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Quint thinks the Ryan-Reynolds-In-A-Box flick BURIED is claustrophobic, suspenseful and just plain awesome! LIONSGATE PICKED UP!

Word just broke that BURIED was picked up by LIONSGATE!!! FYI - Harry

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. It’s currently 20 till three in the morning, I’ve been awake 17 hours, conducted 3 interviews, written two reviews and watched 3 films, but before I slept (got an 11am movie, which means I have to be awake at 9:30am) I had to put my thoughts down on the Ryan Reynolds in a box for 90 minutes movie, BURIED. Again, forgive any shitty writing. I don’t usually get to have good excuses for my mistakes, so I’m taking full advantage of it now, by God! Buried is one of those high concept movies that either work like gangbusters are just fall as flat as Keira Knightley. I’m happy to report this film falls in the former category. The premise is simple, the location is simple, the filmmaking and sole on-screen performance are not. Reynolds plays a contractor truck driver in Iraq who is taken hostage when his convoy is attacked by insurgents… or terrorists… who knows? We never see any of this by the way. The opening of the movie is a fantastically designed Saul Bassian opening titles piece with a fantastic score by Victor Reyes, but then the audience is immersed in blackness. Not darkness, but pure black. And it lasts for an uncomfortably long time until we hear someone moving and started to panic. It’s not an exaggeration that we never see anyone else but Ryan Reynolds and we never leave the coffin he’s buried in, so all credit goes to director Rodrigo Cortes for making the movie visually interesting for its entire runtime.

There are a lot of other people who deserve praise for making this work, but Cortes had the toughest job in my view. Well, him and his cinematographer, Eduard Grau. This isn’t just a typical indie two people in a room movie, this is one man trapped in a coffin and is seen only in firelight (from his zippo) or other natural light, like from a cell phone. They shoot the movie very claustrophobically, naturally. They kind of have to, don’t they? Lots of extreme close ups, POV shots and camera movement as limited as Reynolds’ character. The next pat on the back goes to screenwriter Chris Sparling who very cleverly set up this scenario and paced it so that by the end your heart is going to be pounding and your breaths are going to be shallow. He created a character in Paul Conroy that you sympathize with, that you pull for, that you just plain like. And then there’s Ryan Reynolds. It took putting him in a box covered in dirt, sweat and blood to disguise him. Don’t get me wrong… I’m no hater of the dude. I like his timing, I like his charisma, I like the roles he chooses, but even at his best you recognize the dude straight away. He’s not suddenly someone new here, of course, but he’s slightly less Ryan Reynoldsy if that makes any sense. So, I think people who have a bug up their butts with this guy might actually enjoy him in this movie. And he knocks it out of the park. Having such limitations put on him forces him to flex different acting muscles, playing the panic, anger and desperation of the character. He also doesn’t have anyone else to help support him. He’s literally the only actor we ever physically see. He does have a cell phone, provided by his captors, but all the information is in Arabic and he has to call numbers by memory. This phone could be his salvation, but it’s also a connection to his tormentors. Through video txt and stills he’s shown things that tortures him more than his rapidly depleting oxygen. You’ll recognize some of the voices on the phone, like Samantha Mathis and the great character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, and Reynolds’ exchanges with these different people, his slow progression from random 911 operator to FBI people to his family helps set the pace for the flick and solves that horrible problem a lot of these high concept films have… if they only have one character that character is usually talking to him or herself and that’s usually pretty ridiculous. There are some places where you have to suspend some disbelief, but it’s all small stuff. If you’re invested in the character you’re in it until the end. Buried is kind of a complete package. It’s fresh, it’s new, there’s a great lead performance, inventive directing, tight script and some genuine tension that builds and builds until you don’t think you can take it anymore. I can see a mini-major swooping this up and selling it as a different kind of suspense film and making some real cash. I hope so, it’s a good flick and deserves a good release.

As usual, be sure to follow me on Twitter to get my as-it-happens reactions and pedestrian iPhone pics of awesome hot chocolate and stuff. -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 24, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST

    This sounds really great

    by calvart

    That's all

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 6:05 a.m. CST

    soft spot for reynolds

    by Kobaal

    He's so damn handsome!

