Joel Silver

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The Nice Guys Review

Very Good

Writer-director Shane Black returns to the comedy-noir vibe of his 2005 hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with this riotously funny thriller set in late-1970s Los Angeles. It's an entertaining mix of hilarious action mayhem, slapstick and violence anchored by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who unexpectedly prove to be a superb comedy double-act.

It's 1977, and private detective Holland (Gosling) is searching for a porn star who was spotted alive after dying in a car crash. His investigation leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who has hired the thug Jackson (Crowe) to keep people off her tail. After beating up Holland, Jackson realises that maybe they should be working together, as other cases seem to be dovetailing around Amelia's politically powerful mother (Kim Basinger). But now Holland and Jackson are being chased by the legendary assassin John Boy (Matt Bomer). And Holland is having a terrible time keeping his bright 13-year-old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) from getting involved in this dangerous case.

Gosling and Crowe play Holland and Jackson as a classic comedy duo along the lines of Abbott and Costello or Hope and Crosby: bumbling idiots who somehow manage to save the day due to dumb luck and someone smart looking out for them. In this case, their guardian angel is Holly, and young Aussie actress Rice more than holds her own against these A-list stars. Holly is the only person on-screen who has a clue what's actually going on, and Rice effortlessly walks off with the film, giving a knowing performance that's hugely engaging. The other scene-stealer is Bomer, whose slick, overconfident killer is simply screaming to be taken down a peg or two.

Continue reading: The Nice Guys Review

Carson Meyer - Carson Meyer seen attending Joel Silver's Memorial Day party - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 31st May 2016

Joel Silver and Carson Meyer
Joel Silver and Carson Meyer
Joel Silver and Carson Meyer
Joel Silver and Carson Meyer
Joel Silver and Carson Meyer

Joel Silver - UK premiere of 'The Nice Guys' held at Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th May 2016

Joel Silver

Joel Silver, Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe , Shane Black - 'The Nice Guys' U.K. Premiere - Arrivals at Odeon, Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th May 2016

Joel Silver, Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe and Shane Black
Joel Silver
Joel Silver, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe
Joel Silver, Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe and Shane Black

Joel Silver - Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Nice Guys" at TCL Chinese Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Tuesday 10th May 2016

Joel Silver

Joel Silver - Premiere of 'The Nice Guys' at TCL Chinese Theatre at TCL Chinese Theater IMAX - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 10th May 2016

Joel Silver
Joel Silver

Non-stop Review


Very Good

With a premise not much more believable than Snakes on a Plane, this slickly made thriller entertains us from start to finish by never flinching once. It may be utterly ridiculous, but it's played with full-on dedication by a gifted cast and a filmmaker who knows how to ramp up tension out of thin air, so to speak. Yes, it's utterly idiotic, but it's so much fun that we want a sequel even before this film crashes to the ground.

Relapsed alcoholic Air Marshal Bill (Neeson) has far too much personal baggage as he heads to work on a trans-Atlantic flight. Still grieving over his daughter's death as he drinks a bit of coffee with his whiskey, his hopes of a quiet flight are soon dashed when he receives an in-flight text threatening to kill a passenger every 20 minutes if he doesn't pay a huge ransom. So he kicks into action-man gear. But things start getting seriously surreal as he struggles to find anyone on the plane who doesn't look shifty. He seeks assistance from steely stewardess Nancy (Dockery) and too-helpful passenger Jen (Moore). But everyone begins to wonder if Bill might be the real villain here.

Filmmaker Collet-Serra packs the screen with red herrings, as all of the passengers fire wary glances at each other, moan about the general chaos of the flight and do all of those stupid things that make air travel so tiresome. The only thing missing is a screaming baby. Not that you'd hear it above the crazed panic this cat-and-mouse situation induces. It's so frantic that we barely have time to wonder how someone could get on a plane with a briefcase full of cocaine. Or a bomb. So we just hang on as the turbulence escalates.

