Virginia 1976. Norma Lewis is a teacher who lives together with her husband Arthur, who works at NASA and tries to enter the astronaut program, and their son Walter. Although they’re having a pretty decent life, their financials aren’t the greatest and they’re living from paycheck to paycheck until one morning near Christmas someone rings the doorbell and leaves a package at the step with a note stating that the a “Mister Steward” will come to explain.
In the package is a box with a big red button and when hidiously deformed Arlington Steward arrives he explains Norma that if the button gets pushed, someone elsewhere in the world – who they don’t know – will get killed. In exchange they’ll get 1 million dollars…
Sound and Vision:
The only complaint you can have about this transfer is that it looks a bit soft. However, that’s done intentionally to reflect the 70s atmosphere so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. For the rest this is just an excellent transfer on all accounts. The visual effects look awesome and blend in with the 70s look of the film. Compression errors, grain, imperfections, … none are present and things are just great. Deep blacks, plenty of depth, natural skin tones, great contrast, … Awesome transfer is all we can say!
The DTS-HD soundtrack is equally impressive with plenty of use of the surrounds and subwoofer which blends the entire sound scheme and music score into an atmospheric piece that perfectly fits the movie and doesn’t interfere with the dialogues.
While in the US The Box is loaded with Hi-Def extras, this release is as empty as one can be in the extras department.
Richard Kelly, the man who made waves with Donnie Darko and then almost saw his career come to an end with the disaster called Southland Tales rises back to the living with The Box. Kelly keeps faithful to his weird storytelling but this time we get a simple story setup that he manages to enlarge to a giant masterpiece with characters that bring forth emotion and you actually do care about. The pace is slow and the dialogues at times are plain weird, just like the plot, but it all comes together nicely, eventhough the ending probably still leaves a lot of your questions unanswered.
If you don’t mind checking out a weird and bizarre movie, then The Box is definitely one we would recommend. It’s not your everyday action flick nor thriller but it’s definitely a great movie.