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Wow, that’s a logo I haven’t seen in a minute…

Oooh! The Best Font Ever!

I’m pretty sure I saw this movie on VHS back in the 80s, but I remember nothing about it, except it being about roller skating? And… OK, that’s it?

The opening here is really, really Kubrick-ey — I’m thinking Jewison was trying to make his A Clockwork Orange here, but with roller skates and James Caan.

Huh — this movie was filmed in 1.75:1, and they haven’t cut down the 4K blu ray to 16:9! Nice! It’s so close (to 1.77:1) that most packagers would just have lopped off a smidgen of the bottom to get it to 16:9, but nope. Nice.

1.75:1 is a pretty unusual aspect ratio, isn’t it?

Roll, James! Roll!

Oh, it’s not just roller skating — it’s also motor bikes. Well, that’s a sport.

But even on a sports scale, this seems like a pretty dull sport. I mean, I guess it’s supposed to be a satire on American football or something? OK, it’s not quite as boring as that, but then again — is anything?

Such evil!

Such naive!

Impressive socks.

Such evil!


I do like the colours here.

It’s a very, very 70s movie, and I kinda like that?

Such a futuristic fireplace!

You just take a 70s interior and add some stainless steel and you’re done.

It’s an intriguing movie in many ways — it’s not clear at all what it’s really about. They keep dripping information on the viewer in a very thoughtful way, letting us learn one horrific and or interesting thing about this society after another.

What makes it so odd are the performances, which are hammed up to the max. It’s like Jewison really wanted to one up Kubrick, but then all he has to work with are actors who’ve been told that they’re on a made-for-TV sports movie or something?

Welcome to my lair, Mr. Caan.

The Japanese! So eveil!

The Japanese are so evil!!!

Now things are gonna get personal!

Good game, good game… I guess Caan is finally gonna realise that contact sports are bad!


OK, this is just getting silly.

See, they’ve put all the books in the world into a single fluid computer (and then thrown all the books away), because you know, people totally trust computers to not ever break or anything.

*cough* *cough*


“Satire” is code word for “not actually funny”.

So it’s like Big Brother?

It also makes no sense as a game, because it just means that the team that (literally) kills the other team first wins. So why play the game at all.

So satire! Much commentary!

That’s what I want my kitchen to look like!

The entire world is watching…

I dunno about this movie… Jewison tries so hard to make a classic sci-fi movie that reflects on current society — he wants so hard to be Kubrick — and he gets halfway there. Some of the sets are amazing, and the cinematography is pretty good. And that it’s all very silly doesn’t really hurt. But the performances are so bad.

By getting half way there, it makes it all rather risible and boring.

Rollerball. Norman Jewison. 1975.

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