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The Italian Job (1969 & 2003)

4 Aug

There are movies that really succeed at capturing a certain time period and a very specific attitude, and one of the finest examples of this may be the 1969 British crime classic, The Italian Job. It’s cool, funny, and captures the time and place very well while also succeeding as a really entertaining caper flick. After getting a pretty good game for the Playstation 1, the movie got revisited once again in 2003 with a remake by F. Gary Gray. It’s makes me happy to say that both films work very well together and a lot of fun can be had with the original and also the remake.

Of course, we’re going to start with the 1969 classic.


After being released from a stretch in prison, Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) has a chance to turn his life around and fit in with normal society, but he’s just too good at what he does. With a plan already started by his recently deceased mentor and friend Roger (Rossano Brazzi), Croker starts getting a crew together to go to Turin, Italy to steal $4 million and escape to Geneva. None of this would be possible without a lot of funding, so Croker goes to Mr. Bridger (Noël Coward), who runs his criminal empire from prison, to finance it. With the money and the crew ready, the team heads to Turin to finish the job, but the mafia is on to them and will stop at nothing to keep the $4 million in Italy.

Since the time of its release, The Italian Job has grown into an iconic film filled with imagery that is immediately recognizable. Even before I saw this movie, I’d see a Mini Cooper drive down the street and my mind would go straight to The Italian Job. Maybe I just think about movies too much. Anyway, there’s plenty of great reasons why this film has achieved this status. One of the biggest reasons is the famous chase scene involving the three Mini Coopers making their escape out of Turin. This scene is reason enough to watch this movie, and it ranks as one of the greatest car chases ever filmed. It’s a blast to watch and it’s probably the best example of precision stunt driving in a movie. It almost seems like a scene that’s existed since movies first began, but it had it’s beginnings here in an action movie that never knew the legacy it would create.

While the action sequences are excellent, The Italian Job is also well known for its characters, writing, and soundtrack. The characters are a lot of fun, and Michael Caine and Noël Coward play the two leads with glee. Caine is perfect as the criminal everyone has to love. He’s cool, stylish, and has a temper that is good for a laugh. Some of the funniest scenes in the movie actually are played by Coward, whose Mr. Bridger practically runs the prison that he’s held in. The soundtrack by Quincy Jones is very cool and extremely catchy. I challenge anyone to listen to the theme song and have it not get stuck in your head.

To put it simply, the original version of The Italian Job is a super cool movie and has some of the most iconic and memorable scenes in film history. I honestly don’t think anyone working on this movie knew the legacy this movie would have, but it’s one of those movies that has to be seen to understand why it deserves such a status as a classic.

Let’s move on to 2003 to look at the remake. Normally, I’m not too thrilled about remakes, but the cast and F. Gary Gray in the director’s chair is enough to make someone interested.


Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) is the head of a gang of very talented thieves (Jason Statham, Mos Def, and Seth Green) who along with Charlie’s mentor, John Bridger (Donal Sutherland) and their inside man Steve (Edward Norton) pull off a major heist involving $34 million of gold and escaping Venice. The job goes off without a hitch, but the gang is quickly double crossed by Steve who steals all the gold and leaves the gang for dead in the Alps. What Steve doesn’t know is that the gang got out of the mountains alive and want their gold back. Charlie enlists the help of Bridger’s daughter, Stella (Charlize Theron), a safe cracker working on the other side of the law, to help them with their heist. This time, it isn’t about the money, it’s about payback.

This movie has a lot going for it and it’s honestly a pretty good movie. F. Gary Gray is a director that really has an idea of what he wants and handles action and suspense very well, which is necessary for a movie like this. In fact, there are elements of this movie that are handled better than in the original. The main improvement is the gang that Charlie’s the head of. In the original, we never really get a chance to know anyone that’s part of the heist other than Michael Caine’s character. In the remake, they’re all established as close friends, have distinct personalities, and all have something important to do during the heists. The actors have great chemistry and there is plenty of room for comedy and drama throughout the movie.

The action scenes are really cool and pay good homage to the original film. Believe it or not, the scene with the Mini Coopers is a little underwhelming compared to the first movie, but there are plenty of other scenes to make up for it. One cool scene happens in the beginning as Statham and Green are making a quick escape through Venetian canals on a speed boat. Any scene with Edward Norton is also very memorable. His villainous character just oozes with smug confidence that just makes you wanna slap that grin off his face.

