William O Leary

William O Leary

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Walker Review


Excellent
Following his one-two punch of cultic cinema, Repo Man and Sid & Nancy, director Alex Cox went on to make two more films that consecrated his reputation as, well, a malcontent. It was 1987 and Cox's latest film, Straight to Hell, was universally panned, not completely unfairly. But just five months later, Cox returned with Walker, an equally-batty spectacle built on the last years of the late-19th-century soldier-of-fortune William Walker and his conquest of Nicaragua. Given only a paltry release in December '87, Cox's film maudit was banished to the realm of VHS for two decades before Criterion took an interest and decked it out with all the trimmings.

Far too crazy to be fatalist, Walker strangely begins on a moment of near-defeat for the titular batshit commando (the phenomenal Ed Harris) and his madcap battalion. Saved by a sandstorm and his lawyer, Walker finds himself back in the arms of his love Ellen Martin (Marlee Matlin). The fact that Ephraim Squier (Richard Masur) holds the keys to Walker's future in politics doesn't stop Ellen from asking Squier to fornicate with swine. Soon enough, Walker is trading away his future with Ellen for a mission to Nicaragua at the behest of Squier and Cornelius Vanderbilt (Peter Boyle).

Continue reading: Walker Review

Bull Durham Review


Excellent
The first thing you notice in watching Bull Durham 14 years later (now that it has reappeared on a Special Edition DVD) is how incredibly young the players are. Costner's hairline is way up front, Sarandon is a little less wrinkled, and little Tim Robbins looks like he could be in high school.

The story, however, still feels ahead of its time, with Sarandon's femme fatale narrating a tale of how she adopts one player at her local Durham Bulls minor league baseball franchise every year -- providing him with countless years of expertise about the game and essentially screwing him silly along the way. This season, it's "Nuke" LaLoosh (Robbins), a wild pitcher who could use same taming. Also on the case is catcher "Crash" Davis (Costner), whose life lessons also help him out on the field.

Continue reading: Bull Durham Review

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous Review


OK

Five years ago, Miss Congeniality gift-wrapped a Christmas hit for Warner Bros. as it delivered Sandra Bullock a much-needed meaty role. The actress was suffering a string of mediocre underperformers at the time, from the melodramatic rehab stint 28 Days to the forgettable Forces of Nature.

It's not surprising to see Bullock revisit frumpy FBI field agent Gracie Hart, though it is surprising it took her this long. Hart remains the ideal fit for Bullock's blend of cover-girl beauty and tomboy charms. Like Hart, Bullock frequently puts up a tough veneer that hides a vulnerable core that's worth exploring.

Armed & Fabulous begins three weeks after Hart was named runner-up at the Miss United States pageant, an event she infiltrated to flush out a criminal mastermind. Her stint on the beauty contest's sta

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous Review


Unbearable

Sandra Bullock isn't doing her underappreciated talentany favors by appearing in "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous,"a relentlessly dim-witted sequel to her 2000 hit about a tomboy FBI agentgoing undercover at a beauty pageant.

The first "MissCongeniality" was itself so hackneyed thatthe actress's Lucille-Ball-like gift for guffaws was just about its onlysaving grace, and the same fate befalls her here. Bullock's delivery ofa few choice one-liners is the sole source of laughs in this clunker, andit's amazing to see her pull them off when her character has, without explanation,turned into a vapid, shallow, egocentric Barbie doll nitwit after becomingan implausible spokesmodel for the FBI.

It seems after her exposure at the Miss United States beautypageant in the first picture, the bureau decided she could best serve hercountry by being tarted up literally in satin and bows, and paraded aroundon a waving-and-smiling publicity tour of talk shows and personal appearances.

Continue reading: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous Review

Terminator 3: Rise Of The MacHines Review


OK

Several significant plot holes prove a frustrating and unnecessary distraction from the exhilarating, ante-upping, unflagging action of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," an otherwise worthy, series-fulfilling successor to the groundbreaking looming-apocalypse flicks that made the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron.

One nuclear-crater-sized chasm of common sense comes at a pivotal moment when the film's three heroes -- future human freedom fighter John Conner (Nick Stahl), his future wife and first lieutenant Kate Brewster (Clare Danes), and yet another time-traveling Terminator (Schwarzenegger relishing again the one role in which he's truly awesome) -- magically turn up deep inside a top-secret military base without any explanation of how they breached security.

They've come to stop Kate's father (David Andrews), an Air Force general in charge of an artificial intelligence project, from throwing the switch that will give the dangerously self-aware SkyNet defense computers access to all military systems, leading to the nuclear annihilation of mankind.

Continue reading: Terminator 3: Rise Of The MacHines Review

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William O Leary Movies

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Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Movie Review

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Movie Review

Five years ago, Miss Congeniality gift-wrapped a Christmas hit for Warner Bros. as it delivered...

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous Movie Review

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Sandra Bullock isn't doing her underappreciated talentany favors by appearing in "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed...

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