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Howard Shore's King Kong

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1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Perhaps Shore or Jackson doesn't want this release out there.

 

Do we know whether Shore got to complete his score, and record all of it?

Not all of, I don't think. But there was a large chunk of it recorded (if not the majority). 

 

Karol

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I vaguely recall reading that something like 60-80 minutes was recorded but not all of it. I don't know if Shore had fully written the entire score though, presumably he had.

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20 minutes ago, publicist said:

Jackson was OK with it, Universal execs grew increasingly irritated and when shit came to shove, Shore was axed as a measure to counterbalance others irksome factors (length etc.).

Hollywood studios have a very strange philosophy of axing things by doubling the cost. 🤔😆

 

Karol

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7 hours ago, crocodile said:

No, it's still available.

 

 

Karol

 

So, they actually set up an entire top notch recording stage, hired the NZSO, and recorded a lot of music (?) before cancelling everything. 

 

All of this mess was Universal's fault? I mean, because Jackson surely would've listened to some previews before making this whole circus... right?

 

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38 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

So, they actually set up an entire top notch recording stage, hired the NZSO, and recorded a lot of music (?) before cancelling everything. 

 

All of this mess was Universal's fault? I mean, because Jackson surely would've listened to some previews before making this whole circus... right?

 

Hardly uncommon, sadly. However, many factors come at play in such situations, it's not always this black and white so that one can find the culprit in some dumb studio executive or some micromanaging director. In the end, it's just a business.

 

Btw, Shore allegedly reworked some of the material he wrote for King Kong for his concert work Six Pieces.

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Thats whats strange. With the mock ups ahead of time, which is the purpose of having them to approve of the music in advance, then why go to the trouble of the recording and spend all that money? It seems like to me since LOTR the Jackson films have a monstrous budget and at least watching a lot of the special feature stuff, they needlessly spend a lot of money.

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If you read Torn Music, the book on rejected scores, there are many instances of the 'powers that be' changing the music at great expense when there wasn't anything substantially wrong with the music. The reasons detailed in the book are everything from the film being rubbish, to some executive getting nervous about some unusual aspect of the music, and wanting a safer approach.

 

The book's entry on Kong doesn't say a lot - just that Shore and PJ had differing creative ideas and decided to part ways. The problem I have with this explanation is mentioned above - surely PJ would listen to mockups and approve themes before Shore got anywhere near the recording stage?

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1 hour ago, TownerFan said:

Shore allegedly reworked some of the material he wrote for King Kong for his concert work Six Pieces.

Yes, three movements. Two of which are heard on the album A Palace Upon the Ruins (III and V, I think).

 

Karol

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2 minutes ago, crocodile said:

Yes, three movements. Two of which are heard on the album A Palace Upon the Ruins (III and V, I think).

 

Karol

 

All six movements are on that album, including the three with King Kong material.

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Kudos again to Newton Howard for turning a perfectly worthwhile replacement in such a short period of time. The score is one of the best aspects of that movie; it's biggest issue being daft runtime. Those 3hrs effectively ruled out the movie's chances of being casual TV chill fair while channel hopping on a rainy afternoon. There's a really wonderful adventure movie buried under all that bloat. PJ must have forgotten how brisk those old 50s, 60s and 70s monster movies where at the time. Like the slovenly undisciplined fool he is.

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7 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

The first third of the film was scored and recorded. The final third of the score was composed but unrecorded (save for mock-ups). The effects-driven middle third of the film  -- most of the island stuff -- was unfinished and (largely) unscored.

 

Thanks for the insight Doug, nice to have some clarification after all these years.

 

So roughly an hour recorded, an hour written but never recorded, and an hour left for Shore to write in the last 8 weeks of post? Presumably all the film's themes & leitmotifs were sketched out if the first and last acts were both composed.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Kudos again to Newton Howard for turning a perfectly worthwhile replacement in such a short period of time. The score is one of the best aspects of that movie; it's biggest issue being daft runtime. Those 3hrs effectively ruled out the movie's chances of being casual TV chill fair while channel hopping on a rainy afternoon. There's a really wonderful adventure movie buried under all that bloat. PJ must have forgotten how brisk those old 50s, 60s and 70s monster movies where at the time. Like the slovenly undisciplined fool he is.

