Review: Patton [1970] - dir. Franklin J. Schaffner

As General George S. Patton, George C. Scott is an actor playing another consumate actor. The television age birthed a new kind of media-savvy soldier, one who becomes, by appearing as a character on the six o'clock news, emblematic of freedom (Colin Powell or Norman Schwarzkopf are more recent examples). In WWII, few commanders were willing to put on a show like Patton; he was, in this regard, either ahead of his time or a throwback to the flamboyant rabble-rousers of bygone eras.

Patton the movie establishes Patton the serviceman's Hollywood tendencies in a show-stopping prologue. Dwarfed by a stars-and-stripes backdrop, Patton stands on a stage and motivates an audience of troops with a charged and entertaining sermon.

Review: Clubbed [2009] - dir. Neil Thompson

THERE’S a dubious morality surrounding the events of Clubbed, a supposedly true story based on the autobiographical novel Watch My Back by author Geoff Thompson. On the one hand, it seeks to empower the individual by overcoming fear (especially of violence), but on the other it seems to celebrate brutality and even involves one character getting away with murder (albeit with mitigating circumstances, so we’re told).

Review: Intolerable Cruelty [2003] - dir. Joel & Ethan Coen

The writer/director team of brothers Joel and Ethan Coen seems to have been sent from their strange planet to this earth to bring a message of delirious joy through the medium of film. Their singular vision of bungling criminals, hopeless misfits and doomed romantics, all supported by a grotesque menagerie of secondary characters, has proved to be a winning vehicle for some of the most memorably idiosyncratic movies of the last two decades. An absurdist outlook on life and a keen ear for the nuances of vernacular register have reserved for the Coen brothers a special place, located somewhere between arthouse and mainstream, where their eccentric, intelligent films manage also to be popular.

Review: An Englishman in New York [2009] - dir. Richard Laxton

Directed by Richard Laxton and written by Brian Fillis, An Englishman in New York attempts to cover the latter part of the legendary Denis Charles Pratt aka Quentin Crisp's life from his new found fame (following the release of the original TV drama covering his early life, The Naked Civil Servant) and his timely move to New York in 1980 at the age of 72 until his death two decades later. What makes this a truly special filmic event is the return of BAFTA award winner John Hurt playing Crisp once again (33 years on from when he first played him)and allowing the rare chance for an actor to realise the opportunity to play a complete personal history of one character through the years.

Press Release: An Englishman in New York

BAFTA Award winner John Hurt (Alien, Outlander, V for Vendetta) delivers an outstanding, award-winning performance as he transforms himself once again to portray the outrageous and flamboyant Quentin Crisp in
AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK, released on DVD by Momentum Pictures on 28 December.

Picking up where the BAFTA Award winning classic The Naked Civil Servant left off, AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK tells the compelling and moving story of the latter part of Crisp’s life dealing with the fame and notoriety that the aforementioned film brought. The musician Sting was inspired by Crisp to write a song about his life in America resulting in the hit single An Englishman in New York and thus the title for the film. 

Special features on the DVD include a „behind the scenes‟ look at the making of the film and an interview with „John Hurt discussing playing Quentin‟.

Review: Red Road [2006] - dir. Andrea Arnold

Jackie works a job that many would find dull; she is a CCTV operator but one that gets a perverse kick out of watching others going about their everyday business; that is until a day in which a man appears on her monitor: A man from her past and one that she never wanted to see again. Now she has no alternative but to confront both the man, and the demons inside herself.

So this is going to be a hard review to write, I am sure a million people or more will disagree with me on many aspects of my opinions of this film, and judging by the reviews on Amazon, I am probably very, very wrong... but here goes...

Review: Career Girls [ 1997] - dir. Mike Leigh

Director Mike Leigh follows up his Oscar-nominated SECRETS AND LIES with CAREER GIRLS, a bittersweet drama that deals with the passage of time between two friends. Annie (Lynda Steadman) and Hannah (Katrin Cartlidge) were college roommates in London. Six years later, Annie is taking the train back into London to reunite with her friend. The resulting connection sparks flashbacks from the past, where we learn that Annie was even more shy and defensive than she is currently.

