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Burning Rubber

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Mark Kermode | 14:31 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011

At Cannes last year there was a lot of fuss about Rubber - a cult movie about a killer car tyre. Now the film has been released on DVD - how does it stand up outside of the hothouse atmosphere of the film festival?

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  • Comment number 1.

    Not a movie I ever got around to watching, but the tyre reminds me of the serial killer in No Country For Old Men, oddly. I think this movie highlights the nature of Cannes more than anything, it seems like it was almost made specifically for such an audience.

    On a side note Dr K - and without wanting to detract from the content of this blog - would you perhaps consider a Q&A video sometime in the near-future, I have several questions I would like to ask but the timing never seems appropriate, and no doubt many others do too.

  • Comment number 2.

    I actually saw the trailler for this a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe how dreadful it looked. Nothing's changed my mind.

  • Comment number 3.

    Speaking of Cannes - you're going this year, aren't you? I'll be disappointed if you don't.

    Some goodness; there's going to be a new Lars von Trier(!) movie premiering there. Not to mention Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE.

  • Comment number 4.

    At least he didn't yawn

  • Comment number 5.

    I saw the trailer and it looked quite fun in a sort of "let's examine the form and turn it inside out" sort of way.

    But also potentially very tyre-some. One idea stretched out too long. A bit of a re-tread. Not enough depth. It might rubber people up the wrong way. Etc.

    Snakes On A Plane, anyone?

  • Comment number 6.

    From what I see from the blog post, Rubber looks like just a bunch of tired ideas.

  • Comment number 7.

    6: The idea may have traction...

  • Comment number 8.

    I watched this film a few weeks back and it was totally pointless. It THINKS it's a smart, quirky film that attempts to make some comment on the little pointless moments in better films.

    What happens when you fill a film with pointless moments and you're not David Lynch?

    Your movie is a pointless mess and a waste of my time.

  • Comment number 9.

    Wait this wasn't a spoof trailer lampooning terrible horror movies?

    I am, to say the least, shocked.

  • Comment number 10.

    I read about this movie at the GFF, really wanted to go see it, and told some friends as i thought it sounded like a fun little film. I actually gtot round to watching it a few weeks ago and it lost my attention around half way through, i was wanting to enjoy it but couldn't. Shame.

  • Comment number 11.

    ... but I maybe I'm losing my grip on reality.

  • Comment number 12.

    My objection to this movie is the way it's been advertised: as a schlocky B-movie parody. The fact it's essentially a surrealist post-modern arthouse movie isn't mentioned anywhere. On those terms it's watchable and interesting; as a movie about a rampaging killer tyre it's definitely a disappointment.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    I had a chance to watch Rubber recently. If it made an impact at Cannes then I reckon that says more about Cannes than it does about Rubber.

  • Comment number 15.

    Surely not even the glitz, buzz and excitement of cannes could have made you think this was anything more or less than what it appears to be?!! Come on Mark, GET A GRIP!!! which release are you most looking forward to this year??

  • Comment number 16.

    After reading all the comments I suspect that this film is only gaining momentum because of all of the pun possibilities.

  • Comment number 17.

    you're treading on thin ice here mark

  • Comment number 18.

    I think I'll PENCIL this in to my diary. Get it. PENCIL! Oh. Wait a minute. Wrong rubber.

  • Comment number 19.

    I just found the scenes from this movie, funny. How silly and ridiculous it looks to be. Dunlop would be turning his his grave.

    Love all the rubber puns. Makes it even more amusing.

  • Comment number 20.

    Mark, don't review dire B movies, get excited about good, if not multiplex fodder, movies coming out this year.

    Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins for example (from the trailers & preview reviews this has a modern day Seven Samurai buzz about it) or Jorge Michel Grau’s Keep It In The Family which might do for cannibals what Let the Right One In did for vampires; or Viva Riva! from the Congo; potentially an African City of God.

    And Cannes? Is this really a relevant festival any-more; it's past it's heyday.

    Pay more attention to east Asian cinema [how often it got mentioned in the horror thread is some indication of it's impact]; Sundance and the indie festivals; a lot that happens outside Europe and the USA (or in the US indie scene) is now being pushed (mostly on DVD sadly) by some dedicated distributors. If you really want to be reinvigorated by cinema search it out.

    Many of those that follow your blog want better than the majority of Hollywood's output; or dire B movies. Rubber would work 9just) as a 10 minute sketch on a satire show; not as a movie.

