The Valero Verdict: Shazam!

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, Shazam!. Normally I would say something fancy here about the movie being highly anticipated or anything at all. How about we say, Could DC finally make a good movie?

  • Grazer/Levi/Angel connection as Shazam/Freeman/Batson is spectacular. Grazer himself having to have the chemistry between both of the key characters was very pivotal in this movie and he was great.
  • Zachary Levi was a fantastic Shazam. You got the perfect dose of confused, witty, sarcastic, warm and funny all wrapped up in one.
  • The weird playing of Slow Hands by Nail Horan in the background of the family dinner. Did someone actually listen to those lyrics prior to editing it into the film? It was just weird.
  • Story telling was spot on. Sanberg did a great job of putting the pieces together. I really enjoyed his investment into the characters and making you care about them.
  • My biggest problem was the ending, it felt like it was never going to end. It dragged out for maybe 15 minutes too long.

The Verdict:

*** 1/2 out of ***** stars

This was a strong movie, and a really shocking feel good movie. I liked the different lighthearted approach to the Super-Hero genre. It is one we really haven’t seen before. The chemistry between the leads was great, Mark Strong was a great villain and outside the 9 hour ending, the movie was a lot of fun. (Also DC finally making a good movie was a joke, calm down)

Should You See It?: Yes, and I think you should take the entire family. It was a whole lot of fun and a great feel good story for the kids to enjoy as well.

Tell me what you thought of the movie, hit me up on here or talk to me on Twitter @RickyValero_

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The Valero Verdict: The Highwaymen

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, the 100th movie about Bonnie & Clyde. I kid, the Netflix movie starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson about the two Texas Rangers who helped take down Bonnie & Clyde.

This movie poster looks dumb.
  • Let me start with the positive. Costner and Harrelson have fantastic chemistry together. These two were a great pairing.
  • But the duo could not overcome the lackluster script. It felt like throughout the film they were going through the motions and I don’t blame the acting as it wasn’t bad, they just didn’t have much to work with.
  • The movie was so boring and dull, you were anticipating at some point the film would pick up and get moving and it never did.
  • The whole build is for the end (we all know what happens) and it came off as “just another scene”. I hated it so much because the whole movie led up to this moment and it fell flat on its face.

The Verdict:

* out of ***** stars

Netflix has been really good with a lot of the movies they have been making but this one misses the mark. Great casting in the two leads, Harrelson and Costner do their best to overcome a rough script but can’t even make the movie watchable.

Should You See It?: If you are bored and can’t find something to watch on Netflix, pick a random episode of The Office to watch and skip this garbage.

Tell me what you thought of the movie, hit me up on here or talk to me on Twitter @RickyValero_

The Valero Verdict: Aquaman

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, Aquaman. The very highly anticipated DC movie starring Jason Momoa.

  • This story was a complete rip-off of Black Panther.
  • This movie really tried way too hard to be funny, like it got embarrassing at some points.
  • The colors were pretty.
  • The action was a bit lackluster, the “big fight” scene in the water was just horrendous, at times you didn’t even know who was who during the fight.
  • Momoa was okay, but honestly he didn’t really have much to work with here. The screenplay was not very good and they didn’t put him in position to succeed at all.
  • Arthur? I feel like you could go back in time and get a better Super-hero name for this guy, this is what I think when I hear Arthur.

The Verdict:

* out of ***** stars

A loaded cast with a terrible script, while colorful and pretty to look at (Add Momoa to that if you’d like) the film feels like one big dud. Aquaman is one of the characters that belongs in ensemble movies but not his own standalone film.

Should You See It?: Absolutely NOT. Especially on Date Night, don’t be like “You can stare at Jason Momoa for two hours”, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU. Just no.

Tell me what you thought of the movie, hit me up on here or talk to me on Twitter @RickyValero_

The Valero Verdict: Fighting with My Family

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, Fighting with My Family, the movie based on WWE Diva Paige.