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7 a.m. CST

    I really like Ryan Reynolds

    by RpgSama

    I think he is a really cool down to earth dude, that is allways or almost allways the best part of any shitty or good movie he's in, he has been to many years kinda making it but never quite there, i'm happy for him and Green Lantern/Deadpool... Want to see this movie like NOW...

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:05 a.m. CST

    This will be Reynolds' big chance to prove himself as an actor

    by Bruce of all Trades

    And for those wanting to give me "Smoking Aces" as an example, think twice before you fucking post.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:14 a.m. CST

    I just can't imagine a whole movie around this


    A whole movie of one guy in a coffin. And there's nobody else in it? Apart from voices on his phone?<p>I'm going to have to see this just to satisfy my disbelief that they pulled this off.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Don't Know, Could Be Great But..

    by FreeBeer

    Since I heard about this film I'v ehad fears that it will be nothing more than an extended version of The Bride's buriel in Kill Bill, or a movie version of Tarantino's episode of CSI. However, your review is encouraging. I like that there is only natural light and he doesn't start talking to himself. I also like the thought of Reynold's being furthur tormented via video messages. I've always like Reynold's, but some directors seem to want him to play a characature of himself. I know his capable of a lot more, and has been on the cusp of superstardom for a long time know. No doubt Green Lanturn will push him over the edge, but before hand, maybe this will show other film makers what the man is capable of. (Oh, and did you just spoil the movie by saying that the entire flick takes place in the coffin? Kind of implies he doesn't escape. No doubt I'm mistaken though, film could end with the sound of people digging him out or something.)

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Couldn't he do the....

    by BacardiRocky

    Pi Mei one inch fist punch Uma did in Kill Bill 2 when she was buried?

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Dick In the Box

    by IronJockey

    I like Reynolds’s in a fan boy kind of way, but this film sounds like the protagonist and the viewers are the victim here. Imagine the Kill Bill 2 chapter where Uma Thurman is buried alive, only nine times longer. Political views and agendas aside, this can’t end well for anyone.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:57 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Sounds pretty damn good

    by pumaman

    Man, there was a CSI episode directed by Quentin Tarantino that was quite similar and that blew me away. Claustraphobic ain't the word. Wow... Looking forward to being freaked out by this. I like Ryan.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Tickle torture and cuddling come to mind, among other unmentionable things.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:09 a.m. CST

    So this is the movie that Phone Booth promised to be?

    by RedEgiraahgnal

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Penis showing game gone horribly, horribly wrong.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:13 a.m. CST

    ...release it at Easter time...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...who knows marketing.<P>I do.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Idk why people hate reynolds. he always delivers.

    by dr sauch

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:19 a.m. CST

    ...he should call that porcelain fountain company, because...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...they come to YOU.<P>That's what I would do.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:24 a.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    but nobody would believe that she could possibly be captured by Iraqis, much less be contained by a mere concrete box under tons of dirt. Nigga please.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    You don't have to be so cruel, Iraqis.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Guaranteed free pizza.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:36 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    the smell of their own farts.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:37 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:38 a.m. CST

    ...imagine being married to Scarlett and being trapped...

    by FlickaPoo a box underground?<P>Better than not being married to Scarlett Johansson at all I guess...but I still think it would be frustrating.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:39 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    The box is his mind.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST

    ...he'll never figure a way out until he stops thinking...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...inside that box.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:41 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:42 a.m. CST's a conundrum.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

    ...I know how to spell "Scarlett Johansson" at this point...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...but I still google image it...<P>just to be sure.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:47 a.m. CST

    ...SexyBack, the box is his fear. He has to overcome...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...his fear, let it go, and actualize his full potential to get out of that box.<P>I'm pretty sure there are some inspirational DVDs he can order off cable TV to help get him started...

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    ...I'd just think of Scarlett and my boner would Pai Mei...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...punch right through that box.<P>BANG

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Being typecast as the handsome, tender leading man can be excruciatingly confining. This could be his "breakout" role. <P> This movie will be analyzed for decades, I think.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    ...emphasis on "AND".

    by FlickaPoo

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:58 a.m. CST opposed to "or".

    by FlickaPoo

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    and attach Natalie Portman, and we have ourselves the ultimate movie.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:04 a.m. CST

    ...Christina would have to be very firm with the other...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...two. Maybe even strict...can't let things get out of hand...

