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Avatar (2009)


Sandor
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All composers borrow from themselves, the problem is Horner doesn't stray at all from his style and that has gotten dull and predictable as the years have gone by. It's almost like he has an outline for how he scores films and he sticks to it for every film without attempting anything different.

Honestly, I can't really argue with that too much. Back in the 80's and early 90's, he was still establishing himself, and could manage some new quirks every now and then. But it's been a while since we've really heard anything new from him. Take Titanic, for instance, a perfectly serviceable score to a great movie. It works for the subject matter--but there isn't anything in it we hadn't heard from him before.

As for that compilation bit . . . the same thing's happened to me with John Barry scores. I once put a recorded cassette into my car's tape player. One side had King Kong, the other had Moonraker. It was dark, I was driving, so I couldn't see which side was which. I figured I could tell by listening. Nope. I switched the sides back and forth, and for the life of me I could never have distinguished one score from the other. Now that's a guy whose sound never really changed at all. . . .

- Scott

I would argue that if you listened to the two Zorro scores and The Missing, you'd see he can still create a fresh sound post-Titanic. I'll admit, 3/27 isn't a good average....but he still has potential. And I think Avatar will be one of those good ones.

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We've all been eagerly awaiting this score from James Horner and no matter what you may think of his repeatitive tendencies, he's a master of film scoring and after listening to the new Avatar CD this fact is further cemented.

As is to be expected there are many Hornerisms, I was reminded specifically of 'Mighty Joe Young', 'Glory', 'A Beautiful Mind' and 'Titanic'.

The first 4 tracks of the 13 score tracks on the CD (track 14 is the Leona Lewis single) are more ethereal, ambient and atonal which will obviously follow the context of the movie, however from track 5 onwards ('Becoming one of the people, becoming one with Neytiri) the music grabs the listeners attention with a superb array of choir, percussion and very exciting brass passages that we haven't heard from Horner for sometime now.

'Climbing up Iknimaya' and 'Scorched Earth' display the latter statements with mass orchestration and electronics and better still is the epic final cue 'War' which features some really ferocious writing and playing.

James Cameron & James Horner both provide lengthy liner notes and what's interesting to note is that Nicholas Dodd is credited as one of the orchestrators, which is the first time he's worked with Horner from memory. JAC Redford, Jon Kull, Gary K Thomas and Horner himself complete the orchestrator line up.

Simon Rhodes provides a typically warm and vibrant sound.

Welcome back James Horner! Can't wait to see this teamed with the movie!

- Tim :P

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really, the film airs next week and i dont see any true advertising here yet (outside the coming soon posters in cinemas)

it's very risky in my opinion.

Well they are advertising the hell out of here.

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I bloody well hope he is - I'm banking on Horner to reinvigorate my [severe waning] interest in all new music for film. If he fails, it's up to Williams' Tintin and Shore's Hobbit to win me over, again.

I really hope I don't have to hold out for the latter.

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I think Luke was referring to Blume's statement about Cameron disliking the Spanish, which has little to do with Horner.

At any rate, I like you, Spaniard. I shall cheer for you.

And at any other rate, I think that a solid 2009 score by Horner is not enough to invigorate interest in contemporary film scores. It would certainly be enough to prove that the legendary artist (i.e., somebody who's been scoring since the 1970s) still has it. The industry needs more than its aging superstars to roll on, it needs fresh talent.

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Meh, been there, heard it all before.

I'm sure it will work wonders in the film but for something Horner supposedly spent a year working on it's a CD I can save my money on.

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Meh, been there, heard it all before.

I'm sure it will work wonders in the film but for something Horner supposedly spent a year working on it's a CD I can save my money on.

Exactly what I was expecting. Thanks for testing it for me. ;)

But seriously, I'm not going to listen to any of it before I go see the movie, I'll decide if it's CD worthy then.

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Apparently only from within France!!!!!!

Yeah, I listened to the first cue, and then I got that notice when I tried to listen to the second. I don't know what's up with that.

Avatar is just a summer blockbuster being released in the winter. All this Oscar buzz etc. is not gonna happen.

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I don't know if I'll go see it. There have been a few half-decent movies I passed on seeing in the theater, just because I found something else to do that evening, or I went to the theater w/o looking at the times before I got there and missed it completely.

