Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Movie Reviews: Final Destination 5 and Conan The Barbarian

It can be said that some people go to movies for cheap thrills, spills, and yes even kills. If you're  looking into those categories, then I guess these two movies I've seen over the past week and so will contribute nicely to your list to catch in the big screen. They've already been shown over at the US and selected areas for the past few weeks now, but international territories finally have their chance this week. SPOILER WARNING of course for those who avoid reviews. Thanks again goes to the sponsors for giving me a chance to see the first film below, Final Destination 5. As for Conan, I caught that during my spare time, so here are my thoughts on the two features!

Love or hate it, the latest entry in the Final Destination series has something to offer, whether it be scares, paranoia, or amusement over the crazy death scenes happening everywhere in this film. As someone who's barely seen the past films, I went into this one with only bare minimum knowledge of what transpired in the timeline (though each is a separate suspense horror adventure on its own that doesn't owe too much to a previous installment save for the deaths and premonitions). Totted as the film that takes things "back to basics", Final Destination 5 may be seen as the final (pun yes) entry in the series, but it can also be perceived as a springboard for newer installments. It's pretty much the same tale as previous movies - a young kid has a premonition that warns him of impending disaster, and he and his group of friends manage to survive and get away with their lives intact. Unfortunately, cheating death comes with a heavy price, as one by one their borrowed time comes to a sinister and grisly end.

Final Destination 5 Trailer

With a plot like that, it really isn't for the faint of heart. However, those who've been faithful and followed the movies since the first though will be pleased to know they're in for some treats come the climax of this film. Either way, it's a popcorn flick that'll please, and with the moderate reception it has garnered in the box office, it could be the fright fest one is looking for to tease their nerves and test with 3D theaters in mind. Oh yeah, legendary horror movie face Tony Todd is back too, so he'll be sure to creep you out, haha. Rating - 3/5

As the newest iteration of the film starring a heroic barbarian hero who was once played by legendary action star Arnold Schwarzenegger (which was also his first acting breakthrough to note), this new version of Conan the Barbarian has big shoes to fill in terms of legacy and garnering a new fanbase for today's generation of moviegoers. While the concept feels kind of cliche and dated thanks to several medieval fantasy movies and stories that have gone through the decades, I honestly felt content with what I saw despite the mixed to negative reviews this movie has gotten worldwide (essentially making it a flop of sorts in the box office). Starring Jason Momoa (who played Khal Drogo in HBO's excellent TV series adaptation of Game of Thrones) in the lead, the 2011 version of Conan the Barbarian proves to be your typical and straightforward adventure full of swordfighting, magic, sex, and evil. The movie kicks off with an origin tale that shows the titular character's birth, training, and the eventual massacre of his village by evil forces. This tragic experience molds Conan into a powerful but arrogant warrior on a quest for vengeance. Unfortunately, destiny forces him to rise above this narrow-minded calling as he crosses paths with a young maiden (Rachel Nichols), who holds a power inside of her that his adversaries seek to unlock and use for sinister purposes. With something else to fight for other than revenge against his enemies.

Conan The Barbarian 2011 Trailer

Pretty much like I said, this is a popcorn flick for those not looking for serious plots and just empty action to watch and enjoy brainlessly. I could say that there were some "interesting PG-13" moments in this film that could have been done more interestingly, but you can't have them all I guess. Rachel Nichols playing the heroine here was kinda a letdown considering her time as Scarlett in G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra. She faired better in that movie, and her talents here looked wasted, especially in the climax. Rose McGowan on the other hand played a nice and creepy villainess, and the way she looked kinda reminded me of Kerrigan from Starcraft. Oh, and Ron Perlman played the father of Conan, plus Morgan Freeman did the narration for the beginning. There isn't any redeeming qualities save for the action really, so that's really what kept me from being disappointed and I just wholeheartedly enjoyed it for that aspect. Khal Drogo FTW! Rating - 3/5

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