The Valero Verdict: Ann Rolls Green

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, an Independent Film from Raspberry Films: Ann Rolls Green.

  • Kayleigh-Paige Rees was a really good lead in this film. She fit the role of Ann perfect. I would love to see her branch out into bigger film roles.
  • The colors of this film (as you can see above) were shot wonderfully. You don’t always see that in a film of this magnitude.
  • The script was different and unique, I totally appreciate a writer/director willing to take a risk with a movie. It brings authenticity to an art that is stuck in remakes.
  • The score was fun, I loved the music throughout and it really enhanced the film.
  • “I just saw you chase a dancing apple through the forest with a toy sword”. I about spite out my drink when this line was read. Hilarious.

The Verdict:

*** out of ***** gavels

The film is a whole lot of fun. I truly loved George Perry willing to take a risk with an interesting original story. (I mean a kid thinks he’s the next coming of Christ). Rees was impressive to me for the first time seeing her on-screen. My lone issue with the film was you weren’t sure what scenes to take serious or not. I felt like maybe I was laughing when I wasn’t supposed to and vice versa.

Should You See It?: Sure. It drops on Amazon Prime on June 7th. If you like independent fun films, you will really enjoy this film.

Special Thank you to Raspberry Films for letting me screen the film early.

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


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_

Interview with Lets Be Cops star Joshua Ormond

I had the chance to interview star of the #1 movie in America Let’s Be Cops – Joshua Ormond. The 14-year old star as Little Joey in the film. I had the great pleasure in talking with him, we talked everything from what it was like onset with co-stars Damon Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson to what he likes to do on his downtime to what his plans are for the future.

Check out the full interview here:

Or Download it on iTunes here:

Joshua on the set of his new movie with co-stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr










Make sure to follow Joshua on social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Lone Survivor Review

I saw a special screening of the movie Lone Survivor last Thursday. I was really looking forward to seeing this as the trailer really caught my eye and I had some high hopes with Peter Berg directing and an awesome cast to go along with it. After taking a few days to think about it and get the right words together and are some of the things I liked and didn’t like about the film.


Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wings“. Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.

1. Peter Berg – Peter Berg wrote and directed this movie based off a true story of “Operation Red Wings”. Berg is an unbelievable director and his work on FNL (Friday Night Lights) hasn’t been matched. Berg brought his A game to this film and from start to finish he paints an amazing picture of this brotherhood that is known as our military.

The movie starts off with some great banter among the soldiers and just goes off from there.

He made it believable, these soldiers were shot and broken down by calling down flights of mountains but still fought with the big picture in mind. The detailing of the gun battle is some of the best you will ever see in a movie.

In one scene he built you up and all hope was found for the two soldiers that were left and bam, Berg took it away and made you realize that it’s not as easy as a chopper coming to save the day. It was a gut-wrenching scene that left you on the edge of your seat.

He made you understand the battles of not only what the soldiers go through but what Afganhistan and the Taliban have done as well.

2. The Action The 40+ minute gun battle was just perfect. It also painted this picture of how inexperienced the younger Taliban soldiers were and not being accurate with their shots and showed the soldiers plucking them off with accuracy and precision.

I also enjoyed how the soldiers fought. They got shot but still kept fighting, took the hits and kept reeling. You don’t always get that with movies and how chilling it is that this being a true story hits even harder knowing that there are man and woman going through this on a daily basis.

Berg never let it get to personable, you knew only bits and pieces about each character and he let the acting and action do the talking throughout the film.

Berg belongs in the Best screenplay/Best director/Best picture for what he brought to the table in this film.

3. Mark WahlbergHe was unbelievable in this film. Easily one of his best acting jobs he has done in any film. He was smart, funny, witty and when it came time to get down he did. Just the way he clicked with the other guys and how he portrayed such an important and pivotal role in this film was amazing. I would have no problem with him being nominated for Best Actor for this.

4. The Supporting Cast – The rest of this cast was out of this world. It was nice to see Berg use Tyler Klitsch (FNL fame) who has been in a bit of a rut as of late (Battleship, John Carter). Berg brought out the best in him in this film. He has great chemistry with Wahlberg/Foster/Hirsch.

I won’t lie I didn’t know much about Ben Foster prior to this film but I will be looking up some earlier films and checking them out. He played a true bad ass. He took the biggest beating of the four and the way it came off was awesome. Just the way he handled how his character took the gun shots and still kept fighting for his life and fighting for his fellow soldiers was great.

Emile Hirsch I have seen play in multiple films in the past (boy he’s come a long way from when he was in “Girl Next Door”). He was the 4th and last piece of this awesome casting.

Eric Bana (Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen) and Alexander Ludwig (Shane Patton) both had small but meaningful roles that also added to the film.

