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MikeH

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  1. Thanks
    MikeH reacted to Mr. Who in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    After just having seen the film again (which is just great), I think you’re right, it’s the family theme that is played by the flute in Happiness is simple, not Kiri’s theme (which doesn’t make sense thematically either).
     
    The RDA material was mostly pretty clear to me when watching the theme and there’s 2 main sections a sect (ascending line) and the horn call (b sect) + there’s a rhythmic component which is often used + a string run like motif you hear more than once + the trumpet theme. I’m not sure if there’s 3 trumpet themes or only one because in the fu al quaritch scene there is a trumpet melody playing which is a rearrangement of a Horner theme from the first score. I will see if it appears on the extended ost which I haven’t hear yet.
     
    I noticed quite a bit of unreleased music and on second viewing I don’t think that that much is actually tracked, most of the Horner quotes are rearranged and it’s a shame that they’re unreleased. The very first cue for instance is a great variation of the melody at the end of the Becoming One of the People OST cue (can’t say the theme name right now) and then a slow variation of the main theme. This plays before the songcord and should really have been on the album.
     
    There’s loads of unreleased music with the new themes as well plus a false start version of Happiness if Easy that quickly goes over into military brass as we see the RDA base (scene from the first film). Then the full happiness cue plays like on the ost. There’s a great deal of unreleased action material as well including the buildup to the showdown (I won’t say more because of spoilers).
     
    the weeknd end credits song is not the album version and the film version is shorter and sounds more orchestral and less produced.
     
    The first time I saw the movie I mainly noticed Horner’s themes and the family theme but on second viewing (after having heard the regular ost) I’m a really big fan of the music and think franglen did a fantastic job and is clearly the right composer to score the sequels and to continue Horner’s legacy with the use of his themes and sounds! 
     
    I’m really looking forward to listening to the longer ost and hope that it contains the most important cues.
  2. Love
    MikeH reacted to Tydirium in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    I haven't seen the movie yet, but I've listened all the way through the OST once and the score album a couple times, not to mention numerous replays of various favorite tracks. Overall, I'm really impressed. I for one was actually really excited back when I heard that Franglen got the gig; to me it actually felt like a brave choice on Cameron's part, giving such a big score/series to a relative "nobody" (no offense to Franglen) in the film composer world. It told me that he actually valued trying to keep Horner's influence alive in the series. Franglen may not be Horner, but a lot of his stuff sounds pretty darn close. For example, the aforementioned brass moment at 1:02 of "Na'vi Attack" sounds exactly like Horner. Franglen's new themes are good, maybe not anything groundbreaking, but good enough. And I expect they will get some great development in the sequels. I'm also really thankful that Cameron/Franglen have enough respect for Horner's themes that they are peppered throughout the score (and as I understand it, there are even more appearances in the film itself). Thank God we didn't end up with an Amazing Spider-Man 2 situation here.
     
    I saw someone else mention earlier that they think that if Horner had scored this film, he wouldn't have done all that different from what Franglen did here. While I can't 100% agree with that statement yet as I haven't seen it, from what I'm hearing alone I do think that's probably a pretty fair statement. I've seen some criticism of Franglen's action music and the fact that he sometimes has a more RCP-esque sound than we're used to from Horner... but tbh, I've always thought Horner's Avatar has a way more "modern" sound than most of his previous scores. So imo, Franglen's music doesn't really sound too out of place; it sounds to me like a natural continuation of the sound world Horner was setting up in the first film. A lot of the ethereal water music sounds totally at home in the universe established by Horner, and a handful of the action cues directly bring to mind Horner's "War," yet without being cheap rip-offs.
     
    All in all the music now has me way more excited to see the film than I had been, before. I find myself listening to it a lot more than expected, and I'm excited to get to know it better. And I'm already looking forward to Franglen's next entry in a couple years.
  3. Love
    MikeH reacted to Knight of Ren in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    Here's my first attempt at a first thematic breakdown. The appearances of Horner's themes were already covered by @MaxMovieMan, so I will stick with Franglen's new themes
     
