Rubber (2010)
By: J.R. McNamara on November 8, 2011  | 
DVD
Madman | Region 4, PAL | 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 78 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Starring: Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida
Screenplay: Quentin Dupieux
Country: France
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
When it comes to cinema, I am a meat and two veg kind of a guy. I have no interest in hidden meanings or subtext, and considering I am a movie reviewer in my spare time, one might find that unusual. The truth is, what I want from a film is to be told a story that has a beginning, middle and an ending. Sure, you can play with the way the story it told, like Reservoir Dogs, but basically I just want to be entertained, and you can stick your experimental films right up your bum.

Or so I thought.

I decided I had to watch Rubber after seeing a rather compelling trailer on YouTube that depicted it as a straight film about a tyre with psychic powers. My mind cried out "How did the tyre get these powers? Is it haunted? How does it move by itself?" Were my questions answered? Actually, no, as this film is more than just meat and two veg. A lot more!

Rubber opens with a bunch of chairs on a road, which are run over one by one by a car which then stops next to a guy holding a bunch of binoculars. The boot of the car opens, and out steps an American state trooper, with a glass of water, who proceeds to explain that stuff in movies, just as in life, can happen for no reason. Then he empties the glass of water and returns to the cab of the car, and is driven away. The binocular guy hands out the binoculars to a bunch of people that have been standing out of camera shot, who then look in one direction into the desert, until they start to see some events unfold...

These involve events involving a car tyre - yes, a car tyre - that has become not only sentient, but also psycho telekinetic (basically, with a bit of concentration, the tyre can make things explode: birds, rabbits, people's craniums etc) and seems to become obsessed with what modern conventions would describe as a "hot babe".

The story flips back and forth between the people who are apparently being forced to watch the tyre, and the tyre itself, and honestly, I am not quite sure which is the queerer tale. Eventually one of the tyre's murders is investigated by the state trooper from the prologue… and when these two stories crossover, things become really weird!

This innovative film was written and directed by Quentin Dupleux who has previously played with the conventions of cinema with a effort titled 'Nonfilm', in which a young actor decides to continue making a film he doesn't understand after he accidently kills the crew. I found this to be an interesting and enjoyable watch, and honestly I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen because I just had to find out what happened next. Rubber treads a fine line between insanity and genius, and as a matter of fact, it may have been walking along with one foot on each side.
Video
Shot on HD and showcasing a great deal of outdoor scenery, the image (presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio) really is nothing short of flawless.
Audio
A no-frills Dolby Digital 2.0 track is the only option.
Extra Features
There are only trailers on this disc: a theatrical trailer, a teaser trailer and a soundtrack trailer. There are also trailers for other DVDs from Madman: The Loved Ones, Splice, Grace, Undead, Let The Right One In, Lake Mungo and Sauna.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
On the surface, this movie feels like a cut dialogue scene from a Fat Boy Slim film clip, and honestly, I didn't understand it at all, but I think my lack of understanding meant that I understood it perfectly. I don't know, but what I do know is I was solidly entertained for 80 odd minutes and came away satisfied.

Madman's disc is serviceable, however international releases may provide better value for money with a small selection of extras and 5.1 sound.

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