Rollerball (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in DVD Packaging)
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From the director of Die Hard comes this high-octane thriller that roars along at a breakneck pace (Los Angeles Times)! Starring Chris Klein (American Pie), Jean Reno (Ronin), LL Cool J (Charlie's Angels) and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (X-Men), Rollerball goes full-throttle with excitement from its death-defying opening until its explosive end! Jonathan Cross (Klein) is the newest recruit in the most extreme sport of all time where his fast moves and killer looks make him an instant superstar. But Cross life in the fast lane collides with reality when he learns that the league's owner (Reno) is orchestrating serious on-court accidents to boost ratings. Now Cross plans to take down the owner and his ruthless sport before the game puts an end to him!
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Top Customer Reviews
The whole movie is based on the fact that TV ratings zoom up as players die.
This show was so unsatisfying for me that I kept hitting the fast forward button just to get through it!
I hesitate to say that this movie is a pale version of "Rollerball" staring Caan. Now THAT was a movie. If you are going to watch one "Rollerball" go with the version starring James Caan - THAT version has some real character development, some meaningful futuristic political intrigue, and the game is more believable, as is the action, than the new version. Caan's Rollerball is a sport with rules you can follow, and you can see when they are broken, too.
Whatever you choose to do...good luck.
(This review is based on an edited version of the movie)
Chris Klein, LL Cool J, and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos all phone in their roles as rollerbladers in a high stakes game that is televised worldwide. The cookie-cutter nemesis is played by Jean Reno as the owner and general manager of the tournaments. And with John McTiernan (director of Die Hard) at the helm, the whole thing is unexcusable. It looks like he is well past his prime.
In the original, the hard-core sport of Rollerball was a way for the ruling government of the world to show that individual effort was useless and futile, and only ended in death. In this unworthy remake, the ruling corporations are replaced by managers of the game with no other motive than to get higher ratings and greater profits.
This action disaster takes no hints from it's predecessor. The James Caan version was timeless, using classical music to keep the movie from being dated and holding the action with a very well-done sci-fi backstory. This is a movie filled with pop music that doesn't even fit the action and a barely-there plot that is filled with unnecessary car races and entirely unexciting action scenes.
The game consists of rolling around a figure eight track with the help of rollerblades and teammates on motorcycles, trying to beat the other team by throwing a steel ball into a large gong. Unlike the strategy and planning that went into the original's gameplay, this version looks like a circus. The action is filled with slapstick falls and dubbed-in lines with the actors not even openning their mouths. Somehow it manages to be entirely unexciting, with even the announcer looking bored and immersed on and off. Spills look entirely unrealistic and overplayed, while music completely unfitting the action drones loudly. Costumes look like chromed rejects from cirque de solei, with oversized helmets looking downright silly. All in all, for a movie named after a game, no thought was put in and these are the worst parts of the movie.
The plot jumps from here to there constantly with characters changing their standings instantly; leaving the viewer without a clue as to anyone's personality. To bring the movie up to an R rating after it's PG-13 theatrical run, unnecessary bare breasts and dubbed-in language have been placed rampantly. Cinematography during the action sequences is indecipherable, with horrible editing added in.
By the time you get to the car chase filmed in night-vision and textbook face-off at the end, you realize some movies are great on their own and don't need an updating - they are great as they are. Do yourself a favor and pick up the original for a great action-science-ficiton romp that has brains and brawn.
"Silent Running", "Planet of The Apes", "Omega Man", "Soilent Green", "Night of The Living Dead", "Logan's Run"; each of these movies touched on the negative trends of contemporary society, be it racism, crass-consumerism, generational gaps, ecological suicide... In short, Man's inhumanity to Man.
The original "Rollerball" showed us the global corporate culture of the near future. It threw society's sick obsession with both sports and violence right at our faces. The bloodlust that was in the fictional future's rollerball audience was only slightly little different from the real life demands young white men were making at that time of the then emerging sport of Ice Hockey.
The age of the Nation-State was over and the multinational corporation, who was the new totalitarian aggroprop motivator, was now ascendent. We no longer had to worry about ideologues but PR men telling you what, when and where to buy. Control through the supply and demand for consumer goods and pastimes.
Humankind still had an aggression complex: a need for one man to hurt -and yes even kill!- his fellow man. How does the Multinational Global Corporations contain, yet satisfy, this bloodlust (and at the same time further stupify an already flabby, dumbed-down populace)? ROLLERBALL. All the fastpaced, adrenaline inducing, death and maiming and scarring of WAR, shrunken down and sealed up into a tiny arena, starting and ending at precise times.
Sad. Hateful. However, like all those aforementioned movies did, showing a reflection of us: Modern, secular, selfish, self-gratifying Humanity.
2002's "Rollerball" instead of updating and furthering this warning/message, is rather just another example and prop of our malaise as a immature, gratification addicted species. No true message. Just bright lights, loud noise, hitech special effects and shallowness. The writers and artists have become just as negative and selfish as the lumpen.
It is because of movies such as this that I was putoff when I heard that there was talk of making remakes of "Logan's Run" and "Omega Man". When the respective stars being considered for these intended remakes are Leonardo Di Caprio and Arnold Schwartzenneger I easily imagine Hollywood rendering these beloved classics into meaningless, mindless action/thriller schlock and junk. All shoot-em-ups, chases, and silly countdowns to explosive fireworks. Leaving no commitment or involvement from the theatre audience but laughter and cheers. No reflections. No introspections. No learning. No morality.
Hollywood, please leave the films of a better, more compassionate, more intelligent era alone. You can satisfy the mob you pander to without remakes. Thin plots, involving one-dimensional characters, speeding through long scenes of T&A, mindless violence and numbing special effects will more than satisfy your market and bring in all the revenue you lust for. Desecrating art is not necessary.