FILM/HUMOR FROM PAGE 13
BEYOND Ryan Reynolds stars as Paul Conroy in “Buried.” (Courtesy Lionsgate)
Claustrophobic stab at Hitch’s heights belongs six feet under
OUTING the MOVIES
“Buried” Directed by: Rodrigo Cortés Written by: Chris Sparling Starring: Ryan Reynolds Lighting by: Nokia®, Zippo® and Duracell®
Rating: Fritz Lang once famously re-
marked that the oblong dimensions of the CinemaScope frame were best suited for snakes and funerals. Director Rodrigo Cortés took Fritz at his word. “Buried” is a wide- screen paranoid thriller set entirely in a coffin. And is that a snake in your pants or…well, you’ll find out. All we know about Paul
Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is that he’s a civilian contractor working in Iraq. When first we meet, Paul is slowly regaining consciousness after a night which saw the death of several of his co-workers at the hands of Iraqi terrorists. The only one of his crew to survive the am- bush, Paul wakes up in a casket shrouded by a dirt blanket. With only a cigarette lighter, cell phone and semi-functioning flashlight to help define his cramped funerary crate, Paul has until 9 p.m. to raise the $5 million ransom his heavily accented burier demands. The cell phone his captor
provides is two bars shy of biting the dust. Luckily there’s an unlimited calling plan. Paul tries in vain to track down his estranged wife, her embit- tered close friend and a member of the State Department. His only frequent caller is a sorry wrong number from a crazed Iraqi radical. Even at 95 minutes this film
is a reel too long. (72 minutes would have been the perfect run- ning time.) A call to his mom, an Alzheimer’s patient, adds unwar- ranted pathos. This isn’t “The Red Skelton Show.” We have an inno- cent American lad—held captive by the same breed of uncivilized mongrels that brought down the Twin Towers—desperately claw- ing and scratching at the inside of his tomb! Who needs a shout out to a nursing home? Long after cabin fever has
grown to epidemic proportions, Paul discovers that he is not alone. There’s a snake crawling down the inside of his pant leg. I can accept a boa slithering up Paul’s slacks, but wouldn’t he have noticed its entry? Claus- trophobia is enough to sustain a movie like this without having to ply audience anxiety (and pad the running time) with an added dose of ophidiophobia.
There are plenty of terrific “confined spaces” pictures out there, Andrzej Wajda’s tension- filled “Kanal” and George Stevens’ “The Diary of Anne Frank” being two exceptional examples. (The Wajda film takes place entirely in a sewer while Stevens entombs his cast in a CinemaScope attic.) Ear- lier this year, the war film “Leba- non” asked audiences to partake in a 90-minute round trip ride staged entirely inside a tank. But the most impressive entry in this genre has to be Alfred Hitchcock’s one-set masterwork “Rear Window.” Years after His passing film writers still evoke His hallowed name in hopes of landing a blurb on the poster. Critics not conversant in Hitch-
cock are quick to surmise that “Buried” is a suspense yarn that would make The Master proud. They must have been suckered in by the imitation Saul Bass opening credit sequence underscored by an equally counterfeit Bernard Her- rmann sound-alike. On a good day Hitch might have toyed with the concept of being buried alive for an episode of his television show. Even his most overtly experimental films (“Lifeboat” and “Rope”) play like works in progress, tests of various cinematic techniques that would later be put to much grander use. The funniest thing about “High Anxiety” is Mel Brooks’ apparent lack of comprehension when it comes to his mentor’s prowess. Hitch would have never stooped to such film school stylistic devices as sticking a camera under a glass coffee table or inside a fireplace. He was once asked about such su- perfluous camera placement. “I like my audience,” he chuckled. “Why would I want to put them inside a fireplace?” In terms of “Buried” the
pressing questions concern why a director would want to stick his au- dience in a pine box for 95 minutes and will moviegoers pay for the privilege. If ever there was a movie better suited for the theater-of-the- mind experience that radio offers it’s this one.
VISIONARY MASTERWORK A MUST SEE WORTH A LOOK GLAUCOMIC
POPCORN’S BETTER THAN THE MOVIE
attendant in Greenwich Village for awhile. Eventually, I came out from the closet (cloak- room—whatever), and joined the Mugwumps, who didn’t care how skinny I was or was not. One of the members of that group, Denny Doherty, convinced John and Michelle (Phillips) that we should form a group that we eventually dubbed “The Mamas and the Papas.” At some point I did find out that John didn’t want me because of my size. That hurt, but I got over it (yeah, sure). They eventually accepted me once they realized that my vocals transcended body type— straight to their bank accounts. I adored Denny so much that
I proposed to him one night, but the S.O.B. claimed he never even remembered it. And to top that, he then had an affair with—yes, the skinny chick!—Michelle Phil- lips. All the leaves turned brown and a summer’s day turned into a winter’s day, and I just wanted to leave town on a jet plane. This led me into the path of a lot of sandwiches, with ham, pastrami, pickles, lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, cheese and anything else I could put between the bread. And, just like your do-Remi, I chewed noisily, for a long, long time. Denny got his in the end, having to host the Canadian version of “Thomas the Tank Engine” before dying a lonely, unceremonious death. It is said that in his final days he regretted having turned me down. They always do…
October 8-October 21, 2010 GAY SAN DIEGO
Not long after this treason I was hit over the head with a fall- ing pipe. It was forceful enough to knock me to the ground where I suffered a concussion, and the earth suffered a tremor, but it ended up being a very positive thing. When I regained consciousness I forgot all about my lust for Denny, and my vocal range increased by three notes. I felt so good that I allowed the group to include the lyrics, “And no one’s getting fat, except Mama Cass” on the tune “Cre- eque Alley.” Unfortunately, the song was a hit and I had to sing that line over and over in four- part harmony. Why I allowed that I’ll never know. Either way, I was done with the group and went solo.
I’ve gone on a bit, haven’t I?
It’s been so long since I had any real connection to my fans down there on earth. I feel like my lips have been set free. Craving,
if you are planning on living with Remi, you’ve got to address this problem now, not after your parents break the bank for a wedding. (I’m just assuming here that Prop. 8 will soon be, like me, a thing of the past.) Tell him to close his mouth,
but be nice about it. Remember, once you play your hand you can’t go back—it’s on the table. If he re- ally wants you, he’ll keep his lips closed, unless he’s interested in a big, fat French kiss. Boy, I could sure use one of those about now. It’s been so long since I’ve been kissed (sigh). Now you two two savor every morsel, and if he hasn’t stopped eating like a slob within 60 days, dump him. There’s too much “free love” in the world to put up with that!
Dream a little dream of me, Mama Cass
“Mama” Cass Elliott
You are cordially invited to join The San Diego LGBT Community Center in celebrating 37 years of service to the LGBT & HIV communities of San Diego!
Tickets and tables are now available.
Individual Tickets $200
Tables of 10 $2,000
VIP Tables of 10 $4,000
For more information or to order your tickets online go to thecentersd.kintera.org/Gala2010
or contact Terry Bishop at 619-692-2077, ext. 209.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
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