Romijn 1920x1080 film clips (samples below)
Others 1920x1080 film clip #1
Kata Dobo, Yolanda Hughes-Heying and Alice Poon
Scoop's notes (written in 2003):
There is good news and bad news with the Rollerball DVD.
The bad news: the film on the DVD is Rollerball. The good news: at least
it is the r-rated version.
Boy, am I a schmuck! When I heard that they were
remaking Rollerball, I thought it was a great idea. It matches my major
remake criterion perfectly, since the original was an average movie with
great potential unfulfilled. Furthermore, director John McTiernan is the
guy who did Die Hard, and he had recently done a great job at taking
another average old movie, The Thomas Crown Affair, and improving upon it.
The stars seemed to be in proper alignment for another success.
When I hoped for a Rollerball remake, I never considered
the downside. The first Rollerball was also a movie that wasn't as bad as
it could have been, and John McTiernan is also the same guy who made
Nomads (my review linked) .
He has about as wide a range as any director in history.
- (8.30) - Die Hard
- (7.80) - Predator
- (7.60) - The Hunt for
Red October (1990)
- (7.40) - Die Hard:
With a Vengeance (1995)
- (6.70) - The Thomas
Crown Affair (1999)
- (6.30) - The 13th
- (6.30) - Basic
- (5.80) - Last Action
- (5.60) - Medicine Man
- (5.54) - Nomads
- (2.71) - Rollerball
The seeds of McTiernan's incompetence with details were
planted even in his good films. Nomads is almost as
bad as Rollerball, but not enough people are familiar with it to give it
the low score it truly deserves. Even his better movies can
be sloppy. I think that The Hunt for Red October is an
exciting and entertaining movie, and should be rated high based on that,
but Elya (my Russian girlfriend) and her brother laughed at it all the way
through. I mean they were howling out loud. Like "Rollerball," the film
portrayed Russians and the Russian language with inaccuracies that could
have been eliminated with even the simplest levels of fact-checking, or by
hiring even one technical advisor who was familiar with the modern day
language and culture. (Starting with the opening title of the movie, which
misspells "Hunt for Red October" in Russian). In fact Tom Clancy himself,
who wrote the eponymous novel, is supposed to be a stickler for accuracy
and probably could have tidied up the errors.
Of course, we forgave McTiernan for his lack of cultural
sensitivity that time, because Red October was a good flick. Not this
time. I'm afraid that the Rollerball remake went over to the dark side. It
is astounding in its complete ineptitude. No film on his list, not even
the dreadful Nomads, is as bad as this.
This flick is totally fucked up. If I had an Ebert
scale, I would have given it no stars - and normally I'd give two stars
just for Rebecca Romijn being naked!
The first and foremost problem is the style. The problem
is that the film
must have more than a thousand cuts. I timed a randomly-selected two
minutes with forty cuts, so that proportion would suggest about 2000 cuts
in a 100 minute film. The director must have shots lots of footage.
Unfortunately, it doesn't make any sense when it is put together. It's a
long rock video, in both sight and sound.
Then there is the logic of the action. In the future, all
TV ratings will be seen instantaneously. If the ratings are hovering
around 7, the owners decide to kill somebody off with a violent accident,
and the ratings jump up instantaneously to 20. So, you might fairly ask -
how did that additional 13% know to turn on the TV? This is similar to the
old gag where the announcer says "OK, kids, if you're not watching me now,
please turn on your set, because you don't want to miss what's coming
Then there is the casting of Jean Reno and Chris Klein. Jean Reno plays a guy named Alexi Petrovich. How many things are wrong
just with that simple opening sentence? First of all, Petrovich is a
middle name, not a last name. It is an formulaic name, not a given one.
Russian middle names automatically show the father's name. If your father
is named Ivan Gorbachev, and your name is Dmitri, then your name is Dmitri
Ivanovich Gorbachev. Second of all, Jean Reno as a Russian who speaks
like Pepe le Pew? Why not just change his name to Renoir or something
French? (Or, and this is wild - why not hire a Russian guy or a guy who
can convincingly impersonate a Russian?) Klein plays a tough-as-nails action hero. What were
they thinking of? Chris is a sweet puppydog kind of guy with a "whoa,
dude" surfer boy accent that never disappears. I like him in his
coming-of-age comedies, but he doesn't belong here as a tough guy. I don't
want to say he's a candy-ass, but I did notice that the back of his jeans
says Hershey instead of Levi.
Even the nudity is screwed up. The director did have enough sense to
get Rebecca Romijn naked. Unfortunately, he forgot to remove the lens cap
when he filmed her.
Connie Ogle of the Miami Herald summed
it up pretty well:
"Dreadful acting, confusing action
cinematography, choppy editing and embarrassing dialogue."
Or maybe you prefer James Sanford of
the Kalamazoo Gazette
"If it were any more of a turkey, it
would gobble in Dolby Digital stereo. If nothing else, Rollerball 2002
may go down in cinema history as the only movie ever in which the rest
of the cast was outshined by LL Cool J."
Or maybe you prefer Glenn Lovell of
the San Jose Mercury News
"Not so much a redo of the 1975
sci-fi allegory of the same title as a denial of everything that made
that film timely and interesting."