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:04 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Fun as always bud

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST

    ...happy trails.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST

    "Culebra" Slamdance Short...

    by Emit Brown

    Found this review online when searching for more "Buried" commentary. Rare to see a short film celebrated as an equal to a feature film. Gotta check this out. Sounds and looks like an awesome, creepy short at Slamdance. Here's the article saying it looks as cool as "Buried": Here's the trailer noted by the reviewer:

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST

    "Culebra" Slamdance Short...

    by Emit Brown

    Links should have no spaces in them.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Definitely got a man-crush on Reynolds.

    by WickedJester

    I don't know how you can not like the guy!? <br><br>Only thing I held against him was marrying Alanis Morrisette -- and he bailed and upgraded to Scar-Jo... wait.. that explains the hate.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:48 a.m. CST

    I like Quint but not getting suckered again after...

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    Paranormal Activity! NO FUCKING WAY!

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Now put it in 3D IMAX and it's gold

    by Moviegimp

    LOL I'm kidding, take a chill pill people. Sounds good, looks good, as others have said the CSI episode was excellent. I hope it gets wide release, I want to see it before it goes DVD. It will be pretty bizarre up on a really big screen though. There's Ryan's head thirty feet tall. I think the only thing that people might complain about is when the screen goes all black, depending on how long that lasts. People will love this or hate it.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Cheapest production ever?

    by Rubiks Doob

    Seriously- this movie was made for $5 dollars + 4 million to Ryan Reynolds right? Only thing I can think of that sounds more tortuous than watching this movie would be being stuck in a box in Iraq.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    there was a batman comic

    by paulloch

    in the early eighties, with the virtually the same plot. Even for the 23 page comic, it seemed stretched out.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Finally Ryan Reynolds get a meaty role

    by PaddyIrishman

    Have seen too much undeserved hate for this guy in talkbacks. Sadly whether due to bad movie choices or god knows what, he just hasnt had the pportunity to show of his acting chops. I originally didn't like the concept for the movie Phonebooth, but through great acting and direction I was on the edge of my seat for the whole movie. Hoping this one is just as good.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    If Colin Farrell Was Black In Phone Booth

    by FreeBeer

    He would have been shot the minute he refused to step out of the phone booth

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Hey, where's the review of THE RUNAWAYS?

    by Darth_Kaos

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    How to survive with limited oxygen.....

    by cool_britannia79

    ...rule #1 - DO NOT USE FIRE AS A LIGHT SOURCE, FIRE USES OXYGEN AND YOU DIE QUICKER. I also has a man crush on Reynolds, I thought he was pretty good in The Proposal (aargh, all my cred gone) and this flick looks worthy of a viewing.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST


    by Rubiks Doob

    ha- amen brother. And the movie's hero would have been the cop who gunned him down...

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:56 a.m. CST

    sundance is such bullshit

    by HaterofCrap

    ..its just a place to be seen in your fancy winter clothes....the movies are all shit. maybe one good one if you're lucky.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Damn. I wanted to make a dick-in-a-box joke.

    by Royston Lodge

    Too slow.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    This needs to be in IMAX, 3D with D-Box.

    by Royston Lodge

    Wakka wakka wakka...

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST


    by uberman

    Last night I watched a two truly craptasitc flicks: BLOOD CREEK and FINAL DESTINATION. Stupid? Sure, but hell, I was bored. I ate some popcorn with cheese and two 40 calories fudgecycles with a diet coke. I was on the couch, all lights off. I went to the bathroom to take a leak once, but I didnt pause the movie, as I can tell when its a break in the action. Anyways, as you can tell, I got better things to do the morning than post on AICN, but let me be breif. BURIED sounds like it could be worth catching. Thanks for hanging with me until I got to the point. I know how important my daily schedule and routine is to all you posters at AICN. Right now I'm gonna sweep the back patio and start cleaning the garage. One of the windows is broken, so it gets kinda cold. I have XM radio in there, so I'll probably listen to some music and later I plan on sitting down and watching the Vikings and Saints. I want the Vikings to win, but I wont be dissapointed if New Orleans does. The city needs a boost of feel-good. Later I am going to take back my movies and rent PONTYPOOL(?). It could be promising, although the lead looks like some TeaBagger scumbags I run into. Well, thats it for now. I'll lood for BURIED when it comes on DVD, as there is no chance in hell it will come to a theater in my neck of the woods. Adios.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by Tacom

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST



    bit racist in here .....

