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Prince Caspian Released Today

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This movie is better than the first. Though I did enjoy the movie, I cannot help but wonder the following questions:

2. Why did they turn a fun, joyous, magical book into an epic war story?

Bold: connection?

Nay. The battle scenes were the film's weakness.

The Miraz/Peter fight was good though

. What made this film better was the dark idea that if you don't do what you know deep in your heart is right then you will find darkness. Cheesey as the ending was, I admit I got choked up with what happens to Susan and Peter,

no longer being able to return to Narnia

. You see them mature out of youth. It's such a simple, powerful idea. I give the filmmakers credit for being able to successfully bring that idea to the audience.

Watching this film made me feel 10 years old again. As much as I want to bash this film for straying from the book as much as it did, I must credit the filmmakers for that achievement.

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My review is in the Last Film You Watched thread.

~Sturgis, who watched the first again last weekend...ah, the battle scene is simply amazing!

I enjoyed Prince Caspian's battle scenes. I found it hard not to compare them to similar scenes in The Lord of the Rings (they compare mostly unfavorably), but it's a very unfair comparison to make, so I fought it down and had a good time.

I thought that one of the first film's major weaknesses was the incredible lack of believability when it came to the four kids in the battle scene at the end. It was close to ridiculous. In the second film, they're actually quite good, especially Peter and Susan. Susan = bad-ass.

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I agree about the battles in this movie, and overall I thought they were pretty great. I just considered the battle of the first movie to be a near-virtuoso pairing of imagery and music, and it gives me goosebumps every time I see it.

But yeah, in Prince Caspian, there were several definate badass moments: Peter jumping off the rock at the beginning of his duel with Miraz, Edmund powning that guard with a flashlight, and pulling a 180 in madair to tear that wolf thing a new one in Aslan's how, and Susan chucking arrows through the air. All of these moments had me going "Damn!"

~Sturgis

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Interesting. I always thought the battle in the first one was really lacking something. I liked the battle scenes in the second one quite a bit more. And I thought Harry Gregson-Williams got some nice sneaky music together for where they attack Miraz' castle. A little bit more interesting than he had done previously witht he series, though, of course, I have only heard it once. We'll see how it holds up under more listening. By the way, does anyone know if it is on the soundtrack?

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Interesting. I always thought the battle in the first one was really lacking something. I liked the battle scenes in the second one quite a bit more. And I thought Harry Gregson-Williams got some nice sneaky music together for where they attack Miraz' castle. A little bit more interesting than he had done previously witht he series, though, of course, I have only heard it once. We'll see how it holds up under more listening. By the way, does anyone know if it is on the soundtrack?

I'm with you on this one. The battle in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was okay, but it also promised way more than it delivered. Can't recall the specifics, but weren't there, like, giants and talking gorillas and whatnot seen marching toward the battle? And yet, unless I'm just remembering wrong - -and somebody please tell me if I am so that I can rewatch the movie posthaste -- nary a giant is seen doing any actual battling, nor is one single talking gorilla seen picking somebody up and performing a backbreaker, or whatever it is talking gorillas do when at war. The bigger problem by far is that I'm asked to believe that Peter is all of a sudden a big enough battle stud that he can defeat all these vastly more scary-looking warriors. I didn't buy it for a second; it was just some a-hole kid actor pretending to be a warrior! To be fair, this is a problem with the source material; but it could have been handled far better.

I have none of those problems with Prince Caspian. I totally buy Peter as a bad-ass. Case closed. (I do have one problem with the scene, tough: the Telmarines, or whatever they're called, are launching approximately 1,789,764 boulders during this battle, and yet nobody ever seems to think, hmm, maybe we ought to get ought of the way of these 1,789,764 boulders...? I dunno; that's doesn't seem realistic to me.

Still, I liked the movie. I wish it were doing better, though it's got room to grow some legs. And it's doing vastly better than my beloved Speed Racer, which people here won't go see for a hummer and free popcorn.

