Joel Silver Movies
A movie buff practically since infancy, American producer Joel Silver
attended the film school at New York University. After graduation Silver quickly worked his way up to an assistant producer post under Universal's Lawrence Gordon; after considerable success with a series of popular pictures, including a handful of Burt Reynolds
vehicles, Silver was appointed president of Lawrence Gordon Productions. As head of his own Silver Pictures in 1980, Silver began inauspiciously with the mishmosh Olivia Newton-John
before finding his niche with the stylized violent action of 1984's Streets of Fire.
Intense and demanding, Silver drove his staff, cast and crews mercilessly, but such prize properties as the Lethal Weapon
and Die Hard
series made the effort worthwhile. Silver was able to maintain his industry standing on the basis of these successes, permitting him to ride out his many failures, including Jumpin' Jack Flash
(1985), Ford Fairlane
(1990), and the potentially career-busting Hudson Hawk
(1991). Silver more or less played himself (loud clothes and all) in the on-camera role of an explosive cartoon director in 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Silver's trademark franchises would continue to pad his resume as the years went by, as he produced sequels to movies like Die Hard
, Lethal Weapon
, and Predator. He would also produce new, but less successful action movies of a similar style, like 1993's Demolition Man and 1995's Fair Game. He would also executive produce countless episodes of the HBO series Tales from the Crypt between 1989 and 1996. Then, in 1999, Silver struck gold -- once again -- when he produced the monumentally successful sci-fi thriller The Matrix. The movie was a huge hit, even if its sequels, released in 2003 and 2004, were dramatically less so. Silver wouldn't be able to duplicate the Matrix's success with productions like 2001's Swordfish and 2002's Ghost Ship, but he gained some niche popularity with 2006's V for Vendetta, and as an executive producer for the series Veronica Mars.
Middling projects like the 2009 horror flick Orphan and Arctic thriller Whiteout kept Silver hard at work, and he would find serious box office success again with the Robert Downy, Jr. hit Sherlock Holmes in 2009, and 2010's apocalyptic Denzel Washington picture, The Book of Eli. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Add Xanadu to Queue
Add Xanadu to top of Queue
In this film, the mysterious Kira (Olivia Newton-John) appears to assist and inspire a young artist, Sonny Malone (Michael Beck). When she helps him meet up with the rich Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly), the two join up together to create an artistic and business success, an unique club called "Xanadu." ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi
- Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, (more)
- Add The Warriors to Queue
Add The Warriors to top of Queue
Walter Hill's hip, super-stylized action film unfurls in a dystopian near-future, when various gangs control New York City. Each gang sports a unique moniker ('The Warriors,' 'The Baseball Furies,' 'The Rogues'), with a costume underscoring its "theme"; each, in turn, is also responsible for one geographic area. Hill sets up the landscape as a massive, violent playground - replete with bridges, vacant subway tunnels, parks, abandoned buildings and the like, all ripe for exploration and adventure. As the tale opens, the titular Coney Island has traveled to the Bronx to attend a city-wide meeting of all gangs; at that event, however, the psychotic leader of a rival gang, The Rogues (David Patrick Kelly of Dreamscape) assassinates the head of the city's foremost gang, but The Warriors are pegged as culpable. This sends the gang fleeing through the labyrinthine city. With every thug in Manhattan in vicious, homicidal pursuit, they must also overcome all obstacles in their way. Throughout, Hill keeps the onscreen violence absurd, exaggerated and unrealistic, downplaying death to an extreme degree; despite this fact, the film sparked a massive amount of controversy and an ugly backlash for allegedly inciting violence and destruction in several theaters where it initially played. James Remar, Michael Beck and Deborah Van Valkenburgh lead the ensemble cast. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
- Michael Beck, James Remar, (more)