Conan the Barbarian 1982 / 2011 (REBOOT VS ORIGINAL)

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Some movies are actual remakes of older films, a straight re telling of a story, for the purpose of updating it for a contemporary audience, making it accessible to a different culture or region). Other reboots are course corrections that are done with the purpose of restarting a franchise. Basically a reset, loyalty to the original story or the film is irrelevant. Then there are re-imaginings, a retelling of a story only in the broadest sense.

Characters and some story elements may be retained, but mainly plot and story have be repurposed.

I know you’re thinking, “Why am I reading an English lesson on definitions?” Well, you’re reading a fantasy comic based film review on a site dedicated to nerds, so just keep it moving…..

So which of these is Conan the barbarian 2011? Well come back to this

The main character is a barbarian name Conan (mind blowing right ??!!) created in a graphic novel, who’s a great warrior, goes on many adventures, pillaging, plundering, battling different warriors, creatures, sorcerers and so forth .

A:Schwarzenegger vs Momoa

Young Arnold was born to play a barbarian. Hulking figure, wild eyed looks and a barely distinguishable accent. Momoa aka Khal Drogo aka Aquaman, has a look all his own as a believable warrior barbarian.  As far as Conan the character from the comics, Conan 2011 was a closer adaption.

The plot of both films were similar. Conan as a boy witnesses his village and father murdered by a warlord and grows up to seek revenge. From there the films go in different paths .The 1982 film makes its own origin story for Conan. Young Conan is taken captive and forced into slavery, he grows strong and is sent to the fighting pits where he learns to fight and kill, eventually going on his quest for vengeance. As a film, this origin works.  But as comics go, a die-hard fan would call bs.  The 2011 version actually sticks to Conan’s origin story from the comic book. He’s born on a battlefield and literally cut from his dying mother’s belly. Also young Conan already is a fierce warrior. Both origins work for their perspective movies.

B: Villain

Conan 2011 has Stephen Lang playing a warlord named Khalar Zym whose mission is to find a pure blood descendant of some ancient race that can be used to activate some b flick movie looking mask to bring back the love of his life from the dead and make Khalar all powerful. Sounds super interesting right? Rose McGowan plays his side kick co villain daughter named Marique, who is a sorceress with daddy incest issues. Both villains never come off as menacing, but that’s more so the writing/direction than the acting .The 1982 Conan has the great James Earl Jones (post Vader pre king of Zamunda as Thulsa Doom; still one of the coolest villain names ever) playing a cult leader/warlord /sorcerer. Basically a badass mfer whose chill factor was on 1,000 every scene he was in.

C: Action

Both films were action packed. Conan 2011 benefitted from the technological advances of today’s film industry in having an action scene that had rose McGowan’s character conjure an Aztec looking dust demons in a battle with Conan. Even still, 1984 with a lack of today’s CGI still had better action sequences. From Mr. Jones morphing into a giant snake to Conan battling different warriors in the fighting pits.

D: Re-watch ability

Nostalgia aside, Conan 1982 wins this hands down, not because it was a great movie, because it wasn’t. Entertaining? Yes, great? No. Some of the awesome scenes including Conan spinning his sword his trademark move (any 70-80s baby knows what move I’m talking about because you’ve attempted it as many times as Daniel Larussos crane kick), Conan having sex with the witch who turns into some sort of vampire/panther hybrid during, albeit cheesy it was was awesome too, the bad cartoony type spirits that come to try and steal Conan’s body as he’s semi dead (trust me looks even worse than it sounds). Other than the opening fight scene when Conan, as a child, kills several attacking enemies, there is nothing in the entire film I’d want to ever see again. This movie has zero replay value whatsoever. Overall it’s bad. Almost like a made for Syfy Channel bad.

Overall Opinion:

Conan the Barbarian 1982 was the better film, be a long margin. Back to the original question of what type of movie was Conan 2011? It was definitely a remake that wanted to be a reboot. It was made to try and restart the Conan franchise, however it took all the elements of the original 1982 Conan.