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There were giants fighting in the book Prince Caspian. It is kind of a shame that they didn't put them in. And some comedic momemts with some slow-in-the-brain bears. I kind of wish those had been put in as well, because I remember chuckling at them in the book. And no, I don't remember the giants or gorillas doing any fighting in the first movie.

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There were giants fighting in the book Prince Caspian. It is kind of a shame that they didn't put them in. And some comedic momemts with some slow-in-the-brain bears. I kind of wish those had been put in as well, because I remember chuckling at them in the book. And no, I don't remember the giants or gorillas doing any fighting in the first movie.

Prince Caspian the movie did have the one bear that shouted "For Aslan!" That was a strange moment, and really kinda inappropriate. I'm guessing he had some scenes that were cut out, because he just comes out of nowhere. And then he's standing there all during Peter's fight with Miraz; occasionally you see him make a little "oh!" with his mouth and then put his hands over it, as if to keep the word in. Hilarious. Not sure it was meant that way, but it's fine by me in any case.

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The (crappy) score was amped up to deafening levels. Why can't they mix Williams cores like that?

Good question. Wouldn't that be nice?

In the book the bears were a sort of comic relief, because they (I can't remember if there was mroe than one) were alwasy sucking their paws, and it was embarrassing for them. Then, at the Miraz/Peter fight, it was tradition for the bears to preside or something like that over these fights, and they had to have a talk with the bear about keeping his paws out of his mouth. Of course, it didn't work. Now this probably would have been to funny to fit the movie, but there were moments that I really laughed reading the book, like during some meetings they had in which the bear(s) took part.

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And I thought Harry Gregson-Williams got some nice sneaky music together for where they attack Miraz' castle. A little bit more interesting than he had done previously witht he series, though, of course, I have only heard it once.

Absolutely. That was the only point where I felt the music was well done.

The (crappy) score was amped up to deafening levels. Why can't they mix Williams cores like that?

Dude, I was thinking this as I watched the movie, thinking about the Force Theme fanfare in Episode IV that has been nearly muted as the attack on the Death Star begins in the Special Edition. Ayyah!

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And I thought Harry Gregson-Williams got some nice sneaky music together for where they attack Miraz' castle. A little bit more interesting than he had done previously witht he series, though, of course, I have only heard it once.

Absolutely. That was the only point where I felt the music was well done.

I got the soundtrack today, and, unfortunately, while we have a track called "Raid on the Castle", it sounds to me like it begins after the sneaking, and most of the album presentation of this track is just the normal MV battle scene fare. Rally unfortunate, because that was the one place where it seemed to me that the music was pretty good.

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There were giants fighting in the book Prince Caspian. It is kind of a shame that they didn't put them in. And some comedic momemts with some slow-in-the-brain bears. I kind of wish those had been put in as well, because I remember chuckling at them in the book. And no, I don't remember the giants or gorillas doing any fighting in the first movie.

Prince Caspian the movie did have the one bear that shouted "For Aslan!" That was a strange moment, and really kinda inappropriate. I'm guessing he had some scenes that were cut out, because he just comes out of nowhere. And then he's standing there all during Peter's fight with Miraz; occasionally you see him make a little "oh!" with his mouth and then put his hands over it, as if to keep the word in. Hilarious. Not sure it was meant that way, but it's fine by me in any case.

Yes, I laughed at that silly dramatic bear both times I saw it...random silliness!

About "The Battle" from the original: I like it not because of its real epicness, but the feeling of it. It may not be amazing in terms of fighting and choreography, but the feelings it conveys... desperation, overcoming incredible odds, the journey the kids are going through... matched with the music (which is not revolutionary by any means but is the best music that could accompany this scene as far as I'm concerned), I just love it. When Jadis stabs Edmund, and Peter goes ape on her, it's like "Oh, it's personal now, b****!" I just love the emotion of the whole battle.

