New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012
Brake (Gabe Torres, 2012)
Brake’s biggest problem is that from most aspects, including generating claustrophobia and getting the most possible visual mileage out of its constrained primary set, Buried is superior. Even as an expression of Americans’ feeling of blind victimization in a post-9/11 world, Cortés’ film trumps this one. While in Buried Reynolds played an overseas contractor in the Middle East who felt like the random victim of foreign terrorists, Dorff becomes involved in a far more elaborate terror scheme. From the radio’s descriptions of black clouds of smoke to the thick foreign accent of one of Dorff’s captors, the air of paranoia is palpable here at times, but it is ultimately less than in Buried effective for being so strenuously drummed up. The notion that less is more present in Brake’s visual style does not extend to its script.
All in all, when compared to Buried, Brake is sillier stuff. The tortures it puts its protagonist through are more inventive, playing at times like a Saw movie without the extreme gore (a bee attack is especially crazy), but its attempts to tell an epic story from within a box are strained in ways that never afflicted Buried. That isn’t to imply that Brake isn’t worthwhile. It’s a clever B-movie that has a number of fun twists up its sleeve. Its only real misfortune is that it happens to be the follow up to one of the most inspired directorial debuts in recent memory.