Allan Jones

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Shuttle Review


Terrible
One has to wonder if it ever occurred to writer-director Edward Anderson while making his thriller Shuttle how truly vile and reprehensible his project was. The hook, I'll admit, is pretty nifty: Two attractive young women, taking a shuttle van home from the airport find themselves terrorized by their psycho-driver. It fits neatly into the slasher-movie mold and, as a fan of the genre, I was intrigued by what twists and turns Anderson might throw at us. But as the true premise of his story unfolds, and we realize the reason for Shuttle's 106 minutes of torture and commotion, the whole enterprise collapses into the pile of stinking turpitude it actually is.

The women in question, Mel (Peyton List) and Jules (Cameron Goodman) have just returned from a Caribbean holiday. It's dark, and they're getting drenched in a downpour. So, they take a van driver's (Tony Curran) offer to provide cheap rides home from the airport. There are only three other passengers -- Seth (James Snyder), a shaggy-haired horn dog, Matt (Dave Power), his sensible, chilled-out companion, and Andy (Cullen Douglas), a nervous milquetoast. No sooner have they set out that the driver, who's gruff and bullying without quite being menacing -- a common trap that sub-par thrillers often fall into - "gets lost" in a desolate stretch of the city, pulls out a gun, demands cash from his passengers, and begins his reign of terror.

Continue reading: Shuttle Review

A Night At The Opera Review


Excellent
One of the Marx brothers' greatest films (along with Duck Soup), A Night at the Opera has awfully little opera for a film that purports to be just that. No matter, it's still hysterically funny -- the highlight being when the boys try to pack into a cruise ship stateroom, including their enormous footlockers. And the verbal gags come so fast and furious it's actually hard to keep up. Oh yeah, there's a story about an opera singer, too: Kitty Carlisle is memorable as Groucho's charge, who he futilely tries to turn into a star.

A Day At The Races Review


Excellent
The Marx brothers are on top of their game here with a horse-race oriented gagfest (Groucho is a veterinarian mistaken for a human doctor)... at least when the film isn't detoured into an extended musical ballet number or endless sing-song bit. Maureen O'Sullivan's appearance is a bit expendable, but the bits the brothers schtick through are often just priceless. One of the Marx brothers' best.
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