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DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

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DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Old 08-02-11, 03:49 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

I read Randy Miller III's DVD review of Conan the Barbarian at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=49850 and...

I would like this statement explained in further detail:

"Originally released on DVD by Universal in 2000 (and again in 2002 as a well-rounded Collector's Edition), Conan the Barbarian makes its Blu-Ray debut in surprisingly solid fashion...this isn't Predator, folks."

What is the comparison to Predator (other than starring Arnold)??
Old 08-02-11, 03:55 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Sure thing. It was more of a comment about Predator's Blu-Ray release than the movie itself. The original Blu-Ray release was a little lackluster in the technical department and contained no real extras to speak of, unlike the Collector's Edition DVD. Conan, on the other hand, got a pretty good release right out of the gate IMO.

And we'll leave Predator's "Ultimate Hunter Edition" out of this, OK?
Old 08-02-11, 05:23 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Originally Posted by Randy Miller III View Post
Sure thing. It was more of a comment about Predator's Blu-Ray release than the movie itself. The original Blu-Ray release was a little lackluster in the technical department and contained no real extras to speak of, unlike the Collector's Edition DVD. Conan, on the other hand, got a pretty good release right out of the gate IMO.

And we'll leave Predator's "Ultimate Hunter Edition" out of this, OK?
Ah so... thanks for the clarification.


Please allow me to threadcrap here....

Ultimate Hunter Edition had quite a few extras if I remember correctly. Did you find the HD transfer to be subpar?

so on just the technical aspects, are you positing that Conan is a far superior blu-ray transfer than Predator (Ultimate Hunter Edt)?
Old 08-02-11, 06:38 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

The extras were improved...but yes, the Blu-Ray transfer on the "Ultimate Hunter Edition" was horrible, mostly due to a huge amount of digital noise reduction that made everything look waxy. Our own Adam Tyner goes into great detail about it in his review here. Conan doesn't have a perfect transfer...but compared to that one, it's excellent.
Old 08-03-11, 01:53 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

The Predator "Ultimate Hunter Edition" is an embarrassment. One of the worst transfers ever to disgrace the Blu-ray format.
Old 08-03-11, 01:58 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Someone screwed up on this blu ray as it has the WRONG MUSIC. It is missing the chorus in the attack on the village. The chorus is there as the horseman ride to the village but right when they attack the the chorus goes missing! This is the most iconic part of the whole score. How in the hell can this happen? I would suggest that people contact Universal Home Video about this mistake. I returned my copy.
Old 08-03-11, 03:15 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

The blu ray is also missing the choral music in the fin final battle as Thulsa Doom's horsemen ride to the mounds. What is going on here? The disc needs to be recalled.
Old 08-03-11, 03:53 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Yuck and my copy of Barbarian and Destroyer on blu shipped from the Universal Store yesterday. Curious question since I haven't watched the dvd in ages, but is the dvd done in the correct way? (I still have my dvd, but need to work on a review tonight or I would check).
Old 08-03-11, 07:45 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

The DVD is correct. No music missing.
Old 08-04-11, 04:58 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Wow, I find it hard to believe a Blu-Ray release would have such a glaring error as missing parts of the soundtrack!

Randy Miller: did you catch this?
Old 08-04-11, 07:22 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

What the hell is it with favorite fantasy movies of mine having screwed up soundtracks? (Apologies for alliteration.) Not as bad as the complete clusterfrack on WB's THE HOBBIT, but Basil Poledouris's score is one of the greatest. Just a shame. (And I don't even have blu-ray, I was just glad to hear the score was finally in stereo...)
Old 08-05-11, 08:51 AM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Yep, this has been brought to my attention and the review was updated yesterday. Thanks to those who detailed the problem...and please pass on any recall information if/when it becomes available.

