Conan the Barbarian

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by FatalT 71, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. FatalT 71

    FatalT 71 Mr. JazzHunter

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    So, tonight I discovered that the 2011 Conan: The Barbarian movie was available on Netflix, and since I wasn't really paying anything for it, I decided to give it a whirl. Now, I was prepared to be disappointed in it, as reviews I'd read of the movie, especially on Conan.com, were almost overwhelmingly negative. As a fan of the original Arnold movie, and an even bigger fan of the Robert E. Howard stories, I found the movie itself to be pretty meh. I had read the filmmakers were going for a script that was nearer the source material than than the Milius movie had been, but...I found the script mostly paid lip service to the great stories it was supposedly drawn from - for example, the quote above was sadly butchered and reduced, and I laughed out loud when the "scion of Acheron" monk woman mispronounced Hyrkania! The one positive I took away from the movie was that Jason Momoa, aka "Khal Drago" from Game of Thrones, might have made a very good Conan, given a better script and a better director to work with. Indeed, Momoa seemed much closer to the Conan that was originally envisioned back in the original pulp tales than Arnold was.

    That led me to wonder if there are any other fans of Conan around here - fans of the stories originally written by Robert E. Howard back in the '30s. I've read them all, and find them to be great fun - raging battles, black sorcerors and necromancers, demons, mystic priests and gods, monsters, strange lands that seem almost familiar, knaves, heroes, damsels in distress, pirates, warrior queens and kings, and at the center of it all, Conan the Cimmerian - striding like a god across the lands of Hyboria! It's not the high, elegant fantasy that Tolkien spent a lifetime creating and perfecting - which I enjoy, but somehow find Howard's work to be more engaging (especially since they're all mostly short stories :D ) and more fun - in a swashbuckling sort of way.

    Some of my own favorite stories include:
    1. Queen of the Black Coast
    2. Red Nails
    3. The God In The Bowl
    4. The Tower of the Elephant
    5. The Scarlet Citadel
    6. Rogues In the House
    7. The Phoenix On The Sword
    8. Beyond The Black River
    9. The Hour of the Dragon

    Any other fans of Conan out there? Let's get a discussion going!
     
  2. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    " Know, O prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars - Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west.

    Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet and become a king by his own hand..."
     
  3. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    What is best in life?

    The Open Steppe! The wind in yourah shit. Got that wrong.

    I'm a big Conan fan, and was throughly disappointed in the new flick. Meh and meh. Conan the Barbarian is my favourite film EVER, and Destroyer is alright I guess, even if thetone suited REHs stories better.

    Not sure what my favourites are, they're all pretty darn good in some way or other. I'll get back to you on that. One great thing about Conan, is the Dark Horse Conan series that basically retells the stories of REH but fiddles little things that make the world he inhabits a more coherant place.

    They're up to 'Road of Kings' IIRC, and finished The Queen of the Black Coast a few months ago.
     
  4. seali_me

    seali_me Well-Known Member

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    Conan on netflix? It better not be a copper top on late night.

    Checking. Thanks.
     
  5. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Lessee now... stories that spring to mind...

    Jewels of the Gwahlur,
    The Hour of the Dragon,

    There was another one, The Slithering Shadow which I enjoyed, but I'm getting it confused with another Conan story set in an deserted city, but within it are two factions waging war down to a handful of men... Red Nails is the name.

    Anyway those ones spring to mind, as well as the ones everyone knows, The Tower of the Elephant, Rogues in the House, The Frost Giants Daughter etc.
     
  6. Rusty24

    Rusty24 Well-Known Member

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    I also didn't really like the new Conan movie. The story wasn't that great and it wasn't told in a way that I found interesting. I was also disappointed by the ending a little. This is a little spoilerish if you haven't seen the movie, but I don't think it should matter much. Basically you get a whole bunch of over-the-top gory deaths throughout the movie, but the main villain dies by falling when he killed Conan's father. This movie may not have had a great story and acting, but I thought it would at least have an exciting action-packed conclusion.

    On a sidenote, was anybody else tempted to yell Thundercats when he pulls the sword up at the end.
     
  7. FatalT 71

    FatalT 71 Mr. JazzHunter

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    Good call on the Frost Giant's Daughter - for some reason that totally slipped my mind.
     
  8. Eigo Risu

    Eigo Risu Less than meets the eye

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    Quite enjoyed the new movie. watched after marathoning Stargate Atlantis, and it was the only other thing (more or less) that Jason Momoa (ronan dex) has done.

    I thought it did a nice amount of worldbuilding, though never really got close to the 'epic' feel i was expecting. still quite enjoyable though, i'd happily have momoa back for another go. the ending did lack some punch, but i actually liked the idea of him using his fathers trick when he knew he was outclassed in a straight fight. it actually made more sense in the end.
     
  9. Allsparky

    Allsparky Bayou Buah/Ex cross-tie walker!

