The Valero Verdict: Uncut Gems

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, Safdie brothers follow up to Good Time, Uncut Gems.

Plot: A charismatic jeweler makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.

This was my second viewing of the film, my first was not a pleasant experience as I did not like the film. I went into the second viewing trying to keep an open mind thinking I missed something.

The Good:

Julia Fox: At beginning of the film you thought maybe she was just going to small piece of the puzzle and even be some eye candy within the film. As the film progressed she proved that she was going to be not only a HUGE piece of the puzzle, the piece that worked so much more than the other pieces.

Understanding this was Fox’s first role blew my mind, she was so good in this that you thought she was a veteran. Her star is only going to shine brighter.

Kevin Garnett: During my first visit with this film, I truly thought he was the MVP of the film. After the second viewing, I leaned more on Fox and understood that KG was good for what he brought to the table. He might have a niche role like this in future movies.

The Mediocre: (normally the bad follows but needed to add Mediocre because it was good but it also wasn’t bad.)

Adam Sandler: We are getting so carried away here. This wasn’t one of the best performances of the year. I think I would have a hard time finding a spot for him in my Top 20 leads of year.

Sandler was just fine in this movie. His performance meandered for a majority of this film and I never felt like I saw a good, let alone great performance within the film.

The Bad:

The story: Not one time do I care about Howard or do I buy that he is ever in serious danger. He gets “roughed” up and told SOOOOOO many times that he needs to pay these guys. They strip him naked and throw him in a trunk…. k?….. Again 100k in debt and we get a little soft rough up? Again, not buyable. I DON’T CARE ABOUT HOWARD or what happens to him.

Loud noises. Howard meanders around New York. Loud Noises. Howard gets beat up in front of people in New York. Loud Noises. Howard meanders around New York. Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

The second time around I found myself more okay with the beginning of the film and not enjoying that last part of Act I and the majority of Act II.

The Weeknd scene: The club scene was extremely unrealistic and seriously just not needed. The scene was just a waste of time.

Favorite Scene: The final 25-30 was good. The way the Safdie’s were able to intertwine the story to the Eastern Conference Finals was a joy to watch unfold. I will say it was easy to predict he would win the bet just based on what was happening but it was still a well shot scene.

The Verdict:

** out of ***** gavels

The film tries to be so loud and in your face which I think they try utilize these components to make up for a lack of honest dialogue.

The trailer had me so hyped because I truly believe there is a great film to be had. They just failed to deliver on the promise of the trailer.

Should You See It?: This is an easy skip for me. The very good last thirty minutes doesn’t make up for a mediocre first hour and forty-five.

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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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