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First review?

New "Avatar" movie & James Cameron will go to the Oscars as nominees

3:15 PM December 10, 2009

London --- Just left the 'World Premiere' of "Avatar," and while the standing ovation the film received at its conclusion is probably just the requisite politeness; I can report that this is another rare example where the quality of the movie does indeed exceed the hype and "Avatar" will most certainly be among the 10 'Best Picture' nominees for the Oscars; and James Cameron will also be a Best Director nominee. I think it is also possible that actress Zoe Saldana, who has the most challenging of roles in the film, may rack up an additional acting nomination as well.

The movie may owe more than a few plot points to the story of Pocahontas, and there may be some grousing at a fairly heavy-handed treatment of corporate greed and our lack of American energy independence; but the key question, is Cameron able to deliver a movie that packs the entertainment value and emotional punch of 'Titanic.' The clear answer is 'Yes.' The Oscars will not ignore this film.

http://blogs.ktla.com/samrubin/2009/12/new-avatar-movie-james-cameron-will-go-to-the-oscars-as-nominees.html

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Apparently only from within France!!!!!!

Yeah, I listened to the first cue, and then I got that notice when I tried to listen to the second. I don't know what's up with that.

Avatar is just a summer blockbuster being released in the winter. All this Oscar buzz etc. is not gonna happen.

thats what stupid people said about Titanic.

The review from the Sun is out. It calls the film a masterpiece.

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Empire has been off for a while, in fact I think they have lost the plot a little - I stopped trusting them when they gave Indy IV four out five stars.

However the early reviews are very encouraging.

The Hollywood Reporter

A fully believable, flesh-and-blood (albeit not human flesh and blood) romance is the beating heart of "Avatar." Cameron has never made a movie just to show off visual pyrotechnics: Every bit of technology in "Avatar" serves the greater purpose of a deeply felt love story.

My excitement has been renewed, looking forward to seeing it on IMAX.

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I guess I'll see this after all. Something about it hasn't been getting me too excited, but if all the critics are liking it, chances aren't bad that I will, too. Oh, except...I always seem to suffer letdown when everyone tells me a movie's really great. So maybe I should revert back to my low expectations. :lol:

The premise is certainly cool...can't deny that. Just wish I didn't know as much of the plot as I do just from the trailers. I guess it'll all come down to whether the VFX are truly convincing or just struggling their way up the side of the uncanny valley.

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The full score is streaming online here.

I have to say, after listening to the first 3 tracks, that the previous short clips I heard did not do the score justice. This sounds like Horner but in a positive way, like he is trying and putting effort into his work. Despite short quotes from other scores of his and the ever present danger motif most of the material is refreshingly new to my ears. So I take it back James. You are not a hack after all. :lol:

This could actually be one of the few new soundtrack albums I have gotten this year.

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Why are people so surprised by the success of the film?? Like or hate his movies, you can't deny that James Cameron has put out a pretty good body of work. Terminator 1 and 2, Aliens, and The Abyss strongly influenced the sci-fi genre, Trues Lies wasn't exactly a flop, and Titanic was a HUGE success. It's not as if his career was in decline, he just took a few years off from making big-budget feature films. There is no surprise here.

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This sounds like Horner but in a positive way, like he is trying and putting effort into his work. Despite short quotes from other scores of his and the ever present danger motif most of the material is refreshingly new to my ears. So I take it back James. You are not a hack after all.

Are you serious? A lot of it sounds like bloody videogame music and not in a good way. The world music with the high-pitched chanting may be a taste thing but the action music reeks of the BIGGER, FASTER, LOUDER-trailer syndrome.

The love theme stuff fares better, but there aren't too many memorable tracks, which is a shame, since Horner was once the king of long flowing score cues.

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It's funny and really quite telling how the tone of the reviews mirror, often word for word, those of Titanic all those years ago. Like Titanic, I suspect some will despise Avatar, whilst a vast legion of movie goers will absolutely adore it regardless; to the impotent annoyance of the yawnsome critical contingent, of course.

You got to hand it to Cameron - he sure knows how to stick two fingers up to his naysayers. I was almost one of them myself.