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Honestly... this fucking festival...

    by SK229

    is such a crock of steaming shit that I can't contain myself anymore. I try to bite my lip, but seriously, they get THOUSANDS of submissions and these are really the best? Seriously? Out of all these movies being shot on the Red and all the micro-budget films being shot, the best all have a name actor in them? What's even more ridiculous is that these films have multi-million dollar budgets even when they literally take place in a fucking box, yet most can barely achieve being semi-watchable... they're truly mediocre. There may be one 'different' element, but for the most part are just... there. It's no wonder the distribution has dried up, do any of these inspire you to get up and actively search them out? Surely some of you TBers could make a better genre film on a micro-budget... but sadly, it wouldn't get in... no matter fucking what. There's an indie filmmaker out there who wrote an article in a prominent film magazine recently where he related a SXSW panel where the common thread between all of those that made it into a major festival without a name actor and shot on a small budget was that they all had a publicist. Their publicist submitted the film FOR THEM, called up or knew someone on the selection committee beforehand, and made sure the fucking things got watched. The rest of you who spent $75 submitting? Fuck off... you shot your movie for $10k, but didn't set aside $10k for a publicist, which is more important than the money you spent on the movie. And they wonder why none of them find an audience... let me ask this, at what point do the sponsors call b.s. and realize the law of diminishing returns on these things? But really, I'd love if some of you could point me to a trailer or two for films that at least LOOK better but didn't get in. The biggest fucking letdown in the world for the future of cinema would be if this is truly it... and if so, GROW SOME FUCKING BALLS and shoot shorts like Neil Blomkamp had. He didn't need no fucking sundance or toronto or SXSW, motherfucker went straight from here to D9. That's what real talent does, I guess... leapfrogs right over standing in the snow for 10 days with the rest of the mediocrities. If anyone actually comes into this echo chamber and reads this, I'll probably get flamed, but fuck it, I don't care, nobody wants to call b.s. on these festivals, least of all Sundance.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    They Should Have Given Brad Pitt A Cameo


    The camera could cut to him looking puzzled every now and again whilst shouting "What's in tha box? What's in tha box?" at the audience.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    The biggest inconsistency

    by mascan42

    He's buried underground, in a coffin, in the middle of the desert, and he gets cell phone service?

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 3:14 p.m. CST


    by Manatee

    Think I'll watch Tarantino's CSI episode and save my money, instead.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Theres no such thing as Independant Film

    by TheJudger

    Everyone knows someone, and thats how you get your foot in the door. Even Neil. No offense intended, but he went to school made some contacts worked hard on his stuff circulated it. Talent couldnt be ignored. He was eventually taken in. I agree wholeheartly with you SK229. You either know someone and you know the dance or you dont and it's going to be worlds harder to break in.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Screen pans away to man in glasses

    by pumaman

    " can you hear me now ? "

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by Robots In Das Guys

    Blomkamp was attached to a fucking HALO movie produced by fucking PETER JACKSON before D9. He's talented as fuck, but I'm sure D9 wouldn't exist without Jackson's massive rep in the industry.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Re: The Judger

