Home / Depp-th or Lack Thereof: Secret Window vs Pirates

Depp-th or Lack Thereof: Secret Window vs Pirates

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Having long since overcome the pretty boy canard, Johnny Depp seems to have now moved into “actor’s actor” territory: he was just nominated for the best actor Oscar for the second year in a row, this time for his role as J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, in Finding Neverland, following last year’s nom for his Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Following my tradition of not catching much of anything in the theater you wouldn’t take a 5 year-old to see, I can’t comment yet on Finding Neverland , but Depp’s thriller Secret Window, based on a novella by Stephen King, debuted on HBO Saturday night, and following that we put on the DVD of Pirates again, being a flick mightily in the favor of the whole family. Besides we wanted to get the bad taste of Secret Window out of our collective mouths.

In Window, Depp plays a mystery writer who suffered/inflicted the mutual trauma of finding his wife (Maria Bello) at a motel with another man (Timothy Hutton) six months earlier, and who has been living in rustic near-isolation on a lake in upsate New York ever since, trying to write, taking a lot of naps, and trying to come to grips with a life teetering in the balance.

He is accosted by a menacing Mississippi backwoods writer (John Turturro) who claims Depp stole his story about a man who murders his wife and published it under his own name, which is bad enough, but worse still it becomes clear, is the allegation that Depp changed the ending of the story.

What begins promisingly enough deteriorates into a series of — and this is difficult to achieve — increasingly implausible AND increasingly predictable contretemps and revelations that yield a wholly unsatisfying ending which I am certain you can guess just from what little I’ve dribbled thus far. And it isn’t even very scary or suspenseful.

No matter: my concern here is Depp, and a powerful, charismatic actor can still shine in a bad movie, but shine here Depp does not. He is wooden, mannered in his “distracted and troubled artist” get-up: multicolored mangy hair, tattered, holey sweater, vacant look in his bespectacled eyes. He can’t seem to muster the wherewithal to play terrified or terrifying (as appropriate), and the only time he seems to fully inhabit the role is when he is sacked out on the couch: THAT he does with conviction.

It is remarkable that someone who is often so good — and never more so, at least from a heroic/comedic standpoint, than in Pirates — can also be so unengaged and unconvincing. This reinforces my theory that great roles play the actors rather than the other way around: that the role molds the actor to its contours rather than the actor creating the character, just as writers speak of characters taking on lives of their own or musicians “finding” songs rather than writing them. Captain Jack was just such a role for Depp.

Sparrow is an “honestly dishonest” pirate in full florid regalia (braided and beaded beard and hair, piratical vestments and weaponry), full quiver of swashbuckling physical skills (acrobatics, swordsmanship, seamanship), full complement of twinkling dark-eyed charisma. But on this last note turns the wonderful specificity of Depp’s pirate, for all his live-wire force of personality, he is quite measured and avuncular in his relationships with both his reluctant young pirate-in-training Orlando Bloom, and the object of Bloom’s chivalrous longing, Keira Knightley, the governor’s daughter.

Though Sparrow always maintains sight of his own long-term goals of keeping his skin (more or less) intact and regaining his rightful place at the helm of the Black Pearl — his beloved vehicle of “freedom” wrested from him by mutinous first-mate Geoffrey Rush and crew — he does so within definite parameters of decency and respect for those deserving. Much of the abundant humor of the film comes from the juxtaposition of Depp’s character’s manifest skills and his air of sun-dazed amiable distraction: a cross between Errol Flynn and Jeff Spicoli.

Ultimately the difference between Depp’s roles in Pirates and Secret Window is energy: he positively crackles with it in Pirates as he surrenders himself to the role, allows it to play him and comes fully alive in the process; in Window he’s just there, marking time until the next nap.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • Have you seen Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexico? I think his performance would definitely go in your “crackling” category. He’s pretty funny.

  • Dawn

    Excellent review!

  • Eric Olsen

    no, haven’t seen that one Alan, will do per your advise

    thanks Dawn, I find these kind of reviews sort of reflect our collective experience to a certain extent

  • Eric Olsen

    where did the last several comments go?

  • Briony

    So sad you didn’t see the nuances of Depp’s performance in Secret Window. I will admit that it, like The Brave and Arizona Dream, is definitely not one of the most accessible films and requires a bit of thought. Perhaps that’s the problem. Thinking and film don’t seem to go hand in hand for most Americans. A pity, but true. Depp’s performance in Secret Window was incredibly subtle, layered and complex. Evidently, it was too complex for you to comprehend.

