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Blu-ray Review Conan The Destroyer Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Kevin EK, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Two years after John Milius’ brutal epic Conan the Barbarian and just before Arnold Schwarzenegger would be reinvented onscreen as The Terminator, producer Dino De Laurentiis went back to the well to make a Conan sequel with his lead actor.  The idea this time was to tone down the violence and bring up more of the humor, working with a lower budget and making more of a romp than was seen in Milius’ film.  As a result, the movie isn’t that memorable.  But if you’re a fan of Schwarzenegger in the role, it’s an agreeable ride.  The new Blu-ray release provides solid picture and sound, but almost nothing in the way of extras.



    CONAN

    THE DESTROYER



    Studio: Universal/Dino De Laurentiis

    Year: 1984

    Length:  1 hr 42 mins

    Genre:  Comic Book Adaptation


    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

    BD Resolution and Codec: 1080p, AVC (@ an average 33 mbps)

    Audio:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.9 mbps), French DTS 2.0

    Subtitles: English SDH


    Film Rating: PG (PG-safe Violence)


    Release Date: August 2, 2011


    Starring:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Mako, Tracey Walter, Olivia D’Abo and Sarah Douglas


    Screenplay by:  Stanley Mann

    Story by:  Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway

    Directed by:  Richard Fleischer


    Film Rating:    2 ½/5


    I still remember a review of Conan The Destroyer from the week of its theatrical release in 1984.  The reviewer commented that the movie was ridiculously campy but could be fun if the viewer just turned the brain off and enjoyed the ride downstream.  That comment still applies today.  Seen in 2011, it’s clear that the movie is intended as a lower budget, less epic romp than the first film.  The violence has been toned down to get the film a PG rating, and Gerry Lopez’ Subotai has been mysteriously replaced by Tracey Walter’s Malak.  There’s a fun villainess played by then-ubiquitous Sarah Douglas (formerly “Ursa” of the first two Superman movies), and a return appearance by Mako as both Akiro and as the voice telling the story of Conan’s life.  Conan once again goes on a quest and finds himself in some large battles, and once again the story logic tells us that good will triumph over evil.  There really isn’t much more to it than that.  If you’re a fan of the Schwarzenegger Conan, this will likely be a fun movie for the afternoon or evening.  If you’re a fan of Schwarzenegger’s post-Conan work, this may be tougher going.  And if you’re a fan of the first film, this may be even harder to watch – it’s the same problem to be had any time you see a smaller scale sequel (such as Ghostbusters II or Robocop 2).   My reaction to the film is just that it’s not particularly memorable one way or the other.


    Conan The Destroyer was released along with the first movie on Blu-ray last week.   The Blu-ray edition includes high definition picture and sound that are more solid and consistent than that of the first film, but there are no special features other than the theatrical trailer.



    VIDEO QUALITY   4/5

    Conan The Destroyer is presented in a 1080p AVC 2.35:1 transfer that does a lot better in conveying the imagery than I saw on the prior film.  Flesh tones are accurate, and the detail looks much better than the other transfer.  I did not have the issues of inconsistent black levels or digital noise that gave me issues with the first film.



    AUDIO QUALITY   3 ½ /5

    Conan The Destroyer is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that, like the first film, is full-throated when it comes to the big battle sequences, and which does not seem to have any issues of missing score elements.  It’s not an overwhelming mix, but it does its job effectively and efficiently.


    SPECIAL FEATURES      1/5

    The Blu-Ray presentation of Conan The Destroyer comes with only a theatrical trailer as an extra feature.



    Trailer – (1:32, 480p, Non-Anamorphic) – A standard definition, non-anamorphic copy of the film’s theatrical trailer is presented.


    BD-Live – The usual BD-Live functionality is present.


    Pocket BLU – The usual pocket BLU functionality is present.


    D-Box – This functionality is available for those viewers who have this ability in their home theater.


    The movie and the special features are subtitled in English.  The usual chapter and pop-up menus are present.


    IN THE END...

    Conan The Destroyer is a fun movie, but nothing the viewer will remember an hour after seeing it.  On the other hand, it’s an enjoyable romp if you’re in the mood for it.  The high definition picture and sound are solid, and a step above what was seen on the first film’s disc.  If you’re a fan of Schwarzenegger’s Conan, you may want to rent this to check it out.


    Kevin Koster

    August 11, 2011.


    Equipment now in use in this Home Theater:


    Panasonic 65” VT30 Plasma 3D HDTV – set at “THX” picture mode

    Denon AVR-3311Cl Receiver

    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player

    PS3 Player (used for calculation of bitrates for picture and sound)

    5 Mirage Speakers (Front Left/Center/Right, Surround Back Left/Right)

    2 Sony Speakers (Surround Left/Right – middle of room)

    Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofer 

     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    This was the first Conan film I saw thanks to HBO. I watched it several times thanks to a mild crush on Olivia d'Abo (Princess Jehnna). When I finally saw the original a year later it just couldn't hold up to the sequel in my mind (no Olivia, no sale). Ever since then I have liked the sequel better.
     

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