‘Eating Animals’ is an important doc and a tough pill to swallow

“Eating Animals” – “I wonder what my grandkids or generations past me will think about this period, a time when we raise our meat, dairy and eggs in many (compromising) ways.” – “Eating Animals” director Christopher Dillon Quinn, June 14, 2018 during a Phoenix Film Festival interview Quinn is speaking about factory farming.  This current practice mass produces 99 percent of the meat that Americans consume today, and his emotional, eye-opening documentary sheds a light on the highly disturbing state of affairs. Narrated by Natalie Portman, who also co-produced the…

Despite some laughs, ‘Uncle Drew’ misses and misses

“Uncle Drew” – Basketball is a team sport, but one individual point guard stands out.  He stands above all others who played before and after him. Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving). Don’t just take this critic’s word for it.  Ask NBA greats George Gervin, Dikembe Mutombo, Jerry West, David Robinson, and Steve Nash (to name a few), as they rave about Drew’s gifts on the court during the opening moments of director Charles Stone III’s (“Drumline” (2002), “Mr. 3000” (2004)) movie “Uncle Drew”.   Keep in mind that these basketball greats speak…

The twisted horror film ‘Hereditary’ will leave a permanent mark

“Hereditary” – Look up the word “hereditary”, and some of the listed synonyms are:  inherited, genetic and family. Obviously, children inherit their parents’ genetic makeup, and this carries a scientific connotation, because at its core, this transfer is purely and factually clinical. Family, on the other hand, implies a loving home, one full of life lessons, support, concern, and care.  The words inherited and genetic always occur with 100 percent certainty.  Meanwhile, a family that lives in a loving household is less than certain.  Love is always the hope, but…

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ is a beautiful tribute to a radical pioneer

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – “He was radical.  I know everyone says that, but he was radical.” – Elizabeth Seamans The groundbreaking and absolutely delightful “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” ran for decades on public television, and this children’s program helped positively shape millions and millions of kids’ outlooks and moral compasses.  In 2018, the new documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is a wonderful, sentimental trip down memory lane for adults who grew up watching the show and its creator, writer, producer, and star:  Fred Rogers. Rogers passed away at…

Plaza’s ‘Veronica’ delivers scares on Netflix

“What goes on in that place in the dark?”  – “Veronica” by Elvis Costello, 1989 Elvis Costello did not have a horror movie in mind when he released his song 29 years ago, but the aforementioned lyric could definitely apply to director Paco Plaza’s (“[REC]” (2007)) latest film “Veronica”. Released on Netflix, “Veronica” is a creepy horror film that you can “enjoy” at home.   Set in Madrid in 1991, Veronica (Sandra Escacena) – a 15-year-old girl – talks two of her schoolmates into summoning her late father’s spirit via a…

‘The Seagull’ does not take off and fly

“The Seagull” – “It’s hot.  It’s quiet.  No one does anything.  Why does no one do anything?” – Irina (Annette Bening) After experiencing “The Seagull”, a film adaption of Anton Chekhov’s play, one might ask Irina’s question about the movie itself.  Sure, the A-list cast members – Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, Corey Stoll, Billy Howle, Brian Dennehy, and Mare Winningham – do something.  More than something.  They bring their acting A-games to director Michael Mayer’s picture, but the uninspired and sometimes muddy visuals match the pedestrian pacing, and the…