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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Sherlock Holmes

Fishing in the Discount Bin is upon us once again, where I watch one of the many films I own, and the blog about it, because I'm o so lonely.  Today, we have the film that signaled pop culture's recent return to a love of Sherlock Holmes, 2009's Sherlock Holmes.  This pops up in my notes at October 6, 2013.

Sherlock Holmes Poster

Well, I've been enjoying my nice, new HDTV, but I know I have to watch my bank account. It's very, very tempting to start digging through discount bins and upgrading a few of my old DVDs to Blu-Ray. I've lamented to some friends about my reaction to watching DVDs on my hi-def set-up. Some DVDs fare pretty well. Sometimes, though, my set-up upconverts the fuck out of them, and they turn into a massive, pixelated blob. It's like watching Japanese porn (or so I've heard. Ahem). And one of my friends said, "Well, at least it's an excuse to re-watch a bunch of stuff."

Yes. Yes it is. And I figured on this cloudy and rainy Sunday afternoon, I should re-watch the first Blu-Ray I ever bought, in all its hi-def glory, Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. I will confess, when it comes to British heroes, I've always preferred Bond to Holmes, and I was hoping my first Blu-Ray would be Quantum of Solace, as it was the most recent Bond movie at the time. But, the store was sold out, so I settled for Sherlock Holmes.

I remember when it first came out, I wasn't really super-jazzed for it. I mean, I'm no Holmes aficionado. I've never ready any of the books, never seen any of the countless TV and movie adaptations, unless you count the Disney classic The Great Mouse Detective. For all intents and purposes, the Downey/Law movie was my first full exposure to the exploits of Holmes and Watson. Watching the trailers and stuff, I felt it looked good, but not great. Had a good pedigree, though. Downey had just completed his comeback with Iron Man, and the director was Guy Ritchie, director of such great British crime thrillers as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. So there was a lot of good going into it.

Holmes and Watson have just finished off a difficult case -- a string of murders committed by a secret society under the command of a Lord Blackwood. With this done, Holmes and Watson are at an impasse. Watson is getting ready to get married and settle down and leave this life of crimefighting behind him, but Holmes is reluctant to see Watson go. In the midst of these, Holmes receives a visit from "the Woman," Irene Adler, the only woman that's ever gotten under Holmes' skin. She puts Holmes on the trail of a murdered man she's trying to track down, but before Holmes can get to that, Holmes and Watson get the distressing news that Lord Blackwood has somehow risen from the dead and is murdering again. So, Holmes and Watson are together again, for the last time, to unravel the mysteries of Blackwood's resurrection, and the reasoning behind his murders. Will they be able to save London from Blackwood? Who's Adler working for and what's her agenda in all this? And will Holmes and Watson break-up or stay together?

Let's talk about that first, shall we? When the film first came out, I know people were all, "OMG! They made Holmes and Watson gay!" Watching the film, they never struck me as gay. If anything, their relationship struck me as the "bromance" that pop culture loves to portray and mock these days. Got to admit, that Downey and Law do have a great chemistry, and they play well off each other.

I don't know...the whole film just kind of leaves me hollow. The evil plot seems to be a little too big and overcomplicated, but then, that's a problem with most movies in this genre. I find there's too much stuff introduced after the halfway point. It's around the halfway film that the secret order that Blackwood is a member of finally approaches Holmes and asks for his help in stopping Blackwood.

I'm at a loss of what to write about this one.  It's good. It's entertaining. But it just never really captured my attention. That being said, Hans Zimmer did a spectacular score for it.

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