  • The casting of Florence Pugh turned out perfect, she played Paige very well, especially the Paige of the early years. She was very Raw in the film which is what she needed because Paige was in a very Raw position starting from the bottom of the WWE. Very good casting.
  • Nostalgia from the Rock was fantastic. While not in the film a whole lot, you did get to see some old fashion Rock lines that were classic for his many years in the WWE.
  • The opening of this movie was absolute brutal to watch as a former professional wrestler, I get these guys were “rookies” but man, the in ring stuff was brutal to watch.
  • The story flows very well, it tells the story you are wanting to see, with the 1st act setting the story, the 2nd bringing you the challenge and leaving the 3rd act to bring it all together to get us our feel good ending.
  • Vince Vaughn was good in this, but it felt so weird seeing him in a role of this nature.

The Verdict:

*** out of ***** stars

I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie but it’s one of the feel good stories that you can really get behind and cheer for throughout. The Rock brings some fun humor to the movie, Pugh does a fantastic job as Paige, and the rest of the cast packs a nice punch as well.

Should I see it?: Yes. I think no matter if you are a wrestling fan or not, this is a well written movie with solid story telling, you laugh, it pulls at the heartstrings and you cheer in triumph at the end.

The Valero Verdict: Cold Pursuit

Welcome to the first edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, Cold Pursuit, the action packed movie starring Liam Neeson.

  • The score of this movie had a very “western” feel to it, but the movie set in the Colorado Blizzard, it was kind of weird.
  • Tom Bateman was a fantastic bad guy in the movie, they did a fantastic job of making him a big time douche bag and making you buy it with every moment he was on the screen.
  • I was a big fan of the “ruthless” side of Liam Neeson that we really hadn’t seen. He really just kicked some ass without asking a whole lot of questions.
  • One the flip side of that, my one big bone to pick was that you really didn’t have a background story on how Neeson’s character was such a “bad ass”. He turned Citizen of the Year to Cold Blooded Killer in a span of 10 minutes. I know his son got murdered but still, a little background goes a long way.  
  • I was a massive fan of the “RIP” of the characters after they died, it was a nice little touch.

The Verdict:

** ½ out of ***** star

The variety of plot holes aside, it wasn’t a bad movie. The revenge plot is beaten to the grave at this point in Hollywood, especially in Liam Neeson movies but this was a little different which made it a tad enjoyable.

Should you see it?: I wouldn’t rush out to the theaters to catch this movie but I do say it is certainly RedBox worthy.

Thinking Out Loud: Miss Bala

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Thinking Out Loud where I take running notes throughout the movie.

I went to see Miss Bala, I really had semi-low expectations for this movie but I’ve been proven wrong plenty of times over movies that looked awful.

This will be obviously SUPER HEAVY on Spoilers (mind you not a whole lot of twist or turns in this one), you can check out my non-spoiler review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickygangster/film/miss-bala-2019

Well with all that mumbo-jumbo out of the way.


Here we go…

(Only person in the theaters, this movie is going to make billions)

We’ve got fashion week folks, oooooooooooooooo he just said honey we ain’t paying you to think.

Fashion show people seem so mean.

We’re going to Mexico and in this movie there are no walls.

Based on a Spanish language film? Had no clue.

Sisters are excited to see each other, dancing and now reminiscing over old pictures and drinks.

He bought the kid a toy, he said holy shit. Yikes, parenting is not a plus here.

Miss Baja America …. I think I could win

Cheese anyone? (I deserve a model contract)

OMG FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS

Oh, she just got her but grabbed, dudes are dicks. She’s in the bathroom and now dudes are breaking into the club.

She’s American, sooooooo they let her go? Interesting.

They are now shooting up the club, Bala is running outside and now tried to call the best friend.

She left the best friend in the club? Wow worlds worst best friend.

So wait, she fell asleep in the diner? And just woke up? And they let her? I’m confused.

