Elementary September 27, 2012Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
The two thousandth three hundredth and second incarnation of Sherlcok Holmes (i guess) to be made.
This is a well made pilot for a detective series. I think that this could be called almost anything and feature any character. It doesn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes but it being Sherlock Holmes once more is the hook for moi. What I’m trying to say is that these characters aren’t Holmesian and Watsonian enough to make me think this is Sherlock Holmes. Greg House felt more like a Sherlock Holmes character than Jonny Lee Millers. And the other most recent offering with BBC’s Sherlock really is the closest to the character of Holmes in recent years.
Regardless of the above this is a series I would still tune into each week if they can keep up this level of story telling and I’m interested to see where these character’s will be taken. Lucy Liu’s Joan Watson is a Watson that can stand up a little better to Holmes and is able to wound him far easier than the others it seems, maybe because she’s a woman. Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock is a little bit too apologetic and dare I say, normal. At this stage in Holmes’s life he is already off the drugs having just come out of rehab. He is shown to be keeping Bees on his roof. Something which he didn’t do until retirement in the books. The dialogue is a little bland and it’s not as sharp as witty as it needs to be for a character who can be a bit of an unlikable asshole.
Best of all it doesn’t step on the toes of BBC’s Sherlock and we can all rest easy. Many had thought that this American series might try to rip off what the BBC did and had even tried to get Steven Moffat involved in the production of the series. Another interesting thing was that Jonny Lee Miller had recently starred in the stage play of ‘Frankenstein’ with Benedict Cumberbatch with both actors swapping roles for the creature and Dr. Frankenstein on different nights. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to think that the producers of Elementary saw this and thought to capitalize on it’s popularity and the connection to Cumberbatch.
Favorite Quote: “Do you believe in love at first sight? The World must be a cynical place and I must be a cynical man thinking a woman like you would fall for a line like that. The thing is, I have never loved anyone as I do you, right now.” - Sherlock Holmes
House March 31, 2012Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
Here we have a character who has an over reliance on drugs. Is unsociable and seemingly rude to everyone he comes across. He is witty and incredibly intelligent in his field having the ability to deduce things in an instant. This is Sherlock Holmes. This is also Gregory House.
I might even say that the character of House is closer to the original inspiration behind the character of Holmes since Sherlock Holmes was inspired by medical Doctor Joesph Bell whom was a friend of Arthur Conan Doyle and could diagnose a patient upon seeing them without even needing to ask them what’s wrong.
If you keep your eyes open the homages to Sherlock Holmes are obvious. Holmes - House. Watson - Wilson. Their addresses are the same, 221 B Baker street. House has been shot by Moriarty. House’s first patient in the series is one Ms. Adler. It’s a wonderful re-imagining of the Holmes character that I am very fond of. House really got me interested in Holmes.
Of course House is very much it’s own show and thanks to Hugh Laurie House is a character that people love and feel mortified by at the same time. He acts as a man with no conscious. The game to him is solving the puzzle. The patient isn’t important. Wilson is House’s closest confidant, his conscience. But it’s his team of Doctor’s that provide the serve of the tennis ball, allowing House to bounce back their conclusions and ideas so he may ultimately get closer to the solution. Although the character seems morally bankrupt deep down he does care which is why he keeps his distance from his patients in the first place, to avoid developing relationships that will cloud his judgment. As a man he is alone and flaunts himself as a someone very comfortable with his own personality however he is deeply vulnerable if he does get close to someone and often spirals out of control when relationships with people he is close to collapse. He therefore turns to Vicodin. House’s drug to ease his leg pain which goes far beyond just physical pain.
