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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Feb 18: Buried


Feb 18: Buried

"Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap."

  Imagine one of the most terrifying things you can think of... chances are, on the list somewhere is the thought of being buried alive. Now, imagine being trapped inside a small box, six feet in the ground, and having absolutely no way to get out on your own. Time is running out and you can't even scream without wasting what precious oxygen is left around you. You scratch and claw away at the box, thinking somehow that will do something. You imagine, if you break through, how long you'd have to dig through the dirt before the weight collapses in on you. Before, all around you, each "wall" folds in on itself and you can't even move, let alone breathe. You're completely trapped and have seconds left to live. Then you wake up. It was all a dream. You're drenched in sweat but let out a huge sigh of relief. Unfortunately, in the case of Ryan Reynolds in Buried, nothing is a dream. 

Pinching yourself won't get you anywhere, Mr. Reynolds. 

   Buried is extremely successful in its execution. Who would have thought that a 95 minute story, filmed completely inside a coffin, could not only keep your attention and interest, but have the entire ordeal be terrifyingly claustrophobic and effective. I really am amazed at how they even filmed the thing, as certain camera angles and movements are baffling, and you wonder how it's all done. There is a scene where the camera turns around 360 degrees inside the coffin and I am still wrapping my head around how it was filmed (magic?). The camera is practically the second character in the coffin with Reynolds and without the incredible work, Buried would just be a gimmick idea some production company thought could work. 

It's pretty much the kind of movie Gandalf would make after graduating film school. 

   Now the camerawork may be the best thing about Buried but, close behind is Ryan Reynolds' performance. For years, I always knew Reyolds was more than just a funny guy and that real acting chops were hiding behind his "charming" smile. Buried is the perfect example of his ability and I am disappointed that he didn't get as much recognition as was warranted. He's a man trapped in a coffin, with a lighter and a cellphone, and you cannot help but completely feel for him and his situation. It only intensifies because it feels like you are racing against time alongside him. I really could not see anyone else in the role and am very happy to see Reynolds putting out this quality of work. 

I can now forget Blade Trinity... and The Amityville Horror... and The Change-Up...

   Overall, Buried simply works. A far-fetched idea executed by a genius director makes Buried one of the best and most underrated films of the last few years. Its premise may be "out-there" and the claustrophobia scares the hell out of you, but its execution is brilliant. Everyone involved deserves some sort of an award, even if it's just a t-shirt that says "I Buried Ryan Reynolds and all I Got was this Dirty T-Shirt" (made of gold, magic and amazing). I highly recommend Buried and applaud the filmmakers and Reynolds. This film has balls and does so many new things that it needs to be seen. 

The Good:
expertly capturing the sense of claustrophobia I have never seen in a film before
The Better:
Ryan Reynolds' performance and him finally showing the world he can act his ass off
The Best:
Magical camerawork I can only assume to be the work of the Film Gods

Overall: 9.3/10

Best Quote:
Paul Conroy: (on phone) "No, no I'm not a soldier. I'm a truck driver. Just a contractor."
Jabir: "Contractor?"
Paul Conroy: "Yeah. A contractor. Not a soldier. I'm just a truck driver. That's all."
Jabir: "You are American?"
Paul Conroy: "Yeah."
Jabir: "Then you are soldier."

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