In a future controlled by huge corporations, war is a thing of the past and the only conflict allowed is a violent sport called Rollerball. Jonathan E. (James Caan) is the best player in the league, unbeaten and hugely popular with the fans, for a time this is profitable but soon becomes a problem leading to the corporate sponsors deciding it is time for him to retire. Resisting this he soon finds himself in a battle for his personal freedom against the corporate controllers who have power over everything in his life.
Rollerball was a groundbreaking film for its time, director Norman Jewison’s paints a futuristic picture of corporations having complete power and controlling everyone’s lives and its still relevant today as it was then even if the technology on show is obviously dated. James Caan gives on one of his best ever performances as a man not willing to bow to pressure from above but has to pay for his resistance.
The Blu ray released by Arrow has another good transfer, crisp and sharp it is the best it has ever looked and fans should be very happy with it. The sound has a 5.1 remix which sounds fine as well as the original 2.0 stereo track.
Extras are as always with Arrow plentiful, you get :
Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack
Audio Commentary with director Norman Jewison
Audio Commentary with writer William Harrison
Blood Sports with James Caan: A brand-new interview with the film’s star
The Fourth City: Shooting Rollerball in Munich Unit manager Dieter Meyer and others revisit the Audi Dome and other original locations. Interesting look back at the shooting of the action scenes.
The Bike Work: Craig R. Baxley on the Motorcycle Stunts in Rollerball – Stunt artist Baxley on the challenges and dangers of being one of the Rollerball bikers
Return to the Arena: The Making of Rollerball
From Rome to Rollerball: The Full Circle original EPK bringing together interviews and on-set footage
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
While the film may have dated somewhat it still raises issues that we are dealing with today. Picture and sound presentation is top notch and extras interesting and plentiful. Another winner from Arrow.
FILM:7 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 8