Conan Better Not Suck



I hate Hollywood. They have a habit of taking really cool ideas and royally fucking them up. Remember the Wolverine movie? It was entertaining, yet irritatingly different than the Wolverine comics where he was a brooding savage. They pussified him, created some idiotic plot that was pretty lame, and then had him shot in the head. The X-Men movies were neat because it was X-Men irl, yet they really left something to be desired for (I thought the coolest parts were the first 15 minutes of meeting Logan: bar fight, snow fight vs Sabertooth, etc.).

In any case, Hollywood typically takes these ideas and adds a bunch of special effects to make them flashy for the midget-sized-attention of the present day American and forego any attempt at an interesting plot or character development. Michael Bay is the biggest shit-head, and South Park mocked him correctly. What’s worse is how the movie is whored around to sell videogames, toys, and other shitty products all in an attempt to earn revenue from starry eyed kids. Remember the shit storm that was “Batman and Robin“? Whenever a movie is aimed at children, it means the movie will be terrible. We saw that with X-Men and Batman (“The Dark Knight” would have been better if it was Rated R, oh, and if they didn’t cast a dipshit as Bruce Wayne) — censoring and dumbing things down for kids results in an all-around shitty product. I don’t know why movies should be directed at kids anyway since it a) makes a shittier product, b) kids are stupid and won’t know the difference anyway, c) kids will appreciate it either way because they are still stupid, and d) kids get too much attention anyway. Their opinion couldn’t be less relevant, especially because they will buy the toys anyway (remember that they are dumb).

I was really skeptical when they cast Jason Momoa as Conan since he largely looks like a tool. I also hated him at first when he played Khal Drogo in “Game of Thrones”, yet he proved his worth in the later episodes (by being fucking crazy). However, this guy should have been Drogo (from “The Quest”).

Momoa still may not be a good Conan despite his neatness in “Game of Thrones”. Here he is trying to look menacing while posteriorily rotating his hips to flex his abs.


He could be bigger. I never saw Thor, but I also thought Chris Hemsworth should have been a lot fucking bigger (he was playing Thor!). These assholes need to weigh at LEAST 235 lbs to play these characters. Someone should send a memo to Hollywood that being ripped and being bigger than your female co-actor are not the same as actually being big.

Momoa doesn’t seem like he fits the Conan characteristics. I haven’t read the early stories by Robert E. Howard (I probably will soon), but Conan is an “amoral swordsman” who is described as a “giant” and “massive”. No human is ever described as stronger than him and he can move like a panther. During his reign as king of Aquilonia, Conan was “… a tall man, mightily shouldered and deep of chest, with a massive corded neck and heavily muscled limbs.” Frankly, Momoa just doesn’t fit that build. Had he put on an extra 20 pounds of muscle, he might.

But it will depend on how the screen writers develop the character and how Momoa can act it out. Momoa did well as the Khal, yet Hollywood screen writers are NOT George R. R. Martin (who clearly doesn’t give a fuck). Screen writers in these big box office movies always create stupid fucking punch lines that are corny enough to incite rage quits everywhere. Not to mention the Conan preview above shows a bunch of special effects in what appears the be the later stages of the film. Special effects always aim to wow the audience and generally degrade the film (see anything that Michael Bay has touched).

I also get irritated with awful fight scenes, so hopefully the fight choreography is better than average. In “Alexander”, the shittiest fucking movie ever, the fight scenes consisted of a camera stuck on a broken clothes washer, zoomed in shots of weapons clanging, and guys making out (I hate that movie so much and Colin Ferrel is SUCH a twat). “Gladiator” and “Troy”, on the other hand, had amazing fight choreography; the Achilles verses Hector fight is one of the best fight scenes ever.

The one saving grace is that there appears to be plenty of gore. I get really pissed when movies shrimp on the blood and guts, especially when there are swords involved. For example, the director’s cut of Lord of the Rings had a lot of orc limbs being severed and generally more orc blood. This was good. Braveheart is the classic big box office movie that included lots of gore, and the first few minutes of the first episode of “Game of Thrones” shows dead children and a beheading. This is not only what I want to see because anything less isn’t realistic. Whenever I read historical accounts of battles, it always goes out of the way to point out how much blood is on the ground. There are usually pools of blood strewn across the battlefield and I’m yet to see a movie show this (except for this scene in Dead Alive — Rippetoe convinced AC and I to watch this movie and it’s the weirdest fucking thing ever).