    by SK229

    Totally agree with you and know that's the case as far as getting it out there. But film festivals purport to be the one place that's NOT about having connections to get in. They're supposed to be about quality and talent FIRST. They're no longer about that, and in a way that's worse than getting into the studio system. Little by little (seriously, there's even a doc about it where filmmakers/actors say the same thing), everyone is realizing that the festival world is even more difficult and strange than Hollywood. Hollywood at least expects you to produce some kind of quantifiable results and they're watching something saying, "Can we trust this person with $10+ million and is this marketable?" Festivals, on the other hand, are a kind of whorry netherworld where up is down and left is right. I just do not think it's ok to pretend that everyone has a fighting chance if they just pay their submission fee, and that was the gyst of the article I mentioned. That ok, HERE, was proof right from the filmmaker's mouths that all is not equal. <p>And getting back to Neil, that is exactly my point. You could argue that for someone like him, putting all of your effort into getting someone like Peter Jackson to see your work is worth a helluva lot more than whether or not you get into Sundane. Believe it or not, a shit-ton (nearly all, believe me) still think the festival route is the only route. But if you're doing great genre work, it almost works against you... you are better off walking your film straight into agencies and producer's offices... IF it's that good. I'm just saying, a dozen years ago, you could make something like Pi or do shorts like Blomkamp and have a 100% chance of getting in with or without a publicist. Even Kevin Smith says there's no way Clerks would get into Sundance today. Something needs to change, a new festival needs to come up in its place that's more committed to finding the gems from people who didn't have the resources to make as much noise as everyone else. Barring that, if your work is as good as Neill's, like you said, it doesn't take much to get it circulated, with or without festivals. That's all I'm saying, and believe me, no offense was taken. I agree with you, but I think you're wrong when it comes to festivals - talent can be and IS ignored.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Oh boo hoo quint

    by Cleave

    You've been up for 17 hours watching movies and you have to get up tomorrow to watch another movie. my heart bleeds ;)

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Re: Robots in Das Guys

    by SK229

    But that's my point, getting his work in front of Jackson did a helluva lot more than Sundance could or would have done for him. If you watch his shorts, he was so clearly way above the fray that seriously, why fucking bother with festivals and people who really shouldn't be judging your talent to begin with? It's arguable that his work (except for the socio-political undertones of Jo'burg, they love that) would get a 'meh' from the nose-in-the-air festival crowd (but only in the U.S., overseas is a different story and I think his shorts DID play overseas festivals) and that didn't exist 10 or 15 years ago when ultra low budget genre films got more love and created actual careers. THAT'S THE PROBLEM AND THE REASON DISTRIBUTORS HAVE WALKED AWAY... they used to walk in and snatch up something like Blair Witch or Primer for a relatively small sum then could rely on buzz, mostly, to make their money back. Now, all the genre films have $3 million price tags GOING IN and they wonder why nobody can afford to buy them. If I were a studio, that would seem like a pretty stupid business decision unless it's a bona-fide science fiction, horror, or comedy masterpiece... and we all know that most, if not all, of these are not. Dramas, just forget it. Back then, it would be a no-brainer to put all your eggs in the festival basket, but that's no longer the case.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 5 p.m. CST


    by El Borak

    i'd suck on keira knightley's flat little titties.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Please tell me this is filmed with a good camera

    by tradeskilz

    I'd like to watch it but i wont if the whole thing is filmed on the dudes Sony mobile or some handycam thing.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Sounds sweet.

    by MainMan2001

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    Hitchcock would have been proud

    by MainMan2001

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST


    by hank quinlan

    Speaking as someone who got dragged through the through the festival system, I totally agree with your gripes. None of it is about merit. Submissions are a joke and simply a way to fund the festival. Do you honestly think anything playing at Sundance went through the fucking SUBMISSION process? And as for Smith (once again pretending he's "one of us") check out that doc (not sure where I saw it) about how Clerks got into Sundance. I always point to that as the way things really work. Smith makes the indie film. yes. Gets it into the same Film Market Slacker got sold at. It plays the last day. Last screening. No one shows except some kids and some old guy. Except that old guy was Bob Hawk. And that guy liked Clerks and he KNEW everybody. He still had to push to get the movie into Sundance (the staff ladies thought it was misogynist). It gets in. He tells John Pierson to see it. The hipster execs at Miramax have to get Harvey Weinstein to go see the movie TWICE before he finally puts a bid in. ALL these people have to work to make Smith a star. I remember when I was trying to get my short into Sundance, I called some guy my brother used to work with who's sis worked for the head of Sundance. Still no dice. My GF at the time was like why all this effort? I'm like the myth of Sundance is you make a movie in your back yard. Its REALLY good so Sundance takes it. Someone see it. And bang you're the next big thing. Sundance is just some starfucking event. They don't want to NOT be the big thing so they make sure to put in movies with big stars so they are still written about in the press. Only three fests matter: Toronto, Cannes and Sundance. Why? Cuz thats where they buy movies. And the gatekeepers at that those fests. Wow. Someone I know literally had to drop off a basket filled with all kinds of expensive alcohol and food. And THEN they got in. Why would Sundance let you in when some other movie with Ryan Reynolds or Sandra Bullock could be there? The good news is Sundance used to have a cool genre flick like Pi or Blair Witch or even Napleon Dynamite that could be bought and marketed. Now they have sort of made themselves irrelevant. It's just a starfucking fest. Youtube has also democratized things somewhat. I get it. Look, thats just the game. Just don't ever tell yourself it was ever any different.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:24 p.m. CST

    But the important thing is, is it as good

    by blackwood

    as DICK IN A BOX?

