Roosters

on July 14, 1995 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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   A Southwestern Latino family awaits the return of their patriarch, Gallo (Edward James Olmos), from prison, where he's served seven years for manslaughter. His son Hector (Danny Nucci) is embittered and a would-be cockfighting champion; daughter Angela (Sarah Lassez) is a dreamer who's possibly mentally disturbed; sister Chata (Maria Conchita Alonso) is the town's promiscuous pariah; and wife Juana (Sonia Braga) just wants life back to normal.
   Adapted by Milcha Sanchez-Scott from her play, "Roosters" sets up its situations and conflicts with efficiency but then squanders any drama Gallo's arrival should engender. Maddeningly literal-minded but also containing some heavy-handed magical realism, the film plods, rarely allowing its talented cast a departure from their traditional images: Olmos, again, is angry machismo personified, Alonso typically sensuous, and so on. Though directed by the usually reliable Robert M. Young (who also directed Olmos in another American Playhouse production, the superior "Ballad of Gregorio Cortez"), "Roosters" is catatonic cinema.    Starring Edward James Olmos, Sonia Braga and Maria Conchita Alonso. Directed by Robert M. Young. Written by Milcha Sanchez-Scott. Produced by Susan Block-Reiner, Norman I. Cohen and Kevin Reidy. An I.R.S. release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 95 min.
Tags: Starring Edward James Olmos, Sonia Braga, Maria Conchita Alonso. Directed by Robert M. Young. Written by Milcha Sanchez-Scott. Produced by Susan Block-Reiner, Norman I. Cohen, Kevin Reidy, I.R.S., Drama
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