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Prince Caspian Released Today


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The Prince Caspian soundtrack comes out today. Are you going to buy it? I was going to make a poll, but those seem to have fallen out of favor recently.

While much of the first one lacked thematic, compositional or orchestrational interest, there certainly were good moments in it. I enjoyed "Evacuating London" (a little), "A Narnai Lullaby" (obvious, but effective), "The Stone Table" (nice percussion), and "The Battle" (very MV, but MV at its overblown, overhyped, obvious, rhythmically dependant, best). The rest of the score was mostly forgettable for me.

Having listened to the Amazon samples, I think I will buy the soundtrack, maybe today if I get a chance. It sounds like, instead of only creating atmospheric ambience, there seem to be many themes coming back from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I am interested to see if Harry Gregson-Williams will make something interesting out of them.

How 'bout you?

Colin Thomson

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I will definitely be buying it. Even though I love John Williams, I am also firmly within the MV camp (who says you can't enjoy both styles), so I will definitely be buying Prince Caspian (I also loved Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, mainly the tracks you mentioned above). Unfortunately the film isn't out in Australia until June 5, so I wouldn't expect the soundtrack out until the weekend before. But it doesn't really matter since I will have the undoubtedly superior Indy IV soundtrack to...erm...tide me over (it's sort of like comparing a diamond necklace to one of those candy chain things). I will find out the Australian release date of the Prince Caspian soundtrack hopefully on Friday when I pick up the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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I have been listening to the whole thing in the background for a bit and it does sound nice, but it hasn't quite won me over. Perhaps if I listen more carefully some other time will I find more to enjoy. Right now, my first impression is that it's capable and will probably work in the film, but isn't really very impressive on it's own terms. I think if you didn't like the first, you won't like the second. There's new action music, but it all sounds pretty dark and serious and not heroic and beautiful like "The Battle" on the first one. Also there's quite a bit of music returning from the first score, including the end of the original "The Battle" at the end of "Battle at Aslan's How". Subsequent listens might change my opinion of the score, but I am so far unimpressed.

As a reference, I am also not entirely impressed with Shrek 2, the other sequel score by Harry Gregson-Williams. It is perhaps a more coherent listening experience than the first one, but it lacks the stand-out moments and inventiveness that made the first one so enjoyable. Also, again, there's quite a lot of old material and not so much new.

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I have been listening to the whole thing in the background for a bit and it does sound nice, but it hasn't quite won me over. Perhaps if I listen more carefully some other time will I find more to enjoy. Right now, my first impression is that it's capable and will probably work in the film, but isn't really very impressive on it's own terms. I think if you didn't like the first, you won't like the second. There's new action music, but it all sounds pretty dark and serious and not heroic and beautiful like "The Battle" on the first one. Also there's quite a bit of music returning from the first score, including the end of the original "The Battle" at the end of "Battle at Aslan's How". Subsequent listens might change my opinion of the score, but I am so far unimpressed.

As a reference, I am also not entirely impressed with Shrek 2, the other sequel score by Harry Gregson-Williams. It is perhaps a more coherent listening experience than the first one, but it lacks the stand-out moments and inventiveness that made the first one so enjoyable. Also, again, there's quite a lot of old material and not so much new.

I think you put it nicely, Pieter. Although I initially agreed with just about all of this, I just listened to the score again and was much more pleased with it. There is still a lot of inaccessible heavy action writing and a couple re-hashes from the first score, but there are some subtle bits of magic in there, and he does some amazing things with the battle theme from the first film; I'm guessing it's Aslan's theme. The final two cues are terrific.

One thing you're absolutely right about is that those who did not enjoy the first score will not like this one. I like them both, though.

Ted

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I think you put it nicely, Pieter. Although I initially agreed with just about all of this, I just listened to the score again and was much more pleased with it. There is still a lot of inaccessible heavy action writing and a couple re-hashes from the first score, but there are some subtle bits of magic in there, and he does some amazing things with the battle theme from the first film; I'm guessing it's Aslan's theme. The final two cues are terrific.
I'll give it a proper listen later and will probably agree with you then. My post was based on listening to tracks at random in the background, while working on my computer. Hardly the way to judge a score fairly. :cool:
the badguys do not have spanish flavoured music :/
Too bad. I liked that idea. :P
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I think you put it nicely, Pieter. Although I initially agreed with just about all of this, I just listened to the score again and was much more pleased with it. There is still a lot of inaccessible heavy action writing and a couple re-hashes from the first score, but there are some subtle bits of magic in there, and he does some amazing things with the battle theme from the first film; I'm guessing it's Aslan's theme. The final two cues are terrific.
I'll give it a proper listen later and will probably agree with you then. My post was based on listening to tracks at random in the background, while working on my computer. Hardly the way to judge a score fairly. :cool:

