Rubber (UK - BD RB)
Why does our Marcus love a movie about a killer tyre so much? No reason...
A rubber tyre wakes up in the middle of a desert. It rolls for a while enjoying the scenery and rolling around crushing a plastic bottle and a scorpion. However when it happens upon a glass bottle it can’t crush it uses its psychokinetic abilities to destroy the glass bottle and then anything else it can’t run over. And why? No reason.
From the moment I saw the trailer for Rubber I had to see it. Something about the absurdity of a rubber tyre on the rampage did it for me. I needed to see this movie. And when I did, I loved it. From the opening introduction from Lieutenant Chad (Stephen Spinella) explaining how movies and indeed life has so many things happen for “no reason” and how this movie is to celebrate the no reasons, I was hooked. Even the added weirdness of the crowd of spectators watching the movie unfold through binoculars didn’t faze me, this is exactly my sort of weird and with the answer to any questions the movie throws at you being “no reason” Rubber was off and running and director Quentin Dupieux had my attention.
I know it’s stupid and it may be my fondness for stuff like Herbie or even Mr Wilson in Castaway but I like the character Dupieux gets out of this simple rubber tyre. I like the simple nature of why it gets so pissed off with the world around it. I like seeing the faceless, worn out old tyre get angry, or watch the TV, or follow a girl around. It puts a grin on my face and with a very short run time of eighty-two minutes the weirdness never outstays its welcome, especially considering how much more weirdness goes along with the tyre.
Every scene with Lieutenant Chad is a joy. His explanation of this all being a movie to a group of cops was fantastic. His performance is so much fun and he really reminded me of someone Quentin Tarantino would utilise well. On top of that you have the unfolding insanity with the spectators watching from afar via binoculars, commenting on what we too are seeing and going through a whole series of odd situations that adds even more to the overall oddness that is Rubber.
Of course this isn’t going to be for everyone. Odd stuff like this never is. In fact for those of you out there who have seen it and enjoyed it, you’ll know how hard it is to even get past two or three sentences when trying to describe the movie to someone before you sound like you’re losing your mind. When I was talking to a friend about Rubber just after I saw it, he couldn’t work out how I thought a movie that I described as “ Independence Day mixed with Black Hawk Down” ( Battle: L.A. – I’d seen it the same weekend) was super dull but a movie about a killer tyre was “frickin’ awesome!!”.
Rubber is an acquired taste but if you go in with an open mind and the willingness to write off all the absurd events to happening for “no reason” there’s plenty to enjoy here.
Shot digitally, Rubber has a bright clean look to the image but it lacks the real colourful glow HD can provide. The details can sometimes appear a little soft in places but there are a handful of scenes that show off a little more. The close ups on the viewer in the wheelchair capture every grain of his beard and some of the close shots of the sandy backdrop can look fantastic, especially when captured in the right light.
Rubber generally looks good throughout but on closer inspection it’s got its issues. Some edges are a little jagged, softness is iffier the more you look for it and depending on the light source, scenes can differ quite a bit. That said it’s a very small movie about a killer tyre and when compared to a lot of other independent movies Rubber looks bloody great with its simple set up.
The DTS-HD 5.1 track does a lot to make Rubber feel bigger than it is. The sound effect for the angry tyre’s powers kicking off really fills out the speakers and some of the music adds to that too.
Dialogue is strong and quite central and a lot of the time it’s all that there is to listen to (besides the roll of the tyre). It’s a simple track but it does what it needs to well enough and there’s no obvious issues with it at all.
The Interviews with Quentin Dupieux (08:33 HD), Stephen Spinella (04:06 HD), Jack Plotnick (06:42 HD) and Roxane Mesquida (03:28 HD) are fairly flimsy and Dupieux’s is about as odd as the film itself. Interviews conducted by a blow up doll and with Dupieux’s answers played in reverse (and in French) are quirky fun but not really all that informative.
The ‘Teaser Test’ (00:47 HD) is a number of shots of the tyre rolling (an element of the film I found consistently intriguing because the illusion is a solid one in the final product).
Lastly there’s the fantastic trailer (01:29 HD) which just made me want to watch the movie again.
I love Rubber loads. It’s is so deliciously off track I couldn’t help but adore it. I love every element of the insane eighty-two minutes and I’m intrigued to see where Quentin Dupieux goes next.
It’s certainly not a movie for everyone, in fact I doubt many will have the patience but for those of you who want something weird in your life, something odd and spectacular and full of moments to put a grin on your face, Rubber really is the place to come and remember you don’t have to have a reason to like it, just be ready to sound like a maniac when you try to explain to other people why you do.
* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 11th April 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, LPCM Stereo 2.0 English
Extras: Interviews, Test Footage, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: A Tyre, Stephen Spinella, Roxane Mesquida
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Romance and Thriller
Length: 82 minutes
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