Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris
From pirate to plagiarist, Depp's perfect
By BILLY NORRIS
Published March 22, 2004
[Photo: Columbia Pictures]
Did he or didnt he? John Shooter (John Turturro, right) accuses author Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) of stealing his story in Secret Window.
Summary: Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp), a talented author in the midst of a nasty divorce, is trying to complete a novel at his secluded cabin. He is awakened from a nap one afternoon to find a man beating on his door. The man, John Shooter (John Turturro), claims that Rainey "stole his story," referring to a story Rainey had published years before. He blows the guy off. When Mort discovers that Shooter left a copy of the story on his porch, he discovers the story is uncannily similar to his published Secret Window. Shooter returns, and the two quarrel about who wrote the story first. Shooter begins to show signs of violence and wants justice brought to this so-called plagiarist. Mort turns to the police as Shooter sets out to turn his life upside-down.
My View: This film, based on a Stephen King story, is quite impressive. The plot is brilliantly thought out and executed. It progresses much like a murder mystery with good reason; as the tale develops, more details surface that allude to who the bad guy really is, and how it will end. Speaking of endings, the one in this movie is first rate. It ties everything together cleverly into a nice package. Depp is masterful again, coming on the heels of his Oscar-nominated turn in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and certainly appears to be on a hot streak. Though this is a horror film, the comedic element is more prevalent than I expected, giving this movie an almost spooflike feel. The use of irony is tasteful and witty, definitely adding an extra spark.
Recommendations: This is one of the most entertaining films of this year. The violence and profanity are moderate, and the sexual innuendo is barely present. I definitely suggest that you see this one.
Billy Norris, 16, is in the 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.