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Bubble (R)

Release Date: January 27th, 2006 (Landmark Sunshine Cinemas) by Magnolia Pictures.
The Cast: Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin James Ashley, Misty Dawn Wilkins, Omar Cowan, Laurie Lee, David Hubbard, Kyle Smith, Decker Moody.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.

BASIC PREMISE: Martha (Doebereiner), Kyle (Ashley), and Rose (Wilkins) develop a friendship as coworkers in a doll factory, but soon Rose gets mysteriously murdered.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: During the first half of Bubble , not much really happens in terms of plot. Martha, a middle-aged woman, shares her lunchtime hour with Kyle, a lonely young man in his twenties. They constantly talk and bond, until Rose, a new young employee, enters the picture. Soon, Rose and Kyle spend some time alone together while ignoring Martha. Predictably, this infuriates Martha, but she never really shows or talks about her anger and jealousy. Thus far, there’s not enough at stake in the plot to really hold your interest. None of the characters stand out as memorable or lively, despite the small details about their live—i.e, Martha eats big lunches and feeds her sick father. Even the small Ohio town lacks personality compared to the way that Fargo depicted Fargo, North Dakota. Everything seems too peaceful and quiet until Rose gets murdered. Unfortunately, the transition from drama to mystery happens too late in the plot. The murder-mystery becomes boring because it’s too easy to figure out who the murderer really with the in-your-face, simple clues. Some of the dialogue between Rose, Kyle and Martha does feel like the way real people talk. However, it really shows that the actors had no prior experience in the acting world given their wooden acting skills—none of them have any shining moments. The only real talent here, though, is direct Steven Soderbergh, who frames each shot in crisp, high-definition with very impressive use of lighting—especially during the final scene. The HD camera doesn’t get shaky, so at least you don’t have to worry about feeling nauseous throughout the boring plot.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Too predictable murder-mystery.


IN A NUTSHELL: A well-shot HD film, but with a boring, predictable plot and equally boring characters, it feels as empty and lifeless as a real bubble.


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