Look, I’m really particular about my movies that have swords and melee fighting. My dream is to be an extra in a movie like this, bearded and hairy chest fighting with a sword. What else could be better? If there aren’t corny punch lines, plenty of violent killing, boobs and sex (an integral part of Conan lore), and non-shitty special effects fight scenes, then we should be good. But, I ask…
CROOOOM, WHERE IS THE WIZARD THAT KILLED MY MOTHER?
CROOOOM, WHERE ARE THE TWO DRAGONS FACING EACH OTHER?
CROOOOM, IF YOU’RE MY GOD THEN SHOW ME THE WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY

46 thoughts on “Conan Better Not Suck

  1. The fact that this isn’t a sword epic made in the 70s or 80s(when being big meant something) should let you know how this movie will play out. He looks more fitting for the role of the prince of persia, and I am expecting the fight scenes to look like pirates of the carribean. Get the giant who stabbed achilles jump-stabbed at the beginning of Troy, then we can talk.

  2. Agree with you on everything except the recent Batman movies, which I liked.

    Was good to see the Hector – Achilles fight again.

    I liked the recent Batman movies, but they could have been more violent. In the comic that Ledger’s Joker is modeled after, he murders an old couple while they’re sleeping then takes a nap in their bloody bed.

    –Justin

  3. I direct your attention to the article below which refers to Momoa and Hemsworth as “massive” and discusses how they added so much muscle for their roles. The article is terrible but it’s fairly humorous reading what a completely ignorant writer has to say on the topic of strength training, what’s considered big, etc. http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/05/28/muscle-summer-the-men-of-captain-america-thor-and-conan/

    Side note: did anyone see the mobility wod today about mouthguards. Jusin, what is your position on the topic of using a mouth guard during lifting?

    I don’t have an opinion on it other than you may need it if you have Asperger’s.

    –Justin

  4. Say what you will about this current “Conan” incarnation. I don’t I will see it anyway. But, sir, you leave “The Dark Tight” out of this. Those movies changed the comic book movie genre forever. They are the standard. P.s. Bane is going to be in the next Batman movie. I can already tell you I won’t like how big the actor is going to be because Bane was supposed to be massive compared to OTHER comic book characters. It still won’t phase me though, PatrickBateman4life!

    Google translation doesn’t work on this post.

    –Justin

  5. Yes, seeing as how things could have gone, and what a mockery other Batman films have been, I thought the Dark Knight ones were pretty good.
    BTW, Game of Thrones was bad ass, and Khal Drogo was pretty cool too. When he gave the **********************, dang. But then ********************…

    Ryan, what the FUCK. Don’t give spoilers away. I’ve ended friendships over this. I’ve seen it, but others may not have.

    And I liked “The Dark Knight”, but it coulda been better.

    –Justin

  6. The guy they got to play Conan kinda looks like a big douche bag!!! Conan lived in the days before chest-waxing!!! THat much ass-kicking requires a much more hairier ass than this guy!

    Momoa has some peach fuzz on his chest, so it’s not waxed/shave, he’s just of a decent that doesn’t have burly, hairy chests. I give him a pass on this.

    –Justin

  7. I definitely agree on how Momoa should be a bit heavier. But, this time I’ll just accept him as a “young Conan” and hope they fix this in the sequels that will probably happen. However, I will not look past the shitty plot/origin story in this movie! They’ve already ripped off the whole “oh no my entire tribe has been slaughtered, and I’m the only one left, I gotta avenge my father!” from the first Conan movie. Fuck that noise! I’m tired of Hollywood’s bullshit origin stories. Conan’s badass because he never needed a reason like “revenge” to go out and wreck shit. He just left his homeland to do what he did best: fighting, feasting, and fucking all he can. There is never any mention of Conan being “the last Cimmerian” in any original Conan story, it’s just a useless detail the shit script writers added in for no other reason than to piss Conan fans off. Having said that, I feel this movie might be “ok” and there’s a chance that any future sequels will be more in line with what Conan really is. Then again, Hollywood never fails to fuck the fans.

    Is it intended for him to be a young Conan?

    By the way, Howard described Conan’s build when he was 15 years old as “6’1 and 180 lbs”. He pointed out he wasn’t yet full grown.

    –Justin

  8. Tom Hardy as Bane teaser photo: http://popspoken.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/tom-hardy-bane.jpg
    Looks pretty yoked to me.

    Why are there no actors willing to look like a Frank Frazetta painting anymore? Why couldn’t anyone get Magnus Samuelsson or Derek Poundstone to play Thor? Will no one meet our challenge? Have none of you pathetic Earthlings ‘game’?

    @bohdi: At least Dwayne Johnson is still willing to really pack it on.

    Poundstone is too short and Magnus probably acts like a third grader. Also, Bane could have more size and vascularity. He’s SUPPOSED to be on steroids.

    –Justin

  9. @Justin

    I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be Conan early on in his career of ass-kicking, as he’s still going after the guy that killed his family and tribe. So it’d be pretty lame if he’s in his 30’s and still hasn’t killed the guy. And yes, Conan storming the walls of Venarium at 15 years old, is the closest you’ll get to an “origin story” from Howard.(It’s mentioned briefly in “Beyond the Black River” which you need to read, along with all other Conan stories)I think Momoa’s around 6’4 and 220 lbs. So still not a fully-grown Conan. He definitely needs to get up to ~250.

