(ag) wrote: I was really enjoying this movie, it was creepy with a bit that made you jump and then the end happened. I still don't really understand what happened. Was the doctor real? Did she actually kill everyone? I don't feel that the film was concluded very effectively and this left me feeling very disappointed. This could have been a very good scary movie otherwise.
(us) wrote: When petty thief Cosimo is given the plan for the perfect heist from a lifer in prison - the kind of job you dream about - he has to get out of jail, fast. But with Cosimo stuck in the joint, it's up to his girl Rosalind to track down a patsy. But while no one wants to do the time for Cosimo's crime, everybody seems to know a guy who will - and for a share, they're willing to track him down. Before long, Rosalind has five guys trailing behind her, looking to get their bungling hands on a piece of the action.
(ag) wrote: Long ago, in the distant time before "The Lord of the Rings" (well, before Peter Jackson's LOTR, not before the books or the earliest adaptations), before "Thor" (before the modern movies, I mean; not before the "Thor" comic character, which itself came long after the "Conan" pulp character), before "Skyrim" (OK, it was unequivocally before that), there was "Conan the Barbarian!" It would be wrong to say that "Conan" was the progenitor of anything other than Arnold Schwarzenegger's film career; the origins, influences, and manifestations of the major sword-and-sorcery franchises are complex and mostly separate from one another, hearkening back to and appropriating for their own purposes centuries-old, half-imagined stories and traditions that at this point in history belong equally to all.In the case of "Conan," the milieu is the fuzzy line between West and East in the age of Genghis Khan's Eurasia-spanning empire, imagined here as a world of tribes and ritualism. "Conan"'s immediate textual source is itself, a cartoon from a 25-cent cult magazine. Director/writer John Milius, however, infuses his ambitious adaptation with overtones from the ostensibly more serious tradition of sword-and-sandal films: it is difficult not to think of "Spartacus" during "Conan"'s first half hour, which sees the hero go from slave to pit fighter to outlaw iconoclast. Milius, who also wrote "Apocalypse Now" (1979), takes Conan's made-for-action-figure characters and genre trappings seriously in a way that not every filmmaker might have, and his commitment keeps it from becoming too campy. It is not a cheap production: attractive Spanish shooting locales, titanic sets with a sense of weight, endless detailed costumes and thoughtful iconography elevate the basic storyline, as does an enthralling score by film composer Basil Poledouris. In all production categories "Conan" outperforms its near-contemporary, the noble but spectacular failure "Excalibur" (1981). "Conan"'s supporting cast also stacks up well with the inclusion of Max von Sydow and James Earl Jones, two actors who are constitutionally incapable of bringing anything other than gravitas to a role. But perhaps the most surprising of "Conan"'s achievements is its female lead Valeria, played by Sandahl Bergman. Her skill and capability are unqualified, and in a movie that is not always judicious in its depictions of women, her equal and at times grander stature to Conan's is a relief.However, the element that most sets "Conan" apart from later and earlier examples of its genre may be its well-earned R rating. Today, studios that make their shareholders happy by dint of teen and preteen ticket sales do not allow their blockbusters to cross that line, so films of this ilk today are often bloodless and sexless affairs. That is not to say that they are not violent and frequently sexist: they merely code their violence and objectification of women in ways that modern censors (MPAA reviewers) are either too dim or too hypocritical to acknowledge. The downside of "Conan"'s show-it-all approach to sex and violence is that it is occasionally degrading and often excessive. Yet there is something to be said for the principle of taking off the reins and making a film that is proudly not meant for all audiences: something few fantasy movies today have the courage-or, yes, the naivety-to attempt.