The Valero Verdict: Breakthrough

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, Breakthrough – the true story of John Smith, a young 14 year old boy who fell into a lake and was presumed dead but the power of prayer turns what seemed like the end into only the beginning for him.

  • Chrissy Metz – You really felt the connection she made between her and the character she was portraying. The emotion that had to go into this performance was not easy at all, she was just fantastic in this movie.
  • Topher Grace was another solid addition to the cast, a super change of pace from his last role. He was enjoyable in this role.
  • Faith based movie can be very cliche from time to time. In reading and fact checking the movie, they didn’t “Hollywood” a whole lot of the movie. Which really makes the movie that much better.
  • This movie was very well paced, it never felt like it was dragging out and honestly if you look from the outside looking in this movie could have been very boring. Roxann Dawson did an amazing job of putting the pieces together to keep you interested.

The Verdict:

*** out of ***** stars

This movie will pull at the heartstrings from start to finish. The power of faith is a beautiful thing and it was on display in this movie. To read the true story for it to be portrayed with accuracy as they did, this movie was really good. Metz was truly magnificent in this role and truly embody the role of the mother.

Should You See It?: Yes, the power of Prayer is something that can and needs to be heard among people of all ages. (Just bring some Kleenex)

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

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Noah Movie Review/Random Thoughts

So I decided on a Thursday night to take a stroll on out to the movies and check out Noah. While the trailers have shown promise, I thought this could actually be a good little early spring movie. Darren Aronofsky tabbed as director and really enjoyed his last film (Black Swann) and he paired up with Russell Crowe who I’ve enjoyed in various movies over the years. I had a little fun and tried a little something new while reviewing the movie and I hope you enjoy.

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Plot: A man is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world.

6:45 There is more people in here already for the early showing then I thought there would be.

6:48 Someone please tell Andrew Garfield to ditch the beard. He looks really weird.

6:51 They are taking me onto the set of the new action packed thriller “Divergent”. I rather you didn’t.

6:58 This guy in front of me is growling while eating his popcorn. I am quite terrified.

7:01 Fargo original show on FX looks interesting.

7:08 Well how about that 4-year-old Drake Sprite commercial

7:09 Oh look a new Johnny Depp movie no one will go see.

7:16 Hercules trailer looks so awesome!

7:26 We are getting a history lesson to start the movie.

7:30 Looks like Noah is left to fend for himself, daddy just got murdered. Wait is this Batman or Noah?

7:34 Wow Jennifer Connelly is still acting?

7:40 Trying to figure out if Russell Crowe is playing Noah or Russell Crowe.

7:43 A Rock (Not to be confused by the Wrestler eitherjust comes out knocks out Noah. The Rocks are now talking….. Sorry they are the “Watchers”, not the “Rocks”.

Crowe didn’t learn much from his time singing in Les Miserable, he just can’t sing.

Methuselah was a straight boss.

7:56 This is really slow to start. Slow pace, the score is great but Crowe is just underwhelming and boring.

7:57 Noah came up with a brilliant idea to create an arc.

The “Creator” just created a forest out of no-where.

8:02 How you doin’ Emma Watson?

Okay so some mysterious voodoo just killed the bird.

I get the story but not sure I can get over the just horrendous acting.

Uh-oh Ham with the almost heel turn.

8:12 Time to fight over whether or not the “creator” is real or not.

8:17 That’s a crap ton of animals to throw on the arc.

Insert crying by Emma Watson as she can’t offer the things for her man.

8:22 I like how Noah just sneaks into the camp and no one notices who he is. Why would he leave his family knowing there are hundreds of people coming for his arc?

Ham is a little upset because he won’t be getting any, anytime soon. I feel bad for the kid

The score of the film has been rather enjoyable. One of the lone bright spots of the film so far.

Methuselah (Hopkins) got jokes. His search for berries got a nice chuckle from the audience.

Now he is passing out blessings to Ila (Watson).

8:39 Tubal-Cain (Winstone) has been a so-so protagonist. Speech was nice leading up to heading for the arc. Powerful and believable.

Time for the Watchers and the people to do battle.

8:45 I wonder where Noah got his awesome fighting ability from?

Awesome scene as the water overtakes the men and the arc.

8:55 We are getting another history lesson.

9:00 Ham is helping Cain, no real plot twist here.

9:05 Growling popcorn man is out cold.

Crowe and Connolly have been downright dreadful in this. Just uninspiring and just forgettable throughout.