-Ant-man out

 

Superman The Movie / Man of Steel (reboot vs original)

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When viewing these two films and comparing them against one another, a few caveats have to be made. First, the nostalgia of seeing Superman: The Movie (if you’re a 70s to 80s baby) on the big screen and remembering days of youth has to be put aside to be objective. I don’t care what you say, Christopher Reeves will always be Superman. Fight me. I needed to get that off my chest. Secondly, there’s a 35 year gap between films so technological (cgi, special effects, etc.) advancements jumps leaps and bounds between the films, therefore, grading on a curve will be allowed in that aspect. Also when dealing with remakes the question of “Was this film necessary?” has to be answered. Some original films are so dated that they need to be remade if the story is worth retelling. Others, no matter how many decades have passed are so near perfection that there’s never a need to remake them (think The Godfather trilogy, and the original Terminator).  That memo aside lets breakdown the Superman movies

A: Christopher Reeves vs Henry Cavil

Reeves is the standard for Superman, not only for the fact he’s everyone’s first image of Superman on the big screen but other than Cavil, he’s the only one who’s acceptable ( Dean Cain and Brandon ” thank God for arrow cause my career would be over ” Rouths portrayals don’t exist. Again, fight me).  As far as being Kal-El /Superman both Reeves and Cavil are great and believable as being the near invincible son of Krypton. Cavil gets the edge over Reeves in having the physically imposing stature that Supes has in the comics. Where the edge goes to Reeves is actually the character portrayal of Clark Kent. Reeves basically plays two different characters in the film. Superman and the comical nerdy Clark Kent. Cavil’s Clark Kent is basically the same person as superman just without the suit. Same mannerisms same look.

B: The Villain

Superman The Movie had Lex Luther being played in a campy role by Gene Hackman. Man of steel had General Zod as the main villain being played by Michael Shannon. Shannon’s Zod was even more menacing and frightening than any version we’ve seen on screen before (not as quotable as Terrance Stamp in Superman 2 “oh god ‘, ” no, Zod” though).  Even though Hackman’s Lex Luther works for the campy nature of the film, Shannon’s Zod was a better villain.

C: Action

There’s no comparison. Man of steel was action galore from the start. We got to see Superman’s full arsenal of powers on display.  Man of Steel as far as visually showing the son of Krypton’s abilities was the film all Superman comic fans have wanted/waited to see.  Superman The Movie basically showed Superman flying around preventing natural disasters, super strength (although nothing on the level of Man of Steel) X-ray vision and a completely, non-nonsensical ability to reverse the earth’s rotation and reverse time. Although, it seemed cool when viewed as a kid, it still didn’t make sense, even then.

D: Re-watch Ability

As a complete story, Man of Steel shows a more in depth view of life on Krypton that no other Superman film displayed. Superman The Movie only showed the banishing of Zods army, and Kal-El being sent to earth. Man of Steel lets you see how truly screwed Krypton was in the grand scheme of things as well as how badass Jor-El really was. Superman The Movie although less serious than Man of Steel, does still hold your attention on replay. Other than Margot Kidders annoying portrayal of Lois Lane and the movies obvious point of focusing on the love story aspect of Lois and Superman, I had no problem re-watching the film from start to finish

Overall Opinion

Was a remake or reboot needed? Well yes! Not just because of a 35 year gap between levels of visual effects that would be needed to capture a clear vision of a super hero (arguably the ultimate super hero) story and powers.

Was it better? As an overall movie, Man of Steel was leaps and bounds better than Superman The Movie. Both have re-watch ability but Superman The Movie only has nostalgia or if you’re in the “I want my Superman caring and wholesome “camp.

Anyways, I give the “should it have been” remade question a double hell yeah!  Both films are allowed to live in harmony.

Ant-Man out!