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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:12 am:   

Just watched this and bloody loved it. Pure, unadulterated daft entertainment to view with your brain switched off.

If I was 12 year's old it would be my favourite film of all time. Demons, sword fighting, gore, flying body parts, a cool tortured hero, some beautiful set design and a rousing score. Yeah, the plot's a bit predictable but that's part of the fun with this kind of thing. There's even a genuinely scary bit in a church with an insane preacher played by Mackenzie Crook and some monsters.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.9.225.9
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:15 am:   

I thought it was typical Robert E. Howard. A basic plot, with lots of irrelevant but fun bits added on along the way.

That said, I was disappointed overall.

I await the remainder of this year's tortured historical hero fare - BLACK DEATH, SEASON OF THE WITCH, JONAH HEX and IRONCLAD - with slightly less confidence.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:20 am:   

I expected it to be shite, so was pretty thrilled with it myself.

The filmmakers utterly committed; they had integrity and an obvious love of the material. I hate it when films like this go for the insulting comic approach - this one was so straight-faced and lacking in irony I fell for it within minutes.

And it's one step closer to the Father Shandor: Demon Hunter film I've been wishing for since I was about eleven...
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.122.209.76
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 07:52 am:   

Here's what I thought from earlier this year:

Well Lady P & I saw it last week & I thought it was a very very good attempt at getting heroic fantasy onscreen in a way that remains as faithful as possible to the source material while appealing to a mainstream audience.

I've read the Solomon Kane stories in Wordsworth's Right Hand of Doom, plus whatever else made it into the Panther Skullface omnibus from 1976 and I think this movie does as good a job as any could have of adapting Kane to the big screen.

James Purefoy is excellent, downplaying the heroics but never descending into annoying emo-type self pity, and Jason Flemyng is a very Howardesque evil magician villain, but the real star is director Michael Bassett who manages some terrific breathtaking visual compositions (bleak landscapes, a graveyard that looks like an updating of the b&w Universal horrors at their best) and never ever descends to the Stephen Sommers poke your eye out with special effects every two minutes approach. I'd heartily recommend it - it's certainly the best attempt at putting Howard on screen so far and it deserves to be successful so they can do another one


Father Shandor, eh? I read those comic strips in HoH as well, and he was the subject of one of my attempt at epic fantasy when I was much younger!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.220.7
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 09:11 am:   

I still haven't seen it, due to time pressures during the brief phase it was on (and local friends' lack of interest), but will get hold of it.

Ramsey's novelisation is well worth reading, with parts (the fight scenes especially) that read like REH and parts (the child-viewpoint chapters especially) that read more like a normal Campbell novel. Being based on someone else's screenplay does hold it back to some extent, but the storyline grows on you, and there's a strong narrative twist near the end that makes it more than just a linear chain of events.

A film based on Howard's longer Kane stories would have been amazing, but then there'd have been no need for a novelisation. The ideal Kane film would be pure horror. Some day...
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 86.16.13.2
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 09:47 am:   

One of my mates is a huge Howard fan and he was distinctly unimpressed with the film. http://www.rehupa.com/?p=1374

Personally I didn't mind it although it was very predictable and not always particularly well executed. But I've only read a couple of Kane stories so, not being a dyed in the wool fan, I could never hope to match the level of vitriol which my mate unleashes upon the film.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.9.225.9
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 11:31 am:   

I find few faults with his assessment, Stu, though I didn't hate it quite that much; I just found it a bit dissatisfying.

But it's good to see that somebody else is as much up his own backside as I am when it comes to historical inaccuracies. I don't mind them too much in a film like this, but in movies purporting to be actual history then it really gets my goat.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 11:39 am:   

I still say it's the best Howard adaptation I have seen to date but could have been so much better with a more in-your-face adult horror approach. Also the CGI sequences badly let down the rest of the film with its wonderfully bleak sense of grimy realism. James Purefoy was excellent as SK, all brooding magnificence! A decent and entertaining effort that deserves to spawn a series of hopefully even darker sequels.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 86.16.13.2
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 11:52 am:   

Last I heard the film still hadn't found a distributor in the US. This would obviously seriously reduce the chances of a sequel. But the director had hoped to do a follow-up set in Africa which was, now that the origin was out the way, intended to be more faithful to the source material.