She got in a cop car and said she saw everything and the cop said when we get to the police station tell them everything. Hahahahaha he pulled over and said he was going to get his lunch and walked into a hotel and she just sat in the car. LOL

She’s in deep shit now. The big boss is now interrogating her.

He’s cutting deals, she helps, he lets the friend go. I totally trust him.

He’s now making her drive a car to some random place, (obviously scene from trailer) we about to blow up the safe house. She doesn’t seem thrilled that she had a part in that. He signed her up for the pageant, ha.

He gave her one of those Motorola flip walkie talkie phones.

She broke free, she’s now running in heels, and ran towards a guy, welp. This ain’t good. Oh wait, it’s the FIVE-O.

He’s awfully handsie for a cop, and a dick.

Cops making promises that I’m sure he can’t keep.

This is like taken but with a female lead. The little kid turned on her phone to find games on that old ass flip phone only to get her in trouble with the big man.

So they’ve now taken over her house, to save one of their fallen soldiers.

Ummm he’s making her take his boots off, cause he’s had a long day. He’s making her strip, I mean he’s making sure she ain’t wearing a wire duh.

Oh no, Rueben is dead!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I just got to know him. (As the lifeless body they tried to save in this random ladies house)

He’s now telling stories about a girl he knew in high school.

They strapping money to her, Wolf of Wall Street style. Loading her car fully of dope.

Homie sidekick has some issues with the American, he’s going to gut her Godson like a chicken, that’s a little harsh.

Driving through the border looks like driving through downtown Nashville during rush hour traffic.

Anthony Mackie has arrived. Does he make good movies?

DEA has a mole inside his operation.

So a powerful guy in Mexico and she’s going to try and get him arrested by setting him up? She does understand other bosses exist? Dumb American.

GUN FIRE, repeat GUN FIRE …. she’s making a run for the double doors!!!!!! The cops lied, repeat the COPS LIED…. shocking. No cop was waiting for her. The cop just said she was on her own. Wow.

I get it, she saved him after he got shot but hundreds of bullets flying and not one hits him, unreal. One thing that really bugs me about action movies.

Anyone remember the Mole TV show? That was I think on Fox? That was such a good show.

Set the kitchen on fire and now going through the phones and replacing the chip in another phone. Smart move. That was single handily the best part of this whole movie.

He’s teaching her how to shoot. AR-15 made in the USA comment felt forced.

This is extremely boring. And now we get story time.

Damn she put the police bug inside the chicks phone, damn. That was predictable.

I seriously skipped nap time to see this movie.

They found the best friend, she’s being sold as a sex slave. Sounds like a very familiar storyline.

She had to win Miss Bala American, get invited to the party and get in the police chiefs bedroom, he kills him and she gets her best friend. Sounds really easy.

She WON OMGGGGGGG SHE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She’s awful with these fake ass tears.

The sisters have reunited!!!!!!!!!!! She just realized that her new boy toy is a liar. Duh. I am absolutely shocked he was lying to her.

Gun fire everywhere, LOUD NOISES ….. LOUD NOISES

Oh man. She’s fired a gun once and now she’s about to shoot everyone. BIG EYE ROLL.

Oh no, she shot him. Didn’t see that coming.

Anthony Mackie is a cop, that kind of surprised me.

Shoot gun once, shoot bad guy and now work for the CIA… cool

Overall Thoughts:

* out of ***** stars

This movie was super predictable from start to finish. It has become so frustrating that in ALL action movies trained shooters can’t seem to shoot a target in the middle of the field.

The story was bland, lacked a lot of substance, it felt very Taken like. Nobody will mistake any of this cast for award nominations any time soon. It was just really lazy writing, poor execution, and overall poor movie.

Maybe catch it on RedBox?

Hercules Review

So I went to the movies and saw Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I had some high expectations because I thought the trailer was rather well done. So here is my review of the film.

