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‘Conan the Barbarian’ Opens Friday

Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Barbarian
Screen shot 2011 08 19 at 1.41.16 PM
Conan the Barbarian

Amidst the trend of remaking ’80s movie, two reboots go head to head in the box office today. Alongside the release of the 1985 movie “Fright Night,” comes the reintroduction of beloved adventurer and warrior “Conan the Barbarian.”

In a time before the known ancient civilizations were created, during what was called the Hyborian Age (fictional), Conan is a hero from the region and tribe of the Cimmerian. Determined to avenge the death of his father and slaughter of his village, he treks across the continent of Hyboria and encounters different creatures and obstacles along the way.

The character was originally created by Robert E. Howard in stories he sent to Clayton Publication’s magazine ‘Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror.’ Eventually the stories were turned into books and they culminated in the making of a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the hero Conan.

Released in 1982, it was directed by John Milius and co-stared James Earl Jones as the evil warlord, Thulsa Doom, who is responsible for the death of Conan’s people. Other members of the original cast included Max von Sydow as King Osric, Cassandra Gava as The Witch, Mako as the Wizard/narrator, Valerie Quennessen as the princess, and William Smith as Conan’s father.

In the reboot, Jason Momoa, who most recently starred in the HBO show “Game of Thrones,” will replace Schwarzenegger as the beefy, hunky hero. Directed by Marcus Nispel, the film has some differences in characters and character names from the original but it will also include Stephen Lang as a character named Khalar Zym, Rachel Nichols as Tamara, Ron Perlman as Conan’s father, Corin, and Rose McGowan as a woman named Marique. Morgan Freeman lends his legendary voice as the narrator.

Screen shot 2011 08 19 at 1.40.30 PM
Conan the Barbarian

Josh Tyler, writing for cinemablend.com, wrote “Conan has a few good ideas. New ideas. This isn’t just a total rehash of the movie you saw in the 80s, the script they’ve used has a fresh spin with a few specifically clever additions which really do make this attempt to resurrect the franchise completely worthwhile.” Although Tyler does make negative comments- for example, about the disjointedness and disorganization of the story- he feels that the grittiness and brutality of the film makes it a movie worth seeing.

However, some critics aren’t as enthusiastic about the film. Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune wrote,”I’ve certainly seen worse movies this summer, though I hope that if director Nispel returns to the land of Hyboria he’ll learn that sword fights don’t respond well to his chaotic brand of staging, made worse by the editing.” The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr called it “tolerable.”

But hey, everyone has their own opinion so fans of fantasy, action, heroics (and hunky warriors), if you can afford the 3D movie and aren’t planning on seeing the vampire reboot Fright Night, check out the film. The R-rated movie will at least give you plenty of violence with a touch of sexuality and nudity. If you’re looking for steamy action on and off the battlefield, then it might be just the thing to see. Both the blood-sucking vamp in “Fright Night,” and the legendary Conan will satisfy your thirst for gore, but remember no one does barbaric like Conan the Barbarian.

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