  • Eric Olsen

    so “incredibly subtle” as to be nonexistent?

  • Just testing the comments, please ignore this post (or remove, moderators)

  • Julie

    I really dispise this article about Depp’s role as Mort Rainy. I think the way you critisized the way Depp played Mort was very much critisizing Stephen King as a writer. So this is where I first ask you, have you read the short story Secret Window Secret Garden? Mort, in which case, was rarely scared in the story. Depp is true to his characters, wouldn’t change a character unless he saw fit, I doubt Depp saw fit. If I was Mort in that situation I would have been more confused and ticked off then anything, which I think Depp played pefectly. And how in the world did you think to compare Mort and Jack, they are two completely different roles in completely different times. To say that Depp did a better job as Jack then as Mort is just.. wrong. Secret Window is my favorite movie, Johnny Depp is my favorite actor and Stephen King is my favorite writer. The director of the movie took everything from the short story, including the character of Mort and everything that went with him. I think Depp did justic to Mort from the short story. I don’t think it is fair to critisize Depp for such a role that went so well with the short story. The only thing to critisize would be the character that Stephen King created.

  • S.A.W

    I completely disagree with your article above. You look to Secret Window like it some loosly tied story that has no point, and has no interest. So therefore not only are you critizing Johnny Depp as an actor but you are critizing Stephen King as a writer. No, it isn’t one of Depp’s best films; No, it isn’t one of King’s best stories. Secret Window I found was highly entertaining, and not only in the sense of it being humourous. I myself thought it was suspenseful because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next and I was on pinpoints. Also, I think it is a bit unfair to be comparing the character of Morton Rainy with Captain Jack Sparrow. Sparrow as you said is full of energy whereas Rainy on the other hand is well, as he said in his own words in the film a “sloth”. Sparrow and Rainy are to completely opposite characters and there is nothing to compare them with. Saying one film was better than the other. They are two differnt stories, two different time periods, and two different characters.

  • Eric Olsen

    Julie, you may despise the article and that’s okay, you may love Secret Window in prose and on screen, and think Johnny Depp to be the platonic embodiment of a thespian, but I still found the movie to be wan, slack, somewhat nonsensical, and like a bad Creepshow episode without any of the pulpy relish that might have at least rendered it fun. Sorry, I must rain on your perfect storm, but that’s just my opinion.

    Oh, and I am allowed to compare the two characters because they are the same actor and we watched them on the same night.

  • Julie

    Ah, yes, we are aloud to have different opinions about Depp or even the movie, or story its self. But you have yet to answer my question on if you read Secret Window Secret Garden or not?

  • Jamie

    Okay where to start. One I don’t think Johnny Depp plays his roles so people can compare them. He is a unique actor who goes his own way rather than Hollywood’s direction. Secret Window is in a different category than POTC. Secret Window was a very good movie, it was great! Pirates was also. If you have read Secret Window, Secret Garden, it follows fairly well, enough so you won’t get stuck watching a 3 hour movie. Altogether to get to my freaking point if you don’t like it, write and perform something better?!

  • Joe

    I think the role of Mort Rainey would have better suited Orlando Bloom as he is mucho en fuego.

  • Eric Olsen

    Joe, good point, that.

    No, Julie, I haven’t read the story.

    S.A.W., you are sort of agreeing with me in spite of yourself, aren’t you?

    Jamie, I don’t think the point really is whether or not I can write a beter story than Stephen King (I think I have one or two better than his worst, but who knows?) or act better than Johnny Depp (I am certain I can’t), the point is that in a brief two-year period Depp made two movies at opposite ends of the spectrum on almost every level, including the quality of his performance, and I thought that was funny and worth pointing out.

    I like Johnny Depp a lot and have enjoyed many of his performances, but sometimes even a fine actor such as he kind of sucks.

  • Julie

    Jamie, I completely and utterly agree with everything you just said.

    Eric, I was taught in Newspaper to never right your opinion out unless you have seen and read everything. I don’t think you can completely say that Depp did a horrible job at Mort Rainy if you haven’t read the short story. Stephen King wrote Mort the way he wrote him, to critisize Depp for acting and fallowing something that was already laid out before is just low. Would you rather Depp change the character? Think of your favorite book, or story. If they put that movie onto the big screen, would you want the actor to change the main character?

    And I don’t think Orlando Bloom could have done a great job at the type of character Mort Rainy was.

