Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday Night at the Movies - Sherlock Holmes

A special Sunday morning edition of Thursday Night at the Movies.

We had originally planned to see this on Christmas day, when it opened, but we're pretty tradition bound here at Capewood Manor and going to the movies would upset our routine too much. So we decided to go on Saturday, but my daughter Maggie woke up with a terrible pain in her gut on Saturday morning. Turns out she was passing a kidney stone, of all things. She's fine. So we went this morning.

We've been seeing trailers for this for months and my wife, daughter and I all wanted to see it. The review in the Houston Chronicle was not encouraging. On the one hand they said it was the best movie the director, Guy Ritchie, ever made. On the other hand they said that Guy Ritchie is the worst director in the world. I haven't seen any of his previous movies so didn't have an opinion.

If you've seen the trailers, you know that this is not your grandfather's Sherlock Holmes, as played by Basil Rathbone. It also isn't really Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes either as this is not based on one of his stories. There is a lot more fisticuffs in the movie than sleuthing. But we all enjoyed it immensely. There is actually a coherent plot, the interplay between Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson was well done, and the recreation of late 1800's London was spectacular. As an action movie and a period piece there are lots of CG special effects, which are also done well. Counterbalancing all the male bonding going is the lovely Rachael McAdams (The Time Traveler's Wife) as master criminal and former Holmes squeeze.

I wouldn't hesitate taking younger kids to see this. The language is mild and there is virtually no sex.

Although the movie has a plot, it doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. A secret society is taken over by a madman and plots to take over England and then the world. Holmes and Watson save the day. And, of course, the studio is hoping to make a franchise of this. The grounds are laid for a sequel, which according to, is already in the works.

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