James Ryan

James Ryan

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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

The Young Girl And The Monsoon Review


Good
A finger-snapping swing soundtrack and the Manhattan skyline are accompanied by the sarcastic voice-over of a 13-year-old kid. Sounds like another one of those Woody Allen movies, or, a more appropriate comparison, Don Roos (Bounce). Writer-director James Ryan's first feature is a fairly traditional indie "relationship" film about a weekend dad, Hank (Terry Kinney, The House of Mirth), coming to terms with his coming-of-age daughter of 13 years, Constance (Ellen Muth), and his perky young model girlfriend (Mili Avital, Polish Wedding). They all learn from one another.

Did you ever notice that all those quirky (read: mundane) indies have such flashy titles? The Myth of Fingerprints, The Tao of Steve, Dream With the Fishes... this one happens to be called The Young Girl and the Monsoon. Don't be too quick to pigeonhole this particular "quirk" into a category of vapid mediocrity, though. Ryan shows a perceptive knack for small moments of familial tenderness found in unlikely places, including a Central Park boxing match between daddy and daughter that runs the gamut from rage to bliss. He arouses pathos in a Chinese restaurant sequence where Constance demands that daddy carry her to the door. Such, such are the joys of handling a teenage girl going insane on the bridge to adulthood.

Continue reading: The Young Girl And The Monsoon Review

James Ryan

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James Ryan Movies

The Young Girl and the Monsoon Movie Review

The Young Girl and the Monsoon Movie Review

A finger-snapping swing soundtrack and the Manhattan skyline are accompanied by the sarcastic voice-over of...

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