    Family Theme / Songchord
    This is Franglen's new main theme, and it not only serves as the emotional backbone of the entire score, but also serves as a foundation of the two songs, both The Weeknd song and the Songchord and the variations that appear through the movie. It has two separate sections, the first one being the one played the most, and the second one serving as a support for the main idea in longer cues. The track Hometree (also know as Leaving Home) serves as a sort of suite arrangement of both sections of the theme.
    Leaving Home - 0:25, 1:10, 1:52 (B Section), 2:21 Hapiness Is Simple - 0:03 (variation), 1:02 (variation) Family Is Our Fortress - 1:05, 1:30 (B Section) Sanctuary - 0:19, 0:37, 1:14 (B Section) Kids in Peril - 1:19 (only first 3 notes) Na'vi Attack - 2:01 A Farwell to Arm - 0:20 (only first 3 notes) Bad Parents - 1:49, 2:37, 3:07 Knife Fight - 0:25, 0:59, 1:32 From Darkness to Light - 0:54, 2:35, 3:26 The Spirit Tree - 1:30, 2:26 Water Tribe / Underwater Theme
    The theme that represents the water tribe of the Metkayina clan, and the underwater world that surrounds them I think is the one that makes more of an impact because of its orchestrations, and it dominates the middle part of the score. It has two clear sections, one that represents more the wonder aspect of the underwater world, while the descending melody serves as an emotional interlude.
    Sanctuary - 1:28 Into the Water - 0:20, 1:01 (B Section), 1:55 (B Section), 2:08, 2:39 (B Section) The Way of Water - 0:26, 0:57 (B Section), 1:15 Friends - 0:45 The Tulkun Return - 0:17, 0:37 (B Section), 0:51, 1:01 (B Section), 1:11, 2:21 (B Section) Kiri's Theme
    The theme for Kiri, one of Jake and Neytiri's kids that has quite an important role in the movie, could go unnoticed by just listening to the album, but it makes a huge emotional impact when watching the movie, especially towards the third act in a very important scene where it joins with the Family theme, in the "From Darkness to Light" track. It also gets hinted at the very beginning of "The Songchord". This is definitely a theme with a lot of potential to be expanded and developed in future sequels as Kiri's story is developed.
    Converging Paths - 0:28, 1:14 The Way of Water - 1:44 Might Eywa - 0:46 Cove of the Ancestors - 0:41, 0:57, 1:39, 2:17 Na'vi Attack - 3:13 From Darkness to Light - 0:32, 1:21 Payakan / Tulkun Theme
    We also have gorgeous melody for Payakan, one of the Tulkun, that makes an especial connection with Lo'ak, one of Jake and Neytiri's kids. I think this theme is intended to develop greatly in upcoming sequels.
    Payakan - 0:37 (hinted), 1:25 (hinted), 2:10, 2:54 Friends - 0:00 (hinted) The Hunt - 1:41 Kids in Peril - 2:29 Na'vi Attack - 0:48, 1:30 (hinted) A Farewell to Arm - 1:54 Quaritch Theme
    The last theme I will cover in the first part of the analysis is a trumpet melody that gets associated with Quaritch during the third act of the movie, and I think will play an important role as the character comes back in the sequels
    Eclipse - 2:10, 2:42 Bad Parents - 0:42 Knife Fight - 0:09, 0:44  
    So this is it for the main ideas. I know I left some out, like the different ideas associated with the RDA, and some secondary motifs for the kids, but I think this serves as a great introduction to the score. I don't know if this format is adequate, so if you have any suggestions or corrections feel free to share!
  4. Haha
    MikeH reacted to Jay in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    Leave it to Thor to create a "concept album" that doesn't even include the concert arrangement the composer wrote directly for album use...
  5. Like
    MikeH reacted to filmmusic in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    An IFCMA member, Daniel Schweiger, picks this up among the best scores of the year....
    https://filmmusicinstitute.com/the-best-scores-of-2022
     
     
  6. Like
    MikeH reacted to crocodile in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    I like this score actually, it's definitely better than expected. Some of it does remind me of JNH, oddly.
     
    Karol
  7. Like
    MikeH got a reaction from leeallen01 in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    Absolutely loved it. The new family theme by Franglen is superb, and hearing those familiar Horner trademarks once again in a huge Dolby Cinema was incredibly emotional. I miss him. 
  8. Like
    MikeH reacted to Not Mr. Big in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    I thought Franglen did a great job.  Pays respect to Horner's work while also having memorable new material that carries a good amount of emotional weight.
  9. Like
    MikeH got a reaction from Mr. Who in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    Absolutely loved it. The new family theme by Franglen is superb, and hearing those familiar Horner trademarks once again in a huge Dolby Cinema was incredibly emotional. I miss him. 
  10. Like
    MikeH reacted to NL197 in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    Which in the film was a total mashup of several cues, yes.
    For those going on about Titanic and its merits or lack of depending on where one stands, I just wanted to point out that it is now December 19. Titanic was released 25 years ago today. 
  11. Love
    MikeH reacted to Bayesian in Avatar 2, 3 and 4 or how James Cameron stopped worrying and pulled The Hobbit on us   
    Those are exactly my sentimonies. I just left the theatre and what amazed me most about this film wasn't the 3D (which was stellar, by the way), but the way it just works as a worldbuilding adventure, as a family-focused story, and as an action film.
     
