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Secret Window
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: JaneBlo
Secret Window order
Director:
David Koepp

Actors:
Johnny Depp
John Turturro
Maria Bello

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When well-known mystery writer Mort Rainey (Depp) separates from his wife (Bello), he decides to get away from it all and goes to his cabin up north to write in peace. Peace is the last thing he finds as one day, a mysterious stranger named John Shooter (Turturro) appears at his doorstep and relentlessly accuses him of stealing his story. Thrills and suspense ensue. Based on a Stephen King novella entitled “Secret Window, Secret Garden”.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I think I’ve seen almost everything Johnny Depp has ever played in, so I had to see this film, especially since its suspenseful trailer had also aroused my interest. You see, in the JoBlo family, Mr. Depp holds a very high place in the pantheon of worshipped celebrities (stars, actors?). I like suspense/mysteries and this film started out as one, but then changed into something else. A twist that I was not expecting lurked around the corner. Sometimes a twist in a movie can be a good thing, sometimes not. I found this twist not to be a good thing. It doesn’t take away the enjoyment from the first 2/3 thirds of the film before the twist, but it was, nevertheless, a let-down. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the picture, as it was an exciting thrill-ride complete with a few humorous moments and even a few scary scenes. That alone makes this film worth watching. Then again, some people loved the twist at the end. It’s a personal choice.

The best thing about this film was its acting, especially by the two main characters, Depp and Turturro (the mysterious man). I especially loved John Turturro’s Southern accent...it was perfect. These two played amazingly well off each other. The other characters in the film, Depp's wife (Bello), her lover, played by Timothy Hutton, and the private investigator (Charles S. Dutton) also provided good acting performances, but were only secondary characters. Interestingly enough, this film was shot in Montreal, where I live, so I was happy about that. Johnny Depp breathed the same air as me! A decent movie overall, with an ending that could have been better.
THE EXTRAS
Writer/Director David Koepp Commentary: The man has a very dry way of speaking, so I found it quite boring. Slow, very detailed.

Four Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary: It’s interesting to see what scenes could have been in the film, but in this case, all four deleted scenes were totally unnecessary to the film so it’s good they were deleted.

Three Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes (~ 60 minutes): A Look Through It, From Book to Film and Secrets Revealed. A long feature, over an hour long, that is divided into three parts. The first part discusses the correlation between the King novella and the film. The main actors discuss their roles in detail, as does the director/writer. The second part is basically like a video commentary on the 'making of' the film and discusses several scenes in great detail. I did not find this part too intriguing as it was way too detailed. The last part looks at the psychological aspects of the main character, Mort Rainey. This was quite interesting, if that’s something that you’d like to understand.

Animated Storyboards: Here we have four animated storyboards for different scenes including the opening scene. A cool feature to check out. Short...around five minutes.

Previews: The preview for the film as well as 8 other recent trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you like Johnny Depp, this film is worth seeing because he makes the movie that much better. The special features are cool too, if you're into that kind of thing. I would recommend this film to all mystery fans, particularly those who love suspense and thrills in their movies. Not the best Depp film out there, but a good time nonetheless. Rent or buy it, depending on your level of Depp-ness.
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