  • Comment number 21.


    You should have said "I suspect that this film is only gaining traction because of all of the pun possibilities."

    See what I did there?

  • Comment number 22.

    If this is the kind of film that stands out at the Cannes film festival then perhaps 2010 wasn't a particularly goodyear.

  • Comment number 23.

    The tyre was a good example of the redundancy of an actor sometimes; I mean the tyre in the first 20 min's was more captivating than Nicolas Cage with a wheel clamp. Filmed the right way anything can be given rational intent and be interesting.

    That said, after 30 mins and into the love story, the film bored me to tears.

  • Comment number 24.

    I haven't seen this film, so I refuse to leave a comment. Thank you for reading my comment.

  • Comment number 25.

    I hesitate to say I thought it was vulcan awful.....

    I saw it at the Glasgow FrightFest and.....well, it came the morning after I Saw The Devil, which I absolutely loved. Rubber is interesting, but too "out there" for me. I blogged about it at the time:

  • Comment number 26.

    only ever been to one festival. happened to be at my regular cinema, so it was coincidental, more than anything. i like the idea of festivals, but in practice, when i do pay attention to what they're screening, it covers a lot of the same ground. those that go somewhere different, well, they tend to be pretty much unpublicised, even on the internet. anyway, they always seem like industry jaunts to me. a good way of getting some kind of value from a career where the genuine, worthwhile voices are actually few and far between. the companies know this, the journalists know this, and the acceptance of the heat-of-the-moment is subconscious or kept hushed-up, it seems. funny thing is, this situation, for some amateur / dedicated fans, can be a bit of a vortex that sucks people in and makes them feel important, worthwhile, justified, when in fact they're probably just convenient and currently a little more obvious than others with potentially far better knowledge but less availability or "ambition".

  • Comment number 27.

    I watched this.
    I would like to be placed on a ventilator so I can have that time back as I die. It is that bad.
    I can think of no redeeming features apart from the credits, so I know whom to balme for this.

  • Comment number 28.

    I would like to kindly ask if there is going to be a blog about Director, Sidney Lumet? After the lackluster coverage of this unsung cinematic master's sad passing I sincerely hope our own cinematic master, Mr. Kermode, is going post some kind of tribute, as he previously did with Pete Postlethwaite. Thank you.

  • Comment number 29.

    Could the film's success at Cannes be due to its appeal to Continental audiences?

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm getting a little tyred of these puns, I think we all need to get a grip, we can't let it roll on any further.

  • Comment number 31.

    I have to say my partner really wanted to watch this film but I wasn't that bothered. I assumed it was another pretencious b-movie.
    I was wrong, its a very interesting and entertaining film. Its visually beautiful and I have no complaints.
    I think everyone needs to stop taking life so seriously and enjoy this film just because you can.

  • Comment number 32.

    I really enjoyed it when I saw it. I agree that its beautiful and it is something to be enjoyed!

  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.


    Or were you thinking of Arnie's Eraser? (what a double bill that would be!)

  • Comment number 35.

    A no-no for me, I actually paid money to see "I bought a vampire motorcycle" and learnt my lesson.
    PS Mark why are you shooting day-for-night in this vlog?

  • Comment number 36.

    nope sorry can't think of any more puns, i must say this film would probably not grip me in any way, it sounds like it is re-treading over old ground though.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am loving the tyre puns! Must be a Goodyear for them. And isn't Cannes a Continental film festival?
    As for the film itself, I assume it will just perish...

  • Comment number 38.

    Mark do you think this will be a goodyear for films? are there any Michelin star performances we should be taking note of? Is there any film you'd give the rubber stamp to tell us that we should watch it? You know films with a gripping plot, a slick production and one that doesn't tread over the accepted boundaries?

    I think we should spin the wheels into motion and say what film we think will do smokingly well as it screeches into film theatres in Cannes this year.

  • Comment number 39.

    When you firts mentioned Rubber back on the Cannes blog I thought it sounded interesting. But, judging by the the comments on here from people who have seen it, it's a worn down old tyre ready for the disposal pile, How disappointing.

    On the other hand, Christine :D now there's a movie! Great soundtrack too.

  • Comment number 40.

    I can't understand the fascination with trying to recreate B movie pictures. They wasn't good back then, and they're not good now.