Yeah, the core elements of the film are all sound. Naomi Watts and the realisation of Kong are both particularly good. And about 2/3 of it is a really good movie. I would love to see a nice trim 2-hour version of this.

 

Karol

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10 hours ago, crocodile said:

I would love to see a nice trim 2-hour version of this.

 

You don't need to cut too much out of Kong (which I agree is very glacial) to make it flow a lot better. It would be great at around 2.5 hours. Trying to cut it down any more will probably make it feel much too fragemented.

 

Its worth bearing in mind that tragedies benefit from a slower tempo just like comedies benefit from a faster one. Should it have been three hours? Hell no: even Jackson has bemoaned the editing of the film and expressed a desire to recut it. But you really don't need to cut too much out of it.

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Its more glacial than any of them, the effects are worse, performances more uneven, the scale less warranted and the tragedy less earned. So no.

 

Its still very affecting at the end, which is what makes or breaks a film. So yeah, a good movie - but Jackson's worst "big" film nonetheless.

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23 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Jackson's worst "big" film nonetheless.

 

That would be The Battle of the Five Armies. With the second half of Desolation of Smaug following. ;)

 

As for Shore's score, a release of it would be odd. Just the first and the final third of the movie (I believe it would be a re-recording - maybe they'll use the City of Prague Orchestra?).

 

But it would still be sad, since we may never know how Shore would've scored the dinosaur rampage, or the Kong v T-Rexes battle.

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42 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

 

That would be The Battle of the Five Armies. With the second half of Desolation of Smaug following. ;)

 

As for Shore's score, a release of it would be odd. Just the first and the final third of the movie (I believe it would be a re-recording - maybe they'll use the City of Prague Orchestra?).

 

But it would still be sad, since we may never know how Shore would've scored the dinosaur rampage, or the Kong v T-Rexes battle.

 

The dinosaur stampede was scored and recorded. I believe it was the only island sequence that had enough footage ready at the time ... and even then, it was a significantly different effort. Still, it exists!

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2 hours ago, Not Mr. Big said:

King Kong is better than every Hobbit movie combined.

 

What? The ending to Kong was ruined with Denham's comically over the top line "beauty killed the beast". The movie is an overlong mess. 

There are plenty of iconic moments in the Hobbit films. 

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This movie was more boring than Algebra II, but it did translate into a fun theme park ride. It seems to have the ingredients for that sort of popcorn entertainment and the time constraints of a 5-10 minute theme park experience obviously reigned Jackson in.

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2 hours ago, gkgyver said:

There are plenty of iconic moments in the Hobbit films. 

 

Iconic in what way? Generally I don't see anybody talk about The Hobbits as anything but disappointments.

 

Riddles in the Dark and Bilbo meeting Smaug are fine but the excitement of those at the time has worn off. The Battle of the Five Armies is altogether forgettable. It seems the most memorable aspect of the trilogy is the fact that they turned one book into three movies. Nobody's forgotten that and I think that is pretty much its legacy, otherwise it has no cultural currency.

 

But neither does King Kong, besides contributing to Andy Serkis's reputation.

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8 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

which were sort of cantilenas set for 12 cellos and soprano

 

Interesting!

 

1 hour ago, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

This movie was more boring than Algebra

 

Algebra is quite fun if you pay attention.

 

1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

But neither does King Kong, besides contributing to Andy Serkis's reputation.

 

Yeah, it very impressive that he managed to put on weight to fill out the monkey suit.

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Weirdly this forum is the only place I see people saying they're particularly good. Well, especially the third.

 

Chen’s avatar is really the only Hobbit presence that comes up in my life or Internet adventures at all since 2014...

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