Friday, January 1, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

The Film: Sherlock Holmes

The Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

The Dealio: OK, so, Sherlock Holmes, as seen through the prism of Guy Ritchie's lens. This is a more vital, visceral (lots of punch 'em ups, violent encounters...OK, I did say this was Guy Ritchie's interpretation, did I not?),updated (no deer-stalker hat, Dr. Watson is a babe!), eye-winking version of the more trad, placid, cerebral detective. But, I must say, as a long-time fan of Sherlock, in all his recreations, both literal and cinematic, 99.9% of the result was achieved righteously: not too much fudging, and pretty well true to the source materials.
Here's the story: Sherlock is involved in a case that, ultimately, results in a peer of the realm being brought low and, well, hanged. Except that, now, there are reports that he is reappearing and wreaking his revenge upon all who sent him to the gallows to begin with. Can Sherlock's turn be long in coming? Think you know the answer to that, but half the fun is getting there. Strong performances by a slew of supporting actors- including, oddly, Mark Strong, as the ultra-villain.

The Grading Session: 4.295 pengies out of 5. Points off for a few items: 1st, at the time, London was known as The Big Smoke, because of the wholesale smog and pollution from the factories that housed the Industrial Revolution. In this movie, the city was as pristine and sparkly-new as a starched shirt out of a bandbox. 'Supwidat? It's a small thing, I know, but this matters to me, since the city was also a character in this movie- and an important one. Another small quibble is one that frequently occurs to me (and so I was thrilled that Austin Powers highlighted it, humorously): why all these infernal Rube Goldberg devices to kill, when an ordinary everyday explosion would fill the bill? ('No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die...slowly, tortuously, over the course of 12 hours!' Pu-leez). Otherwise, cakey! Aaaand, was I the only one to scent a whiff of the 's word' (sequel)? Stay tuned, Holmes fans everywhere!

Lessons Learned: Some literary figures wear out their welcomes with the speed of sound. Sherlock Holmes- inconsiderate, drug-addled, ego-driven genius that he is- is still, more than 124 years into his life, a force to be reckoned with (which).

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