The Valero Verdict: Pokemon Detective Pikachu

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: Pokemon Detective Pikachu, the Ryan Reynolds led film debuting the first live action of Pokemon.

  • The pacing was very slow from start to finish and didn’t pick up at any point. The movie never felt important or never truly felt like they did anything at all to make you feel invested in the film.
  • Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu was okay, he was a PG-13 version of Deadpool in the role. I feel for what he had to work with, he was good.
  • The acting was horrendous. I don’t expect world class Oscar-worthy acting but man was it really bad.
  • The incorporation of the Pokemon was one of the good things of the film. I did quite enjoy when they interacted on screen with them.

The Verdict:

** out of ***** stars

Honestly I wasn’t sure really what to expect from this film. I am not a Pokemon guy but the trailer when it was brought out was really good, so I had raised my expectations for the film. I really found myself bored throughout the entire film, it never hit the next level or any real level at all. The acting was horrendous and not even Ryan Reynolds could save this awful script.

Should You See It: Look if your kids are Pokemon fans and want to see this film, put them up for adoption. Older fans of Pokemon, go see Endgame for a 2nd/3rd or 4th time. Don’t waste your money on this.

Subscribe to the Valero Verdict podcast on all your favorite Podcasting apps. Check it out here: https://anchor.fm/thevaleroverdict

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

Advertisements

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: The Kid

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 Vincent D’Onofrio directed film about a young boy who witnesses Billy the Kid’s encounter with Sheriff Pat Garrett

The Kid is Rated R and in theaters now
  • Dane DeHaan is perfect as Billy the Kid. He just has this perfect witty, sarcastic charm that can’t make you not like him. He was in the movie with some heavy hitters and held his own on every occasion
  • The introduction to Jake Schur….. I was totally impressed by not only this kid’s ability to act but to show some raw emotion in some really tough to watch scenes. For his first movie ever, I was shocked that this kid not only was as good as he was but really stole the show. Which was impressive considering the cast.
  • Ethan Hawke. He is easily becoming one of the best actors of our generation. We are truly blessed every time this man is in a movie anymore.
  • D’Onofrio directed a very well shot, very well told and very well put together film. When it started slow, I was concerned, but as all the pieces started to come together, you understood why the slow build. The payoff was well worth the wait.
  • The little things, like the shootouts. There aren’t many of them but when they happen, they mean something and they are brilliantly shot.

The Verdict:

**** 1/2 out *****

I am not a huge fan of Westerns but D’Onofrio knocked this one out of the ball park. With each Act came more and more layers to peel off with such a massive payoff at the end. You can’t help but come away from this movie satisfied. From DeHann to Schur to Hawke, the acting was top notch. One of the best films of 2019 so far.

Should You See It?: Well it’s only sitting in roughly 258 theaters right now, but if you get a chance to see it, do it. Ignore the bad reviews on this film and go see this movie.

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

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.

untitled

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.

MV5BMTg0NTIzMjQ1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDc3MzM5OQ@@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_

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.