It’s the last season of House as I write this. How’s it all gonna end? Will Stephen Fry appear as House’s smarter Brother with two limps? Will House be the final patient his medical teams treats? Will he die? Will it finally be revealed that House is a Father? (I always felt there were hints to this sprinkled throughout the series and is partly why he is who he is and why he tells people to not throw their life away on kids they don’t want)
Favorite Quote: “You think that the only truth that matters is that truth can be measured. Good intentions don’t count. What’s in your heart doesn’t count. Caring doesn’t count. But a man’s life can be measured by how many tears are shed when he dies. Just because you can’t measure them, just because you don’t wanna measure them, doesn’t mean it’s not real.” - Moriarty
Sherlock January 16, 2012Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
So i’m just sitting here now sipping on a warm cup of tea, listening to the sound of the city’s tram groaning along the tracks down below and contemplating what I have just watched. Episode 3 of Series 2 of BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ which ended with a brilliant and clever episode. More on that later.
The ‘Sherlock’ series has been around for a while. I first noticed it on IMDB back in 2009 when I was checking out Steven Moffat’s profile. A pilot episode had been filmed setting Holmes in modern day London. A nice idea I thought. But the episode had not been broadcast. The BBC chose not to show the 1 hour pilot and instead asked for it to be re-filmed as a 90 minute episode. This episode and subsequent series was finally broadcast in 2010 introducing Holmes to a new generation. Executive producers Steven Moffet and Mark Gatiss decided to make Holmes relevant to the world we live in today and although it is set in present day instead of the 19th century it is perhaps a medium that is closer to the Holmes canon than that of even the recent Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes which claims to be a truer interpretation of the character.
Certainly Ritchie’s movie does place Sherlock Holmes in his proper setting of the late 19th Century but had turned the character’s personality and quirks up to 11. Moffat’s and Gatiss’s Holmes is still the same character that is in the books. From the first episode of the series “A Study in Pink” we are introduced to the character beating up a corpse with a whip to see how the body bruises after it has died. This might seem a fun invention by the writers to make Holmes a darker, funnier character but this is actually the exact same way we are introduced to the character in the books. Beating up a corpse. The similarities continue: John Watson’s injury from the Afghan War, same as the books. In another instance Sherlock describes John’s Mobile Phone telling him that he must have got it from his alcoholic brother as there are scratches around the phone’s charger socket on his phone that shows an alcoholic who has unsteady hands must have tried to insert the charger wire. In the books the object is a pocket Watch which was scratched due to Watson’s brother having a drinking problem and scratching the watch when he goes to wind it. So that’s one of the reasons I adore this show. It is still Conan Doyale. It’s still Sherlock Holmes and john Watson and it’s a lot of fun to see how creative the writers get modernizing the character.
In no small part was the series also successful due to the talent in front of the Camera. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Cumberbatch plays Holmes as a Superhero without powers, he knows his good, he doesn’t have to hide it, he doesn’t need to be nice because he can crush you with intellect. Freeman who was know for his Role in ‘The Office’ brings the every day man quality with Watson, similar to how he was in the office in terms of being sane among the insane. For Holmes’s intelligence John is the viewing audience who requires an explanation for what Sherlock says and does. Of course the characters are modernized for the 21st Century now calling each other by their first names Sherlock and John instead of Holmes and Watson. Sherlock too is a man who no longer smokes but using nicotine patches and when he needs to think a 3 pipe problem becomes today a 3 patch problem. Fabulous. There are hints of a darker less legal drug running through Holmes’s body and mind. This is hinted at in the first episode of series 1 where 221 B baker street is being searched by police and Sherlock tries to shut John up about Sherlock never using drugs. In Series 2 Mycroft asks John and Mrs Hudson to check the apartment before Holmes returns to make sure it’s clean of any substances he could use to relieve his depression. He wasn’t talking about Cigarettes folks! I’m glad they didn’t shy away from this dark aspect of the character unlike the Guy Ritchie movie. Show some balls, Guy.
Jim Moriarty. An Irish man being the mastermind criminal of the world. Natural to make him Irish with an Irish family name. A nice twist with the introduction of the character although like others I found the character a little off the wall. A bit like John Sim’s “The Master” in ‘Doctor Who’.
Series 2 of Sherlock is probably the best bit of Television i’m going to see this year. I was completely blown away by the first episode of series 2 and the relationship portrayed between Irene Adler and Holmes. A perfect match for the character in terms of intellect and strategy. Even more than Moriarty. This is another thing Guy Ritchie dropped the ball with in his Holmes’s movie.
