21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2005
This new edition of Conan the Barbarian serves up the best quality yet, the picture is slightly better due to the special features being on a seperate disc, but the main improvement is the sound.
The legendary soundtrack is now rendered (at last!)in pure DTS sound providing 5.1 channel perfection and it sounds incredible!
The special features from the 2003 'Special Edition' are reproduced here, with the only new feature (not history of fantasy films as advertised)being a short history of Conan with interviews with various fantasy writers, including those who worked on Marvels comic book adaption, Artists and the great James Earl Jones.
'Conan the Barbarian: Collectors Edition' delivers the goods, and if it were not for the daft censorship of BBFC butchering parts of this glorious film, then I would be quite comfortable in labeling this as Cinematic perfection.
This DVD is a must for your collection and I insist you order now!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2011
At long last, 'Conan the Barbarian' comes to Blu-ray. I'm sure most of you reading this will already be familiar with the film, so I'll be brief. It's magnificent. The land of Hyboria is brought to vivid life, the action is brutal and exciting, Basil Poledouris' score is simply breathtaking, James Earl Jones is evil incarnate, Arnold punches a camel... Sure, it's also clunky and dated in that charmingly 80s way, and there's some unintentional comedy on offer (not least from Arnie's "UARGHAAAARGHNYUARGH" moments). But it's such a spectacle that almost all of its shortcomings are forgiven.
As for the new hi-def transfer, it's sort of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that, for the most part, this presents a very pleasing and filmic viewing experience. There are no DNR issues to report (at least none that I could detect), and film grain has been rightfully preserved. This is quite a soft-looking film by nature - the same goes for most 80s movies - but there is still a decent amount of fine detail to be spotted.
BUT, the bad news: edge enhancement. It sticks out like a sore thumb, I'm afraid, and can be very distracting in certain scenes. Just watch the early sequence where Thulsa Doom lops off Conan's mother's head. When the young Barbarian looks unbelievably at his now motherless hand, his fingers are surrounded by jarring, thick white bars.
So a little disappointing, but certainly not a deal breaker. As previously stated, it generally looks fine, and is the best the film has looked since its orginal release. I have no complaints about the revamped HD sound, however. This is Poledouris at his most thunderous/tender/epic/enchanting, I could go on.
I guess the extras do deserve a mention. Everything from the previous special edition DVD has returned, along with three new docos - one covering the art of sword making, another comprised of early interview footage featuring Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones, while the last takes an interesting look at the history of the Conan character. It's a good collection of bonus features which should please most 'Conan' fans. Of course, the main draw here is the legendary commentary provided by Arnold and director John Milius. Just... give it a listen.
All in all, this is a worthy upgrade over the DVD (and as another, more enthusiastic review has noted, it is now uncut in the UK providing you change your player's Disc Menu Language setting prior to putting the disc in). Universal will be releasing a new extended cut in the States this August, and their transfer may well best Fox's effort here, but for those who desire the original cut in its best quality yet, I highly recommend this.
Artwork's a bit crap though, isn't it?
EDIT: Should have done this ages ago, sorry, but it turns out that Universal's US release used the exact same transfer. The only difference between them is that Universal's doesn't have the "Wild Blueberries" scene (where Conan and Subotai have that heart-to-heart talk) which takes place just before the climactic battle. So the UK release is actually longer for once.
Also, it turns out that there ARE audio issues. I still stand by my original score, but check out the comments for more info.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2014
This is a review for the steelbook blu-ray edition.
As a long fan and admirer of this film,(I first saw this in the cinema in September 1982,and have owned every version both on VHS and DVD) I can honestly say I am somewhat disappointed.
As it is a blu-ray,you would obviously expect this version to have the best picture quality,however,it does'nt.
There is a lot of grain evident,the colours are not particularly vibrant and the print used here,looks very tired.
Of course it is still cut by the BBFC,but sadly it is no improvement over the FOX DVD release.Therefore,if you already own the DVD definitive edition,stick with it.
I can safely say the UNIVERSAL release on region 1 DVD and the Korean import are both vastly superior in picture quality,although they are both in the original mono soundtrack.On top of this,they are both uncut.
If we could only have this version with the 5,1 surround soundtrack,then we'd have it all!