I, too, first listened to the score in that manner. :P

Ted

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I just finished listening to it. My first impression is that it's a good score, but not quite as good as the first. My main complaint is it's lack of new themes. The only new theme I heard was in "Miraz Crowned." (Which also happens to be my favorite track at the moment). The rest of the score is arrangements (well done however) of the original themes, and relatively non-thematic (although pretty cool sounding) action music.

Some of the highlights include "Prince Caspian Flees," "Raid on the Castle," "Miraz Crowned," and "Return of the Lion." The tracks "Journey to the How" and "The Duel" are also pretty good starting about halfway into either track.

I have a feeling that, as with TLtWatW, a full score release will be much better than this one with the 15 infuriating minutes of pop music where more of the score should be.

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Also there's quite a bit of music returning from the first score, including the end of the original "The Battle" at the end of "Battle at Aslan's How".

Are you saying that the music is tracked from the first movie, or just very similar?

Colin Thomson

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Are you saying that the music is tracked from the first movie, or just very similar?
I don't think it's tracked. Probably similar to the usage of "The Clash of Lightsabers" in Revenge of the Sith. It's the same music, but a new recording and worked into the score rather than being a straight track-job. I can't believe they would actually feature tracked music on the OST of a film when there's other music available.

Re-use of music is less bothersome than straight track-jobs, but I'm really not fond of the practice either. I'd rather have real new music. Sometimes it even happens within the context of the same film: the same piece of music is used several times. Not tracked, but actually part of the score. A very clear example is "Dogfight" from the expanded Atlantis: The Lost Empire. This is basically the same track as "Leviathan Battle". It is reorchestrated, but the notes are still the same.

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It didn't sound to me like anything was actually tracked. Much of the music was new arrangements, and some sections of pieces seemed to be the exact same music re-recorded, but I don't think anything was tracked.

Edit: you posted barely before me. :)

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I've just listened to the first two tracks here at work and was far from bowled over. One theme has returned, but it doesn't have the memorability that the first one had for me.

Maybe not the best listening conditions, but based on my judgement so far, a purchase seems unlikely.

Edit - now 6 tracks in, and I'm even less impressed. It all seems to be percussion, barely any thematic statements.

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after hearing the score

i cant wait till the time when Arnold takes the helm.

I'm going to listen to Prince Caspian today or tomorrow, but I don't suppose being amazed by it. My appreciation to the first score has decreased over the years, on the other hand I hope Harry brought us something better this time around.

I am looking forward to Arnold's score too. I hope this will be his return to bigger movies.

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after hearing the score

i cant wait till the time when Arnold takes the helm.

I'm going to listen to Prince Caspian today or tomorrow, but I don't suppose being amazed by it. My appreciation to the first score has decreased over the years, on the other hand I hope Harry brought us something better this time around.

I am looking forward to Arnold's score too. I hope this will be his return to bigger movies.

the bond franchise is big...

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after hearing the score

i cant wait till the time when Arnold takes the helm.

Yes. Even though I quite like Harry Gregson-Williams' two scores, I won't be sad to see him leave the franchise.

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I got this because I really liked the first score. Pretty much done listening now, and I'm not that impressed. Probably my biggest gripe is that a lot of the action music is repeated with little to no variation from the first film. Sure it's fine to reuse themes, but so many passages just seem to regurgitate them without doing something new. This is particularly true in "Battle at Aslan's How." I liked the first couple tracks the best, but after that it just seemed like I was still listening to the first score. I didn't even recognize any new thematic material. Perhaps a lot of this was cut, but I'll probably see the movie and find out for sure.

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Didn't know you were a fan of the first, Kevin (and please, drop in more often!)