~Sturgis

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Maybe, just maybe, folks should approach these the way they approach the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones. There is no doubt in my mind that those films are incredibly cheap, and many parts are laugh-out-loud where it wasn't meant. But I love Star Wars, in a large part because of its cheapness. You can just tell that the whole production was not afraid of being very epic, exciting, adventurous, and all that jazz. Cheap. And wonderful. All the 'serious' movies today are so worried about being 'insightful' that they become tedious. I love a movie that is more concerned about what it is telling than what people will think of it. The movies, in a way, follow the books in story-telling style. Remeber, these are children's stories, and no, Harry Potter is not the standard.

Oh, and by the way King Mark, I had semi-similar opinion of the score when I watched the movie in theaters, but having bought the soundtrack, it is quite a bit better than I thought. There is really some interesting development of themes. In fact, the "Wonder of Narnia" theme (or whatever you want to call it) gets a nice military treatment in the track "The Duel", I believe, that is very impressive. You might give it a second chance.

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Though a small amount of the music has what some might dub MV influences, in chord progressions and electronic beats, the majority of the first score especially displays an impressive amount of subtlety and attention to detail that's very far removed from the typical MV score. The themes are developed throughout the story and used in varied, interesting ways, and there are little touches here and there that complement the onscreen action well. Some of my favorite examples are the magical horn statement of the Narnia theme when the kids talk to the Professor about the wardrobe, the ethereal choir as the wind blows out Lucy's candle when she enters the wardrobe, the ethnic flute used to portray the wildness of the fantasy world, the wintry piano accompaniment and electric violin for Mr. Tumnus, and the amazing brief cue as Tumnus plays the lullaby. I'm not saying that it's one of the best scores ever, but I get the feeling that it sometimes is dismissed based on prior conceptions of the composer or the use of certain modern elements, and not given a thoughtful and open-minded listen.

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Here is my review as it appears in http://soundtracksreviewed.blogspot.com/

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Harry Gregson-Williams

Rating: 6.5

Number two of the Chronicles of Narnia series is, stylistically, more of the same. Director Andrew Adamson knows how to create a fantasy, eye candy atmosphere, and Prince Caspian has even more of that feel. The computer generated animation in this film is used in the same near half-and half ratio with the live action, and in such a clean, non-gritty way, that a definite fantasy feel is attained. Many people disliked this aspect of the first film, and the Lord of the Rings comparisons were frequent and irrelevant. The fact that these were completely different films, just as the books were completely different books, didn't seem to matter. Folks wanted another Lord of the Rings, and it is a mercy that those in charge of the Narnia production had a different vision.

The original Narnia score received much the same useless comparisons with Lord of the Rings that the movie did. There can be no doubt that Howard Shore produced an impressively coherent score for The Lord of the Rings, but I am afraid that anyone who thinks that his scores would have fit the Narnia movies is, well, how can I say this? Wrong. Because of the comparisons, the first Narnia score did not receive especially high ratings, with many reviewers complaining about the odd mixture of orchestral and synthetic elements. For some, the soft pop-ish "Evacuating London" track was the problem, for others, the electric violin was like fingernails on a chalkboard, while still other turned their noses up at the epic, Media Ventures sounding "The Battle". For many it was a combination of all of these elements, adding up to a collective snobbery towards the soundtrack.

Trying not to, of course, pat myself on the back too much, I would like to say that my original review, while in no way raving, did not look down on the score stylistically. My main complaint was the lack of interest and thematic development in many of the middle tracks. In fact I ended the review by saying "It is not because Gregson-Williams didn't know that syncopation and the use of the synth are modern techniques, but because he chose to use them anyway. I think it was a good choice.". It seems many other listeners and reviewers have come to this opinion, and the reviews this time around are much more favorable.

