Sunday, January 23, 2011

Buried DVD review

Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds, was one of those movies that everyone was buzzing about.... but nobody saw.  It's not that no body saw it because it was a bad movie, it was mostly because it was in such limited release!  It debuted at Sundance to amazing reviews.  Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés creates an unbelievable masterpiece of creativity.  Let me begin.

What I liked about the film:
So your telling me the entire movie takes place in a coffin?  They will never cut away from the coffin?  Like, never?  Ok, SOLD!  The entire film (95 minutes), takes place inside a coffin buried several feet beneath the earth.  Ryan Reynolds plays an American truck driver in Iraq, who's fleet was ambushed by insurgents.  He's put in the coffin with nothing but a cell phone, a new glow sticks, a flask and a knife.

We've seen movies before that take place in one, maybe two settings, i.e. Phone Booth.  But they're nothing like Buried.  Cortés does an amazing job of keeping the crowd interested.  There's never a dull moment during this film.

Subject Matter
This is an Iraqi war movie without being an Iraqi war movie.  If you've seen the trailers, you know that most of the story is told through phone calls from Ryan Reynolds to the U.S.  The film covers a wide array of topics that are both current, and significant.  It tackles the war in Iraq.  It covers corporate greed in the United States.  It covers the topic of insurance companies and the scam that they are.  Family issues and pressures to succeed.  All of this in 95 minutes within the confines of a coffin.  Amazing work by writer Chris Sparling

Ryan Reynolds
I am bias as a mo-fo when it comes to Reynolds.  I am a huge fan of his work.  I have followed his career since he was on TV's 'Two Guys and A Girl'.  But what he does in this film is his best work yet.  He must truly carry the picture, by the absolute definition of the word!  There are cases when actors are in every single scene of a movie, BUT they have help.  And when hearing actors talk about their roles in a film, they always talk about having other actors to bounce off of.  Reynolds didn't have that luxury in this movie.  His face, his voice, his limited movement had to do so much to keep the crowd interested, and man he nails it!

Rodrigo Cortés
Cortés had 17 days to shoot this film!  Ryan Reynolds follow-up to Buried, The Green Lantern, took 10 times that long!  The Spaniard says the film is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock films of the past.  Cortés' use of camera angles and lighting make us feel like we're caught in the coffin with Reynolds.  The shots reflect the emotion of the character in such a way, you forget the setting and just focus on Reynolds.

What I didn't liked about the film:
The Ending
Maybe it's a brilliant ending, but I disagree.  We have invested in this character for the entire movie; we've heard him get blown off by one person after another in the United States; we've seen him deal with the terrorists that captured him; we've seen him get accused of things he's never done; the ending should be just as fitting.  I'm not going to spoil anything.  But the ending is way too convenient for the complexity of the first 94 minutes in the film.  That's all I will say, let me know if you agree.

The Blu-Ray of the movie is pretty bare bones in the Special Features department.  A simple "making of" feature is all you get, along with a trailer of the film.  We have to be understanding though, it WAS an independent film with a tiny budget.

What excites me the most about this movie is... inspiration.  YES, inspiration to both up and coming directors, as well as the major studios.  Takes risks!  Give new directors the encouragement to create something new and original like Buried.  And as for the directors themselves, don't fall into the pattern of directors like Brett Ratner; an idiot who couldn't make an original film if his life depended on it!

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