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Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

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Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Old 12-22-09, 08:48 PM
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Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread



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Saw this last night and really liked it. The movie still has some of Guy Ritchie's trademarks but they are a bit less intense. You could say it's watered down or you could say he's not hitting you over the head with style, but either way it works.

Downey is a great Holmes and plays the character as I've never imagined him before. You always think of Holmes as being a brilliant but uninteresting tall guy with a basset hound face, and Watson being a bumbling, chubby fool. The movie still keeps the characters true to their root without doing anything stupid to make them "modern cool": they're never skateboarding or high-fiving or anything like that. Mark Strong comes on as a creepier Andy Garcia and is great as the villain.

I didn't think I would like McAdams but she proved me wrong.

A very, very solid film. I would find it hard to believe that people might be disappointed.
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Old 12-22-09, 09:30 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Thanks for the review. I'll be seeing this over Christmas when I'm in Kansas City. Glad to hear it doesn't make him too modern.

But, where's the poll?
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Old 12-22-09, 09:40 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

I'll wait to see what the consensus is. I still think it looks like crap, but I'm willing to keep an open mind if everyone is praising it.
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Old 12-23-09, 03:19 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Brian Orndorf also loved it: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/41340...k-holmes-2009/

He does point out that Rachel McAdams is the weakest part of the film, which I was worried about.
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Old 12-23-09, 03:23 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

She's the weakest part, but not weak. Better than, say, Heather Graham in From Hell.
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Old 12-23-09, 03:31 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Yeah, but I like Heather Graham in general, and dislike McAdams in general.
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Old 12-23-09, 04:00 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post

A very, very solid film. I would find it hard to believe that people might be disappointed.
Probably only people that are looking for a character somewhat related to Sherlock Holmes. Or as one critic said:

"You'd need a special magnifying glass to identify any elements of Doyle's original literary source material that lends the title character his name."
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Old 12-23-09, 04:19 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

That's something that concerned me. I'm a huge fan of the original stories.
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Old 12-23-09, 04:42 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
Probably only people that are looking for a character somewhat related to Sherlock Holmes. Or as one critic said:

"You'd need a special magnifying glass to identify any elements of Doyle's original literary source material that lends the title character his name."
Odd. The consensus I've heard from everyone else is that the movie is slavishly close to canon. But perhaps those are two different things.

Here is my middling review: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/41351...k-holmes-2009/

Combined with Orndorf's positive review and Jamie S. Rich's negative review, we've pretty much evened out.
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Old 12-24-09, 12:06 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by droidguy1119 View Post
Odd. The consensus I've heard from everyone else is that the movie is slavishly close to canon.
Yes, because Doyle's Holmes was always involved in large explosions, bedding women, and fisticuffs.

I'm sure the movie's entertaining, but I hope kids don't see it and think that's what the Doyle's character was like.

If anyone wants to see a REVERENT Holmes movie that still has some decent action/special effects, go pick up Chris Columbus' YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES.
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Old 12-24-09, 12:29 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Yes, because Doyle's Holmes was always involved in large explosions, bedding women, and fisticuffs.

I'm sure the movie's entertaining, but I hope kids don't see it and think that's what the Doyle's character was like.
On that very subject, from Slate:

The Case of the Weird Sherlock Holmes Adaptations: Guy Richie is merely the latest director to perpetrate crimes against the legendary detective

Excerpt:

Fans of the original four Holmes novels and 56 stories will no doubt, rightly, be appalled. Aside from names and a few minor details, little binds this movie to the characters and events of Conan Doyle's fiction. Where the Holmes of print was fastidious to a fault, Downey's character leaves a trail of physical destruction. Where Conan Doyle's hero was cold and introverted, Downey's Sherlock is a histrionic rakehell. The mode of the original character, in fact, was not breakneck adventurism at all: In Conan Doyle's telling, Holmes was a consummate scientist who did his best work alone in an armchair. "It always annoyed me how in the old-fashioned story, the detective always seemed to get at his results either by some lucky chance, or luck, or else it was quite unexplained how he got there," Conan Doyle once said. His goal was to create a sleuth whose genius lay not in his street smarts but in his skill working entirely—and transparently—from data.
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Old 12-24-09, 01:20 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
I'm sure the movie's entertaining, but I hope kids don't see it and think that's what the Doyle's character was like.
Don't worry!
Most kids today are in no danger of reading anyway.
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Old 12-24-09, 01:59 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Yes, because Doyle's Holmes was always involved in large explosions, bedding women, and fisticuffs.
The explosions are very Hollywood, and I said as much in my review. But Holmes beds no women in the movie, and the combat stuff is specifically what many people are insisting comes from the books.

A quote from the film's co-writer/producer on the Wiki (always reliable, I know ):
Originally Posted by Lionel Wigram
A lot of the action that Conan Doyle refers to was actually made manifest in our film. Very often, Sherlock Holmes will say things like, 'If I hadn't been such an expert short stick person, I would have died in that' or he would refer to a fight off screen. We're putting those fights on screen.
All in all, the movie may resemble a Hollywood blockbuster more than the short stories, but even if this stuff is similar extrapolation from details contained within, I think it would be misleading to say the filmmakers just made it up.

Last edited by tylergfoster; 12-24-09 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 12-24-09, 02:02 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
....dislike McAdams in general.

