All the content at MovieCues written by Archie Watt i.e. me. I decided it was about time I created a page about me and the site, though it is fairly likely that nobody will ever read it (which is good in a way, since I’d be free to insult anybody I don’t like, but that can wait for now).
To keep things somewhat in order, I’ve split this page into two sections – one about me and film music, and one about this website.
I was born in Oxford in 1992 and lived there for four years until my family moved to Powys, Mid Wales, where I’ve lived until last year. I moved to Swansea last year and am currently studying Computer Networks at Swansea Metropolitan University.
Outside of actually doing some work, I don’t do a great deal. Likely as not, I’ll be reading a book, watching a film, or surfing the web (usually slaving away helping website owners in Google’s Webmaster Forum). And, of course, I listen to music, something I don’t think I could go a day without a few hours of. I even write the odd bit of music, but on an incredibly amateur level, so I won’t go into that. It’s not just film music I listen to; I love classical music just as much, mainly works by Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, and Strauss, to name a few. However, it’s film scores that this site is about, so I’ll focus on them from here on.
I’ve enjoyed listening to film music as far back as I can remember. I used to rewind various scenes of films countless times because I enjoyed the music so much. I was of course familiar with stuff like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and I thought John Williams wrote the music for just about every film.
So, like many others, it was John Williams who led me into the world of film music. I just happened to be reading his Wikipedia page one day, where I read that he had a total of 45 Oscar nominations, a record for the most nominations of any composer, tied with some guy named Alfred Newman. I then went to YouTube, hoping that I’d be able to find some of Newman’s music to have a listen to. The first video I came across was called ‘Alfred Newman – Greatest Hits’. The first thing I heard was the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, which I’d heard numerous times before and always wondered who wrote it. And then, the second piece was How The West Was Won. The excerpt of the score was only about a minute long, but Newman’s rousing, unforgettable main theme immediately made me want to hear more of it. When I finally got hold of the soundtrack album, I played it through and through for what must have been over fifty times. As I write this, I’ve probably listened to it over two hundred times. Following that, I started collecting soundtracks and now have over 500 of them, a collection that is rapidly growing.
Alfred Newman is, and will probably always remain, my favourite film composer. I also have great admiration for the works of Ennio Morricone, Elmer Bernstein, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Dimitri Tiomkin, Max Steiner, Miklos Rózsa, Bernard Herrmann, and Maurice Jarre, just to name a few. As those names may have hinted, my taste in film scores are those from the golden / silver ages of cinema, and as such, you’ll find that the reviews at MovieCues mainly focus on scores from that era, not only because they’re what I enjoy more, but because few other film music sites seem to be particularly interested in them.
My favourite scores? It’s a constantly changing list, but scores that would always appear on it include Gone with the Wind, How The West Was Won, The Magnificent Seven, The Mission, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Conan the Barbarian, El Cid, Star Wars, E.T., Lawrence of Arabia, The Alamo, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, etc etc etc. The best scores written in recent years would include Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, John Williams’ Harry Potter, Memoirs of a Geisha and the prequel Star Wars films, Far from Heaven (the final score by the great Elmer Bernstein), most of James Newton Howard’s scores for M Night Shyamalan (no matter how dreadful the films themselves may be), Ennio Morricone’s continually wonderful music for such films as The Legend of 1900, Mission to Mars, Malena, Fateless, and Baaria, Gabriel Yared’s spectacular score for Troy which was ultimately rejected from the film, Alexandre Desplat’s The Painted Veil, The Golden Compass, and The King’s Speech, and finally, John Powell’s How To Train Your Dragon, which was my favourite score of 2010 and easily the best written for a Dreamworks Animation film to date.
MovieCues started out in 2010 as Archie Watt’s Film Music Reviews, a name that, as you can probably imagine, I soon got bored of . I launched the site as MovieCues in early 2011, and as time has gone by (yes; I must review Casablanca, bear with me…), the site has grown in popularity (surprisingly quickly, too), receiving over 10,000 hits in July 2011. I’m always pleased to hear feedback from readers of the site, so always feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment areas or send them to me directly.
Finally: a polite request: whilst I love running this site, it’s all done at my own expense. I don’t receive any promotional materials from record labels, so it’s necessary for me to purchase every album that I review at MovieCues (I’m sorry, but I refuse to download music illegally, or plaster the site with ads). Therefore, if you feel like buying any film scores I’ve reviewed, I’d be grateful if you could click on the Amazon Affiliate Links at the bottom of each review to buy them. It costs you nothing extra but it does offer a small contribution towards the running of the site, and every little helps. I also have soundtracks available for sale (or trade) regularly, and those sales also contribute towards the costs of running the site and purchasing new albums for review.
If you’ve got this far, I’d like to thank you for reading and apologize for boring you. Seriously though, thanks for taking an interest; I hope you like the site.