I've listened to the sequel score twice now, and it's underwhelming compared with the first. But there are some great moments, and I definitely recognize and really like the new theme, which I assume is for Prince Caspian (one of the best versions is at 2:54 in "The Door in the Air," with the Children's Theme and then the Narnia Theme as counterpoint). It was nice to hear the previously mentioned themes back again (especially the grand version of the Narnia Theme in "The Kings and Queens of Narnia") along with the themes for Peter and Aslan, though I agree that there could've been less rehash from the first score. The action music, while not as sweeping and uplifting as "The Battle" from the first score, does a nice job of actually incoporating various themes here and there. And it was cool to hear *possible spoiler for the film *

the White Witch's music again in "Sorcery and Sudden Vengenace"; I can't wait to see Tilda Swinton's cameo in the film, as she was the highlight of the first.

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I watched the film, which is great by the way, and then I listened to the music right afterwards. I think that it is good. Many have said that it is bad, but maybe all they need to do is watch it in the context of the film before. They might like it then. It's good.

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I watched the film on Friday night/Saturday morning, and thought, despit most reviews that I have heard, that it was really not that bad. If you didn't like the first one, than there is absolutely no hope for you on this one. But, as a semi-fan of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (at least I enjoyed it a couple times), Prince Caspian worked fine as a sequel.

Ben Barnes did a fine job as Prince Caspian, Peter Dinklage was quite good as Trumpkin, but Skander Keynes really stole the show as Edmund Pevensie. I really hope they give him a larger role in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (as is almost certain to be the case). As for the rest, they were fine, and there was really no bad acting to take away from the film.

There is not as much character to this film, and sometimes it seems like all you have is one battle after another. But the CGI driven battles are much better than the first installment, and, if you don't mind the light eye-candy fantasy CGI style employed in the first one, you should have no problem with these effects. The problem is that the story-line is just plain duller. There is not as many twists, and it ends up seeming more like a war movie with two armies trying to defeat each other, and less personal side-stories than were in the first one.

This movie is drastically changed from the book, as opposed to the first, which followed quite closely. The story in the book, however, does not lend itself easily to a movie adaptation, and I thought that it worked fine with the changes they made. The Christian allegories are still strong, which, of course, I love. While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe pretty much spelled out the Gospel, this is more about how to live a life following Aslan (Jesus). I know many will role their eyes, but thus it ever was. Please don't be offended by the line I put in about that aspect of the movie in this review.

I must say that I am very glad to hear that Andrew Adamson is leaving. Though he is done a good job so far, I felt like the directing was a little worn out, and that a third Adamson film would be far too much (and I feel the same way about Harry Gregson-Williams). Amazing Grace is the only Michael Apted film I have watched, so I have no idea how he will do, but hopefully the producers knew what they were doing when they chose him.

A fine installment, but I have a feeling, that, if all seven books are made into films, this one will probably be viewed as the worst. It was always my second least favorite book (after The Horse and His Boy), and that, coupled with the somewhat tired Adamson directing, combine to make me think that we have much brighter things in the future of this series. Still, all in all, a fine adaptation, and an enjoyable movie experience.

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Ben Barnes did a fine job as Prince Caspian, Peter Dinklage was quite good as Trumpkin, but Skander Keynes really stole the show as Edmund Pevensie. I really hope they give him a larger role in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (as is almost certain to be the case). As for the rest, they were fine, and there was really no bad acting to take away from the film.

what did you think of queen Prunaprissima?

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The good news: it's a good movie.

The bad news: opening weekend boxoffice here in America was very soft, not even up to the opening of the first film. Not a terible debut -- $56 mil -- but fairly weak for a movie as heavily promoted as this one. It's even worse when you consider that Indy is right around the corner, and is going to crush its second weekend. Who knows, it may have great legs and end up being a sizeable hit, especially outside of America, but if its opening is any indication, then there may not be another Narnia movie for a while.

And that would be a shame. They've been enjoyable so far, and I was looking forward to seeing what another director would do with the material.

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And that would be a shame. They've been enjoyable so far, and I was looking forward to seeing what another director would do with the material.

Indeed. I wouldn't call it so soon though, it could easily survive.

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I am desperately hoping all seven get made. I would love to see Magician's Nephew, and, of course, The Last Battle. That book packs such an emotional punch, but some of that would be lost were not all the others done before it. I think they really need to do all of them, and I really hope they don't decide to just do a few of the more widely loved ones.

