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The failure of modern blockbusters

I had to share this because I agree with all of this completely, Hollywood is in a real mess right now (really it has been for years)

24 Masterpieces Per Second

What the hell is going on!?

This year has been a disaster for huge budgeted films that just crash and fail, fail and crash, and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth… but you should’ve seen it coming; I mean, it’s been happening for a very long time.

And I don’t just mean films like the one pictured above (Ben-Hur), which you could tell where going to crash… but films which the general public like and where even considered successful by critics. I’m talking about Avengers films, The Fast & Furious franchise, and the remakes, sequels, and prequels money obsessed producers have been feeding us the last couple of years.

So what exactly is wrong with these “great” films? What makes Avengers, DC, and Fast & Furious films so much worst then the smaller films which most people missed this year? It’s hard to pin point, but I can name a…

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The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South/Fellowship Main Theme” (2001)

After the 9 members of the Fellowship of the Ring are assembled at the conclusion of the Council of Elrond, preparations are made for the group to leave Rivendell on their dangerous quest. (As a refresher, the Fellowship consists of: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir and Aragorn).

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Aragorn at the grave of his mother Gilraen

Arwen and Aragorn (who are very much in love, despite Elrond’s wishes) make a final farewell, but it is not a happy one. We will learn later that Elrond has pressured Aragorn into dismissing Arwen’s love, to encourage her to travel across the sea when her father makes his last journey (if Arwen were to stay in Middle Earth with Aragorn, they would never see each other again). Aragorn is also confronted (by Elrond) regarding his destiny: he is the last surviving member of the royal bloodline of Numenor; he and he alone could unite the realms of men and become King, but Aragorn swears he does not want this destiny, he has never wanted it.

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Elsewhere, Frodo and Bilbo have their last moment together and Bilbo has some gifts for Frodo: his old mithril shirt (that can repel any blow) is given to him to wear secretly under his clothes. Frodo is also given Bilbo’s elven sword Sting, which (like all Elven blades) will glow blue whenever orcs are close by (it’s curious then, that Legolas’s daggers don’t glow blue as well). As Frodo goes to put the mithril shirt on, Bilbo catches a glimpse of “his” old Ring, and he pleadingly asks to hold it one last time. When Frodo draws away however, Bilbo has a frightening “Gollum” moment that scares them both (and reveals that the Ring still has a very strong grip on the old hobbit). Guilt-ridden that his Ring has placed Frodo in this mess, Bilbo apologizes for everything that’s happened, and the two say farewell.

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Ring Goes South” (Film Scene) (2001)

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Now comes the moment the Fellowship departs, crossing the bridge that leads out of Rivendell. As they do, a theme begins to build, starting with a single French horn, and slowly building in intensity. We have actually heard snippets of this theme before, beginning when Aragorn first takes the four hobbits “into the Wild.” It is the main theme of the Fellowship and now we are to hear it in full, in all its glory, along with the famous “Fellowship passing by” scene. It’s a grand moment, but sadly very short-lived, as the music immediately begins to die away after the climax and the scene moves on.

There are some gorgeous scenic views in this short sequence, and it never fails to impress me that the entire trilogy was filmed in New Zealand; it’s the perfect setting for Middle Earth (and I fully plan on visiting the country some day if I ever get the chance). We’re nearly finished with The Fellowship of the Ring now; one or two more pieces and I’ll be moving on to The Two Towers. I’m glad you’re enjoying this adventure through Middle Earth, have a good Thursday- Becky

For more Fellowship of the Ring, see also

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Shire” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Treason of Isengard” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “A Knife in the Dark” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Flight to the Ford” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Lothlorien” (2001)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook, YouTube and please follow/support the blog on Patreon (any support would be greatly appreciated)🙂

*all images are the property of New Line Cinema

 

The Lion King “The Circle of Life” (1994)

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Part of what makes The Lion King so spectacular is the gorgeous animation and renderings of the African landscape. The film’s iconic sunrise opening remains a beautiful moment, even 20 plus years after the film’s initial release.

The Lion King “The Circle of Life” (Film scene) (1994)

The opening song “The Circle of Life” is a perfect combination of traditional African music and Western song. The opening “call” is from the Zulu language and translates to:

“Here comes a lion father, oh yes it’s a lion!/We’re going to conquer/A lion and leopard come to this open place.”

