Roll Bounce

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

At the local roller rink, X (Bow Wow) and his crew are the brightest stars, skating circles around the others and always turning heads. The rink was the center of their lives, a place they could go and have fun, meet friends, and listen to soul and disco at the same time. For X himself, he can also escape a little from the sadness of his mother’s death. So when the rink suddenly closes, X and his friends feel left out in the cold, as if their home has been shut down. There is another rink on the North Side, known as the Sweetwater Rink, a high end rink that has special effects and all the finest touches. At first, X is hesitant to go to the other rink, but when he sees Sweetness, the ruler of the rink in action, his competitive spirit takes over. X and his crew sign up for the $500 Skate-Off, but can they beat Sweetness and his boys?

I love the roller-disco era, I wasn’t alive at the time, but I love movies from or based in that era. The hair, the clothes, the attitude, the music, its all cool by me. So while Roll Bounce didn’t seem to be my kind of movie, the roller-disco angle hooked me in. In the end however, roller-disco isn’t enough to save Roll Bounce, which tries to be warm and sentimental, but comes off as forced. When you cast Bow Wow in a lead that requires real acting however, you should know what to expect. He stumbles through the scenes that demand emotion, but some of his costars turn in solid efforts. I can appreciate that the filmmakers wanted to make a movie that made the audience feel good, but the melodrama is piled on so high, its hard to swallow. So I commend the intentions involved, but Roll Bounce is hard to recommend. If you’re looking for harmless, but rather bland entertainment, I suppose Roll Bounce could work as a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Roll Bounce is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a roller-disco movie, so the colors are wild and the visuals are quite colorful. No color issues surface however, as the hues look bright and vivid, especially in the roller rink sequences. The contrast holds up well also, with strong and consistent black levels that never obscure detail. The print looks good, though a few minor issues come up, though nothing to be worried about. The image is clean and crisp in most instances, with good detail and depth, so another great new release transfer from Fox.

Audio: How does it sound?

As this movie centers on roller skating, the music is a prominent part of the soundtrack, so the tunes need to sound good here. The included Dolby Digital 5.1 option more than delivers, as the surrounds pump out the music in grand fashion. But there is more to Roll Bounce’s audio than music of course, though the soundtrack is solid in those respects as well. The surrounds come alive inside the rinks, with good atmosphere that pulls you in, but never comes off as forced. No concerns over dialogue either, as the vocals sound terrific. This disc also includes subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I have to be honest, I skipped the audio commentary track on this one, as I don’t think I want to listen to Bow Wow for two hours. But for those who do want that option, this disc has a track with him and director Malcolm Lee involved. The rest of the supplements here includes a selection of deleted scenes, two promotional featurettes, a music video, and a gag reel.

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