TO: Judge Naugle
I have major disagreements with your review.
First, I thought James Caan was very good as Jonathan. His character is a reluctant star in a society where people are expected to do their jobs and not make waves. The idea is that his character isn't supposed to be a swaggering, overstated superstar; he's just a guy who sticks to his profession, and relaxes during his off-time. Second, I thought John Houseman also did well. The term "kindly grandfather" doesn't apply to him at all; he tries to look like a concerned, benevolent boss, but you can tell there's something sinister under the surface.
As for the design, I agree that it is very Seventies. But, then, that reflects the era in which it was made. It's no different from a futuristic movie from the Fifties reflecting it's time. As for the "boring" parts, they're one of the things that appeals to me about the movie. It tries to have intelligence, rather than just be an empty action-fest, like the remake (which I thought was a near-total waste). The movie also tries to make Rollerball look like a realistic game within the story, to the point of having actual sportscasters do the commentary for the opening sequence. If it seems old-hat to you, remember when the movie was made. It's similar to "Network", in that what was once thought shocking is now commonplace, unfortunately.
And I thought the scene with the trees was pretty powerful. In a way, I thought the enjoyment they got from shooting up those trees was far more disturbing than any of the Rollerball sequences, violent as they are.
Besides, the fact that the original uses the "Tocotta in D Minor" as an opening theme makes it clearly superior to the remake.
I guess we'll have to agree to differ on this one.