As regards the steelbook,at first glance it looks lovely,but upon closer inspection we notice the original Renato Casaro poster artwork is doctored.Conan's face is different and a severed head has been added to his right hand.Once again,this being a Fox release,we also do not have the original Conan lettering with the sword going through the name.
So,all in all,what promised to be so good,is sadly just another average release.
A great shame and not the release this classic movie deserves.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2011
Conan The Barbarian Blu-ray Review
Distributor: Universal US
The film that kicked started the Barbarian craze of the early 1980's, often imitated but never equalled. Starring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in a role which fit him like a glove Conan the Barbarian has it all from sword and sorcery to epic battles and even a reasonably emotional back story, the film is justifiably a true classic of its time.
Universal have done an altogether excellent job of bringing this movie to Blu-ray. First we get an extended cut of the film which includes some fairly lengthy scene extensions and an altogether different ending. Secondly the movie is presented with a brand new 1080p transfer which is nothing short of impressive. Detail is strong and sharp, while colours and black levels remain well defined. With no visible signs of print damage or the dreaded DNR, this presentation easily provides the best quality print the film has ever seen.
Even more impressive than the excellent transfer is the audio track. Presented with DTS HD 5.1 audio, the now classic score powers through your speakers like never before. Dialogue is clear, sound effects are sharp and accurate and the music tracks actually sound like they were produced yesterday rather than around 30 years ago. The soundtrack really does the film justice and immerses you into the world of Conan like never before. Not since the Blu-ray release of Braveheart has a film soundtrack gained such an improvement when released on this format.
Extra features are also plentiful. Starting off with a commentary track from non other than Conan himself, then moving on to an extensive making of documentary featuring interviews with all of the principal cast and crew. This documentary is an excellent companion piece to the film itself as it really delves into the history and issues involved in producing the movie. There are also a handful of deleted scenes and usual trailers rounding this off to make a very neat and informative package.
All things considered, if you are a fan of the film then this Blu-ray release is a must buy. No matter how well you think you know the film you will definitely experience something new here and it is great to see a classic movie receive the treatment is deserves. The film actually arrived in the UK on Blu-ray some weeks before the US release however the UK version has a couple of scene trims involving horse falls and unless you play around with your Blu-ray player settings, you will find yourself left with a shorter version of the film. Admittedly this can be changed by setting your Blu-ray player to another territory which then plays the film uncut, however the obvious answer to save this kind of messing around is just to import the US release which Universal have produced as region free.
The sequel Conan the Destroyer has also been released in the US on Blu-ray and although it will never match the original film, still makes for a nice companion piece for that high definition Conan double bill.
Rounding off the last of the classic Schwarzenegger Blu-ray releases, Conan finally comes crashing to the ultimate format in a most worthy presentation.
The gods are pleased with you, they will watch the battle.
Are they going to help?
Well, then tell them to stay out of the way.
BLU REVIEW OBSCURA - for review of those less mainstream Blu-ray releases find us on Facebook
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2004
If you have not seen Conan the Barbarian before, you are in for a treat. If you have, buy this DVD now. Why, you might ask, is it priced ridiculously cheap then? Your guess is as good as mine. This DVD package is perhaps the best I have seen in terms of sound, documentaries and commentary. The soundtrack in Conan is totally overwhelming, stirring and brilliant - I am not exaggerating when I rank it as one of the best I have heard. With this blaring from your speakers occumpanied by a first-rate picture quality, it is an experience for any film fan. The documentary 'Conan Unchained' has all the interviews (Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, the directors, producers) and covers in depth how the movie was made. The deleted scenes are a bit dodgy though, it is obvious why they did not make the final cut.
As for the film itself, it is Schwarzeneggers best film (probably on level par with The Terminator) and James Earl Jones is haunting as the evil cult leader. The violence in this film is extremely raw and comic book, but are staged remarkably realistically for its date. Some famous scenes include Big Arnie talking to Crumb (Yes, talking!) and the magnificent revenge face-paint Thulsa Doom sequence ('YOU...'). I now appreciate how good this film is after seeing it on DVD. It doesn't even compare to Conan The Destroyer - that was a shocking attempt at a sequel. This however was a defining moment in 80's cinema and marked the greatest sword and sorcery film when released. It should not be missed.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2011
First and foremost the picture and sound quality of thie blu ray restoration is simply superb!