The British writer-director Mike Leigh is a strong-willed auteur of the grubby (David Thewlis in Naked), the misfit (High Hopes), and the economically impoverished (Life Is Sweet). Indeed, the accessible, emotional Secrets & Lies still remains almost the exception in Leigh's bleak, twisty universe of hard to love characters. Career Girls is more like the rule: It isn't easy to even begin to understand these two women. But the effort rewards the viewer with a satisfying cinematic take on the resiliency and therapeutic importance of friendship.

Editorial: Coming Soon...

OK so here's the list of upcoming reviews and editorials...

Die Hard 2: Die Harder (Competition Winner review)
Career Girls
 The Usual Suspects
Big Trouble in Little China
South Pacific

Review: Along Came a Spider [2001] - dir. Lee Tamahori

Based on the first James Paterson novel to feature criminal profiler Alex Cross, the film opens with a police trap that goes catastrophically wrong and forces Cross into early retirement. He spends his days mulling over what might have been and making model boats. At a local school for kids of the rich and famous, a teacher has kidnapped one of the prodigious pupils and begins sending Dr. Cross evidence of the abduction in the post. Not only does the kidnapper want to commit the crime of the century but he also wants to play mindgames with the successfully published psychologist.
After the worldwide success of the grisly yet superb Seven in 1995, Morgan Freeman obviously decided that he hadn't had enough of chasing serial killers and promptly made the much less satisfactory Kiss The Girls. Based on a James Paterson book, it somehow captured the public imagination and became a modest success. Now Freeman returns in another adaptation of a Paterson novel, playing the same character and chasing another psychokiller. Co-produced by Freeman and directed by Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors), this is a much more successful venture than Kiss The Girls should have led to a respectable franchise for one of the world’s greatest living actors, sadly this doesn't seemed to have come to fruition.

Review: Die Hard [1988] - dir. John McTeirnan

It's Christmas Eve and New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is flying into Los Angeles. He's a nervous flyer, and as the plane lands the passenger sitting next to him suggests a tip: after the flight, he should take off his shoes and socks and make fists with his toes on the rug. A limousine has been sent to take John from the airport to the high rise offices of his wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who he is separated from. The chauffeur, Argyle (De'voreaux White), offers to wait in the building's car park while John decides whether he will be spending Christmas with his family or not, but as John gets ready to join the office party, there's a disturbance outside... some uninvited guests with guns...

It's safe to say that Die Hard was a crucial development in the action movie genre. Written by Jeb Stuart and Steven de Souza, it led to many lesser imitators (including its own sequels), which would become known by the reviewing shorthand as Die Hard on a ship (Under Seige), Die Hard on a plane (Air Force One), Die Hard on a train (Under Siege 2), and so on. Despite looking well-worn now in terms of its plot, the original still stands up as reliable entertainment through its spectacular set pieces and excellent characters, ideal for watching again and again. It also turned Bruce Willis from a television star into a movie star, so how you feel about that depends on how you feel about Bruce Willis (of course).

STOP PRESS... AVATAR ... $500M dollar travesty?

OK... Ready?... Sit down... trust me, you will need to when you read this... Avatar (the big Crimble Release from James 'I wasted 6 years of my life for this?' Cameron) is estimated to have cost... $500 Million!!!! That's HALF A BILLION DOLLARS!!!!

How much health care, housing solutions and welfare does that equate to I wonder?

Read more here if you dare...

Article: The Billion$ God Trilogy - Part 1

In The Beginning [2011] - dir. Michael Bay

Adam - Zac Efron / Eve - Megan Fox / Voice of the Serpent - Nicolas Cage / Cane - Ben Affleck / Abel - Matt Damon / David - Liev Schreiber / Saul - Alan Rickman / Soloman - George Clooney / Noah - Sam Neill / Samson - Arnold Schwarzenegger / Ahab - Gabriel Byrne / Jezebel - Sharon Stone / Job - Tim Robbins / Moses - Russell Crowe / Abraham - Anthony Hopkins / Voice of God - Morgan Freeman

Picture this, a RED EPIC 5K digital print presented in next generation RealD, who better to capture the creation story than Michael Bay,

Review: Thunderbirds [2004] - dir. Jonathan Frakes

Based on the cult British television show from the 1960s, Thunderbirds explodes into the 21st Century with this thrilling live-action version of the franchise. The International Rescue organization a team of highly organized law enforcers is the focal point for the movie. International Rescue is based on a remote desert island location, and is called into action whenever the world's sinister masterminds threaten to disturb the balance of society.

Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) heads up the team, and employs his sons to help him out. Teenager Alan Tracy (Brady Corbet) is a little too young to join, and is constantly frustrated by his lack of opportunity to join the brothers on their missions.

Lost in La Mancha 2: Try Harder...

Terry Gilliam Re-Starts THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE!!! -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

Let's hope the weather is better this time around :)

Review: Redacted [2007] - dir. Brian DePalma

Director Brian De Palma, whose CASUALTIES OF WAR addressed a horrific tragedy that occurred during the Vietnam war, turns his attention to Iraq with an unfortunately similar tale. Inspired by true events, REDACTED follows a group of soldiers who are stationed at a checkpoint in Iraq. Angel Salazar (Izzy Diaz) is an aspiring filmmaker who is intent on capturing his experience on videotape.

His fellow soldiers Reno Flake (Patrick Carroll), Lawyer McCoy (Rob Devaney), and Gabe Blix (Kel O’Neill)--seem to be surprisingly well-adjusted at first, but it isn't long before their true colours come through. When Reno decides to get drunk and harass an Iraqi family, the situation devolves into rape and murder, putting an incredible strain on Lawyer, who wants to expose Reno but doesn’t want to rat out a fellow soldier.

Article: The Billion$ God Trilogy - THE PITCH!

Elevator Pitch
Picture this... "3 movies, 3 holiday release dates, imagine Moses meets Transformers, Jesus is Mr. White and The Devils Rejects on a global scale. A cast of thousands, 3 of the hottest directors on the planet, the greatest story never told (like this before)."

The Reasoning
With the imminent release of Roland Emmerich's latest disaster spectacular 2012, and all the conspiracy theories floating around the web about Planet X, 2012 and the Mayan prophecies, doesn't now seem the perfect time to make THE definitive film trilogy based on the single biggest selling book in the world... OK I may be facetiously proposing this, but seriously it makes sense... doesn't it?

Review: Alfie [1965] - dir. Lewis Gilbert

Alfie is a young man from the working classes of London. He is confident, charming, totally self-centered and very successful with the ladies; using them for his immediate pleasure without emotional involvement and leaving a trail of emotional devastation. His callousness toward these women contrasts with the delusion that he causes no harm; he is just teaching life's lessons.

London was most definitely swinging in 1966. Cutting edge fashion, mini cars and mini skirts were the new vogue, the counter culture was defining itself, the availability of medically prescribed contraceptives helped usher in the Sexual Revolution (the rest of the UK would have to wait until the 1970s) - and Director Lewis Gilbert's Alfie was released.

Review: The Big Empty [2004] - dir. Steve Anderson

JOHN PERSON (Jon Favreau) is a 30-something struggling actor living alone and facing eviction from his unfurnished apartment in Hollywood. Behind on his rent and heavily in debt, he goes against the better judgment of his pretty neighbor GRACE (Joey Lauren Adams) and accepts an unsolicited offer from his strange neighbor NEELY (Bud Cort) to courier a blue suitcase up to the desert truck stop of Baker, California.

There, in the middle of nowhere, at a seedy motel in the shadow of The World's Largest Thermometer, he'll simply deliver the locked suitcase to a trucker called COWBOY (Sean Bean) and be paid twenty-seven thousand dollars in cold, hard cash. John's given a loaded gun and told he must defend the blue suitcase with his life. It's easy money... or is it?

Review: Frenzy [1972] - dir. Alfred Hitchcock

London is terrorised by a vicious sex killer known as the neck tie murderer. Following the brutal slaying of his ex-wife, down-on-his-luck Richard Blaney is suspected by the police of being the killer. He goes on the run, determined to prove his innocence.

Hailed by many as Hitchcock's final great movie, Frenzy can certainly be described as a return to form after the disappointments of his three previous movies (Marnie, Torn Curtain & Topaz). Echoing his silent classic The Lodger from 46 years earlier and with overtones of Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, but with more explicit handling of rape and murder, it is a film with a quintessential 'Hitchcockian' theme of murder and suspense by way of black comedy.

Review: Zulu [1964] - dir. Cyril Enfield

Narrated by Richard Burton and starring an outstanding Michael Caine in his first leading role, ZULU is a tense and dramatic war film about the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879--which was part of the Anglo-Zulu War in South Africa--where approximately 150 British soldiers held off 4,000 Zulu warriors. ZULU is an exceptionally well-made and beautifully shot film from 1964 that demonstrates the bravery of the British troops and also acknowledges the Zulu's bravery.