Continue reading: Non-stop Review

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - Clips


Set in 1947, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' is the story of how cartoon characters known as 'toons' can interact with the living human society. However, after compromising pictures of the human owner of Toontown and Hollywood toon star Roger Rabbit's wife Jessica emerge, he is set up for his subsequent grisly murder and things get tense between the toon world and the real world. Toon hating detective Eddie Valiant is hired to investigate but winds up helping Roger after discovering that he is being framed for a crime he didn't commit. His investigations lead him to the mysterious Judge Doom who's own nature in the toon community is formidable with having found a way to destroy them.

Continue: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - Clips

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows Review


Good

Ritchie, Downey and Law are back with another manic romp that feels more like a Victorian James Bond adventure than anything about the famed Conan Doyle characters. While it has the same comical energy, it's not quite as fun as the first go-round.

Brilliant Cambridge professor Moriarty (Harris) is up to no good, taking on Holmes (Downey) by messing with those around him, including his girlfriend-nemesis Irene (McAdams) and his partner Watson (Law), who plans to retire after his upcoming wedding to Mary (Reilly). But nothing goes as planned, and Holmes and Watson are propelled into a vicious game of intrigue that sends them to Paris where they team up with a sexy gypsy (Rapace). They also get help from Holmes' brother Mycroft (Fry) as they head to a climactic showdown in Switzerland.

Who needs logic when the action is this wildly exhilarating? And much of it is drastically slowed-down so Ritchie can show us Holmes' powers of deduction as well as whizzing bullets, explosions and other cool-looking things. The dialog is the same mix of faux intelligent banter and shameless innuendo, which gives the actors something to play with, especially as Downey and Law amusingly move beyond bromance into Brokeback territory.

But we do need some logic. This plot is so messy that it never engages us. And as it builds to a climax in a crazy cliff-perched Alpine castle, we begin to lose interest. Even with the bigger action, zingy dialog and colourful characters, this film barely works up any steam. Whenever Holmes isn't being mischievous, Downey actually looks bored. And Rapace is so sidelined that it's difficult to understand why she's here at all; the filmmakers never give her anything interesting to do.

It's a shame the screenwriters never push the characters further. But at least Ritchie keeps things moving briskly, filling the screen with comical nuttiness and big-gun mayhem. Even if Moriarty makes no sense (would someone this intelligent resort to such a ridiculous plan to make his fortune?), Harris adds heft in the role, including some jagged chemistry with Downey. Let's just hope that the requisite third film lets us in on the joke.

The Losers Review


OK
Raucous and colourful, this comical action flick should be great fun, but a lack of plot or character development keep it from coming together. And it's not actually that funny or exciting.

On a mission in Bolivia, a five-man black-ops team is betrayed by their power-mad CIA boss Max (Patric) and left for dead. But they embark on a mission to get revenge and clear their names, with Clay (Morgan) leading techie Jensen (Evans), demolition expert Roque (Elba), driver-pilot Pooch (Short) and sniper Cougar (Jaenada). They also enlist the help of a sexy-but-shady woman (Saldana) as they track Max and his vile henchman (McCallany) from Miami to Los Angeles and try to stop his nefarious Bond-like plan.

Continue reading: The Losers Review

Orphan Review


Good
For a laughably preposterous thriller, this film is slickly made and much longer than expected. But it's an entertaining addition to the evil child genre, simply for its over-the-top chills and nutty plot.

Kate and John (Farmiga and Sarsgaard) live in a spectacular designer home in the snowy countryside with their bright children Danny and Maxine (Bennett and Engineer), who happens to be deaf. But they have a tormented past, peppered with infidelity, addiction and a tragic miscarriage. They decide to adopt a child to get back on course, and settle for the perky Esther (Fuhrman), a 9-year-old Russian who learns very quickly indeed. She's also up to no good, as the ominous underscore keeps reminding us.