    There have only been a small handful of low budget films that have gained cult status over the years, and for reason, which were: they had good storyline, good actors, good direction, or there was something about it that made that film unique.

    No matter how much money is spent on homaging a tu*d. It is still a tu*d.

  • Comment number 41.

    If this film was a restaurant then it would get zero Michelin stars.

  • Comment number 42.

    I feel bad for any young director on the rise who's essentially named Quentin T.

  • Comment number 43.

    Second viewing left you deflated?

    (sorry, I have a pun addiction, and that one hadn't been used yet. Didn't really have anything useful to add. Sorry.)

    I wonder if they played "Tracks of My Tears" over the end credits....

  • Comment number 44.

    You guys are really on a roll with all these puns... lol

  • Comment number 45.

    As a treat just for you Dr K, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will premier at Cannes. Looking forward to your review already!

  • Comment number 46.

    I had a dream you were a tyre last night. I woke up and you were bald.
    Thank-you i'm here all week and don't forget to try the fish........

  • Comment number 47.

    I don't really see the problem of a B-movie being reviewed. I'll make up my own mind about it if and when I see it anyway. Besides, it could have been Sharktopus! *shudder*

  • Comment number 48.

    Mark at this years Cannes can you please let us know what you think of The Yellow Sea by Hong-jin Na follow up to his electrifying debut The Chaser (2008) which I loved not sure what you thought of it.

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm lost for words...

  • Comment number 50.

    Aww. Why don't you do parties, Mr. Kermode? I feel sad hearing that.

  • Comment number 51.

    BTW, Mark, what was the film (actually, it was a documentary) that actually screened at Cannes that was made by the teenager who had drug problems and was reportedly the cheapest film to ever play at the Cannes Film Festival? (It's not "Colin" as this film I'm talking about but cannot recall the name of was said to cost only $5 to make by said teenager.)

    If Mark or anyone else knows what film (documentary) I'm referencing, please post the title of it here!

    Thank you in advance.

  • Comment number 52.

    Rubber = Snakes on a Plane. But with a really, really much lower budget. Nuff said.

  • Comment number 53.

    After seeing the trailer I knew there wouldn't be anything of worth in this little turkey ... Definitely an all time STUPID for the horror genre ... And thats saying something these days

  • Comment number 54.

    ... awful!

  • Comment number 55.

    I think the film will be a blow-out or at the very least a let down. In my opinion, expectations have been over-inflated and all the hype is a load of hot air. But fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Or is that retread?

  • Comment number 56.

    Its a little under-whelming it has to be said...but i have seen worse

    Heres my review of it from lovefilm...

  • Comment number 57.

    What could have been quite an inspired film with references from David Lynch, to the horrors of the 50s and 60s, Carpenter's Christine, and even Duel and Wall-E, in the end comes out as a smug, indulgent and self-congratulatory exercise which should have definitely stayed a short film.


  • Comment number 58.

    its got a great soundtrack. If your into that sort of thing. Personally I'm not, but I still think it kicks ass.

  • Comment number 59.

    Sorry, I can't believe most of those comments. Bad B-movie? It's a parody! Lame horror movie? It's still a parody! Rubber = bad remake of "Snakes on a Plane"? Man no, it's ABOUT "Snakes on a Plane" (or simply about dull movies in general)!

    A friend saw rubber and told me about it. I wanted to know what's exciting about it, but he just couldn't answer. He probably didn't (yet) understand it, but did NOT say it was bad. So I started watching the film myself, expecting something I won't understand either. But surprise: the opening monologue (by the police lieutenant) already gave a broad hint. I realized that the movie explains itself right from the beginning. I started watching it like a satire about movies, plots, and audiences and simply had to laugh out loud way more than 6 times (if I may quote Mr. Kermode here: "a movie that makes one laugh at least 6 times is worth watching it, no matter what else"…). In fact, those 80 minutes felt like 5 minutes to me - 5 minutes of fun!

    All in all "rubber" is the materialization of what I sense in many of Mr. Kermode's blockbuster-movie critiques (which I agree in most cases): being bored by usual, boring plots that typically have their key issue - "no reason" - in common.

    PS @Mr.Kermode: You might criticize that "rubber" has no end at all (therefore maybe even not being a proper movie…). Granted, "rubber" has no end at all! But the missing end is another parody to all those big movies, that are turned into franchises with the same plot over and over again - but different, and more of it! And I personally like that; I think it's one of the best jokes in "rubber".


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