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"The Box" Features Music From Duane Allman, Toy Caldwell

Posted: Nov 06, 2009

Today I went to see the new sci-fi thriller “The Box.” Now,  the trailer presented it as a thriller, but without the sci-fi aspect. Actually, I was quite pleased to see the sci-fi storyline. I like those kinds of things.

Frank Langella plays a creepy NASA employee with half a face. The other half was burned off in a lightning strike. He shows up at the door of another NASA employee (James Marsden of X-Men fame) and his wife, played by Cameron Diaz, in Richmond, Virginia to offer them a million dollars in cash if they will simply push a red button on a fancy wooden box and kill one person somewhere in the world. Langella offers no other explanation.

Of course, a working couple with one kid, especially in 1976 when this story is set, could live well on a million dollars, so in a snap discussion Diaz slams the button like a contestant on Family Feud.

Of course, things go south real quick like. You know what they say about greed. I forget what it is they say, but it ain’t good. The story takes a turn and suddenly we are in the middle of a H.P. Lovecraft novel, filled with zombie-like weirdos, nose bleeds, time portals, domestic violence and mind control. All the groovy stuff.

The coolest thing about “The Box” may be the soundtrack. During a wedding rehearsal party, the DJ plays “Bell Bottom Blues” by Derek & The Dominos, and that sweet Duane Allman slide soars for several minutes. Then, before you can say “y’all” here comes The Marshall Tucker Band with “Can’t You See.” Almost the entire song is heard. Welcome to 1976. On top of that, Marsden is being poked fun at by an old geezer who is ragging on  him because his hair is slightly long. The old guy asks, “Which one are you? Lynyrd or Skynyrd?” I howled.

The movie is interesting, but the editing of the film will lose the casual viewer. Even an old film buffalo like me had a bit of a hard time keeping up.

The ending is pretty darn sad, and Langella  has the last word. This is Frank's creepiest character on film since Dracula. Well, no. There was his character in Frost/Nixon.

Three Stars

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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gongsi028 says...

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sarasmile says...

I loved that movie.

Avatar says...

Went to see it today on your call. One weird flick but it was nice to hear all of "our" music in a movie. And what about them seventies sports cars? Hot!

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