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Directed By: John McTiernan.
Starring: Chris Klein, LL Cool J, Jean Reno, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Andrew Bryniarski.
Synopsis: Okay folks, here comes the studio version...A deadly sport that combines roller derby and basketball thrives in the year 2005 and packs arenas around the world. A global viewership bets and roots for the star players Jonathan Cross, Marcus Ridley and their beautiful teammate Aurora who skate and motorcycle past opponents to score. Despite the danger of the game, the real threat lies in the team owner Petrovich who sacrifices anything and anyone to maximize ratings, which are worth more to him than the final score. In a heroic move, Jonathan and his teammates attempt to expose the corruption and treachery. It is a risky play and the penalty is lethal.
Now for Tom Servo's review, putting the movie on the chopping block as it were. Below Tom's review are a few comments from Rob Paul as well regarding this flick.
What a mess.
Where do I begin?
First off, I am becoming increasingly annoyed with Hollywood's remake mentality. I am not going to get off on a rant here about them, but I tell you, one more debacle like this and there will be no stopping me. What John McTiernan and company have managed to do here is take one of the better science fiction films of the 1970's and reduce it to mind numbing eye candy; and it doesn't even really succeed in doing that.
Norman Jewison's version was about rebellion against conformity, the update is no more than a comment on violence in sports crossing the line for the sake of ratings. Oh, violence gets ratings, like that's something profound. This is even further compounded by the fact that early in production a lot of the violence and nudity was taken out to garner a PG-13 rating.
What, I ask you, is the point of that?
The final result is no worse than what you see every week in the WWF, or even the NHL. This is supposed to mean something to me?? Come on, shock me! At least, show me you're interested. Shame on you, John. With the stellar resume you have amassed, I can't imagine what you could have been thinking. It looked like you weren't even trying out there.
This film fails on so many levels. The opening street luge scene is as gimmicky as the street-racing scene in last year's Driven. The characters are all one-dimensional, the only one I even remotely cared about was Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) and that's just a personal preference on my part.
There are several cameos in the film to try and root the story in our reality, but they should have done the exact opposite for at least then they would have had suspension of disbelief on their side.
Okay, let me put this into perspective for you. A couple of days ago, I went to the Toronto premiere of Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and I had enjoyed myself a hell of a lot more than I did at this film. Enough said.
No wait. I have to mention something that's been bothering me for the past few days and this review being a remake is a perfect forum for the question I pose now. The question is WHY?? Why remake films that don't need to be remade? I heard this week that Michael Bay is looking to redo The Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Why? Is nothing sacred?
I can see it now...
A bunch of redneck cannibals are shot into space to destroy an asteroid that is hurtling toward Earth, but have to turn to the services of the only man to escape Alcatraz, when they are surprise attacked by the Japanese. Ben Affleck IS Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!!
Again, I say, what a mess.
Notes from Rob Paul: I would also like any one to be able to reason to me why there is someone in the credits noted as L.L. Cool J's hairstylist...just a quandary, that's all. Oh, and is Chris Klein doing an impersonation of Keanu Reeves or is he just showing his own failings as an actor?
Second...I gave this flicks two stars out of 5 for some simple reasons. An interesting idea for a truck chase by utilizing night vision cameras (though it would have been more interesting in a good film) that allows the lights of on-coming traffic to be much more hellish than simple glossy blue lit Hollywood shots. The second star goes to some of the stunt man who did a phenomenal job making the action seem better than it was. Of course, I had just viewed Collateral Damage prior to this film and it's sheer awfulness may be making me sympathetic to this film.
Final word here...if you've never seen the original Rollerball...well, you've missed out on a pretty interesting flick and as for this one...it has almost nothing to do with the original except for the game. Save your money...wait for rental season on this one.
Copyright© Written By: Tom Servo and Rob Paul
"The Stunts Of Rollerball" Featurette
Interactive Rollerball Yearbook
"The Horseman" Commentary
Music Video by Rob Zombie
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)
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