At last, Paramount Home Entertainment has produced the finest release in almost 40 years of Zulu -- one of the greatest historical action movies ever made, and one of the great war movies. Zulu is based on what historian Michael Glover terms "the most highly decorated battle in British history", the defence of Rorke's Drift during the Zulu War of 1879.

Review: Rag Tale [2005] - dir. Mary McGuckian

Comic adventures for a group of journalists working on a newspaper called The Rag. The tabloid reports on scandals and intrigue in a world where the real truth never stops a really good story.

I recently saw The Hoax, and one of Howard Hughes's ideas (or at least, Clifford Irving's) was to create a crisis for a man, then save him from it, and in so doing, make yourself indispensable. Such is the game-plan of the editor of The Rag, who is faced with losing editorial control (and also his job) as the Chairman decides on a new pro-Monarchy policy, being led by his wife, the current Deputy Editor. This film follows the Fleet Street power struggle, the revelations about the characters and their ultimate consequences.

Editorial: Random Thoughts #4201

< \rant >
OK so here we go, time for getting some things of my chest (or more precisely... off my head!), my head has been turning back to remakes again, probably has a lot to do with this week's release of Rob Zombie's Halloween 2, the next 6 months according to IMDB has at least 2 more remakes winging their way to the theatre, George Romero's The Crazies (I thought Danny Boyle had already done this with the 28...later movies?) and what is looking like a shot-for-shot remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (with a little bit of character generation prologue tacked on, much like Zombie's lamentable Halloween 're-imagining')... So the questions I am asking myself are:

Review: Four Flies on Grey Velvet (4 mosche di velluto grigio) [1972] - dir. Dario Argento

Roberto Tobias (Michael Brandon) is a drummer in a rock band who has noticed a man following him for the last several days. Angered by this, he confronts the stranger in an abandoned theater to find out what he wants. The man claims he does not know what Roberto is talking about, and pulls a switchblade. The two struggle, and Roberto accidentally stabs the man, who falls into an orchestra pit, lifeless.

To make matters worse, someone in a bizarre puppet mask has been hiding in the upper wings of the theater and takes incriminating photographs of Roberto holding the bloody knife. Roberto flees, but the next day he receives the dead man's ID in the mail. It becomes apparent that the masked figure has no interest in going to the police, and instead wants to drive Roberto mad with fear and paranoia. But why?

Review: Funeral In Berlin [1967] - dir. Guy Hamilton

Following on from THE IPCRESS FILE, Michael Caine returns as bespectacled spy Harry Palmer in the second instalment in the Len Deighton series. A British spy is responsible for arranging the defection of a Russian officer in charge of Berlin war security. When his plan goes very wrong, he must rely on his own Cockney cunning to escape the morass of double-dealing, intrigue and beautiful, but deadly, women.

Little did I know I'd becoming back to another Guy Hamilton film so soon after reviewing Live & Let Die, but here we are, Funeral in Berlin is the second in the series of Harry Palmer films starring Michael Caine and based around the 3rd book in Len Deighton's popular spy series.

Review: Morecambe & Wise Movie Collection [1965] - dir. Various

The Morecambe & Wise Movie Collection three-disc box set features a triple dose of films from the popular British comedy duo Morecambe and Wise. The three titles included in the collection are: "The Intelligence Men", "That Riviera Touch" and "The Magnificent Two".
The Intelligence Men [1965] is the big screen debut from popular British comedy duo, Eric and Ernie. The bungling spies attempt to go undercover in an enemy operation, however, as always with this hapless twosome, nothing ever goes as planned. Ernie is a pen pusher for the Secret Service and his friend Eric runs a cafe. When Eric accidentally encounters a summit meeting of an international criminal gang, M.I.5 decide to send the hapless pair undercover with Eric posing as "Major Cavendish". Riotous antics follow when they are assigned to protect the legendary Russian ballet dancer, Madame Petrovna, from assassins.

Review: The Last Horror Film [1982] - dir. David Winter

Vinny Durand (Joe Spinell) is a New York City taxi driver obsessively stalking beautiful horror actress Jana Bates (Caroline Munro), as she attends the Cannes Film Festival while at the same time, a masked killer begins killing off all her proteges and associates. Is the obsessed fan the killer, or is there something more sinister going on?