5. The Score – Berg reunited with Explosion in the sky who he used a bunch in Friday Night Lights. EITS were amazing in this and the score for this film was brilliantly put together.

6. The Credits – After a little over hour and half gut wrenching film, they did an amazing montage of the actual soldiers that were involved “Operation Red Wings”. You just watched a movie surrounding the story of what happened and how these guys fought for their lives and seeing the photos of them with their families was surreal.

The Verdict

5 out of 5 stars

Just a chilling and mind-blowing look into what happened “Operation Red Wings”. The acting from the entire cast (Wahlberg Oscar Worthy performance included) combined with Berg’s writing and directing makes this one of the best films of 2013 and quite possibly one of the best films I have ever seen.

Special Thanks goes out to all the men and woman that sacrifice theirs lives to protect me and my family every single day. Thank you for what you do.

Lone Survivor hits theaters limited on December 25th and worldwide January 10th, 2014.

Prisoners Movie Review

Over the weekend I decided to pop into the movies again, this time I went to see Prisoners. The moment I saw this trailer I knew it had potential to be a great movie. The cast is star-studded with Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard and Maria Bello. Well with all that being said lets dive right into the 9 things I liked and didn’t like about Prisoners.


Plot: When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue leads and the pressures mounts. Just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Prisoners Movie Review

1. Denis Villeneuve was the director of this film and I had previously never even heard of the guy, which was kind of scary because this movie looked good but the thought of a director whose never really done a big style film was concerning.

But Villeneuve nailed it; from start to finish he kept you on the edge of your seat and kept you guessing throughout the movie. The pain and anguish you felt for this family was heartbreaking, you couldn’t help but want to see this family get his retribution.

2. This movie had a great story (Aaron Guzikowski penned this). They made you care about the characters, they didn’t make you feel dumb by any means and they even got you to feel for Alex Jones (Paul Dano) which that in itself was amazing. Guzikowski has a sick mind for sure to write this movie but the writing on this was just brilliant and the fact that Villeneuve was able to translate that to the big screen so well was great.

3. Hugh Jackman: It doesn’t get bigger than Jackman. He is a star and he showed why in this movie. He played an intense, caring and fight to the death father that just wanted his daughter back. You slowly watch Keller Dover (Jackman) transform from a concerned father into a guy that was willing to do anything to find his daughter. A lot of people said “Oscar talk” before this and I was like that is a big statement to make but as of right now Jackman has to be a front-runner for Best Actor.

4. Jake Gyllenhaal: Jake is easily one of my favorite actors, he has played in some really god movies over the past few years (End of Watch, Source Code & Brothers). He rivaled Jackman with his performance in this. He played Detective Loki, who was in charge of finding these little girls and knocked it out of the park.

5. Paul Dano: Dano was on the big screen with some big stars in this and held his own just fine. The way he portrayed Alex Jones, a timid scared and very creepy adult that wasn’t all there, he nailed it. His character was written so well that you couldn’t help but feel for him towards the end of the film.

6. The rest of the cast: Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis & others. Perfect casting for this film, Howard was great for this role and was interesting to see his character (Franklin Birch) turn into the guy that Kellen Dover wanted him to be and not who he thought he should be. Viola Davis didn’t have too much screen time but one scene in particular she was amazing. I won’t spoil it, you will just know whenever you see it. I think the Grace Dover character was made for Maria Bello and nobody else. A movie is only as good as its cast and this showed it.

7. The emotion: I am a huge movie guy and will give just about any movie at least one shot. But the bad thing is seeing so many movies you find it hard to care about characters. Only really good movies get me to care and this was one of them. I was emotionally invested into each role; though it was a tad long they still kept the movie going at a steady pace. Whether it was Dover (Jackman) just beating Jones (Dano) into a bloody pulp or Grace (Bello) just crawled into a ball on a bed crying missing her kid, you felt what they felt. That is what makes a great movie and boy was this a damn good movie.

8. Kept you guessing: I love a movie where you sit through the movie and just keep trying to guess who is the killer or who is this or that. This was that movie; I was sitting there next to my brother and just trying to figure out where they were going with the movie. I would think it was going to go right and they hooked a left 4 streets before that right. They led you to believe many different things and none of which really came to fruition.

9. The payoff: I refuse to spoil any of the ending for you guys but what a freaking ending. (That is all I will say about that) If you have seen this movie, please leave a comment below on your thoughts on the ending. Would love to hear what people thought of it.

The Verdict:

5 out of 5 stars

Villeneuve & Guzikowski teamed up to bring what I think is a top 5 movie of the year so far, actually might be the best movie I’ve seen this year. Just a fun thrilling ride start to finish that keeps you guessing at every turn. Two Oscar worthy performances by Jackman and Gyllenhaal, a supporting cast and an amazing movie that will keep you talking about it for days.