The final episode of Series 2… I was EXTREMELY interested to know how they would do it. Having seen different iterations of the Reichenbach falls (most recently in ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows‘) I wondered if BBC would send Sherlock to Switzerland also. Instead they took a slightly different, if no less interesting, route. I’m quite sure they borrowed some ideas from the stage play ‘The Secret of Sherlock Holmes’ in which Holmes admits to having created Moriarty himself (since in the books it’s only Holmes who sees him). To me that’s a fascinating psychological play on the character and although the idea is used they only go so far as dipping their toe in the water with it and then pulling it back. Which is good because that’s a road I think you can’t take the character back from once you go further down it. There is no actual Reichenbach falls because it’s a play on the words from the first episode of the series, meaning “revenge”. Nice touch, writers. As for Sherlock’s escape from death I would make a hypothetical guess and say that Sherlock did jump and fall softly into a truck on the street while Molly dumped a corpse dressed as Sherlock out of the window. As for Moriarty I think he’s a goner. I think this opens up the possibility of creating a new villain in series 3.
I have to say that Jeremy Brett is still “my” Holmes. Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely wonderful in the role but Brett’s performance is my favorite. Well, they are both different styled series with the ‘Sherlock’ series it’s a lot faster pace storytelling as the attention span of today’s TV audience is so low.
Oh and how fraking cool is it that Benedict Cumberbatch is going to be in the next Star Trek movie? I thought I had woken up in an alternate reality of awesomeness when I read that news and if I had been an elderly man I might have wet myself with excitement. Between his Role as Smaug the Dragon and The Necromancer in ‘The Hobbit’ and this Star Trek role and the 3rd series of Sherlock there’s a lot of great stuff coming up for the Cumberbitch fans. (no really, they call themselves Cumberbitches). Martin Freeman too will be Bilbo Baggins! Ah…it’s good to be a geek.
Favorite Quote: “All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.” - Mycroft Holmes
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows December 14, 2011Posted by oldboy in : Cinema, Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
I have just returned from the rather entertaining sequel to guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. This time round the film has a faster pace, more action and it’s funnier.
It’s a good time to be a Sherlock Holmes fan with this movie coming out in December and then next month BBC’s Sherlock series 2 will be shown and we get to watch a different and also entertaining take on Holmes, Watson and Moriarty!
We’ve all been thinking about Moriarty since the first film and wondered how he would be portrayed and by whom. There was a rumor going around when the first movie came out that Brad Pitt had been the voice for Moriarty and would play Moriarty in the sequel. That was not true however. Here he is played by an equally fine actor Jared Harris. I had thought Ritchie might have a younger actor like Pitt against Holmes in the sequel to match the Holmes he and Robert Downey Jr created for the first film which is Sherlock Holmes turned up to 11. A man of visual action. But the slightly more traditional route is taken with Harris and is a little more reserved than i expected him to be portrayed in this film. Of course the Moriarty in he novels was older and seemingly more frail. Jared Harris is quite impressive all the same and plays the character well against Downy’s larger than life Holmes. I like it.
There is more comedy in this movie and the moments are bigger and funnier than the last film. Robert Downey Jr accentuates Holmes eccentricities making the character true to form yet far funnier. It would be nice though if they gave more reflective dark moments for the character. Irene Adler’s Handkerchief and Holmes mentioning how his powers of Observation is his curse were nicely touched on but all too shortly. Fortunately we have many other iterations of the character to follow up on these darker sides. It seems for the moment the movie franchise will keep things fairly light hearted even if it’s visually darker.
Jude Law’s Watson has more to do here. It’s a difficult character to develop since he is the sidekick and in a 2 hour film with the name “Sherlock Holmes” in the title. The character won’t have much chance but here we do see more funny moments with the character and it’s a nice addition to see the wedding and more of Mrs. Watson. Their reactions to the Two Holmes gives us some very funny moments.
