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August 22, 2011

Warning: The Conan the Barbarian Remake Is The Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen In A Theater

It would take a while to review. I'll do it later. But I want to warn you: It's bad. It's really bad.

It is a failure in all possible ways. Not the least of which is that the writers and director seem to have never actually read a Conan story, and have no idea of the right tone (hint: It's not Hostel style torture porn, especially not when that torture porn is committed by the titular hero), and no idea of what his world is like and what sorts of stories happen in it (hint: it's not World of Warcraft with soaring fantasy towers and two mile deep CGI ravines).

I also saw Fright Night, which was okay, but disappointing. I think the movie goes wrong when sort of early on (about halfway through) the vampire decides the whole "stealthy predator of the night, striking from shadows" schtick isn't for him, and just starts blowing up houses and blatantly killing people in the street in broad daylight. (Well, broad dusk, anyway.)

I sort of expect that at the climax, when the vampire is really pushed to the edge and it's a matter of survival, so maybe he has to drop his mask and do things he otherwise would be too cautious to do, but halfway through the movie? It becomes implausible that with serious property crime and a string of obvious murders and disappearances, the hero doesn't seek the police. (He claims they'd just laugh at the suggestion it was a vampire at work, but the original already dealt with this: So you don't say the perp is a vampire, you just say he's a murderer.)

Oh, the actual climax is lame, and features perhaps the dumbest plan for killing a vampire I've seen. What's dumber still is that it apparently works.

It's not bad. It's okay. It can definitely wait for DVD.

Colin Ferrel is initially interesting as the vampire, because he plays him as a Sketchy Douchebag. That is an interesting take, and fits with the original material, that vampires are nasty murdering monsters, not Dreamy Gothic Anti-Heroes. And it fits with the whole idea that these are arrogant, sociopathic predators. I liked that his vampire frequently was looking over his shoulder, like the shifty fugitive he is.

But halfway through he just becomes a murder-machine so that characterization is lost.

David Tennant is okay but he comes off a bit like he's Russel Brand -- he curses a lot, which is somewhat amusing at first -- and his character is written broadly and cartoonishly. He isn't grounded in realism and doesn't have the light emotional arc the Roddy MacDowell version did.

For the mini-reviews: Conan, maybe a half a star for the breasts you see early in the movie. For Fright Night, two stars.

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posted by Ace at 07:14 PM

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