Movie Review: ‘Rubber’

 

By Stacey Longo

Rubber

Terror unfolds as Rubber (2010) rolls across the land. This movie about a killer tire (yes, you read that right) is silly, nonsensical, slow at points and a little ridiculous, but definitely worth 85 minutes of your life.

Robert, a Goodyear tire abandoned in the desert, discovers he has telepathic powers, which he uses to destroy all who cross his path. (Kudos to the director of this movie, Quentin Dupieux, for actually pulling off showing a tire discovering his psychic abilities, which was no easy feat.) The tire soon runs across a beautiful woman with a sexy accent, and becomes obsessed with her. As the tire’s adventure unfolds, the audience gets a play-by-play of the action by a group of bystanders who are also watching the tire’s antics. Of note in this cast is Wings Hauser, as a wheelchair-bound veteran who stoically sticks through the tire’s trail of terror to the bitter end.

Rubber drags at times, particularly as the tire slowly (oh-so-slowly) discovers he can move on his own and blow up people’s heads telepathically. Stick with it, though, for the movie is aware of its own preposterous premise, and is full of remarks about how silly the whole idea of a killer tire really is. Lieutenant Chad, portrayed by Stephen Spinella (Milk, 2008) sets the movie’s pointless plot up at the very beginning: “In Oliver Stone’s JFK, why is the President suddenly assassinated by some stranger? No reason.” Indeed, there seems to be no reason for the tire’s aimless murder spree, but since the viewer is made aware of this from the start, what follows is a funny little film that can be enjoyed without having to think too hard.

There are other, funnier B-horror flicks out there with better plots, but this one has a cult following for a reason. Absurd, outrageous, and sometimes silly, Rubber will ensure that you never look at a blown-out tire on the side of the road quite in the same way again.

‘Savages’ is Intense and Entertaining

‘Savages’ is Intense and Entertaining

by Jason Harris

Three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone is back with a new thriller, Savages, which is reminiscent of one of his previous hits, Natural Born Killers.

Savages starts off with a voiceover by Blake Lively (Green Lantern), who portrays Ophelia, but has shorten it to “O” for a number of reasons. She states that she may or may not be alive by the end of her story, which was is a device used in American Beauty (1999). Except in that movie, the character of Lester tells the audience he’s already died.

O introduces Chon and Ben who are in the drug business. Ben, portrayed by Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass), is the brains behind their superior marijuana and Chon portrayed by Taylor Kitsch (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is the muscle that deals with problems that arise. Since he is an ex-Navy Seal and ex-mercenary, this makes him well equip to deal with these problems that make-up about one percent of their business. The other 99 percent is violence-free.

Savages

Chon, O and Ben live an idyllic life in Laguna Beach in a scene from Savages. Picture courtesy of Universal Pictures.

O, Chon and Ben make-up a post-modern family except in this family O is the girlfriend for both men. O states the men together make-up the perfect guy. The men have no problems sharing her. There is great chemistry between these three actors, which keeps you hoping that they are all alive at the end of the movie.

Their lives become endangered when their operation comes to the attention of the Mexican Baja Cartel, headed by the ruthless Elena “La Reina” portrayed by Salma Hayek (From Dusk Till Dawn). The cartel wants to form a partnership with Ben and Chon, who decline her invitation. This causes O to be kidnapped by Elena’s enforcer, Lado portrayed by Benicio Del Toro (Traffic), who brings a menacing demeanor and look to his role. Earlier in the movie, Lado is shown dealing harshly with a cartel lawyer whose client went to prison. By knowing how lethal Lado is, it puts O in a more precarious situation when she is his prisoner.

There were moments where Stone seems to have been inspired by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vol. 1). Those inspired elements are the picture going from color to black and white a few times and his choice of music. One piece of music, “Psycho Killer” by Bruce Lash played after a scene where Lado talked to Elena about killing Chon and Ben. Del Toro has the look of a killer and is only slightly held in check by his boss. Stone made an excellent choice in music for this scene, which is a talent Tarantino has.

The movie is based on Don Winslow’s best-selling crime novel of the same name that was one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2010. Recently, Winslow released The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages, which is available in paperback on Amazon for $16.50.

Stone fills Savages with intense and funny moments along with a few action scenes. All together the movie is an entertaining thrill ride.