Push the red button – and someone somewhere will die. Seems pretty clear you shouldn’t do it right? Well, push that same button, and you get a million dollars. Now is it still as clear that you shouldn’t push it? Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur (James Mardsen) are a couple confronted by this very temptation – unaware that they’re apart of something mucher larger.
The film is loosely based on the short story Button, Button by Richard Matheson. The film incorporates both the theme and conclusion of the original story, and that of the 1980’s “Twilight Zone” episode based on the story, which changed the ending. But then it goes way farther. Norma and Arthur Lewis are a couple living beyond their means in 1976, the same year the Viking Mars Explorer sent back pictures or our closest planetary neighbor, a project on which Arthur works. They are visited by a former NASA scientist Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) who gives them a wooden box with a lone button, and a proposition: push the button and they’ll get one million dollars, but someone they don’t know will die.
It’s a dark thriller with a script that has been convoluted enough to prevent the movie from really being a success. And while the film does present an interesting moral dilema with seasoned actors and amazing visual effects, the audience becomes lost in the stranger flights of fancy that director Richard Kelly indugles in. The very talented we admired so much in pervious work such as Donnie Darko.
Blu-ray special features include commentary by Director Riachard Kelly, music video prequels, an interview with Richard Matheson, and a number of featurettes that look at hte elaborate visual effects and more!
Movie Site: The Box Official Site
Now available on Blu-ray and DVD!