Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Box

The BoxBased on a short story by Richard Matheson is a convoluted mess.  Starring Cameron Diaz, who wins the worst accent of the decade award, and James Marsters as a couple offered a Faustian bargain of shorts.  Struggling to stay afloat financially, Diaz is appraoched by a mysterious and scarred stranger played by Frank Langella.  He presents her with a wooden box with a button.  Push the button and someone, aomewhere in the world will die and she will received one million dollars.  Matheson's story was a very short  tale about greed, morality and intimacy.  It's conclusion was as darkly comedic, as it was tragic.  Annyone who has read The Monkey's Paw probably saw it coming.  The film version by Richard Kelly tosses all that aside for a story about aliens ( or are they angels?) judging the earth.  We go from The Monkey's paw to The day the earth Stood Still.  The plot is overly convoluted. This happens when a story that is simply too short to be adapted to feature length gets forcibly stretched out.  The acting is mediocre at best, horrendous at worst "cough" Cameron Diaz "cough."  Do yourself a favor and read the short story "button, button" instead.  It is better, costs less to buy it in a short story collection than a rental, and won't take up as much time as watching this near epic failure that I would rate as one of the owrst films of the year.

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