While the 2003 version of The Italian Job is a really well made and fun movie, I still prefer the fast paced wackiness of the original. Still, this is a remake that works very well for many different reasons. The most important thing is that while it honors the legacy of the original, it stands alone as its own movie.

So there you have it. The legacy of The Italian Job is definitely a strong one, and only a movie that good could create something like it. Any fan of the action/crime genre should definitely give both of these movies a look. They’re really cool and a whole lot of fun.

Christine – Review

29 Aug

I recently reviewed the first ever Stephen King adaptation, Brian DePalma’s film Carrie and its remake. I guess I just can’t stay away from his stories, since I’ve got another one for you today. In 1983, King released a novel called Christine which was adapted into a movie by John Carpenter that same year. As you might expect about a movie where a car is the primary source of fear, this isn’t a particularly scary story, but there is just enough flair and personality to make it another success for both King and Carpenter.


Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), who along with his friend Dennis (John Stockwell), are starting their senior year of high school with high hopes. The only difference between the two boys is that Dennis is popular, on the football team, and has girls fawning over him. Arnie has a different sort of appreciation that comes from the school bullies. While the two still remain good friends, Arnie finds a real companion in a 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine. He loves the car so much that it begins pushing him away from everyone he formerly cared about, including his new girlfriend, Leigh (Alexandra Cabot). As Arnie and Christine spend more and more time together, Christine begins getting jealous of the people around Arnie, and they soon begin to disappear one by one.

Now, while this movie is regarded among a lot of people as a small classic of the horror genre, there certainly is an elephant in the room and I just want to point it out. The premise to this movie is…like… really weird. A sentient car seduces a teenager, which pretty much turns him into a totally different person, and then the car goes on a rampage to prove just how much she (the car) cares for the guy. It’s not an easy task to take a story as ludicrous as this and make it into something that is easy to believe. That being said, it’s pretty necessary to suspend all disbelief for Christine. Once that is done, I feel like most people can have a pretty good time with this movie.


What the story does very well is present characters and, certainly in Arnie’s case, the arc that the character goes through over the course of the movie. There’s also characters that get along that you don’t really expect to, and in that sense Christine is a pretty unconventional movie. Dennis and Arnie get along right from the get go, which gives these two main characters a past, and therefore make them feel a lot more real. The only character who doesn’t feel like there’s much of a past behind them is our title character, Christine. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Christine, especially when she begins her murderous rampage. Is it Christine or Arnie committing these crimes? This builds a lot of suspense, but there’s mystery around Christine that doesn’t really need to be there. Why is Christine sentient? Where did Christine really come from? I know in the book there’s more of an explanation, but it unfortunately didn’t really translate well to the screen.

This being a John Carpenter movie, there are a few things you can expect. The first is that this film is shot better than your average horror movie. Carpenter knows how to block shots using wide lenses to get the most into a shot as possible. There are also great scenes where Christine fixes herself, which was accomplished using plastic, vacuums, and reversing the footage. Really creative stuff. Now the idea of a car that’s actually alive isn’t particularly frightening (Pixar did it after all), but Carpenter knows how to use what material he has to the fullest. The black tinted windows add a nice layer of suspense, and this film probably has the best use of headlights you’ll ever see. It gives the film more menace than it probably would have had under a less talented hand.

John Carpenter and Stephen King are two masters of their genre, so seeing them both work together is something to really enjoy. Would it have been a little cooler if it was a different, more scary story of King’s? Maybe, maybe not. I do know, however, that while Christine isn’t a particularly scary story, it’s one that is told with clever writing, a confident hand behind the camera, and a vision provided by both of these minds that comes together quite nicely. While this isn’t the best of either of these two titans, it is a very good movie that is accessible to more people that some of their other works.

Mad Max Trilogy – Review

17 Jun

Despite having major controversies surrounding him recently, everyone and their mothers know who Mel Gibson is. Nowadays he’s a major movie star, producer, and director but he had to start somewhere. Enter the cult classic dystopian sci-fi trilogy of Mad Max. Spanning from 1979 to 1985, this trilogy was a new and unusual re-imagining of what dystopian science fiction should look like, and has spawned many film makers and designers to mimic what George Miller had originally created. Obviously, to any who have seen these films, this trilogy isn’t perfect, but you really can’t deny how influential and fun these movies are.