  10. Hollywood meets a demand for shitty movies. Most creative people in the industry don’t want to churn out dogshit, but that’s what people all over the world pay to see. Pirates 5 is a total piece of shit and it made over A BILLION DOLLARS worldwide in less than a month. When you get a really good idea in your hands, you want to make as much money from it as you can. And shitty, big-budget schlock-fests with giant ego douche directors and halfwit, pretty-boy are, sadly, consistent moneymakers. It’s hard to stop making bad sequels/reboots/remakes when you’re building cash castles from the proceeds and meanwhile your art-house-masterpiece and faithful-adaptation-of-beloved-literary-classic are successful if they turn a combined profit to the studio of $10 million. This is all to say nothing of the pressure to make money coming down from your almighty corporate overlords…

    The fact is it’s *really, really hard,* both systematically and creatively, to make a highly successful movie that is also very good (although the highest earning films of all time tend to be pretty good, or even great, movies too — so why not reach for the stars?).

    Finally, bear in mind that a lot of people thought the original Conan the Barbarian was a turd. And arnold waxed his chest.

    Good post. I hate mainstream stuff; it’s the same in tv (reality television, large network shows like CSI or 24), movies (explained here), and books (John Sanford, Higgins, Koontz and NY Times Best sellers shit). Mainstream stuff always sucks.

    –Justin

  11. I think it will suck for the simple reason that they are unlikely to include a scene where Conan punches out a camel.

    Compelling point.

    –Justin

  12. I’m thinking the new movie will suck, just to keep my expectations low. I should just go ahead and start reading the books.

    Also, I would rather have a decent actor than somebody that fits a description. You can’t fix bad acting in post production.

    Also, also, Peter Jackson’s imagination is on another plane of existence.

  13. Yeah, I could probably leave the new Conan flick. I wasnt impressed with the fancy graphics, looks like the shitfest Clash of the Titans… wish I could have those 2 hours back… at least it was on only on Netflix

    Anyhow, I think the Dark Knight was pretty good, I think Christian Bale is a pretty big doucher, but Im not sure who I would choose to replace him… suggestions? Ledger really stole the show though bc he was fucking phenominal. Also, I couldnt agree more with the R rating, but like Justin said, Hollywood has to dumb it down for the 6 year olds.

    If the new BM flick has that poon that bohdi posted earlier, ill be really unimpressed.

  14. Heard an interview with the Thor guy and he said that he was bigger by around 20lbs but the stupid suit wouldn’t fit him so they made him lose it. Gay. Turns out he got bigger than expected after he was fitted. He says he’s putting it back on for The Avengers, for what it’s worth. Hollywood wanted him small apparently. We need to get back to the days of Predator.

  15. I pretty much only like R-rated action movies. PG-13 and below tries to market too much to kids. The newest Terminator movie was the first in the series to be rated PG-13 and was horrible. Lots of “popular” comic book movies are too cheesy for me and leave me feeling disappointed and unfulfilled.

    I also agree with the whole melee fighting and blood in movies. I remember when 300 came out and people were saying it was so bloody. I disagree. There was a little blood – enough to rate it an R – but I vividly remember a large ogre-like creature getting beheaded and only a couple drops of blood coming out. If 300 people hacked up thousands of enemy soldiers, there would be much, much more blood. I remember reading about when crusaders first took over Jerusalem that they slaughtered so many people in the city that the blood reached the soldier’s knees.

    I wish I had like $100 million dollars and then just made a good movie or two without caring about demographics or profits. Maybe make that movie about Genghis Khan or Hannibal the Carthaginian

  16. Yep, Chris Hemsworth was too big@220 so I think he toned it back down to 210.

    Here’s an interesting article on the workouts he was doing. It also has before pics of him looking like an Abercrombie model before bulking up.

    http://www.howilost20lbs.com/chris-hemsworth-workout-thor/

    I’ve been tracking Conan a long time and was skeptical about Momoa since I watched him on Atlantis. Of course, watching him as Khal Drogo makes sense. A young Conan, sure.

    The Original Conan tanked in the theatres so I heard but I consider it a classic even if it’s a pish-posh of Conan stories thrown in with some Kull. John Milius is great in that regard and William Smith is a legend. I also heard Arnie blackballed working with him after Smith showed him up during the movie. Actually the intro speech in the movie was something of Smith’s own creation.

    Bale as the DK was decent but the voice has just been dumb.

    I did read that article on Thor, CaptAmerica, and Conan.

    Unfortunately, the best I can hope for is to be a Pict in RE Howards Hyborian realm.