Many themes find reprisals in this installment, and there is actually a general lack of new themes in the film. There is an excellent motif for Reepicheep (or the mice in generel, I am not sure which), which, very unfortunately, does not find its way into the album presentation at all until the last score track, "The Door in the Air", at 1:19 - 1:30, set against a end-of-the-story-ish backing. The non-inclusion of this theme really is a shame, as I think it might be the very best in the Narnia series to date, with its creative representation of mice. It gets it best presentation during the raid on the castle, but the track "Raid on the Castle" I believe, begins after this presentation.

"Prince Caspian Flees" really sets the tone for the entire elbum, with racing strings, and somewhat Media Ventures-ish textures. The entire album, in fact, is closest to the track "The Battle" from the previus installment stylistically, and Gregson-Williams has really started to perfect the style. "Raid on the Castle", despite the disappointing lack of Reepicheep's theme, also showcases some excellent battle music. "Miraz Crowned" shows Gregson-Williams heretofore unused in this series talent for drawn out orchestral crescendos, and is actually quite impressive to listen to.

The White Witch music, most obviously shown on the track "The Stone Table" in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, gets a reprise on the track "Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance", and it is as disturbing as ever. One of the better tracks is "The Duel", and it contains my favorite moment on the album. At 2:18 - 2:24 Gregson-Williams turns a theme which had previously been used as a type of Wonder of Narnia theme into a rhythm-oriented march piece, underscoring Peter's duel with king Miraz. It really is a great musical representation of a line from the movie, used in at least one of the previews, where the dwarf Trumpkin tells the four children from London, "You may find Narnia a more savage place than you remember". The track which ends the score, "The Door in the Air", is very similar to "Only the Beginning of the Adventure", which ended The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. While many loved that track, neither it nor this one especially impressed me. But if you liked the ending of first one, you are likely to enjoy this ending as well.

The inclusion of the four pop songs which end the album and play through the credits was inevitable, but I really do not understand how starting "The Call" while the movie is still playing can be termed in any way acceptable. For me, this is doing a major disservice to Gregson-Williams, by taking away what could be some of the most musically important moments of the movie. Instead of getting a chance to do something subtle, hinting at some theme or memory from Narnia, or who knows what he might do, we instead get an obvious "Ok, this is the wrap, the movie is over (even though it isn't yet) and we are prematurely ripping you from the story and placing you back in your theater seats. Also, you might as well leave now, because there is no musical reason to sit through the credits. Just more of the same". I know I am harsh on pop songs in movies, but the placement here really upset me. Other than these major gripes, "The Call" is actually not a bad a song, if one can separate it from the way it was used in the movie. The rest are nothing special.

As the series progresses, I must say that I am glad to see that both director Adamson and composer Gregson-Williams will not be returning for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, even though I have enjoyed their work for both Narnia films. It just seems that Prince Caspian was far to similar artistically to the first one, and, while it worked here, I think one more would be too much. Still, Prince Caspian is a very nice listen, and an improvement on the first score. Gregson-Williams, while using many of the same themes, seems to do much more with them this time, and they are more meaningful. There is less filler music, and most serves a purpose, working for the artistic whole. While it is good to have fresh writing on the way, Gregson-Williams really stepped up to the plate and delivered.

-Colin Thomson

Track list:

Prince Caspian Flees

The Kings and Queens of Narnia

Journey to the How

Arrival at Aslan's How

Raid on the Castle

Miraz Crowned

Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance

The Duel

The Armies Assemble

Battle at Aslan's How

Return of the Lion

The Door in the Air

The Call

A Dance 'Round the Memory Tree

This is Home

Lucy

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This film was an assault on my intelligence, and a big CGI insult to C.S. Lewis. The score deserves to be compared to MV assembly line scores, because that is (mostly, essentially) what it is.

I'm so tired of these epic/fantasy kids films that, no matter how rich and unique the story or book they use, the movies all feel exactly the same.

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Depends. Was your main complaint with the first one the lack of thematic interest, or the general style? If the first was your problem, this one improves in that area, and would be worth checking out. If you can't stand the MV style of battle music from the first, stay far, far away from this score.

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