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DVD Review: Sherlock Holmes

March 30, 2010

Sherlock Holmes – A Warner Home Video Release

DVD Release Date: March 30th, 2010

Rated PG for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images, and a scene of suggestive material.

Running time: 128 minutes


Guy Ritchie (dir.)

Michael Robert Johnson (screenplay)

Anthony Peckham (screenplay)

Simon Kinberg (screenplay)


Lionel Wigram (screen story)

Michael Robert Johnson (screen story)


Arthur Conan Doyle (characters Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson)


Hans Zimmer (music)


Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes

Jude Law as Dr. John Watson

Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler

Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood

Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade

Robert Maillet as Dredger

Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson

Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan



Our reviews below:


Sherlock Holmes DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Based on the classic literary character by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is a big screen reworking of the classic character.  Although it’s gotten an update in terms of polished and incredibly entertaining action sequences, the brilliance of a virtually unsolvable case and a logical answer is still intact.  Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as Holmes and Jude Law is also quite good as his assistant, Dr. Watson.  The set design of Victorian London, Han Zimmer’s musical score and the special effects are all equally excellent.


Although I liked the depictions of Holmes’ rapid thought process, sometimes it is a little too stylized.  The style of frantic action coupled with long sequences of dialogue sometimes make the film a little confusing and hard too watch.  There are also plenty of twists and turns that are slightly puzzling upon first viewing.  There’s some genre-busting going on, after all this is a Guy Ritchie film.  But Sherlock Holmes has a lot going for it, and if done right, further instalments could be amazing.  In other words, this is a very good film, but hopefully next time we’ll see overall greatness.


It is available to buy as a DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Copy combo-pack.  Special features includes maximum movie mode with Guy Ritchie, and a featurette on reinventing Holmes.


Sherlock Holmes DVD Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of four)

In the opening scenes of this newest adaptation, Holmes and Watson take down the evil Lord Blackwood, who has murdered countless victims for his cult ‘sacrifices’.  He is sentenced to death, but after his sentence is carried out, he appears to have ‘come back to life’, once again leading a life of crime.  Holmes is intrigued to find out the logical explaination in all of this, while Watson just wants to settle down with his soon-to-be fiancé…


I won’t go into anymore of the plot, since it is a mystery, and should be watched like one.  I had read a first draft revision of the Sherlock Holmes script by Mike Johnson (story by Lionel Wigram) last year.  The current revisions in that version were by Anthony Peckham.  (It was dated March 14, 2008).  Still, I had surprises in this film, as there were a couple of considerable points altered.  Having the perspective of two slightly different ways this film could have played out, I liked the final product, although there were a couple of elements from the earlier version of the script that I liked slightly better.


Sherlock Holmes was nominated for two Oscars this year, one for Art Direction, and the other for Original Score.  Both were deserved, with the colour palette/style for Victorian England really nice to watch, and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack definitely one to get.  The other really worthwhile thing about watching this film is for the acting by Jude Law as Watson and in particular, Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes.  Downey Jr. won a Golden Globe for his performance of Holmes, which was perfect in my opinion.


I also found it quite fitting to the character, how Holmes was portrayed with very many ‘Asperger Syndrome’ traits.  His focus on the tiny details, whether they’re important or not, the way he would get overstimulated in very social places like restaurants, and his blunt yet brilliant way of interacting with others is classic in some Aspies.  His literal interpretations in conversation were also interesting to see.  I had read that Lionel Wigram had written this version of Holmes as Aspergers and it really works, especially the way Downey Jr. plays it.  I also found the way that they portrayed Holmes’ perspective and thought-process in the film interesting, although it may be confusing to some.


In closing, I would definitely reccommend watching Sherlock Holmes.  It is a lot of fun, but be prepared to listen closely to the dialogue and pay attention or you will be lost.  It is one that I’d want to see again, to catch everything.


Sherlock Holmes DVD Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

Sherlock Holmes is a fun and clever reinvention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s favourite crime solving duo.  Robert Downey Jr. plays Holmes almost as an autistic savant, with his attention to details and observations of people, compensating for his poor social skills.  (Screenwriter Lionel Wigram actually wrote Holmes’ character to be an Aspie).


In this new story, Holmes and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) must stop Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), a dark magician who apparently came back to life after being hanged for murder.  The way that Holmes’ figures out what happens is just brilliant.


Sherlock Holmes is one of those intelligent films where everything ties together and is solved in the end.  I really liked this about the film.  The costuming and set design is cool, as are the action scenes.  The acting is great, and the Oscar Nominated score by Hans Zimmer is exciting and fun.  Sherlock Holmes is a great movie for the 12 to adult crowd.  Buy this one on DVD.


Sherlock Holmes DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Director Guy Ritchie’s film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes is an action movie for those who love to solve a good mystery.  The casting choice to have Robert Downey Jr. play Holmes is brilliant.  Downey Jr. plays him with an internal manic energy that highlights his ability to observe minute details that others miss.  The one flaw with the film is the quick shifting between Holmes’ inner thoughts and the external action scenes.  I found myself confused on more than one occasion.


On the plus side, the Victorian set is accurate and believable.  There is enough physical action for those who like that sort of thing.  The acting of the two leads is strong and the Hans Zimmer score perfect.  The mystery itself has enough clever twists to satisfy avid mystery lovers.


While this Sherlock Holmes won’t be for everyone, fans of the 19th century detective or Robert Downey Jr. will want to own this one so they can watch it more than once and pick up clues they might have missed the first time.


Sherlock Holmes DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Director Guy Ritchie has definitely improved on his undistinguished track record with the latest version of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson.  Like Daniel Craig’s Bond, this Holmes gets into a lot more scrapes than his predecessors, and instead of an aging sidekick, Jude Law’s Watson is young and engaged to be married, though his need to help Holmes keeps getting in the way.  Robert Downey’s Holmes is just as eccentric and brooding as he is brilliant, more socially awkward than the swaggering Iron Man for example.  The evil Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) is a worthy adversary, while Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler is both a love interest and villain, reminiscent of Mary Astor.  The intricate plot and overall length at just over two hours may overwhelm some people, but everything is well explained as we go along and loose ends are all tied up at the end.


The depiction of Victorian London is spectacular, and some interesting effects are worth mentioning. The sound track seems muffled after loud sounds to simulate temporary hearing loss.  A mysterious raven pops up menacingly at times, reminding me of a bat in vampire films.  We see scenarios running through Holmes’s mind, in slow motion just before a fight as he plans his moves, or in hindsight as he examines evidence. Finally, the score from Hans Zimmer is really fine with Celtic and Roma elements including a rousing Irish pub song over the closing credits and in the climactic scene in the House of Parliament an ostinato (repeated base line) of the Big Ben tune in a minor key.


Consensus: This Sherlock Holmes is a fun adaptation, with great performances by Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in particular.  They’re both entertaining to watch and Hans Zimmer’s Oscar nominated score adds to atmosphere of this film. ***1/4 (Out of 4)

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