The Dinner: Pilsner and Ribeye at Gordon Biersch Pacific Place (600 Pine St Ste 401 · Seattle).
Blood, snakes and death panic have never looked this sexy, or believable.
The Movie: Buried at Meridian 16 (1501 7th Ave · Seattle).
The Screenplate: What do a Czech Pilsner, a Ribeye steak swimming in melted gorgonzola butter and Ryan Reynolds have in common? They're all lip-smackingly good indulgences I had on Saturday night.Every Pacific Northwesterner loves a good microbrew and the Czech Pilsner put out by Gordon Biersch is no exception. With imported hops, this classic blonde is a fantastic warm up for ninety straight minutes in a wooden box with an imported hottie. Nothing satisfies after a long hard week quite like a beefy meal, followed by a beefy man. Hitting up Gordon Biersch for a quality, classic Ribeye steak with all the traditional trimmings of garlic mashed potatoes, scant portions of veggies, butter, butter and more butter has all the makings of a great night out!
You get just what you expect at Biersch: a third too much food, two gulps too much beer, and a side of guilt that will only last long enough to walk across the street to the theater. You're not going to try something outside your comfort zone like foie gras or ceviche, but you are going to be glad you ate before you watched this movie. Your adrenaline will be pumping for hours with that same nervous tummy feeling you get when you accidently hit 'reply all' instead of 'forward' on a work email. Not to down play the tastiness of beer, steak or anything fried, but let's cut to the chase - Mr. Fabulous.
My crush only slightly clouds my opinion of this super suspenseful, terrifyingly realistic flick. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) awakes in darkness right alongside you (um, I wish!) for the first two minutes where the only indication the madness has begun is the shallow sounds of his breath against wood and the occasional bump of an elbow.
The brilliance of this unorthodox thriller lies in its simplicity. Stop waiting for a flashback, a cut away or additional plot line because you're not getting one. The only other actors in this film are on the other end of a dying cell phone, and none of those lucky SOBs are buried, in a coffin, underground, in the Middle East. The saving grace that relieves the unavoidable pit in your stomach is Conroy's dry humor in the most tense-ridden moments that you're glad to see has snuck into the most serious of Reynolds's rolls. The whole plot spans a number of painstaking, immobile hours, leading the audience through a series of teeth-gritting dropped calls and a random visitor that keeps you squirming in your seat.
While this definitely is not date night material, it is great for a rainy-day matinee with friends or alone. You can forget about the awful weather and the eighteen ounces of juicy red meat and yeasty brew you selfishly swilled an hour ago and focus on the six kinds of pure hell you're glad you're not experiencing like Conroy. Reynolds does a great job maintaining realistic fright with spikes of hope right up until the very end of the film. The hero role not only fits his natural likeability (extending beyond the stone-cold abs and boy like charm), but is made even more plausible by the chilling realization that what's happening to Conroy could actually happen, and probably has without making much national news.
You've seen thrillers, slashers, comedies and dramas, but Buried sends a new kind of chill up your spine. Grab a pint and a bite to take the edge off, then go strap in for the most claustrophobic mind trip of the year.