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST

    No, you're wrong blackwood


    Is it as good as DICK IN ASS?

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by SK229

    I totally forgot about Clerks and how it rose to prominence... and also forgot about John Pierson. The funny thing about people like him and Peter Broderick is that now they're running seminars and charging money to tell you how to DIY distribute... clinging to relevance, I guess. But as far as Clerks, I think it was Amy Taubin who saw it, wasn't it? I actually was two degrees removed from Bob Hawk at one point and it's amazing how doors fly open (even though my film was a total pos) the minute you're connected to someone like that... when there are probably way more deserving films out there without the benefit of connections. <p>But Sundance has made themselves irrelevant. Just don't tell every hipster dooche-nozzle, wannabe filmmaker/reporter(read: they have a blog or write for Gawker) in New York that. I know, I work with a shitload of them. Toronto, I would say, is the one festival where you have a fighting chance and it's still somewhat relevant. Ditto for Slamdance. But if you make a kick-ass genre film, the amount of work it takes to get it into Sundance just might not be worth it. It would be if you had the buzz going in and it's accepted, then you use the festival for the exposure. But if you've only got a few grand to play with, you're MUCH better off leveraging online exposure and trying to get your film in front of someone that can actually help your career. Because there's the truth - almost nobody at Sundance has the power to greenlight anything anymore. You gotta aim much higher and, ironically, that is actually easier in some ways than getting into a major fest. Do you think the makers of Paranormal Activity ever dreamed there'd be stories about Spielberg locking himself in a room while watching it? Yah... but it didn't get into Sundance. It's almost as if getting in means you're doing something wrong. Anyway... I'll end this by saying to anyone looking to make something on a micro-budget in the hopes of kick-starting a writing/directing career: do genre (comedy, sci-fi, or horror), make sure there's some element to it that's easily marketable, and make sure you KILL it. Always ask yourself, if I, in my semi-conscious state late at night trolling the web, came across a blurb about this film, would the buzz/story/trailer make me think, "Fuck, I HAVE to see that." If the answer is no, shoot stuff on zero budget until you feel the answer is yes, THEN put the time, effort, and cash into that career-making project. I honestly feel that the majority of people in and around Sundance and other major fests are all very close to the industry or seem to be, they all know this associate producer from that big comedy or that production manager or that actor from The Office, but they are all just as far away as you are and the reason is this: all of them are vaguely hipsterish, don't seem to have to hold down a regular job, and yet none of them are any closer to being inside the studio system. That is a whole other world that is downright medieval about who gets in and it's always on merit. Because most of what you'll see at Sundance might look great, but fuck me if you can find an average moviegoer who would give a shit about it or not be turned off from frame one. There's a few things missing from the self-satisfied smug piles of shit that they make that usually busts down doors: zombies, aliens, and robots. Pick one, do some crazy-ass special FX along with good acting, and then call it a day.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I just went to the premiere of Buried at Sundance...

    by transart

    and simply it is the most amazing film i have ever seen! No doubt Rodrigo Cortes deserves an oscar for his direction. I wouldn't hesitate at all to compare him to Hitchcock. Truly it is a complete package with Ryan Reynolds delivering a phenomenal performance and an extraordinary cinematoraphy. A must-see film!

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    did you see it in the potted or outdoor section?

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:12 p.m. CST

    I don't understand

    by Unitedpool

    How it's possible to shoot an entire movie inside a coffin. It's just, not.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Thanks for not sayin SPOILER ALERT!!!!

    by The Minn

    "we never leave the coffin he’s buried in" ok just ruined it. he dies. thanks.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Yeah, spoiler-free this piece aint..

    by BenBraddock


  • Jan. 25, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST


    by Xiphos_2

    The real twist would for Shammy to make good movies again.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Jesus transtart you aren't even trying

    by Xiphos_2

    to cover up your plantiness. What's the watering schedule like over there at the studio?

