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Rubber (Blu-ray Review)

While watching various Magnolia and Magnet releases they would always show a preview of a tire that killed a bird using it’s telekinetic powers.  I always dismissed it, because it really didn’t say anything.  It was amusing, but never caught my attention.  As all of these conventions started to come to my area, and fellow staff member Aaron Neuwirth reviewed its theatrical release, I became kind of curious.  I loved the poster artwork.  It was pretty stylish and outrageous.  Then the Blu-ray came in the mail and I got antsy.  How would I go about reviewing a Blu-ray whose main star is a killer rubber tire with destructive mind powers?  I’ve done my best in trying to explain and review Rubber in the following article.  Enter at your own risk. 

Film

Rubber is the story of a tire that comes to life and wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting public.  Yes, the tire has a name and his name is “Robert.”  Why does Rubber exist?  This question, and any question whatsoever that you may want to ask is quickly squashed at the beginning of the film in a very creative monologue by Lieutenant Chad (Stephen Spinella).  Don’t ask or question anything you are about to see, because it “just is.”  Works for me.

Rubber may or may not be one of these films within a film, but just like the rubber tire that leads you astray, so does the storyline.  Many major characters and bit players are introduced throughout the film.  Some have things to do, but most end up dying horrific, but hilarious deaths by having their heads exploded by Robert.  Think Scanners, but on ecstasy.  Scanners is Scanners, but on acid.  wink, wink.

It’s somewhat futile to try and go into detail about what Rubber is all about.  As was said in the beginning of the film some things just exist for the sake of existing.  There is no reason behind it, it just is what it is.  I think Rubber is a great exercise in experimental-independent filmmaking.  It’s not trying to deliver a message or make a point.  It’s a psychic killer tire that makes people’s heads explode.  You get me?  If you watch Rubber with the mentality of “what is the film trying to say” then you will HATE it.  If you want to waste 80 minutes watching some hilarious, but cool kills, made on a $500,000 then you will get a hoot out of it.

I’m giving Rubber a 3-star, because I enjoyed what it was about, whether it was coherent or not.  I’m looking forward towards the sequel.  Oops, I may have said too much…  😉

Video 

Rubber is presented in 16X9 (1.78:1) widescreen.  Certain scenes switch ratios into what looks like 1.66:1.  It’s all artistic choice, but that’s how it is.  Quentin Dupieux shot Rubber with a Canon 5D Mark II, and you would not know the difference between that and the more expensive RED camera.  Filmed in the California desert (Palmdale and Lancaster) Rubber looks terrific.  Flesh tones appear natural as do black levels which never crush.  Colors are bright and brilliant.  There is no banding present.  Rubber is a digital feature, so the source is super clean.  I almost gave the video a 5-star, but had to backtrack, because even though the film is shot in the middle of the day, it does look like it was mostly shot between dawn and dusk.  The sun is somewhat muted or they tinkered with the contrast levels.  Besides that, Rubber is a near reference release when it comes to presentation. 

Audio  

Rubber is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  This audio presentation, considering the source material, is reference, and I don’t care what anyone says!  Dialogue is super crystal clear, as are the many gunshots, explosions, and exploding heads.  The LFE (subwoofer) packs a punch especially when Robert uses his psychic powers.  You can feel it rumbling in your seat!   Not only do the film’s effects sound great, but so does the music by Gaspard Auge + Mr. Oizo.  There’s a trance song that starts during the film’s end credits that transformed my home theater into a trance club.  That pretty much sealed the deal.  For such a little low budget film, the lossless track is mint. 

Special Features 

Rubber has a small helping of special features which don’t add up to much except that they’re pretty cool interviews with the stars and one with Quentin Dupieux who gets interviewed by a rubber doll.  That in itself gets a higher grade. 

  • Interview with Quentin Dupieux (hysterical interview)
  • Interview with Stephen Spinella
  • Interview with Jack Plotnick
  • Interview with Roxane Mesquida
  • Rubber Teaser Camera Tests
  • HDNet: A Look at Rubber
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

Final Thoughts

Psychic killer tire that makes peoples heads explode.  Great Blu-ray presentation.  Nuff said.

 

 

Order Rubber on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “Rubber (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I think we had the exact same thoughts about this one. Its weird but strangely intriguing