by     Posted 6 hours ago


Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore is among today’s most respected composers and conductors.  He’s been a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg for 35 years and has scored nearly all his films since 1979 including 2014’s Maps to the Stars.  He’s also had a long-standing collaboration with director Martin Scorsese on films that include Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Aviator, and Hugo.  However, he is probably best known for his work with Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, including this year’s The Battle of the Five Armies.  Recently, he also composed the original music for director Jon Stewart’s biopic, Rosewater.

In an exclusive interview, Shore spoke about his creative partnerships with Cronenberg, Jackson, Scorsese and Stewart, his unique approach to composition and orchestration, the challenges of scoring an edgy drama compared to a large scale action movie set in a complex fantasy world, why he loves doing big epic films, his Canadian roots and early development as an artist, bringing Middle Earth to a worldwide audience by doing The Lord of the Rings scores live to projection with a symphony orchestra and chorus, and his upcoming projects:  Scorsese’s Silence and a concerto with classical guitarist Miloš.  Check out our interview after the jump:

Peter Jackson Masters the Art of Multitasking in New THE HOBBIT Production Video Blog

by     Posted 364 days ago


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been in theaters for a couple of weeks now, but director Peter Jackson has one last production video diary to share before 2013 comes to a close.  This latest video focuses on the music of Desolation of Smaug, as we see composer Howard Shore discuss the litany of themes that he wrote for the film.  Interestingly, Jackson opted to record the score for the film down in New Zealand at the Wellington Town Hall, where Shore handed the reigns to someone else to conduct the orchestration.  We see in the video that Jackson actually constructed a mini post-production studio in the town hall so he could perform the editing of There and Back Again at the same time that he was overseeing the orchestration of the Smaug score.

Hit the jump to watch the latest video.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters now, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again will open in theaters on December 17, 2014.


by     Posted 2 years, 5 days ago


Technology will march forward.  That march usually involves something getting trampled along the way.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is underfoot of  horrible 48fps 3D, also known as HFR 3D (High Frame Rate 3D).  Billed as a technology to sharpen 3D and reduce the headaches it can cause, HFR 3D has crippled Peter Jackson‘s return to Middle-earth.  Without the atrocious visuals, Jackson’s film is still slightly repetitive and bloated, but the magic mostly remains intact.  But under HFR 3D, the journey looks like a cheap soap opera on fast forward with crappy digital effects.

Listen to the Individual Tracks from THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Soundtrack

by     Posted 2 years, 18 days ago


A couple weeks ago, we posted a link to the score for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  The only problem with Empire’s player is that you could move between tracks, and if you stopped playback, you went all the way back to the beginning of the score when you started up again.  Today, Rolling Stone has posted the full soundtrack, and now you can move between tracks, play and pause, and decide which are your favorites.  Personally, I’m partial to “Misty Mountains”, which we heard in the first trailer for the film.  Tolkien fills his books with characters singing, and while it reads terribly (music without notes is just poetry; in his case, it’s bad poetry), composer Howard Shore has made this song work wonderfully.

Click here to listen to the soundtrack, which will be available on December 11th.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14th.

Listen to the Full Soundtrack for THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

by     Posted 2 years, 35 days ago


Yesterday, the end credits song for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Neil Finn‘s “Song of the Lonely Mountain”, went online.  Today, you can now listen to all of Howard Shore‘s score for the film.  While I have my doubts on whether or not Peter Jackson will be able to repeat the success he had with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Shore hasn’t missed a beat.  The score is in tune perfectly with his work on the Lord of the Rings films, and I can’t wait to see how it plays with the finished picture.

The score isn’t embeddable, and you can’t skip or fast-forward through the tracks, but you can click over to Empire to give the full soundtrack a listen.  The soundtrack, which will be available in regular and special editions, will be released on December 11th.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in 3D on December 14th.

