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Couldn't Understand Robert Downey

Author: JimSpy from Phoenix, AZ
12 November 2010

Note to Hollywood film directors: You can pour 100 million dollars into a movie; you can hire top-name actors; you can splash it up with dazzling special effects; you can do product tie-ins and other state-of-the-art promotion; you can put up eye-catching billboards, and sell merchandise in Happy won't make a damn bit of difference if NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ACTORS ARE SAYING.

Maybe it's just me, maybe my ears are going, but I couldn't understand a word of Robert Downey Jr.'s dialogue. It sounded like he was trying so hard to pull off an authentic British accent that he was afraid to speak up for fear of unmasking his deficiency (what little I did hear sounded fairly authentic, so he needn't have worried). Regardless, I could hear Jude Law and everyone else just fine, so I'm pretty sure it's not my ears.

In this day and age of instant digital filming, when they don't have to wait for the rushes to come back to review the day's filming, why don't directors make an extra effort to listen to the scene they've just shot and make sure the dialogue can be heard? The worst offender in this regard is Soderbergh, he seems to be trying so hard for "natural" dialogue (people mumbling, talking over each other, disdaining any hint of exposition, etc.) that it makes otherwise good films a real slog. It should not take an EFFORT to enjoy a movie.

Please tell me I'm not alone in this.

In any case, I didn't rate this film because I shut it off halfway through and sent it back to Blockbuster. Too bad, it looked like a good movie otherwise.

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Carl the Critic: Sherlock Holmes

Author: gustafsoncarl from New York, USA
10 November 2010

Guy Ritchie is the British equivalent of Stephen Spielberg here in the US. He has great talent, he works with big named actors and the movies he makes are usually successful because everyone knows who he is. But unlike Spielberg, Ritchie is a film maker that is know as a formalist, where the film is all about "does everything look good?", rather than the realistic style of film making where one would ask "could this actually happen?"

"Sherlock Holmes" is a perfect example of this, because you don't care if the story good, (if there really was one, it just seemed too labyrinth like, and any where you turn could get you lost or going in circles.) But a movie doesn't need a story to be good, it just needs to look good (which this film does), sound good (which this film does thanks to both the sound and music departments), and have very strong and likable actors (which this film does for the most part.)But the majority of the film was about Robert Downey Jr. kicking some hardcore butt, giant explosions, very well executed sense of humor and the overall mood of the film matched perfectly with the setting (and vice versa.)

Was this film like the original Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Doyle? You bet your sweet lippy it's not. Of course it is nothing like the original Sherlock Holmes, because Holmes was just an English detective, as opposed to the film where he was an English detective and at the same time an Irish Cage fighter.But that is not important! Mr. Ritchie just took Sir. Arthur's classic character and made him his own.

There were a few times where I was confused, the "story" that the film was trying to tell got a little too detailed, and I felt that scenes where Holmes shows how he was going to beat up the other guy in slow motion step-by-step before he really beat the guy up was repetitive and pointless. But besides for that, I really enjoyed the film, and Guy Ritchie has some extraordinary talent as a film maker. I just hope he doesn't screw up the sequel to this, and Mr. Ritchie I am still waiting for the release of the sequel to "Rock and Rolla."

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Not your father's Holmes & Watson

Author: sme_no_densetsu from Canada
23 September 2010

Guy Ritchie's re-imagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective Sherlock Holmes takes the original character and updates him for modern audiences. The setting is the same (Victorian England) but Holmes is now as adept with his fists as he is with his powers of deduction.

In this film, Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his stalwart companion, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), become embroiled in a mystery which seems to suggest authentic diabolism. A recently executed Lord has risen from the grave (or so it would seem) and Scotland Yard is baffled. We follow Holmes & Watson as they work their way through London in search of clues that will reveal the solution to this mystery.

As mentioned, Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law play the title character and the good doctor, respectively. They play the characters well while also introducing a physicality that isn't present in other interpretations of the roles. Rachel McAdams plays the requisite romantic interest and I'm pretty apathetic to her presence here. Mark Strong makes a fine villain, though, and the rest of the cast seems pretty well chosen.

Guy Ritchie might not have been the best choice to direct this film but I guess that the producers were looking for something different. He basically directs it like he would any of his modern crime flicks, though he's got a bigger budget to work with this time around. The results are certainly passable for a blockbuster with the focus on action but I still would have preferred another approach. As for the soundtrack, I don't think that it bears comparison with Ritchie's other films, which typically excel in that department. God only knows why "The Rocky Road to Dublin" pops up a few times.