So that’s how we found out about babies back in the day, no peeing on a stick. Random things say you are pregnant.

Noah isn’t too thrilled; maybe he wishes the kid was his.

9:09 Noah just stated “This is painful”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some sort of weird snot like stuff is all over Naameh…. Gross!

“A man is not ruled by his heavens, he is ruled by his will” – Cain – Winstone is stealing the show every time on-screen.

9:13 HOLY MOLY it’s been 9 months or this a miracle baby.

Shem was ready to fight off ol pops so he didn’t kill the kid.

Cain/Noah fight scene!!!!!!

Spoiler Alert: WE’VE GOT TWINS!!!!!!!!!

We are going to name it North and South East right?

Two girls? Noah is going to slay them.

Ham saves the day and Cain pronounces him a man.

9:25 Emma Watson has cried more than she’s actually had to act. And someone please tell me why this isn’t over?

9:32 And we get to see Noah’s ass, woo hoo!

9:35 Growling popcorn man is alive!!!! Maybe the creator got to him too!

9:37 WE HAVE THE CREDITS!

Some quick thoughts about the movie.

In a movie like this you would think it would be a movie easy to direct and translate to the big screen and Aronofsky just doesn’t put the pieces together. He really couldn’t come back after such a rough start. The casting was good but they just didn’t translate into the roles.

The big thing in Hollywood is long movies now and a 2 hour and 18 minute run time is far too long for this.

Overall rating

2 out of 5 stars

The film really suffered by the lack of great performances. Crowe/Connelly were just not that good at all and every time Watson was on-screen she was just crying. Anthony Hopkins played this role well and had a few one liners that were funny. Ray Winstone really stole the show and was a big time breath of fresh air in the movie. The CGI and effects were great, visual the movie was a sight to see for sure. The score (by Clint Mansell) was phenomenal, which is sad because the movie wasn’t on par with it. But it comes down to the pairing of Aronofsky and Crowe, both truly disappoint and really couldn’t take this film to the next level.

This is definitely a movie you can skip and wait for Redbox.

 

300: Rise of an Empire Review

So I had the opportunity in seeing 300: Rise of an Empire over the weekend. After seeing the original in theaters and going into it with knowing what to expect, I came away amazed by what I saw. 300 opened the doors for a ton of movies that we have watched over the last 8 years. Zack Snyder knocked it out of the park. This time due to some timing issues Snyder gave Noam Murro the director chair but wrote and co-produced the film.

While we had to wait 8 long years for a sequel this weekend it hit the theaters and here is my review of the movie.

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The Good

Snyder did not let us down visual at all. The film had amazing scenes, he brought back all the visuals from the original and then some. The biggest reason the 1st one was so succesful was due to the groundbreaking visual CGI that Snyder brought to the big screen. He did it again and the movie that is great on the eyes.

The epic fight scenes were back and as good as the first one. The art and motion that goes into the fight scenes in this movie is so fun to watch. Between the sword fighting, arrow shooting and just down right killing, you can just sit back and enjoy the ride and that’s what I really liked about the film. Just vicious blood, guts and gore all over the screen and was really fun to watch.

I loved the story it told and the background they gave us on Xerxes and how he became a god-king, we got flashbacks on how the overcome the 300 and destroyed them in battle.
Xerxes character is so cool on-screen and you felt how important he was every time he is on.

Artemisia (Eva Green) is Xerxes Navy Commander and plays a huge role in the film as the movie progresses. I really enjoyed the development of her character throughout the film and the story behind how she went from a Greek prisoner and rose to Queen of the Persian’s. Green played a fantastic villain in the film and was definitely a driving force behind what made this film good.

The Mediocre

Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) was the lead protagonist and while he wasn’t as good as Butler or Fassbender from the first film but he held his own. His performance lacked in powerful meaningful and believability the others brought to the table. Some of his better scenes is when he was on-screen with Artemisia.

The Bad

Predictability of the film was annoying as you could see the ending coming a mile away. It lacked any suspense in the film and that took away from it being a great film.

Overall

*** (3) out of ***** (5) Stars

300: Rise of an Empire is a fun movie that includes all the blood and gore that I liked in 300. Artemisia really stole the show and is a performance you’ll remember when leaving the theater. Snyder/Murro brought a very enjoyable movie to the big screen and did not disappoint one bit. If you enjoyed the first one, you should have no problem enjoying the sequel.

300: Rise of an Empire is in theaters now