Buried Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Being buried underground is definitely something that would be tough to deal with. In most situations if you’re stuck somewhere you figure that there has to be a way out. If you’re underground though then you’re really stuck. If you try punching your way out then the dirt will fall in and crush you. You have limited air so you can’t stay underground and going through the sides will have the same effect as going higher up. In a way your best bet is going down and hoping there’s some kind of tunnel but the odds of that are incredibly low. So…it’s a pretty tough situation to deal with.

The movie picks up with Paul waking up in a coffin underground. He is unable to escape and really has nowhere to go. The only items on him are a pen, glowstick, cell phone, knife, and a small carton of water. He will have to try and think of a way to get out here but it won’t be easy. He was a truck driver who went on a mission to Iraq in order to help people. Unfortunately his men were all shot and then he found himself here. The person holding him hostage says that he will only free Paul if he gets the guy millions of dollars by the end of the day. That’s going to be a hard sell but Paul will have to try and make some calls.

Now, usually in situations like this I say you can’t give in to the demands because they’re not going to save you anyway. Like in this film the guy tells Paul to make some videos and injure himself in the hopes of being let go. You feel like the guy is going to leave Paul to rot anyway so why give in to the demands right? If someone holds you at gun point and tells you to get into the car I’d say your best bet is to run. Worst thing that can happen is he shoots you like he was going to anyway after all.

This one is unique so Buried did a good job of limiting the options here. Paul is already buried when he wakes up so there is absolutely no escape for the reasons I mentioned in the intro. His only hope is making a phone call. To his credit, I can’t say that there are any things to really have been done differently. He calls a ton of people but he’s somewhere in Iraq and has no idea where. He’s underground as well so the odds of anyone finding him are pretty slim. His best chance is to keep on calling but that can get tiring.

The only thing I could call him out for was keeping his lighter on so much. That will definitely get rid of the air extremely quickly. It’s a high pressure situation of course but I’d like for him to have kept it off to at least buy himself some more time., He does tend to fly off the handle quite a bit as well. The people on the phone were usually not very helpful either.

This movie is very serious to be sure but there were a few callers that were so outlandish you almost felt like the film was trying to throw in a little humor. You had some people who couldn’t understand a fairly simple recount by Paul who was explaining how he got buried in here and then a lawyer calling him from Team Corporate with some bad news. There’s even a scene where as Paul is explaining things the screen keeps on zooming in on him. It felt like a parody moment but I suppose the idea was to show how many times he has to repeat the same exact story and each time nobody is very helpful. So that was definitely pretty intense.

Now, while I give the film points for originality and thinking of a new scenario, I have to take away points for almost the same reason. First of all, Paul is stuck in a coffin for the duration of the movie. That means there isn’t really anything happening for large portions of the story. It’s pitch black when he isn’t using the lighter or the phone. There’s a lot of time with him just rolling and trying to make a call to someone. As a result the film is very slow paced. It’s interesting but you can forget about it having any replay value.

Additionally, if I were the film I would have kept it as more of a suspense thriller and kept the hostage situation out of it. Things escalate once the calls start coming in and this becomes a much darker movie with the realization that Paul isn’t the only one in a predicament like this. The whole situation is out of his hands and just gets progressively worse and worse as the movie goes on.

Buried’s ending is also pretty awful. It was bad enough where the film nearly lost everything but I’ll keep it at a point for at least trying something new. I do think the idea is interesting but honestly it would be better with two people. They can be in separate coffins with walkie talkies or just a slightly bigger one but it would help for banter and dialogue. I don’t think you can really effectively have a film with just one person. The people on the phone help in terms of dialogue but it does get old very quickly.

With two people you can still have a whole lot of banter or at least the ability to bounce ideas off of each other. Otherwise you’re just too limited in what you can do and that’s something that happened to this film really quickly. If you threw Paul a bone like some kind of tangible hope he could grab onto that would be good but as you listen to the guys taking his calls you don’t expect he is in a great spot. If I were Paul I would have answered the corporate call very differently by the way. A bunch of well placed “No” answers would have really wrecked their plans at the very least.

As a main character Paul is good. He seems like a reasonable character who was just trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it ultimately ended up costing him big time. He really has to go through a lot during the movie and never really gets a chance to rest.

Overall, Buried has an interesting premise but I wasn’t a fan of the execution. The whole movie feels just like that…a slow execution. Paul is slowly watching as his time is running out with the air getting low and help always seeming so far away. Death by suffocation is definitely a really tough way to go. It’s not as bad as drowning in my list but it’s all relative once you get to the grisly deaths like that. He has to go through the whole movie with that fear in the back of his mind as he doesn’t know if he’ll live or not. Throw in the random snake, Terrorists, and having to watch other people die on the phone and you’ve pretty much got Paul under torture for the entire film. Buried isn’t a pleasant watch and I’d say to skip it until they announce some kind of reboot or remake which may be able to change things up and give you a better experience.