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    Never got into anything past the old Conan movies. That phrase from Barbarian has stuck with me all my life: "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!" and who can forget that crazy ass Grace Jones/Wilt Chamberlin combo from Destroyer? Good stuff! Are most of these stories you guys speak of independent of each other or does it all follow some kind of line?
     
  10. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    So, as someone TOTALLY ignorant of Conan (only watched one of the Arnie flicks... can't even remember which one), where is a good place to start? Is there a preferred reading order? etc.
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    There is, but many stories are independent. Dark Horse has been reprinting many of the old comics, as well as a "new" version that works with many of the more famous stories, maybe give them a shot and go from there?

    There was a massive collection of Robert E. Howard Conan stories available for a good price at Coles/Indigo last year, but I don't think they were in order and there was only a few of the really well known ones, but the price was good!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  12. FatalT 71

    FatalT 71 Mr. JazzHunter

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    As I understand it, the stories weren't written in a chronological order, though over the years a timeline of sorts has been developed to put them in a rough order. They can be read and enjoyed in any order. Take them as individual short stories taken from the life of Conan, and enjoy them that way. For example, I believe the first published story was The Phoenix on the Sword, which takes place in Conan's later years after he took the throne of Aquilonia. Later stories, such as Rogues in the House, and the God in the Bowl, or the Tower of the Elephant, talk about a younger Conan who is more of a thief than a warrior (though his fighting prowess is unmistakeable). So, pick a story that seems interesting and dive in. I recommend Queen of the Black Coast, personally, though I know many others swear by Red Nails.

    I'd recommend The Coming of Conan The Cimmerian as a good starting place - that's the first Conan book I purchased, and I read it until it fell apart and bought a second one. I also picked up a collection of about sixteen stories last year for my Kindle app, cost me less than $5 - a STEAL! [Edit: Looked it up on my phone - "Conan the Cimmerian: The Complete Tales of Robert E. Howard". It's no longer available, but I did find this for $.99! Conan the Barbarian, The Complete Tales, Amazon Kindle Store If you have a Kindle, or Kindle app - buy this now!]

    I'm not too familiar with the Dark Horse comics, I've thumbed through a few of them at the bookstore now and then but haven't committed to any. I may have to look for Queen of the Black Coast.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  13. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    But that was the whole point, Conan had finally earned his sword by using more than just his brute strength to vanquish his foes. The ending wrapped up the idea that Conan had be the warrior that his father wanted him to be.

    Personally, I highly enjoyed the new movie. It was everything an action movie should be, It certainly wasn't any worse than the original movies. And let's face it, the originals are okay movies, but nostalgia aside, they're far from masterpieces.



    They were really well-crafted. Busiek had a great understanding of the character.
     
  14. daitarn red

    daitarn red bionic hero

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    there conan the barbarian cartoon series too
     
  15. FatalT 71

    FatalT 71 Mr. JazzHunter

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    Hmmm, interesting point you make there. I do think I may have gone into it comparing it too much against the first Conan, and thinking of some of the (in some cases, quite violent) criticism I'd seen leveled at it. Perhaps another viewing is in order - I do think Momoa does pull the character of Conan off quite well, and in many cases a second viewing of a movie does actually reveal some good things I missed before.

    Busiek was involved? I never noticed. SOLD.
     
  16. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    ummm movie forum??
     
  17. FatalT 71

    FatalT 71 Mr. JazzHunter

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    The discussion is actually more oriented towards the original stories written by Robert E. Howard - a discussion motivated by my watching the new Conan movie the other night. Or actually, all things Conan. He's been in comics, movies, video games...I'd like to think this thread would be all encompassing thing.
     
  18. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, the Dark Horse series is pretty damn swift.

    Kurt Busiek wrote the first run of them, and basically they follow Conans life in stages, first is as a Thief, then Mercenary, then Warlord, then presumably King. And like I said, Dark Horse have wisely decided to tweak certain characters and situations slightly, so they mesh better then the independant REH stories. IE, a soldier Conan fought with in a previous story turns up in a later story when they run into each other in town. Soldier friend introduces Conan to his Missus, and the local Militia decide to have their way with her, cue lots of blood letting etc. The stories they're from are different, but what DH have done is really good.

    We're up to Warlord at the moment, where he's travelling around and being 'more' than a mere mercenary. Dark Horse also print mini series of specific stories alongside the main comic.

    The original artists stuff (I forget his name) was really nice. Cary Nord? Something like that. Anyway his stuff was ace, and although he's not the artist any more (and Busiek isn't writing it anymore) its still a very solid book, one of the few monthly titles I read now.

    So if you can pick up a TPB of the current Dark Horse run, start there. This is it I think.

    Conan Volume 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and other stories TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

    But really try and get REH's original texts, they're very richly written and fuel the imagination like few stories do.
     
  19. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    Delayed response, but thanks for the info on starting places, all. :) 
     
  20. Rusty24

    Rusty24 Well-Known Member

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    I actually think Momoa was good in the movie. I just think some of the dialogue he was given was terrible and he had to say those lines.
     

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