Rollerball

Rollerball

DVD - 1998
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In a dystopic future world run entirely by a few powerful corporations, the brutal sport of rollerball has taken the place of both warfare and traditional athletic competition. The greatest player in the history of rollerball, Jonathan E, receives pressure from these corporations to retire. When he refuses, both his life and his sport descend into chaos and bloodshed.
Publisher: Santa Monica, Calif : MGM Home Entertainment, ©1998
Edition: Widescreen format (1.851) or standard format (1.331)
ISBN: 9780792838302
0792838300
Branch Call Number: DVD ROLLERBALL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (125 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in

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It's unfair to label James Caan a B-movie throwaway. He was a top Hollywood leading man from Coppola's GODFATHER in '72 until Michael Mann's THIEF in '81, a dynamic period in the history of cinema. As a kid who had the good fortune to see both THE GAMBLER and ROLLERBALL on the big screen during their original theatrical release, I have carried those images in my head for the last 45 years. I recently saw Peckinpah's THE KILLER ELITE for the first time. Even though the picture was obviously produced in an alcoholic haze, Caan's performance is tremendous.

r
roystreet
Sep 04, 2019

Sorry, but the social critique gets lost in a very dull movie. Caan was only a junior grade Charlton Heston, anyway, and HE was already second rate.

n
Nursebob
Jul 18, 2018

With elaborate sets stocked with futuristic kitsch (day-glo furniture and computer punch cards?) and a classical soundtrack of sad strings and pounding organ solos (Bach’s Tocata und Fugue in D Minor figures prominently) Jewison’s vision of one man’s battle against a flawed Eden looks charmingly retro yet carries within it some chilling comparisons to today’s headlines. This is a disarmed society, dependant upon high tech bread & circuses to keep it amused and content to uphold the status quo as long as its basic needs are met. Libraries, overseen by corporate computers, contain appropriately censored and condensed literature; multiple television screens adorn every room; and aphrodisiacs are passed around like breath mints. In one especially telling scene a group of bored elite, hung over from the previous night’s bacchanal, seem lost when they wander out into the natural world…until they decide to make a game out of setting fire to a stand of pine trees. And all the while the game of Rollerball becomes increasingly lethal as the rules governing it are slowly pared away and the fans begin responding with violence of their own. A deadly serious social satire or cautionary political allegory? Both I’d say, and more.

C20T11 Nov 17, 2015

Horrible Movie.!!!

l
lukasevansherman
Nov 10, 2013

The best movie about rollerballin' ever made. Caan is badass.

aaa5756 Jan 25, 2012

B+ DVD

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