By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Buried” (R) — Hands up: Who wants to see Ryan Reynolds buried alive? Yeah, me too. Well, in “Buried” we get our wish. Reynolds stars as Paul Conroy, a truck driver who wakes up to find himself buried in a coffin under 6 feet of earth with nothing but a cell phone that’s running out of juice, a lighter and about 90 minutes of oxygen. With time running out on him, Conroy needs to piece together enough clues to determine his location so he can call for help (that is, if the cell phone doesn’t go dead first).
Demonstrating an almost Hitchcockian finesse, director Rodrigo Cortes does a remarkable job not only in finding impressive ways of shooting in such a confined space, but in keeping the dramatic tension taut as piano wire throughout the entire film. “Buried” is definitely worth a look.
“Dark Skies: The Declassified Complete Series” (Unrated) — “Dark Skies” is one of those great, short-lived series that nobody watched, but should have. Set in the 1960s, the show tells the tale of a young couple (Eric Close, Megan Ward) who are drawn into a shadowy conspiracy involving a secret war against an alien invasion.
What made “Dark Skies” such brilliant television was its approach to telling an alternative history, using real people like The Beatles, Howard Hughes, Bobby Kennedy, Charles Manson and other historical figures as players in this vast sub rosa struggle for humanity’s survival.
SUCH A DEAL!
“Sean Connery 007 Collection Volume 1” (PG) — This six-disc set includes the two-disc ultimate editions of “Dr. No,” “From Russia With Love” and “Goldfinger.” — a pretty great deal for less than 20 bucks, if you don’t already own the films.
DOG OF THE WEEK
“Death Race 2” (Unrated) — How is it even possible to screw up a “Death Race” movie? All you need are a bunch of cars tricked out with missile launchers and machine guns, hot chicks, ridiculously cool destructo explosion stunts and a few zippy one-liners. Well, director Roel Reine (yeah, I never heard of him either) has managed to make this direct-to-DVD production a complete snooze-fest. The stunts are weak, the chicks are barely office pretty and worst of all, he cast Danny Trejo, one of the most badass actors on the planet, as a wise-cracking mechanic. Save your money and avoid this abomination.
“Merlin” The Complete Second Season
“Last of the Summer Wine” Vintage 1987
“Waking the Dead” Season 5
“Justified” The Complete First Season
“Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!” The Complete Series
“Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” Collection 5 Pt. 2
“Dallas” The Complete Fourteenth Season
“Stingray” The Complete Series
“Thirtysomething” Season 1 Volume 1
“Simon & Simon” The Best of Season 2
“21 Jump Street” The Complete Fourth Season
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.