Music By Brian Ralston
33 Tracks/Disc Time: 61:03
Sports films have always appealed to me in that they feature the against all odds (in most cases) approach that has always inspired those who have seen them. From the unforgettable "Rocky", the real life inspiration of "Rudy", the truly against all odds group of Jamaicans' in "Cool Runnings" and losers that became winners in "Hoosiers". All of those films feature stories of hope against the naysayers that told them that what they're trying to do cannot be done and the film "Crooked Arrows" is such a film that definitely fits this category. The film stars "Superman Returns" Brandon Routh as Joe Logan, a local who's trying to make his mark as he wants to negotiate a land deal with a casino owner. In order to make it happen, he must get the agreement from the tribal council. In return he is forced to coach the local Native high school lacrosse team in which his perspective soon becomes changed for the better. The film is filled with the usual cliche's but Routh sells the film very well as well as the capable work of director Steve Rash, who's directed a few films I've personally been fond of that include "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Good Advice", which were sappy as well as the raunchy "American Pie Presents: Band Camp" that have defined him as a pretty good director in that regard.
Director Steve Rash over the years, has had the good benefit of working with composer Robert Folk who one of the more underrated composers to work in Hollywood. His music made "Can't Buy Me Love" an immense hit and for this film has enlisted the services of newcomer Brian Ralston (not to be confused with the former NHL hockey player who played for the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders), whom I had personally never heard of until this score. Ralston had worked on Luke Kasdan's debut "Not Fade Away" starring Mischa Barton and Beau Bridges along with a few other projects. I was surprised to find that the music for "Crooked Arrows" is surprisingly good all the way around and makes you wonder where this guy has been. The score features a very solid theme introduced early on in the album "Crooked Arrows Theme Suite", that mixes the score's Native American theme representing the "Crooked Arrows" lacrosse theme along with the energetic rousing "Remember The Titans" styled material. In essence, this is pretty much the entire score which does a great job of balancing both.
Ralston brings out the best of the Native American themes much more strongly as opposed to the rousing material in the tracks "The Ancients", "Reflection", "Logan The Legend", "The Eagle And The Maug", "Sovereign Nation", "Construction Begins" and "Half Time". These tracks are very deep in terms of its' orchestrations and melodies and they also evoke a personal spirituality that is heartfelt and enhances the the films' visuals on screen. The rousing material on the flipside of the spectrum include "Honor", "The Final Shot", "Winning", "Game On", "Modern Ancients", and "Welcome To The Club", that feature a cool rock guitar motif backed a full complementary orchestra with great brass licks and occasionally by the Native American flutes. This is definitely an inspiration of a score like "Remember The Titans", but it is completely original and Ralston's work is just as good as Trevor Rabin on that level.
Perseverance Records' album is solid one featuring a nice wealth of material that just crosses the hour mark. My main issue with it is simply that there are way too many short tracks and with some judicious editing, would've formed some solid cohesive suites to give it a more polished shape. Otherwise, the album is one of the more engaging and surprisingly solid ones of 2013. I can easily see way people were raving about Brian Ralston's score and they were right on the money on this one. "Crooked Arrows" a solid stand out this year. Thumbs up!