Homegrown (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's comments in white:

Homegrown actually isn't that bad a flick. It is a modest little bit of intrigue about a trio of low-level pot harvesters who watch their boss get killed, then decide that they need to steal just enough of the pot to recoup the salaries they were owed.

As the film progresses, their modest ambitions grow until they find themselves trying to make millions of dollars, and get caught in a vice between the mafia, a powerful local pot-growers' cartel, corrupt local policemen, and the twin brother of their slain boss.

All in all, it isn't a bad watch, with a cast that includes all of the following:

  • Billy Bob Thornton
  • Hank Azaria
  • Kelly Lynch
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Ryan Phillippe
  • Judge Reinhold
  • Ted Danson
  • John Lithgow
  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal

If you are a movie buff or a fan of any of those people, you are now wondering, "how did I miss this film completely, given that it came out in 1998, and featured a lot of stars?"

I guess there are several components to that answer. For example, many of those people had miniscule roles. I don't even remember seeing the Gyllenhaals. (They took tiny roles because they were not famous yet, and their father was the director.)  In addition, many of these people were far less popular then. The star, Billy Bob Thornton, now a skinny star, was then a chubby bit player. You could cite a few such reasons, but they would all miss the central point, unless you hit on the key fact that this film was mis-marketed as a comedy. Even now, the DVD box claims that the film is a comedy. There is almost nothing funny in this film, other than that the three main characters are bumbling buffoons. Apart from the obvious ineptitude of their ill-formed schemes, the film has about as many chuckles as Andrei Rublev. It's basically a buddy film, placed within the general setting of a crime thriller in which amateurs get in over their heads. It is performed by a competent cast, and most of the situations are fairly plausible.

But a comedy it ain't.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

A lot of OK movies are slow starters. Homegrown doesn't really get moving until the 55 minute mark. Ryan Phillippe, Hank Azaria and Billy Bob Thornton manage a pot farm in northern California. When their boss is shot and killed by a helicopter pilot, they realize it is time to leave, but decide to harvest just enough plants to pay their wages. They trim the plants and arrange the sale, and decide to pretend that the boss is still alive. That plan goes so well that they go after the rest of the crop ($4m worth). The deeper they get into the scheme, the more obvious it is that they don't have a clue what's going on. It seems pretty simple. Cut the pot, dry the pot, bag the pot, sell the pot. But there are details they hadn't considered, such as the local pot-growers' association, the brother of the dead boss, the Mafia folks that their boss was dealing with, local cops, and more.


Jamie Lee Curtis appears as the head of the local pot growers association, and shows some cleavage.

Kelly Lynch shows breasts and buns. Most of the nudity databases are off the mark on this one, mentioning only the shower scene for Kelly Lynch. Kelly has  great pokies in much of the film, and clear breasts and buns in a long shot. There is also a well-lit bathroom scene near the end where we see the side of her breast. The shower scene is obscured by steam (probably a fine mesh lens filter), and does not look that great.

Ryan Phillippe shows his buns in two separate scenes

Thankfully, there is a way to watch this without being bored for 55 straight minutes. Watch until a naked Kelly Lynch gets out of the shower and dries herself off, showing the side of her breasts, then jump to the 55 minute mark. You won't miss anything important, and the second half of the film moves right along.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1, plus a fullscreen version.

  • no significant features

The acting is good throughout. It just takes too long to set the plot. The concept was good enough for this to be a good film, and there was plenty of untapped potential in the second half of the film. If they could have established the characters and set the plot in the first 10 minutes, this could have been a very good film.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Maltin 2.5/4, Apollo 68/100.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.8, Apollo users 66/100. 
  • With their dollars ... A complete bomb. Grossed only $215,000 in the USA
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. If you expect a funny movie, you will be disappointed, but if you want to shut off your brain and watch a popcorn flick, this isn't half bad.

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