DVD Review: The Man With The Magic Box

The Man With The Magic Box (aka Człowiek z magicznym pudełkiem) was written and directed by Bobo Kox and stars Piotr Polak, Olga Boladz, Sebastian Stankiewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik and Helena Norowicz.

This Orwellian sci-fi thriller is set in the dystopian future of 2030 Warsaw. A man wakes up without any memory of his previous life. He is assigned an apartment and a job as as a janitor in an office building. But when he finds an old radio from the 1950s, it triggers mysterious visions of another past life. As he tries to piece together his past identity with the help of his beautiful but aloft boss, he runs afoul of a totalitarian government willing to do anything to stop him. A beguiling sci-fi love story that is at turns bleak, absurd, unsettling, and oddly affecting.

This Polish sci-fi thriller takes place in Warsaw 2030 and follows Adam (Piotr Polak), a mysterious man with amnesia who gets assigned in a high-rise work place as a janitor where he meets Goria (Olga Boladz), a beautiful office snob who takes an instant liking to Adam. She plays it cold when others are looking but whenever Goria gets a chance, she shows Adam that she can actually be nice. A romance forms between the two but as Adam investigates more about this strange life of his the more he discovers things like this special radio that can transmit sound waves that allows him to time travel. It’s explained where this radio comes from as the movie plays out.

What happens is, there’s also some government figures watching from a distance and when things go too far they intervene and shut it all down. Adam somehow ends up in a coma-like state and Goria is determined to find out how this happened so she starts digging and finds out about the radio so she travels back to 1952 where Adam is originally from to bring him back to the future. The two make it back to 2030 but these sinister figures are also there and have the ability to wipe their memories and give them a new beginning. The thing is, wherever these two go and whatever happens to them, Adam and Goria always find a way back to each other.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The DVD disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, we get plenty of time traveling sci-fi thrillers so it’s hard for one to stand out among the rest but I have to admit that I liked The Man With The Magic Box. This movie is more of a character driven sci-fi thriller that comes with an interesting plot about time travel but at the heart of it is this romance between these two people who always find each other through time. This one takes place in two time periods so we get to see Communist Poland back in 1952 as well as the grey Socialistic future in 2030 that’s really not any better. The movie gets its influences from Blade Runner, Men in Black and even 1984. Bobo Kox did a really good job bringing his story to life on screen and capturing the fine performances by Piotr Polak and Olga Boladz. The Man With The Magic Box will be available on DVD on April 2nd.

Distributor: Artsploitation Films

Run Time: 105 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Widescreen (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The only extra on the DVD is the official trailer (02:15).

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