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A pleasant adaptation - but some missing clues!
I enjoyed this episode more than I was expecting to, based on some of the other reviews here. The reviews are incorrect however - this story is from EARLY in The Canon (1891), not late - so it came as no surprise that the conclusion of the reviews was well, a matter of opinion. The fact that Granada chose to mix and match stories from 'The Adventures..' into 'The case-book..' was odd, but does not change the order in which the author wrote the originals!
The episode featured the usual remarkable performance from Jeremy Brett and an excellent supporting cast. Peter Vaughan was wonderful as Turner. The silent exchange of glances between him and Holmes was glorious, moving and superbly executed by both actors, even if not quite true to the original (where Holmes 'reads' Turners weary look, rather than having an 'eyes only' conversation with him!).
Odd that a screenplay so faithful to the original should omit both the coooeee and the 'grey cloth' clues. Why? It made no sense! I'm sure Holmes himself would struggle to explain THAT decision....especially as it robbed him of the 2 of the strongest links in his chain of events.
Still, the wonderful acting, superb sets and still generally excellent production values (notwithstanding the above) were enough to make this episode worth watching and nearly as good as the earlier ones, despite dear Jeremy's failing health.
That magical tear
To me and clearly a great many others, Jeremy Brett was the man born to play Holmes. No-one else can or will ever come close.
The point that struck me about this particular episode above all others, is perhaps the most 'singular' moment of the entire Granada series....Holmes's tear.
If you somehow missed it, re-watch it. If you've seen it, did it not affect you? It goes way beyond the, 'softer human emotions' mentioned by the author. It seemed to come straight from Brett's heart.
That he allowed this definitive portrayal of Holmes to be so very human (and caused me to shed a tear in the process) was quite simply, extraordinary.
As a footnote, I wasn't sure about the overtly 'Mafioso' theme of this episode. Though there are clear Mafia references in the original, I felt the screenplay became just a bit too G-dfatherly. Didn't spoil it though, still 10/10!
This superb film represents a coming of age for director Paddy Considine. It's a work of genius and a genuine work of art.
Stunning performances are delivered by all of the cast members, right down to the minor roles. The wee lad is brilliant! However the stage is stolen by the 2 lead actors, Mullan and Colman. Their chemistry brings tears to the eyes on a number of occasions. Marsan is brilliant too. His character is at times more frightening and sinister than Mullan's, which is obviously what was intended!
The film is at times very hard to watch because there are literally no punches pulled at any point. The ride is worthwhile though - it is utterly compelling, deeply thought provoking stuff. Just brilliant.
An underrated film which is sick, funny and sad
Just gonna do a quick review here, there's way too many reviews that go on way too long about the the whys and wherefores of this movie.
It's a relatively low budget horror film about a very loony, very angry scientist who clearly does not like humans. Yes there are clichés in the film but there's also much originality.
More than anything else,this is a film noir!
Oddly for a horror, you find yourself initially feeling annoyed and angered by the stupidity of the hapless female victims (nothing unusual there) but strangely sorry and saddened for them at the end.
Contrary to what many have said, I thought the acting was commendable considering the tough, awkward working conditions.
In summary, forget any dumb references to "100% medically accurate". That's just silly.
Forget the whys and wherefores - that's just missing the point.
Take this film for what it is - a sick, black comedy horror about a sick loony scientist and his sick obsession.
You won't need a vomit bag, really.
A gripping tale of talent, rivalry and tragedy
My wife and I saw this last night at a cinema that had no spare seats. It was the second attempt at seeing the film...the first attempt saw us queueing for 15 minutes, only to see the film sell out before we got our tickets!
Well now we've seen it, we understand the popularity. It's beautifully filmed, perfectly narrated and full of footage even ardent F1 fans like us (well, we were in the 80s and 90s hey days!) have simply never been privvy to before.
On board footage, better than anything seen at the time or since, gives a feel for the edginess and ferocity of the evil, raw and animal like F1 cars of the day.
Behind the scenes footage portrays the drivers as ordinary guys, moaning and joking about the day's work ahead of them.
Personal and private footage of the main characters shows their humanity in a new light. Who'd have thought anyone could ever like Ron Dennis - but he comes across really well in this film!
This film gives a real insight into the rivalry between Senna and Prost, how it developed, how deeply it ran (into a loathing of each other) and how they finally buried the hatchet completely.
It documents the tragic and devastating events of the 1994 Imola GP in a way that has you screaming to yourself, "don't do it, Ayrton...you know everything is wrong!!". You see first hand just how sincerely Senna wanted NOT to drive at that awful event, but how his competitive spirit apparently wouldn't allow him to sit it out.
No film is perfect. In our view, one slight criticism is that the film demonises Prost just a little too much for comfort. Clearly Senna is the hero and Prost the panto villain, so there's inevitable bias towards Ayrton. But Prost is really laid into, with lots of insinuation regarding his behaviour towards Senna and others, and also about his relationship with Jean Marie Ballestre. It may all be completely true, who knows, but it's not fair to imply that Prost was ENTIRELY to blame for the breakdown in his relationship with Senna, is it? Ah well, whatever. It makes gripping viewing and Prost comes out of it OK in the end!
Ultimately, the film gives you a new insight into Ayrton Senna, a deeply misunderstood driving genius who was taken from this world much too early by a G-d who couldn't wait to have him! It's gripping, thrilling, moving and frankly unmissable.
Go and see it, you'll be very glad you did.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
A real mystery of a film
There was nothing appealing about Fantastic Mr Fox. The dull plot and freaky "looking into the camera" moments were bad, the jerky and slightly creepy animation was (to me) unsettling. Thankfully, the characters voices were so mono tonal that they put me out of my misery and I fell asleep after about 40 Minos. I woke up up at intervals, glad when I woke finally and the end titles were playing! My dear wife and 11 year old son had somehow endured the whole film without snoozing, they didn't enjoy anything about it either.
An absolute mystery to us how it's managed to score 8/10 on the usually spot on IMDb, it's like some people have watched a different film! Anyway, our advice is that it's utterly awful. Avoid at all costs.