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firecat goes to the movies

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows isn't the best movie ever, but I found it very entertaining. I'm not going to pay much attention to the reviews of M. LaSalle of the SF Chronicle in the future. (He gave it 1 star out of 5.)

Four competent women. But as far as I know, they never talk to each other. (I missed a few minutes in the middle.)

What Moriarty said about Irene Adler's death makes no sense. In my personal headcanon, I don't believe she's really dead.

Nekkid Stephen Fry!!!

There's so much slashy (not-really-sub)text that I don't know what any of the folks who write slash about this version of Holmes have left to write about. It's fun to watch though. I also find it amusing to see critics who apparently aren't familiar with fandom try to make sense out of it.

This was the first movie where I really liked RDJ as an actor. The Iron Man movies were OK and I loved the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie but not because of RDJ's acting particularly; I thought he overdid it in all those movies. But in this movie either I clicked with what he was doing or he was doing it slightly differently in a way that worked for me. I like JL's acting better though.

I recognized Noomi Rapace's face and it drove me crazy trying to place where I'd seen her before. I ended up having to look her up on IMDB to figure it out.

A lot of critics complained about Guy Ritchie's use of slo-mo and other weird effects. I guess I'm an unsophisticated movie-goer, because I liked a lot of it.

I've never seen Jared Harris before and I was glad Moriarty wasn't played by someone I recognized. (Gary Oldman was apparently considered. He would NOT have worked.)

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/755924.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
I always think of Jared Harris as "Young Will" from the "lost in space" movie with Bill Hurt.
Jan. 10th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
Jan. 10th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
I liked it, but didn't love it. clawfoot and I saw it at a discount-price showing, and when we came out, we both agreed that we were glad to have seen it, but also glad to have paid only the cheap fare to do so.

It fell short for me in a few ways. First, the kept coming up with these interesting characters and then sidelining them or not giving us enough about them. All of the competent women you mention fall into this for me. Also, the sharpshooter henchman, and the leader of the underground movement. I think I would have preferred a deeper movie about all the "side characters" than a movie focused on Holmes/Watson/Moriarty, who were, to me, the least interesting characters in the story.

Much more importantly, though, I felt like it lacked any implication of detecting or solving or working through an intricate mystery. The first movie did that better, I think. In neither case did it lay out a trail of clues that the viewer could follow, per se, but I think the first movie did a better job of giving you the sense that that's what Sherlock Holmes was doing, I think. The result, to me, felt like *just* an action-and-explosions movie, whereas the first felt, to me, more like a detective movie with lots of action and explosions.

I didn't mind the slow motion and camera tricks in many scenes, and I thought it actually added a lot in terms of drama and tension to the scene where they were escaping the factory and running through a forest with lots of gun and artillery fire from behind. I did think that the scenes where Sherlock (and in the one case, also Moriarty) thinks through a fight, comes up with a plan, and then executes it were poorly done in this one, less feeling like the application of intellect and more feeling like a psychic ability, to me.

Later the same day, we watched the first episode of season two of the BBC "Sherlock," and both agreed that we enjoyed it a lot better.
Jan. 10th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yep, definitely a failure on the sidelining, and on the lack of detecting. In this movie it's implied that Holmes looks around a room seeing one thing after another and then whammo coming up with the answer. That makes him more of a superhero than a detective. Watson and Simza do a little actual detecting in the ballroom scene.
Jan. 10th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
There are reliable film critics whose judgment you can trust, because they will praise what you love and scorn what you don't.

There are equally reliable film critics whose hating of a film is a surefire sign that you will love it, and when they praise something you know you can safely avoid it.

Mick Lasalle is the most useless film critic ever. Both his raves and his pans are uncorrelated with the actual merits of the films he reviews.

Have you seen Sherlock, the Steven-Moffat-penned series set in contemporary London? ("I'm not a psychopath, Anderson," Holmes says contemptuously to a hostile police officer, "I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research")
Jan. 10th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
Good to know that LaSalle is reliably not to be trusted.

I haven't seen the Moffat Sherlock yet, but I'm looking forward to it once it bubbles up to the top of our Netflix queue.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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