Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ryan Reynolds in a box for 90 minutes

One of the taglines for this movie was "the movie Hitchcock would have made". You know, that sort of thing annoys me to no end. First of all, Hitchcock was probably, the best director of all-time, he made a ton of movies, and oops, he didn't make this one. So, he probably had the chance to make this film, and didn't. Secondly, how dare you cheapen the film by being tacky and try and draw comparisons that don't exist. Hitchcock was in his time, Buried is in its. It's like comparing Casablanca to Avatar. Avatar: the movie Humphrey Bogart would have starred in! What? What nonsense is this? So yeah, after watching the movie, maybe Hitchcock would have made a movie similar if he felt like it, maybe not. The bottom line is he didn't, so there's nothing more to talk about, in that regard.

Now, as for the movie: it was good. Not great, but good. Ryan Reynolds will probably be Oscar-nominated, his role is basically award-bait, and he runs the gamut of emotions from terror, to sadness, to acceptance, to panic. He does it all, and yes, he does it well.

The movie also has some interesting parts. I was really interested in Reynolds' conversation with the "terrorist" over the use of the term, and how quickly Americans are eager to label people who opose them terrorists, even though the foreign countries they're "helping" (i.e. invading) probably look at Americans in the same light (though the Americans don't see it like that). Also, the conversation Reynolds has with the Personnel Manager for the company he works for is simply chilling. The idea that large corporations don't care about their employees, really, and they will do anything to cheat their employees, isn't something new, but also isn't something I ever get tired of. The corporation is really portrayed as a bunch of bastards, and honestly, the actions they take in the movie to screw Reynolds out of his rightful insurance money, could actually happen in real life. If there's anything sadder that exemplifies the human condition today, I don't know what it is.

Anyhow, the real problem with this movie is that it's just Ryan Reynolds in a box for 90 minutes. In Evil Dead 2, we were alone with Bruce Campbell for a long time...but he's Bruce Campbell, and there's all sorts of weird stuff going on. In 1408, we're alone with John Cusack for most of the movie, but once again, the hotel room is pretty big, there's a lot of weird stuff happening, it keeps things interesting. There's only so much Reynolds can do in that box. He battles a snake, he talks on the phone, he cries, he makes his will, he makes a video...yes, he does stuff, but it loses steam when he realize that other than interacting with the phone, there's not much he can do.

The other thing is, even though they left it open-ended, it's pretty evident from the start Reynolds isn't going to make it. He's buried somewhere in the Iraqi desert, 6 feet under, with 90 minutes of oxygen. I don't care how good your GPS is, you're not going to make it. Since he's not going to make it, there's only so much you're going to invest in his character, because he's just going to die at the end, anyway. That's a major flaw with this sort of movie.

So, it was good, and if you're curious, you can check it out. For me personally, being locked in a box with Ryan Reynolds for 90 minutes was enough of a experience the first time without repeating it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

- Stephenstein

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