Live for Films

I've moved to www.liveforfilms.com

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Kelly’

The Box, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on April 19, 2010

Director: Richard Kelly
Starring: James Marsden, Cameron Diaz, Frank Langella

Score: 8 / 10

Richard Kelly was behind the phenomenal Donnie Darko and the confusing flawed epic Southland Tales. Both featured deep far reaching ideas and, although the execution in the latter was a bit out of whack, you were left thinking about them for a long time.

The Box is no exception to this. It deals with choice and the dark places they can take you. Based on Richard Matheson’s short story, “Button Button” and with a healthy dose of Philip K Dick paranoia, the film opens up in the Seventies were Cameron Diaz and James Marsden are a happy couple with a young son. She is a teacher, he is an engineer at NASA hoping to become and astronaut and that set up is based on Richard Kelly’s life.

To upset the apple cart comes a disfigured Frank Langella with the titular box. Inside the box is a button and he informs the couple that if they press the button they will get $1,000,000 (Dr Evil would be so happy), but someone they don’t know will die.

The first part of the film deals with their decision about what to do with the button and fleshing out their world. It is this aspect that I thought Kelly handled really well. You get the feeling of their family and events going on around them. My problem with lots of films, especially high concept ones like this, is that it takes place in a tiny place with just the people involved. You don’t always feel as if the world is moving on a around them. Kelly gets by this by having quite a large cast of good supporting actors and setting it in the Seventies may also help that. It puts you in mind of Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives.

The scarred face of Langella is just part of the strangeness that slowly creeps into the film. People stare at Diaz and Marsden before suffering nosebleeds, events turn against them meaning they current lifestyle is at risk, and elsewhere a man shoots his wife and goes on the run.

I can’t go into the plot of the film too much without spoiling it, but needless to say the button is just the first choice they are given.

Marsden does an excellent job and gets further away from the cardboard cut-out that was Cyclops. Diaz does okay, but the accent she puts on gets in the way, yet you feel her anguish very well in some later scenes.

The main praise goes to Kelly for the whole look and feel of the film. Some standout scenes are the ones in the library – Marsden walking between the desks – and all of the ones with Langella who is just superb. We don’t get given an explanation as to what exactly is going on or who is behind it all, but what information is dripped to us sets light to the imagination as you try and figure out the purpose of the choice and what it means to us all.

I could go on, but run the risk of spoiling it for you. Go and watch it, then think about it and watch some more.

Would you push the button?

The Box (DVD) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (Blu-Ray) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (DVD) – Amazon.com
The Box (Blu-ray) – Amazon.com

Posted in Film, news, Review, Sci-Fi, Thriller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Competition: Win Richard Kelly’s The Box

Posted by LiveFor on April 11, 2010


Richard Kelly is the guy behind the brilliant Donnie Darko and the not well received Southland Tales.

On th 19th April his new film The Box is released on DVD in the UK. To mark the occasion I have got 3 copies of the film to give away.

Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger, delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world; someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

The competition is open for anyone anywhere in the world. Mind you you will need a player that can play a Region 2 DVD.

Who wrote the short story that The Box is based on?

Email me the answer with “The Box” as the subject. Include your name and address as that will make it quicker to send out the prize if you win.

Competition ends at midnight GMT on 18th April 2010.

Thanks to the good people at Romley Davies for sorting this out.
The Box (DVD) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (Blu-Ray) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (DVD) – Amazon.com
The Box (Blu-ray) – Amazon.com

Posted in Film, Sci-Fi, Thriller | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Box – A clip from Richard “Donnie Darko” Kelly’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on October 29, 2009


Here we see James Marsden take a strange car ride with a mysterious woman.

For some reason this scene reminds me of the bit from the first X-Men film when Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is driving and talking to Rogue (Anna Paquin) and then Sabretooth attacks. Just me then?

Posted in Film, Sci-Fi, Trailer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Box – Early review of Richard Kelly’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on October 22, 2009

boxRichard Kelly is the bloke behind the brilliant Donnie Darko (the director’s cut sucked though). He then made Southland Tales which was a huge flop (although Jinja tells me it is not quite as bad as everyone said, just a bit of a mess).

As previously reported Kelly’s next film is based on the Richard Matheson story – Button, Button – now retitled The Box. It stars James Marsden (X-Men, 27 Dresses, Hairspray) and Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels, The Mask).

Hollywood Elsewhere had a review from an Australian Critic called Don Groves and unfortunately it looks as if The Box may be more Southland Tales than Donnie Darko.

“This period sci-fi thriller (i.e., set in the mid ’70s) suffers from a complete lack of logic and woeful miscasting of the lead roles — and, worse, is almost totally devoid of tension.

“Inspired by ‘Button, Button,’ a 1970s short story by Richard Matheson, the film flounders on its preposterous premise: What would you do if someone offered you a million bucks to press a red button that would cause someone, somewhere — a person you didn’t know — to die?