I was just recently wondering who should compose the music for The Last Battle. If things continue as they have begun, we will get two movies per director/composer. Michael Apted/David Arnold would get The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair, which would be perfect (if they do a good job), because these are semi-similar stories (at least in style of story-telling). The next director/composer would get The Horse and His Boy and The Magician's Nephew. I am not sure who I would like to do these films. I was thinking perhaps Brad Bird/Michael Giacchino. I am sure Giacchino would do a good job, as he seems to be able to adapt to any and all styles he needs to. I don't know if Bird could pull it off. He doesn't seem to have a whole lot of directing experience, but what he has done seems very good. I don't know. What do you think?

That leaves The Last Battle. If they do one director/composer per two movies, that leaves some combination with only the last in the series. I think this is a good situation, because they would be going into it completely fresh, and, while building on what everyone else has made, they would hopefully be able to put everything they have unreservedly into the movie, which would be the only way to do it justice. It would have to be darker. I think they should make every installment up until this one PG, but then crank it up to PG13 for this, because the story really calls for it. It is just plain dark for quite a bit, and it is very sad. It needs someone who is not afraid of making a very sad movie.

Up until the end, most of the book slowly kills everyone off. The dwarves (who had been at least semi-good) turn bad and kill many of the good guys. I can't remember everything real well, but I know there would have to be a pretty visually disturbing whatever-the-name-of-the-really-bad-guy-at-the-end-is. He was very scary. I am talking about the bird-like creature inside of the barn. After going through all the darkness, the ending will be even more powerful, them going "higher up and further in" or whatever the quote is. Where they are in a perfected Narnia. The music and visuals would have to portray this change incredibly. One moment the world is ending in fire (or water or whatever it was) and the next they are in a perfect Narnia.

I loved the ending, and I really don't know who should direct/compose for it. I was thinking perhaps James Newton Howard might be the right composer. He seems to have such a repect for his subject matter, and I think he would treat it rightly. To tell you the truth, I don't think John Williams would be right, and I know Howard Shore and James Horner and Hans Zimmer would be wrong. Maybe John Debney. But I think James Newton Howard might be the best option. On the director, I have absolutely no idea. What do you think?

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The third film is still going to get made.

Don't be too sure of that. If the movie pulled in a "mere" $56 mil this weekend, and gets obliterated in its second weekend by Indy, then its final domestic tally could be less than $125 mil. It would need an astonishingly good non-American boxoffice to make a sequel viable.

The relatively poor debut is nothing but bad news. A lot of people will say that it's due to the economy, or due to the weakness of the movie industry, but that stance is belied by the fact that Iron Man is holding up extremely well. And to a lesser extent, so are other movies, like Made of Honor and Baby Mama and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, all of which have been posting smaller drops week-to-week than is the norm. With Iron Man added in, that is a sign of a relatively strong industry.

Which means that by any standard, Prince Caspian ought to have a far better weekend than it had. Most trackers were predicting in the $75-85 mil range.

What does that mean?

Several things, potentially.

(1) That The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was not actually as well-liked as it seemed to have been. People may have secretly felt that one Narnia movie was plenty.

(2) That The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a vastly better-known book than the rest of the Narnia books. It was definitely the only one I'd ever read, and since it is a self-contained story, I (and possibly many others) may have just never felt the need to read the rest.

(3) That a large portion of the boxoffice for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was driven by school groups. My theatre had early-morning theatre rentals for school groups literally every day for almost a month for the first movie; we've had one for Prince Caspian. School is out or almost out everywhere around the country, so these groups are either nonexistent or busy ending the school year. Do not underestimate this as a major impact on the box office.

(4) That Narnia works better as a holiday movie than as a summer movie. My first thought when I saw that it was being released in May rather than December was "Why on Earth would Disney do that?!?"

Like I said earlier, the movie may develop legs; most family films do.

But until it does, Dawn Treader is by no means a sure bet, much less the rest of the series. (And I think Disney was planning to call it quits after three, anyways.)

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I liked the film quite a lot. Not as full of wonder and enchantment as the first, but that's only fitting. I enjoyed the developing Pevensie characters and their relationships, and Ben Barnes was a likeable Caspian. It was also a delight to see Tilda Swinton again, and I sort of wish they'd freed her. The villain wasn't as interesting this time around. But all in all, a good sequel. I do agree that a change in director and composer will probably be a good move, though.

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