I don't go to the movies very often. Hardly at all, in fact. I find myself unwilling to pay $12 to watch characters for two hours, give or take, and then never see them again, and most films don't even have good writing in the first place. The spectacle of movie-going has lost its charm for me. Don't get me wrong, I'll watch them once they're out on DVD, and I have a long list of movies I absolutely love, but the urgency is just not there anymore. I blame serialized television, and if you've been reading this blog at all you've seen me mention of a few different dramas that I feel are superior to just about any movie I've ever seen. However, I am not completely indifferent to movies, and I saw a trailer the other day that piqued my interest. It was for a film called The Box, starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and the great Frank Langella, and it was written and directed by Richard Kelly, the nut behind Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. The story was adapted from the short story "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson, the excellent horror/sci-fi author of the books I am Legend, Stir of Echoes and The Incredible Shrinking Man, all of which have been made into movies of varying degrees of quality. I highly recommend reading him.
Anyway, the story is about a married couple, down on their luck financially after the husband loses his job, who are visited by a mysterious stranger who gives them a box with a button in it. If they push the button, two things will happen: someone, who they do not know, somewhere in the world, will die, and they will immediately get a million dollars. Of course, these things are never as simple as that, and bad things start to happen. It's a classic morality tale, like most horror stories, and I'm very interested to see how Kelly pulls it off. I'm no huge fan of Donnie Darko, but it has a great visual style and lots of good ideas (let's all just pretend that Southland Tales never happened, ok?), so I could see this being his best work.
I can't embed the trailer, but here's the link.