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 Posted:   Dec 7, 2013 - 3:38 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

One of my all-time favorite JNH scores! I think I like it just a hair better than the original, which I already totally dig to begin with. His work on this film series is just a gift from the film score gods and he's come up with an outstanding variety of output so far for these scores. Some of the most gorgeous writing he's ever composed ("Arena Crumbles" and "Monkey Mutts" for starters) and some brilliantly complex and dynamic action cues (parts of "The Fog" and first half of "Monkey Mutts" among others) along with terrific thematic material make this one of the top scores of the year for me. So happy to hear Rue's theme again in "The Tour" -- or it might be the "rebellion" theme. Also, I just love the fact that the score album was 75 min long, with plenty of material to enjoy.

I must say though, I have never enjoyed the "Horn of Plenty" material. It has always seemed a bit clumsy writing and a bit pedestrian. I know it's a big favorite among many, but I think it always feels out of place in these scores, a failed attempt at grandeur. I get its place and purpose in the film but don't care for it as part of the score listening experience.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 9:26 AM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

Well clearly to him the score is so much in that style that it sounds to him like it was scored by Jablonsky. I don't blame him for that.


That... is ridiculous. Jablonsky and JNH have two totally different styles, which would be immediately apparent if one took the time to listen to both composers. I have just listened to Catching Fire, followed by Ender's Game. Would Jablonsky write such a lush theme like JNH's "I Need You"? Possibly, but more than likely he would write an ostinato, perhaps led by a solo instrument (like "The Battle Room" and "Salamander Battle"). Jablonsky writes more in the modern vein of what some call 'The Zimmer Sound', and can provide a source of musical ambiance without a big melody or a catchy tune distracting from the scene. He does just this in "Mind Game Part 2". JNH doesn't seem so inclined to go that direction, and is more likely to do what he did in "Katniss is Chosen". The instrumentation starts very sparsely, with low strings and a solo voice for Katniss' theme. A cello then carries the melody, enhancing the somber scene. As the instrumentation grows, the track ends ends more hopefully than it began, but the sense of being resigned to one's fate remains.

I could go on, but there is no need. JNH's themes for Katniss Everdeen in "Katniss" and "I Had To Do That", Rue's (magnificent) theme reappearing in "The Tour", the electronic menace of the Capitol's forces in "Peacekeepers", the music box-esque melody of "There's Always A Flaw", and the sheer beauty of themes such as "I Need You" and "Arena Crumbles" leave no doubt that this soundtrack is just NOT Jablonsky's style. I have no doubt Jablonsky could compose a score of such beauty (listen to Steamboy one day), but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is definitely not what he sounds like. This score is another beauty by James Newton Howard.


One of my all-time favorite JNH scores! I think I like it just a hair better than the original, which I already totally dig to begin with. His work on this film series is just a gift from the film score gods and he's come up with an outstanding variety of output so far for these scores. Some of the most gorgeous writing he's ever composed ("Arena Crumbles" and "Monkey Mutts" for starters) and some brilliantly complex and dynamic action cues (parts of "The Fog" and first half of "Monkey Mutts" among others) along with terrific thematic material make this one of the top scores of the year for me. So happy to hear Rue's theme again in "The Tour" -- or it might be the "rebellion" theme. Also, I just love the fact that the score album was 75 min long, with plenty of material to enjoy.

I agree again with the Deputy! It was Rue's theme that reappeared in "The Tour", which is simply gorgeous. "Arena Crumbles" is also a favorite. The action cues are fantastic, but the one that sticks with me the most is "Peacekeepers", possibly because I saw the film and that menace provided by JNH's use of electronics is really effective in that scene. And yes, thankfully this is a whopping 32 minutes longer than the first score disc (43 minutes vs. 75). Here's hoping both Mockingjay scores get equally long treatment.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   losher22   (Member)

I don't have much to add on top of the wisdom of David (Giacchino-fan) and DeputyRiley, but I just saw both of the Hunger Games flicks for the first time in the last four days, and was definitely more impressed with Catching Fire's score over the original's. Just in line with the film, Catching Fire's music was more brooding, evocative, and ingeniously incorporated the original movie's themes while introducing more gentle, flowing pieces that effectively illustrated the film's narrative. JNH is back, my friends.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 10:20 AM   
 By:   Kim Tong   (Member)

Unless he takes a completely different approach with this one I expect another bland atmospheric score. There was nothing memorable about the first one.