Let's get this out of the way from the very beginning... NEVER trust a 15 year old boy's memory of what constitutes a good movie... reasons...
  1. If it has an actress that is considered hot
  2. If it is of a genre popular at the time
  3. If their parents are guaranteed to hate it
  4. If the reviewers of the time hate it
  5. Last but not least... if it has lots of breasts jiggling around in it!

Review: Sleuth [1972] - dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Rarely has a movie with only three characters been so enthralling as SLEUTH, guided by the expert direction of Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Mystery writer and games man Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier) has found the next target for his mind games: Milo Tindal (Michael Caine), a nice young British hairdresser who is having an affair with Andrew's neglected wife, hoping to eventually marry her. Professing to want to release his wife to him, Andrew lures Milo to his country house to play a very nasty trick--but Andrew's trick comes back to haunt him.

Featuring a revelation viewers will have to fight to hold back when recommending this mystery to friends, SLEUTH will greatly appeal to drawing-room murder fans, who will find the movie thrilling with its unexpected twists and turns. Both the unscrupulous and unmerciful Andrew and Milo, sweet but up to Andrew's challenge, shine in each other's company, shrugging off each wicked verbal barb before zinging back another. Both Caine and Olivier are brilliant in their roles; the former was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. SLEUTH is based on the play by British playwright Anthony Shaffer.

Review: Live And Let Die [1973] - dir. Guy Hamilton

In his first turn as James Bond, Roger Moore infiltrates a gang of narcotics smugglers in voodoo-infested Jamaica. His daring exploits lead him on a number of incredible chases. Digitally restored.

OK, so how do you review a movie that has been reviewed a million times before, well that question has kept me up most of this past weekend. My first thought was to go back and describe how I first felt as 6 year old child being taken by my Dad to a small ABC cinema in Liverpool on the day of release to see my FIRST Bond film, but then I realised all I had left in my head from that encounter was velour seats, little pots of raspberry ripple ice-cream, some crocodiles and Baron Samedi... so then I looked at the option of doing it the usual way, look at the script, the actors, the action, then I had a minor epiphany and realised the only way you can ever review a Bond film is bu how it sits within the canon of the rest of the work... so here goes (it's worth a punt!!).

Editorial: Happy, Happy, Halloween...

Well October is here, that happy month that sees the leaves turn to gold, the mornings get crisper and our thoughts turn to ghouls, ghosts and all things spooky... so I thought it would be a good time to see what's coming up in the theatres to hopefully excite and inspire us into spending the price of a meal on a cinema ticket...

So as far as Halloween treats go there seems to be a poor showing this year, Saw VI heading up the pack (in budget terms only...), but with a little luck we may see the one-footed return of Cary Elwes which might make things a little more interesting, or then again maybe not... As for The Stepfather, even though I am a fan of the horror/thriller genre in general, the original Stepfather franchise never grabbed me, so I can't see this changing my mind. As for Cirque de Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, well I assume if you are going to see this you love Twilight... so enjoy...

Review: Plaster Caster [2001] - dir. Jessica Villines

PLASTER CASTER, directed by Jessica Villines, is an intimate portrait of legendary artist and groupie, Cynthia Plaster Caster -- famous for plaster casting the penises of rock stars, including, most notoriously, Jimi Hendrix. The film explores how Cynthia developed her unique art form with the help of her mentor Frank Zappa, and follows the ups and downs of casting sessions with a shy guitarist and an extroverted glam rocker goes along for the ride as Cynthia prepares for her first gallery show in New York City.

Featuring candid interviews with "castees" and commentators -- Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), Paul Barker (Ministry), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks), and many more.

Review: The History Boys [2006] - dir. Nicholas Hytner

A group of history pupils at a boys’ grammar school in Sheffield pursue a place at Oxford or Cambridge, where they are subjected to contrasting styles of teaching.

Adapted from Alan Bennett’s (THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE) immensely successful play of the same name, THE HISTORY BOYS focuses on the experiences of eight history students at a grammar school in northern England in the mid 1980s as they attempt to get a place at the top two universities in the country; Oxford and Cambridge.

