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_

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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

Man of Steel Review

Superman: Man of Steel

Well this was the big weekend for DC Comics for sure. Could they make Superman relevant again to the world? The Man of Steel came out on Friday and brought mixed reviews with it. Today, I bring the Good, the Bad & the Ugly on the movie.

The Good –

Henry Cavill as Kent/Kal-El/Superman –

Cavill did a really good job in his portrayal of Kent/Superman. He is a solid actor, very charismatic and, most importantly, made you believe in the character. I could buy his struggle with who he was and the battle he dealt with on figuring out this “power” he held. He will be to this franchise what Christian Bale was to Batman. This was great casting by Snyder.

Zack Snyder –

Visually this was a masterpiece. You could really enjoy the background and just the color of the film that he brought to the table. He did a great job of making you care about Clark Kent. He took a huge risk in bringing in no name Cavill and it paid off. Superman is a very hard character to believe in. You have Batman who people can easily relate to; the same can be said for Spiderman, but Superman isn’t the easiest character for people to believe in. I thought Snyder did an amazing job at making you buy into the character and caring about the outcome of the film. That alone deserves a ton of credit on his part.

The fight scenes were over the top and filled with tons of action. He also did an amazing job, building up to the final fight scene, which we all anticipated.

Christopher Nolan –

He helped co-write and oversaw a bunch of relative items regarding the film. You could really tell that Nolan had a hand in the opening scene with Jor-El and the evolution of sending little Kal-El to earth. It was smart, powerful, and very meaningful. You could tell he didn’t have complete control the movie. DC was wise to have brought him on board for this film.

Michael Shannon as Zod –

I have gone back and forth since my original draft on whether I really liked this portrayal. After much pondering, I came to the conclusion that I really did like it. Shannon might not have had the best personality with the character but he played a meaningful Zod. When he was on the screen you knew it because you could feel his presence.

Russell Crowe as Jor-El –

As I wrote in Nolan’s section the opening scene was a masterpiece. Crowe is a great actor and it showed when he was on screen.

Diane Lane/Kevin Costner as Martha & Jonathan Kent –

Just great casting here. Costner was so good but I think his role will be overshadowed by the other performances in the film.

The Action –

When the fight scenes happened, they happened! They were big spectacles with buildings collapsing, fighter jets coming down, and just kick-ass fighting. I enjoyed how they went all out to make the fight scenes mean something.

Hans Zimmer & the Score – He has brought great scores to so many great films (Batman Trilogy, Inception). He did not disappoint here either; just a brilliant put together score that made the movie work scene to scene.

The Bad –

Amy Adams as Lois Lane –

When I saw the trailer I thought she would be perfect for this role. After seeing the movie, I quickly changed my opinion. She is a good actress but I don’t think this role fits her at all. In the Batman series they replaced Katie Holmes after Batman Begins, so I think a switch can be made here. I am not sure they will do it but I think they should.

The Bounce Back –

I don’t think they were sure there would be sequels of this film and you could tell. They really couldn’t do an origins story from start to finish like they did in Batman. It was kind of sad because we got the flashback scenes throughout the film and I wasn’t a fan at all of them. This film would’ve really benefited from being able to start the franchise over from scratch.

The Ugly –

The length of the film –

What is it with movies these days trying to be 3 hours long? I know this was only 2 & ½ hours long but still they could’ve easily shaved a good 20-25 minutes of the movie.

The Verdict –

3 out of 5 stars

*As I left the theater this was more of a 3 ½ out of 5-starred movie. The more it played over in my head when I started writing the review over the weekend, it came back down to 3 stars.

The team of Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill has made Superman relevant again. There was good acting, a great score and some awesome fight scenes. This was a good, fun-filled movie, but it’s just not a great one. This will not have the replay ability as the latest Batman movies or The Avengers. When it comes to being a good comic book movie, it holds its own.

Twitter: @RickyGangster