New TV Spot for THE HOBBIT; Listen to “Radagast the Brown” from Howard Shore’s Score [Updated with 7 New Images]

by     Posted 2 years, 43 days ago


Tickets for both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and theatrical marathons for the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy go on sale this coming Wednesday, and a new TV spot for Peter Jackson’s upcoming adaptation of the former has now landed online.  The spot highlights the advanced tickets sale and boasts a bit of new footage, but more excitingly a preview of Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore’s score for The Hobbit has also been released.  We recently got a look at the full tracklisting, and now “Radagast the Brown” has landed online in its entirety.  It’s at once familiar and new, with some lighter/more playful bits reflecting the different tone of The Hobbit in relation to Lord of the Rings.

I’m eager to see Jackson’s three-part adaptation of The Hobbit on the big screen, but I’m almost just as excited to hear Howard Shore’s return to Middle Earth.  Hit the jump to check out the TV spot and to preview the soundtrack.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in 3D on December 14th. [Update: Warner Bros. has released 7 new high-resolution images which are now included after the jump.]

Album Art and Tracklisting Revealed for THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Soundtrack

by     Posted 2 years, 47 days ago


Howard Shore delivered three amazing albums for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I adore the music we’ve heard in the trailers thus far.  If there’s any aspect of The Hobbit I have completely confidence, it’s in Shore’s score.  Today, the album art and tracklisting for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was announced along with a special edition version that will contain four more tracks.  The artwork is nice (the special edition will fit in nicely with the Lord of the Rings special edition albums), but the tracklistings give us an idea of where in the story the first movie will end, so if you want to stay away from spoilers, consider yourself warned.

Hit the jump to check out the album art and tracklisting.  The soundtrack will arrive on December 11th.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14th.

2012 Oscar Nominations Announced; HUGO and THE ARTIST Lead the Pack

by     Posted 2 years, 329 days ago


The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.

There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.

2012 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 3 years, 23 days ago

Continuing on with our look at the 2012 Oscar race, today we delve into Best Animated Feature and the technical categories. As Pixar’s Cars 2 was the studio’s worst-received feature to date (it currently sits at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes), we’ve got ourselves an actual competition in the Animated Feature category. Not only that, but if all 18 films that were submitted to the Academy are deemed eligible, we’ll have a total of five nominated films. This leaves us to debate the merits of Rango and The Adventures of Tintin against the likes of Puss in Boots and Arthur Christmas.

Additionally, we’ve taken a stab at Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the technical categories. As these are incredibly tricky to predict this far out (and my picks would be doomed to haunt me come February), I’ve simply listed a couple of frontrunners in each category instead of going in depth. Though it’s still early, we’ve got an overall picture of how things look like they’ll stack up; so hit the jump to check out the state of the race so far. If you missed our previous preview articles, be sure to take a look at our picks for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actor and Best Actress.

Top 10 Soundtracks and Scores of the Decade 2001 – 2010

by     Posted 3 years, 355 days ago

With 2010 coming to a close, and the imminent arrival of an entirely fresh, unexplored, and unpredictable decade of cinema, what better time to start bombarding you with top ten lists of past highlights? We’ve done top ten posters, top ten trailers and top ten Christmas movies (and an alternate Christmas list for those who disagreed with the first).

This time: scores and soundtracks. There is a distinction between the two, but it’s murky, and as more and more films are using a mix of both original scores and pre-existing tracks, who are we to try to keep them separate?  Hit the jump for more.

Composer Howard Shore to Score THE HOBBIT

by     Posted 4 years, 31 days ago


Today in Not Really At All Surprising News, it looks like composer Howard Shore, who won three Oscars for his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, will score Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.  Shore told The Province [via TheOneRing], “It looks like finally it’s going to be happening. I’ll be working on it for the next three years — it’s going to consume a lot of my time and work now.”  As we’ve reported on numerous occasions, The Hobbit will be broken into two parts.  Obviously, getting Shore back brings a nice bit of musical continuity, but I’m eager to hear what new pieces he’ll compose.

The Hobbit is set to begin filming in February in New Zealand.  The films will star Martin Freeman, James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage, Rob Kazinsky, Aidan Turner, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow and Peter Hambleton.  Hit the jump for a synopsis for the book.  The films are set to be released in 3D in December 2012 and December 2013.

Click Here