In 1979, George Miller directed and released the first film, Mad Max, on a budget of just $400,000, which is extraordinarily cheap for a movie like this. Somehow, Miller was able to make this movie work and work very well.


In a bleak future due to a worldwide energy crisis, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is the last chance for law and order in the violent Australian highways. Working for the MFP (Main Force Patrol) has become a major driving force for Max’s life, along with his relationships with his wife (Joanne Samuel) and his best friend Goose (Steve Bisley), who is also a member of MFP. When a vicious motorcycle gang led by the Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) rides into town with the plan on getting revenge on Max, who is responsible for the death of one of the gang members. When the Toecutter and his gang finally catch up to what Max loves he most, he wages a one man war on the motorcycle gang, and won’t rest until they’ve all got what’s coming to them.

The plot for Mad Max is anything but difficult and complex. You don’t have to do a whole lot of thinking during this movie as long as you know the basic plot that runs through every revenge movie ever. What the biggest draw is to this movie is the completely ridiculous and awesome vehicular action scenes and stunts. Cars, motorcycles, and trucks get completely demolished in what can only be described as vehicular mayhem. If you’re expecting anything else from this movie, you may be sorely disappointed. The narrative of this movie doesn’t feel very good with a very exciting first act and third act, but a second act that drags on way longer than it should. This would be a perfect, mindless action movie if the second act was shortened and the third act was longer.


Still, for what it’s worth, Mad Max is a very entertaining movie and was the start of a trilogy that became an influential sci-fi hit. This film didn’t make it into the US for major distribution until after the second film, which isn’t only an excellent film but also one of the best sequels ever made.

In 1981, George Miller released the second installment in the trilogy, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. People, including me, who complained about some of the lackluster qualities in the narrative of the first film, but praised the high octane action will fall head over heels for this movie. Not only is it the best of the trilogy, it very well may be one of the best action films ever made.


Five years after the events of the first film, society has fallen into even worse conditions after a global war has wiped out most of the oil supplies that was keeping civilization moving. Max is still wandering the wasteland and, like everyone else, is left to fend for himself in search of oil. Max soon comes across a compound that is acting as an oil refinery that is under constant siege by a gang of leather clad savages led by the Humungus (Kjell Nilsson). Max strikes a reluctant deal with the leaders of the oil refinery that consists of him bringing them a Mack semi-truck to transport the oil in return for as much oil as he can carry. As expected, the Humungus and his gang are waiting for them and begins one of the most epic chases ever to be captured for the silver screen.

This is how an action movie should be made and this is also the film that pretty much defines what the Mad Max trilogy is all about. The over the top punk, savage gang members have become the iconic image for these movies and is what a lot of people think of when these movies are mentioned. The action and chase sequences in this movie are choreographed and shot so well that it almost seems unbelievable. Now a days, with a few examples, CGI is used for a lot of special effects in the industry, but in The Road Warrior, all of the destruction you see is genuine. Of course, people aren’t really getting decimated by these vehicles, but it sure looks like it! The story also follows a narrative arc that is seen in some Akira Kurosawa samurai films and westerns like The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars.


Mad Max 2 is an achievement of the action genre that inspired many people, including the Wachowskies and their epic car chase in The Matrix Reloaded, which was done with very little CGI. Not only does it fix all of the flaws of the first film, it enhances everything that was awesome about it. Even if you’ve never seen any of the other films in this trilogy, you can’t miss out on this one.

Finally, in 1985, Miller and his co-director George Ogilvie released the final film in the trilogy, that being Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. A title like that is certainly intriguing, but as anyone who even knows a little about these movie knows that this is not only the weakest entry in the series, but also a major disappointment as a whole.


It’s been twenty years since Max first started wandering the wastelands. His adventures finally bring him to a place called Bartertown where he comes searching for the camels that were stolen from him. Upon arriving, he meets Aunty Entity (Tina Turner), who is the self proclaimed ruler of Bartertown. She  makes it clear that she is willing to give Max his property back as long as he challenges the head of the Bartertown underworld, Master Blaster (Angelo Rossitto and Paul Larsson), to a battle in the Thunderdome where the rule is that two men enter and one man leaves. After refusing to kill Blaster, Max is banished to the desert where he meets a tribe of children that he vows to protect and enlist their help to free Master from Bartertown and start a new life of their own.

