Sunday, 2 January 2011

Old & New Future Sports

Rollerball is a sport based dystopia directed by Norman Jewison about a violent roller-derby/american football + motorbikes thing that dominates public life and helps sublimate the population's volition. James Caan stars as the popular champ who rebels against enforced retirement and starts digging into the powers behind the game. In between all the action it's tends to plod a bit and isn't helped by Caan's portrayal of Jonathon E as Gump-Dubya simple, presumably because he's supposed to be a cosseted, poorly educated superstar but that doesn't exactly make for an engaging protagonist. Despite it's flaws this is a well made 1970's blunderbuss of social-comment science fiction.

Death Race 2 is a prequel to the Statham-helmed remake and perhaps unsurprisingly it's equally as moronic as the first. This is body count B-movie fare with shooty cars and a bit more fisticuffs than before. Luke Goss and Ving Rhames pay their mortgages in this kind of origin story for the race, evolving from a prison gladiatorial TV show to the race itself and culminates with the birth of Frankenstein (don't ask). Anyways it's a by the numbers bit of schlock but only watch it if you're out of the right frame of mind and short of options.

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