  • S.A.W

    No, I am not agreeing with you, at all. Your article is completely in the wrong to me. I have been asking people who have seen both films and they all say the same thing. You cannot judge one movie and character an actor plays to another. You just cannot, they are different characters, different stories. And as you said they are at different end of the spectrum. So how can you compare one thing to one side to the other? You can’t. I am not agreeing with you even a tiny bit. I DO agree with Jamie though. And Julie.

  • I actually thought Depp was pretty decent in Secret Window. He was easily the best part of the movie for me. I would say he was more a victim of the writing. The movie itself was pretty bad. It started out interesting and then became interminable. I really wanted it to be over but it kept dragging on to that completely mediocre ending.

    I will agree that Depp was a hundred times better in Pirates. He definitely had more energy and was much more involved in the role. He also had much more to work with.

  • Eric Olsen

    I have no doubt whatsoever that Depp was playing to the material at hand, that he did his best with what he had to work with, but that again supports my point that the great roles take over the actor rather than the other way around, and Mort was not a great role and it did not “take him over.”

    YOu keep asking me how I can compare two very different roles: by doing it, which I did. You don’t have to agree.

  • Sydney

    Those 2 movies were AWESOME!!! Please don’t critize them anymore.

  • Eric Olsen

    please note the name of the site

  • Eric Olsen

    well said and amiable, if still perversely mistaken (smile)

  • Dawn

    Eric, you are so mean to critize the uber talented and super sexy Johnny Depp, he is the GREATEST HUMAN BEING WHO HAD EVER LIVED.

    You SUCK!

  • Eric, is that THE Dawn, or not?:)

  • Also, have you seen the light?

  • Eric Olsen

    THE Dawn as in my Dawn (not that I own her or anything) – I believe it is, and the light pours over me.

  • Eric Olsen

    the fervency and indefatigability of Depp’s fans has been proved 1725 times over, here

  • In the Duke’s list for this week? Hmmm

  • Boy, what a huge deal your argument has become. I scowled greatly at this movie’s close, for endings like this is why i don’t care too much for Stephen King as a writer–he likes to bring the character into a world–his world–that only exists in his head (and other horror obsessed pessimists who love to soak in the possibilities of delusion). This is why i don’t think Secret Window works, because we’re taking the protagonist, and creating an antagonist at the very last shot possible in the movie, removing that profound element of beloved humanity (even in our killers) that we thrive as like beings. I cannot relate to this man, character or King, and he doesn’t seem to care at all. I guess with so much fame and so many novels, you can kind of design your own niche of what this world’s reality truly is. But it really doesn’t work for a mass appeal here.

    Can’t wait 4 wonka!

  • Eric Olsen

    very persuasive and thoughtful Crystal, thanks!

  • In Pirates of the Carribean, John reminded me of Sean Patrick Hayes in Will and Grace. Both the characters made my hackles rise with their trite swaying gay madonna acts.

    Sparrow was such a shallow story that it made me wonder how any intelligent actor could finish reading such an amateur,unimaginative script least of it act in it.

    And by the way Stephen King may be a brilliant writer but the fact remains whenever his books get converted into movies somehow they dont seem better than B-grade movies.

    As an actor Depp still has to prove himself as he is nowhere in the league of legends like Anthony Hopkins or Clint Eastwood.

  • Eric Olsen

    actually, I meant here, sorry

  • The Theory

    I enjoyed Secret Window as a comedy, since it more or less fails as a suspenceful horror. But I did find it really funny.

  • Eric Olsen

    puss that swings, good God, are you under a wrongfulness spell? King a brilliant writer? Pirates a shallow script? And the dude had women slapping him across the Caribbean – he wasn’t gay, he was swashbuckling and sunstricken. And Clint Eastwood may be a great icon, a great movie star, but he is hardly a great actor. surely Depp is the superior actor, although it was only in Pirates (of his films I have seen) in which he was a great movie star.


  • Ahhh….Swashbuckling? I thought that went with being Macho and not doing the drag queen act , maybe you need to see both Will and Grace and the Pirates on parallel screens to make the comparison.

    Or maybe I am wrong altogether – perhaps being on the high seas made some pirates feminine and others macho.

    I like Stephen King coz of his Dark tower Series and being a humble reader, people like Salman Rushdie and the likes of him who are considered brillant go way above my ‘dim, tired at the end of the day brain.’

    And I liked Clint in the Unforgiven plus being a woman who loves classic macho men on the big screen, I find him hot unlike Depp who don’t even raise as much as a flutter which Cruise does.