I saw this movie yesterday and you summed it up without even seeing it yet.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 10:42 AM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

This, like the first film, was another example of how much more I appreciated the music after hearing it separate from the film. The original Hunger Games CD I thought would be more boring after I saw the film, but gained a whole new appreciation as a stand-alone listening experience. Seeing the film isn't the best way to experience the music.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Kim Tong   (Member)

This, like the first film, was another example of how much more I appreciated the music after hearing it separate from the film. The original Hunger Games CD I thought would be more boring after I saw the film, but gained a whole new appreciation as a stand-alone listening experience. Seeing the film isn't the best way to experience the music.

Sorry David, I have to disagree. I loved the music in the film to the first one, bought the CD and the music lost some of the power it had in the film. Seeing the second film, the music played a lessor roll than in the first one. I am disappointed because of what he could have written for this film.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 11:09 AM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

I think these 2 cues are exceptional:

I Need You
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCuzUmdhGtw


Arena Crumbles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOCqD47F5SU


(Couldn't get the darn embedding right. Sometimes I do, sometime I don't - I need computerin' skills.)

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   amatalqa   (Member)

The score for Catching Fire was very effective and packed a lot of emotion. How can anyone reduce it to "atmospheric" and disregard the powerful musical high points?

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2013 - 7:26 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Well clearly to him the score is so much in that style that it sounds to him like it was scored by Jablonsky. I don't blame him for that.


That... is ridiculous. Jablonsky and JNH have two totally different styles, which would be immediately apparent if one took the time to listen to both composers. I have just listened to Catching Fire, followed by Ender's Game. Would Jablonsky write such a lush theme like JNH's "I Need You"? Possibly, but more than likely he would write an ostinato, perhaps led by a solo instrument (like "The Battle Room" and "Salamander Battle"). Jablonsky writes more in the modern vein of what some call 'The Zimmer Sound', and can provide a source of musical ambiance without a big melody or a catchy tune distracting from the scene. He does just this in "Mind Game Part 2". JNH doesn't seem so inclined to go that direction, and is more likely to do what he did in "Katniss is Chosen". The instrumentation starts very sparsely, with low strings and a solo voice for Katniss' theme. A cello then carries the melody, enhancing the somber scene. As the instrumentation grows, the track ends ends more hopefully than it began, but the sense of being resigned to one's fate remains.

I could go on, but there is no need. JNH's themes for Katniss Everdeen in "Katniss" and "I Had To Do That", Rue's (magnificent) theme reappearing in "The Tour", the electronic menace of the Capitol's forces in "Peacekeepers", the music box-esque melody of "There's Always A Flaw", and the sheer beauty of themes such as "I Need You" and "Arena Crumbles" leave no doubt that this soundtrack is just NOT Jablonsky's style. I have no doubt Jablonsky could compose a score of such beauty (listen to Steamboy one day), but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is definitely not what he sounds like. This score is another beauty by James Newton Howard.


I think the comment I was responding to suggested that the poster thought Thor 2 The Dark World was Jablonsky and I could agree that stylistically it could be mistaken for it. I agree with you that one would not be likely to mistake Hunger Games Catching Fire for being composed by Jablonsky.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 3:09 AM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

I think the comment I was responding to suggested that the poster thought Thor 2 The Dark World was Jablonsky and I could agree that stylistically it could be mistaken for it. I agree with you that one would not be likely to mistake Hunger Games Catching Fire for being composed by Jablonsky.


...I think you're right. Hmm. And I crafted such a long response. Whoops.

 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2013 - 6:16 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

I agree again with the Deputy! It was Rue's theme that reappeared in "The Tour", which is simply gorgeous. "Arena Crumbles" is also a favorite. The action cues are fantastic, but the one that sticks with me the most is "Peacekeepers", possibly because I saw the film and that menace provided by JNH's use of electronics is really effective in that scene. And yes, thankfully this is a whopping 32 minutes longer than the first score disc (43 minutes vs. 75). Here's hoping both Mockingjay scores get equally long treatment.

Yes G-fan, I did forget to mention "Peacekeepers" which is one of my favorite cues in the score. Nice and long and totally badass with some killer synths that JNH so excels at. Can't wait to see how it plays in the film, especially after hearing your mention of its use in the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2013 - 12:01 PM   
 By:   JamesSouthall   (Member)

This, like the first film, was another example of how much more I appreciated the music after hearing it separate from the film. The original Hunger Games CD I thought would be more boring after I saw the film, but gained a whole new appreciation as a stand-alone listening experience. Seeing the film isn't the best way to experience the music.

Sorry David, I have to disagree. I loved the music in the film to the first one, bought the CD and the music lost some of the power it had in the film. Seeing the second film, the music played a lessor roll than in the first one. I am disappointed because of what he could have written for this film.


I could have just written that paragraph instead of stretching it out to a few, but anyway, here's the stretched out version in my review, if anyone cares:

http://www.movie-wave.net/the-hunger-games-catching-fire/

 
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