    Allow me to dwell on this last point because I think it speaks to a key reason why this movie might get a lot of repeat viewing from audiences. Cameron has given us a phenomenally well-made action film. Particularly in the last hour. It's completely engrossing, edge-of-your-seat entertainment, imho, and it's all the more impressive considering that the scale of the action is actually smaller than in the original. Most of the last hour takes place near a single island in relatively shallow water. There's only one giant watercraft involved (you've seen it in the trailers) instead of two or three like the first movie. Everything about the third act conflict is smaller in scale, but all the more absorbing because it's family focused. And because Cameron puts you in the middle of everything and lets you understand how characters get from point A to point B and then to point C. And because, by putting you front and center, you see rich details that make the action actually memorable.
     
    By memorable, I mean:
    the human/sky people's technology is rendered with such astonishing complexity and detail, you'd swear it was all real-life vessels, machines, tools, objects that were filmed (and destroyed) over real water. Everything and everyone actually follow the laws of physics for once. You can't imagine what a difference that makes for keeping one's attention. The way that Cameron sets up the conflict between the two sides is surprisingly nuanced. I don't want to give away spoilers, so I'll save my elaboration on this point for a later post. This movie isn't without faults (paper-thin plot and some clunky dialogue chief among them), but I'm astonished how little any of them matter in the face of such remarkable worldbuilding and filmmaking. It's the greatest of ironies that the most cutting-edge CGI tech the film industry has ever seen was developed to serve the needs of a filmmaker who is so fundamentally old-school and old-soul, at least in the action genre. Avatar TWOW has got the exact same earnest heart beating at its core as Top Gun Maverick does. And as Waterworld, Die Hard, and Raiders do.
     
    About the worldbuilding: yes, the Pandoran sea is diverse and wonderful to look at, but just as mesmerizing are human/sky people elements we get to enjoy a closer look at. The maglev. The new base. The whaling ship. The crab suits. The subs. The exo-suits. I could watch 20 hours of that shit. It's flabbergastingly wonderful to see actual realistic fucking sci-fi again. Please please PLEASE let this movie make enough money so that Cameron gets to finish Avatar 5 because I badly want to see how he visually renders a dying Earth and we supposedly will get to see that in the fifth one.
     
    Go see this movie. It's worth the 13-yr wait.
  12. Like
    MikeH reacted to Knight of Ren in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    I gave the score a second listening and I like it a bit more! The action electronic cues still feel a bit underwhelming, but I really like the action in the second half. And I'm starting to pick up on some themes, that I guess will make more sense when I watch the movie, hopefully tomorrow!
     
    I really like what I think is the Family Theme and all its variations, being one of my favorites the dramatic development of the theme in Hometree and From Darkness to Light. But my favorite might be the theme that pops up in "Into the Water", "Friends" or "The Tulkan Returns", that as I have read in some posts above, seems to be a sort of underwater theme. I particularly love the secondary phrase, with the descending notes that almost sound like it's going to play Legends of the Fall! That particular melody feels so Horner to me, and I think Franglen did such a good job of conveying these ideas that feel like it could have been written by Horner himself.
  13. Haha
    MikeH reacted to Bellosh in Does classical composer John Adams hate John Williams?   
    To quote, Jay....
     
    Who?
  14. Love
    MikeH reacted to greenturnedblue in Avatar 2, 3 and 4 or how James Cameron stopped worrying and pulled The Hobbit on us   
    Id rather have Avatar than the next MCU movie, ad nauseum
  15. Love
    MikeH reacted to Kusi in David Arnold's TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997) - NEW! 2-CD Expanded Edition from La-La Land Records (2022)   
    Well, I had no time to comment to this release since I received it. I listen to the set regurarly. The "Surrender (alternate)" track is amazing - I love the quiet intro to the song. Also the track "White Knight" is still amazing after all these years. The final tracks "Ha Long Bay", "Boarding The Stealth", "Grenade", "A Tricky Spot For 007", "Stealth Shoot Out", "Carver Gets It", "All In A Day's Work" are amazingly wall to wall scoring with big and entertainy orchestra music..... if I'd continue writing about this score the word "amazing" would appear several more times. I love the classic David Arnold/Nicholas Todd sound. 
  16. Like
    MikeH reacted to crocodile in Avatar 2, 3 and 4 or how James Cameron stopped worrying and pulled The Hobbit on us   
    It was quite enjoyable actually. Formulaic as hell but very well executed. On par with the first one, perhaps even better in some ways. Cameron knows how to deliver a spectacle and this is definitely yet another example. The score was pretty good actually, definitely better than I anticipated.
     
