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Rubber - Blu-ray Review

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Rubber - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

If anything can be said about Quentin Dupieux’s film, know that Rubber will have you identifying with a car tire and never tiring of the puns that tread in the wake of such a statement.  It’s a film where – clocking in at a crisp 85 minutes - your tolerance for surreal absurdities will be tested and then tested again; a film inside a film.  It’s also insanely original and hysterically funny…if a murderous tire peeking in on a woman in the shower is your sort of thing.  Make no mistake, the horror/comedy genre has been a little dry of late and could use a little more caffeinated jolt in its tapwater than it has been getting and serving; something this film has plenty of.

So there’s this tire buried in the sand of the desert.  Its name is Robert.  That’s right, Robert the rubber tire and, rolling down the road slowly on its own, it discovers the ability it has to make things dead.  Oh, it doesn’t run over the objects.  It’s not THAT type of movie.  Robert can flex his tire innards to cause objects (cans, birds, rabbits, humans) explode.  It’s quite a trick.  A messy one, too.

leave it to the French to top David Lynch.

Broken up by audience comments (yes, even in the desert) and a story involving a police officer – Lieutenant Chad (Stephen Spinella) - that is unwilling to do the investigation (because it’s all fake), Rubber is a film wrapped inside a film positioned inside a murder mystery of sorts, Dupieux’s screenplay spins on an axis that is all too aware of itself as an experiment.

One would think that a film about a tire would wear out its welcome, but – guided by Dupieux’s obvious visual flair, the film never feels … flat.  Maybe the film isn’t as terrifying as it could be (a knife-wielding tire perhaps?) but it does pattern itself very well after a slasher film.  Think Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on wheels.  Once the tire gets a taste for blood (he blows up a rabbit in the early morning) he just can’t stop.  You see, Robert the rubber tire is a serial killer.

Ultimately, personal perception will either get this film killed or make it click for you.  Things don’t make sense.  Walls are broken all around you.  This is meta-film for its own sake.  You just have to go with where it takes you – kinda like a tire “waking” up and learning to roll on its own.  It’s an unusual little indie trip of a film and full of bizarre theatrics, yet so much fun and never simple filler.  One can applaud the effort or dismiss it.  I choose to applaud…even if I am shouting its name alone from the mountain tops.

For those eggheads inspired by Dupieux’s commentary on commercialism and exploitation throughout Rubber, don’t get too carried away with yourselves…you’ll miss the fun time other people are having with the film.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Film Details}

Rubber - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: Rated R for some violent images and language.
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Cast:
Stephen Spinella; Jack Plotnick; Wings Hauser; Roxane Mesquida; Ethan Cohn; Charley Koontz
Genre: Comedy | Drama | Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
Tagline: Are You Tired of the Expected?
Memorable Movie Quote: "My God, the kid was right. The killer is the tire."
Distributor:
Magnet Releasing
Release Date:
No theatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 14, 2011

Synopsis: Rubber is the story of Robert, an inanimate tire that has been abandoned in the desert, and suddenly and inexplicably comes to life. As Robert roams the bleak landscape, he discovers that he possesses terrifying telepathic powers that give him the ability to destroy anything he wishes without having to move. At first content to prey on small desert creatures and various discarded objects, his attention soon turns to humans, especially a beautiful and mysterious woman who crosses his path. Leaving a swath of destruction across the desert landscape, Robert becomes a chaotic force to be reckoned with, and truly a movie villain for the ages. Directed by legendary electro musician Quentin Dupieux (Steak, Nonfilm), aka Mr. Oizo, Rubber is a smart, funny and wholly original tribute to the cinematic concept of no reason.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Rubber - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 14, 2011
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH; Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); BD-Live

Filmed with the Canon 5D Mark II, Rubber’s digital-to-digital 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is spot-on.  The colors are perfect and fresh.  You can almost smell the air of the desert, some scenes are THAT perfectly captured.  Clarity is strong and details pull thought the lens with a rich texture.  Because a large part of the film is handheld, don’t expect the film to constantly be in focus; a beef for some I am sure, but the artistic integrity of the transfer holds up quite well.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • We all want to know the inspiration for this.  We’ll have to keep waiting.  There are no insightful commentaries to guide us to the land of knowledge…and milk and honey.

Special Features:

Magnet’s handling of the supplemental material is pretty strong.  There are a wealth of informative special features.  Most are interviews with the director and its cast, yet all are hysterical.  The prize-winner here is Dupieux’s backwards responses to the open-mouthed male blow-up sex doll who interviews him.   Great stuff.  So Twin Peaks-ish.

  • Interview with Director Quentin Dupieux (9 min)
  • Interview with Stephen Spinella (4 min)
  • Interview with Jack Plotnick (8 min)
  • Interview with Roxane Mesquida (3 min)
  • ‘Rubber’ Teaser Camera Tests (1 min)
  • HDNet: A Look at ‘Rubber’ (5 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

{2jtab: Trailer}

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