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PCR #509 (Vol. 10, No. 52). This edition is for the week of December 21--27, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Sherlock Holmes"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Sherlock Holmes"  by Mike Smith
A Very Fanboy Christmas 2009  by ED Tucker
Sex in Japan: How To Have A Truly Merry Christmas  by Jason Fetters
The Top 30 Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Actresses, #12-9  by Lisa Scherer
My 10 Favorite Films of the "00" .... A Very Merry Big Box Christmas .... Christmas @ The Waters Chick-Fil-A  by John Miller
Browns Hire Holmgren .... Goodbye 1 And 15, Hello 2 And 14 .... Bruce Allen Hired By Redskins .... Saints Go Down .... Urban Meyer Resigns .... Top Sports Talk Topics Of The Year .... New Segment On Sports Talk ....  by Chris Munger
Final Thoughts .... The Year In Review: Part Ii .... Next Year .... But Mike, What About... .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2  by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 8 mins

I can’t think of a character that has endured as long a life on film as Sherlock Holmes. I first learned of the great detective through Saturday afternoon movies. Basil Rathbone starred as the debonair Holmes while Nigel Bruce played his bumbling assistant, Watson. Despite a long career it was the role Rathbone was best known for. Of course, he not only played Holmes in 14 movies but in over 200 radio plays as well. Almost since the medium of film was introduced, Holmes has played a role in its progress. Even films inspired by the characters, from the animated “Great Mouse Detective” to Gene Wilder’s “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Older Brother” (who decries his siblings accomplishments by referring to him as Sheer Luck) have kept Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character alive and well more than a century after they were first written. This week the detective returns in a new adventure, one that’s anything but elementary.

The place: London. The time: the late 1800s. We find Sherlock Holmes (Downey, Jr.) in mid-battle. His opponent is getting in some good punches but now Holmes uses his deductive powers to analyze his attack. Moments later he is the victor. That evening he returns to 221 B Baker Street, the home he shares with Dr. John Watson. Watson is in the process of moving his things out as he is soon to be engaged. But first they have some unfinished business, which involves the capture, and later execution, of Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). Things go well. Lord Blackwood is hung and pronounced dead by none other than Watson himself. However, when several of Blackwood’s enemies begin dying, it appears the good Lord has found a way to cheat death.

First the good news: when the action is moving, the film is an outstanding adventure. When it’s not….well, then it’s not. Director Ritchie has put together an incredible series of set pieces but unfortunately has strung them together with a lot of unnecessary dialogue. As the title character, Downey, Jr. shines, playing Holmes as a quiet, thoughtful man who isn’t afraid of using his martial arts skills when required. Law steers Watson away from the bumbler that Nigel Bruce portrayed. Here he is confident and strong and a valuable part of Holmes investigations. McAdams rises up above the standard lady in distress mode while Mark Strong, who plays Lord Blackwood, has no real energy on screen. Plus, for whatever reason, the way he is photographed makes him look like Andy Garcia if he was in the big head mode of the “Goldeneye” video game.

The look of the film is impressive and, as I mentioned earlier, the action scenes, especially one that takes place on a ship building platform, are well done. The film drops hints of Holmes’ main adversary, Professor Moriarty, and sets itself up well for a sequel. Hopefully the next one will be about thirty minutes shorter.

On a scale of zero to four I give “Sherlock Holmes”  

This week's movie review of "Sherlock Holmes" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.