    As for the running time... Let's put it this way, I had some coffee not long before the showing and wanted to pee 20 minutes into the film and enjoyed myself regardless. If that's not praise, I don't know what is. 😄
     
    Overall, it's sort of exactly the kind of experience like Top Gun: Maverick. You know exactly what you're getting and yet you're still having a good time.
     
    This guy definitely knows what he's doing.
     
    Karol
  17. Like
    MikeH reacted to Thor in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    Sorry to hear it. As with publicist, I disagree fundamentally with that.
  18. Thanks
    MikeH reacted to Taikomochi in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    It’s a plenty good score on its own that continues Horner’s sound in a thoughtful, authentic way. It’s imperfect, but I’m not mad about it. If there wasn’t the first score for it to pale in comparison with, it would be a great score with no qualification 
  19. Like
    MikeH reacted to WampaRat in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    I’d say the action music skews closer to some of the more contemporary action sound Horner was toying with in The Amazing Spider-Man (“Subway Rumble” comes to mind.) Horner’s take on the RCP sound. Also Franglen ran with that sound in a lot of the action tracks of  Magnificent Seven. Not sure if that was part of Horner’s original sketches/suite for that score before he died. It can seem a bit abrasive and a tad simplistic at times. But other times it really sounds like a contemporary Horner wrote it (“Navi Attack” is a ball-buster cue on par with “War” from the first film)I don’t believe Horner would have scored this film that much differently in all honesty. Perhaps his themes would have been a tad more  pronounced. The action a biiit more refined and mixed a bit clearer so it’s not so “wall of sound-y”. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t moved a handful of times while listening to this. It took a tad to get going for me. A little “nature documentary-y” at first. But it really starts to cook after the first third or so. It’s a great tribute at best and a decent standalone score at worst. I’m sure I’ll appreciate it more when I see the film.
     
    PS- “Songcord” is a really lovely take on the new theme (family theme?) for this film. Sung beautifully by Zoe Saldana.  Maybe start with that first and then you can hear it develop throughout the score. Lots of great iterations of it.
  20. Like
    MikeH reacted to DangerMotif in Simon Franglen's AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER (2022)   
    John Barry also
  21. Like
    MikeH reacted to mrbellamy in After reading this, who still thinks 'Dial of Destiny' will be Williams' last score?   
    Retirement from movies was the only thing ever in question, anyway. We've always known he would keep writing music. But the Miyazaki comparison is apt, or Daniel Day-Lewis but he seems serious this time. 
     
    I feel like these kinds of guys are so obsessed and compelled to do it that maybe they feel like if they force the issue and announce retirement then they'll have no choice but to take a break and then they realize they can't help themselves. Like people who announce they're leaving a message board and then come back a week later. 
  22. Like
    MikeH reacted to Ricard in After reading this, who still thinks 'Dial of Destiny' will be Williams' last score?   
    He briefly mentions the possibility of scoring more films for Spielberg at the end of this video (still somehow intelligible beneath the voice-over)
     
    1:12 - end.
    18609309_1200.mp4
  23. Love
    MikeH reacted to Ricard in After reading this, who still thinks 'Dial of Destiny' will be Williams' last score?   
    Original article (in Italian):
    https://www.corriere.it/spettacoli/22_dicembre_10/02-spettacoli-texxcorriere-web-sezioni-a4a6c670-789d-11ed-826e-c8ce3b8cd17b.shtml
     
    Translated version:
    https://www-corriere-it.translate.goog/spettacoli/22_dicembre_10/02-spettacoli-texxcorriere-web-sezioni-a4a6c670-789d-11ed-826e-c8ce3b8cd17b.shtml?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en
  24. Like
    MikeH reacted to MaxMovieMan in Avatar 2, 3 and 4 or how James Cameron stopped worrying and pulled The Hobbit on us   
    People are way too harsh on this thread. And also don’t base your opinion off what one dude says you could love it for all you know.
     
    For me I know I actually enjoy a lot of scores that people tend to hate including Horner’s “Avatar” so if it’s anywhere close to that quality and retains the same style I’ll be happy. Consistency is key.
  25. Like
    MikeH reacted to Disco Stu in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (James Mangold, June 30 2023)   
    I can't believe we're still doing "reshoots mean a movie is in trouble" in 2022
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