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anonymous maq

Rubber (2010)

This is not a Smithee review because Rubber is not a Smithee movie. This is an odd little art-house movie that I would never have discovered if I hadn't been looking for a Smithee movie. The trailer for Rubber is accurate - to a point. There is an old tire rolling around the deserts of the American Southwest, using some unknown psychic power to make people's heads explode. And that's a wonderfully ludicrous premise.

But there's a wry twist - some of the characters are aware that they're in a movie. There's even this odd "Greek Chorus"-like group of Spectators out in the desert with binoculars watching the whole thing and commenting on it. One of things we Smithee folks talk about is the Acting Appropriately Stupid category: characters will do whatever they can to shorten their lifespan. Once they're dead they don't have to be in this crummy movie any more. In Rubber, some of the movie-aware characters decide to kill off the Spectators so that they can stop the whole movie and everyone can go home before the tire makes their heads explode.

This is a movie that knows it is absurd and it embraces that absurdity.

The effects are really quite good - messy head explosions are suitably messy, the tire rolls around and reacts without obvious strings or wires. And the cinematography is beautiful. They aren't afraid to take risks with reflections and long shadows from low angle sunlight, and it looks fantastic. The pacing is a bit slow - at one point one of the Spectators complains about that to the Sheriff - but overall this film is too good for the Smithees. --mq