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The Mighty Macs
  • Composed by William Ross
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2012 / 39:31

Financial difficulties – facing closure – not even enough money to buy uniforms!  This is the against-all-odds backdrop to The Mighty Macs, a sports film which at first glance seems to tick every cliché off the list, but since I’ve not seen it I’m hardly in a position to comment (it might be incredible for all I know).  I do know that after a festival release in 2009, it sat on the shelf for a couple of years before finally getting a (slightly) wider release and then a recent DVD release.  The score is by William Ross (whose resume already included Tin Cup and The Game of Their Lives, and more recently Touchback, showing he’s a bit of a go-to guy for sports movies).  His lovely music has now been released on album by Varèse Sarabande, and sounds exactly like you might expect it to – whether this is a good or a bad thing is going to vary from one person to the next.

One thing worth noting is that at times the music does seem to owe quite a debt to others.  Most predictable is Jerry Goldsmith’s Rudy – several cues here seem to have been inspired by various cues in that – but at least there is no direct lifting of music; rather, an attempt to recreate that score’s atmosphere, which is done fairly successfully (but the thematic material isn’t in the older score’s class).  Slightly more surprising is the occasional appearance of Michael Kamen’s Robin Hood motif (which Kamen used in many other scores too).  Warm melody dominates – strings, horns, harp, twinkly piano – if scores like Forrest Gump are your thing, you’ll be on safe ground here.  I think the music is at its best when at its most extrovert – “The Team Comes Together”, “Thanks Coach / Loss to West Chester”, “Final Against West Chester”, “Victory & Epilogue” – in those places there is drama, sometimes a bit of an edge, sometimes just a triumphant explosion.  All the music’s very nice; the main drawback is that most of the cues are so short (there are 23 tracks on the 39-minute album) that there is no real time for development, so there’s always a very bitty feel to it.  Still, it’s attractive music, and I’m sure a lot of people would really like it.  *** |

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  1. Mastadge (Reply) on Monday 27 August, 2012 at 22:19

    If you like this, be sure to check out the superior — and slightly less derivative — Touchback!

  2. Matt (Reply) on Friday 12 July, 2013 at 18:53

    This score has a lot of Rudy similarities, not that’s not a bad thing. I’m a fan of William Ross and you should listen to Touchback as well. I actually think that’s a superior score to this one, but I’m a sucker for a good sports score…