To be fair, the first forty five minutes to an hour of this movie are awesome. The whole idea of the Thunderdome and Master Blaster being two people acting as one is awesome. Tina Turner also gives a gleefully over the top performance as the queen of Bartertown. At first, I was confused as to why this movie was so disliked. That’s when Max met the kids and it turned into Mad Max Meets the Goonies. Of course, that’s not true, but it felt like Steven Spielberg took over and decided to make this a family adventure film. Well, it’s not supposed to be! It’s a Mad Max movie! The chase looks eerily similar, and a thousand times more goofy, to the one from The Road Warrior and lots of the intensity is sacrificed for a more Hollywood film.


Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is too long, too uneven, and too goofy for my tastes. It did build on Max’s character in some cool ways and the first half was really awesome. It’s just unfortunate that the second half is damn near unwatchable. This film is solely for die hard Mad Max fans that would feel incomplete without this film. It’s a mess.

So the Mad Max trilogy isn’t perfect. It has one shitty movie, one good movie, and one excellent movie. That’s pretty good in my opinion, and the whole mythology surrounding the story is really cool. George Miller is planning on releasing another film featuring Tom Hardy as Max in 2015 called Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m definitely impressed by these movies and am ready for another one, so I can honestly recommend these movies to anyone who likes to turn their brains off and just have a good time watching a movie.

My Favorite Things – 10 Favorite Villains

28 Mar

So what is it that constitutes a villain? The definition probably differs for everyone. To me, a villain is someone who is just a downright terrible creature who is either amoral or immoral. This person can even act as the anti-hero of a film as you will se in the list, but their actions still give them the description of villain. So this is a list of my 10 favorite villains.

10. Asami Yamakazi – Audition

Director Takashi Miike has a talent for making bad people even worse than we may be first led to believe. The best example of this is Asami, a beautiful, quiet, and seemingly innocent woman who hides an indescribable evil urge. If you didn’t know what you were getting into before watching Audition, I would imagine the viewer would think that Asami is the victim in the movie, although the nerve jangling, endurance testing, nausea inducing finale proves otherwise. This is a girl you do not want to mess with, especially if you value your ligaments.

9. Agent Smith – The Matrix

Hugo Weaving gives a fantastically deadpan performance as the infamous Agent Smith, a program in the Matrix that is implemented by the machines to keep order. His emotionless performance is perfect, but when he does get angry the whole mood of the film goes from being a science fiction action film to a small, short horror film. This is because Weaving can go from a drone to a manifestation of what a computer program could be if it had a strange emotional glitch. It’s a very unsettling performance and memorable on all accounts.

8. John Doe – Se7en

In my personal opinion, Kevin Spacey is one of the finest living actors. He is one of those actors that can put himself into any role wether it’s funny or terrifying, like his performance in David Fincher’s Se7en. John Doe is pretty much your by the book sociopath who has no value for any kinds of life, including his own. What makes it so memorable is how well Spacey pulls it off. He remains calm for his entire screen time even though it really isn’t that much. But the build up to his revelation is part of the intensity of his character. We see everything he is capable of throughout the film, but in the end he looks like just another average guy.

7. Frank Booth – Blue Velvet

Oh boy, we’re really getting into a weird category of villain with this one. What can possibly be said about Frank Booth other than he is probably the most unlikable person to ever grace the movies. Dennis Hopper gives both a great physical and personal performance that only he could do. The gas that Booth carries around with him and inhales at random times throughout the film really makes his character original. He’s a complete asshole to everyone he comes in contact with and incredibly dangerous if you get on his bad side.

6. Tony Montana – Scarface

When I was referring to anti-heros in my introduction, this was the guy I had in mind. Tony Montana may be the main protagonist and person we root for all through Scarface, but that doesn’t make him a good person at all. He is a big time drug dealer and murderer who has a knack for pissing people off. Unlike a lot of the villains on this list, Tony has morals and refuses to kill women and children, a personal rule that ends up getting him into big trouble.

