November 24th, 2003

Conan the King (Conan the Barbarian)

Howard Shore's Return of the King CD - TONIGHT!!!

My excitement over the upcoming release of the soundtrack album from The Return of the King has been so overwhelming that I have been on a steady diet of the CDs from the first two films. The extended version of The Two Towers has me humming the Eowyn and Rohan themes to myself constantly, as well as the Gondor theme, which is making its first CD appearance on the new disc.

Tower is having a midnight sale tonight for some new release or other. I doubt they're expecting anybody to come in for this CD, but they're about to be surprised...

The rather kewl CD cover art

I have heard some clips at SoundtrackNet and all I can say is, I can't wait to have the whole thing. What I heard sounded much more upbeat than the material from the previous two films, with the Gondor theme being a driving force in the score, much like the Rohan theme was central to The Two Towers. The end of The Two Towers, the finale had, for the first time in the trilogy, a glimmer of hope in the cues "Forth Eorlingas" and "Samwise the Brave." The new score seems to follow through on this (although the piece of "Shelob's Lair" I've heard is a damn good candidate for my Jenga mp3 CD), and so the new score has a more noble cast to it.

It sure is making me eager to see the film.

The rather kewl Aragorn poster

Annie Lennox's song "Into the West" was somewhat disappointing (I wasn't the biggest fan of Enya's "May It Be," either, although I liked "Aníron," and Emiliana Torrini's "Gollum's Song" was fantastic), but I understand that this CD is true to form, and a short coda exists at the end of the song that is supposed to be one hell of a finale. The coda on "The Two Towers" is one of my favorite settings for the Rohan theme, where instead of going into the the Norwegian fiddle, which it does elsewhere in the score, a solo trumpet wrenchingly appears, echoing the introspective cue "The Hornburg."

Although I haven't heard it yet, but Billy Boyd does, in fact, sing in "The Steward of Gondor," while Viggo Mortenson performs an evocation of his kinghood.

Doug Adams' reviews at Film Score Monthly

The Fellowship of the Ring - The Two Towers - The Return of the King.

Shore is apparently going to release a 9 disc set with the complete scores from each film to coincide with the release of the extended edition of The Return of the King (which, I understand, will happen earlier than the previous two editions because of the fact that there isn't another three hour epic to deliver to theaters).

I am looking forward to this because my reverence for these scores extends to the music that has not been released on the CDs (which present about one-third of their respective scores).

The extended versions of the scores will also clear up the main issue I have with the CD of The Two Towers, which is the unfortunate reshuffling and recombination of tracks. Shore is better at this sort of thing that John Williams is, but the cue "The King of the Golden Hall" as it appears in the film is split up and heard on three different tracks on the album, only one of which is the track with that title (the others are "The Riders of Rohan" and "The White Rider"). This was one of the most arresting musical sequences in the film, leading to an unforgettable crescendo as Theoden stands up and grasps his sword. This has the effect, in the film, of making Theoden a full-blown hero of the story, rather than someone the Fellowship encounter.

I have to mention an issue with the extended edition DVD of The Two Towers; with the much more vibrant color scheme, the formerly seamless intergration of Gollum and Treebeard with their respective environments are no longer as flawless as they were theatrically and on the new DVD.


The DVD LaserDisc Newsletter writes this about Terminator 3, which I have rented but have not yet watched.
Movies have gotten so wimpy that even though Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is rated 'R,' you don't get to see anything of the naked robot played by Kristanna Loken at the beginning of the film. Had the movie been made twenty years ago, you would have gotten en eyeful, but now, even R-rated movies have to avoid offending people, apparently.
Just now, you're noticing this!?! Filmmakers seem to have forgotten that cinema is a medium of visual pleasures.

While searching for images to tease Waystone with (see here for the thread) I found this website... these are just too damn funny...