And just for the record, this same problem was discovered on the Region 2 Blu from earlier this year, so it's not exclusive to this release.
Old 08-05-11, 04:02 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Conan the Barbarian fans, the soundtrack on the Blu-Ray is severely botched in dozens of places, not just the opening battle. I've already sent a letter of complaint to Universal, please do the same. If they don't hear from us, they won't fix the problem. Furthermore, none of the Blu-Rays feature the original mono recording, so we are all now stuck with the remastered and flawed 5.1 track. Here's what I've wrote on another forum, I will post this in as many locations as I can:

After further evaluation, I can no longer recommend this Blu-Ray. As you can see from my original review below, I'm not a very hard person to please. All I ever ask for is just a simple unmolested 2K transfer. After evaluating the 5.1 DTS Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-Ray, I came to conclude that this release is extremely flawed. It's completely unacceptable and should be 100% recalled. I will write a letter to Universal and can forward it to anyone who would like to submit a similar complaint. If anyone could be so kind, please post the correct complaint contact information for Universal.

To start with, the remastered soundtrack has too many mistakes to list, we are talking in the order of dozens of instances. Mostly to Poledouris' score (dropped instruments, sometimes they are mixed so quietly that they are practically inaudible, etc.), but also to sound effects. What makes this film special to me and I'm sure many other fans as well, are three pivotal scenes. And they have all been COMPLETELY ruined.

Scene 1 - The beginning of the film, where the small village is attacked, the chorus is completely missing. Sure it's there when the horsemen are riding through the woods, but once the massacre starts it's completely gone. The chorus is missing from the entire battle. The score sounds weak and awkward and changes numerous key shots and sequences. This is not just some small chunk of music that we are missing, this is the THEME score to Conan the Barbarian that has been completely erased.

Scene 2 - After the ghosts fail to take Conan's soul, there's a beautiful scene by the ocean where Schwarzenegger wields his sword. Again the chorus is completely missing. It's only just barely audible during the last second of the scene. This was an incredibly powerful moment which had a very prominent chorus. Without it, the emotional impact is missing. This is a pivotal scene in the entire film.

Scene 3 - Right before the final showdown, before Conan prays to Crom, the chorus as the horsemen approach is completely missing. This was one of the most beautiful pieces of music, completely gone, during the climax of the film. This is as unfortunate as it gets.

I hope Universal has the decency to correct the soundtrack, or at the very least include the original mono lossless. The fans deserve it. They don't have to do a complete recall, but should have it as a replacement option for those who would like to replace their discs.

My original review:

I picked up the U.S. release today (Universal). The film looks as good as it can without a proper 4K, OCN remaster. There's grain and dirt and the image is inconsistent throughout.

However... It's a straight modern 2K transfer, completely unmolested. No DNR, no EE, no weird new color timing (teal push), etc. And even though I would love a brand new 4K, OCN state of the art remaster, it's not going to happen. What's been release is completely competent and adequate and gets my approval.

NOTE: This Blu-Ray does not have the original mono soundtrack. Some points should be taken off for that. The 5.1 DTS Master Audio sounds very good.
Old 08-06-11, 12:08 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

From what I've heard this is not unusual for Universal. Let them know your disappointment.
Old 08-07-11, 03:02 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Speaking of which, I've since added a link to Universal's "Contact Us" web form in my review, so please make use of it if you haven't already. I'll update the review if I hear anything.
Old 08-10-11, 10:16 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

This appears to be the same audio mix that was on a Region 2 Japanese DVD several years ago. It's pretty much a sure thing because it has the exact same foley mistakes. i.e. There are inappropriate sound-effects added to the mix throughout the film.

One example:

At 01:00:57 Conan encounters "The Children of Doom", a convoy of hippies walking along while visibly chanting and banging on at least one tambourine. In the original audio mix, they are silent and all you hear is the music and Mako's voice-over. In the new audio mix, some really incongruous coconut clopping (to mimic horse-steps) is also included. i.e. You can hear Conan's horse clopping about, but not the chanting/banging of the hippies or their conversation with Conan that is also obviously occurring.

This particular audio mix is full of careless mistakes like this. Can anyone confirm if the Hong Kong version mentioned in the update to the review has or does not have these foley errors?

Update: I wrote the above midway through watching the film. While this version contains the foley errors from the previous R2 5.1 Japanese DVD, the missing chorus is definitely new. I thought it would be more subtle... Geez. How'd they not notice this? Terrible.

Last edited by Locomocha; 08-10-11 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Update
Old 08-10-11, 11:23 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Now I want to rent it.
Old 08-24-11, 01:43 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Conan the Barbarian' (Blu-ray)

Anything further out of this? Possibly from Universal themselves?

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