YOU cannot force a person to love something or someone they do not like. I have never seen it become successful. There was a mother I knew who drove her daughter everywhere to audition for dance roles even though the daughter did not have her heart in it. Rejection after rejection did not stop the mother from forcing her daughter to try again. Now if the daughter truly had a talent for dance and wanted to pursue it, then it would be somewhat of a different story. There have been several instances where I have seen a parent pushing their child to try out for a sport or some form of the arts, but one thing was never mentioned to the child. “To do their best;” I do not always hear this being included. If a child has a strong desire to do something I feel they should be allowed as long as they give it their best shot. This reminds me of an episode of a singing talent show where the singer auditioning mentioned they had been working with a voice coach for several years. After the contestant auditioned the judge told the person to fire their coach, because they did not have a good singing voice. IF a person is gifted at something wouldn’t it be in the best interest to encourage the individual to give it their all? I am familiar with a family that has 3 children. One child is exceptional when it comes to drawing; her paintings are incredible. The father, who works as an accountant, is against his daughter’s idea of going to college to study art. He believes she will never make a living at it and would rather she go into economics. Now it does not matter if the girl has an aptitude for numbers or not, the father just wants her to do something where she can earn a decent living and thinks since he supports a family by working with numbers, she should do the same thing. It is similar to what was taking place in this drama. AS the owner of an auto repair shop Miguel Alvarez, played by Demian Bichir (The Heat, A Better Life), wanted his two sons to be part of the business. But with his youngest one Danny, played by Gabriel Chavarria (Freedom Writers, A Better Life), wanting to pursue art; Miguel simply could not understand why his son would want to do such a thing. This film festival nominee’s story was set in east Los Angeles and also starred Eva Longoria (The Sentinel, Over her Dead Body) as Gloria and Theo Rossi (Bad Hurt, Sons of Anarchy-TV) as Francisco ”Ghost” Alvarez. I walked into this film not fully understanding what “lowriders” were, but I discovered I liked the look of them. As for what they do, I don’t understand the point. Putting that aside the other part of this movie I enjoyed was the art work on display. Outside of that there really was nothing new about this story. I have seen similar movies that have done the same story line and actually did it better. Every scene in this film followed a generic formula from the portrayal of a Hispanic family to the family tension to the girlfriend; I was bored for the most part. Let me say there was nothing “bad” per se about this picture; if you have never experienced this type of story you may find something of interest. I sort of wish the writers had been pushed harder to try and create a better script.
Once upon a time a person was able to bite into a piece of food and savor the taste blooming in their mouth. Planted in an orchard or field where the rays of the sun encouraged it to grow, the fruit or vegetable was picked at the peak of its ripeness. It was nurtured by the loving hands of a farmer who learned their craft from their father who had learned it from their father; a simple process that provided the most natural and best taste. Times have changed as the world now moves at a faster pace. Some food items are grown indoors where its roots are stuck in a test tube device to keep them moist as the only light source shines out of heat lamps hanging low from the ceiling. If plants are grown outside they are bombarded with chemicals to ward off things that could damage them. Not only are grains being genetically manipulated to create a super race of wheat or corn, but even livestock get injected with hormones and antibiotics because a dead or sick animal cuts into profits. I try to think about what is going into my mouth, though there are times where I wished I wasn’t thinking. My thoughts for the most part focus on either squeezing, smelling, reading or looking at the item before I take it from the store shelf or bin. AFTER watching this documentary I felt guilty for not knowing more about where and how the food I was leisurely putting into my shopping cart had reached the store. Executive produced by Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives-TV, The Sentinel) and narrated by Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Phone Booth), this movie focused on a group of migrant workers who picked tomatoes. I am sure this will not come as a surprise; but the story showed the chain of command that dictated the course of the tomato, from the bottom where the migrant workers toiled in the fields to the final destination at the grocery store. I was surprised to find out I was not completely correct on which component in the chain yielded the most power. For a documentary this topic was presented in a straight forward manner with little consideration given to tweaking elements to make this more of a dramatic story. There were times where I felt a scene’s actions was being repeated more than necessary to drive a point home. However, this particular story was both moving and incredulous to watch. Though I would like to consider myself an intelligent consumer, this movie proved me wrong. I was shocked by what I saw. I have to tell you I would have a hard time shopping at the grocery store that was the focus of this film, if there was one near me.
3 1/2 stars