Buried [Blu-Ray] Rodrigo Cortes

Buried [Blu-Ray] Rodrigo Cortes
How can 90 minutes alone in a box with Ryan Reynolds possibly be entertaining? Hold on, I know many people have an answer for that involving doing laundry on his abs or checking to see if his Green Lantern powers can enlarge more than his fist; he is the world's sexiest man, according to People magazine, after all. But as a cinematic proposition, it's dicey. Luckily for audiences, director Rodrigo Cortês found a way, with the aid of a pretty well thought-out story, courtesy of screenwriter Chris Sparling. Opening in complete blackness, it takes more than a few seconds before the sounds of a man regaining consciousness creep into the audio. A lighter flicks on and we see Ryan Reynolds' battered, sweaty face, gagged with a dirty rag. He struggles free of his restraints, using the lighter more than he would were it not the only light source for these early scenes. It's a plausible enough stretch, and nagging concerns like oxygen depletion are addressed later in the script. He discovers a cellphone ringing near his feet, and the small measure of potential control it gives him over his fate is the story's main source of propulsion. Through his conversations, first with his kidnappers and then with the government, military, employers and family, we learn that he's Paul Conroy, a supply truck driver in Iraq, and with Paul, we go through the myriad frustrations of being nearly helpless in terrifying circumstances. Reynolds puts on a display of emotional range seldom requested of him, more than capably carrying the weight of being the only actor on screen. Rodrigo Cortês's clever scene architecture is examined in the lone special feature, a look behind the scenes entitled "Unearthing Buried." In order to keep the scenes moving and ensure there's never a dull moment in such a constrained scenario, Cortês employs a number of tricky shots that necessitated the building of a number of special coffins with removable and extendable walls. It's interesting, but the feature is as brief as the film's 17-day shoot; it'd have been nice to have at least something on the excellent score. If you're intrigued by the limitations of this cinematic experiment, or simply want to watch an uncompromising, well-paced, acted and shot thriller, you won't be disappointed by Buried. (Maple)