  17. The first Conan movie was awesome in a lot of ways: Arnold in his prime, dry, underplayed humor (I love the look on the snake cultists’ faces when their wands don’t work), good cinematography and art direction, and a kickass subtext (Conan kills the god that “made” him).

    BUT ON TOP OF ALL THAT… the Basil Poledouris soundtrack fucking rocked.

    In particular, the opening credits music, “The Anvil of Crom”, is excellent PR music.

  18. that is true, Poledouris score was amazing. Which was necessary since the dialogue was so sparse. I didn’t find it lacking at all since all was said that was necessary and a lot of what isn’t said is portrayed through the body language.

    Milius did make the Wind and the Lion and eventually “Rome” which we all probably acknowledge as badass.

  19. Your assessment of Christian Bale is unimpressive. That dude is legit. Machinist? American Psycho? 3:10 to Yuma? Even The Fighter? On top of both Batman movies. To name a few…

    Fuck you Brent Kim and all you other abstract “I only love movies that aren’t recognized as mainstream zomg I’m so hipster and you don’t even know it lawl Robert Rodirguez is GAWD!!11” Come at me haters.

  20. @ MKingW yeah, Bronson was a badass movie.

    Chris Hemsworth got absolutely enormous for Thor if you go by Hollywood standards. Too bat the movie wasn’t that compelling.

    I’m more excited about Captain America than Conan. Objectively Conan wasn’t that great of a movie – but the fact that Arnold is the star completely changes everything. He’s so huge and so famous that in watching it he’s really not playing Conan but playing himself a few thousand years ago. When this current guy shouts “ENOUGH TALK!” and throws a Dagger into someone’s heart it won’t be as funny/badass because it won’t be a 250lb Bodybuilder with an Austrian Accent whose in Mongolia for some reason. A better choice would have been someone like The Rock, Vin Diesel, or John Cena: just get a guy whose huge, too famous, and can kinda act.

  21. Cool piece of trivia: Robert E. Howard was a sickly kid who decided to get huge by lifting weights and boxing. Other writers who knew him assumed he had based Conan on himself. Dude used to bare-knuckle box the roughnecks in his town back when the oil boom was going on.

    Also, he came up with the idea of Cimmeria while looking out over the Texas hill country on a cold and rainy day (in Fredericksburg – not sure if he was standing on Enchanted Rock when he wrote the poem “Cimmeria,” but I like to think he was).

    Texas forever.

  22. Howard was pretty detailed in his character descriptions, and Conan was billed at 6’2 200 pounds, so he was never supposed to be the biggest guy walking the earth.

    This guy though, is still wrong. Howard’s Conan was a distinctly Celtic character, like a hard-drinking, hard-fighting princess ravishing Irishman or Scot, more young Sean Connery or Gerard Butler than this fucking Polynesian underwear model. I just hope it keeps some elements of what made Howard stories fun, like hot broads and racism.

    The “huge” and “massive” distinctions were taken from the Wikipedia page. I’ve cited my source, now you cite yours.

    –Justin

  23. Howard once commented that another character of his who was 6’2 215 would have been Conan’s twin in size.

    Think about how big that would have been in old times. Nowadays, it’s no biggie but go back to the days of the Vikings and that would have been fair sized.

    As well, Conan was generally one of the only barbarians roaming in the countries he was in unless he happened to be in barbarian lands such as the proto-Norse lands.

    And yes Conan was supposed to be a Celt, possibly Irish before they were the Irish.

    More specifically, Howard was starting to write this stuff in the 30s, so that was obviously bigger back then. They would need to be proportional to today’s standards to account for inflation. I am not Conan’s size.

    –Justin

  24. Let’s put it this way: if your action hero is smaller than Apollo Creed in any of the Rocky movies, he’s just not big enough. It’s called the “Carl Weathers Line.”

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  25. It’s hard to find a quote directly attributable to Howard but he might have referred to a character of his, an Irish Crusader named Cormac Fitzgeoffrey standing 6’2, 210 as a twin of Conan’s. 6′ to 6’2 and around 200 was Howard’s go to size for other characters too, like the fighting sailor Steve Costigan. Bran Mak Morn and Francis “El Borak” Gordon were more atavistic Pictish types who were more compact powerfully built average height guys under 200.

  26. “A barbarian has needs — a sword, a shield and roughly 56 chicken breasts a week. That’s what Jason Momoa ate while filming “Conan the Barbarian,” this summer’s big-screen reboot of the series that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action movie career in 1982.”

    http://herocomplex.latimes.com/tag/jason-momoa/

    The man needs more steak in his diet

    Agreed.

    –Justin

  27. Late to the game but the new Conan looks like it totally sucks. This guy Momoa looks like a poor man’s Fabio. Guy can’t be more than 200lbs. Arnold was at least 260 for the original epic.
    Straight to video.

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