    Alas all can I say that I have read too many Mills and Boon pirates and Depp seemed more like a swashbuckling pansy than a rogue high sea warrior who could get into the bloomers of any high born noble lady.

  • I saw the two both movies and I find them like the best movies I´d never seen, I`m from Mexico so I hope you excuse me my terrible english (I translate mi opinion in a translator so I think that the grammar id to bad) but that fact don´t means I can´t tell my opinion, don`t you think?

    in my opinion the movie Pirates is an excellent movie but it is because the character of Depp, Jack, in comparison Secret Window is an excellent movie and it because the character that Depp, Mort, interprets so I don`t feel pertinent comparing both movies `cause is different kind. as history and it schemes me it finds better that of Secret and like entertainment and amusement that of Pirates, as for their acting as actor I believe that in the two movies it is excellent, like it was of being expected in him who is the best actor that never exist, since reflective, in both very well to the character and he makes you to believe what you`re seeing.

    en mi opinion la pelicula de Piratas es una excelente pelicula pero lo es mas por el personaje de Depp, Jack, en comparacion con la de Secret Window es una excelente pelicula y lo es mas que el personaje que interpreta Depp, Mort, por ello no creo pertinente el comparar ambas peliculas ya que son de diferente calaña. como historia y trama me parece mucho mejor la de Secret y como entretenimiento y diversion la de Piratas, en cuanto a su desempeño como actor yo creo que en las dos peliculas es excelente, como era de esperarse en él quien es el mejor actor que a existido, ya que refleja, en ambas muy bien al personaje y hace que creas lo que estas viendo.

  • jeaney

    Johnny Depp has not produced any bad work. In Secret Window, he is just as funny (Rainey on the stairs with exwife – “that’s the way I talk now” – that was great; just as intense – when he first picks up the black hat, I was thinking, “No! NO! Don’t put on that hat!” And as he discovered the catastrophies occurring around him, I believed he was geniunely surprised. There are some of us that don’t get these obvious plots, obvious to some. The Depp gives his all to a performance; if I’m deceived and he really doesn’t give his all to a performance, that man was be blessed with more talent and charisma than Harrison Ford and Errol Flynn. Finally, Johnny Depp doesn’t become the characters he plays (he doesn’t step in their shoes); those characters become him (as if he permits the character to posess him). Jeaney

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks for your input ladies, and i certainly appreciate the translation effort Rachel!

    As far as seeing the plot twists coming, part of that is in retrospect I would imagine, but about the first thing I thought when I saw JOhn Turturro was “that sucker doesn’t exist.” Teh fundamental problems with the movie come from the story, I agree, but for whatever reason, Depp wasn’t very interesting, convincing, sympathetic, charismatic, or very alive, in stark contrast to Pirates

  • Jennie

    I’d like to say something to Eric Olsen..obviously millions of other people disagree with you..I mean..Johnny Depp is an actor making 20 million a movie, and what are you? Just a someone making a buck trying to write an article..so here’s some advise..why don’t you take a nap, and dream on that you wish you could be like Depp…sexy, smart, awesome actor..fantasized about millions of girls all over the world.. 🙂 Jealousy is a nasty thing 🙂

  • Eric Olsen

    other than the money, I don’t think I would find being Johnny Depp very appealing, and I fear those unfiltered cigs are starting to catch up with him

  • Julie

    Thank you Jennie! Thank you so very very much. I wanted to say something like that so him sooo badly but I didn’t because I tried keeping my argument professional. I am so happy that you spoke up for me.

  • Jennie

    Now we all know that you’re pretty lame, and this isn’t just about his acting, but you are jealous..who the hell cares if he smokes..the air you breathe is just as bad…please..dont knock him, he’s been in movies for 21 years, and he’s made a bunch of money, more than you can count up to, and he’s happy..obviously you have some insecurities about yourself if you are going to start knocking him about him smoking, and him not being a good actor in SW. Jealousy is a nasty thing 🙂

  • Eric Olsen

    so am I to understand that Johnny Depp is beyond reproach? That none of his performances can be compared, contrasted, or distinguished from one another? They all just run together in one flawless flow of thespian perfection? Sounds like a religion to me.

  • Eric Olsen

    also, what you sycophantic adepts have failed to grasp is that I LIKE JOHNNY DEPP, I said very nice things about him. I think he’s a very good and interesting actor who isn’t afraid to try a bewilderingly wide range of roles. He’s one of the good ones – get it? He just wasn’t very good in Secret Window, which I like less and less as this discussion goes on.

