Blu-ray Review: CONAN THE BARBARIAN is better on a second viewing minus 3D

Conan the Barbarian arrived on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D +Blu-ray +DVD + Digital Copy) on November 22. Marcus Nispel (Friday the 13th, Pathfinder and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) directed the film, which stars Jason Mamoa (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Ron Perlman (FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy), Stephen Lang (Avatar, Terra Nova) and Rose McGowan (Planet Terror). I reviewed the film when it was in theaters, and was not too happy. 

The idea of checking it out again was not high on my to-do list. I was let down with the 3D aspects in the film. The 3D was completely unnecessary, and the post-conversion was horrible. I have never seen anything as bad since I watched My Soul To Take. Sometimes watching a film for a second time, I notice different bits or angles that I may have overlooked. Watching Conan in my home theater without 3D was fantastic. I am not saying that this film is great, but it is a lot better than I initially gave it credit.

As an origin story for Conan, this is the best it could have possibly been. Casting Mamoa as Conan was wonderful. When I first heard he had been cast I was not sure how it would work out. After seeing him in Game of Thrones I was excited. Having seen him in theaters I was sold on the idea, but having seen him again I can truly say there is no one better that could have played the iconic character. Mamoa wields the sword with such style and grace, his movements are more fluid than that of Anrold Schwarzenegger’s in the original films.

I had a lot of fun with the action in the film. So many of the sequences were so ridiculous that they were laughable. Conan is the perfect film to watch when you are looking for an over the top action fest with tons of blood. Nispel knows a lot about blood and there is tons of splatter with each slash of the sword. The funniest part for me was seeing the blood splatter when people hit a tree or a rock. It was cool even if it was unrealistic. 

The video and sound quality of this Blu-ray is superb, but that is to be expected since it received a perfect 1080p video transfer and has a 7.1 DTS-HD audio track. The wide array of colors literally popped out of my screen. The CGI that looked good on the big screen looked a lot worse on the my big screen, but that can be expected. It sounded phenomenal on my surround sound, immersing me in the battle sequences.

The special features are typical of films of this caliber. The best commmentary track was the one with Mamoa and McGowan, you can tell that they had fun working on the film. I enjoyed the going inside the action with the behind the scenes featurette.  Nothing else stands out to be above norm from the list of features.

In Conclusion:
If you skipped this film in theaters because you did not want to pay the extra for 3D, then this Blu-ray is perfect for you. The action sequences are decent on this disc that has wonderful picture and sound quality. If I enjoyed seeing it for a second time on Blu-ray and think you should give it another chance!


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