Article

ROLLERBALL (2002)

 



Rollerball
 

Running Length: 95 minutes
Cast:
Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Naveen Andrews
Director: John McTiernan
Producers:
Beau St. Clair, Charles Roven, John McTiernan
Screenplay:
Larry Ferguson and John Pogue, based on the screenplay and short story by William Harrison
Cinematography: Steve Mason
Music: Eric Serra

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary, "Interactive Rollerball Yearbook", trailers.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION:
Region:
2
Chapters:
32
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound:
Dolby Digital 5.1
Audio Tracks:
English, French and Spanish (all 5.1)
Subtitles: Multiple languages
Captions:
English
Menus: Static
Special Features Subtitles: None of the special features come with subtitles.
 

Movie:
Disc:

 

This remake of the 1970s movie of the same name is as empty-headed and superficial as its good-looking young cast.

To recap: Rollerball is a violent (near) future sport played in several former Soviet bloc countries. When its most popular player wants to quit the game (which has been rigged to become more dangerous) he tries to flee. However, he is forced to play a final game in which his mistreatment by the game’s management incites the watching audience to revolution.

No, that’s right. You didn’t read the wrong synopsis.

But the biggest problem with this remake isn’t its ridiculousness, but the fact that the action scenes are badly put together. They have no flow or logic to them – we never know just what is going on and after a while don’t care about what is happening or why. Rollerball as a sport may look cool, but these scenes have the narrative strength and linear logic of a music video.

That the action is dull and uninteresting is surprising considering that John McTiernan of Predator and Die Hard fame directed this mess. Audiences stayed away from this one in droves when it came out and so should you. When the movie finished, I wished that I had instead been viewing the original again.


THE DISC:
The image is crisp and clear. The sound is overwhelming and you’ll be glad you’re watching this at home where you have a volume control. In a cinema you would have been no doubt battered into submission by the sheer loud volume. By the way, the soundtrack consists of very loud mostly forgettable aggro rock. The original had original classic pieces. No, I don’t know what this implies either.

A number of trailers include those for Godzilla and The 6th Day.

A text-only “Interactive Rollerball Yearbook” presents the sport as if it’s for real. It would be somewhat pathetic if you’re into that.

There’s an audio commentary with Chris Klein, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and LL Cool J. I didn’t bother to listen because I suspected no one would explain why the hero of the piece keeps his helmet unstrapped during the whole movie.

WORTH IT? Bad movie, okay-ish disc.

RECOMMENDATION: Check out the original Rollerball instead.


 



 

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