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Empire has been off for a while, in fact I think they have lost the plot a little - I stopped trusting them when they gave Indy IV four out five stars.

I stopped trusting them when they gave AOTC five stars.

I trust The Sun even less, though. Especially when they said BATMAN FOREVER was the best film ever made.

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OK, I gave it a listen and I am underwhelmed. While there are many strong moments in the score, it doesn't impress me, especially given Horner's capacity. Many of the good parts sound like taken from any other Horner's score. At worst like a regular RCP score. Looks like he had been given wrong temptracks.

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Empire has been off for a while, in fact I think they have lost the plot a little - I stopped trusting them when they gave Indy IV four out five stars.

I stopped trusting them when they gave AOTC five stars.

I trust The Sun even less, though. Especially when they said BATMAN FOREVER was the best film ever made.

:lol:

As for Empire's stonker of a review for AotC, well they did go on to retract, months later. But yeah, the damage was already done and they have never lived it down, since.

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Empire has been off for a while, in fact I think they have lost the plot a little - I stopped trusting them when they gave Indy IV four out five stars.

I stopped trusting them when they gave AOTC five stars.

I trust The Sun even less, though. Especially when they said BATMAN FOREVER was the best film ever made.

:lol:

As for Empire's stonker of a review for AotC, well they did go on to retract, months later.

if they did that they are a bunch of hypocrites.

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Empire has been off for a while, in fact I think they have lost the plot a little - I stopped trusting them when they gave Indy IV four out five stars.

I stopped trusting them when they gave AOTC five stars.

I trust The Sun even less, though. Especially when they said BATMAN FOREVER was the best film ever made.

:lol:

As for Empire's stonker of a review for AotC, well they did go on to retract, months later.

if they did that they are a bunch of hypocrites.

Why? It's hard not to get sucked in when the Lucas machine is in full force and you really want to love a film. People's tastes change, they mature, they gain new knowledge and sometimes that leads to new appreciations, sometimes it leads to depreciations. It's not hard to fall in love, then ask yourself six months later why you ever loved that person in the first place.

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This must be a massive coincidence, because the first review for a movie I later went on to the retract was for The Phantom Menace. I initially thought it was amazing, but later decided it was garbage. If that makes me a hypocrite then colour me two-tone.

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This must be a massive coincidence, because the first review for a movie I later went on to the retract was for The Phantom Menace. If that makes me a hypocrite then colour me two-tone.

I did that as well. I'm not sure what my first was, though. Probably HOWARD THE DUCK (sensing a theme here?).

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Each time I saw a Star Wars prequel for the first time in theaters, I got a major rush and had a thoroughly great time. When I saw TPM, I was too young to really have any sort of critical eye for films, but by the time AOTC rolled around, I could tell it had problems. Same with ROTS, though I contend that it's a far better film than either of its predecessors (if not as Star-Wars-y as TPM). But yeah, you can definitely get sucked into something and then later come to grips with all its many issues.

Hopefully, Avatar won't be like that for me. Again, though, I never had particularly high expectations...still can't figure out why.

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Unless the 3D and IMAX radically change what we have seen on our computer scenes, I don't see what's so special about these special effects. I mean, I've even seen the trailer in 3D and didn't like it, although maybe that's because I don't like 3D.

I will say that the vegetation looks pretty damn superb and realistic, but the machinery and Na'vi don't look revolutionary to me.

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You shouldn't be expecting the 3D to radically change anything. What everyone's been working towards is a more organic use of it, instead of the vulgar stuff they used to do (pulling and pushing objects towards the camera, looking at you Beowulf). It's surround sound for the eyes.

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Unless the 3D and IMAX radically change what we have seen on our computer scenes, I don't see what's so special about these special effects. I mean, I've even seen the trailer in 3D and didn't like it, although maybe that's because I don't like 3D.

I will say that the vegetation looks pretty damn superb and realistic, but the machinery and Na'vi don't look revolutionary to me.

Mate, you are such an an ignorant unwitting victim of the times you are living in that nothing would satisfy you, nothing.

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Review: "Avatar is as old-fashioned and romantic as Titanic, and thrillingly, just as wonderful to watch."

What's so "groundbreaking" about that?!

Review: "It's a big fat lie."

Ah, I thought so!

Alex

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