Guy Ritchie’s action is stupendous as usual. I don’t think of the action as overdone or over stylized for it’s so original and beautiful. It’s feast for the eyes and in particular I loved seeing the dissection of fights sequences once again in this sequel which he has worked nicely into a thrilling finale at the falls.
Sir Stephen Fry plays Holmes brother Mycroft. He plays it with the sophistication and REAL intellect that I imagine Mycroft to have and he plays it well for laughs too. Fry’s comedy background and genius is a perfect combination for this Mycroft. It’s interesting to note that Guy Ritchie may have nabbed the idea of Fry as Mycroft from “House” which Hugh Laurie had stated as wanting to do an episode where House couldn’t solve the case and would have to bring in his older, intelligent Brother (Fry). Fry had joked to Laurie that he would come in as a man with two limps!
Reichenbach Falls. Well it’s not actually the real Reichenbach but the movie went where I was hoping and fidgeting for it to go. When Holmes and Watson decide to go to Switzerland there was a large intake of breath by the audience. There was a mutual sense of excitement of what comes next. I was wondering how Holmes was going to get out of it since Watson actually sees him go over unlike the books. But suffice to say it’s cleverly done. And! we get to see it happen again in less than a month on BBC’s Sherlock. Joygasmic.
Favorite Quote: “That is my curse”- Sherlock Holmes
Without a Clue October 24, 2011Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
One of the earliest movies I remember seeing on Home Video Rental and my first Michael Caine movie. One of my favorite Actors. It was also my first introduction to Sherlock Holmes. Without A Clue is a comedy with Sherlock Holmes and Watson with their roles reversed. Ben Kingsley is John Watson the brains behind the detective. Caine as Sherlock acts as the legend that represents those brains. We only see Michael Caine portray the archetype Holmes when he is infront of a crowd of people explaining in brilliant fashion how he deduced the case. Kingsley’s Watson is the more sophisticated, elocuted of the two characters and props up Caine’s Sherlock with knowledge while Caine provides the charm.
Having two great British actors portray two great British characters certainly sounds great but this film is played for laughs. As I child I remember loving it. Viewing it again every few years I notice the humor is a little more childish, characters are a bit stereotyped in the way they are played. It’s pretty much a fun film. I can only wonder how great it would have being if it had been played straight up instead of a comedy. An interesting addition to the Holmes legend of movies.
Favorite Quote: “Character? Are we talking about the same man who once declared with total conviction that the late Colonel Howard had been bludgeoned to death with a blunt ‘excrement’?” - Watson
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes March 28, 2011Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
This is a darn fine Sherlock Holmes movie by Director Billy Wilder and it’s way ahead of it’s time.Not only does it poke fun of the myths that have grown up around Holmes but also directly deals with his substance abuse, the question of his sexuality and his unmentioned failures. It’s not a shocking reveal of some unearthed Holmes secret but rather an examination of the character and his more notable flaws. It’s not a drastically different character, just a more human one that is portrayed so well and is a worthy predecessor to the Granada series, BBC’s Sherlock and in part to the recent action packed Guy Ritchie movie. Each of them have tried to ground Holmes down to Earth a little more and dispel some of the casual stereotypes we associate with the character.
Originally this was to be a 165 minute movie and structured as a series of adventures. It was later edited down to 125 mins which explains why the first 15 minutes of the film don’t bear any relation to the rest of the films plot. A lot of websites have this down as a comedy. It has funny moments but I wouldn’t call it a comedy. Rather serious in some parts and the ending may leave you with tears that are not those of laughter.
Mycroft Holmes is played here by Christopher Lee a guy I just love to see in movies. He pretty much captures the spirit of Holmes more intelligent, powerful and somewhat smug (with good reason) brother. It’s a role that Lee can really chew on and I believe the character of Mycroft and even Sherlock Holmes lend themselves to his acting talents.
