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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Price of Milk
The Price of Milk
New Yorker Video // PG-13 // November 26, 2002
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Blake Kunisch | posted December 7, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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Movie:  The Price of Milk hails from New Zealand and is directed by Harry Sinclair in his second directorial outing. Considered fresh and new overseas upon its release in New Zealand, unfortunately, this film sours as it makes the long trip to the States. This romantic comedy is, to say the least, a bit offbeat. It features the newly engaged couple of Lucinda (Danielle Cormack) and Rob (Karl Urban) as they test the boundaries of their love in this quirky film. After an accident on the road, Lucinda has questions about Rob's love for her and figures the only way to figure out if he really loves her is to sabotage their relationship by swapping Rob's 117 cows (worth NZ$400,000) for her quilt which was stolen earlier.

Now, any rational person is going to go crazy if your loved one traded NZ$400,000 (approx. US$200,000). Rob proceeds to go crazy, and in this quite interesting film, he does so in his own way. Despite Lucinda's work to get her fiancée back before the impending wedding, he'll have none of it. This romantic comedy is more of a fairy tale than anything else. Everything starts out nice and rosy but things invariably go from bad to worse before the film ends in an all-too-predictable manner. While the film is a quirky delight at times, it seems to drag on and on, and despite it's running time of only 87 minutes, it feels like an eternity. Both Danielle and Karl are fresh new talent - a welcome sight as all the actors in films in the States seem to be overused - but despite their best efforts, it seems that the absurdity of the script is too hard to overcome.

Video:  Unfortunately, somewhere in the transition from film to DVD, things went horribly, horribly wrong. In one of the worst transfers I've seen, this film is filled with digital artifacts and scan lines whenever the camera pans across a scene (which is quite often). While the colors are bright and vibrant and show off the beautiful New Zealand countryside (boy would I like to live there), the distraction of the artifacts all but destroys this film.

Audio:  The Price of Milk is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. While sufficient for the film - as 5.1 would be overkill for this whimsical, dialogue-driven film - it's just that - sufficient, nothing spectacular. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand and while nothing too amazing, it's much better than the video transfer.

Extras:  The only extras here are a short "outtakes" scene (just under 4 minutes long) and an audio commentary featuring directory Harry Sinclair and lead actress Danielle Cormack. The outtakes scene doesn't really feature outtakes, but rather 2 development scenes - somewhat of a test before the final shoot of the scenes. The audio commentary delivers just what is advertised though. Both Harry and Danielle are great as they discuss this film (apparently they didn't take it all too seriously). They add a bit of insight into the film and the story behind it and when all is said and done, it's more entertaining to watch this 87 minute film with the commentary rather than the original audio.

Conclusion:  If you're a fan of the film, unfortunately, the transfer to DVD will most likely turn you off after you purchase this film. I was not overly impressed by the film - as it just seemed to drag on and on with no real end in sight. The only bright side of this disc is the audio commentary which is both humorous and engaging. Other than that, I see no real reason to buy this DVD unless you're a die-hard fan of the film.

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