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PCR # 207  (Vol. 5, No. 11)  This edition is for the week of March 8--14, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Secret Window"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Two stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Katherine Leis's "Untitled DVD Project, Volume One"....Gus Perez's “Light of Blood”
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"Secret Window"
 by Mike Smith
Goodbye Spalding and Paul....Quickie Horror Film Reviews
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Canada's P.C. Machine....Fox News Alarmist....Satellite TV....MegaCon '04
 by Joshua Montgomery
Social Commentary....Reality Check....Life On Mars, Don't Bet On It....Movie Notes....More On Those FCC Hypocrites....Follow-up To MegaCon....Kerry Wins Florida
 by Brandon Jones
MegaCon....Think I'll Just Join The Eagles, Thank You Very Much....Moving On....Meet The Beatles, Part 8
 by Mike Smith
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Columbia Pictures     
Starring: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton and Charles S. Dutton
Directed by: David Koepp
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 43 mins

Adapting a Stephen King story to the big screen is very risky. In the past, we've had such great films as "The Green Mile," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Stand By Me" and "Carrie." Unfortunately, we've also had "Firestarter," "Maximum Overdrive" and way too many films in the "Children of the Corn" series. Based on King's short novella "Secret Window, Secret Garden," the latest film, "Secret Window," falls in the middle category.....not that good OR bad.

Depp plays author Mort Rainey. Mort is working on a new book, though his mind hasn't been on it since he caught his wife (Bello) in a motel bed with her new lover (Hutton). Making things worse is the sudden appearance of John Shooter (Turturro), who accuses Mort of plagiarizing an old manuscript of his. Mort vehemently denies this, and at first we believe him. Then we find out that he has already used someone else's work one time before. So, while we keep wondering what the truth is, things begin dying. First it's a pet. Then it's a neighbor. Mort begins to wonder if it's Shooter doing these things or the new lover. Or, hey, maybe he's just imagining this. And what about that story?

Maybe it's because he's written such plot-thin films like "Mission: Impossible," "Snake Eyes" and the first two "Jurassic Park" films, but writer/director Koepp has concocted a film that has a little bit of everything: comedy, horror, suspense, etc, but not enough of anything to make the film satisfy. Depp is fine, as always. Bello, Turturro and Dutton do their best with the material they have to work with. Hutton doesn't seem to know what his part is in this film. Is he the bad guy? Is he the comic relief? Is he wearing sunglasses during mostly overcast days for a reason? A muddled mystery that becomes almost tedious to solve, on a scale of zero to four stars I give "Secret Window"  Two stars

This week's movie review of "Secret Window" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.