The film is not action packed, it’s at a slower pace and does play like a story right out of the pages of Conan Doyle, perhaps because it was filmed as separate stories. But elements resemble some of the original stories, Gabrielle Valladon could almost be a Irene Adler although I never quite believed Holmes loved Gabrielle, he just had a lot of affection for her. I enjoyed the change of pace to the most recent Guy Ritchie movie which unfortunately couldn’t get made without some serious action sequences to endear itself to modern audiences. Unlike the shocking revelations of “The Seven Percent Solution” we have here a movie that does not stray from the core of the character but rather delves into it without the need to shock and mystify.
Favorite Quote: “Some of us are cursed with memories like flypaper. Stuck there is a staggering amount of miscellaneous data, most of it useless.” - Sherlock Holmes
The Seven Percent Solution January 23, 2011Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
Sherlock Holmes is a fascinating character, to people not so familiar to the character he seems to brim with invulnerability and superiority. Like a superhero, he is above pettiness and things that lower people to poor standards. Yet he was a man who was addicted to Cocaine. A seven percent solution to be precise.
But would Sherlock Holmes really be a man weak enough to succumb to that?
This movie based on Nicholas Meyer’s Novel seems to think so. Nic Meyer, is the man who Directed Star Trek II and VI, the writer of Star Trek IV and a self proclaimed Sherlock Holmes fan. His Star Trek movies is sprinkled with references from it, see Star Trek VI to discover which Trek character is related to Sherlock Holmes!
We may assume that today Cocaine is bad. Mmmkay. But in the 1880s it was used in various things to help relax people. Heroine too was taken by people in the 19th Century. At the time, the addictive effects of such substances were unknown and the thought was that only those of a weak mind became addicted. Yet clearly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle saw it as a dangerous drug back in his time, having Watson scold Holmes for it’s use.
In the Granada TV series of Sherlock Holmes, the episode “The Devils Foot” we see Holmes give up Cocaine. Jeremy Brett was worried that the character’s addiction would be a bad influence on the young audience that viewed the show. Holmes buries his syringe on the beach and empties the cocaine solution onto the ground. Brett sought and received permission from Dame Jean Conan Doyle to have Holmes “kick the habit.” In the 2009 Movie “Sherlock Holmes” the character experiments with something that is potent enough to make him hallucinate and in the 2010 series “Sherlock” when police raid their flat John protests, telling police that they won’t find any drugs. Sherlock promptly tells him to shut up.
In the movie “The Seven Percent Solution” the character of Holmes has cracked and has become severely delusioned that a man named “Moriarty” is trying to kill him. Yet in this movie Moriarty’s threat is all in Holmes mind. The Napoleon of crime seems to be nothing more than an old man that Holmes is tormenting with accusations. But why? Watson and Holme’s brother Mycroft (played by Charles Gray who also plays Mycroft in the Granada series) decide to lead Holmes to Vienna to get some help from some dude named Sigmund Freud.
Holmes goes cold turkey and in his recovery Sigmund tries to get to the root of what is in Holmes’s mind to make him take cocaine. He doesn’t believe that it is to comfort Holmes from the monotonously of life. He believes there’s something more to his usage. While this is happening another mystery unfolds around them with patients at a hospital disappearing. The new case gets Holmes back into his much needed element of crime solving. Freud too is a quick learner of Holmes method and is also on the case with him.
There’s always something unsettling when the hero of literature or film goes off the deep end. I think there’s different ways to handle it. Here Holmes seems rather pathetic while Freud shines as the man with the answers, he even cracks some mystery behind Sherlock himself. Maybe that’s my problem with this film. Holmes never actually deals with this. It’s not confronted and defeated. By the end of the film he is cured but only as a man brought back to normal. He didn’t overcome his darkness. The revelation of his past doesn’t really sit right with me. It rewrites over Holmes canon and doesn’t make it better. The original relationship between Holmes and Moriarty is far more interesting as two great minds locked in battle. I find Holmes surviving his near death more believable than the alternative presented here.
