Conan The Barbarian (1982)

I Missed the Boat.


Conan The Barbarian was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s higher profile early roles. One of the first where they even let him use his own voice. It follows the story of a boy whose family gets killed by marauders. He gets sold into slavery and obviously, becomes a killing machine. Netflix Canada recently added this gem to their streaming service up here in the Great White North.  (I wonder whatever could have that idea?)  I saw this sitting there in the recently added section and realized that it was probably now, or never.
You see… I missed the Conan boat.  Repeatedly.  I was too young to watch it in ’83.  By the time our family owned a VCR, our local video store had already sold its copy for someone’s “Home Video Library”.  When I went to college, no one on the floor ever got drunk or stoned enough to suggest Conan The Barbarian.  If any of us did… we probably would’ve just watched Army of Darkness or Black Belt Jones again, anyway.

Oh, Conan… The times we could have had.


Regardless, when I heard about the Conan movie, I didn’t really give a shit. Shortly after that, I saw this trailer:

So… that really made me want to see the new Conan. But being a Fat Guy With Glasses, I couldn’t very well allow myself to see the high-profile remake without watching the goddamn original. So, despite all the men in my family practically chomping at the bit to go… we still haven’t seen it, because I’m an asshole.

Do You Want to Live Forever?

Why didn’t I watch this in the 80s? Or at University? I would have fucking loved this movie had I watched it then. The action sequences are simultaneously some of the best and worst in action movie history. The dramatic acting switches from bad to awful to shockingly great at the drop of a hat.

I know this image looks incredibly awkward, but this scene is seriously powerful.

But since I’m not a kid, nor did I watch this in a cramped dorm room with 20 other people, I ended up having to really watch it. When this movie is good, it’s fucking brilliant. Great cinematography, great action, great acting. But when it’s not… it’s utter shit. Terribly slow pacing (arguably even for 1980s standards), awful action, awful acting.

Say “It’s not a tumah” again! I dahble dare you mathu fakkah!

What is Best in Movie?

There is some excellent cinematography in this film. The outdoor scenery is gorgeous, for a ravaged wasteland, anyway. There are about half a dozen truly great moments in this movie. The first comes almost instantly. Hearing Mako as the narrator was absolutely epic. It excited me for what was to come. The moments after the opening action scene are amazing. And the final two action scenes were also fantastic. It’s really too bad it drags so much in the middle. In the 80s the good would have far outweighed the bad. At Uni, I would have had a blast lambasting the bad.  Either of those would have been good enough for me. If only I could trow open a portal in time.

3/5

Yet Another Reason To Hate

So, after making my post the other day, and linking the “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” video, I half watched it as Mel read the entry.

At 1:18 the line  The bitter sting of tears is sang by none other than Sting himself.  Now I find it hard to believe that they were able to convince Sting that this was a cool idea.  I’d imagine that in the 80s, at the height of his popularity that Sting was probably pretty pretentious.  I could be wrong.  Maybe he didn’t develop that particular trait until years later.  But I imagine he was anyway, because it makes that shot that much funnier to me.

Let’s assume for the sake of our sanity that it was indeed Sting that was singing that line, and that’s why he was lipsyncing it in the video, and not just because Bob wanted to have a nice closeup pun shot for his extremely important and world-saving video.  How exactly did he convince Sting that it wouldn’t be lame for him to sing it?  Did he trick him into singing the entire song, and editted the ol’ Police in for that set of lines?  If he did, is that the whole reason he wrote the line “The only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears”?  
But if you listen to the song, it doesn’t really sound like the voice changes.  Bob’s website says it’s Bono and Sting singing the line.  But, almost 25 years later, I have no troubles whatsoever disbelieving something like that.  I think it’s just Bono singing there.  And that Bob put the closeup on Sting lipsyncing because he could.  I think he tricked Sting into lipsyncing the whole song in front of the microphone, and that he was too stoned to notice that no one else had to do the whole song.  

Sting: Too Stoned To Notice.
I really believe Bob Geldolf is that diabolical.  And that lame.  He’s that diabolically lame.