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James Newton Howard's FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

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3 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

 

Unfortunately... yet again I have the same sort of stance. My newer scores tend to be sporadic, from all sorts of random composers. The big composers don't deliver reliably any more.

 

Most of my new music is library music these days.

Instead of wallowing in how much you don't like the new mainstream stuff, I say delve further into the past! I bet there's plenty of composers you've never heard of whose work is right up your alley, or at least moreso than this stuff. 

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One thing that I immediately drew comparisons to in this score was how similar it sounded to Hooper and Desplat in areas, some of it bearing resemblance to In Noctem and Sky Battle.

Whether that was a conscious decision of JNH, or Yates, or whoever, I don't know.

 

The choral parts stood out the most during the film to me, some of it attributed to the action, some of it in the more contemplative scenes.

 

 

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Listening a few more times to the score and mulling it over in my mind with the film I saw - I see this as a very good first rate effort from JNH.

 

Given the circumstances, I think he did extremely well. The high-lights aren't as euphoric and as abundant as in the first score but they are there if you look for them. There is indeed some more than solid fantasy music in there. JNH is also chained by the structure of the film which is much different from the last one. The last one had a lot of dialog free sections where the music could shine and JNH could let loose providing extended statements and development of his melodic material. This is a much more dialog heavy film with nearly constant exposition and such and a weird rhythm where it is constantly flashing back to backstories and such. Characters seemingly come and go at random and nobody really transforms all that much except perhaps Queenie.


Given the circumstances, JNH performs well providing robust material where-ever he could find space to do so.

 

Also credit where it is due - JNH is in Star Wars/Middleearth territory with the abundance of themes and motifs he is providing for this franchise. He's clearly inspired by this material and the music is flowing out of him. ONLY, the story-telling and cohesion isn't as well done as those franchises. JNH's application of themes and motifs is a bit loose and haphazard so that it is difficult to latch onto concepts. Some instances - Newt's hero theme from the first score is now his main theme, his main theme is abandoned, the conspiracy theme is only used for the title card, the rising Grindlewald theme is now a general bad-guy theme, Jacob's theme is literally never heard in either film, the healing theme is now the Tina/Newt love theme and pretty much the only representation of Tina as she doesn't have her own theme, the swing jazzy romance material from the first film is abandoned, Leta's theme is nebulous as hell and is more defined by the Ahhing female choir which is also used in other places not related to her and on and on I could go. It does right some wrongs from the previous scores too allowing the magnificent main franchise theme to shine throughout the film including action variants.

 

So with a tighter attribution of themes and motifs, this could be a classic score series.

 

But rest assured this is definitely a worthy effort.

 

PS: I find myself sinking deeper and deeper into the CC hole as I feel I am beginning to sound like him in my film score analysis.

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I don't know. While the film is probably the crux of the problem, not sure if it's entirely to blame. Especially when the music itself, score architecture and design aside, is not very good. Sounds very much like the work of a coerced hired gig, which is true for most JNH blockbusters in recent years.

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22 minutes ago, TSMefford said:

Was anyone else super annoyed that Traveling to Hogwarts was tracked over with Hedwig's theme?

 

I kind of wish it was a different rendition of the theme, not the exact Hedwig's Theme...

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2 hours ago, publicist said:

Overall it's just not very good, musically. Too bad - but from what i read the movie is 100% responsible because it's a haphazard mess. 

I don't know, how many times have we gotten great scores out of messy movies? Seems as though that comes about pretty often. Not to mention JNH's scores for those Shamalongadingdong movies.

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3 hours ago, KK said:

Sounds very much like the work of a coerced hired gig, which is true for most JNH blockbusters in recent years.

 

I don't know about coerced, he says he sought the first one out himself, specifically for the chance to indulge his melodic itch more than usual. I think he wanted in on Harry Potter in the same way actors do, you get to ham it up a bit and join a "cool kids" club, not to mention the steady paycheck. Whatever the quality of the work itself, most people on these movies seem to be getting their jollies.

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33 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

 

I don't know about coerced, he says he sought the first one out himself, specifically for the chance to indulge his melodic itch more than usual. I think he wanted in on Harry Potter in the same way actors do, you get to ham it up a bit and join a "cool kids" club, not to mention the steady paycheck. Whatever the quality of the work itself, most people on these movies seem to be getting their jollies.

 

I wasn't necessarily suggesting he didn't want to score these films. But the work itself suggests that of a more disillusioned composer, especially when compared to JNH's peak Shyamalan years.

 

The first one had flashes of brilliance, but even that was a bit of a mixed bag.

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13 minutes ago, fommes said:

Is there going to be a 2-disc release for this one like for the first film, or is the regular OST all we'll get?