  • Jennie

    lol, now you’re getting nasty..you’re trying to compare POC and SW..it’s like comparing apples and cars ..which one is better..and u can’t ..now when POC2 comes out, u can compare that one to the first one all u want..I guess you dont have to be intelligent to write an article..just know a few big words that u can use over again..no wonder why our country is pretty much F’ed.

  • Joe

    OMG – POTC (is that pronounced “potsie”?) is awesome, but alas Johnny Depp is on a downward glide. His real masterwork was captured in the episodes of 21 Jump Street.

  • Jennie

    dude, you need a hobby

  • Eric Olsen

    Surely it is more intelligent to walk robotically intoning “I love Johnny I love Johnny I love Johnny” than it is to pay him the respect of analyzing his actual work enough to distinguish the successful roles from those that are less so.

    Why is it when the toadies reflexively recoil against ANY criticism of the object of their devotion, their first line of attack is always “you’re jealous”? Perhaps it’s in the instruction manual.

  • Eric Olsen

    Joe, everyone knows Richard Grieco outshone Johnny in 21 Jump Street

  • Joe

    Take it back, or I’ll mess you up, esse!

  • Jennie

    Who said we walk around saying “I love Johnny”? Did I say once that I love him? Perhaps you need to read a little better. And what does his smoking have to do with his acting? You need a hobby too, how old are you?

  • Joe

    My hobby is reading Johnny Depp fanboards. My favorite is the IMDB board where this one girl entitles her post “OMG I MET JOHNNY DEPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and then the body of the post explains that it was in a dream. She does this every week or so judging from the responses of other readers. Oddly, this all ties back to the North Korean cult of personality thing somehow.

  • Eric Olsen

    His smoking has little to do with his acting other than his teeth are stained and he is starting to look a little frayed around the edges, as many smokers do once they hit their 40s.

    How old are you Jennie?

  • Jennie

    Oh my, you should get out more

  • Joe

    I would but my boss, Mr. Depp, hates when I miss phone calls and wants to make sure I’m keeping a close eye on what’s being written about him on the internet.

  • Jennie

    oic..you need help

  • Joe

    You’re telling me, you wouldn’t believe how much is written about him on the internets, but he’s a little on the cheap side and won’t pony up to hire me an assistant.

  • Jennie

    Eric, is anyone perfect? That’s why he is so unique..everyone in Hollywood is worried about the way they look, getting plastic surgery, and all..obviously he doesn’t..and he wasn’t voted Sexiest Man Alive for nothing…I suppose you’re perfect as well, because if you’re not, you don’t have room to criticize him, and his looks or his bad teeth.

  • Jennie

    I’m 20, and you?

  • OMG Jenny,

    i just figured out what the word critic means. Its ,well, when, while I totally love Johnny Depp, its okay to admit that Johnny Depp, like other human beings, make unwise decisions and pick mediocre roles and work with mediocre directors and make mediocre movies, making Johnny Depp, well, a little mediocre.

    I’m sure you know what mediocre is, even though your argument against this article’s claim isn’t even, at least, mediocre.

  • Eric Olsen

    My oldest daughter is 20.

    Your logic fails when you say I “don’t have room to criticize him” etc. Do I have to be perfect to criticize the work of an actor, on a site called “Blogcritics”?

    You may feel free to disagree with my criticism, but I have every right to do it.

  • Jennie

    Well, Crystal E. That’s great that you “love” Johnny Depp, and I never once said that he has NEVER made unwise decisions..I think you guys need to read exactly what people write, and Crystal, Im not sure if you’re blind But it’s JennIE ..And Eric…so you must be in your 40’s or somewhere around there, and you’re still arguing with a 20 year old on the internet, oh dear..you can criticize all you want, go ahead, but the things you are saying just make you seem jealous..of course he isn’t a perfect actor..I dodn’t like him in Blow…and once again..I have never stated that he was the best actor, i think i used the term “awesome”.

  • Joe

    Jenny- Mr. Depp has informed me that he really thinks you ought to give Blow a second chance. He thinks fans like you are awesome, too.

  • jenn-IE–

    go ahead and read SARCASM in the dictionary and reread my post, you brilliant person, you

  • Eric Olsen

    no prob Jennie, and yes, I am guilty of being in my 40s, it is manifestly true. I am here because I am the publisher and editor of the site and there are worse things I could be doing. I will not tell your friends you were debating the merits of Johnny Depp’s acting with an older person if you don’t.