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    At least he's unashamedly planty..

    by The Dark Shite

    but wow! As plants go, that was bad, Transart. You've got the blurb bit right, now just write it like an actual human being might & you'll keep your job. Maybe. <p> Speaking of jobs..loved Quint's intro.."I’ve been awake 17 hours, conducted 3 interviews, written two reviews and watched 3 films, but before I slept (got an 11am movie, which means I have to be awake at 9:30am)"......that sounds like a pretty fucking great schedule to me! I have to work for a living.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 1:23 a.m. CST

    No way could I sit thru this

    by Star Hump

    I had a terrible time with Beatrix Kiddo buried in a box in Kill Bill 2. At least Tarantino had the good sense to break up that horrific sequence with "the cruel tutelage of Pei Mei."<p>

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 3:01 a.m. CST


    by centilope

    The whole movie he's trying to come out of it, but ultimately he fails to do so.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 5:05 a.m. CST

    alice in chains

    by GavinVanDraven

    "man in the box" should play over the credits. that would rule. RULE!

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 8:05 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I love their logo animation. Gears are fascinating.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 8:28 a.m. CST

    why is head always on left side of screen

    by strck9

    when people are in boxes? i'm guessin the film is that way since the poster is. just like in kill bill? and every other 'person-in-box' movie and tv episode i've seen?

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    the twist at the end

    by durhay

    he's having a dream while in a suspended animation cocoon. He wakes up when they reach Mars.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    as for the spoiler..

    by strck9

    that's on the poster too. "NO WAY OUT" the tagline is the whole movie. if there's no way out, he doesn't get out. the end. we dont need to watch it.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Looks Like Its Shot With A Good Camera

    by FreeBeer

    Judging by the clarity of that screen shot. It would have to be to pick up anything using only natural light. Yeah, that fact that we've just being told the movie never leaves the box is kind of spoilery, but then again it may not be. As I said, mayb ewe hear the sound of people digging him out at the end or something. I think after spending and hour and a half with Reynolds in a box, they are hardly going to just have him suffocate at the end. I think there may be a twist in this, but of course if there was we would no doubt have been told so. Anytime there is a twist in a movie reviewers always feel the need to tell us, spoiling the surprise somewhat. Another thing, if there is only 90mins of air, wouldn't he be unconsious long before it runs out? CO2 poisoning?

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Phone Coverage Could Be A Clue..

    by FreeBeer

    ..That he isn't buried where he thinks he is, in the middle of a desert. And saying there a moment where we may have to suspend our disbelief imlplies there will be unexpected plot turns.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Thanks SK229

    by wickedblue

    That was very enlightening. I suspected as much but you confirmed my suspicions. I'm a no-budget/low-budget filmmaker and your rant was very valuable to me.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Tales From The Crypt

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    I remember a comic from the 60's-70's (It was EC, but I think it was a later incarnation of TFTC, can't remember which one.) that I bought at A flea market that scared the shit out of me when I was little. It was about a rich man who was visited by death; the man bargained for his life, eventually talking death into leaving him alone for the rest of eternity. Well...death leaves him, granting him eternal life, and the last cell of the comic is the man waking up buried alive....GENIUS!! This movie looks pretty wicked. I remember that Phone Booth promised to be exactly the movie that this seems to actually be....what a disappointment Phone Booth was, hope this one delivers.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Is this what really happens to missing people out there?

    by Smashing

    Is this what could have happened to our missing soldiers or contractors? vile thought.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Is this what really happens to missing people out there?

    by Smashing

    Is this what could have happened to our missing soldiers or contractors? vile thought.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Didn't I see this on an episode of CSI:?

    by Watch_The_Birdie

    Don't get me wrong, the movie sounds pretty good, but I know its been done before. The one where Nick gets kidnapped and placed in a glass box on top of explosives.

  • Jan. 25, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Definite twist

    by Unitedpool

    I'm getting that vibe too.

  • Jan. 26, 2010, 12:46 p.m. CST

    reynolds was the only good thing about Blade 3.

    by Stalkeye

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    by FlickaPoo