For what it is, "Sherlock Holmes" is a enjoyable ride even if it isn't necessarily an award-worthy film. That being said, I was intrigued enough that I would watch the inevitable sequel when it arrives, so I guess that the film served its purpose.

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Holmes Is Actually Quite Good.

Author: Matt_Layden from Canada
21 September 2010

Sherlock Holmes makes it to the big screen with the help of Guy Ritchie with his first real Hollywood film. Robert Downey Jr. is the titled character, this time playing up more of the bad boy attitude. This role is similar to the recent Iron Man films, as both Holmes and Stark are egotistical geniuses with a substance abuse problem. Does life imitate art?

Robert Downey Jr brings that same quick wit and attitude that we loved him for in Iron Man to Holmes and he plays of really well with Jude Law. The two have better chemistry than the supposed romantic relationship. The bromance between the two is one of the highlights in the film. Law, as Watson, brings his comedic skills to light as he tries to be the level headed one of the group. Rachel McAdams is the Irene Adler, the only person to get the best of Holmes. She is likable, as always and even though the relationship doesn't match what the boys have, it's still good enough to get a pass by me.

The film is more action oriented than what one would think a Sherlock Holmes film would be. But to my surprise, Holmes in the books did know martial arts. So in a weird way, it fits. I don't know how I feel about the slow motion sequences, but that's just a few technical nit picks here and there that don't really affect the overall story of the film.

Blackwood, the villain, played by the guy who seems to love the evil roles, Mark Strong. He uses black magic to try and get what he wants, something that Holmes doesn't believe in and this truly tests his theories and beliefs. Blackwood is caught at the beginning of the film and sentence to hang, but mysteriously rises from the grave days later. He is out to kill again and Holmes must stop him.

It's popcorn entertainment and exactly the type of performance one would expect from Robert Downey Jr. Ritchie handles the Hollywood budget well and gives us one of his better films as of late. I'm just happy he's not trying to recapture the Lock Stock and Snatch glory days anymore.

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Good, but no Ritchie

Author: Karl Self from Yurp
20 September 2010

I'm a huge fan of director Guy Ritchie's firstlings, "Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch", two movies dealing with petty criminals on the streets of London with infective humour and a great, high-velocity visual style. Then Ritchie married Madonna and turned out a load of cinematic rubbish. Now the newlydiv is back with Sherlock Holmes, not your regular, stout Sherlock but a superhero flick set in Victorian times.

I'm not too sure about the result. As a retrograde superhero movie it works great. If that's your thing. Ritchie still knows his stuff, and Robert McDowney Jr. (Sherlock) and Jude Law (Watson) are impressive. On the other hand, great superhero movies are a dime a dozen, and Guy Ritchie used to be unique when he was still making small-budget films.

I weep a tear for the good old times and curse Madonna.

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really outlandish solutions to mysteries...

Author: MLDinTN from TN
14 September 2010

sums up this movie. Holmes really comes up with some unbelievable answers, but if you can get over that, this movie was OK. The part that didn't work was all the kick @ss fighting Holmes and Watson do because I don't think that was really in the books.

Downey was good as usual and Law was passable since he wasn't playing his usual character. Rachel Mcadams should have turned this role down because her character has very little to do and she was pretty much pointless through out the film. Considering you know Holmes is famous for figuring out impossible mysteries, it's safe to assume Lord Blackwood really isn't using supernatural powers. You just have to wait till the end for Holmes to give his ridiculous rant to how he did it all and fooled everyone.

FINAL VERDICT: It was better than I expected, mainly because Robert Downey, Jr is so good. It's worth a viewing.

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Elementary My Dear Watson'

Author: ireneholmes202 from United Kingdom
11 September 2010

If you went to the cinema anytime from early September last year, no doubt you would have seen the trailer for Guy Ritchie's first film not to be rated 18, Sherlock Holmes staring Robert Downey Jr as the enigmatic Mr Holmes, Jude Law as the faithful Dr Watson and Rachel McAdams as the only woman who has ever beaten Holmes twice, Irene Adler. Sherlock Holmes sees our favourite consulting detective and military doctor arrive just in time to save the latest victim of a string of ritualistic murders lead by Lord Blackwood, the only villain not mentioned in the original books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Blackwood who, after being hung and miraculously manages to resurrected makes a plot that becomes a threat to all of England. Using all his knowledge and cunning Holmes must find and stop Blackwood before it's too late.

