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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.14%
Worth A Look50%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 42.86%
Sucks: 0%

2 reviews, 2 user ratings

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Milk and Honey
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by Chris Parry

"Does it still qualify as art when it's been done a hundred times before?"
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: A man is losing his mind. His wife is losing her husband. A weirdo loses his clothes and dances naked around a party with a golden mule mask on his head. A guy in a hospital is losing his mom. Guess what happens next Ė yes, their lives begin to intersect. Crazy guy asks hospital guy to kill him while weirdo starts to bone wife. Of course thereís a lot more to Milk and Honey, but itís a tough one to wrap up in a paragraph. Not because the film is excessively complex, but because itís all so much talk and hurt feelings and flat characterizations and unstable camera work.

Iíve no idea why so many indie filmmakers think that just because theyíre shooting on video they donít need to keep the thing steady. Has anyone heard of a tripod? Maybe a dolly? And the novelty of long uninterrupted takes wears off real soon when youíre using acting talent that isnít really very talented.

Look, I know itís tough to make a movie on a shoestring budget, but thatís no excuse for laziness. Maybe Iím way off the mark and that was the effect the filmmakers were looking for, but it sure as heck looked like this was a runínígun quickie with a screenplay that needed a lot of work.

The one shining light is Kirsten Russell as the beleaguered wife. She doesnít put out an Oscar winning performance, but sheís totally respectable, believable and willing to give it all for the role. As for the rest of the cast, Clint Jordan sports one confused expression for the entire film as the husband having issues, Dudley Findlay Jr doesnít stink as the amateur hitman, and Anthony Howard is occasionally amusing as the weirdo wifely backroom bonk, but mostly heís just naked. Disturbingly naked.

Writer/director Joe Maggio is no hack, in fact he took Sundance by storm not long ago with Virgil Bliss, but that might be one of the reasons why Milk and Honey just doesnít hit the mark Ė because you expect more in almost every department.

A late movie twist involving a disappearing and reappearing strip of photos doesnít succeed to delivering the last minute twist thatís become the style du jour since The Sixth Sense, and a musical score by Hal Hartley isnít a great addition to proceedings since thereís barely any score to be heard for 80% of the flick. I tried to like Milk and Honey and there are probably plenty whoíll give it a nice golf clap, but Iím not one of their number. As a debut feature I might have let it off with a middling review, but as a follow-up to a far better feature, this just doesnít pass muster.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6886&reviewer=1
originally posted: 01/19/03 22:12:56
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 San Francisco Independent Film Festival. For more in the 2005 San Francisco Independent Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

5/15/03 Liz The film was great 4 stars
3/02/03 justin I loved this film. Kirsten Russel was intense, very attractive and had her character down 5 stars
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  DVD: 02-Aug-2005



Directed by
  Joe Maggio

Written by
  Joe Maggio

  Clint Jordan
  Kirsten Russell
  Dudley Findlay Jr.
  Anthony Howard
  Greg Amici

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