But there's a new Conan film coming out next year so if that does well there's always a chance that Hollywood will cast around for more Howard-inspired films and resurrect the Solomon Kane franchise.

That'll please my mate.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.9.225.9
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 11:59 am:   

Let's hope they do a better job than they did with the last two Conan films.

I still remember both for all the wrong reasons - except for Basil Poledouris's two scores, which would have graced any epic movie. I still wonder if the great composer actually knew what kind of movies he was writing those stirring overtures for.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 86.16.13.2
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:02 pm:   

I think Westlife are doing the soundtrack for the new one.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:30 pm:   

Conan the Barbarian is excellent, I reckon. And incredibly violent in its uncut form. The sequel was rubbish, though.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:31 pm:   

ps - I've never read any Conan or Kane stories, so I take these films on their own merits and without comparing them to the source material.
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 213.122.209.76
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:50 pm:   

I remember Conan the Destroyer being on cable all the time when I was in high school, so it grew on me.
I always wanted to play the Grace Jones character!
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.9.225.9
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:57 pm:   

As a firm fan of the books when I was a boy, I think those two movies could have been so much more than a standard 'Dungeons & Dragons' romp.

The world that REH created was every bit as vast, complex and mysterious as Tolkien's Middle Earth. I don't think the movies gave more than a vague hint of this (despite their impressive cinematography), compared, for example, to Peter Jackson's LOR films, which, for me, created a living, breathing and believable society, which I actually cared about.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 86.29.66.35
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 05:33 pm:   

Conan The Musical! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBGOQ7SsJrw
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.122.209.76
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 09:33 pm:   

I still remember both for all the wrong reasons - except for Basil Poledouris's two scores, which would have graced any epic movie. I still wonder if the great composer actually knew what kind of movies he was writing those stirring overtures for.

The music's great for those two films isn't it? It came about because Poledouris & John Milius (director of the first Conan) were surfing chums and when Milius made Big Wednesday he asked Basil to do the music & they went onto do Conan together. Presumably the sequel was easy money, although the music for the second one sounds as if the orchestral budget was cut rather a lot.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.247.151
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 10:02 pm:   

Zed, get yourself a copy of any of the Solomon Kane collections out there Howard only wrote one short book's worth of SK stories, plus a few unfinished ones, fragments and not-bad poems. Read 'Skulls in the Stars' and 'Rattle of Bones', then one of the biggies like 'The Hills of the Dead'. Maybe with a beer or two to hand. It is to modern heroic fantasy as Smirnoff Black is to Babycham.

Stu, having had a beer with yer mate Richard I can verify that he knows his REH. Oh yes. There's something special about Howard, a grimness, a spareness, a sense of cold wind blowing through the pages and the void lurking behind the page, and a grasp of the energy and economy of words. He may have been crude but he was never bogus, he never betrayed his own aesthetic or watered down his vision.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.206.185
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 10:04 pm:   

He's right.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 10:38 pm:   

Joel, I've just ordered the Wordsworth edition of The Right Hand Of Doom And Other Tales Of Solomon Kane.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.214.191
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 12:46 am:   

Zed, you won't regret it.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 01:04 am:   

Robert E. Howard is the dog's bollocks when it comes to blood 'n' guts heroic fantasy - with a strong Lovecraftian horror element. Those stories still stand out, head and shoulders above all their many imitators (including Leiber & Wagner, whom I adore). They're just so damn forceful and gripping and completely transport you into that world.

Howard's ability to communicate the passion of his powerful imagination was second to none. I've loved his works since I was a boy and they still repay endless re-reads. I can't think of another writer of action, fight and adventure scenes who was more vivid or exciting.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 86.25.53.32
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2010 - 05:44 pm:   

Just found out that Richard was nominated for The Hyrkanian Award for Outstanding Achievement, Essay (so long a it's connected with REH) with this little piece.
http://www.rehupa.com/?p=420

He didn't win but was still quite chuffed about it.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 88.104.142.59
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2010 - 10:22 pm:   

I get to watch the Solomon Kane DVD tonight and have a Chinese meal = bliss

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