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Rollerball (Blu Ray)

4.0 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Twilight Time
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KE9XQJ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,098 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Rollerball" (judged one of the best sports movies of all time by Sports Illustrated) is more than a sports movie (although in 1975 Norman Jewison was only guessing at the thrall in which superstar athletes such as James Caan's Jonathan E could hold the public; fans carry pictures of him to matches as though he were Chairman Mao or Yasser Arafat), more than an action movie (though the stunt sequences during the games rival those of "Mad Max"), and much more than Orwellian science fiction.
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The strengths of the movie lie in the way a society that is run from cradle to grave by corporations (rather than governments) is effectively portrayed as being both class-driven (director Norman Jewison uses the time-honored Hollywood trick of using actors with English accents to play the ruling corporate class, while the Rollerball players have working-class Southern U.S. drawls when they speak at all) as well as completely desensitized from all of humanity's pains through the creature comforts (including those of the recreational pharmaceutical variety) provided by the corporations.
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The public channels what remaining passion for violence that exists in their world through the game of Rollerball, allowing themselves to be deluded into thinking that the carnage going on in their arenas and on their Multivision sets is perfectly excusable becasue it is not perpetrated by men but by machines ("Don't be silly, they're made in Detroit"). There is some question to the validity of the game itself; after the first match shown on film (the quarterfinal game of the season, it seems), the coach of Jonathan's team remarks that they will play New York in the Final.
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Format: DVD
A friend came over the other night and poped the "Rollerball" DVD into the player - for a moment or two I grimaced, imagining some sort of .. poor 1970s version of "The Running Man" - little did I know it would be MUCH BETTER!
Was I surprised when the movie that unfolded was more like a cross between the stories of "1984", the computer game "Syndicate", and the court case against Bill Gates.
The story is about the fact that the world has evolved into a place where six major companies run everything, with very basic names: "Energy Corporation", "Leisure Corporation", "Food Corporation" etc., where each company has its own anthem and logo/colour scheme.
The corporations control EVERYTHING, including the main pastime for the people of Earth, "The Game", Rollerball.
Are you still with me? While it sounds very totalitarian, it is very realistic, with much of what goes on today reflected into this film...
Anyway, the plot revolves around a champion of "The Game", Jonothan E., who is so great, so popular that the Corporations Committee becomes scared and decides to force him to quit. But Jonothan has other ideas - the Committee has already taken his wife away, now his career... It is all too much for him, and the film develops into a battle (both violent and covert) against the Committee of Corporations.
A brilliant film which is about to be remade - directed by John McTiernan, the guy who did Die Hard, Predator, Hunt for Red October, 13th Warrior etc... But watch the original and be able to see what maes it a great film.
The story is truly imaginative and clever, James Caan is brilliant, the art direction is great (winning a BAFTA). Watch this film, BUY IT!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are so many reviewers who've already stated what this movie is about, I'd rather state the issues that made this movie a work of genius. In order to do that, I have to lay some insight. If you don't want to read it, skip it and go for another review. What I write here it to add validation and credence to this movie and why I think it should be shown in schools and universities - for its social-economical merit alone, not counting its great entertainment value.

For those who did not live in the 60's and 70's, for those who grew up in Generation X or Y, they may not EVER understand the context or the insight to the social-economic concerns of the post war era that this movie brings to the screen. It is not filled with FX and foul language and a continuous bombardment of fast-paced sensory numbing violence and shock value like so many of the later movies we see today of which these later generations thrive on. No wonder so many people of the later generations cannot appreciate or understand what a great movie this is, ebbing with its soft and muted sequences and waves of unglorious violence which fills the sports world and society's lust for violence. However, there may be some from the later generations past the babyboomers who may really appreciate this movie and all it stood for and so I do not exclude those with that depth of insight.

In order to support this movie's weight and value of its perspective, I write a bit to validate it. The movie implies that in the future, we border on a half capitalistic/half socialistic society where all people's needs are met but that some of the rights of individual freedom have disappeared at the cost of social equality.
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