Rudie Reviews Rodrigo Cortés’ Buried [Sundance 2010]

The concept is easy, a man buried alive in a coffin in the desert armed only with a flashlight, a zippo and a cell phone.   The ambition is high, set the whole movie in the coffin using simple camera tricks to make the audience squirm in their seats.   This is the latest movie is called “Buried” from director Rodrigo Cortés, starring Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, a truck driver from Michigan working for a contractor in Iraq.   He is sent there to rebuild.   While on the job, he is ambushed by an Iraqi insurgence and is taken hostage.   Held for ransom in a coffin buried underground.   Conroy must figure how to simple stay alive.   Rodrigo Cortés creates this claustrophobic world that is absolutely terrifying and with the help of Ryan Reynolds manages to keep its audience engaged for 94 minutes.

This film was the last movie I screened in Park City.   Along with Frozen, it served as a good bookend to me.   Both films are daring, bold and terrify their audiences.   How Avatar is an event movie, these films can do the same thing and deliver the same effects at a fraction of the cost.   In fact, the experience is more lasting with these films because they immerse you into these worlds created by the filmmakers.   Not only with visuals (the easy part with Avatar) but with sound, tension and excitement (the selling point with Frozen and Buried).

At the end of my festival experience, I found myself outside of the Holiday Village Theater with Dave Chen of Slashfilm, Scott Weinberg from Cinematical and Drew McWeeny from HitFix talking about the effectiveness of Buried.   Opinions differed and arguments arose but in the end we are all movie geeks and sharing those moments with these writers and critics has been a dream come true for me.   And that these factions of movie bloggers accepted Travis and I into their fold was the nocturnal emission at the end.

Lionsgate won the bidding war for the domestic distribution rights to BURIED.  Travis and I have been debating when this film would be released.  Perhaps during this summer?