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HOME GROWN

SYNOPSIS:
A large marijuana plantation in Northern California, owned by Malcolm (John Lithgow), is left in tempting limbo when Malcolm is shot dead in front of his three doped out, incompetent workers - calculating Jack (Billy Bob Thornton), horticulturalist Carter (Hank Azaria) and hot-headed youngster Harlan (Ryan Phillippe). The three caretakers have to figure out what to do with his crop, with or without Lucy (Kelly Lynch) who runs the preparations and packaging side of the operations. And whose heart is busy with either Carter or Harlan or both, and who wants an equal share of the action. Meanwhile, the heavies are after the contracted dope, and the three hapless amateurs haven’t a clue who shot their boss.

"It's a shame when so much talent ends up wasted in a film packed with nothing but potential. If the Three Stooges had been stoned, they might have turned out like the three hapless heroes encountered in this perpetually pot-smoking yarn, - but much funnier. Herein lies the problem: director Stephen Gyllenhaal, who made such strong dramas as Paris, Trout, has crafted and co-written a film which has all the trappings of a quirky comedy, minus the comedy. The whole thing is played strictly straight, with a few offbeat moments, but not enough to save it from being a flat, predictable caper film. It's nicely shot, and there are some good performances, notably from Hank Azaria, who shines as Carter, but the film's incessantly insipid rock soundtrack, coupled with a sense of its own confusion, makes for a disappointing and clumsy effort. The pot smoking genre has long gone, so why dredge it up again."
Paul Fischer

"Despite strong lead performances, Home Grown suffers from the malaise of a badly structured script which goes nowhere, and characters which do not engage. There are some moments of almost slapstick comedy, yet they never quite make it. Billy Bob Thornton and Hank Azaria give insightful performances, while both Ryan Phillipe and Kelly Lynch are impressive. But token appearances by Ted Danson, Jon Bon Jovi, Judge Reinhold and Jamie Lee Curtis are a total mystery; why are they there? The settings are picturesque, and the topic could well have been made into an entertaining piece, had the script taken a different road. As it stands, there are lots of scenes looking at marijuana plants, cutting down marijuana plants, smoking marijuana and so on forth. Boring. The filmmakers no doubt hoped to make a cool, hip film about this controversial topic, injecting some token thoughts about greed and morality. I spent most of the 101 minutes feeling extremely frustrated that this top cast was wasting its talents on such a unfulfilling project."
Louise Keller

"yeah, man, like, you know, it’s um…well, it’s kinda, you know….kraaazy, in it’s own way, like, you know, these three guys who get their hands on all these mary jane plants, figure they can just sell a bit, smoke a bit and, um…what’s next ….but, even with some cool, you know, sexy thing with Lucy, and the mafia stuff … it’s a bit….kinda going nowhere…still, man, nice production design and, hey, pretty good acting…but...um, pass me that joint…."
PS (does Ted Danson really have a shitty little white fluffy dog that eats testicles?)
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 3
Mixed: 0

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HOME GROWN (MA)
(US)

CAST: Billy Bob Thornton, Hank Azaria, John Lithgow, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kelly Lynch, Jon Bon Jovi, Ted Danson

PRODUCERS: Jason Clark

DIRECTOR: Stephen Gyllenhaal

SCRIPT: Nicholas Kazan and Stephen Gyllenhaal

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Greg Gardiner

EDITOR: Michael Jablow

MUSIC: Trevor Rabin

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Sherman

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Globe

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 26, 1998 (Dec 26, ACT)

Video Release: Mar 23, 1999
Distributor: Columbia TriStar







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