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Friday, November 13, 2009

Review: THE BOX

Well I'm definitely going to have to watch this one again.

Once again, Richard Kelly has given us a total experiment in how much the mind can handle in a film. Fans of his infamous cult film, Donnie Darko, will be in for a treat as they watch The Box take them on a long, twisting track of a movie that only leaves you with one thought at the end.

"Well I'm definitely going to have watch this one again".

The Box is the story of the ultimate social experiment. Norma and Arthur Lewis (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) live a quiet life in Langley, Virginia with their son Walter (Sam Oz Stone). One day, a man who looks like he was in the same building as Two-Face named Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) shows up with a mysterious box containing what he calls "the button unit". He explains to Norma, in the most charming and endearing way possible, that if she presses it, one person somewhere in the world who she does not know will die. In return, she will receive a payment of one million dollars. Cash. She has 24 hours to decide.

That's all I'm going to say about the plot. Like Donnie Darko, it is nearly impossible to explain and demands that you pay attention to every single second.

I enjoyed the movie for the most part. It's not the most amazing film I've seen in years, but it certainly does make you think, and leaves you with a message. An extremely bleak message, but a message nonetheless.

The movie is shot exactly like Kelly's previous films. This may or may not drive audiences insane. I like it personally. It is reminiscent of Kubrik's The Shining. Lots of zooms, long shots, and incredibly creepy performances.

Diaz and Marsden are both very good. They are by no means the performances of a lifetime, but they serve the movie well. Langella and Stone are also very good, though I never want to see Langella play a character this creepy again.

The music is also not bad, but it chimes in at weird times, and it's just so... how do I put this... creepy.

I guess that's the best way to sum this movie up. It's plain creepy. It's creepy in concept, it's creepy in the acting, and it's creepy in the message.

If you liked Donnie Darko and Southland Tales, go see this. If you want to see a movie that is certainly not the norm, and look at a filmmaker who is on his own level of style, go see this. But if you want to see a movie that relays a positive message about ourselves as a people... you may want to avoid it.

I guess the real question comes down to this: Would you kill someone you didn't know for one million dollars?

3 stars

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