Alan Arkin shines as Sigmund Freud. The focus of the film should have been on him. Nicol Williamson as Holmes I was less impressed with after being spoilt by other actors who have played the character with gravitas. Robert Duvall over does it with the British accent which is obvious from the moment you first hear him speak. Laurence Olivier as Moriarty, well, unfortunately one of the finest actors is hardly in it and they had him play one of Holmes’s greatest enemies as a scared man who is nothing like the real Moriarty. Ah! seems like such a waste! What might we have seen if he had played Conan Doyle’s Moriarty….
I would have liked to have seen the story take place after his battle with Moriarty. It would be interesting to see the character deal with the addiction over the years through travels and self discovery. But in the end I still like Holmes own reason for taking cocaine and find it more valid. Life is just too boring sometimes.
Favorite Quote: “I never guess: it is an appalling habit, destructive to the logical faculty. A private study is an ideal place for observing facets of a man’s character. That the study belongs to you exclusively is evident from the dust: not even the maid is permitted here, else she would scarcely have ventured to let matters come to this pass.” - Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes December 31, 2009Posted by oldboy in : Cinema, Sherlock Holmes , 2 comments
This is a great start to a franchise that is sure to be a trilogy of movies. Robert Downey Jr. is likely sitting quite happy now with Iron Man in one hand and Sherlock Holmes in the other and he plays the characters so very well. In particular Holmes, a man who can’t understand the outside world, who has no interest in it. He doesn’t even know that the sun revolves around the earth for such matters do not interest him. Only the game, the mystery, the questions and the investigation. He delights in examining and pulling it apart.
The character of Holmes is done justice here, he isn’t a nice man, he can be rude, he is messy, he takes cocaine. But he is brilliant. Intelligent in his field. I have noticed a lot of people saying that they didn’t expect the character to be so dark. In reality that is true to the character. He is a dark character. One has to only look at the books or even at the Granada series featuring Jeremy Brett to see that he character is a dark and brooding one. Certainly the film has more comedic moments and action in it but in a film set up to be a franchise in front of a wide audience i can’t see it not being done in this way. I would love a very canon Holmes story, the action was always in the investigation rather than physical acts but the action in this movie doesn’t make this any less enjoyable. Again, Holmes is an accomplished boxer and has been known to gamble when he needed rent, so there isn’t really anything in the movie that detracts from the character, it takes a lot of Holmes background and builds onto it on screen.
I had expected there might be a Brad Pitt Cameo as Moriarty at the end. I waited till the end credits to see if it were true but alas no. While it’s an interesting piece of casting I’d rather see another actor take on the role. I feel Pitt is too much of a likeable face to match the description often given to Moriarty. Downey is well cast as Holmes and brings more gravitas to the roles then previously rumored Sacha Baron Cohen might have. Dare I say that with previous dabbles in exotic medications Downey has more in common with Holmes. I would rank his interpretation as one of my favorites next to Peter Cushing and Jeremy Brett. Usually I prefer Robert Downey Jr in more serious roles but I enjoyed his performance in this a little more than I was expecting.
Jude Law is an interesting Watson and again makes Watson a little tougher taking his military background and adding a youth and energy to the character that we haven’t seen before. It’s not the first time Law has featured in a Holmes story, he did appear in “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” dressed as a Woman! I won’t say more. I’m certainly glad he got this role over Russell Crowe.
Mark Strong as lord Blackwood was kind of a weak villain.Perhaps because Moriarty was lurking in the shadows in this movie detracted from the dangerousness of this character. It’s a bit like SPECTRE in the Bond movies, the baddie is part of a bigger organization we know there is something far worse behind him. Also having him be a practitioner of the dark arts also made the character seem a little weak when put up against Holmes since Holmes himself doesn’t accept the supernatural answer to Blackwoods powers therefore making him less of a real threat unlike the very real danger of Moriarty. I found it interesting that the beginning of the movie with the sacrificial ritual was similar to scenes from the movie “Young Sherlock Holmes” which I had seen a few days previously.
Irene Adler. I very much like that they added this character to the movie since she has always been considered Holmes true love. I like that they already have an established relationship when we see them in the film. My only nitpick is that the character has a little less class and was a bit more overtly devious against Holmes especially when I saw the friends she was keeping company with. Yikes.
