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Hand me a magnifying glass ... the second round is all in the details

posted by Thom on Friday December 16th 3:41am

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


Let me start off with, WOW! The game is most assuredly afoot in the second rendering of Sherlock Holmes. I am at this very moment still riding an adrenaline high just from the movie. Perhaps a small bit from the drive home with the winds whipping about. Passed a dangling street light at 96A and 5&20. Green, Yellow and then Red and pointing in all directions as it swung about.


The movie however, had no stopping points. A couple of slow moments but otherwise full steam ahead. Holmes was shown at his absolute master detective best. Robert Downey, Jr. was simply superb as the eccentric sleuth. I think he channeled his inner-Depp for this.


The movie follows the move-countermove between Professor James Moriarty (portrayed by an equally brilliant Jared Harris) and Holmes. You feel it right from the start. It was nice to see the original characters from the first movie return even for cameos. But it's the new roll of Holmes' brother that really steals scenes. Stephen Fry is a god-damned comic genius who can play any part with a half-smile and twinkle in his eye. His turn as Mycroft Holmes was inspiring and very reminiscent of his part in V for Vendetta.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsWe travel through picturesque locations including some from the various books as well as some newer locales. A couple of scenes invoke scenes from other movies or books, the train ride on Hogwarts Express or the industrialized war monger factory from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the graphic novels, not so much the 2003 movie). Presented in high-resolution Sony digital cinema format, it's just like watching it on your 40-plus-inch-screen-1080p-huge-megahertz-refresh-rate-LED-LCD TV at home. Just stunning.


Sherlock's madness has matured to true manic-genius as he unfolds the Professor's grand scheme. The two dance about one another with professional respect and moves within moves as they try to out think each other.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of ShadowsAs the two nemeses spiral inevitably towards the finale, Dr. Watson dances along with them and proves an essential team mate to Holmes. You get to see the grim military man eluded to and hinted at in the first movie and Jude Law lends the conscionable doctor a level of sophistication and steel resolve while projecting the good doctor's foibles with glee and humor. Watson's “stag party” could be a movie all its own and rival any of the bachelor party movies of the 80s.


 The movie's cinematics shine under Guy Ritchie's direction. From the romantic sweep of period Paris to the utilitarian German town where Moriarty stockpiles against the inevitability of World War. The attention to details throughout the movie would make Sherlock proud.


Honestly, the best part of the whole movie was that it wasn't in 3D and wasn't more than $8. A holiday marked by limited budgets “Sherly” didn't require the addition of three to four dollars to add 3D to a movie that certainly didn't need it.


Since it's been a while since I wrote one of these I'll reiterate my rating system. It's not about stars or half stars. It's not a thumbs up or down. Nope. It's about how many times I plan to go see this movie again. A solid minimum of 2 more trips to the theater are in order for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. And you can certainly count on me buying the super-duper-special-bluray-dvd-downloadable-and-special-features-loaded copy of this movie when it goes to the stores.


Adrenaline abating … heh, it's 3:30 am. Time for bed. See you at the movies.


Some Additional Standout Players:


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Thom is Lead Web Designer at FingerLakes1.com and a former Network Producer for IGN.

As an avid movie goer and collector of DVDs, he spends a decent amount of time learning about upcoming releases. Currently, he owns over 240 DVDs of varying genres.

As a rule, he'll watch pretty much anything once though he tends to avoid horror flicks. Frequently he'll watch a movie many times in a short span after release to really get a grasp of the movie.

Some recent favorites:
Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2
Casino Royale
V for Vendetta
The Dark Knight
Iron Man I & II
and the Ocean's Trilogy

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