Skarach's world

The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey (soundtrack and film)

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As we all know music can add much to a film. Would certain scenes in Alien be as frightening – even today – if, instead of Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack, the jolliest of Mozart’s music was used? Of course not! Come to think of it, they did use some of his music in that film…

I liked the majority of the music composed by Howard Shore for the three Lord of the Rings films. So, I felt bound to try his score for the first The Hobbit film. Listening to it before I saw the film left mixed impressions. Necessarily there are many reuses of familiar themes (the ring motif, Rivendell, Hobbiton) as well as a small amount of “filler”, which I guess virtually all film music will contain. Having listened to it a few more times – after seeing the film – it makes a lot more sense. There is at least one notable new theme (“Misty Mountains”), although, as with all the previous soundtracks, I am personally not too keen on the song they play at the end credits.

I should talk about the film itself. Simply put, it exceeded my expectations and I cannot think of anything seriously wrong with it. Yes, there are changes – some minor, some larger – from the book, but nothing which anyone should worry about. Any talk about the “interminable” length or “padding” of scenes (words I am sure I read in some reviews) is totally wide of the mark. What fan of Tolkien would not want to see Erebor before the dragon attacked, for instance? Personally I cannot wait for the extended Blu-Ray version (there must be one!) or the next two films. There should be some spectacular stuff there – Beorn, Smaug, the Necromancer, the Battle of the Five Armies, the assault on Dol Goldur. Technically it is a thing of wonder – well, in IMAX 3D anyway.

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