Holmes/Watson forward

Mmm, Guy Ritchie, yes.

Turns out I've enjoyed every Guy Ritchie movie I've seen, and the Robert Downey Jr Holmes movie is no exception. Nice tight screenplay-- mostly didn't hit me over the head with the structural points, although they were recognizable. (Though the giant ticking clock at the end was a bit much.) The Holmesiana was excellent. So much canon made an appearance, from the bullpup and the temper to the bullet pocks on the walls to the boxing. These writers know their Holmes all the way around. And I massively loved the mega-grimy 1887 London. Excellent production design.

Loved the fight choreography. Walking-stick fighting, most excellent. So was the Ritchie directorial stylization present in those sequences.

I would have liked more definitive cross-dressing from The Woman.

Downey's accent didn't drive me bonkers. I await the judgement of my cousins overseas on that one, though. I still sort of object to his casting on principle, mind you, though I enjoy Downey's work a ton.
  • Current Music: Piano ABG : Brian McBride : When The Detail Lost Its Freedom
Yes, but...but the divine Jeremy!

I haven't decided whether I can watch this new movie. I'm so wildly in love with Brett's Holmes that it feels sort of wrong.

Kind of like how I can't actually go and see any production of 'Midsummer Night's Dream' any more, since seeing the definitive RSC production back in 1989/90. (14 times. Student return tickets were a fiver back then. It had David Troughton as Bottom and Richard McCabe as the Best Puck Ever and it even had Ian from Doctor Who.)

So you're saying this new film isn't an affront to anyone who ever, you know, read Doyle?

I hope you don't mind me butting in...

I really enjoyed the film - there was a bit more of a focus on the seamier side of London, Downey Jr.'s Holmes was a lot grittier than any other Holmes I've seen in film (not that I've seen many, but you get the idea).

I don't know if you have any feelings one way or the other on Batman, but it's kind of like comparing Keaton's Batman to Bale's Batman - both are great, they just focus on different aspects of his character - or if you're more of a Joker fan, then comparing Nicholson's Joker to Ledger's Joker, and the same pretty much applies there, although to my mind the latter comparison on both parts had more depth.

In this way, I think Downey Jr.'s Holmes had a bit more depth to him - more dissolute gentleman than gentleman, yet still very much a gentleman.

The plot was pretty good, the cinematography was awesome, the music was great -- but I couldn't tell you one way or the other on the accents (it sounded good to me, but what do I know? I haven't made it to that side of 'The Pond' to tell one way or the other with any authority, except to say that at least he didn't sound Australian).

All in all, I think it presented maybe a bit darker side of Doyle, but well in keeping with general perspectus.

I like this review of it: the grittier seamier side of Doyle, the side with the opium dens and the beggars in the street. The Doyle with coal dust and industrial grime everywhere.
Thanks for the review-let. I'm more inclined to see the film now, having heard the opinions here.

Accents are tricky things to get right, since it only takes a few misplaced syllables to throw some viewers (listeners?) out of the narrative. I try to be generous, but sometimes it's hard to be that way.

I mean, did they really have to name a major BtVS character 'Dawn'? When the 'aw' sound is the one part of his Brit-accent JM consistently fails to hit?

Anyway, appreciate the thoughts. I'm interested now. Dark usually sort of works for me...
Trust me. I've read my Doyle. I know my Doyle. I know it well enough to know when film dialog quoted the canon directly. (And it did.) And I, too, love Brett. His Holmes is a particular faithful genteel canonical Holmes. My preference is for the first-season Watson, but really, I love it all. And of course Eric Porter as Moriarty. How could I not be happy with the Granada Television adaptations?

And I still enjoyed this. It's messy and grimy and physical. There might be too much combat for your tastes. Downey might not be cerebral enough for your tastes. But if you like your Watson smart and snarky, I think Jude Law will definitely be to your taste.

And, speaking as a rationalist, I loved the confrontation at the end, and what it revealed about the plot. (Intentionally vague, there.)
I appreciate the vagueness.

Bumbling!Watson is usually what makes me turn off any given Holmes adaptation. So snark is a good.

I actually have a preference for Edward Hardwicke over David Burke, though only by a smidgeon. They're both marvellous, and do well with the Watson of their particular stage of the canon.

'The Empty House' - gets me every time.

And I also love Emma Thompson's sister as the maid 'Aggie' in the adaptation of 'CAM' -- one of the ones they took some liberties with and made feature length. "The Master Blackmailer". Loved that. CAM is so short, but there's little in the screenplay that didn't directly reference lines in the story (or extrapolate in a very plausible-for-the-time way).