Boomer Box Office

"The Box"

By Cole on November 19, 2009 6:00 AM

Since 2001's "Donnie Darko," director Richard Kelly has inspired as many cries of heavy-handed pomposity for his existential sci-fi films as he has cult-like fanaticism. But with the release of his newest treatise on sacrifice, "The Box," no one should accuse him of lacking ambition. 

Hollywood rarely takes gargantuan 

leaps of faith like this anymore. 

Basing the screenplay on the short story, "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson, Kelly establishes a simple premise that quickly spirals into surreal madness. In 1970s Richmond, Virginia, a family of three wrestles with mounting financial woes: Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) struggle with losing their son's faculty-based private school scholarship as Arthur is denied a "sure-thing" promotion at work. 

Then fate ominously delivers. A severely burn-damaged former NASA employee, Arlington Steward (Frank Langella), gives the couple an ordinary wooden box with a button affixed to the top, and makes the couple a watershed offer. If the couple presses the button, someone they don't know will die and they will receive $1 million.

If it sounds like an episode of "The Twilight Zone"--you're right, it was. But it's safe to assume the film's heavy referencing of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and superfluous meditations on the afterlife and outer space are uniquely Kelly. If you're willing to come along for the ride, it's well worth it. For all the plot holes, occasionally ham-fisted accents and acting--not to mention a grossly melodramatic score by members of indie band The Arcade Fire that at times is so deliberately manipulating it's excruciating--the film's a deranged treat. Hollywood rarely takes gargantuan leaps of faith like this anymore.

Kelly's ability to refine his dreams may still be out of reach, but it's refreshing to see anyone attempt fantasies this distinctive and complex. If he isn't Kubrick, at least he's an auteur. 

Rating: 3/5

Watch the trailer for Richard Kelly's "The Box"
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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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