Downey Jr is simply fantastic in this movie and one which introduced me to his talents and the whole world of Sherlock Holmes. Watching Downey, it's easy to forget that he is actually American with his superb attempt at the English accent that could put native Englishmen to shame. Downey brings a certain charm and charisma that is a far cry from the Deerstalker wearing, pipe smoking stuffy Victorian man the public remember. However, I do have one problem and that's with his pronunciation. As I've already said, Downey is American to play Holmes, at some points I do have to rewind it back and listen again with the subtitles on to work out what he's saying.

Jude Law also brings Watson bang up to date. Gone is the fat baffled man we usually think of, to be replaced by one who can and will get stuck into anything he encounters. In this, we see Watson about to get married to his love interest Mary and it is quite clear that Holmes is finding it hard to let go of his best friend and work colleague.

Jude and Robert's chemistry is phenomenal in this movie, with hints of bromance laced throughout; it's enough to make the all audience feel comfortable without getting too much like Brokeback Mountain.

The Canadian actor Rachel McAdams, best know for her work in Mean Girls, The Notebook and Time Travellers wife, is also brilliant, making her character charming, dangerous and quite alluring at the same time. Men want her and women want to be her and looking at her co-star Robert Downey Jr who wouldn't? She probably had the hardest job as she had very little to go on for a character that had been in the original books.

The best scene involves Holmes fighting in a low end bar to vent out his frustrations using slow motion camera movements where Holmes details exactly how he would beat his opponent with bone crunching results , literally.

Some Sherlock Holmes purists may argue that the film is too far away from the books, but I disagree. If you watch carefully the movie refers to a lot of the detail without being an exact copy.

Overall I thoroughly recommend this movie and can't wait for the sequel that begins filming this autumn.

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Worth Recommending

Author: svanden19 from United States
11 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sherlock Holmes is entertaining enough, as many Hollywood products are, but it overall leaves us viewers wanting more. Or, that is, wishing more had been done, especially in the way of plot and character. The whole thing is a bit disjointed, and we the audience can never seem to emotionally attach ourselves enough to the film to really root for Sherlock and Watson.

As for plot, it seems the directors just couldn't settle on one path. The film starts out in London but eventually finds itself in an old, Western saloon. It mixes overly elaborate, highly complex schemes with bare-knuckled, Western-styled brawls. At times, I had trouble determining whether I was watching a 19th century crime investigation or a 18th century fight contest.

As for characters, my two largest qualms are with Holmes and his antagonist, Lord Blackwood. Downey plays a fantastic Holmes, but that is to be expected: the man can adapt himself to any role. But the character that we see on the big screen is far different from the traditional Sherlock Holmes. This film presents him as a witty, slightly crazed, bad-ass action hero, rather than a classy, shrewd, quirky detective. What is he, a UFC fighter? And what about Lord Blackwell: is he a ghost? We see far too little of this nemesis, considering how much havoc he reeks during the whole film. It seems we may see more of him in "Sherlock Holmes II."

However, the scenery is incredible: backdrops, buildings, furniture, streets, wardrobes, even makeup. Moreover, the cinematography is splendid from beginning to end. I was instantly drawn into the film from the movie's opening where some brilliant pulley-shots and zooms are used. Slow motion is employed in many of the ever-so frequent fight scenes, during which Sherlock explains how he'll defeat a villain before we actually view the fight in real time. Visually — and intellectually, to explain how devastating Sherlock's attacks are — this works well.

Another interesting technique is used during which we watch an intricate montage of pictures and clips while Sherlock recollects past evens in an attempt to making sense of Lord Blackwood's magic. It's one of those requiem, through-the-mind's-eye pieces: a fragmented, fast-paced sequence that is meant to visually represent thoughts pulsing through the brain. More of this technique is applied again at the film's end to reveal how Blackwood's magic was actually quite unmagical, and I rather enjoyed learning these answers in such an aesthetically-pleasing fashion.

