This is a five-star movie all the way, but it will get a lot of bad reviews from people looking for a horror movie, which it is not. It is a movie about movies and about audiences, from an absurdist perspective.
With a premise about as ridiculous as anything SyFy has served up (you know, the people who gave us Dinopossum vs. Crocopillar... or something like that), I expected this thing to peg the old Cheese-o-Meter. C'mon... A tire comes to life and starts killing everyone in sight? Instead, what we have here is a very funny, very literate, and very absurd little film with some great performances.
I fear that explaining what goes on will ruin the pleasure of discovery for those who would appreciate this movie. So I won't.
I'll just say that if you're looking for a horror movie, or a cheesy horror movie, this is not the film you're looking for--go about your business elsewhere. But if the word "absurd" doesn't scare you off, give this movie a try.
on March 17, 2016
This is one of the most original and oddest movies I have ever seen.
The movie is about the quest for self-awareness by a discarded tire.
Eventually, it recognizes its destiny is to liberate all the other tires in the world.
Minus one star, because it is clear that the humans lose at the end of the film.
There is actually a very deep religious sub-text to this film.
Humans are the tires' "creators."
The tire's main epiphany comes when it sees the creators tossing many tires onto a giant, sulpherous, burning fire.
Then, as it strikes back at the creators, the tire is eventually "killed" by a creator, and is resurrected as a child's toy, a tricycle (triune - get it) and brings other tires to self awareness.
on August 30, 2015
Ever watch a movie that is so weird and goofy you spend most of it going, I shouldn't keep watching this....it's too weird? But you do finish it after this internal dialogue and then sit back and ponder what the hell did I just watch and how come i'm strangely entertained? Yeah..this is what happened when I watched this movie. It is very bizarre. Almost Eraserhead weird. Yeah, that's a good comparison. If you liked Eraserhead and you were not high, you will probably dig this for it's supreme weirdness. If you we high, party on dude this one is for you. Dude a tire totally blowd up a dude's head with his....mind bro...Whoa! Yep. It's a weird one. Did I mention it was weird? Yeah..weird. Good word for this one.
I only give it three stars because....well you know.
on October 25, 2014
The trailer for this movie promised something amazing: a mock horror movie about a tire named Robert who, after witnessing a burning pile of his tire brethren, goes on a killing spree, popping heads with his psychic powers. That movie's in "Rubber", but it's broken up by a boring, poorly-paced, unfunny frame narrative about an audience standing in the desert, complaining that the movie is slow, boring, and weird (meanwhile an agent from the studio tries to kill off the annoying audience so they can stop making the movie altogether).
It's a shame because the scenes with the tire are really good. The director uses all practical effects and succeeds in making you believe that a living tire is doing these things. The scenes with the audience, however, feel like an apology for the movie, like the director assumed that people would hate it and decided to get his revenge on the people who can't suspend their disbelief and simply enjoy a killer tire.
The movie's worth a rental, just to see the tire, but it would have been much better if it was played straight.
on September 26, 2015
An omage piece brilliant in its lunacy. The tale of a tire that gains self-awareness and psycho-connetic powers then roams the Southwestern U.S. causing mayhem an destruction is the setting for movie with no reason or ryhme but a strange sense of direction.
There are no free turkey dinners, thats not extra pepperoni and that tire is a real jerk. Enjoy!
on February 26, 2014
Okay, so this movie is bad.
It's bad deliberately, I get that.
But it's not bad in the way they wanted it to be bad. It's just bad.
I have a feeling it was recommended to me out of revenge.
It gets two stars because it makes a great story to tell other people. I totally watched this movie where the protagonist was a homocidal tire. What?! they always say. Get out. No, really, I say. Any good? they ask. Terrible, I reply. But sometimes it's good for cocktail-party-style banter for a while. (Get this; most of the acting in the movie is the tire vibrating. Yes really. I know, right? No, God no, don't go watch it-- why are you-- oh man, don't do that.)
I tend to watch a lot of off-beat and non-mainstream movies. When you do this, you'll come across as much garbage as there was in the trash compactor scene in the original STAR WARS. However, every once in a while you'll uncover a gem. Sometimes, you'll uncover a really unusual movie that's really not all that great, but is so unusual that the very oddity and absurdity of it makes it stand out and worth watching through. RUBBER is one of those movies.
RUBBER is a movie about a killer tire. The film opens with a man (Jack Plotnick) standing out in the middle of the desert covered in binoculars. Then a car comes driving up a dirt road destroying a bunch of wooden chairs that have been set up as though they were orange safety cones. The car stops and a man in a police uniform (Stephen Spinella) gets out and begins talking into the camera. He gives a long monologue about in every great movie there is an element of something happening for "no reason" and that's what this movie is all about. He then dumps out the beverage in his hand and jumps back into the car and is driven off. Then the man with the binoculars begins passing out binoculars to a group of spectators standing behind roped off pillars. The people take their binoculars and turn around and begin watching the movie. Throughout the rest of the film RUBBER moves back and forth between the action of Robert the Tire and the audience. Towards the end of the movie, the audience actually becomes a part of the movie.
So, with the absurdist theatre element in place, the main "action" follows the deeds of Robert the Tire. It's never explained in the movie how or why (and Robert isn't even given a name, except in the special features and in promotional materials) Robert comes to be. He just rises out of the dirt and is. It takes him some time to get adjusted to just standing up and then rolling around of his own accord. But soon he's off and rolling. Then he comes across a plastic bottle in his way and he flattens it. Next a scorpion in his way meets the same fate. However, the next object is a glass bottle and Robert can't flatten that. This seems to upset him so tries to destroy it with his mind and succeeds in making it explode. So, now Robert is a living tire who has a type of pyrokinesis, he can't make things explode with his mind. Robert quickly moves from exploding bottles to exploding living things.
