Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"31 Movies, 31 Days": #5 Rubber

Movie: Rubber (2010)
Budget: $0.5 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Format: Netflix Streaming

Because of its absurdly funny gimmick, Rubber, a movie about a tire that rolls around killing people with its MIND, created a modest amount of buzz a few months back when the trailer debuted. What you can't quite tell from the trailer is just how absurdist Rubber really is. In addition to Robert---sorry, that's the name of the killer tire---Rubber also explores the movie viewing experience by having an audience in the movie. There's an opening monologue to the "audience" which basically warns the audience that it won't make one bit of sense. One review describes it as "Roger Corman by way of Samuel Beckett," and I'd say that's about right. The result of this bizarre mash-up is a unique horror-comedy that's as surprising as it is entertaining.

Although it had almost no budget, Rubber looks simply fantastic. French director Quentin Dupieux was his own cinematographer on Rubber and the movie is an absolute pleasure to look at. He also wrote the screenplay, did his own editing, and created the techno-based score. Dupieux seemingly did everything on the movie except act in it, and given how strong the performances are, he seems to have made the right choice not to. It's a cast of no-names, has-beens and never-will-be's, but they're all up to the task here. The worst actress is Roxane Mesquida, an attractive Frenchie who Robert (again, that's the tire) seems mildly obsessed with. But even Mesquida's poor acting seems to fit the overall aesthetic of Rubber.

Rubber is not for everyone, but it's a clever commentary on traditional cinematic expectations. It's also damn funny and a lot smarter than you'd ever expect.

Kraig's Rating: 7/10

Movie #1: Skyline
Movie #2: Killers
Movie #3: The Iron Giant
Movie #4: The Adjustment Bureau


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