Saturday, September 3, 2011

Photo of the Day

Jason Momoa in the new CONAN THE BARBARIAN remake. 

The film has bombed at the box-office. It barely grossed $20 million and the film cost $90 million to make. Ouch. But it's not surprising that the film bombed. The director, Marcus Nispel, is a complete hack. Casting Momoa was bad too as he was repeatedly dismissed by Fan Boys for his model looks. It goes without saying that Fan Boys are allergic to beefcake: it's the main and only reason why the PEPLUM genre is so ridiculed. Arnold, as beefy as he was, was never perceived as the good-looking or handsome type by Fan Boys. Arnold was no "Girlie Man." I haven't seen the film and it might be a hit on DVD/VOD/Cable, whatever, but reading reviews of the film (sounds like it's really bad), one of the problems was probably that it was just too violent. I saw the red band trailer and there was more gore in that 2 minute trailer than an entire FRIDAY THE 13TH film (which the director also remade and was thoroughly awful!). 

But the bigger problem with this film really was Arnold's CONAN films, which, for some, argue that they cannot be topped. But I disagree. I saw the original CONAN and the sequel when they were released in theatres and I was totally underwhelmed by them, certainly as someone who enjoyed the books. Fan Boys will stick to the Arnold films: they are somewhat fun but, certainly the second one, mediocre films. The best point for my argument is that the original series only spawned one sequel and the series was already dead in the water! If the original was so strong it would have generated several CONAN films or like the PEPLUM explosion of the 1950s/60s, generated dozens and dozens of copycats, not just ultra low budget Italian knock-offs. But it didn't as the public in general was indifferent to the two CONAN films. Only a small group of fervent fans chime in endlessly on how CONAN is the greatest, etc. This is the big obstacle. The fans of the original would have never seen this film or any remake made by anyone. Like the new TRON LEGACY film, CONAN is perceived as an 80s thing and with those stubborn Fan Boys refusing to see anything that doesn't star Arnold as the titular hero, there's just no hope in seeing a really good CONAN adaptation that does the Ron E Howard books justice. 

The only bright light about this is hopefully this (along with other flops like TRON) will signal the end of the cinematic Dark Ages we've been in for some time now with the glut of terrible remakes and re-imaginings. As a fan of the PEPLUM genre, remakes/re-imagining are to be expected and I'm not against them but the new stuff, from the remakes of 70s/80s horror films to the new CLASH OF THE TITANS CGI epic, have been awful and awfully depressing. 


Charles R. Rutledge said...

Yeah, unfortunately the movie is really really awful. If I could get back the two hours I spent watching it, I would.

Steven Lester said...

Ebert did a particularly devastating review about this movie.

PEPLUM cinema said...

I read the Ebert review and the movie seems dispiriting.

Charles, it's that bad eh? well, the director is terrible. I saw the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake on cable and it was pitifully bad. Made the original look like a masterpiece. When I learned who was making the CONAN remake, I had little hope for it. I feel bad for some of the actors in the movie, certainly Rose McGowan.

Kike said...

I am a GREAT fan of Robert E Howard adventure tales... so this movie is like a kick in the balls for me.

The problem is not Momoa or the violence. The problem is that the story have no sense and the direction is moronic. They fail in "How To Made A Movie 101".

It is sad. I really wanted this character portrayed faithfully to the silver screen...