Love the score, the old London city, the dissected fight scenes. Guy Ritchie really brought the world of Holmes and Watson to life and I can’t wait for the next instalment. My Hopes for the sequel.Well, I’d love to see Holmes and Moriarty going off reichenbach falls at the end of the next movie. I hope the character’s interact much like their first meeting in the books, each already knowing what the other would say therefore making it pointless to actually say anything. Whatever is next this is a bright beginning (ala Casino Royale and Batman Begins) with a strong future ahead.
Favorite Quote: Madame, I need you to remain calm and trust me, I’m a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release. - Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes January 28, 2009Posted by oldboy in : DVD/Video/T.V., Sherlock Holmes , add a comment
My first introduction to Sherlock Holmes (and the excellent Michael Caine) came at a young age with the viewing of “Without a Clue”. Until then I knew nothing of the great detective and while ” Without a Clue” was funny to watch it didn’t represent an accurate interpretation of the character,with Holmes being more of a slapstick detective and Watson played by Sir Ben Kingsly been the brains behind the great detective.
As I grew older I learned about the character, however unfortunately it was a rather stereotypical, cold character that had little behind the image of the cap and cowl and pipe. Too perfect and flawless. What has grown around the character is an image that is brilliantly intelligent on the outside but lacking any soul on the inside.
When I discovered the Granada series starring Jeremy Brett all my previous views of the various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes were completely shattered. I must admit at first I found it strange that Brett’s Holmes was nothing like the one I had grown up knowing. But the fact was that Brett’s Holmes and the series itself was closer to the source material than any had been before.
Jeremy Brett had previously been up for the role of James Bond, first for “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and second for “Live and Let Die” which Roger Moore eventually got. I personally think Brett is far more suited to Holmes or a Bond based closer on the books. He himself had a strong desire and a big hand in adhering to Holmes Canon, basing his Holmes characterisation on the actual stories written by Doyle and fighting the writers to preserve the source material even when minor changes were made.
To quote Brett’s own words, he is a “becomer”. He became Sherlock Holmes in this series and lived with the Character as part of him even though it wasn’t necessarily a character he would want to know face to face. He plays Holmes with such energy as the character himself holds when in the midst of solving a crime. Leaping over couches, throwing papers about. What you see on screen is Sherlock Holmes.
The relationship between Holmes and Watson is a beautiful one, a wonderful friendship that wipes away the caricature of the bumbling Watson and smug Holmes in previous television and film media. Holmes is confident and Watson appreciates the man’s intelligence and skill but also is critical of his lacking abilities in other departments. Watson is a battle of wits for Holmes at times and the conversation between the two can often end in stalemate with each holding his respective view intact.
Doctor John Watson was played by David Burke in the first two series with his final performance as Watson being rather fittingly “The Final Problem”. Burke played Watson as a kind hearted and competent friend with a strong Gentleman Manner and a sense of wonderment with equal dismay at Holmes manner of intellect and cold heartedness. At times he would stand up to Holmes which presented a delightful argument of each other’s values and beliefs.
When Burke left the series he suggested Edward Hardwicke as his successor. Hardwicke’s Watson was equally kind and Gentlemanly and sounds very much like Burke. When he took over the role he did his best to honor the Watson that Burke had portrayed, even wearing lifts in his shoes to match his height. Both on and off screen Hardwicke and Brett were the best of friends and even starred together in the Stage play “The Secret Of Sherlock Holmes”. Hardwicke played Watson for the remainder of the series.
For too long I had the wrong image of Sherlock Holmes in my head which had put me off knowing more about the character. But now thanks to the devotion of the leading man anytime I think of Sherlock Holmes it will be of his Holmes and not the past incarnations. Jeremy Brett will forever be my Holmes.
Favorite Quote: What a lovely thing a rose is. There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion. It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again we have much to hope for from the flowers. - Sherlock Holmes - The Adventure of the Naval Treaty