5. Col. Hans Landa – Inglourious Basterds

You guys can disagree with me all you want, but I honestly believe that Inglourious Basterds is Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. Part of the reason that this movie is so good is the character of Hans Lands, nicknamed the Jew Hunter. Christoph Waltz received a much deserved Academy Award for this performance that is both hysterical and evil. He hides a quiet insanity behind his polite and intellectual exterior.

4. Commodus – Gladiator

As much as I think Joaquin Phoenix is a villain in and of himself, his performance as Commodus is out of this world great. But of course, with a grand heroic hero like Maximus, a villain needs to be put in place that we can hate just as much as we love Maximus. Commodus is creepy, conniving, and dirty. Definitely one of the most hated characters in film.

3. Hans Gruber – Die Hard

Here’s another one of those villains whose personality is that of a drone, but behind the boring exterior is a ticking time bomb. Not only is Hans Gruber incredibly brilliant and sneaky, but also willing to do anything and kill anyone without so much as blinking. Unfortunately there are no good videos I can get of Hans Gruber without stupid music being thrown in.

2. Jack Torrance – The Shining

I’ve already made my love for Stanley Kubrick films known with my entire blog series about Kubrick and his films, so it’s inevitable that at least one of his villains would end up on my list. The most memorable for me is Jack Torrance. Jack Nicholson gives one of the best screen performances ever and really established himself as one of the best actors of all time. His facial expressions and voice acting make this character come alive in an absolutely frightening way.

1. Peter and Paul – Funny Games

Finally here we are at number 1 with Peter and Paul. Michael Pitt and Brad Corbet are so disturbingly polite and gentle, making sure the family they are torturing is as comfortable as possible, but is that all just an act to mess with their psyche further? They are, I think, the worst villains ever. Now, I have never seen the original Funny Games, but considering the American one directed by the same person as the Finnish one (Michael Haneke) is a shot for shot remake, Peter and Paul are my favorite international villains. On a side note, Peter and Paul are not their actual names. They even refer to each other as Tom and Jerry.


So there you have my favorite villains. Feel free to comment on this either on here or Facebook and tell me who your favorite villains are!

Pale Flower – Review

26 Mar

I dare anyone who has seen the 1964 Japanese film, Pale Flower, to say that they did not get totally immersed in the dreamlike atmosphere. Never before have I seen a yakuza film that blends together the elements of noir, gangster, romance, and avant-garde to create such a unique experience of sight and sound.

Muraki (Ryo Ikebe in a career saving performance) is a Yakuza hitman who has just been released from prison after serving a murder sentence. Back on the streets, Muraki goes to an illegal gambling den where he meets a mysterious woman named Saeko (Mariko Kaga) who is addicted to thrills wherever she can find them. As Muraki begins taking Saeko to more impressive gambling dens and card games, the more suspicious he gets of who Saeko is and what she is really all about, and that worries Muraki. More complications arise as new gangs threaten the old ones and a man named Yoh (Takashi Fujiki) begins to lure Saeko into the world of drug use.

The story of the new Yakuza gangs becoming more violent towards the old ones is an interesting story, but is far from what this movie is really about. The true essence of this dreamlike gangster tale is a character study and how the life and code of these people effect their lives. Muraki is a killer and the only time he admits to happiness is when he talks of murder. This is a dark kind of happiness, but it is the effect of the Yakuza lifestyle. Muraki effects Saeko’s life by showing her more thrills in the Japanese underworld, until she soon becomes insatiable in her thrill seeking.

The cinematography in Pale Flower is some of the best I have ever seen and should definitely be used as an example in film schools for lessons in lighting. The opening scene in the gambling den is beautifully lit with ceiling light that illuminates the gamblers and casts shadows around the walls of the room, directing the focus totally on the game. The blocking also works along with the lighting to stress importance. Another scene with Muraki chasing a would-be assassin through a labyrinth of back alleys evokes a dark and shadowy atmosphere broken only by the lighted signs of near by shops.

Everyday sounds that would seem unimportant are enhanced to better create a hypersensitive atmosphere. The clacking of the pieces in the gambling scenes, the footsteps echoing on an empty street, and most importantly, the haunting other worldly score composed by Toru Takemitsu. The score occasionally coincides with the images on the screen, but also seems to venture into a haunting and discordant explosion of sound.

