The “Buried” teaser trailer — don’t expect an eyeful

When I was in UCLA’s film school, sometime in the antediluvian celluloid era, the most grueling and rewarding class was “Project 1” in which all students were forced to become the auteurs of their own Super-8 epic. Just to make things a little extra tough, we were also forced to use 16mm sound in combination with the 8mm picture, which, trust me, created nightmarish problems regarding syncing sound to picture that essentially turned post-production into a cinematic hazing ritual. As we students expressed our frustration, inevitably someone would come up with same silly/sick joke about doing a film “from the point of view of Helen Keller” — i.e., complete silence and no visuals — or, a bit less minimalistically, “from the point of view of Stevie Wonder.”

Well, eventually, one of my friends did make a film that was close to the latter, with some clever dialogue which I won’t try to reconstruct here. Ever since then, I don’t remember anyone trying to make anything quite so minimal, that is until now….

This comes via Pete Sciretta at /Film who really seems to think that this film, which takes place entirely in the coffin and is most definitely not for the seriously claustrophobic, is terrific. Now, I’m definitely a fan of moves that take place in relatively confined spaces. “Rear Window” is one of my all-time favorite films, but I imagine there have to be limits. However, if I actually enjoy watching “Buried,” rather than merely enduring it, that will be an achievement that will force me to take director writer Chris Sparling, director Rodrigo Cortés and star Ryan Reynolds very seriously.

  

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I’ve got those midweek movie news blues

Leonardo DiCaprio* It’s not really new news and I even posted about it before, but Mike Fleming has returned to the possibility that Leonardo DiCaprio may eventually be undertaking the role of John D. MacDonald’s great gumshoe, Travis McGee. However, there’s more this time around. If DiCaprio strikes a lot of us as a counter-intuitive pick for the laid-back, heroic tough guy, the choice of possible director seems even stranger: Oliver Stone. Stone’s often hyperactive style simply strikes me as wrong, unless he can turn himself into Howard Hawks or Clint Eastwood or someone more in that vein.

Still, my discomfort is nothing compared to Drew McWeeney, who is obviously a huge, huge fan of the books and who read a script that he was none too fond of — though it’s been so long since I’ve read the books that I’m so sure why introducing McGee on a surfboard is all that terrible. However, I do remember McGee as being more a fishing-with-his-buddy-Meyer-while sipping-whiskey kind of a guy. By the way, if they don’t cast Paul Giamatti as Meyer, the world just doesn’t really make any sense.

* If some people are made nauseous by the camera work in the Bourne movies, how many more will be made ill if the approach is set in some guy’s bloodstream and in James Cameron-style immersive 3-D? It appears we may be finding out because director Paul Greengrass, whose high-budgetted “Green Zone” has been a commercial and critical disappointment, is “in talks” to be the director on the Cameron-produced 3-D remake of “Fantastic Voyage.” I’m thinking about buying shares in whoever manufactures Dramamine.

* Screenwriters, playwrights, aspiring TV scribes — are you ready for Script Frenzy? I just found out about it. Remember, there are only thirty days in April and the goal is 100 pages.

* Big news for this movie mad, West L.A. bred Bruin boy. Regency chain has purchased the endangered, historic twin single-screen movie theaters that anchor UCLA-adjacent Westwood Village, the appropriately named Fox Village and Bruin theaters. The chain recently let go of an important neighborhood theater a couple of miles east which was turned into a triplex back in the eighties or early nineties, the Fairfax, which anchors the traditionally Jewish neighborhood that is home to Canter’s Deli. Win a few, lose a few, I guess.

Bruin_Theatre,_Westwood,_Los_Angeles,_CA_,_at_night

http://www.gq.com/entertainment/celebrities/201001/william-shatner-captain-kirk-interview?printable=true

* GQ’s Andrew Corsello has a very cool piece up about William Shatner and his battles with irony. But if anyone out there has seen him in Roger Corman’s sole non-genre film, “The Intruder,” they know there was a time when he was a very good actor who could it keep it fairly simple, even playing a villainous antihero, back in 1962.

* I’m a little late on this, but Steven Spielberg absolutely does not, repeat, does not, have Asperger’s Syndrome. In other news, I can now announce that I am 100% free of ovarian cancer.

* Bryan Cranston, star of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and also the upcoming “John Carter of Mars” is a popular guy around these parts. He’s currently “eying” a part in “Larry Crowne,” the upcoming Tom Hanks starring/directed by dramedy co-starring Julia Roberts and written with Nia Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” The character in question is  Roberts’ husband, whose a blogger who spends way too much time “looking at” porn. I wouldn’t know anything about that.

  

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