Lunch; Secret Window

Today was a rather enjoyable day on the homefront. It is not often that my wife and myself go out and do things, which we did today. I suppose that the base reason for this is my agoraphobia, not that I think I actually have the affliction, but anyone seeing my reaction to large public places would surely think I did. It probably took me quite a while to become the hermit that I am, I don’t really mind going out in public places as such, I just try to avoid it when it is not necessary. I don’t think that it is a fear, or anything of that nature, it is more like a choice to simply avoid all the weird people doing weird things. Okay, I am going to change the subject here, as I seem to be digging myself an ever deeper hole.

The really strange thing about my not going out much is that the times we do, I really enjoy it. We never see the weird people doing weird things, we simply go out and have a little fun and then come home. Why, then, do I have this notion that I want to avoid all the strangeness out there? I gots no idea.

As sited in a Previous Blog, my wedding anniversary was last Wednesday, and it certainly did not get a celebration at all. We went out today to do something enjoyable to make up for the lack of being able to do so then. We decided on lunch and a movie, which is like dinner and a movie, minus the not getting home until midnight aspect of it.

My wife’s parents had given us a gift card for On the Border, which is an upscale type mexican restaurant that serves really yummy food. It is not exactly authentic mexican food, but the version of it that those of us who are not Hispanic have grown to love. Tasty, tasty stuff, and huge portions of it. Though at the prices they charge the portions had better be huge. The meal would have been completely free to us, had I not indulged in a beer once I had received my food. Perhaps it was better that I ordered that four dollar beer, as it would have seemed really cheap to try to put the tip on a gift card, IMHO. My wife left the tip for the meal, which was five dollars, even after I had offered to pay it, since that was darn near the price of the beer after tax. Oh well, tasty, tasty stuff.

My wife’s brother (yes, my brother-in-law, but it seems that I should give credit to my wife for having the family, since I never got so much as a call from any one of my relatives for the anniversary, let alone a gift) gave us a gift card to AMC theatres for the movie. The card did not have an amount printed on it, so my wife opined that it may not be enough to cover the tickets (her brother is only twenty, and not independantly wealthy) so I would make up the difference at the box office. As it turns out, he went above and beyond the call, giving a twenty dollar gift card. We spoke briefly of using the remaining balance to buy soda or popcorn, but eventually decided that one of us could go to the next movie for free if we didn’t. So we didn’t.

The movie that we saw was Secret Window. This movie has gotten really bashed in the ratings game, having only a 47% positive review on Rotten Tomatoes. Ebert has This to say. I think that Ebert does a much better job of describing the film than the people that reviewed it over at rotten tomatoes.

I don’t like Johnny Depp much as an actor, but he did do a very convincing drunkard in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. He did a pretty good job in this movie as well. The novella, by Stephen King, that this movie was based on does not have really anyone in it. Just the main character, his (ex)wife and her boyfriend. Without character interaction there can be little dialogue, without dialogue you really don’t have any way to judge a character’s actions. Depp certainly made the point that the character was not ‘all there’ with his actions, most notably scrubbing his hands for way too long in one sequence.

It is hard to try to discuss an actor’s performance in a movie without giving away plot elements, that is what I am trying to do, so bear with me.

At exactly the point in the movie that I knew how it would end, they threw in the fiance of his (ex)wife. That was entirely too convenient to the flow of the movie, and thus, had no effect on the outcome. Had the editors put that scene further back in the screenplay, to give it enough time to fade from your memory a bit, it would have made the whole story a lot stronger. I think so anyway.

I am going to speculate that King wrote this little story while he was going through a little bit of a ‘Writer’s Block’. Like many King stories you simply must read the story to appreciate the screenplay. This is one of his stories (like most of his work) that I have not read. I am sure that it is extremely difficult to try to act out the thoughts of a character, yet Depp did it, and pretty masterfully I might add.

Johnny Depp just seems to have that touch, much like Tom Hanks, where he can act out any role and turn that movie into a blockbuster. Why that didn’t happen with this film is still a mystery to me. I think that the number one reason is that it is so similar to another King story called “the Dark Half”. Start telling the same story twice and even your fans may turn on you, no matter that the other film was released well over a decade ago.

The movie was pretty good on its own merits, better if you have never read any Stephen King. The ideas that he used may have been recycled, but they were recycled from his own twisted mind. Can one ever actually copy theirself?

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