Well the previous one was announced right off the bat pretty much so it doesn't seem likely.

 

Karol

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1 hour ago, toothless said:

Oh by the way, I forgot one thing…

 

Can someone, anyone, please tell Holywood composers they do not have any legal obligation to throw in accordion whenever something happens in Paris. Ahem…

I know, right?? It’s a trope that’s long worn out its welcome.

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2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

They do if that's what the director wants.

 

Can someone, anyone, please tell Holywood directors they do not have any legal obligation to tell composers they need to throw in accordion whenever something happens in Paris. Ahem…

 

 

On a more serious note, I can't picture a scene where Yates asks JNH to use accordion… but who knows…

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26 minutes ago, toothless said:

 

Can someone, anyone, please tell Holywood directors they do not have any legal obligation to tell composers they need to throw in accordion whenever something happens in Paris. Ahem…

 

They do if that's what the director producer wants.

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Can someone, anyone, please tell…

 

Nope.

 

I'm joking but it annoys me so much. It's like those mandatory but lazy establishing shots you get in every movie. Oh the movie takes place in Paris ! Quick! Eiffel tower shot / Rooftops of french haussmannian buildings / Accordion cliché. At some point, I was expecting Dumbledore and Newt to sit at a café, ordering fine wine, baguette and camembert…

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1 hour ago, toothless said:

Can someone, anyone, please tell…

 

Nope.

 

I'm joking but it annoys me so much. It's like those mandatory but lazy establishing shots you get in every movie. Oh the movie takes place in Paris ! Quick! Eiffel tower shot / Rooftops of french haussmannian buildings / Accordion cliché. At some point, I was expecting Dumbledore and Newt to sit at a café, ordering fine wine, baguette and camembert…

 

Best line of the movie “I hate Paris”

 

😜

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http://www.filmtracks.com/titles/crimes_grindelwald.html

 

CC's review is out.

 

I will dig into this later but so much confusion of the themes and what motifs are related to what concepts. The music is great to listen to but Howard did a little bit of a sloppy job with the theme associations. They really are all over the place.


 

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After having seen the movie again, I've done a few changes to my list. It's still not complete as there are cues I know are missing but aren't on the updated list because I can't place them.

Anyway, this has more detail than the last list I posted!

 

1. The Threstal Chase (8:04)

2. Newt and Leta (2:32)

  • Theseus
  • Ministry meeting - Grindelwald arrives in Paris
  • Grindelwald’s Orders

3. Dumbledore (2:11)

  • ”It has to be you” - Newt takes the job
  • The baby Nifflers - newts apartment

4. The Kelpie (1:32)

  • Jacob and Queenie - Queenie leaves - Jacob in the Rain

5. Newt and Jacob Pack for Paris (2:27)

6. Nagini (4:15)

  • The Portkey
  • Queenie arrives in Paris - french ministry of magic
  • Not an old lady

7. Newt Tracks Tina (2:27)

8. Queenie Searches for Jacob (1:35)

  • Nagini & Credence go to Irma Dugard

9. Irma and the Obscurus (2:56)

  • ”For the greater good”
  • Jacob talking about Queenie
  • The Feather
  • Yusuf Kama’s Trap

11. Capturing the Zouwu (1:33)

12. Traveling to Hogwarts (1:06) (first few seconds are used), then a new arrangement and recording of JW’s music from HP comes in instead of the Fantastic Beasts/Macusa theme like in the OST cue)

  • Hogwarts (slightly re-arranged and re recorded JW music).
  • Defense against the Dark Arts (might be second part of 12. Traveling to Hogwarts)
  • Ministry officials question Dumbledore  - Travers gets the last word

13. Leta’s Flashback (4:40)

  • Leta’s Flashback (insert?)

10. Blood Pact (2:29)

  • Curing Yusuf Kama
  • Grindelwald calls his followers
  • Polyjuice - Theseus and Leta
  • Tina and Newt enter fresh ministry - Theseus discovers newt

14. Salamander Eyes (2:38)

15. Matagots (2:15)

  • Jacob and Nicholas Flamel

16. Your Story is Our Story (3:21)

17. Leta’s Confession (5:14)

  • Grindelwald Rally - Grindelwald Enters - Speech

18. Vision of War (3:49)

19. Spread the Word (4:01)

20. Wands into the Earth (4:04)

21. Restoring Your Name (6:20)

22. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2:40)

  • End credits: First half of Leta’s Flashback, a shortened version of Matagots (where the big action part of the cue is omitted), beginning of Leta’s Confession and then a cue that is unreleased which sounded a bit like the Jacob and Nicholas Flamel cue (which also is unreleased).

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