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Box (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don't know.


Studio Warner
SKU 213780485
UPC 883929057528
UPC 14 00883929057528
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 11/9/2010
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review I know, I know, The Box triumphantly qualifies for one of my favorite adjectives, "preposterous." But if you make a preposterous movie that isn't boring, I count that as some kind of a triumph. This one begins as traditional science fiction and branches out into radio signals from Mars, nosebleeds, Sartre's theories about free will, amputated toes, NASA, the National Security Agency, wind tunnels, murders, black Town Cars, obnoxious waiters, and a mysterious stranger...His name is Arlington Lewis Steward. He drops a box on the front porch of Norma and Arthur Lewis, and returns with an offer: If they push the button on top of the box, they will be paid $1 million in crisp $100 bills ("non-taxable"), but unfortunately, someone not known to them will die. Well, what would you do? Norma has just learned their son's tuition is going up, and Arthur has been dropped from astronaut training. The hell with it: Norma, so sweet and earnest, pushes the button...The Box is based on the story of the same name by Richard Matheson, published by Playboy in 1970. It inspired a simpler adaptation for a Twilight Zone episode in 1986, which had a different ending but a very similar box design. Well, what can you do with a box with a button on top? Matheson, who has three films in pre-production at 83, has inspired or written at least 23 films (I am Legend has been made three times) and countless TV episodes...What would you do? And what if the victim wasn't a person you had met who was screaming in another room, but someone unknown to you? And the reward wasn't helping out Yale with its research, but a cool million? Norma and Arthur Lewis aren't bad people -- pretty nice ones, in fact. They regret her impulsive action immediately. But then the plot grows sinister, coiling around to involve them, which we expect, but also venturing into completely unanticipated directions, and inspiring as many unanswered questions as "Knowing," which I loved...Many readers hated Knowing, and many will hate The Box. What can I say? I'm not here to agree with you. This movie kept me involved and intrigued, and for that I'm grateful. I'm beginning to wonder whether, in some situations, absurdity might not be a strength.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Miami Herald
Review How do you pad out a six-page short story that strives to be nothing more than a clever little morality tale into a feature-length film? By throwing in lots and lots of stuff -- practically everything but zombies. Check that: We've got two hours to fill here. Bring on the zombies, too!...Button, Button was previously adapted for the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone, and the story underwent such radical changes that Matheson had his name removed from the episode...But the name remains among the credits for The Box, even though the film and short story are so different, they aren't even in the same genre. The picture certainly starts out like Matheson's story: A married couple, Arthur and Norma Lewis (James Marsden and Cameron Diaz), receive a package containing a small wooden box with a single red pushbutton protected by a locked glass dome...The box comes with a mysterious note: ``Mr. Steward will call on you at 5 p.m.,'' it says, and he certainly does. To say that Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) is unusual does not begin to describe him. For one thing, he's missing much of the left side of his face. But he's well spoken and stylishly dressed, and he comes bearing the key to the glass dome. He also delivers an intriguing offer: Push the button, and someone somewhere in the world you don't know will die. You will also receive a million dollars in cash. You have 24 hours to decide whether to accept the offer or decline and give back the box...After they've concluded that Steward is not some Candid Camera prankster, Arthur and Norma, who happen to be going through a rough financial patch, engage in much hand wringing about the prospect of being responsible for the death of another human being. He: ``What if it's a baby?'' She: ``What if it's a murderer on Death Row?''...By this point, The Box has already begun its drastic departure from Matheson's story, from the introduction of Norma's maimed right foot as a crucial plot point to the prominence of Arthur's job at NASA's Langley Research Center, which is abuzz over the ongoing Viking mission to Mars (the movie is set in 1976)...The farther The Box goes, the more ludicrous the movie becomes, but Kelly is talented enough to make you consider his admittedly far-fetched ideas through sheer craft (the movie looks fantastic) and his direction of his actors (Marsden and Diaz shine in roles that are close to unplayable)...The Box is a mess, but it's a curiously haunting, intriguing, brain-tickling mess, and it delivers that Donnie Darko feeling in truckloads. Or should that be rocketloads?
Reviewer Rene Rodriguez
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Slip Sleeve
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Keith Phipps, The Onion A.V. Club It's an unwieldy, ambitious, one-of-a-kind film waiting for a cult to find it.
Variety Kelly returns to his DONNIE DARKO roots by depicting an all-American family succumbing to paranormal forces, with several nods to the styles and sounds of the epoch.
Mark Dinning, Empire Movie Marmite. Many will be perplexed. Donnie Darko fans should lap it up.

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