Conan The Barbarian 3D

Featured In Issue 162, December 2011

3D Picture4.5
WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Strong bloody violence, some sexuality and nudity
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Marcus Nispel
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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In Conan The Barbarian, an epic battle is led by an epic hero, Conan (Momoa), the Cimmerian set on avenging his father's death. Based on the character of Conan, as originally created by Robert E. Howard, a boy born on the battlefield grows into a hulking warrior hell-bent on avenging his father's death. But Conan's personal vendetta soon escalates into an epic battle of impossible odds, facing the fiercest of rivals and the most horrific of monsters. (Gary Reber)

Special features include four featurettes: The Conan Legacy (HD 18:01), Robert E. Howard: The Man Who Would Be Conan (HD 11:24), Battle Royal: Engineering The Action (HD 09:55), and Staging The Fights (HD 05:47); the theatrical trailer; previews; and a digital copy.

The 2-D to 3-D conversion was performed by Gener8, Stereo International, Legend 3D, 3DLiveflix, Hive Studios, Rocket Science, Reliance Mediaworks, and Identity FX. Generally, depth and dimensionality is convincing, though, negative parallax perspective is not as fully developed as would be expected, as all sorts of action extend toward the viewer. Virtually, the entire 2.40:1 1080p presentation occupies the positive parallax perspective with natural depth and dimension. As a result, the Bulgarian landscapes are convincingly primeval. Compared to the 2-D version, this added foreground and background dimensionality is far more engaging than the flat perspective of traditional filmmaking. As this is another quite dark film, the optimum experience requires a darkened environment, preferably a black room, and a display system capable of adequate light output in 3D and excellent dynamic range capability, to reproduce the darkest shadows and resolve the blacks. The color palette is stylized with sepia tones, which generally subdues saturation. The hues, at times, appear monochromatic for dramatic effect. Contrast is well balanced, though, darkly rendered with good black levels and shadow delineation. Resolution is also excellent, with fine detail revealed in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. While there are a few instances of minimal softness, the picture is sharp and clear, as well as pristine throughout. While a conversion, it is difficult to asses whether a fully native 3-D production would have resulted in a significantly better 3-D experience. As conversions go, this is one of the best to date and sure to please 3-D enthusiasts. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is excellent, with a powerful dynamic presentation that fully supports the visual experience. The effective use of atmospherics and sound effects is exciting throughout, with an appreciative soundfield presence, due to the aggressive use of the surround channels. The added two channels really heighten the spatial acoustic, for an engaging holosonic® experience. Effects are directionalized throughout, for enhanced dimensionality. Deep bass is effectively energized in the .1 LFE channel to sub-25 Hz frequencies. The battle scenes are dynamic sounding, with often tremendous dynamic presence. The orchestral music score is sweeping in its scope and sense of layered depth and surround envelopment. Dialogue is intelligible and generally well-integrated spatially. With excellent fidelity and holosonic layering, this is an engaging soundtrack experience that will captivate. (Gary Reber)