The Box, button, million dollars, literal, Cameron Diaz, James Marsden

Discussion (24) ¬

  1. Katy

    I had only just seen a tiny ad for this movie; didn’t even know the plot. Now I’m definitely interested in seeing it. Might have to wait for rental too tho.

  2. applyliberally

    Great strip, Tom!

    As far as “The Box” goes, the thing that stops me from going to see it is that Cameron Diaz is in it. I find her insufferable, and her presence in any film tends to detract from the bigger picture for me. There are very few films shes in that I even like (The only one that immediately comes to mind is Gangs of New York), so I will definitely not be seeing it in theatres. That being said, the premise is interesting and it seems like it would be a cool flick. I like Frank Langella a lot, but Diaz makes it a future Netflix rental, at best.

  3. Steve C.
    Steve C.

    “Button, button”, huh? I remember this being an episode from “Tales of the Darkside”. I think setting in the 1970’s could be a stoke of genius. If you set it during today, people will just get depressed thinking about the economy. Still, you want to have an air of depiration about the procedings, so you set it during the other time the ecomony nearly went off the rails.

  4. Molnek

    “There’s a gremlin on the side of the plane you have to believe me!”
    “I’d like to. But you’re Hitler!”
    I think Futurama should have shown these guys that The Twilight Zone can actually work better with less time. But yeah I’m not too interested in seeing this and I’m going to say it’s mainly because beyond the concept it doesn’t seem interesting. Also, any reason for the guy having half a face?

  5. joshua

    Actually, The Box is based on The Twilight Zone episode “Button, Button,” which is based off of the short story “Button, Button,” both written by Richard Matheson–the guy who wrote I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come. I’ve not read it, but my fiance has and she recapped it (and a few other Matheson stories) for me. Not within my literary tastes though. She’s more excited about it than I am, and I love Richard Kelly’s work.
    Also, I would watch “The Scary Door” religiously if it were a real show.

  6. AdamNightmare

    InVinceable was totally a 70’s period piece.

  7. Wade

    Don’t know if it counts, since it isn’t out yet, but “Cemetary Junction” with Ricky Gervais is set in the 70s.

  8. Wade

    Sorry “CemetEry Junction”…

  9. Danny Smooth
    Danny Smooth

    I’ve never seen the Twilight zone episode, but I have read the short story of which it derives.If someone better than cameron diaz was starring as the wife, this would be a “definitely worth seeing” but right now it’s a “maybe”.

    I know this may seem crass but I would guess that anyone here would push the button instantly like your comic illustrates. Maybe they’re trying to hook into the idea that people had stronger morals at that period. Also, it’s a million dollars in the 70s (50K in the book) so it’s a larger temptation. But, I guess they kept it in 70s as an homage to when the story was written, maybe?

  10. Stefan

    “Milk” was also set in the 1970’s, I believe.

  11. Joe

    Saw the film last night. It’s not based on a tzone episode. Both the movie and episode are based on short story called button button. Kelly uses it as just a jumping off point. What’s in the story and tzone ep is covered in the first fifteen minutes of the film. He takes it to. Very Richard Kelly place after that. Bizarre but still relivant to the morality questions posed.

    As faras the setting is concerned there are a couple reasons ts set in the time period it is. Most notibly… No internet. Technology is prominently featured in the film but it’s crucial that our heroes don’t have the luxury of instant acess or even instant contact via cel phone.

    The other reason us to do with space exploration and what level we were at during that period. It’s specific.

    The movie we fun. Very tense and Kelly wisely keepsany of the deras mysterious creAting foran interesting coversation piece. Worth a watch definitely not as predictable as the trailers male it pit to be.

    • Tom


      Milk had a reason to be set in the 70’s. It was historical drama about real people. The Box is fiction.

      Although, my argument is now moot considering what Joe shared with us. 🙂

      Joe’s comments have me thinking about how the internet, technology and communication seem to handicap storytelling these days. Cell phones are constantly being written out of movies for whatever reason. It makes me wonder how many more movies well see set in a pre-internet time period.

      I understand that it’s not EXCLUSIVELY the internet or cell phones that forces The Box to be set in the 70’s. If it has something to do with the space program, then that adds a layer to the plot that makes The Box a lot more interesting to me.

  12. Joe

    Wow sorry for the spelling errors. Still working out this new phone touch pad.

  13. Wade

    Joe, when are you going to update your comic? 😉

  14. UTSquishy

    If you set it in the 70’s there are no Cell Phones, or Texting, or Internet. Mostly you have to rely on Land Lines for Distance Communication of any kind, but it’s still modern enough to be familiar. Somehow, I think we’ll see suspense and horror set in the 70’s for that very reason.

    Then I looked at the comments above mine and noticed that this has already been mentioned…

  15. Cat Rocketship

    Every time this commercial comes on, Scott and I laugh at it. It’s the most mockable film concept I can imagine. I still can’t believe it’s a real flick and not a joke preview.

    And the Futurama line is exactly what I thought of too. Granted, I yell “IT TURNS OUT IT’S MAN” at just about anything nowadays.

  16. Jeanne

    They filmed a lot of The Box where I work, which is a large public library. So I feel obligated to see it. Otherwise I’d have zero interest, although I am curious to see the full extent of how they messed up Frank Langella’s face.

  17. Joe

    Technology has affected storytelling in huge ways. It’s the mark of a good storyteller that can use it to compliment their story without writing around it. Kellys approach is an acceptable one though as the era creates nostalgia and a less than obvious separation.

  18. fiberoptic

    Lymelife was set mid-seventies (and a pretty decent flick)

  19. Gray

    It’s interesting how the discussion here has moved to the impact technology has had on storytelling. I remember reading an article lately where the writer blasted the Internet for negatively affecting how stories are told. His argument was that the current ‘blip’ culture proliferated via YouTube, etc. has effectively ruined an entire generation’s ability to concentrate and appreciate in-depth storytelling of any kind.

  20. John Eddy

    Semi-Pro, Anchorman, Black Dynamite…. all 70s.

    And in order of bad to good =)

  21. Kira

    I actually enjoyed the short story. Many of his short stories are in a horror/suspense vein. But my concern lies more in the fact that how someone turns an eight page short story to a 90 minute movie is a little odd to me. A 30 minute show, I can buy that.

  22. Danny Smooth
    Danny Smooth

    I like how Joe’s post seems to descend into madness.

    I wonder what he meant by his space travel comment. It could be they were using the those events to further embed the film in that era, not the other way round.

    I don’t think it would matter if it’s the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, because terror should be terror if you can blog about it or not. In my mind it’s worse if you have these conveniences and are still being pursued. Also, if someone made a tweet about being chased by a guy with half a face, would you do anything about it? Probably not, and as the victim, shouldn’t you focus on cheesing it and not updating your facebook status? Sorry, I’m not into the social networking thing.

    When I imagine the ending of the story, it wouldn’t be all that visually striking, so i hope they figure out a decent way to finish it off. A t-rex or two would certainly spice it up.

  23. JUH

    Eh, now that I think about it, if I was confronted with the scenario, I could make as much money not pushing the button than pushing the button. I’d just go to the media and then the authorities in that order. I mean, the public would definitely get a kick out of the story and I could probably milk a few interviews, and a book deal out of it. Bam, instant money and no one dead.

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