Continue reading: Orphan Review

RocknRolla Review


Excellent
Here's some good news for Guy Ritchie fans. RocknRolla gives off the impression that the once-heralded filmmaker isn't trying so hard any more to jolt, confuse, stimulate, and entertain his demanding followers. As a result, he delivers his most jolting, confusing, stimulating, and flat-out entertaining picture since Snatch in 2000.

RocknRolla is sexy, fast, loose, smart, and extremely funny. It's crammed with colorful criminals, which Ritchie and cinematographer David Higgs backlight to great effect. It chokes on delightfully screwy schemes, which the director and his editor James Herbert slice, tape, and test drive at breakneck speeds. And that's the key. It keeps moving, hardly caring if you are keeping up.

Continue reading: RocknRolla Review

Hudson Hawk Review


OK
The good thing about comedies, as a general rule, is that they're too bland to have really bad plots. The search for laughs seldom strays too far off the beaten path established by the social mores of the target market, be that old ladies, stoners, or teenagers out on dates. There are comedies with solid plots, just rarely comedies with complicated plots.

What they generally aren't is full of capers designed by crackheads in search of comic relief, or a dominatrix dying to destroy the gold market with a Da Vinci alchemy machine only a cat burglar from Hoboken could steal.

Continue reading: Hudson Hawk Review

Osmosis Jones Review


Good
Have you ever wondered what goes on in the back of your nose when you sneeze? The Farrelly Brothers have. And in their traditional gross-out fashion, they'd like to show you.

There you have Osmosis Jones, a combination of clunky live action and cool, creative animation that tries too hard to please both adults and kiddies while journeying inside one disgusting body.

Continue reading: Osmosis Jones Review

Exit Wounds Review


Bad
To watch a Steven Seagal film, one must fully suspend all disbelief. And to fully enjoy the audacity of Seagal, one must ignore all of the consequences associated with the following: Starting fistfights with large men in flashy nightclubs, destroying everything in sight along the way. Surviving every semi-automatic gun battle and car crash without a scratch. Purchasing Italian racing cars with bundles of $100 bills stuffed in a gym bag. Actually being able to cash out stock options from a dot-com and then creating a private surveillance unit devoted to uncovering a ring of corrupt Detroit cops involved in smuggling heroin inside of sweatshop-produced t-shirts. OK... maybe that corrupt cops thing is a bit hard to swallow.

I remember a time when I used to enjoy Seagal. Such films as Above the Law, Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Under Siege, and Out for Justice are all solid action films from the '90s. Under Siege is even kind of good. But lately, films like Under Siege 2, Fire Down Below, and The Patriot have shown the age of the Italian stallion of Aikido.

Continue reading: Exit Wounds Review

Joel Silver

Joel Silver Quick Links

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Filmmaker


Joel Silver Movies

The Nice Guys Movie Review

The Nice Guys Movie Review

Writer-director Shane Black returns to the comedy-noir vibe of his 2005 hit Kiss Kiss Bang...

Non-stop Movie Review

Non-stop Movie Review

With a premise not much more believable than Snakes on a Plane, this slickly made...

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Trailer

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Trailer

Set in 1947, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' is the story of how cartoon characters known...

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie Review

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie Review

Ritchie, Downey and Law are back with another manic romp that feels more like a...

Unknown Movie Review

Unknown Movie Review

With a Hitchcockian mistaken-identity plot, this film can't help but draw us into its slickly...

The Losers Movie Review

The Losers Movie Review

Raucous and colourful, this comical action flick should be great fun, but a lack of...

The Book of Eli Movie Review

The Book of Eli Movie Review

Although it feels like a parallel story taking place at the same time as The...

Orphan Movie Review

Orphan Movie Review

For a laughably preposterous thriller, this film is slickly made and much longer than expected....

RocknRolla Movie Review

RocknRolla Movie Review

Here's some good news for Guy Ritchie fans. RocknRolla gives off the impression that the...

The Brave One Movie Review

The Brave One Movie Review

Violence is inherent. Brought on by fear, anger, despair or ignorance, it's a side of...

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