Hello!! If you love movies then you have landed at the right place where you will get reviews for whatever flicks that I watch when I am bored. Caution: Most of my reviews tend to be biased!! :) .

The Box (2009)

It’s the holiday season and while the whole world is watching Avatar, I have to comfort myself with any random recent movies that happen to pop in my radar. One such movie that was recommended with a high praise to me happens to be the topic of review today!
I had no clue before watching this that it is by the creator of Donnie Darko, a movie that I have been thinking of watching for a real long time. Therefore, aside from the effusive praise that was bestowed to it by the recommender, I actually had no expectations from the movie. The core plot of the movie revolves around, as the title suggests, a box! This box is received by a family consisting of a couple and their son. The man of the house (James Mardsen) works for NASA while his wife (Cameron Diaz) works as a teacher. Their puzzle over both the content and sender of the box doesn’t last long as they are visited the very next day by a rather ominous looking man called Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) who presents to them a simple proposition. Push the button inside the box and someone, somewhere unknown to them will die and they will receive a million dollars in return, and if they don’t the box will be taken from them after 24 hours. The rest of the proceedings are not merely about the couple’s decision but much more manifold to such an extent that every character that appears on screen holds some clue to what is going on. Therefore, talking any further about the plot will not only present major spoilers but also spoil the charm of watching things unfold.
“The Box”, when it begins is one of the movies that don’t just need but commands attention. The characters captivate, the plot intrigues and the rustic feel of 1976 is beautifully captured on screen. There is almost an absence of filler sequences as every scene builds on beautifully to increase the suspense about what’s going on. Diaz is great as woman with confusions about what’s right and wrong. Langella is gentle yet menacing (almost in league with Jigsaw!!) but the character that surprised me was Mardsen, primarily because I never thought that that he could act! The way the movie sets itself for the second half is praiseworthy.
But the trouble with “The Box” begins with its second half. It’s a movie that begins to get complex and confusing not because the plot desires it but just for the sake of being so. (A minor spoiler ahead) I had no clue that the movie belonged to the sci-fi genre and its TWZ inspired plot, but the way it appears make it rather brazen yet boring. By the time the movie ends, the complex plot details that unravel seem to look much prettier in their knotty design earlier. The movie is almost like a roller-coaster that reaches its peak midway and is a big downhill then on. It raises various questions, questions about morality, humanity etc. Sadly, with “The Box”, you are too bored to even make an effort to find the answers and just watch the director falling prey to his own ambitiousness.
I couldn’t help but draw an analogy to a similar venture that appeared last year- “Franklyn”. Both the movies had unique, ambitious plots, both developed for screen in a refreshing manner, both possessed twists in the tales that do not appear till the very end. Unfortunately, both were also uninteresting and failed to entertain by the time we get set for the epilogue. In short, movies that is just good enough for rentals!
RATING: **1/2 (out of 5)

I will leave off with something more entertaining than this movie and that’s the new Iron Man 2 trailer!! :)

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)


When it’s a boring weekend evening and you want a bit of adrenaline rush, all you need is to pick up a good suspense/thriller and let the fun begin. Unfortunately, while there are no things more exhilarating as a good thriller, there is surely nothing more frustrating as a good one gone bad. At the very onset, let me warn you, “Law Abiding Citizen” (LAC) falls totally into the latter category.

If you have seen the trailers of the movie, you pretty much know the entire plot. Gerard Butler plays Clyde Shelton whose family is gruesomely murdered in front of his eyes by two goons. While they both are arrested, the faulty judicial system ensures that the main culprit walks away while the sidekick gets the death penalty. Playing devil’s advocate is Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice, who as Clyde says “makes a deal with the murderers”. The anguished father of course can do nothing against the system and has to watch helplessly as his pleas are cut short. Nick’s defense being that some justice is better than no justice at all! Things shift ten years down the line when the father decided to take on the system and methodically bumps off the culprits before being arrested. What follows is his sequential killing off of everyone that was involved in the case, all that happening while he is still in jail.

While the plot is as wafer-thin as I just described, the thrill factor is not. From the moment Clyde is arrested, the script follows a taut sequence of one method-killing after another. And as further details about Clyde’s past divulge itself, the killings only get bigger as spectacles keeping you at the edge of your seats. While LAC is no comment on the judicial system, it does take aid of the faults to move things forward. Clyde’s bail sequence is a real fun to watch in that respect! The suspense regarding how Clyde is able to do all the killings is also maintained pretty well throughout the major part of the movie.

But as I said before, LAC is a big letdown in several departments. Acting wise Gerard Butler is great as always. There are moments where he has to shift gears from carefree nonchalance to scary insolence and he does it with commanding ease. But that’s it for the acting department as rest of the whole setup just seems to be sleepwalking through their role. Jamie Foxx is plain and simple bad as the lawyer who has to predict the next move while maintaining his own safety. It could have been a gripping cat and mouse game between the lead protagonists but Foxx’s acting and the script never lifts their duel to the next level. And finally, the big letdown is the final act. Stop just fifteen minutes before the ending and run off to wherever you want . Then cook up whatever ending you imagined and it surely would still not be as absurd as what the director has to offer. It’s abrupt, preposterous and doesn’t explain some very important plot points.

In short, in spite of being an enjoyable fare, LAC leaves such a bad aftertaste that it would be really impossible to suggest it to someone. Watch it at your own risk!

RATING: **1/2 (out of 5)

Copyright 2009 Offshoots of Boredom. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by Blogger and Blogger Templates.
Bloggerized by Miss Dothy