Overall 1/10

Blade: Trinity Review

It’s time to look at the final Blade film. Does it end on a high note or end up disappointing? Well, it’s better than the first film but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the second so it’s squarely in the middle. I liked that we got some more fighters this time around. It’s about time Blade had some backup. On the other hand, the plot feels pretty aimless the whole time and there isn’t much of a focus next to the first two. It feels like events just happen so Blade can go around beating people up. That’s not a bad story idea of course, but to me it felt like there wasn’t much of a plot beyond that.

So the movie starts with Blade murdering a bunch of vampires as normal. Unfortunately one of the guys he murders was just a human pretending to be a vampire. Unfortunately people see this so now the government is after him. The vampires have finally framed Blade. This lead to his capture but fortunately he is busted out by a pair of allies known as Abigail and Hannibal. They get him back to base and explain that Dracula has been resurrected. The 3 of them will need to take him out before the villains figure out the trick on how to be a day walker. This won’t exactly be the first time that Blade had to take down a powerful foe though so he’s ready for this. Blade isn’t the kind of guy who goes around losing fights after all.

I do have a bit of an issue with the opening. Blade is questioning why the guy didn’t die and is shocked to find out he wasn’t a vampire. We do have tons of familiars who are humans that Blade has been murdering throughout the films. Why is this guy any different? Seems to be like Blade is a little more surprised than he should be. Framing him would also be very easy for this same reason since he’s never cared who he murdered before. If they’re working with the villains then he ends them. End of story. That’s just how Blade works, he’s never been the kind of guy to even think about offering up some mercy. I’d be surprised if he were to stop now.

Unfortunately as part of the framing plot this does mean that Blade and Whistler spend a lot of time fighting off actual cops and government agents. You understand that they have to use some self defense, but this goes beyond that as they openly start shooting and bashing away at them. Whistler even uses a giant explosion that without a doubt murders a bunch of them. This is an ongoing trend that happens in numerous scenes. It feels like the heroes murder as many innocent people as villains in this film. It was a rather odd way to end off the trilogy. It does portray Blade as even more of a Punisher type of vigilante but I’m not sure if we needed that here. I think some of these scenes could have been cut or at least altered to show that they weren’t actually murdering anyone.

Beyond that Blade is still a solid lead though. He talks tough and is always ready to take the villains down. I like the new extended cable weapon he has since it’s very useful for taking down scores of enemies from a distance. If you ask me it’s easily one of his most useful weapons by a long shot. The Whistler gets his share of hits in as well. Without powers there isn’t a whole lot that he can do, but he’s always ready with background support. The two new characters are really the ones who are here to fight on the front lines.

First you have Hannibal who is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. Apparently he used to be a vampire and got cured which is neat but it wouldn’t have made any difference if he wasn’t. This tidbit of knowledge doesn’t matter in the slightest. He manages to get a big win near the end although I can’t say it feels deserved since he should have lost that round. I found him to be a reasonably entertaining character although it would have been nice if he were a little stronger. Then you have Abigail who has an excellent opening scene and continues to look good throughout the film. She’s a solid hand to hand fighter and uses a crossbow that can even light up and burn opponents to death.

Blade finally has an ally who can really fight alongside him. She isn’t a vampire so she has no super abilities but her close quarter combat skills are enough for her to take multiple opponents down so that’s quite impressive in itself. She’s a big reason as to why the setup of Blade having allies worked. If both of them were comic relief it would have been a little pointless. As it stands, she can only continue to get better and better as she fights along with Blade and a fourth film with them would have been interesting.

As with the earlier films the fight scenes are really solid here. We get quite a few good battles and this time each character gets their own fight. This leads to a pretty wide variety of battles. Blade tends to have the best ones, but as mentioned Abigail’s was solid as well. Dracula’s battle with Blade is a highlight and we got a lot of back and forth there. Dracula’s character itself wasn’t amazing though. He spends his first fight scene running which is pretty odd for a guy who prides himself on being the King. You’d think that he would welcome a challenge right off the bat. I suppose vampires just can’t help but fear Blade.

As always the graphics are really solid here. The effects are on point and the soundtrack is also great. We get the classic rock themes that you always want to see. For the negatives, it’s really the same as always. The film’s pretty violent with everyone getting bumped off. There’s a lot of blood draining going on for sure. We also add a new wrinkle as we see dog vampires that end up getting bumped off. It was so completely unnecessary. The instant I saw the dog appear I knew the film was setting itself up for a fall. I’ll give the movie props for not having them die on screen but it’s of little comfort. The film would have lost at least a star if that had happened and if it lost 2 there wouldn’t have been any lower for it to go. The writing isn’t the best here, but it could be worse. At least the script tried being a little different from the previous ones.

Overall, Blade 3 had some good ideas but also faltered in others. On one hand it was nice to see Blade having some young allies who could actually fight alongside him and weren’t evil. The soundtrack continued to be really good too and amplify the fights. On the other hand, the film is as excessively violent as always and this time there were even animals. Additionally the plot itself felt the weakest. After Dracula resurrects and the heroes have their opening fights it feels like the film stagnates for a while until we get to the climax. It didn’t feel like the pacing was quite as tight as the last two films. I’ll give the 3 films this, they were all pretty consistent and roughly on the same level as each other. That may not have been a good thing for their score, but you can’t win em all.

Overall 2/10