Masaru Baba, the writer of the film, was not happy with the end result because he claims that it was not what he had written. The director, Masahiro Shinoda, took Baba’s story and made it into something more dark and artistic. Apparently, the original screenplay had a very direct and simple storyline. I feel like Shinoda’s version is a lot more interesting than the original Baba screenplay. The film was shelved for months because it deviated so much from the first screenplay.

I read nothing but good things about Pale Flower before I saw it, but I was still worried that it wasn’t really going to suit my fancy. Luckily I had absolutely nothing to worry about. This is a gangster film like I had never seen before. It hurls the viewer into a dreamlike underworld that you will not want to leave. The sights and sounds are an audio/visual overload that creates a startlingly beautiful atmosphere that is impossible to resist. This film should be on everyone’s “must watch” list.

The Box – Review

19 Mar

“Hell is other people.” I find it only appropriate to start this review with this extraordinarily cynical quote written by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. I’m using it not only because the play it is from, No Exit, is discussed in the film, but rather, because this statement is one that makes you think and look around at the society we live in and try to decide wether or not we are a hellish species. This is one of the main points in The Box, a sic-fi psychological thriller from the writer/director of Donnie Darko.

In The Box, Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) are a happily married couple living in Richmond, Virginia in 1974. They are raising a son named Walter (Sam Oz Stone), and, despite some financial issues, they seem to be living a wonderful life. All of this changes the day that a mysterious box is placed on their doorstep, along with an interesting proposition by the keeper of the box, Arlington Steward (Frank Langella). They are given the opportunity to press the button, and in return be paid a whopping one million dollars in crisp one hundred dollar bills. There is a catch: someone they do not know will die. Norma decides to press the button, and in doing so starts a chain of events that are both extra-terrestrial and morally debilitating.

When this movie first started, and the whole debate on whether the Lewises should press the button was happening, I was really intrigued and curious on what their decision would be. While they were trying to decide on what to do, I was also thinking to myself what I would do. My conclusion was that I wouldn’t  press the button, but that’s easy to say when there isn’t a suitcase with a million dollars in it sitting right next to me.

After this, the story completely changes and dives headfirst into the realm of a strange psychological science fiction. The story also gets almost impossibly confusing at this point with plot points involving being brought back from the dead, salvation and eternal damnation, and other worldly beings who are attempting to conduct some sort of experiment. Some aspects of this change up work, whereas some really don’t. The supernatural figures who are responsible for everything that is happening are never really explained. I thought the idea of humanity being experimented on by them was a really neat idea, but not enough was explained about these entities. There are also scenes where we see people walking around like zombies, which is very unsettling, but ultimately useless and didn’t serve a whole lot of purpose in driving the story forward.

While those ideas didn’t particularly work, there are some that were very chilling and memorable. Many characters in this film get nosebleeds, and the explanation for why is very creative and strangely believable. The scenes surrounding the climax are some of the most intense and frightening I’ve seen in a good while. The actual scenes themselves aren’t particularly intense, but when the viewer begins to put themselves in the position of the characters, the action that we see happening on the screen before us is very disturbing.

That’s where the main enjoyment of this movie is going to gravitate towards: the viewer’s own self reflection. This is one of those movies where you really have to put yourself into the  position of the characters in order to truly enjoy it. The truth is I did not enjoy everything about this movie. The science fiction aspect of the film with its supernatural beings and gateways into salvation or damnation felt way too overbearing and complicated. Chances are, the viewer will lose track of the plot. I was expecting this from The Box because of my past experience with writer/director Richard Kelly’s film Donnie Darko. The difference between these two movies is that Darko is a very complicated and intelligent film that may be confusing, but the characters and science behind the film are interesting and inventive. It is obvious the Richard Kelly is a huge fan of science fiction as seen in this film and its numerous references to space travel and authors such as Arthur C. Clarke.

In the end, I felt a little let down by The Box. I had higher expectations than I probably should have because I felt like Kelly could deliver like he did with his aforementioned film. It starts out and ends strongly. It’s just a shame that the middle portion of the film tries to cram so many different revelations, genres, and gaping plot holes which almost tarnish the whole movie experience. This is never going to be on any lists of classics, nor is it going to go down as one of the worst movies ever made. It is a mediocre film that tries to be more intelligent and worthwhile than it actually is.