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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.7%
Worth A Look56.52%
Just Average: 26.09%
Pretty Crappy: 4.35%
Sucks: 4.35%

3 reviews, 5 user ratings

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by Chris Wilson

"Like a trophy wife - beautiful without much to say."
3 stars

I once met this stunningly gorgeous girl. Unlike many such girls, she wasn’t brainless. On the contrary, I could tell she had intelligence and interesting ideas inside her. They just didn’t quite find their way out. While we never really connected, I could look at her for hours on end! You might be wondering at this point why the hell I’m rambling about some hot girl I really didn’t like that much. Well, I also just described Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, Bubble.

You’ve probably heard of it. If you haven’t, let me catch you up. This movie is supposed to be the first shot in the war against movie theaters. Bubble is the first film to ever be released simultaneously in theaters, on DVD and over pay-per-view. Understandably, theater owners were outraged by this. But consumer demand drives the market and if people want their movies on DVD at the same time they’re in theaters, eventually someone is going to give it to them. Actually, someone has been providing this. Movie pirates – arrrr!

Taking place in a small Ohio town, Bubble centers around three employees at the local doll making factory and an eventual murder. All characters in the movie are played by non-actors with a mostly improvised script. The film was shot entirely digitally and is a marvel to look at. For a budget adding up to only a few percent of typical Hollywood fare, Steven Soderbergh has managed to make a gorgeous film with some very effective cinematography.

Bubble is definitely experimental cinema, and while the visual parts work there are plenty of elements that don’t. The acoustic guitar line that acts as a score is too loud, too repetitive and often just doesn’t match the onscreen mood. And though the common folk actors and improvised lines give the film a sense of reality, it makes it difficult to hold all but the most patient of attention spans. Speech-wise, some of these non-actors are just downright unintelligible – like they’ve been eating glue. Only they’re not five.

To be fair, there are a few interesting concepts simmering under Bubble’s surface. In fact, the film could have been a really good look at class struggle. The tension from these people’s bad life choices and sometimes plain bad luck is palpable. It also was a creepily fascinating look at how dolls are made. The individual pieces being created look like hacked up body parts and seeing the eyes being literally popped into a doll head is one of the more jolting things I’ve watched in recent memory – much more horrifying that your average horror movie these days. The problem is that neither of these is the real center of the film. At 72 minutes, Bubble is just a really short movie about boring people’s lives.

As a marketing strategy, I believe what Bubble is pioneering will catch on. It just needs a wider appealing product to do so. And a wider release: I had problems finding this movie despite it being available in three formats! Suffice to say, for those into hauntingly beautiful cinematography, Steven Soderbergh has made a winner. If things technical aren’t your… thing… then don’t bother. All you’ll get is boredom, frustration and eventually murder. In the story I mean. I didn’t kill anyone after watching it.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12830&reviewer=400
originally posted: 02/25/06 15:22:37
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/27/08 Liza Very disappointed. Plot improbable and dull. 2 stars
7/10/07 Abs dull. no twists and increasingly predictable. actively seeks to be a yawn 1 stars
2/27/06 Perry Mason These regular joes acting make for a very creepy and intriguing movie. 5 stars
9/14/05 mark strange, but in a good way 5 stars
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  27-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jan-2006



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