For what it's worth, I think the difference is who directed each.
In the 1982 corner you have John Milius, whose pre-Conan feature directing credits were:
- 1978 Big Wednesday
- 1975 The Wind and the Lion
- 1973 Dillinger
- 1970 The Reversal of Richard Sun
And who wrote the script for his Conan, and whose screenwriting credit's previous were:
- 1979 1941 (story)
- 1979 Apocalypse Now (written by)
- 1978 Big Wednesday (written by)
- 1975 Jaws (Indianapolis monologue - uncredited)
- 1975 The Wind and the Lion (written by)
- 1973 Magnum Force (screenplay / story)
- 1973 Dillinger (written by)
- 1972 The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (original screenplay)
- 1972 Jeremiah Johnson (screenplay)
- 1971 Dirty Harry (screenplay - uncredited)
- 1971 Evel Knievel (screenplay)
- 1969 The Devil's 8 (writer)
In the 2011 corner you have Marcus Nispel, who's prior feature directing credits include only the following three titles:
- 2009 Friday the 13th
- 2007 Pathfinder
- 2004 Frankenstein (TV movie)
And who's pre-Conan work is mostly music videos, and who has no writing credits.
Milius as a writer understands drama and story construction, and worked on films with directors like Don Siegel, John Huston and Spielberg. Just based on that you can guess who'd make the better film, even minus the discussion of the edit style and whether less-is-more.
Hm, that's a bit unfair. Just because he made only 3 films or didn't work with big names doesn't mean someone has a lack of understanding. That's why I chose to look at the work itself and not at the vita.
But anyways, I see this is going nowhere. I hoped people would tune in discussing why they feel a particular shot or scene would be powerful or what could have been done to make it less generic. So close this threat if you like.