I rate Sherlock Holmes as a 6/10. It's definitely worth recommending to moviegoers who enjoy a faced-paced, action-packed flick. It's visual appeal and cinematographic prowess make for a fun experience. And, of course, Robert Downey Jr. is all too good an actor for any die-hard Holmes-traditionalist to avoid watching this newest Sherlock film just because of its lack of adherence to the character's literary roots. Just don't expect to forget that you're watching a movie — this one can't quite capture our emotions enough for that to happen. But enjoy the beautiful picture and impressive explosions.

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This film resembles a CSI version of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Artistic Alliance from United States
24 July 2010

by Marie Abaya

The Last week of 2009 and the theater was pack. It wasn't because of Sherlock Holmes just open but of Avatar. Everyone was lining up to see the new James Cameron film, but Audrey and I had a different film in mind. We have to admit that the line for Avatar look intimating, but the minute we enter the theater for Sherlock Holmes all that just wash away. I don't know the source material that well for Sherlock Holmes. I know growing up that he uses deductive reasoning and forensic to solve cases. He also has a sidekick name Dr. Watson and that they both solve cases together and frankly I'm happy I know so little of these Characters.

This new age film directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey, Jr as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as his helpful companion Dr. Watson gives that new fresh smell in a old and forgotten story. I can't entirely get into details on the plot of the film but the basic premise centers around a man name Lord Blackwood coming back from the grave and terrorizing the streets of London. It's up to Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson to figure out what Lord Blackwood is up too and how's he still alive after getting hung.

Guy Ritchie style of directing is a hit and miss for this film, at times you feel like you're in 1800's London chasing Lord Blackwood, but there are moments where you feel like you're on a sound stage in a movie studio lot. The one thing that Guy Ritchie succeeds in is the action sequences. The use of Holmes deductive reasoning in scenes that doesn't really call for it made you feel that you're Sherlock Holmes and figuring out ahead of time what's the next step. The story itself is very engaging and the use of flashback to make sense of scenes that wouldn't make sense without was fun and very "CSI"ish. I say this because the film itself plays out like a CSI episode. You'll get glimpses of items that are only going to make sense at the end of the film. Don't try to figure out the film before it ends, because the things they show you aren't what they seem to be.

Robert Downey Jr. acting in this film can be compared to Johnny Depp's acting in the Pirates in the Caribbean films. He became Sherlock Holmes and you forget that you're actually watching Tony Starks, another Robert Downey Jr. character from Iron Man, and watching at times a disturb but brilliant detective. Jud Law does a flawless job as his loyal sidekick Watson and they both bring a charm to these characters that made you really like them. Another notable performance came from the leading lady Rachel McAdams as Holmes witty and beautiful love interest Irene Adler. She does a fabulous job as the one female character that can stand up against Holmes.

The music from the film was also a wonderful addition. Hans Zimmer again shows why he's one of the top composers in the world.

Overall, this film resembles a CSI version of Sherlock Holmes. The acting is top-notch and if you're a Guy Ritchie fan then this film is for you. It balances the action and humor in scenes that many films are missing today.

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The Detective Is Back With A Bang

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
7 July 2010

The last time when Ritchie attempted something different, the consequences were disastrous. I'm referring to the horrible Madonna starrer 'Swept Away'. Now once again he takes a risk and makes Sherlock Holmes. It is both different and similar to Ritchie's previous works. It's larger, more expensive, more loaded with special effects and set in an older time unlike his current day gangster films. Yet the humour is very Ritchie. The characters also have shades of those from his previous works. Given that there have been numerous adaptations on one of the most famous fictitious character, the director has taken quite a risk but it was definitely worth it.

The execution is stupendous. Right from the visuals, special effects, camera-work, editing, score, lighting, sounds, choreography of action sequences to the performances, everything is top notch. The writing is solid as the story moves at a steady pace. At times it may appear far-fetched but this is wonderfully explained in the end where it is reflected that things were not as they seemed. The dialogues are smooth and witty. The mix of action, humour, drama and suspense is terrific.

Downey Jr. is outstanding as Holmes while Law is superb as his sidekicks. The latter is rather laidback and his performance comes across as very natural. Rachel McAdams pulls off Holmes's seductive classic adversary very effectively and Kelly Reilly is a delight to watch. Mark Strong is menacing as the broody Satanist serial killer.

'Sherlock Holmes' is an energetic thrillride for the eyes, ears and mind. Ritchie has created an entertaining feast for movielovers.

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