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After this initial verse, the scene alternates between various animals found in Africa (cheetahs, rhinoceros, elephants, ostrich, antelope, etc) all awakening and beginning a mass journey towards what is ultimately revealed as Pride Rock. This visual of animals assembling to celebrate the birth of a new Prince is reminiscent (and likely inspired by) the opening scene of Bambi (1942) where all the animals of the forest gather to greet the newly born Bambi.

I love the next verse that includes the lines:

“There is more to see, then can ever be seen/more to do, then can ever be done. There is far too much to take in here, more to find then can ever be found.”

It’s a perfect summation of life, there is so much to do/see/touch/experience, that even living life to the absolute fullest, we still couldn’t experience all of it, which is amazing when you think about it.

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I love the sweeping view of the landscape when Zazu flies up to Mufasa

Up at Pride Rock, King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is awaiting the arrival of Rafiki, a mandrill who (I believe) serves as an advisor to the king and also presents the new Prince (or Princess) to the animals of the Pride Lands whenever a new one is born. The newborn Simba is absolutely adorable and somewhat bewildered by everything going on around him. Rafiki pronounces his blessing and proceeds to take the lion cub out to the ledge so that all the animals can see him and bow in homage (acknowledging that Simba will be the king in the future). It’s a wonderful moment, and this remains one of my favorite Disney songs.

I hope you enjoy “The Circle of Life” back to Middle Earth tomorrow (nearly finished with The Fellowship of the Ring).

For more Lion King, see also:

The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994)

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (1994)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook, YouTube and please follow/support the blog on Patreon🙂

New episodes up on YouTube

Work on my YouTube channel is continuing (being sick delayed it slightly) but I’m proud to announce that I completed episode 3 last night, and episode 2 the week before. It’s slowly getting easier and I think I’ll have the hang of this before long🙂

Here are links to my latest two episodes on YouTube:

Episode 2 : In this episode I covered three films that I’m looking forward to seeing in the rest of 2016: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana and Rogue One.

Episode 3 : In my latest episode, I ranked the seven Star Wars films from the very worst to the very best. This is my longest video to date and I have to say I enjoyed the end result, I hope you like it too🙂

On my main blog page I’ve included a link entitled Film Music Central on YouTube that will contain an up to date list of all my episodes, so feel free to check it out any time (right now I’ll be updating my channel about once a week, perhaps more in the future).

My Lion King post will be up later today, for now have a good morning-Becky

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook and YouTube, and please follow/support the blog on Patreon (any amount is greatly appreciated).

The Music of Star Trek Blogathon is a month away!!

Wow, we are already one month out from the Music of Star Trek Blogathon that will be hosted by me on September 23rd-25th!! There’s still time to sign up if you’re interested, here is the current roster:

  • Plain, Simple Tom Reviews: “Amok Time” Fight Scene, from The Original Series
  • MovieRob: “Broken Bow” Enterprise, Season 1, Episode 1
  • MovieRob: “Caretaker” Voyager, Season 1, Episode 1
  • Films on Wax: “The Enterprise” from Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Film Music Central: “The Best of Both Worlds, Parts 1 & 2” from Star Trek: TNG
  • thetemptrack: “Music and characterization in Star Trek (2009)
  • thetemptrack: “Main Title” from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • thetemptrack: Scoring Spock in The Original Series
  • Thoughts All Sorts:Star Trek (2009) and/or Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
  • the meg-nog list blog: Star Trek: Nemesis

If you’d like to sign up, the sign up page can be accessed here

Any show or film from the Star Trek universe is available (though if you’re picking one of the television shows, I would prefer focusing on a particular episode) and I’m allowing the same topic to be picked up to two times (which means Star Trek (2009) is no longer available).

If you have any questions about a piece you might like to talk about, let me know, and please spread the word about this blogathon, I just know it will be awesome and hopefully we can get even more people to join in🙂

For those participating, please include at the top of your post something along the lines of “This post is part of the Music in Star Trek Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central” and include links connecting back to my blog. There’s no set order for posting, just let me know when your post is up so I know to include it in my recap for the day.

