Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Crime
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 128 minutes - $28.98 || March 30, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-05


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer(s): Lionel Wigram and Michael Robert Johnson (screen story), Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg (screenplay)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong


Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

When I saw Sherlock Holmes in the theater, I didnít really find it all that enjoying. The group I went with had mixed reactions as well, so when I received the copy to review in the mail recently I thought I would give it another shot. I must say that I found the movie much more enjoyable than in the theaters and one that people who enjoy mystery or suspenseful films will find exciting enough to watch again and again.

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his assistant Watson (Jude Law) are spying on Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who they think is a creator of the black arts. They interrupt a session and finally capture Blackwood, who is then deemed to be executed by the government for witchcraft and killing others, among many other things. For his last request, Blackwood asks to speak with Holmes and lets him know that this isnít the end of his profession and that he will soon rise from the dead after he is hung from the neck later in the day. Holmes disregards the idea that he can resurrect himself and plays it off. Watson witnesses the execution and pronounces Blackwood dead and helps to bury the black arts magician later in the day.

The trouble for the two sleuths begin a few days afterwards, as, like he predicted, Blackwoodís grave is empty and the rubble is destroyed. The body is also not of Blackwoodís but a mysterious person whom Holmes thinks is just a small piece in the puzzle of the bigger mystery of the resurrection of the magician. He and Watson decide to explore the idea of the resurrection further, and find out that Blackwood may truly be a master of magic after all. Upon finding the identity of the dead body that was put into the grave, it turns out that there is much more at work here than the detectives had originally thought. Can Holmes and Watson figure out the mystery of Blackwood or will the magician get the upper hand in the end?

Robert Downey Jr. is an amazing actor and so is Jude Law in this film. Both of them had me believing that they actually were Holmes and Watson, respectively. The acting here is truly nomination-worthy, despite the fact neither won an award for the flick which is sad to report. The witty lines that are said throughout, mostly by Holmes, are quite entertaining to listen to although in all honesty they are really hit and miss for most people. I understood most of them but when I went with the group a few months ago I was laughing when they werenít and vice versa throughout the film. That may be a problem for some though, as the movie has more of a mystery feel to it than a comedy overall though.

The problem I have with the movie is the downright awful pacing. I found myself nearly passing out at times throughout the movie, as though there were many times where the film was really boring and didnít really click with me. The first half of the movie is great, but when the actual mystery of the film started just didnít have the same appeal. Plus, the ending battle between Holmes and someone else (sorry, I wonít spoil it) didnít seem as entertaining as the build-up to it was. There (odds are) will be a sequel to the film at some point down the road, but I donít really know where the crew can go from here as most sequels to films like this rarely will succeed as much as the first.

Like I said before, the mystery of the movie is appealing but loses its edge throughout the movie. I enjoy films that I can figure out the ending to before it happens and instead here we get an ending that would have taken Bill Gates and myself combined to figure out. The clues arenít able to be deduced right away and even when I did get the ďoh ahĒ moment once the ending happened I became really let down. The eventual build-up to the final great moment wasnít a phenomenal one, and I hope that in the future films the mystery aspect is played out more than the comedy premise.

Sherlock Holmes is a great flick if you can get past some of the dry humor and the fact the mystery isnít all the best.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented (14 minutes): As usual, Warner has foregone any useful extras and put in a single extra that is merely a behind the scenes feature with little to no enjoyment.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Normally Warner Brother DVDís arenít the best in terms of transfers, and here there isnít much of a difference in past releases. Colors are dreary and dark, plus the fact that there is a ton of grain and noise present make this one yet again sort of an eye sore to view. I had some problems with a few scenes just being too dark in general, and then others a little too bright for my tastes. The transfer also appeared quite soft throughout the two-hour runtime, which was disappointing to note. The grain and noise are a problem in mostly the dark scenes though, as they should be, but most people probably wonít notice them unless they are looking right for it.

The Dolby Surround 5.1 track does a great job of utilizing the sounds provided from the few action sequences but fails to capitalize on the many dialogue scenes provided. The action sequences arenít too many, as I only counted maybe four or five of them, but when they were in the film they sounded wonderful. The surround sound is mixed quite well for this track and even caught me by surprise during a few of them (the gun exploding was one). That being said, mainly all the positive things, the dialogue isnít mixed to my liking. I struggled to hear a few dialogue scenes in the movie, and although they were far apart and few, they were still enough to make me take this track down a few notches.



.::OVERALL::.

Sherlock Holmes is Downeyís second best film (the first being Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and one that you shouldnít miss. The technical package is a little below average though for a DVD release and since there arenít any actual special features this one is probably best served as a rental except for the hardcore fans. This is a great mystery to investigate into, but probably only for the night.