  • Jennie

    This is turning into the stupidest thing ever. Im not going to fight about Johnny Depp on the internet, nor would i fight about him in real life..it’ pathetic..Eric, I know you have the right to criticize, everyone does, I just didn’t agree with some of the things that you were saying, thats all..didn’t mean to sound nasty. 😉 And Joe, you definately need to get out more..lol 🙂

  • Eric Olsen

    like I said Jennie, no prob and thanks for taking the time

  • Jessica

    omg, you old geezers need to get a life!!

  • Bierhoff

    Well, I was reading this site and I was cracking up the whole time. I was kind of pissed at the beginning since I am a great Johnny Depp fan, but than your comments just struck me as funny and stupid (some of them anyway). i think JD did a great job in Secret Window, but the other elements of the movie didn’t create the desired suspense, or what someone would anticipate of a King story. But then, I haven’t read “Secret Window”, so maybe JD was simply playing true to the character as created by King. You can’t compare “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Secret window”, because they are two very different movies. In my opinion, “Pirates of the Caribbean” has become Johnny’s trademark, and even though it isn’t the greatest movie of all time, it’s a movie that JD fans will remember forever. Pirates was the movie where I started adoring Jonny Depp. He gave an amazing performance in a mediocre movie. Honestly, I have tried to picture the movie without Johnny in it, and it would simply be a boring with a mediocre plot movie. Pirates with Johnny in it was an awesome movie. But an actor has his ups and downs. Maybe we all expected Johnny, the amazing pirate to sweep us off our feet again in a dazzling performance. Secret Window wasn’t like that. But Secret Window was almost the opposite of Pirates. It’s okay, to compare Johnny’s acting, which I think was wonderful in both movies, but the movies and plots themselves? It’s an impossible challenge to compare those.
    Blow was a great movie. JD wasn’t very attractive in that movie, but his acting was great. Cut the man a break. He is 41 after all. And if his dark good looks is all that make him attractive to fans, they have it wrong. Hollywood is full of handsome, gorgeous actors. How many of them give us superb performances though, how many of them charm us through their difficult and different roles? But adoring Johnny, means swaying away from the Hollywood concept of a successful actor. Adoring Johnny, means liking something less shallow,less commercial,and less cliche than what today’s Hollywood has to offer.

    P.S For all you fans that like Johnny for his good looks, find the February issue of Rolling Stone and look at the cover. You’ll start drooling. But then read the actual article about Johnny’s life. You’ll be inspired.

  • paola

    Wow, you are overprotective of your idol. But your comment made me actually analyze Johnny’s acting and think about his performances. He is a great actor. And what’s so good about his life story on “Rolling Stone”? Can you give us a preview?

  • bierhoff

    Ok, maybe a little protective, but not overprotective. I did analyze some of his performances after all and I am not saying they are flawless, but they are great or supergreat as in Pirates. After all, nothing or none is flawless. His life story is about finally growing up after having spent 34 years on this Earth and 15 in Hollywood, struggling with drinking etc ,surviving and finding happiness. And the little lessons learned along the way. But better read it yourself.

  • I had been avoiding SW because I had read the Stephen King story, and it is not one of King’s best.

    Eric, I believe what you saw in Depp’s performance is what happens when a good actor fully immerses himself into an unworthy role; Mort is living his deeply depressed life from one nap to another.

    Depp has proven he can shine in secondary roles (like the gypsy rover in Chocolat) and stun us in primary roles like Edward Scissorhands, the Holmesian detective of Sleepy Hollow, and Jack in POTC.

    He’s allowed an off-movie once in a while – and Secret Window was exactly that, a profound mis-step for an actor who usually makes better choices.

  • Eric Olsen

    bierhoff, for a Depp freak you’re reasonable

    Pat, perhaps you’re right that he was TOO immersed in the SW role rather than not enough

  • Secret Window failed as a movie, irrespective of the quality of the short story or novel on which it was based. If it worked in print, good for it. It failed on the screen. Utterly and completely predictable from roughly the first two minutes, and only more so as the film progressed, Depp’s decent acting job couldn’t save this stinker.

    Secret Window? Here’s a secret: the movie sucked!

    Now, Pirates, on the other hand, worked well. Not because it is fine cinema, but because it was fun, and well-acted, and everything clicked. Depp was masterful, and I even liked Geoffrey Rush, though I normally don’t.

    Pirates rocked!