I like a lot of fans have previously owned Conan the Barbarian on VHS (way back when...) and again on DVD. Upon watching this version I have seen details that I have never seen before. The scene where Conan is crucified on the tree of woe, for example, you can see the individual grains of sand on his chest as he is dying. The sound too is great, the metalic clash of swords and those meaty 'thunks' as bodies are cleaved are very clear.
I've just began watching the bonus features but it looks like all of the features from the DVD Se edition are included plus some new content as well.
I just hope the new version of Conan due out soon lives up to its predecesor.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2004
You don't get more classic than these three with Arnie showing why he was such a star in the eighties. Well worth the purchase but it would've been five stars if it wasn't for one fatal flaw. Commando has a hell of a lot of violence cut out, it's like watching a Channel 5 version not a DVD! What's that all about?!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2014
always loved this film ... powerfull opening scenes ( i always remeber the cheer from the audience when Arnold first looked up from the wheel of pain ) ... brilliant story with colourful characters and doesn't shy away from the gore and violence that the subject deserves ... stunning visuals , excellent camera work ... i have owned this on vhs, dvd and now on blu ray and i am very pleased with the investment.
Blu Ray > 235:1 ratio REGION FREE (plays on any blu-ray player) ... colour and contrast is very good with good textures and detail ... some of the darker scenes are grainy but this is an old film now and considering this the transfer is still good .. the bits cut from the british release fight scenes that ruined the continuity of the soundtrack ( cruelty to horses apparantly ) have been restored and the original ending has been re-edited to include the princess distracting the guards ( which also appeared on the later dvd releases ).
Sound > Amazing ... DTS HD really brings this film to life ... the sound is well balanced with clear dialogue. Basil Poledouris's musical score is powerful and emotional. this really adds to the experience ... the surround sound is good too . the effects and orchestra are all around you bringing you into the film .
Extras > the commentary is very entertaining and listening to Arnold and director John Milius reminiscing the making of this film is informative and great fun . 5/5 exactly .
the "deleted scenes" are few and understandably cut. 2/5
"the making of Conan" is an insightful and in depth story of bringing Conan to the big screen. ( runs 53 mins ) 4/5
"the art of steel" documentary is an interesting look at sword making ( runs 15 mins ) 3/5
"the Conan archives" is a collection of art , stills and music from the film ( runs 11 mins ) 4/5
and 3 cinema trailers ( runs 4 mins ) 3/5
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2011
WE HAVE HAD TO PUT UP WITH A BBFC EDITED VERSION FOR YEARS NOW BUT FINALLY WE HAVE CONAN THE BARBARIAN IN ITS FULL HORSE FALL,CAMEL KNOCKOUT PUNCH,BLOOD THIRSTY GLORY AT LAST.YOU MAY WONDER WHAT IM GOING ON ABOUT IF YOU HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT AND VIEWED THE BLU RAY DISC AND SEEN IT IS THE CUT VERSION,THE TRICK TO PLAY THE UNCUT VERSION IS TO TURN ON YOUR BLUE RAY PLAYER,GO TO YOUR BLU RAY MENU PAGE AND SWITCH YOUR SET UP FROM ENGLISH TO DUTCH FORMAT.THEN PLACE THE BLU RAY DISC IN TO THE TRAY AND PRESS PLAY AND TO YOUR AMAZEMENT WATCH CONAN IN ITS ORIGINAL FORMAT!!!BRILLIANT!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2013
Back in the days of vhs I have always had a copy of this film in many formats i know it word for word.now at last i have it on blu ray the picture quality is brilliant! as the reviewer said before they is some iffy parts i must admit and the battle of the mounds seems to have less of the be-felling of the rider on the horse but in all fairness i have only seen one uncut version of that and it was on a pirate video back in the 80s!I will not moan its a classic film still moody and brutal its arnies best film as he doesnt say that much just a brilliant mass of muscle who chops hacks and steals and of course seeks revenge! and james earl jones is sheer brilliance as thulsa doom .
just remember if you have lived on mars and not not seen this film it was the start of a sword and sorcery spate back in the early 80s i cant say i saw a film that had props as good as this one and such a great cast too! i do remember a lot of terrible ones though, even the dreaded sequel "conan the destroyer" was appalling !!rant over
This is a brilliant upgrade for me and in a steel book case too! "bonus"