… anyway …
Hmm, Ok, so I wasn’t unqualifiedly in love with the movie, but Bob “Movie Bob” Chipman, whose opinions I normally chime with, says here: “Nobody really seems to give a damn about Conan the Barbarian” which would be a terrible thing to be true. It would be the death of a lot of potential fantasy films in potentia that might be quite the hit – I was especially thinking about the John Carter of Mars adaptation that keeps getting talked about on and off, but that seems to had a burst of speed and got as far as a trailer that has some nice-looking scenes, and so cross fingers for that. (1)
What surprises me about the Conan business is that the current fantasy literature is about as far on the H-axis of the Howard-Tolkien scale (2) as it has been for decades – there is a lot of gritty, swords-and-sorcery stuff out there, riffing strongly on writers like Howard and Lieber, and it is extremely good – Abercrombie and Scott Lynch are instant examples – and even the modern grand epics of fantasy, like Erikson and Martin (3) focus a lot more on that kind of personal-scale drama whilst telling world-scale stories. The film world just doesn’t seem to be in the same place, though, and that’s a shame.
Oh, and going off on a complete tangent, but congratulations to Scott Lynch, whose The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of the first 10 Gollancz classics, out in the old-style yellow covers that gave me a weird kid-in-library flashback when I went into Waterstones on Friday. Lynch is rubbing shoulders with writers like Herbert and Wolfe, and well deserved, because it is a beautiful and elegant book.
(1) And yes, I too lose count of the number of good trailers that have showcased bad movies.
(2) which I just invented and which has no objective meaning or reality.
(3) I had intended some sort of self-serving footnote inserting myself into that august company, but I don’t honestly have the chutzpah.