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Franchise Killers: Conan The Destroyer


In 1982, John Milius wrote and directed a very pulpy movie about Robert E. Howard’s fantasy character, Conan the Barbarian.  Knowing that physicality was more important to his movie than actual acting ability, Milius cast athletes in the lead roles rather than actors.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was at the time an ex-body builder who was struggling with English.  The success of the first Conan didn’t exactly make Schwarzenegger a star, but it did crack open the door for more acting roles.  Schwarzenegger was under contract to make three pictures for producer Dino De Laurentiis, so it makes sense that a sequel would follow.  What’s the one role you know audiences will accept the Austrian body builder in?  Conan.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Gallery

What the Hell Happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger was an unlikely movie star.  He struggled with the English language and a thick Austrian accent.  His physique made him hard to cast in every-man roles.  And yet, for a time, he was the biggest star in Hollywood.  Eventually, he parlayed his popularity as a film star into a political career.  However, when his political career ended, Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood come-back was derailed by personal scandal.

What the hell happened?

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The Lowdown on Conan Movies

Last week, I was surprised to see that the 2011 version of Conan the Barbarian had been delivered to my mailbox thanks to Blockbuster.  Apparently, I had added it to my queue and forgotten to delete it when the reviews were atrocious.  It was nowhere near the top of my queue, but sometimes Blockbuster will go pretty deep down the list.  This was one of those times.

Part of the appeal of the Blockbuster program is that it offers the option of in-store exchanges.  I have a Blockbuster store 5 minutes from my house.  I considered just exchanging Conan unwatched for a movie I actually wanted to see.  But I have a blog to maintain.  I figured I might as well go ahead and watch the damn thing and write about.

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