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Bitter Balcony Sleuths Sherlock Holmes!!!


Sherlock Holmes

It's elementary, my dear friends, that Hollywood is running out of material. We have the upcoming "The Wolfman" based on the 1941 Lon Chaney Jr. classic and with a potential "Dracula" remake (”Sam “Avatar” Worthington is in talks to play the vampire with “The Crow” director Alex Proyas attached). Hollywood is going wayyyyy back for “new” sources.

Another revamp is this winter's "Sherlock Holmes,” and this time we go back two centuries ago (we guess our generation is not that interesting). The studio decided to add a stroke of hoodlum savvy to the clever, yet frigid hero. With bad-boy director Guy Ritchie at the helm(hopefully done with trash like Swept Away”, yikes!)and bad-boy actor Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes, this film is ends up being more brawn than brains. And that’s not a bad thing.

"Sherlock Holmes" starts with Holmes and Dr. John Watson (gentlemanly played by Jude Law) stopping a murderous cult ritual nearly executed by Lord Blackwood(Mark Strong). As the duo relinquishes credit to Scotland Yard, Blackwood’s capture seems to be just the beginning of a diabolical plan he has set up. Obviously, the plan involves setting up Holmes, who is busy spending his days in the attic conducting some experiment or embarrassing his esteemed Watson's fiance Mary Morstan(Kelly Reilly) during dinner.( Oh, yeah, he also finds time to beat a guy up to a bloody pulp for the hell of it, not quite your great-grandfather's Holmes).

Strange events and deaths occur after Lord Blackwood's hanging, spreading fear to Londoners that the deceased possessed mystic powers. Holmes and Watson jump back on the case, as personal pride and passion for adventure propels them to unravel the mystery. A mysterious American woman from Holmes’ past, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), shows up much to his delight and suspicion. How the world's greatest defective solves this one will take all his abilities and moxie. And for all you purists, a certain professor might be in the mix.

For this new "Sherlock Holmes,” the filmmakers claimed that the bare-knuckling alcoholic was more faithful to Sir Arthur's legendary detective than the methodical and monotone persona from previous incarnations. Since I haven't read the original stories by the late Doyle, Bitter Balcony takes their word as Scout's honor.

Director Ritchie ("Snatch,” "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”) is playing to his strengths in this one. He keeps it moving, has fun and humors us with colorful low-life characters. While his Sherlock Holmes is still a master of intuition, he does so like a man who can juggle with one hand tied around his back.

Holmes might be a bit too cool for his own good and that’s what holds the film back from being more than slightly above average popcorn film. While the chemistry between Downey's Holmes and Law's Watson is strong, it wouldn't have hurt to see a subtle layer that would make their friendship more meaningful. Ritchie could have made a difference showing this relationship, but perhaps that's what you get when you get vivid men like him and Robert Downey Jr. together – too much fun for their own good. "Sherlock Holmes" will keep you entertained, but like a drunken stupor, you won't remember exactly how it happened the next day.


Official website:

Sherlock Holmes


Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Written by: Simon Kinberg, Anthony Peckham, Michael Robert Johnson, Lionel Wigram, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle(Characters)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

Source of the Bitter: John Rojas

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
John Rojas on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 2:22pm

Well, this "Sherlock Holmes" does lack the range the story and character deserves. However, this is what is to expected from a Guy Richie film, flash and laughs before substance. To it's credit, he managed to make an entertaining popcorn movie with some good back ands forth acting by Downey and Law. Is this movie worth seeing again? Maybe not, but while I was there it did what it needed to do.

Que on Sat, 01/30/2010 - 12:47pm

I really wish that they didn't call it 'Sherlock Holmes'. I'd like the movie a lot more if it is a new character open for interpretation. unfortunately I read the book and worshiped that typical tall steelnerved classic detective.

Guy Richie does one thing, his movie always have up beating pace. But this Sherlock Holmesis talking too much, drinking too much, steals, falls, arrested and put in jail too many times, master of underground fight with full pocket of one liners. Watson is also strangely a martial art warrior...

5 min into the movie I found I couldn't care less for the plot, nor the character development. I sit back and brush through the movie, tried to laugh at the quick lines and went to toilet and didn't feel like missing out anything. I can see there is a chance for the movie sequel, but still, the whole movie feels plastic and deviated.

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