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The Box review

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The Box

Warner Brothers

PG 13 114 min



Even if you’re not old enough to remember Rod Serling’s classic The Twilight Zone from the early sixties you may recall that it’s been resurrected over the years not only through reruns but a revival and modernization via cinema and TV in the 80s.

Among the stories in the new series was “Button Button” by Richard Matheson.

Basically a stranger visits a poor couple and gives them an odd box to keep overnight. He tells the wife that if she pushes the button she’ll receive a large amount of money but that somewhere in the world a total stranger to her will die. She succumbs to the temptation and the money is forthcoming. Curious, she asks the stranger what he will do with thee button box now? He assures her he will now leave it with a total stranger. The show ends as she realizes the chilling implication of his words.

So if you take that simple yet frightening tale and load it up with a cockamamie heap of rubbish about Martians and a sinister plan to exterminate mankind (a la THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL) you wind up with a really bad movie.

Not only is ninety percent of the film made up of random nonsense but worse yet it’s boring random nonsense and it crawls at a snail’s pace.

The effects aren’t even good enough to hold your interest and every bit of action was in the trailer. It isn’t that I cared but for anyone who’d come expecting a thrill ride? Sorry kids.

I won’t even fault the acting. While Cameron Diaz and James Marsden aren’t exactly legends of the thespian arts, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Kate Hepburn couldn’t have salvaged this dog. Even the estimable Frank Langella couldn’t save it.

You can lay this whole mess at the feet of writer director Richard Kelly who turned a great short story into a big long turd.




Email westsidesteve@aol.com

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