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  • Red Sonja
    • Red Sonja
    • Runtime:89 min
    • Release Date:2014-08-24 01:19:21
    • Director: Richard Fleischer
    • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Red Sonja
Auhtor:

   

I haven't read anything by Howard(R.I.P.). Given that they're all his
creations, I'm not sure why the Governator couldn't just be named
Conan, as he is him in all aspects but the name. Oh, I know why he's in
this in the first place; so they could put someone famous on the cover
and poster, and so he could rescue Sonja. You didn't think this was
promoting feminism, did you? Anyone with girly parts needs help! They
were made from one of our ribs, after all. Oh, how I wish I was
exaggerating the blatant sexism in this. The logic has gaping holes.
People sometimes teleport around, appear where they shouldn't or
couldn't. How about the kingdom of two? Why doesn't he drop(literally)
the brat? And why is the servant fat? How did that happen? Again, I
know "why": To add yet more horrible comic relief. Honestly though,
there is so much to like, and not *that* great an amount to hate, in
this. Yes, there are goofy moments; however, there are some really cool
instances(and numerous that genuinely feel epic; how about that
ending?), too. The swordplay(which is *plentiful*, thank you, whoever
was responsible) is mostly awesome, and the rest of the action is not
bad. This has a fairly great score. FX are pretty good, with notable
exceptions(such as the spider). The characters are even a tad
developed! Heck, the dialog is above average; it's the delivery that
nearly invariably sucks. Let's face it, Stallone's then-wife(gawd her
Danish accent is obvious), as well as the kid, were cast for their
fighting/acrobatic skills. Neither of them can act(few in this can);
she's particularly atrocious, being utterly expressionless. This is
cheesy, and there are many silly designs. The plot is without
surprises. Editing and cinematography are unremarkable. There is a lot
of occasionally bloody violence and brief gratuitous toplessness(and
numerous scantily clad hot chicks) in this. I recommend this to fans of
the sword and sorcery fantasy genre, B-movies and of the "trilogy".
It's enjoyable enough, on the whole. 5/10

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It's been ages since I've seen this film, and it holds about as much
interest for me as when I first saw it. It's entertaining on a certain
level, and holds some interest.

Some minor notes before progressing with my comments; Kalidor in
reality is Conan's alternate name. That is to say Conan and Kalidor are
one in the same person as per Robert Howard's authorship. Ergo
Laurentis casting Arnie in the role was most likely deliberate, though
Governor Schwarzenegger and his then agent may have had the wool pulled
over their eyes and had this little fact kept from them when approached
for the role. In fact and essence you're seeing "Conan the Barbarian
III", in spite of the Red Sonja title.

But, enough of that. Can Bridgette Neilson act? Yeah, sure. Is she
Oscar material? Err… no. Was she right for the role? Probably. How
about the other roles? Me, I think Sandahl Bergman rejoining the Conan
cast as a lesbian queen was a fine choice. And pardon my prurient
interest, but I think she's hotter as a brunette with short hair than
as a natural blonde

The film is what it is; a thinly veiled knockoff of the first two Conan
films, though again, it really IS a third (albeit unofficial)
installment of the "franchise", so to speak. The sets and art direction
for a moderately budgeted sequel are actually fairly impressive, though
one gets the sense that there's some slight of hand being used to mask
budgetary limitations.

And, believe it or not, it works after a fashion. There's the usual "we
can't afford to costume real life size armies, so we'll allude to
armies and battles in dialog, than actually show them" thing going on.
But there're enough costumed bodies to get the gist across that our
antagonist does command vast hosts to conquer the Hyborean world.

Other technical aspects; it's not a poorly shot film, but the
cinematography doesn't recapture Milius' touch with the first Conan
film. But, then again, there is a kind of artistic professionalism that
comes across in this movie that can be admired after a fashion. The one
thing that strikes me visually, other than the elaborate and well
designed costumes and set pieces, is the fact that even though the
cinematography is respectable, there's no real "theme" to it. The shots
are fairly static, but well composed, yet there's no underlying dynamic
to them. In essence the cast and crew were told to do their best with
the material they were given, and they do so in spades.

This isn't to say the film is outstanding, because it isn't. But
everyone puts their best foot forward in a film that's pretty much all-
business. That is to say it was given a nice clean professional coat,
but lacked a certain integrity that comes across in the script. We are,
in fact and essence, watching Robert Howard's feminized version of
Conan do her thing and not much else.

What could have improved this film? Lots of things, I suppose. A bigger
budget for one to actually stage some large battle sequences as
Sandahl's character goes about conquering the world. Neilson does her
double-Y chromosome thing as an Arnie imitation, but is perhaps off par
by a stroke or two in terms of performance. Arnie does his thing, and
Sandahl does hers (she actually gives a respectable performance). Reyes
Junior is who he is, and does an adequate job as a spoiled brat.

The truth of the matter is that this film was made in the 80s, when
female marketed films weren't seen as big money makers, and so it was
budgeted as such; i.e. it wasn't expected to make lots of money, but
financed to put on a good show. Red Sonja is to the Conan films as
Supergirl was to the Superman films.

All in all it's another De Laurentis production. Take it for what it
is, interesting and entertaining popcorn fare.

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Personally this is one of my all time favorite movies since I was very
young. That being said I had not seen this movie in over a decade
before seeing it on the shelf at the grocery store where I purchased
it.

I had just watched the two Conan movies a few nights prior and I sat
down with my lady to watch an old favorite.

To me this movie was infinitely more enjoyable than the Conan movies.
And even as an adult some 20 years later with a much wider and esoteric
taste in movies, music and games; I found this movie a blast and I'm
not going to say it's a 10 and nor am I going to play the role of lap
top critic.

I'm just going to say this: In a world of horrible blockbusters like GI
Joe and Transformers I feel Red Sonja was money and time well spent.

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