You know, the cover of the movie case really pissed me off. But it amused me also. It's just a huge picture of Johnny Depp's face that covers the entire box. Then there's a TINY little picture of his log cabin in the bottom left. But it's really tiny, and it's really obvious that they're using Johnny Depp's huge countenance smacked across the front to sell copies of the movie. Pathetic.
Synopsis- Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp), a struggling writer, finds himself in a lot of trouble when a crazed man (John Turturro) shows up claiming that Rainey stole his story, and demands that it be fixed, or else.
Music- The score was not bad. A lot of low strings.
Acting- The acting was good also. This is probably one of the better roles I've seen John Turturro in- meaning he's not character acting for Adam Sandler. John Turturro is generally a character actor anyway, and it's rare that you see him in a lead role. I mean, I remember him best as being the sneaky butler in Mr. Deeds. And that was far from being one of his better roles. He's always vaguely weird, but he manages to pull off being downright threatening and bizarre here.
Johnny Depp is just always the same. He's sarcastic, derisive, vaguely humorous, but it's kind of like the Owen Wilson/Ben Stiller phenomenon. We like what they do so much that we don't care if they're always the same. Johnny Depp is the same way. He's always funny and we always like him. But in this case, the character was really shallow. He did the best he could with what little he was given, and it was great acting- he gave the character tons of funny little quirks, like always having his hands drawn up into the sleeves of his ratty flannel shirts, or speaking conversationally with the dog, but even with this, the character just had no depth. Nor did any of the others.
Also the ending was extremely cliché. I forget who said it, but some critic made the comment, "It could only have been more cliché if the butler did it." And it's true. Direct theft from Alfred Hitchcock. Not that the leadup wasn't good. This is one of the few Stephen King stories I'd never read, so I was completely convinced that Turturro's character was going to be some sort of horrible paranormal beast. But no, Stephen let me down.
And you'd think we would get better, considering that David Koepp, who wrote and directed this, also wrote and directed Stir of Echoes, which is a Kevin Bacon movie in the vein of the Sixth Sense (only actually scary). In comparing the two films, he's clearly trying to pull off a similar tone, but doesn't really manage to do it. David Koepp also wrote Carlito's way, Mission: Impossible, and Jurassic Park. Now don't you feel cheated?
Other movies featuring these actors
Johnny Depp- Pirates of the Caribbean, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, From Hell, Chocolat, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, The Ninth Gate, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Benny and Joon, Edward Scissorhands
John Turturro- Anger Management, Mr. Deeds, 13 Conversations About One Thing, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, Quiz Show, Barton Fink