Industry News:

Roll Bounce Opens to Mixed Reviews, High Hopes

Critics Go Thumbs Down; the Godfather Disagrees

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

The skate industry, especially the roller rink crowd, has high hopes for the new movie "Roll Bounce."

It would like to see the movie roll in big crowds and give a nice bounce to ticket sales at roller rinks.

But the critics aren't having any of it.

As the movie opened nationwide today, they gave it mixed reviews ... at best.

The New York Times described it as a "drowsy comedy."

"It has heart and good vibes but little else to recommend it," the Times critic said.

The Associated Press was also skimpy with praise.

"It’s all formulaic, but Bow Wow (the actor) is likable enough to make most of the movie tolerable," it said.

So What?

Does that mean that the film will do bad box office? ... Not necessarily.

No one ever accused "Smokey and the Bandit" of being art. But it was one of the top grossing movies of 1977, racking in $126.7 million.

What's It All About?

Roll Bounce is a buddy film with a Karate Kid (David and Goliath) plot.

It's about a group of Chicago roller skaters whose South Side rink closes down in the late-1970s. They are forced to take their quads to a north side rink.

And guess what?

There, they must do battle (in a roller dance competition) with the rink's reigning bad boys.

Add a few sub plots and a love story, and you've got "Roll Bounce."

Godfather Says Check It Out

D. Miles Jr., the self-proclaimed Godfather of Skating, says he was pleasantly surprised by the movie.

"I thought it would be OK at best. But it was good, really good," says Miles, who attended an advance screening in San Francisco.

"It really exceeded my expectations. Speaking as a person who skated in that era, it brought back some fond memories."

(posted on Sept. 22, 2005)


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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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