'Conan the Barbarian' & 'Transformers 3' TV Spots: Blood & Metal

Conan the Barbarian Transformers Dark of the Moon TV spots

"Smash" appears to be the key word, when it comes to battle tactics for the titular hero of Conan the Barbarian and the other-worldly giant robots in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Then again, what else would you want (or expect) from summer popcorn fare about ancient world warriors and metallic extraterrestrials the size of buildings?

New TV spots have been released for both these film, which definitely aim to deliver all the bang you could want for your buck. They do beg the question, though: Is either film actually going to be "good"?

If the official Conan the Barbarian trailer is anything to go by, Jason Momoa's incarnation of the muscular Cimmerian warrior certainly looks like a fittingly fierce killer - and the ancient realm of Hyboria appears to be both appropriately savage and, well, barbaric. However, when you also throw in CGI sand creatures and some Clash of the Titans-inspired production design into the mix, the results start to look a bit more like a cheesy action-fest than a memorable summer blockbuster.

One thing the Conan reboot is guaranteed to feature is unflinching violence, bloody sword action, and Momoa grunting more than his fair share of corny one-liners. There's a bit of that on display in the first TV spot for the film - along with a better look at Stephen Lang as the vile warlord Khalar Zym - though there will be plenty more in the R-Rated final product.

As for the matter of whether or not Conan will be worth seeing in 3D? Based on the footage shown so far, the film looks far too visually dark and gloomy to work well in the format. Best save that extra cash to buy a 3D IMAX ticket to the third Transformers movie instead (more on that later).

Check out the first Conan the Barbarian TV spot below:



Transformers: Dark of the Moon

While there's been little proof yet that the human drama in Transformers: Dark of the Moon will be that much better than director Michael Bay's last two giant robot flicks, the effects-driven action appears to be worth the price of admission alone. Between hyper-kinetic sequences involving actual base jumping off the Sears Tower and stellar early reviews of the film's 3D visuals, the action in Transformers 3 shouldn't suffer from the same issues that plagued its predecessors (ie. excessive editing and shaky camerawork that made it difficult to watch the giant CGI robots in motion).

The first Dark of the Moon review pegged it as being surprisingly serious-minded "from time to time," in terms of its themes and plot twists. That's certainly the idea this new TV spot wants to push, with its ominous voiceover narration and the now familiar imagery of downtown Chicago being laid to ruin by an invasive Decepticon army.

Of course, that foreboding atmosphere might deflate some if the film goes overboard with the juvenile humor again - or the customary scenes of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) yelling until his voice cracks - so best to not go in expecting too much on the non-action side of things just yet.

Check out the latest Transformers: Dark of the Moon TV spot below:



Transformers: Dark of the Moon arrives in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters this month on June 29th, 2011.

Conan the Barbarian arrives in 2D and 3D theaters later this summer on August 19th.

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