Rollerball/B+,B

MGM-UA/1975/125m

     Rollerball is an international sport sponsored by corporations bent on deflecting criticism of themselves through this modern day gladiatorial combat created for the lust of the masses. Jonathan E. is the greatest player in the game and as he is asked to step down from the team by the corporate head, he begins to question the realities of the sport. In determining to take down Jonathan, the corporate structure itself might ultimately become threatened in this interesting and in some ways prescient vision of the future where corporations run society.
     James Caan is the rugged Jonathan E., fierce on his Rollerball skates and determined to survive, in and out of the rink. Caan brings an interesting combination of innocence and ferocity to the role. John Houseman is the head of the corporation. The veteran actor's clipped diction and cold delivery are well tuned for this role. Production design is very handsome and conveys a vision of the future by subtle architectural embellishment. But it is the action in the rink, director Norman Jewison's violent vision, that dominates Rollerball
      

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Caan's the one!.MGM.-UA

Rollerball is presented on DVD as a special edition, including an audio comment- ary by director Jewison and an old behind the scenes featurette. There's also a nice "Rollerball" game puzzle to check your pictorial story continuity acuity. Jewison's commentary is sincere but doesn't go into enough depth. The anamorphic transfer is good. Films elements are clean. There is some excess of film grain and colors seem slightly dimmed by time

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