Same here.
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Old 12-24-09, 05:38 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

CHUD just ran a piece about Holmes and its' faithfulness to the Doyle books. Here are a few key excerpts:
Originally Posted by Devin Faraci
The Sign of Four is one of a number of times when Holmes uses a pistol. In that same novel Holmes' bona fides as bare knuckle boxer. He introduces himself to a prize fighter like this: "The amateur who fought three rounds with you at Alison's rooms on the night of your benefit four years back." McMurdo responds by saying, "Ah, you're one that has wasted your gifts, you have! You might have aimed high, if you had joined the fancy." (thanks to Wikipedia for pulling that out)

Watson also makes mention of Holmes' talent with a sword, although he never uses one in the canon. He does use martial arts; in The Adventure of the Empty House, the story in which Doyle resurrected Holmes, the detective tells Watson how he defeated Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls - using the Japanese martial art of 'baritsu,' which is probably just a misspelling of the real martial art of bartitsu. It's fair to say that your familiar deerstalker cap-wearing Holmes (a note: he never wore a deerstalker cap in the books, although in Hound of the Baskervilles he does wear a hat with ear flaps) never busted out any karate.
Originally Posted by Devin Faraci
The place where Sherlock Holmes gets away from the stories is the scope of the adventure, as well as the tone of the tale. While Ritchie et al may have brought the characters back to the original vision, they've certainly been set into a story that has more to do with the pulps of the 30s than the penny dreadfuls of the previous century. I think this is a valid sticking point for those who are purists, although I don't think it's any worse than transporting Holmes to World War II or ignoring canon altogether to depict his CGI-enhanced adventures as a teen. Whether Sherlock Holmes works for you as a movie on its own is one thing, but the film's faithfulness to canon can't be faulted - only your knowledge of Sherlock Holmes can be.
The whole piece is here: http://chud.com/articles/articles/21...ERS/Page1.html
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Old 12-25-09, 11:00 AM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

And a point made by The AV Club:

“My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so,” Sherlock Holmes tells his sidekick Dr. Watson at the conclusion of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Red-Headed League.” It’s one of Doyle’s periodic hints that his hero uses his brilliance to placate a tortured psyche. Doyle’s most famous character has an unparalleled genius for detection, but he’s also kind of a mess, a drug-abusing weirdo kept from turning into a total recluse only by Watson’s friendship and a steady parade of mysteries making their way up the steps of 221B Baker Street.
Robert Downey Jr. sounds that self-destructive eccentricity as a keynote from his first appearance in Sherlock Holmes, and his twitchy, winning performance returns to it throughout the film. The interpretation veers sharply away from the tweedy expectations set by Basil Rathbone and others, but it’s as true in its own way to the source. Holmes is a man only fully engaged by life when it offers a direct challenge.
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Old 12-25-09, 11:33 AM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
Brian Orndorf also loved it: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/41340...k-holmes-2009/

He does point out that Rachel McAdams is the weakest part of the film, which I was worried about.
A good review from Orndorf? Not a good sign for me
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Old 12-25-09, 03:20 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

The fisticuffs don't bother me, it's mentioned many times in the stories that Holmes is a champion fighter.
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Old 12-25-09, 07:27 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

I think I've seen too many episodes of "CSI" and "House, M.D." to be all that impressed by "Sherlock Holmes". While the chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law was good, the film is drabby (well, it is London in the latter half of the 1800s) and dull in far too many spots, felt overly long too, then mix in Guy Ritchie's penchant for quick flashback cuts to explain Holmes' observations that cut to the truth, the film feels anachronistic at times to its detriment. Also, Rachel McAdams's character just seems adrift, not quite integrated in the film as well as she could have been. Also, the main villain, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) isn't all that interesting, which also robs the film of much dramatic tension.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.

Last edited by Patman; 12-25-09 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 12-26-09, 11:16 AM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

It's not really Sherlock Holmes. Very little of that aspect. London looks good and there's some good stuff. Downey is great, McAdams is stiff,
and Guy Ritchie's assinine camera acrobatics are both unnecessary and out of place.

It's good popcorn action, but that's is how it should be labeled. It's too far removed from Holmes to be called Holmes.
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Old 12-26-09, 12:14 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

It's a good film, not great. I'd probably give it a 7/10. Just way too over the top for the character in which it is based. It's box-office estimate for the weekend is $70M. Almost tied with "Avatar". Which far exceeded studio expectations.
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Old 12-26-09, 03:17 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

It was pointed out to me that Arthur Conan Doyle grew to HATE the Sherlock Holmes character and tried to write other stories to no avail.

The book fan that I saw the film with was annoyed that
Spoiler:
he never says 'Its elementary my dear Watson'


whatever, I still liked it as a good twist of a popcorn flick (taking place in an interesting era, with leading actors I liked). Downey was top notch as was Law.
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Old 12-26-09, 03:39 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Save Ferris View Post
It was pointed out to me that Arthur Conan Doyle grew to HATE the Sherlock Holmes character and tried to write other stories to no avail.

The book fan that I saw the film with was annoyed that
Spoiler:
he never says 'Its elementary my dear Watson'


whatever, I still liked it as a good twist of a popcorn flick (taking place in an interesting era, with leading actors I liked). Downey was top notch as was Law.
He must not be a fan of the Doyle books, then, because Holmes never says "Elementary, my dear Watson." He says "Elementary" in one of the stories, but that's it.
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Old 12-26-09, 03:42 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Save Ferris View Post
The book fan that I saw the film with was annoyed that
Spoiler:
he never says 'Its elementary my dear Watson'
Your friend was upset that the phrase wasn't in the movie, or that the phrase isn't in the original stories? Because that phrase was invented later on, it never appeared in the original stories.
http://www.snopes.com/quotes/signature/elementary.asp
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Old 12-26-09, 04:11 PM
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Re: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) — The Reviews Thread

Thank you. She was expecting the famous 'elementary' phrase (however its worded). I havent read all the books and she was acting like a snob about it.
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