conan defeats all four Picts, and the way the scene is cut suggests Conan kills the final survivor. However, he comes back to the village with three heads... and the Pict he "killed" turns up later with Khalar's army. It isn't even as if it could've been some other Pict, it's very clearly the same character, and there's definitely something more going on than what we see in the final film. It isn't even as if he's seen in the background: he's front and centre in a crucial shot of the army roaring in triumph."ReplyDelete
I've seen the film 4 times, and to be honest, I can't tell if it's the same Pict or not. In fact, I'd have a rough time distinguishing any of the Picts from one another if they were in a police line up, and I've seen the red band clip more times than I can even count, but if you say that you can clearly see that it's the same actor, then fair enough.
"I must agree with Mario about Zyms ship. Its a pretty good idea to show Khalars megalomania in this way, like the grand projects of the mad Roman emperors."
I thought that it was more about comfort than megolomania. You know, sleeping in a warm bed instead of in a tent, travelling huge distances in style rather than on the back of a horse, basically the whole "decadence of civilization" thing that some people think is completely absent from the film.
Conan's "no man should live in chains" mantra strongly suggests that Conan's anti-slavery. So why does he insist on not only calling Tamara his property, but treating her like his property? He even ties her up and gags her. Maybe he's just taking it literally, implying that no men should live in chains, but women were perfectly fine: after all, he did get Lucius killed through proxies, saying that "I wouldn't kill you."ReplyDelete
The problem with the Zingaran Slave Colony scene, from my perspective, is the line "no man should live in chains", as it gives one the impression that Conan is some sort of altruist who is out to liberate slaves. But without that line, the scene works just fine for me, as I have no problem with the notion of Conan and his pirate buddies attacking a slave colony IN ORDER TO STEAL FROM THEM, telling the male slaves to take a hike (as opposed to taking responsibility for them), and giving the hot female slaves the OPTION of sailing with them if they choose to. I don't recall any of the women being forced onto the ship at sword point. I realize that you described this scene as "appalling", and you feel that it's completely out of character, as is his treatemnt of Tamara, but this is one of the points that I most strongly disagree with you, and I think there's plenty of precedent to be found in the REH stories. In Xuthal of the Dusk, Conan "appropriated" Natala and she "had nothing to say in the matter". At the end of "The Devil in Iron", Octavia clearly and unambiguously says "NO!", and Conan responds by just grabbing her and making out with her until she gives in, even though she was clearly fighting back (in our modern age such behavior would likely get you slapped with a sexual assault charge, but we, the readers, are supposed to be okay with it because we're supposed to take from it that Octavia was really into him and was just playing hard to get, but I digress). Finally, in People of the Black Circle, Conan had every intention of keeping Yasmina "as his woman", against her will, and telling her that she had "no choice in the matter" before circumstances intervened. By my own moral standards, I don't agree with any such behavior, but I'm perfectly okay with Conan exhibiting this kind of behavior because that's part of his character, nor do I confuse Conan's attitude on the opposite sex with that of his creator, whose own attitudes, btw, seemed to evolve and mellow after dating Novalyne Price. The problem that I have with this is what I perceive as cherrypicking the original source material to claim that this is out of character. As for the sex slaves in the Zingaran slave colony, REH described many slave women who served as leading ladies in Conan adventures. More often than not, REH focused on how unbelievably hot they were moreso than how their predicament in life had beaten them down. I seriously doubt that sex slaves who suddenly found themselves free would have many options open to them than to become "bar wenches", but IMO the blame would have to go more on the harsh realities of the civilized world rather than on the actions of a few pirates.
...and since I'm on the subject of the film's characterization, Al, I might as well address some other comments you made over on conanthemovieblog regarding Conan's interrogation of Lucius, which you found to be dishonorable and out of character. Crossplain Pilgrim agreed with you, adding "He (Conan) would certainly never set the poor sap up with an ugly death at any hands but his own." Well Pilgrim, my copy of "Maneaters of Zamboula" disagrees with you, but I digress. As you can probably surmise already, Al, I disagree with you that such behavior is out of character for Conan, and I can cite instances from the original REH stories that in my opinion are far more dishonorable. But before that, I would just point out that Lucius was an active participant in the slaughter of Conan's village, and one of Zym's top lieutenents. There was no possible way that Conan was going to let him walk out of that prison alive, no matter what he tried to say or do to get himself out of it. Likely, Lucius behavior in the prison is one of the reasons Conan let the mob have him rather than kill him personally. Instead of facing his death like a man, he turned into a sniveling RAT in order to save his own skin, exhibiting the worst sort of "civilized" behavior that a barbarian such as Conan would react to with utter contempt. As for Conan's duplicity in his promise "not to kill you", I found his behavior far less amoral than in Pool of the Black One. No, Conan doesn't explicity say "I promise not to kill you and steal your ship and your woman" to Zaporavo when he agreed to take him on board, but I think there was an implicit understanding as such, just as there is in all employer/employee relationships. Additionally, Conan did not feel particularly honor-bound to the Pirate code, which required him to first prove his worthiness in battle and then to challenge Zaporavo openly. No, he killed Zaporavo when no one was around. So here we have a case of Conan acting selfishly and dishonorably not just by an average person's standards, but by a pirate's standards as well. Should I point out that Zaporavo did nothing to Conan to deserve this (unlike Lucius)? In Vale of Lost Women, Conan behaves even worse, openly dishonoring a truce that he agreed to only hours before, his justification being that Bajujh would do "the same to him if he had the chance", and that "truces are made to be broken". Is there any doubt in your mind that Lucius would have had the entire Argossean Army after Conan had he let him live?ReplyDelete
...and while I'm on the subject, I'd like to take a brief moment to adress the whole "torture porn" remarks made by both Leo Grin and Crossplain Pilgrim, which I regard as REH cherry picking at it's worst. Comments like that make me wonder whether they've actually ever seen a real torture porn film, or bothered to read REH for that matter. I've seen my share of "Hostels" and other films of the genre, and nothing in Conan2011 is even remotely close to what's out there. And it's not as if REH was shy about adding a few ACTUAL torture scenes in his stories (and by ACTUAL, I mean women getting tied down and beaten with a whip, as opposed a guy getting a finger stuck up his nose hole and pissing on the floor). As for graphic violence, Conan2011 wasn't even on par with Spartacus (or most other premuim cable fare, for that matter), and virtually nothing I've read or watched is as graphically violent or disturbing as the opeing scene of "Lion of Tiberius" (which, coincidentally, Conan82 is far more similar to thematically than any of REH's Conan stories).
