“The Box”

What’s a “box”? Something wooden to keep objects safe inside? No, the  box I’m talking about has a red button. And pressing that button is a matter of life or death.

“The Box” is a psychological horror and science-fiction film based on the short story “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson. The American movie is written and directed by Richard Kelly and was first released in October 2009 in Australia.

The movie is 115 minutes long and the plot takes place in the USA in the year 1976.

The main actors are Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as the couple Norma and Arthur Lewis. They live in Richmond, Virginia together with their son Walter.

One day they receive a wooden box with a red button from a mysterious old man, played by Frank Langella. The man, named Arlington Steward, makes them an unethical offer: If they  press the button they will receive one million dollars and a person they don’t know somewhere  out there in the world, will die.

After a long time of hesitating, Norma finally presses the button and the misery begins. She and her husband get more and more sucked into a dramatic predicament.

There are some exciting special effects and the brilliant soundtrack and the film music create a fantastic atmosphere. All the performances are solid, but the couple Cameron Diaz and James Marsden won’t make history as the loveliest couple in hollywood! Which brings me to my evaluation and assessment of the movie.

The first part of the film is well structured and seems quite realistic. Unfortunately, as the film goes on, it is going down hill: there is disorder, hectic action, the story gets weird. In the end, because of the obscured course of the story, the spectator gets more confused than anything else.

If it wasn’t for this chaotic second half, “the box” would be a thrilling movie right until the end.

I recommend the film to those, who are interested in watching a good science-fiction movie and who like the director Richard Kelly. His take on “button, button” is great. There is one thing that I learned after having watched this movie: I never want to get a wooden box with a red button.

However, taking into account it’s many failings, I’ll give only three of six stars.

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Earth’s endangered species

Should more be done to protect and preserve endangered animals ?

Over 40 % of species are estimated to be at risk of extinction. On the IUCN Red list of threatened species are lots of extinct, critically endangered and vulnerable animal species. The list is long and is getting longer. It´s time to ask ourselves: Should more be done to protect and preserve endangered animals?

Today, thousands of animal species have become endangered and hundreds are facing possible extinction.

Species like the Siberian tiger, the blue whale, the green sea turtle and the Sumatran orang-utans, for instance, can be found on that list. Alongside these well-known animals there are a number of species that not many people know: Or do you know the brown spider monkey or the Chinese giant salamander?

However, we have to be serious: Do we have to preserve these species? The first question we have to answer is: Why should we do that?

The environment offers a big diversity of species. Just one less or more – who cares?

Some people say, that we don’t even need these species to be alive. In fact, there are lots of arguments to support this point of view. Humans not only have to change their consumer behaviour, but it’s also very expensive to protect them because to prevent human interventions and protect life-sustaining measures costs a lot of money.

Therefore, the second question is: How can we actually help?

Well, it seems to be an inevitable development and in fact, there are not many effective pro-environment activities to be listed.

Before answering the first question it’s important to have a look at the positive side of protecting the species.

Why do we have to preserve the vulnerable species that are threatened by extinction? Are there any advantages? There are plenty of reasons to help them: Firstly because of our sense of responsibility. We are responsible for the consequences of our interventions on this planet and therefore we have to make sure that the ecosystems keep functioning.

To protect the endangered animals means to save the whole environment and the diversity of the species for the following generations. We have to act differently and no longer irresponsibly. Moreover we need a sustainable use of the environment. The prohibition of the extermination of endangered species would be a step into the right direction.

Besides this, we have to preserve the diversity of species because of the  unforeseeable consequences which are connected to the destruction of the environment and the extinction of the species.

Animals are elements in the natural ecosystems. If a species becomes extinct it won’t be able to sustain the ecosystem anymore. Disturbed structures and an imbalances of sensitive ecosystems could have disastrous and serious consequences for the human population.

Humans have to protect animals from their own actions.

All in all it’s a personal decision for everybody whether or not to get involved in preserving species and to fight for the protection of animals. On the one hand it is expensive and can only be successful if we put a lot of effort in. On the other hand we have to be responsible in the use of the environment and think about the next generations.

What we should keep in mind is that even small things can cause big changes and have a wonderful impact on our world.