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9.3 21 10
FanMix July 05, 2012 5716
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Conan The Barbarian - the original film - can't seem to decide whether it wants to be smart or stupid. And I don't mean the later in a bad way, either. It just awkwardly juggles philosophical themes with more mindless fantasy action that don't seem to directly serve the points its trying to make. This edit forgoes much of the contemplation of the nature of the power of belief versus disbelief, and instead focuses on the adventure, the revenge, the self-mastery of Conan himself. It's a modern viking saga, a rock opera. Manowar and Conan were meant to be together. The original Poledouris score was magnificent, but the expertly selected power metal songs work even better, as far as I'm concerned. The tempo of songs match the re-edited sequences masterfully, and the lyrics are always appropriate, either literally or thematically. There's a sense of humor for the choices used to accompany the sex scenes, but I won't spoil any specifics. There's also a few very impressive visual effects - the included making of pointed out a few that I didn't realize weren't part of the original film! There's one minor technical flub - for a very short stretch early in the edit (19:13 - 21-03), there's some vertical pillarboxing on the left side of the screen. This may be something left over from the source material, but it could easily have been cropped out. Of course, if overscan isn't disabled, it may not be visible on some TVs anyway. An extremely minor nitpick, of course. The movie is much better paced in this edit, with only the bare minimum of dialogue present to give us needed exposition or character development. The wild blueberries scene was a pleasant surprise for me - that scene is absent in the North American version of the film, and it's inclusion works very well as a calm before the storm. My only gripe is that most, if not all of Thulsa Doom's dialogue has been removed (or, in one clever instance, replaced). I think, at the very least, his discussion with Conan about the merits of the power of flesh versus the power of steel should have been retained. The opening discussion about the power of steel and Crom is also missing. Considering how incredibly often the word "steel" appears in Manowar lyrics, these scenes' absence are wasted potential. Could even have used "The Secret of Steel" for those. Also, there's a tiny continuity flub. Valeria mentions having promised the wizard to pay a price for Conan's resurrection, but the scene in which she had done so is absent. I suppose she and Akiro could have had some sort of off-screen discussion, but it's odd that the callback wasn't cut as well.

Again, my nitpicks are few and of the most minimal nature. I had an absolutely wonderful time watching this edit. Music combines with imagery to produce an incredibly entertaining fantasy epic. Or, if you will, the most elaborate music video of all time. I prefer it to the original film, and would recommend it strongly to everyone but the most adamant detesters of the power metal genre. TMBTM, you just keep on impressing me. I'd love to see a followup to this some day. Not The Destroyer, per se. Considering how much of Manowar's music revolves around Norse mythology, I think there's some serious potential in Marvel's Thor movies...

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