The Valero Verdict: Dumbo

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, Dumbo, the live action version of the very well known Disney character.


  • Michael Keaton and his horrendous accent. I just didn’t get why he needed the accent and not only didn’t get it but it was terrible. Just every time he spoke, I wanted to walk out.
  • Danny Devito was well casted, he fit the role of the “Carny” Max Medici perfect. He was a lone bright spot of this film.
  • The movie had some real old school colors and tones to it, thought the visuals and the cinematography were well done in this film.
  • At time this movie was very boring. While Burton does a good job of getting you invested in Farrell and his kids, at the same time there was just some extremely boring parts of this film.

The Verdict:

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

Predictable, Underwhelming, Boring and just an OK film. A few bright spots in DeVito/Farrell/Parker/Hobbins/Green, this film lacked the fun that all Disney films bring to the table. The doesn’t have much to work with and it shows throughout. And I’ll patiently wait for someone to explain Keaton’s HORRIBLE accent.

Should You See It?: If the kids are kicking and screaming and want to see this, take them to see Us instead, you’d rather them have nightmares instead of you.

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

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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?

Gravity Review

After hearing all the hoopla surrounding the movie Gravity, I decided to go out to the movies and see it for myself. It is the #1 movie two weeks in a row and breaking box office records. I also decided if I was going to see it, I was going to see it in 3D/IMAX. So after seeing the movie, I give you my 7 things I did and didn’t like about the movie.

Plot: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leave them adrift in space.

Gravity Review

1. The Acting: You don’t get bigger than Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, so I wasn’t surprised that the acting would be good in this. It takes a lot of talent to basically film the movie in a few shots in one spot. Bullock brought her A game to the role and the role of the “upset, lost and hurt person” is perfect for her. Though I couldn’t really “care” about her character (I’ll get into that more later) but I don’t blame her for that. She was good and it showed every time she was on the screen. Clooney was also casted perfect for this role, fun-loving guy on his last go around. He brought much-needed laughs to the movie. It was an effortless role for Clooney, nothing overly impressive but was good in the role.

2. Visually Perfect: The film was beautiful. From shot to shot in space was put together well and made up for a lack of a good story. The way he was able to make the movie seem so realistic with certain movements was really cool to see on-screen.

3. The story was good but not great: Some of the stuff that Alfonso Cuaron brought onto the screen was great but it lacked and felt “over the top”. The first half of the movie he really brought an interesting story with a nice build, but the second half just fell apart and lacked a great finish.

4. The movie was just boring: It was boring. The movie came in at 1 h 31 min, surprisingly not overdone and thankfully it wasn’t. But at times you just could wonder off in space (pun not intended). It was just tough to care or pay attention to the movie.

5. Director Alfonso Cuaron couldn’t make me care for the characters: As I stated earlier the movie had some great acting by Bullock but even with the sob story that they give you for her character, I just couldn’t find myself caring whether she lived or died.

6. 3D/IMAX: So I took the time to see the movie in 3D/IMAX because there was a lot of solid feedback on that’s how I should see it. It was my 1st experience with such format, I have seen an IMAX movie before as well as a 3D but never together at once.

1st I didn’t like that the IMAX was only part of the screen. 2nd the 3D was just terrible, outside the remastered version of Jurassic Park I have yet to see movie that made the 3D worthwhile. I want things popping out at me, for the extra 5-10$ they are making you pay at least make the movie worth it.  The movie was only around 10 minutes worth of any 3D worthy parts.

7. Final Verdict:

Vegetables out of a Full Dinner

While Cuaron brought us a visually spectacular movie, it really lacked a good story and he failed to make me care about the characters in the movie. I was bored at times and it was a wasted movie that had a great performance by Bullock. Even though it’s the #1 movie in the world, I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone.

My Movie Ratings Scale

Vegetable – the movie was about as boring as eating vegetable with no meat.
Vegetable and Starch – wasn’t a bad movie but it really lacked the meat.
Meat Vegetable & Starch – Enjoyable and fun but missing something
Meat Vegetable Starch & Roll – So good I came back for seconds.
Full Dinner w/Desert – The Perfect movie, where I had my cake and ate it too.