Great stuff, folks, keep it coming!ReplyDelete
Amsterdamaged, you make a lot of really good points here and at CMB: I think I'll address them in a future post.
@amsterdamaged: i just read " the lion of tiberias " for the first time and came away with the impression that John Milius mustve read this when redoing Stones conan script .-MarioReplyDelete
@mario, IMO that would be giving Milius too much credit. Red Blades of Black Cathy also features a character named Subatai, but Milius has never expressed a particular interest in REH's writing (he barely even mentions REH in the audio commentary), and the crusader stories were quite rare in the 1970s.ReplyDelete
@Taranaich, thanks. I'd love to comment more on the conanmovieblog, but one particular member makes it nigh impossible to carry on a productive conversation there. I remember on one particular occasion where the mere mention of my name by Jeff Shanks on REHUPA was enough to send this person into an irrational tirade.
You tell em, Amster! In the vast sea of seething hate and ridicule that is being poured over this film, you are the voice of reason in the wilderness. Yeah, it wasn't the ultimate REH sourced Conan epic we all wished for, or even the greatest action movie ever made. But it was without a doubt the best screen Conan ever, and was a lot of fun if you had the right attitude while viewing. I am really looking forward to the dvd/blu-ray release so I can enjoy the film even more at home. What can I say, I really liked it! And Al, don't ever stop doing what you do. I value what you have say about all things Howard, and your work goes a long way toward educating the masses about a great writer and his awesome body of work. I hope any sequel in the near future will add just a little more Howard, and keep Momoa in the lead.ReplyDelete
Would you please wake up? Milius has an enormous interest in, and respect for, Howard's writing. He'd never read any Howard until he was contacted about doing the film, and when he did start reading Howard, Milius became a big fan and read as much as he could--and remains a fan to this day. I would not at all be surprised if Milius read "Lion Of Tiberias" somewhere (although the character of Subotai was apparantly mainly inspired by Brule from the Kull stories). He's on record in interviews from the 80s as citing how much he loves "The Worms Of The Earth" and "By This Axe I Rule!" in particular. It didn't make it into the film, but in the script for 82 Conan, Milius even had Conan declaring, "Men will die for this!"---a line from Solomon Kane!
Both Milius' Conan draft and his later King Conan: Crown Of Iron are jam packed with material from a wide range of Howard's works--not just Conan stories but also Bran Mak Morn and King Kull. C'mon, don't make such sweeping statements on the basis of an audio commentary, for cripes sake.
Anonymous, you're right. Why should I assume that Milius has no real interest in REH's writing based on the fact that he had TWO HOURS to express such interest/tell where the inspiration for certain scenes/plot lines came from while WATCHING A CONAN FILM, and yet seemed to be more interested in perving out over Sandahl Bergman during the entire time? "Look at her. She's beautiful! She's a Valkyrie!" I'm much better off taking your word for the fact that Milus is "on the record" in many interviews from that I've personally never heard, nor apparently have many other members of the REH forum, as they've certainly never been cited/quoted by his numerous apologists. The only interview that I'm aware of where Milius speaks at length about REH is the one where he GETS IT COMPLETELY WRONG, saying REH was a paranoid lunatic who literally thought Conan's ghost would split him with an ax if he didn't write down the stories as they were being dictated to him. LOL!ReplyDelete
hey anonymous, if you have a point to make can you make it without being so condescending? Maybe milius did become an reh fan maybe he didnt, i dont know him personally to ask.My personal opinion is that he did read some as a matter of research for his job, if he liked it he did what decamp and many pastiche writers do, took what he liked , made use of it his own way.@amsterdamaged: I always thought around that time in the early 80's that alot of folks had this misconception of howard mainly because thats what was available at the time.So for him to briefly mention howard in that documetary ( i remember it too, just bought the blu ray)as "the local nut" may have been more natural maybe? I dont know for sure, but thats how i reasoned it. I also think Milius wanted all eyes on him for this flick, much like decamp and his writing. and Decamps view more or less still was dominant at the time. hell his segment of the thing in the crypt in the movie with the exception of the thing returning to life may arguable be the most faithfully adapted segment( and this coming from a guy who loves the movie lol)curious to know your thoughts-MarioReplyDelete
@ amsterdamaged:wait a minute i stand corrected that documentary was made when the late 90's early 200's? that would change everything!or make milius just out of touch with current howard studies which would also actualy make sense...urk i am confused ill just have to watch it tonight!lol!!!! oopmarioReplyDelete
Bottom line: Either make a Conan film with strict adherence to the Robert E. Howard stories, or call your film something other than Conan.ReplyDelete
After two failed attempts to gussy things up, anything less is not wanted.
I felt drained. All the time spent giving dummkopfs a good drubbing online for the sake for REH and all for naught.ReplyDelete
At least there's the Wood/Cloonan comic to look forward to.