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with for the blogathon, see you in a month!

-Becky

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook, YouTube and follow/support the blog on Patreon🙂

 

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (2001)

After barely (and I mean barely) escaping the clutches of the Black Riders, Frodo awakens after several days in the hidden valley of Rivendell, home of Elrond (Hugo Weaving), the near-legendary son of Earendil, brother to Elros (the first king of Numenor and Aragorn’s distant ancestor), and the father to three children: Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen (Liv Tyler, more on her later).

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (Soundtrack only) (2001)

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The visual introduction to Rivendell is stunning, but I am sad to report that the location (with all the waterfalls) does not exist in real life, making Rivendell one of the few locations not to be completely based in a real-life environment. The musical backdrop is full of tranquil choral voices which highlight the fact that Rivendell is a place where one can find peace of mind, no matter what they’ve gone through (and recently Frodo has gone through quite a lot).

The Fellowship of the Ring “Many Meetings” (Film Scene) (2001)

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As the name of this piece implies, many meetings take place in this scene: Frodo is reunited with Sam, Merry and Pippin, who are all overjoyed to see Frodo recovered, but, to Frodo’s joy, there is one more meeting (more like a reunion), as he sees a considerably aged Bilbo sitting and working on his book (appropriately, there’s a brief refrain of “The Shire” at this moment). The two sit and talk for a while, and Frodo finally accepts that, however much he wanted to be like Bilbo as a child, his own adventure was turning into something completely different.

Keep in mind now that Frodo (at this stage) believes his part in the story is ending. The Ring, so far as he knows, should be safe in Rivendell, therefore he and Sam and the others should be ready to go home (to the Shire) before long. Unfortunately, the hobbits are soon to discover that they aren’t going home any time soon.

The Fellowship of the Ring “Gandalf and Elrond talk” (Film Scene) (2001)

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Meanwhile, Elrond and Gandalf have been holding their own meeting and Elrond lays out the cold, hard truth: the Ring cannot possibly stay in Rivendell, not with Sauron AND Saruman looking for it. Between the two forces Rivendell would fall sooner or later, and it’s not really up to the Elves to fix the situation anyway. After living in Middle-Earth for thousands of years, most of the Elven peoples are leaving, heading across the Sea to the Undying Lands. Someone else will have to resolve the situation with the Ring.

Gandalf believes he has a solution then “It is in Men, that we must place our hope.” But Elrond is dubious (and rightfully so). You see, he was there, 3000 years ago, when Isildur defeated Sauron and cut the Ring from his hand. Elrond took the Numenorean prince into the heart of Mount Doom and begged him to destroy the Ring on the spot, end evil for all time. But even in those few minutes of possessing the One Ring, Isildur’s heart had been corrupted and he refused. Ever since, Elrond has lost faith in any “strength” that Men may possess.

A council is being called and delegations from all corners of Middle Earth are arriving: we see Boromir (Sean Bean), riding in from Gondor; Legolas (Orlando Bloom) from the Woodland Elves in Mirkwood; Gloin and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) to represent the dwarves. Together, hopefully, they will be able to decide what to do with the One Ring.

Howard Shore hit the nail on the head when he wrote the music for “Many Meetings.” The piece functions in the same way that “Lothlorien” does after the Moria scenes, since Rivendell immediately follows the frantic chase in “Flight to the Ford.” Now that the danger is (temporarily) passed, everyone has a chance to breathe and relax and the music encourages this feeling. Truthfully, I could listen to this music for several hours and not find it boring. I also love how everything in Rivendell seems to be infused with a golden light (in a similar vein, Lothlorien is predominately silver), and everything feels warm and very much alive.

That’s all for me today, I am beginning to feel better, but still not quite 100%. I hope you enjoyed “Many Meetings” and I’ll be back with more Lion King tomorrow. -Becky

For more Fellowship of the Ring, see also:

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Shire” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Wood Elves/Passing of the Elves” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Treason of Isengard” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “A Knife in the Dark” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Flight to the Ford” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (2001)

The Fellowship of the Ring “Lothlorien” (2001)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook and YouTube and you can also follow/support the blog on Patreon (any amount would be welcome)🙂

*all images are the property of New Line Cinema