The headmaster of the school is keen to send as many of his pupils to Oxbridge as possible and employs supply teacher Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore, BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS) to teach them the tricks of trade concerning how to get into Oxford or Cambridge. This style of teaching is contrasted sharply with that of the boys’ eccentric and maverick English teacher Hector (Richard Griffiths, WITHNAIL AND I) and the facts and figures based teaching style of their history teacher Mrs Linnott (Frances De La Tour, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE).

Article: Cinema - The Next Generation...

As I mentioned before in this blog, I have been severely lacking when it comes to movies and the whole cinema experience over this past 12 months. In fact up until last week my last visit to the cinema was to see Slumdog Millionaire... before it got nominated for the Oscar; may I add... and that experience was less than ideal from a picture quality perspective.

Review: Romanzo Criminale [2005] - dir.Michele Placido

A master criminal has his sights on conquering Rome’s underworld in this exciting gangland saga, spanning more than 25 years of criminal activity in Italy. ROMANZO CRIMINALE follows Libano from hoodlum to kingpin, tracking his rise to power, and the struggles that arise within his gang of ruthless cohorts. However, this isn’t just another variation of the classic gangster film formula, as it becomes evident the gangs activities are intrinsically linked to the darker episodes of the country’s history, with police and governmental corruption, kidnapping plots and even romance broadening the canvas of this epic film.

Take one part Coppola, add a splash of Scorsese, mix liberally with a serving of Tarantino, pour over some crushed, updated Leone and top with a shot of Scarface, and you are some way to understanding where this film sits within the pantheon of crime cinema...

Review: Dial M for Murder [1954] - dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) is a former tennis player who married Margot (Grace Kelly) partly for her money. To please his wife, he has given up tennis and now sells sports equipment. Margot once had a relationship with Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), an American crime scriptwriter, but broke it off when he went back to the U.S. for a year. In time they stopped writing to each other, and when Mark returns to London she tells him that she burned all his letters but one.

Tony and Margot have made their wills, naming each other as beneficiary. For a year, Tony meticulously plans Margot's murder. She has no idea that Tony knows of her love for Mark...

Review: Green Street [2005] - dir. Lexi Alexander

Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) is a student who travels to London, where he forms an unlikely bond with his sister’s husband's brother, Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam), who introduces him to the world of football hooliganism. Violence breaks out at a West Ham game that Matt attends with Pete and Matt's initial trepidation at the violence swelling around him soon turns into a pulse-racing, visceral thrill. Suddenly finding a taste for the hooligan life, Matt joins Pete's "firm," the Green Street Elite, leading to further booze-fuelled confrontations and providing an opportunity for Matt to keep a journal explaining why he's attracted to such a violent pursuit. Surprisingly, Elijah Wood manages to fit perfectly into a role that seems ill-suited to his elfin, wide-eyed looks. Charlie Hunnam--who starred in the television programmes Queer As Folk and Undeclared--neatly complements Wood as the cockney boy who leads him into danger, and together the two actors manage to carve out convincingly violent characters. Thematically similar to The Football Factory, Green Street mixes loud, energetic soundtrack and roaming, trembling camera work to create a disquieting atmosphere in a movie punctuated with scenes of rampant brutality.

Review: Rollerball [2001] - dir. John McTeirnan

It's the year 2005; the new sport of Rollerball is hugely popular in the unstable, ex-Soviet republics of South Asia. Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) invites NHL-hopeful Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) to join him playing for the Zhambel Horsemen, in Kazahkstan. The highly paid Marcus and Jonathon are teamed with low-paid locals, who are routinely severely injured in the game, which is an extraordinarily violent extension of roller derby involving motorcycles, a metal ball, and many trappings of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Soon the team's star and the darling of promoter Alexi Petrovich (Jean Reno), Jonathan, is thrilled by the high-octane sport, the hype, the sports cars, and female team mate Aurora (a glowering, scar-faced Rebecca Romijm-Stamos). But gradually Jonathan discovers that the cynical Alexi and his opportunistic assistant Sanjay (Naveen Andrews) will go to any lengths to manipulate the game in order to provide an evermore gory spectacle and improve the game's television ratings. Director John McTiernan's movie is grungy and even more violent than the original 1975 ROLLERBALL. He conveys the visceral nature of the game with sharply edited action sequences and a goosed-up soundtrack, and then he shows the volatile game convulsively spinning out of control and causing social upheaval.