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Secret Window

Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro, Charles S Dutton and Tim Hutton.
Directed by:
David Koepp
Based on a Stephen King Story
DVD Features:
Commentary by writer-director David Koepp
Theatrical trailer(s)
Four deleted scenes with optional director's commentary
"From Book to Film" featurette
"A Look Through It" featurette
"Secrets Revealed" featurette
Animated storyboards: Opening Credits, Pushing Car Off Cliff, Twist Revealed, Into the Garden
Widescreen anamorphic format

Buy It

Bluntly speaking? What we've got here is a Sunday night on-the-network style movie with an acting virtuoso (Johnny Depp) raising the mundane material to viewable, enjoyable, fun. The script reads something like a Lakeside campfire tale. It's cheap pulpy and comes complete with creaking cabin and slurring lurking villain.

But, as always, Johnny Depp dives into his role, taking what can only be called Depressed Husband Character Type A, and completely engages us via his patented idiosyncratic nuances that he's sewn into the plain cotton fabric of the role, creating a work of performance art. Watching Johnny's work within these industrial walls of a film, feels almost like we've been given a movie-genre video game where you can drop in the acting talent of your choice into generic cookie-cutter roles - like a virtual casting PlayStation or something.

Of course another mega-talent appears in the work as well. Our villain-with-a-score-to-settle is none other than Mr. John Turturro. Again a great performance in a script of mediocrity…

Story goes...Mort Rainey (Jonathan Depp) is having a bad year. His wife decided to play hide the knackwurst with another guy and now dear Mort's alone and blue…wallowing in self-doubt amongst his comfort food (Doritos) in a lonely cabin that once rang with their love. Sniff.

As he's on day 168 of his self-pity festival - complete with crusty hair - lying adrift in the couch of fear and loathing, a banging comes upon his door. It's a disgruntled man holding a manuscript. He introduces himself with a declaration of thievery. Seems our mysterious, and hostile, guest feels Mr. Rainey stole his story - but changed its ending - and published the tale as his own.

Mort, apparently, is no stranger to the plagiaristic avenues of the less talented…He's quite sure however - this time - the story in question, 'Secret Window', was/is his and he tells the creepy menacing fellow so.

Oopsie, the man don't like any of that there denial. So he decides to let Mort know just how serious he is about his anger and things get really weird around the lakeside hamlet.

Our stranger, known as Mr. Spooner, basically goes all psycho on Mort's loved ones and friends; a screwdriver here, an axe there and a burnt home down there…

Mort starts to analysize the events and gets a notion in his noggin he knows who the real culprit in our little yarn may be…

The B grade film script even has those dreaded telegraphing musical interpretations puppeting our journey to the plot - I hate that. But the film is still worth dishing out the capital needed if just to see Depp do what he does when he wants to do it. You'll be in awe as he transforms another wafer-thin character sketch into something of a jovial cartoonish character that plays like an illustrated pulp fiction strip in your mind - yet that could be your eccentric neighbor. How's he do that??? Oh, right genius.

John Turturro also snags a few points for being so funny- without even trying.

Snack recommendation: Corn on the cob - lots of it - and pick up a pack of Hunter S. Thompson on the way home too...


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