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Bubble

3.4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

ROMANTIC TRAGEDY IN A SMALL MIDWESTERN TOWN AS A BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE AT A DOLL FACTORY TURNS TO MURDER.

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As an audacious experiment in the art and distribution of motion pictures, Bubble is a twofold triumph. Released on DVD a mere four days after its U.S. theatrical release (in only 32 theaters) in January 2006, this ultra-low-key drama was the first of six films by maverick director Steven Soderbergh (produced in partnership with HDNet Films and 2929 Entertainment, founded by Internet pioneers Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner) to be released simultaneously in theaters, on DVD, and HDNet cable TV, effectively closing the traditional "window" between theatrical and home-video release platforms, and causing many theater owners to boycott the film in protest over its groundbreaking strategy. To accommodate this paradigm-shifting milestone, Soderbergh and Full Frontal screenwriter Coleman Hough reunited to craft a working-class murder mystery that's perfectly suited to its experimental purpose: Quickly shot on high definition video, it's a riveting 72-minute exercise in minimal style, located in the depressed border town of Belpre, Ohio, and employing non-actors from the region who played an active role in creating their mundane everyday dialogue.

Chubby, middle-aged Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) and twentysomething slacker Kyle (Dustin James Ashley) work in a drab doll factory, molding and assembling rubber doll parts, passing dreary lunch-hours with small talk and clinging to modest dreams that will never come true. When an attractive single mother named Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins) is hired as a temporary employee, Martha's secretly possessive affection for Kyle is silently challenged, leading to an act of violence that obliterates their daily routine. In dramatizing this passive love triangle, Soderbergh (serving, under pseudonyms, as his own cinematographer and editor) emphasizes the stilted, soul-crushing rhythms of lives that have been stunted by loneliness and isolation; they live in a bubble, as it were, and Bubble is arresting in its visual precision, finding unexpected beauty in physical and emotional bleakness. Obviously not the kind of film that draws a blockbuster audience, Bubble exists on its own terms, capable of captivating a receptive audience, regardless of format or context, without losing its experimental edge. DVD extras include a video introduction by Soderbergh, the original casting interviews with the film's non-professional actors, and more. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Debbie Doebereiner, Omar Cowan, Dustin James Ashley, Phyllis Workman, Laurie L. Wee
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Writers: Coleman Hough
  • Producers: Gregory Jacobs, Jason Kliot, Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C3L2P2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,903 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bubble" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In a small town on the Ohio and West Virgina border, Martha and Kyle work together at the local doll factory. Martha is a middle-aged, unmarried woman who lives with her infirmed father and takes care of him. Kyle is an unfocused young man, who never finished high school and still lives with his mom in the local trailer park. Martha and Kyle are "friends." Martha picks Kyle up for work everyday, and she even drives him to his other job at the shovel factory in the same town. Everything is normal until the doll factory hires a new worker. The new worker, Rose, is a single mother around Kyle's age. Rose and Kyle become good friends, and even go out on a date together. All of these incidents come together to lead to tragic consequences about halfway through the film.

Bubble is really an odd, intense film. The character of Martha seems to paint a picture of a life of pointlessness, loneliness, and sadness. Martha obviously thinks more of her relationship with Kyle than he does. Their conversations are never complicated, and are filled with plenty of awkward silences. In fact, the silences are some of the best parts of Bubble. All the conversations feel completely real. Maybe it was Steven Soderbergh's choice to use non-actors for the film's main roles, or maybe it was the writing, but either way, the film feels very normal and realistic.

Some people would argue that nothing actually happens for the first 40 minutes of the film; and they would be right. The first 40 minutes consist mostly of talks between Martha and Kyle, and silent shots of Martha going about her pathetic, lonely existence in the small town. However, once the murder happens, the film becomes much more interesting on a more normal level of film entertainment.
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Format: DVD
Another brillant piece of work from the director who refuses to be pigeon-holed, his work reminds one of not only American indie stalwarts like Jarmusch, the Coens, etc... but also European and Asian minimalists like Kiarostami, Antononi, Wong Kar Wai, Kaurismaki and Renaisis.

Soderbergh coaxed great performances for the non-professional cast and his visual is a treat as always.

Definitely not a plot-driven multiplex fare, not a masterpiece, but a must see nonethless, for any who values cinema not only as a storytelling medium BUT rather, a VISUAL-AUDIO experience.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a blockbuster with exploding cars and crashing trucks, this ain't it. Bubble is a simple, understated, moody film that spins itself slowly into greater and greater complexity. Using non-actors, Soderbergh manages to pull realistic and revealing performances and create an overall subtle but suspenseful mood. This film is all in the nuances. Take a deep breath, sit back, and let this film flow by and amaze you.

This film also stands as a shining example of the filmic possibilities opened up by new technologies, not in terms of the flashy special effects we're constantly bombarded with, but in terms of being able to take a high def digital camera and, using available lighting, create a beautiful professional looking film. Every budding director should see this film and open their minds and eyes to what can be done with very little equipment and a big dose of talent.
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Format: DVD
Soderbergh's minimalist "experiment" has been called a masterpiece of subtlety and an art-wrecked pastiche of boredom. Brilliantly conceived quietude and undercooked social commentary. Amazing or just plain dull.

What you feel about it depends on your level of patience. The story behind "Bubble" is not much of a story at all. Red-headed and middle-aged Martha works at a doll factory with the lanky, dead-eyed Kyle. They have the kind of thread-thin friendship that can only exist between employees suffering under the same deadening, colorless job. Their conversation is the same watery teal as the drab Ohio horizon into which they drive every early morning.

Enter: Rose. A pale single mother with a beauty as fragile as her glances, another slight mid-western soul whose life is equal shades of futureless blue and inert, raging red. Like Martha and Kyle, Rose keeps her head down and scrabbles a personality out of her habits, hobbies, and adamant lack of hopes. When the three have a lunchtime conversation around bags of fast food, the interplay is so real, you may either be fascinated or bored. Having been raised in the rural mid-west and now pushing my life through the metal dust of downtown Seoul, I found this part of the movie to be the most dismally touching. Three hearts that have already been broken long before the film has been exposed to them. Can they be broken again?

Maybe. The movie credibly coalesces around a murder "mystery," taking as much patient time as the investigating detective, and just as adamantly refusing to take sides or seep with a single drop of tear or sweat. What happened and by whom, well, it's not that big of a deal. It's the whys which are the greatest presence here.
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Format: DVD
What sets this movie so far apart from others, is that real people were used, and NOT actors.
Actually, I think they did an excellent job.
Though if you are looking for an action movie, or a fast paced drama, this is not for you.

It focuses on a small town, and only a handful of characters.
It's about a middle aged woman who lives with her Father and has pretty much no life, besides her job at the doll factory.
She has a crush on a very young man, young enough to be her Son, at the factory. Obviously, the feeling is not mutual, and he is only being kind to her.

Enter a young attractive woman, and mother of a small child, who begins work at the Doll Factory.
The two youngsters decide to hook up, and Martha (The older woman) babysits for her co-worker while she dates her (Martha's)crush.

Jealousy erupts and it turns tragic.
The whole feel of this movie is very laid back, as is life in a small town, and although it IS slow paced and lacks action, there is still an interesting little story here about the desperation of an aging lonley woman whose life has passed her by.

Must have a liking for art house films to appreciate and enjoy it.
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