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tpigeon

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  1. I don't want to read too much into one quote, but Abrams seems resigned rather than excited by the notion of Williams returning.
  2. So long that we're link-sharing, here's a link to an essay I recently wrote about An Unexpected Journey. http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2013/01/critical-distance-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey/ Problematic though it is, I quite enjoyed the movie. Ted
  3. To hit on some of the points that all of you have made, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is no doubt a disjointed work. There may be a few reasons for this, the most notable to me is that the book it's based on is episodic by nature. I like that aspect about the book, but it doesn't lend itself to an easy cinematic treatment, at least when it comes to balance and story structure and such. The other point that bears mentioning is how the film only covers about six or seven chapters from the book, filling those in with a wealth of other material. Jackson and co. have been criticized for this, but I have no problem with it. As Quint has said in the past, viewers should accept that this is "The Hobbit-plus." To keep consistent with the tone and style of the previous films, this was somewhat inevitable. Now, the extent of their stretching is arguably gratuitous. And that's where this first film summers a bit. The emotional pull simply isn't there to justify such a sprawling work; as these films develop, I have no doubt that Jackson and his co-writers will develop all the thematic and narrative threads they've dutifully introduced here, but whether the arcs we're seeing in this film are truly satisfying is debatable, particularly in light of the somewhat flabby nature of the story and storytelling. Recognizing these issues, I still enjoyed the film quite a bit. I was ambivalent early-on, but I found myself more drawn to the characters as it went on. Once the company arrives at Rivendell and beyond, I felt the movie was beginning to find its footing. It was the Gandalf-Galadriel interaction that finally convinced me that Jackson still had something to say. That's when I begun to feel that I was back in a Middle Earth and that Jackson was going to earnestly give us a more fully realized vision of it. The dwarves plot also begins to pick up after Rivendell. I particularly liked Bilbo's attempted escape from the cave before they end up in Goblin Town. Again, it's not the same kind of emotional pull we had in the earlier films. But that's ok. I think Jackson's only hinting at a larger emotional canvas. I might have more to say about individual scenes or my thoughts on the characters and such, but I just wanted to offer a general reflection now. It's helping as I begin crafting my actual review of the film! As for the score, I was disappointed with the overuse of the Misty Mountains theme and "greatest hits" quality it had regarding older themes. Having listened to the album, I can assume this was Jackson's doing. The theme itself is fine, but I didn't care for the heroic bursts of it (of which there were several). I rather liked its original use to underscore the journey. Shore will probably develop the Erebor material and other motifs, but I should also note that I am disappointed that the new Bilbo/Shire theme was all but removed from the movie completely. All in all, I was disappointed with the amount of re-scoring that took place and would have preferred Shore's original compositions. Ted
  4. I'm not sure I follow the editing argument. Some "tightening" won't result in a significantly shorter movie, unless you're talking about wholesale cutting scenes. The scenes that don't work at the end of RETURN OF THE KING have little to do with duration or editing, but instead with Jackson's confounding directorial decisions. The reunion at Frodo's bedside, for example, has some of most tedious use of slow-motion I've seen. In general, I actually like that Jackson takes his time and let's his shots linger. It may make the weak scenes weaker, but it makes the good scenes stronger to a much greater degree. Jackson's flaws stem more from writing and occasional artificial quality some scenes have, which, I would guess, are the ones he doesn't innately have a sense for how to convey.
  5. I should probably wait for LINCOLN to settle in more before I make such a statement. I'm having trouble finding the words now, but it almost seems to inject a WAR HORSE kind of sensibility into Williams's existing Americana/history mode, which is toned down a bit from its less subtle expressions in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and THE PATRIOT. I'm sure this isn't the best way of putting it, but perhaps I'll find the words as I latch onto this score more.
  6. Avoid the film, but the score is worth listening to. The strings and winds writing in some passages are really beautiful. As for Lincoln, I'm now on my second full listen and I'm beginning to agree with Hlao-roo. This might be Williams' best score in some time.
  7. The major flaw of The Patriot is the extent to which its mainly derivative main theme dominates the score. It's a shame, because there is so much beautiful material elsewhere, such as the bits some of you have already mentioned, i.e. Ann and Gabriel, the action music. As historical Williams scores go, it's still behind War Horse, Lincoln, and Angela's Ashes.
  8. Top Ten (in no order): A.I. Artificial Intelligence Raiders of the Lost Ark Jaws Angela's Ashes The Empire Strikes Back Return of the Jedi JFK The Reivers Jurassic Park E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial Honorable Mention: Hook Seven Years in Tibet Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Star Wars—Episode I: The Phantom Menace Presumed Innocent Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Close Encounters of the Third Kind Images Star Wars Fun little exercise. I wanted to include a list of "The Next 10" because each of them also means a great deal to me and I saw fit to recognize, even though none of them made my final 10. Ted
  9. But 'Tintin' failed to pull a nomination for Animated Feature. The snub of all snubs.
  10. Quint's right. Hoberman is a crank and a predictable one, as well.
  11. The scenes in No Man's Land are easily the best in the film. And the sequence scored by the second portion of the track "No Man's Land" on the OST is one of Spielberg's finest sequences, simply as a moment of pure wonderment.
  12. I saw Tintin last night in 3D. (More on the 3D in the other thread. And for the record, I did see The Hobbit trailer in 3D.) I enjoyed it thoroughly as a kind of old-fashioned adventure. The negative criticisms I've read about it —that it's dramatically shallow and that it's all surface, etc.— don't resonate much with me because, while they are true, they don't detract from the movie. It's supposed to be dramatically shallow and all surface. That's the charm of it. It's a straight-up adventure yarn, cut to the bone. I am more receptive to the complaints of some critics and members here that the movie rarely slows down. It moves through its scenes as well as the overall plot at such a high pace that I wish I could have soaked it all in just a bit more. This is what separates it from a film like Raiders of the Lost Ark, which included among its many strokes of brilliance is its pacing and rhythm. Despite these being a little off-kilter in Tintin, there is something to be said for a movie like this that is succinct and direct, as opposed to so much of the bloated fare representing today's blockbusters. Partially making up for the pacing problems is a flurry of wonderful little moments, ranging from Captain Haddock's mood swings and banter with Tintin to Snowy's expressions and interactions with other animals. But in general, the pleasure in seeing Tintin was simply the movement of it all; from individual shots to scene transitions. Spielberg has so much fun with the medium, which really lends itself to his classical compositional style. This coupled with the superb animation and bare-bones narrative makes for a fun little film.
  13. I was planning to see the film in glorious 2D, but the listing on the web was incorrect and so the only remaining screening available was a 3D screening. I am a pretty vocal detractor of 3D, but I should give Spielberg and co. props for the smoothest 3D film I've watched. Having said that, I still think it is a gimmick and would have much preferred to see it in 2D. With 3D I feel as though I cannot take in the images. It's just such a strain. So while Tintin has some of the best 3D I've seen, I was still incredibly frustrated that I couldn't fully appreciate the atmosphere and geography of Spielberg's compositions. I will look forward to seeing the movie in my preferred format on DVD. Ted
  14. Much will depend on which movie —War Horse or The Artist— has the most momentum going into Oscar night. My feeling now is that the Weinsteins are paving the way for another Best Picture win, which bodes well for the score for The Artist, as well.
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