Review: Rubber (Blu-ray)

Magnet Releasing brings Quentin Dupieux's unique, killer tire meta film to Blu-ray!

  • Director: Quentin Dupieux
  • Starring: Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Roxanne Mesquida, Wings Hauser
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 85 Minutes
  • Company: Magnet Releasing
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Discs: 1
  • Video: 1.78:1 - 1080p
  • Audio: English 5.1 DTS HD
  • Region: A
  • Released: 6/14/2011

"All great films, without exception, contain an important element of "no reason." Why? Because life itself is full of "no reason." Ladies and gentlemen, the film you are about to see today is an homage to the "no reason", that most powerful element of style." Spoken by Lieutenant Chad (Stephen Spinella), the films "navigator" so to speak, through this experiment. Right from the get go we are told to abandon all logic, sit back and enjoy. Bold or lazy? Professional or amateur? I'm not sure it matters or even applies to Rubber.
After Officer Chad breaks down the fourth wall with that speech, we find out he was in fact speaking to the films own audience. A random group of people representing patrons you might find at your local cinema. Each are given binoculars by a lanky man known only as the Accountant (Jack Plotnick). They are instructed to use them to watch the films events unfold before their eyes. Their sights set on a regular, lifeless rubber tire. The titular tire literally rolls to life and begins to explore the desert. Dubbed Robert the tire, it soon discovers the ability to make things explode. Robert then spots a beautiful female (Roxanne Mesquida) passing by on the road and immediately falls for her. She stops at a motel where Robert finds her and blows anyone's head up Scanners style if they get in his way. Lieutenant Chad, who is fully aware this isn't real life, is brought in to track down the killer. A groovy tech score, gnarly cranium explosions and Wings Hauser as a wise spectator cap off the films oddness.
Rubber is one of the most deceiving films I have had the pleasure of watching. In no way is that a con against the trippy second feature from French director Quentix Dupieux. In fact, quite the opposite. The marketing suggest the film is purely about the exploits of a tire who has come to life and happens to possess powers to make things explode. Human heads in particular. Sure Rubber has that but the film is something else entirely. Rubber is quite possibly the ultimate meta film. It breaks the conventional wall every chance it gets, even going as far as to have conversations with the audience. Many see this as a negative factor but I embrace the unorthodox weirdness.
Essentially Rubber is a polished B film. I'll admit the film has it's fair share of pretentious moments that hinder it from becoming the exploitation it aspires to be. Regardless, I enjoyed it despite the obvious shortcomings. I think everyone can agree Rubber would have benefited greatly if it was just a killer tire film. Quentin Dupieux obviously wanted to make it very clear this film has no rhyme or reason logically. He deliberately wanted the audience to be confused, angry but ultimately entertained. I'd say he's accomplished all three.

  • Video
Simply put Rubber looks stunning in HD. The desert terrain in the film is sharply detailed in particular. Dupieux certainly has strength when it comes to composition and it shines throughout. No AV anomalies to report, this transfer is bright and very nice to look at. Magnet always gives their films top tier Blu-ray releases and Rubber is no exception.
  • Audio
The discs 5.1 mix is a great companion to the excellent picture quality. Clear, active and loud when it needs to be. You might want to keep the remote handy when Robert the tire uses his focused power to blow shit up, it's pretty damn loud. A bit unbalanced considering the film isn't bombastic sound wise but I'd chalk that up to being intentional. Director Quentin Dupieux contributes music for the film under his French electronica moniker, Dr. Oizo. Oizo with help from collaborator Gaspard Auge churn out a funky score that will have your speakers working.

Bonus Features

  • Interview - Director Quentin Dupieux
A fun and trippy interview with the films Director conducted by a blow up doll. Dupieux discusses the production of making Rubber, the actors and various challenges involved.
  • Interview - Actor Stephen Spinella
The actor who portrays Lieutenant Chad talks about how his character fits into the film, how he became involved and his experience filming.
  • Interview - Actor Jack Plotnick
An enthused interview from Accountant actor Jack Plotnick, describes his time on the film and how much he digs Quentin Dupieux.
  • Interview - Actress Roxanne Mesquida
Foreign actress Roxanne Mesquida discusses why she came aboard the film and her recounting of filming.
  • Teaser Camera Tests
Early camera shots of the tire rolling around the desert. Seeing the camera techniques early on and what they eventually evolve into to use for the final film.
  • HDNet: A look at Rubber
TV channel has critic Robert Wilonski present and give the film a quick look.
  • Trailers
We get the Rubber theatrical trailer & more from Magnet/Magnolia's upcoming slate.