In some ways RUBBER is a critique at the way Hollywood and the studios usually make movies. It's an insane process that doesn't make any sense to most people and often even confounds those in the movie business. I know there are countless times I've left a film thinking, "How did they get to make that?!" RUBBER pokes fun of that and the way that most people are just there to watch a good show. Yet, that passivity can make us animals. But, don't read too much into that. RUBBER is, after all, a movie about a killer tire.
on September 27, 2012
The secret to truly great special effects, it is often said, is that you are so caught up in the illusion that you don't notice them.
Rubber is a bit overlong and pretentious, and not half as funny as it thinks it is. But the effects are masterful.
Practically everybody has rolled a tire at some point. We all know their feel, their heft, their ability to balance.
Watching Rubber, I saw a tire roll long distances and come to a sudden stop. I saw a tire change direction. I saw a tire figure out how to navigate a curb. And only occasionally did my brain go "Wait a minute! How did they DO that?" Because it felt so natural.
(Of course the tire also drinks water, changes TV channels, and makes people's heads explode, which most tires can't do without a lot more practice than the one in Rubber had.)
The photography is breathtaking, too.
on July 5, 2011
I wanted to like this film, I really did. I was enamored with the trailer and couldn't wait to give this one a view. Where it ultimately failed for me is the, in my opinion, ham-fisted delivery of The Plot, at the beginning of the film, by Lieutenant Chad. It wasn't enough for the viewer (i.e. me) to interpret this as art, absurdity and an exercise in "fourth-wall" mechanics. I had to be told this at the very beginning,while also being simultaneously told it is this very technique in story telling which makes a great film and style. Initially I assumed the speech to the viewer/spectator was something a producer insisted to help sell the film so it wouldn't be too abstract, but since the spectators were actually intrinsic to the plot (such that it is), I now assume this was not the case. This pretentiousness quiet simply put the whole film off kilter for me and I couldn't help thinking that the director really believed he was making a masterpiece of cinematic art. Something in which only time will tell. I freely admit, I could not get over this view.
There is some good here, however. This film is actually beautifully shot and visually interesting despite its lackluster scenery. Quentin Dupieux has an eye for some simple and amazing visuals and this reason alone is why I lasted until the end.
This film will likely be loved by some and reviled by others, it is that kind of film. For me it was meh. Worth a viewing if you're curious or as an example of simple and quality cinematography.
Hollywood is full of adaptations, sequels, prequels, remakes, re-imaginings, reboots, and spin-offs. The bottom line is that most movies hitting the big screen are familiar territory. When something original does come along, it usually "borrows" elements from films that influenced it or pays homage to said influential films that came before it. Truth be told, at this stage in the game, technically everything has already been done. Everything has already been written about or filmed or drawn or created digitally. All that's really left out there is the really bizarre topics. The stuff that you either think up randomly one slow Thursday evening or is obviously the result of one of the heaviest acid trips in history. I like to think that Rubber falls somewhere in the middle...of all three categories.
Rubber pretty much had me at Lieutenant Chad's (Stephen Spinella) opening monologue. Hell, he gets out of the trunk of a car just to illustrate the point of "no reason." What makes this scene special is that it kind of breaks the fourth wall while also introducing the secondary storyline of the film. Lieutenant Chad explains what we are about to see to the camera and then it's revealed that there is a crowd of people there who are also about to watch what transpires on screen. Mind you, they're watching with binoculars and their fates are kind of questionable given the film's primary storyline, but it was one of the more unique ways to start off a film.
Rubber is Robert's story. Who is Robert, you may ask? Robert's a tire; a car tire, to be precise. He wakes up one day to find out he likes to roll over anything that gets in his way, but once something more solid crosses his path like a beer bottle is when things get even crazier. Robert discovers that he has telepathic powers and he uses this gift to make things explode. It starts with a beer bottle and shifts to animals. As Robert lives life to the fullest just rolling around the desert and blowing up whatever his little nonexistent heart desires, he eventually stumbles onto a road into town where he becomes fixated with a woman. Not only that, but we get to see how his special powers work on humans...
It's difficult to fully describe a film like Rubber. Its genius use of absurdity is practically overwhelming. The acting is a bit over the top at times, but really solid overall and fits the overall tone of the film like a glove. Stephen Spinella practically steals the show, but Jack Plotnick definitely has his moments. Okay, you got me. It's mostly the turkey scene and his heart to heart with the man in the wheelchair (Wings Hauser) that made Plotnick relevant. Rubber offers a little bit of everything though; comedy, drama, horror. There are a few seriously memorable one-liners buried in the film ("No, come on. It's not real life. Look at you, you have a stuffed toy alligator under your arm.") and it's kind of incredible how you almost come to understand the thought process of a car tire by the time the film ends.
Rubber certainly isn't going to be a film for everyone, but you pretty much know what you're getting into with the trailer. The people who hate it probably have justifiable reasons; it's ridiculous, it's unbelievable, it's impossible; it's the dumbest thing ever. It's hard to argue with any of that, but I loved it for all of those reasons. Some people may see ridiculousness, but I saw originality, creativity, and unpredictability. Isn't that better than most of the cliché tripe that somehow makes all this money at the box office?
Rubber is brainless fun covered by a veil of uncertainty. If you can accept the outlandish premise, then it's incredibly entertaining. Rubber has that same kind of vibe that Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans does; it's bizarre and eccentric on the surface, but kind of brilliant at its core. It'd probably be fair to call Rubber cheese, as well. But dammit if it's not some of the richest cheese I've ever tasted.