Follow me over on Twitter @rickygangster

Edge of Tomorrow Review

So I took the time to go see Edge of Tomorrow last night. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I saw the trailer; I just was really intrigued in seeing it and thought it had some real potential. Tom Cruise has been solid in his last few films Oblivion, Jack Reacher (fantastic movie) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. After seeing it, I will give you the Good and the Bad of the movie.

 hr_Edge_of_Tomorrow_9

 

An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a ware with an alien race. His skills increase as he face the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

Spoilers may follow, so be cautious.

The Good –

Tom Cruise – Cruise plays Bill Cage a PR executive with a witty tongue and kind of arrogant guy. He stays in the spotlight but far away from the front line as possible. I enjoyed how the introduction of Cruise’s character transformed throughout the film. Starting as a scared and clueless guy on the front line, which after time he learned progressed and just started kicking some serious ass.

The movie started off with some classic things with Cage (Cruise) as he was slowly trying to figure out what the hell was going on, he of course would “die” and come back to life. One of my favorites was near the beginning he would roll out of PT and goes under a Jeep, well in his first attempt at said venture he rolled under and got run over by the car. I literally couldn’t stop laughing, it was just hilarious.

Another thing I enjoyed is the repetitive (on purpose of course) banter between Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and Cage (Cruise). As each time would go back and have to replay the scene, Cage would increasingly become a little more obnoxious and just pick at Farell (Paxton). It really made for some great humor, which was never over the top like it can be in films these days. It didn’t “try” too hard to shove the comedy down your throat, they just let it play its course and it happened when it did.

Emily Blunt – She plays Special Forces legend Rita Vratski, a just kick ass chick in a robot suit. First I want to throw it out there, I never realized how hot she was until I saw this film. Perfect fit for this role, believable bad ass with some sure-fire good looks. But off that and onto her character, only one thing I didn’t like about her character early on and I’ll hit on that in the Bad section but Blunt was fantastic and the chemistry between her and Cruise was there.

Supporting Cast – Paxton obviously brought some funny scenes to the movie, Brendan Gleeson is still killing on the screen so many years later. The group of people who played the characters that help lead to the final take down were well casted and all provided a good little punch to the film.

Doug Liman – Has an impressive list of movies he has directed, From Swingers to Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I enjoyed all 3 movies. So knowing he has done such a great job, I knew we could be in for a real treat here and he did not disappoint. Very well-directed film from start to finish, taking two characters and with this script having to watch them be repetitive and keep the interest of a movie goer was a hard task and I feel he did a great job of pulling it off. While Cage (Cruise) kept going back and repeating after every death, he made sure to keep it interesting every time he went back, whether it was with some great witty humor or when it came down to Cages character getting pissed off and acting like a man on a mission, it worked for me.

The Cinematography in the film was fantastic, some great visuals throughout the film and another thing that really stood out to me was the films Score. That was absolutely fantastic and to me a very important key to an action flick. I have to feel the Score to really dig into a good action flick and they did a great job of incorporating it in this movie.

The Bad –

While I understood when they introduced Rita Vratski they made her look somewhat like a bad ass and then they killed her. Obviously done for perfect reasoning, but you kind of built her character as the bad ass super robot Legend and her first appearance she was only a little impressive and died. I wish she would’ve kicked a little more ass at the beginning before we had to kill her off would’ve made a little more sense to me.

Not nitpicking the film at all but I would say around the 45-50 minute part of the film it was a little slow, while only for about 10 minutes, it was kind of on cruise control.

The Final Verdict

*** ½ out of 5 stars

Look I really don’t care what anyone says about Tom Cruise; dude is a star and shows it in this film. People knock this guy down so many times and he fires back with good film after good film. He and Blunt made the perfect pair in this film and did a great job in both their roles. Doug Liman brought us a fun action packed film that I think is going to get lost in the summer shuffle and that’s quite disappointing as this film is fantastic.

Edge of Tomorrow is in theaters now