Conan The Barbarian 2011 Edition Blu-ray

Conan The Barbarian is back with a new actor but with the same clichés and fighting sequences that make too many fantasy films a bit on the unexciting side.

Film making 14/25
Video 24/25
Audio 25/25
Bonus Features 16/25
Total 79/100

Conan The Barbarian 2011 Edition Blu-ray

When reviewing anything remotely like a sword swinging film by a muscle bound scantily clad warrior references to the classic Conan and star Arnold Schwarzenegger are inevitable. As a matter of fact when looking at films involving rather emotionless robots the same can also be said but Arnold did have a niche in both genres and did rather well.

The first Conan may not have been a fantastic film but it was very good and just like the first Terminator it did set the bar for each genre, or subgenre, or whatever you want to call it. If you’re wanting to tackle or even get close to the same movie making magic and stereotypical film making you need to bring something to the film beyond special effects and blood.

Blood everywhere, every time someone dies blood splashes everywhere even when someone dies where you would not expect to see so much blood. One soldier riding a horse is thrown from his horse and smashes back first into a large boulder, blood splashes from the body and drips from the rock after the body falls away.

That was the first and the foremost thought going through my mind while watching the film, blood everywhere, especially when you least expect it. The second was how emotionless the film was, while in some scenes we do get laughter and some exciting crying you just do not believe any of the emotion you see onscreen.

We first get a few minutes of backstory to tell us what the whole film will be about and I think this in part sets us up for an emotionally empty movie experience. From the start we know who and what is happening without any mystery and the beginning scene with Conan’s birth fills in the rest pretty neatly.

Filling in the blanks with who does what to whom is all the rest of the film can do and the movie just goes downhill after the only well done scene of the film. A glimmer of hope for the film was during Conan’s trials and tribulations of pending adulthood a test for manhood.

The youth of the village must race to a hilltop and return without breaking a raw egg that is put in their mouths to prove their manhood. The scene is exciting and exhilarating, youth running along trying to maintain the integrity of their own egg while trying to break the ones of their fellow contestants.

Just when things look pretty good the youth have an extra test, wild looking fighters from another tribe are now hunting them. Some of the youth band together to fight their way back to the village but Conan takes on a group of the berserkers on his own.

When Conan returns to the village and the excitement of the of the possible fighting is just beginning Conan enters holding the severed heads of some of the berserkers. The adults all gather and Conan spits his unbroken egg on the ground just after dropping the heads of three of his attackers.

The rest of the film, before this and after is rote sword and sorcery fantasy film and fills the film with less exciting adventure. I’m not saying this was a bad film but a little more imagination could have been put into the films screenplay to give the actors something to work with.

Conan the Barbarian needed desperately to be separated from the prior films and give it a life of its own as well as something to make it stand out. Conan The Barbarian 2011 does have a little going for it in the video and audio quality which is outstanding on both counts.

Video is crisp and clear, a little too clear when blood is involved actually, colors are bright and vivid when they are supposed to be and others are nicely drab and dull. Not to say the film has a lifeless color palette, it is fantastic looking but much of the film has drab and dreary colors as well.

The video quality is great without any artifacting or problems with the Blu-ray transfer and audio is also nicely done. The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is well done with great surround and enough punch to all the effects that it does make the film sound better than it is.

If you have a 7.1 surround sound system you will find the film does make use of all the speakers while effects make specific use of all the speakers from the very start of the film. Audio is great and even with the overboard use of blood splashing everywhere you do have a great sound experience in the newest release of Conan.

Bonus content has audio commentary with director Marcus Nispel and a separate audio track with actors Jason Mamoa and Rose McGowan. There is also a couple of making of features and features about Robert E. Howard that round out the bonus features.

The extras do not quite make up enough to be exceptional but it does enough to help buoy up the lack of a better film for this try at Conan infamy. Conan The Barbarian 2011 is for lack of a better word alright but it does leave one with a bad taste, not due to the excessive use of blood but from overuse of fantasy film clichés.

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