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BURIED
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Rodrigo CortÚs

Starring:
Ryan Reynolds
Samantha Mathis

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
The film tells the tale of Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), a civilian contractor from Michigan working in Iraq. After his convoy is attacked by people unknown and for reasons unknown, Paul wakes up buried in a coffin in the middle of the Iraqi desert with nothing but his Zippo lighter and a cellular phone. He must figure out how he got there, who put him there, and if there's any way on earth he'll ever get out.
Is it good movie?
I was really, really looking forward to Buried when I heard about it. I admit- Ryan Reynolds can be tremendously annoying from time to time, and his smarmy beefcake gimmick doesn't always thrill me. With that said, the dude has chops and works his ass off, when he's given the right project.

And so, we've got Buried, which is 90 minutes of Van Wilder himself. Ryan Reynolds was flawless in the role of the terrified truck driver, and he actually made me feel genuine empathy for his character. I pulled for his character Paul throughout his awful ordeal, and I wanted nothing more than for him to be saved from his captors before the credits rolled. If Reynolds could be like this in every film, he might just start to climb the ranks of my favorite modern actors.

The best thing about Reynolds' performance is that it comes off as being completely believable. He is at turns selfish, terrified, cowardly, brave and insane. There are even a few classic one-liners thrown in for good measure. Really good stuff- without his performance the film wouldn't have much.

And Buried isn't really stupid, either. It is a tense, well-paced thriller that will keep you guessing. I can't give away any of the details, but know that there are many twists and turns that might have you scratching your noggin until the very end. With that said, if you're tremendously critical of your film plots and like to dissect every ounce, you might find a couple of plot holes here. Either way, you'll learn a lot about Paul's relationships, failures and successes as he's stuck in that little pine box.

All is not perfect though, and be warned because although I will keep them as vague as possible, HERE BE SPOILERS. I thought the scene with the thing that gets into the coffin was preposterous, poorly rendered and completely unnecessary. I have an even bigger problem with the ending. I'm all for a movie that doesn't end with sunshine and roses, but to end this film the way that they did was a huge letdown for me that seemed to negate the rest of the film. I get the whole 'social commentary/the world doesn't care/ one person is not a liability' gimmick they did, but this ending left a bad taste in my mouth for an otherwise enjoyable flick.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and looks good, although the stock is grainy purposefully.

Audio comes in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is beamingly crystal clear. Sounds great.
The Extras
Unearthing Buried is a great 20 minute documentary about how the film came to be, how quickly it was shot, how they filmed it, the challenges of the shoot (all the differently named coffins they built..cool), and other good insight. Lots of spanish though, from a spanish crew.

The interview with Director Rodrigo CortÚs is also jam packed with information and insight into the man's motivation for the film but he's really hard to understand after you listen to him for awhile. The guy's got a lot to say, but the interview runs only 15 minutes long.

Other than that, there is a trailer for Buried.
Last Call
I had been really looking forward to Buried but it was never released theatrically in my parts. When I finally saw it, the ending left me hating the film. After watching it a few times, I have softened a bit and think that this little Hitchcock-ian thriller is well acted, tense and captivating for at least one watch. I'm definitely recommending Buried.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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