“Anyone with half a brain would tell the crackpot making this offer to shove the box where the sun don’t shine, but not schoolteacher Norma (Cameron Diaz) and her NASA engineer husband Arthur (James Marsden). They’re short of money, you see, because Norma has just learned she won’t get the employee discount to enable her to keep their son in the private school where she works, she’ll have to postpone reconstructive surgery on her mangled foot, and Arthur’s application to become an astronaut is rejected after he failed the psych test.

“So they toy with taking up the offer from the mysterious Arlington Steward (Frank Langella), an elegantly-dressed, courteous chap with a horribly disfigured face. “I assure you I am not a monster, just a man with a job to do,” he intones gravely. The next day, Norma impetuously presses the button, and, across town in Virginia, a woman is shot dead.

“Steward duly delivers the loot and departs to tempt some other hapless couple. Not once does this well-educated, middle-class couple ask him if anyone died as a result of Norma’s succumbing to temptation. Is that plausible?

“The rest of the movie is an incoherent mess filled with clues, red herrings and non-sequiturs. Random people keep getting nosebleeds. There’s a creepy student, a tormented babysitter, inept efforts by Arthur’s cop father-in-law to investigate these peculiar events, and some psychobabble about the ‘path to salvation.’

“Who employs Steward and has orchestrated his mission? All is revealed, sort of, but little of it makes sense. In essence, Kelly appears to be using a muddle-headed morality play to remind us we’re all responsible for the consequences of our actions. Like, who needs reminding?

“Affecting an annoying Southern accent, Diaz struggles to make Norma seem remotely interesting or worthy of sympathy, despite the predicament she precipitates. Marsden lacks the authority to be believable as a NASA engineer and is barely adequate as a husband and father who’s faced with a cruel dilemma. There is almost zero chemistry between them, which makes it hard to believe they’re a loving couple. Old pro Langella is suitably creepy and menacing, but his efforts are wasted.

“To reflect the 1976 setting, Kelly and his cinematographer Steven Poster drained much of the color, resulting in a cold, flat and uninviting look — rather like the film itself. And was wallpaper of that era really so ugly?”

Posted in Film, Horror, news, Review, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Trailer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Box – Richard Kelly speaks and Cameron Diaz gives the game away

Posted by LiveFor on July 27, 2009

I am looking forward to this film. I love a bit of Twilight Zone shenanigans.

Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) are faced with a terrible dilemma when a mysterious glass box turns up at their door. If they press the button inside the box, they’ll get enough money to save their ailing son, but in exchange, someone, somewhere in the world will die. When the temptation to save their beloved son becomes too much to bear, Norma pushes the button. Immediately, a gunshot rings out somewhere nearby. Consumed with guilt, Norma must do everything in her power to solve a murder she has knowingly caused. The Box is director Richard (Donnie Darko) Kelly’s latest thriller.

The Box is due out on 30th October 2009.

MovieWeb had this chat with director Richard Kelly.

Cameron Diaz has also been talking about the film (via Filmstalker) and has given what could be huge spoilers. They are in invisitext below so click and drag the mouse if you want to read them.

The first is about the origin of the box, it’s from another planet, a race from Mars no less.

The second is that this Martian race is testing humankind for some reason, and the box is the test.

I’m not sure what to make of that. May be true, may not be. Could work or it could suck. If you read the spoilers what do you think of it? Beware there could be spoilers in the comments.

HOME

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

First poster for Richard Kelly’s The Box

Posted by LiveFor on April 4, 2009

Richard Kelly is the guy who made the excellent Donnie Darko and the not so special Southland Tales. As you may or may not know he is making a film called The Box. It is based on on the short story “Button, Button” by screenwriter and novelist Richard Matheson (Duel, I am Legend). Quiet Earth dug up this first poster for it.

Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) are a suburban couple with a young child who receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world…someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

Leave a comment on this post below.

HOME

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Donnie Darko sequel is straight to DVD

Posted by LiveFor on February 4, 2009

S Darko, the sequel to the brilliant Donnie Darko, has nothing to do with Richard Kelly. Plus it’s headed straight to DVD on 28th April. Think this is probably a good thing as I really couldn’t see the need for a sequel to the brilliant Donnie Darko. Teaser trailer below and the full trailer is out at the New York Comic Con this weekend.

Samantha Darko (Daveigh Chase) and her rebellious best friend Corey Richardson (Briana Evigan) leave on a cross-country road trip to Los Angeles in an attempt to ‘make it big’. Their dreams are cut short when their water pump blows outside of a tiny Utah town. Unable to leave until their car is fixed, Sam and Corey are stranded with the locals until their car’s fixed. Sam and Corey are less than thrilled at the delay, and when an unexplained meteorite crash-lands in town that night, it soon becomes clear that there is much more at play than just a chance breakdown. Plagued by bizarre hallucinatory dreams warning her of the universe’s imminent end, as well as grief over her own loss of family, Sam must face the demons she had fled back at home. Aided by the unlikely town locals, Sam learns the true meaning of family and friendship, and in doing so, saves only herself.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »