August 28th, 2015 by Calvero

In the past I have shared Sherlock Holmes fan vids, and a couple of Doctor Who. This time it’s Robin Williams.

 

http://calvero.tumblr.com/post/121406266888/tooru-book-i-made-a-new-fanvideo-i-used-the

The above video was created by tumblr user tooru-book, and it’s clips from various television and movies that Robin played in: Mork and Mindy, Seize the Day, Moscow on the Hudson, Flubber, Aladdin, Toys, The World According to Garp, and others.  The song is Florrie’s “Too Young to Remember”

I like watching this one when I want to see something of his, but I know that if I start watching Mork and Mindy, or a movie, it’ll end up being more than just a few minutes, lol

 

Posted in Mork and Mindy, movies, Nostalgia, Robin Williams, television Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

January 24th, 2015 by Calvero

A Native American, Theodore Roosevelt, a night guard, Attila the Hun, a monkey, an Egyptian Pharaoh, and the night guard’s teen aged son walk onto a bus…

A couple weeks ago I went to see Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  I had only seen bits of the first one so I had an idea of what the series was about. And I also went because I was, in a way, paying my respects to Robin. I did not become a sobbing mess like I thought I would be when it got to the scene where Robin Williams’ Teddy says goodbye to Larry. Not going to lie though, I did get choked up.
Backtracking, it was good to see Dick Van Dyke again (another person from my childhood), though only for a couple minutes.  Mickey Rooney makes an even shorter cameo in his last (?) movie (ah, another one lost in 2014!).  Sir Ben Kingsley makes a regal appearance as the father Pharoah,  and Sir Lancealot is played by Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame)

Ben Stiller returns, making an interesting straight man for a group of somewhat historical misfits.

And this was all preceded by a trailer for the upcoming Peanuts movie (seeing Snoopy fighting the Red Baron has always been one of my childhood’s fondest memories.)

Wow. So many bits of my youth all in one afternoon.

Memorable scenes: The bit with Jedediah and Octavius watching a cat video on YouTube.

Seen in the trailer where Sir Lance and Teddy introduce themselves to each other:

Sir Lancelot: Sir Lancelot, at your service.
Teddy Roosevelt: Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America.
Sir Lancelot: I have no idea what that means.

The bit in the MC Escher work, “Relativity” was very smartly done..

Hugh Jackman.  Was not expecting to see him in the movie. Loved when he broke into his Wolverine pose. Lance asks what is he doing. The woman says he’s doing “his Wolverine thing.”

Teddy saying goodbye.  That gutted me.  Didn’t cry, but…(heavy sigh) yeah.

It went viral on tumblr.

I did expect, and laugh, when Teddy gives Larry one more scare just like he did in the first movie.

One of the reasons why I like these types of movies is that you have people from various different places on the panet, and from different historical eras, all working together. And saying things that you would not expect to hear, like Larry slapping Attila the Hun and telling him “Huns don’t hyperventilate” (another one of my favorite lines)

Some extra stuff

I came across some videos playlisted on NYT’s site containing clips of the film, interviews, and trailers.  Here’s one of them.

I read a lot of professional critics saying it wasn’t that good, but I enjoyed it. Not the best movie out there, but definitely a lot of fun. A good popcorn movie.  YouTuber movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns made a good video about his thoughts on it:

Behind the Scenes

And for those of you who like behind the scenes type stuff, Movie Bloopers & Making of uploading 3 parts of various raw clips of the making of the movie.

You can see part 2 here, and part 3 here

Recommended movie for just when you want to have a fun time, and good for kids.  I’m planning on taking my kids to see it.

Posted in classic comedy, History, movies, Nostalgia, Peanuts, Robin Williams Tagged with: , , ,

December 23rd, 2014 by Calvero

So it’s Christmas time once again, and I thought I would share some of the things I like to watch around this time of year. In no real order. Except Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown always comes in first!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

What is there not to like in this classic 1965 cartoon? Everything is so perfect that I can’t imagine it any other way. The characters, the wonderful, upbeat music, how just about every line is quotable.

And it was amazing that it was made at all.

Added bonus – If you are as old as I am, you might remember the special being preceded by this CBS intro

The Blue Carbuncle

The beautiful Granada series that starred Jeremy Brett and David Burke as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in this wonderful story set at Christmastime. Ah, a Victorian Christmas! This is one of my favorite episodes of the show. Back when VHS reigned supreme this was the only episode I bought (they cost $15-20 each back then!)

This is based off the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story of the same name (text from Wikisource; audio part 1 and part 2 from Project Gutenburg, a fantastic reading!)

Mork’s First Christmas

From the Mork and Mindy tv series, this one has recently been added (though I have seen it at least a dozen times since August). Mork finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is (not a horrible plague…watch to find out his telling of his first encounter with Christmas) And what a sweet ending!

The Greatest Gift

From one of my favorite scifi shows, Warehouse 13 (I miss that show! 🙁 ), this is their Christmas episode from season 3. Something happens to Pete where he wakes up as if he never was born. The story and title comes from the short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern that led to the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Unfortunately, I am not able to find the full episode, so here is a clip from near the beginning:

If you have Netflix, it’s on there.  Amazon also has it.  Or you can buy it from Google

(Another tv episode that was inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life was also from Mork and Mindy, “It’s a Wonderful Mork“, but it’s not a Christmas episode so I don’t really include it in this list.  But it’s really good, and a bit of a tearjerker due to recent events).

It’s a Wonderful Life

There was a time when I was growing up that this movie would be on a bunch of channels, sometimes at the same time. You turn to one channel and it would be at one scene, and go to another channel and it would be at another scene. And it remains and endearing movie, full of heart and makes you realize how much you can make a difference to someone else, even if it’s a small one.

A true classic starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Henry Travers.

The Gold Rush

Not exactly a Chistimasy type of movie, but it takes place over Thanksgiving and Christmas. This 1925 silent film by Charlie Chaplin is considered to be his best. Charlie, as the Little Tramp, goes to the mountains in hopes of finding gold. He encounters a friend. and enemy, boils and eats a shoe, does a dance with rolls, and falls in love.

The below version is the 1942 (tweaked) re-release with Chaplin’s own narration (in place of the typical silent film title cards) and musical score.  While I like this one better overall, I like the story of the original better (mostly the same version, just a couple important cuts that Chaplin took out)

A Christmas Carol

Take a classic Charles Dickens story, and the 11th Doctor, and you get Doctor Who’s 2010 Christmas episode (my favorite Who Christmas episode so far, though I didn’t quite understand the whole thing about the fish and shark).  And there is the absolutely beautiful, operatic song, “Silence is All You Know

As with Warehouse 13, the full episode is not online for free (that I can find), so below is a trailer and a clip.

This episode is on Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, and a few other places.

Until next time….

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Mork and Mindy, Nostalgia, Peanuts, Sherlock Holmes, Silent movies, television, Warehouse 13 Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 29th, 2014 by Calvero

Continuing on with Chaplin’s 125th anniversary of his birth and 100th anniversary of his first film! HUZZAH!

I was listening to a song, Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and it popped in my head of a scene from a not-so-well-known Charlie Chaplin film that was never released (until a few years ago).  The song itself does not necessarily remind one of Chaplin, but the tempo reminded me of the stop motion building of his studio from the film, How to Make Movies (a kind of “behind the scenes” type movie).  And other things just fell into place.

Below are embeds of the film (no need to adjust the volume, there is no sound at all for the film), and two different places to listen to the song (your choice). I start the song right after the “Hollywood, Cal.” title card (about 0:14), and the song ends as Charlie finishes eating the lemon and skips away from the camera.

Here is the song on YouTube:

Have Spotify? (Where I first heard the song.)

It’s not a 100% match, but it does match quite a bit of it especially since it’s not an obvious song choice (Maple Leaf Rag always reminds me of Chaplin), and ends at a good spot. Fun to watch 🙂

Some thoughts on the film:

Although the film was never released to the public, Chaplin did release the beginning part of it when he put together three of his silent films together, A Dog’s Life, Should Arms, and The Pilgrim, in 1959 for The Chaplin Revue. He added music (which is wonderful! Especially for guy who couldn’t read or write music) and narrated short intros before each of the three films. Right before A Dog’s Life, he narrates parts of HTMM.

Such as the scene where the 1918 Charlie arrives at the studio, older Chaplin says “Now you see my arrival. (Charlie gets out of car) That’s me. I looked much younger there. (laughs) That was at least ten years ago” he says, 40 years later! Always makes me chuckle.

I just tried looking for it online, and (as of right now) it’s been removed and I cannot find another one.

It is an amazing look (albeit staged) at how he worked at that time of his career. And a lot of fun to see him, for a good amount of the film, as his own person, no costume. Interacting with his cast, directing, going over gags, putting on, and later taking off, his famous tramp costume, and some golf outtakes from The Idle Class.

And like many of his other films, he wrote, produced, directed it, and starred in this one.

The lemon that Chaplin eats is from citrus trees that grew on the lot. The land was covered with them, and when Chaplin build his studio, he kept a few standing.

And now I’ll head off and watch one of The Chaplin Revue collection movies, Shoulder Arms…

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Silent movies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 2nd, 2014 by Calvero

Silent Scream, parts 1 & 2
Written by Tony Lee
Illustrated by Al Davidson

A few days ago, Humble Bundle was having a major sale of dozens of digital Doctor Who comic books.with part of the sales going to charity (Sorry, so sorry, it’s over now 🙁 ).  The max payment tier was just $15 for over 80 digital issues.  I have been interested in getting the digital comic books, particularly interested in the Silver Scream issue since it first came out in 2009 (I have enjoyed the few paper DW comics that I have) but never (though close) got around to buying it.  And in the spirit of Chaplin’s 125th birthday, 100th anniversary of his films, and the excellent price, I snagged it!

At the end of series 4 episode, “Journey’s End” of Doctor Who, Donna makes a request to meet Chaplin, just as she is having a mental breakdown due to her mind melding with the Doctor’s. (And I’m just re-watching on Netflix. Oh, the feels!).  And in this issue, the Doctor “helps to finish her last wish”.

Summary (no spoilers!)
The Doctor arrives in 1926 at a Hollywood party hosted by Archie. Two things brought him here: last request by his now departed companion, Donna, and a mysterious static point in space and time.  A bunch of bad things are happening. So the Doctor can’t help but investigate it.

A Sample Page
Which is also the beginning of the story, can be found here.

So why isn’t it actually Chaplin?
So, as you can see by the cover art, it’s not exactly Chaplin. It turned out that near the end of working on the issue, IDW (comic book publisher) was not able to work our an agreement with the Chaplin estate. So they had to make some changes to the name, Archibald Maplin, and his mustache, hat, and cane.

While the artwork was pretty good in the beginning, it had some room for improvement towards the end. But there were a number of things that impressed me about the story. When I first heard about this, I was just expecting the Doctor to pop-up and share some sort of adventure. I was not expecting Mr Lee to be familiar (or well researched?) with Chaplin’s life, specifically 1926.

So how many names changed?
So due to there being no agreement between the Chaplin estate and IDW (Boo on the CE…. ((don’t hurt me!)) but they missed a great opportunity of properly introducing him to Whovians and comic book fans), a number of things had to be renamed.  Here’s all the ones I noticed, in order of appearance

  • Achibald Maplin, Esq. – The big one.  And it’s you know who C|:=)
  • Kato – Toraichi Kono. You can read more about him below in the Cameos.
  • The Great Oppressor – The Great Dictator (1940).  Chaplin’s masterful satire of Adolf Hitler.
  • Future Times – Modern Times (1936). Chaplin’s comedic social commentary on the growing machine age.
  • United Actors – United Artists.  The film company co-founded by
    Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith, Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (all pictured left) in 1919 to give them the freedom to make movies they way they wanted.  “The inmates have taken over the asylum”
  • United Actors Studio – There was no actual “United Artists Studios” during this period, but there was Pickford and Fairbanks’ Studio, nicknamed The Lot (part of it was torn down just a couple years ago 🙁 ), and there was Charlie Chaplin’s Studios (still standing! Mostly :D)
  • The Fun Fair – The Circus (1928).  As the Doctor tells Archie this film “will be one of your best films ever.”  It certainly is.

Historical accuracy

In real life, Chaplin was making The Circus in 1926.  Just as Archie tells the Doctor, the set burned down twice, and there was a really nasty public divorce battle between him and his second wife.  It was so stressful for him, that his hair went white.

The photo to the right is one of my all-time favorite photos of Chaplin.  It’s of him with his (first? second?) burned down set.  His face says it all.

And after reading the comic, now we know the *real* reason why he was having all those problems! As with the Great Fire of Rome (64 AD) and London (1666), the baddies were trying to take over and the Doctor had to stop them.  And fires broke out.

“They named a pub after you in the Elephant and Castle though. No, wait, That was for the other guy. The one in the bowler hat” – The only time Chaplin himself is referred to.  And yes, there is a pub in Elephant & Castle named after him.  I’ve been there quite some time ago (but that’s another story).  Even Chaplin had visited it.

Mentions

Mentioned were the Keystone Kops, Rudolph ValentinoHarold Lloyd (as well recreating Lloyd’s famous stunt as the Doctor and baddie hanging off a giant clock), and Douglas Fairbanks who was a big silent film star and Chaplin’s best friend.

Cameos
For these pictures, I found photos that were very close to how the real counterparts looked like around the time of the story.

      • Toraichi Kono (renamed Kato, you can see him on that sample page) who was Chaplin’s chauffeur/secretary/ bodyguard/confidant.  Kono immigrated from Japan to the US and after being in the US for a few years, applied to be a driver unknowing for Chaplin in 1916.  He became in the close circle of Chaplin’s associates. It got to the point where if you wanted to communicate with Chaplin, you went through Kono. Image to the right is of Kono and Chaplin, circa 1932.  Interesting info about a documentary of him here.
  • Buster Keaton (using his real name!), one Chaplin’s major comedic (friendly) rivals and, to many fans, his equal..  Just as he and his cameraman witness the Doctor yank Archie into the cutout window of a falling front of a house which inspires Keaton this famous bit from Steamboat Bill Jr (and,no, it’s not a stuntman, that really is Buster):
  • Laurel and Hardy (maybe?).  In the footage that
    Keaton shoots (cleverly drawn in black and white, with subtitles), we see  the Doctor and Archie chasing the baddie on a motorcycle, and they encounter two gentlemen who closely resemble Stan and Ollie, with goatees, carrying a ladder.  They would later appear in an actual episode of Doctor Who, series 6, “The Impossible Astronaut”. The three of them dance 🙂

My brief review
Pros – The Doctor and a Chaplinesque character! Good story (I always liked it when the Doctor arrives in Earth history), great nods to not only Chaplin but silent comedy in general. Fun cameos (KEATON!)

  • ConsIT’S NOT CHAPLIN! I mean, seriously?!? (but they did give it a honest go at it). Could have done away with the stereotypical person tied to the train tracks. Ahh well. Drawing was a bit off in the second issue. IT’S NOT CHAPLIN! (did I mention that already? I did?)
  • Orverall — Despite the major flaw, I really liked it. I might just get it in it’s physical form!

Where to get it?
Amazon currently has issue one for the Kindle and Kindle app, as well as the full volume of Fugitive (includes the 2 parter Silver Scream as well as following 4 issues)  The Fugitive is the first in 3 volumes (I am in the middle of the second volume, Tesseract),a big story arc involveing Emily Winter and Matthew .  If you check out the Fugitive on Amazon’s site, you can get a sneak peak at several of pages.

And of course, I put links for The Circus DVD and also Streaming on Amazon or Hulu Plus. The music, BTW, is composed and opening song sung by him :).


Extra Links
Just a few places (of many) to go for more info

Doctor Who
Official site
Tardis Data Core
a Doctor Who Wiki that also has a chat, forum, videos, episode list, etc.  Also where I found out about the Humble Bundle package!
Doctor Who Online
 – Huge fan site that provides news, information, apps, forum, and more.
Gallifrey Base – biggest fan forum (you need to register to view it) and wonderful News page
Radio Free Skaro – excellent podcast discussing all things Who
Blogtor Who – excellent blog containing news about the show

Charlie Chaplin
Official
Chaplin Then and Now – long running site that show locations that Chaplin shot at and what they look like now (or, in many cases, a few years ago)
Discovering Chaplin – wonderful blog of photos
Charlie Chaplin Is For The Ages – great tumblr blog sharing photos of Chaplin

Silent movies/comedy
Silent Era – One of the longest running sites dedicated to the silent film era
Movies, Silently – awesome blog containing review and information, and provides great info for those just getting interested in silent movies.
Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more) – similar to Chaplin Then and Now, shows present day locations of Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd films.
The Silent Clown Film Series – If you are in the New York City area, this group play silent comedies at various time of the year. Admission is free!
Nitrateville – Forums discussing both silent and talkies.
Silent Comedy Mafia – active forum focusing on silent comedy
Golden Silents – info on famous stars of that era, and a messageboard

Bonus trivia:
William Hartnell (most famous for playing the first Doctor), became inspired to become an actor after watching Chaplin.

Bonus image:
The original cover artwork for the issue, before things had to change around

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, comic books/graphic novels, Doctor Who, History Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

May 3rd, 2014 by Calvero

GMD - The EscapeCurrently I am writing a review for the most recent episode of Elementary, Paint It Black (yeah, I accidentally hit Publish earlier when I was still putting it together.  But thanks to the people on Tumblr who liked and reblogged it anyway :). Wow!) . [Edit – It’s done! Read the review here!)

Until then, here is a possibly theory of what inspired the intro to the show. Below is one of the best scenes from Disney’s “Sherlock Holmes set in the mouse world” The Great Mouse Detective .  The scene opens after Ratigan (the mouse “Never call me a rat!” Moriarty of the story) has captured both Basil and Dawson and has them tied down with various types of weapons aimed at them to all go off when the record player reaches the end of Ratigan singing “Good Bye!”.  Basil’s depressed, and Dawson’s ticked that Basil has given up hope….

And below is Elementary’s intro:

Just something fun to think about!  And I highly recommend GMD.  If you have Netflix streaming, it’s currently on there.  Loads of fun!

Posted in Sherlock Holmes Tagged with: , , , , , ,

March 17th, 2010 by Calvero

In my last (regular) post, I talked about the official video for “Discombobulate”, the main theme for the recent Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. (Hans was robbed of an Oscar! Shame on the Academy!!)

One thing I have become a fan of are fan-made music videos.  To keep in line with my last couple posts, I list below some of my favorite Holmes related ones:

Sherlock Holmes Symphony

First up is a great medley of Holmes from various films, TV, and animation (even some anime!) done to The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. Opens with scene from CSI’s “Who Shot Sherlock?” episode (which happened to air on what would have been, if he existed, Sherlock’s 150th birthday), along with scenes (not listed in order) from Jeremy Brett (but of course!), Star Trek: The Next Genereation (loved the “Elementary, My Dear Data” episode!), The Simpsons, Daffy Duck & Porky Pig, Michael Pennington (from the very enjoyable TV movie “Return of Sherlock Holmes” where Holmes wakes up in 1980s England by Watson’s great granddaughter), Peter Cushing, Ronald Howard (an overlooked actor. Played the Great Sleuth back in the 50s on TV. Minus having blond hair, he made a great Holmes!) Basil Rathbone (another “but of course!”), shot of Laurel & Hardy wearing deerstalkers, Buster Keaton (from his masterpiece “Sherlock Jr”), and many others.


Read My Mind (Holmes & Watson)

Last night I found this great video. From the title I was afraid it was going to be another slash vid, but it turned to be really really good. I watched it numerous times in a row, even getting a little choked up. Stars fast clips from the Granada series with Jeremy Brett, David Burke, and Edward Hardwicke. And with a sweet ending! The song is “Read my Mind” by The Killers. Great video on a greater friendship:

Sherlock Holmes, “Tubthumping”

Next is a very good vid taken from scenes of the Robert Downey Jr. movie. What makes this vid really interesting is that it was made before the DVD/Blu-Ray release. Clips were taken from already released scenes on the ‘net and trailers. Song is the 90s hit “TubThumping” by Chumbawamba:

Sherlock Holmes Featurette (Brett & Downey Jr>

This one combines both Brett’s and Downey’s Holmes with the song “All the Strange Strange Creatures” from the new Doctor Who series (season 3). One of the best songs from the new series (IMHO, of course). Anyway, it’s a very good combination! I’ll later post my favorite Doctor Who fan vids.

Sherlock Holmes video – Rocky Road to Dublin

And in honor of today being St. Patrick’s Day, below is also from the recent Sherlock Holmes movie. “Rocky Road to Dublin” by the Dubliners. While the song was in the movie, it’s not on the soundtrack 🙁 (whose brilliant idea was that?)

Posted in Sherlock Holmes Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

March 4th, 2010 by Calvero

As I mentioned in my review for Sherlock Holmes, I loved the soundtrack. LOVED IT!  Hans Zimmer is a genius!  And a week ago an official music was released:

Starring the composer, Hans Zimmer, along with Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey Jr (doing crazy antics. DANCE!…. but no Jude Law! Bummer!), Davey Johnstone (banjo), Anne-Marie Calhoun (violin), Tina Guo (cello), Lorne Balfe (co-wrote music), Aleksey Igudesman (another violin… the dude on the elephant), Satnam Singh Ramgotra (guy with full beard and the stand up big wide drum) Diego Stacco (crazy but awesome looking & sounding violin/viola/cello instrument), Atli Örvarsson, Bob Badami (don’t know exactly which one they are…maybe on the boat? or drumsticks?).

I wondered about the crazy locations and found the answer at Igudesman’s YouTube channel where he also has the video:

“Hans asked the musicians who participated on the soundtrack to video themselves, wherever they are in order to make this little video. Aleksey happened to be on an elephant in Thailand…”

What the video also pointed out to me was the different nationalities: British, German, Russian, American, Italian, Canadian…

Another thing I noticed: this is one of the few videos for a soundtrack where there are absolutely no clips of the film, just the cover for the CD.

And this weekend are the Oscars, and I sure hope that the soundtrack wins for best score. It should!


DVD/BluRay to be released….

According to Amazon, the movie is to be released later this month, March 30. The BluRay is where a lot of the extra features are at… bummer. I am hoping to get a digital copy so I can put it on my Creative Zen 🙂

Posted in Sherlock Holmes Tagged with: , , , , ,

December 30th, 2009 by Calvero

Watson and Holmes with his violin bow

I wasn’t sure on what to expect from the movie.  I’ve been a Sherlockian for over 20 years. I was excited.  It was the first Holmes movie in more than 20 years.  I had my doubts about Downey.  Not in his acting however or that he was not British.  One of the big complaints from some Holmes fans about Downey was the fact that he was not British. Having seen him numerous times in Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin was British) where he had to learn 2-3 different accents to cover different eras of Chaplin’s life, I knew he could handle that.

Jude Law looked excellent as Watson, and from the trailers he seemed good, but I was going to hold off final opinion until I saw them in action.

I also had never seen a Guy Ritchie movie before.  Other than having violence in his work, I really didn’t know what form he would take Holmes.

I went to the theater the day after Christmas.  It was a busy Saturday afternoon and a lot of people were outside. I stood in one of the two lines.  And as I stood there, I listened to what people were getting tickets to see.  Most were for Holmes shich made me smile and also made me nervous.  What it gets sold out before it was my turn?

“Sorry, it was just sold out.  The last ticket was to the person right in front of you”

But I held my breath and waited.

“Three for Sherlock Holmes. Five for Sherlock Holmes. Two for Sherlock Holmes…”

After serveral people on both sides getting Holmes tickets, it was my turn.

“One for Sherlock Holmes”

After the poor guy had to type in my number because the card was worn, which also added a little tension thinking that it would sell out, he gave me the little ticket to sign, then handed me the movie ticket and receipt ticket.  I smiled and headed in.
I gave it to the guy inside who was talking to a couple of the other patrons about how he was having trouble saying awake while working.

I walked in the room where it was playing.  Packed!  I looked around for a place to sit.  Down…Down…Down the aisle I went.  Finally I settled in the middle of the third row.  They were playing one of those commercials for Coca-Cola and Walmart with the young guy going through a party, singing.  I looked around.  There were young teens, older couples, and people my age or thereabouts.

Good size crowd.  Very good size.

Trailers started.  First one showed Robert Downey Jr sitting in a crowded courtroom.  It was a trailer for Iron Man 2.  After a few other trailers, the cobble streets of London filled the screen…

The Review

Robert Downey Jr as the master detective, Sherlock HolmesI was afraid I wouldn’t like Downey as Holmes, mainly due the physical differences.  It doesn’t seem right that Holmes is shorter than Watson.  And the hair didn’t seem right either.  While I watched the trailers and see Downey, I mainly saw Downey play Holmes… I didn’t see Holmes.  And I was afraid that would be too distracting.  So I decided I would go in based on the other factors, his acting (wasn’t too worried about that) and how he sounded.While it was a little distracting in looks, I quickly was able to put that aside and enjoy the film.  His accent was very good.  He sounded like I expected Holmes to sound.  I liked how he talked his way on how to attack an opponent and the result of hitting/ kicking would do to the poor soul he was fighting.  His meeting with Watson’s fiance Mary (one of the actual characters from the original  stories, first in Sign of Four).  She insists that Holmes give deductions about her, all the while Watson is trying to talk her out of it. Holmes goes through a rapid fire list of things about her, resulting in her throwing her drink in his face (I don’t think Holmes saw that coming 😉 ).

Other deductions were also great such as when Holmes has a bag placed over his head so he couldn’t see where some men were taking him.  When the bag is removed after arriving in a chair in a secret location, the host doesn’t expect Holmes to know where they are at or who the host is.  Holmes then goes through a list of smells, sounds, turns of the carriage that he observed while riding in the carriage and gives the location of where they are and who the gentleman is.

Also I liked how the film showed Holmes’ lack of socializing and “absurd” (to society anyway) way of living. which Watson hits Holmes with while being held in a pen.

Also interesting brief look into why Holmes does not socialize much during the scene with him in the resturant and the sounds and appearances of people get to him for a brief moment as he tries to block it out.

Holmes fighting, giving a left punch. From "Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist". Illustration by Sidney PagetBig arguments about the fighting scene with people saying that Holmes didn’t fight.  While he did not fight a lot, he certainly knew how to and was familiar with martial arts and how to wield a cane.  The picture on the left is from “Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”, published in 1904.

Ultimate was at the end where Holmes explains how everything happened (though I’ll let you find out what Holmes discovered.)

Things like that gave me a thumbs up for Downey (though Jeremy Brett is still my favorite Holmes).Jude Law brilliantly plays Doctor Watson

And now Jude Law as John Watson.  The guy was good. So, so good!  The look, the way he talked.  One hundred percent believable. Unlike Downey, when I looked at Watson, I saw Watson, I didn’t see Law playing Watson.  I put him right up there with David Burke and Edward Hardwicke as great.  Just like the Watson in the stories, he is faithful to his unusual friend but also brutally honest when there’s something that he does not agree with him about.

Rachael McAdams was good as Irene Adler, though I must say I am sick and tired of people putting a romantic spin between her and Holmes.  Though credit goes to the film for showing Holmes not totally interested in her romantically.  And yes, Adler is American (I’ve read some grumblings about that).  She is another character from the original canon, A Scandal in Bohemia (one of my favorite Holmes stories) which was the first Holmes short story.  And yes, she outsmarts Holmes in that.  But there was no hanky-panky with them in there.

Mark Strong was good, though a bit of the stereotypical bad guy.  In parts he kind of reminded me of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.

And hooray for them putting Inspector Lestrade in it, played by Eddie Marsan.  I was wondering if he was going to be in it, and also how his name would be pronounced.  Marsan didn’t look rat faced enough so I still will mark down Colin Jeavons as best Lestrade (from the Brett/Burke/Hardwicke series).  And the name is pronounced the same in this film as it was in the Rathbone films, with a short “a”.  When I originally read the stories, I read it with a long “a”, like in” trade”.

The soundtrack

The minute I found out that Hans Zimmer wrote the soundtrack, I knew I would like it.  Turns out that not only the main theme is great, but the whole thing is good!  Love the sound of a broken piano, it added a new fresh sound to Holmes.  While listening to it at home, I looked through a bunch of pictures of Rathbone/Bruce and Brett/Burke/Hardwicke, the music still fit.  Thumbs up for Zimmer (again)!  I am listening to it repeatedly as I am writing this review. Click hear to have a listen from the movie official site.  Just let it play and you can listen to the whole thing.  If press the triangles, it’ll just play samples.  Here’s a great article from the London Times about how Zimmer created the unique sounds: “Hans Zimmer: ‘The sound of Sherlock Holmes? It’s a broken piano'”

Overall

I had the theme song stuck in my head a couple hours after the movie, my mind a whirl wind of positive things things to say about the film.  I was smiling throughout the whole thing, totally taking up in what was going on, and trying to figure out the little mysteries as they came up.  And with all the positive things I’ve see in tweets and reviews, looks like there will be more interest in the great detective, which, for a long time fan, is always a good thing 🙂

Favorite Scenes/Lines

(Holmes pointing his violin bow at Watson)
Watson: Get that thing out of my face
Holmes: It’s not in your face, it’s in my hand.
Watson: Get that thing that’s in your hand out of my face.
———————–
Scenes with the Big Guy that Holmes fights twice, and they talk French to each other. Ha! Very good!  A Indiana Jones moment at the shipyard when Holmes throws a small hammer at him and it just bounces off. Reminds me of when Indy fought that big Nazi by the fighter plane in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
———————–
Holmes: Save your bullets Watson.
(a few seconds later they both fire their guns, Holmes doing most of the shooting)
Watson: What was that about saving bullets?
———————–
Holmes trying to unlock a door. Watson comes up and kicks the door in.
———————–

Not a deerstalker/curved shape pipe/”Elementary my dear Watson” in sight! Yay!

————————

There were a few of classic Holmes sayings. Two that I remember:

“Data, data, data.  I can not make bricks without clay”

“”It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

And finally, a cool trailer….

I had posted trailer #2 in my last regular post, but a much better one was released later:

This movie will definately be on my “DVDs to get” list!

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