In the movies with Phlip -- Sherlock Holmes (no spoilers, I promise)

I don't know that I will be doing this every time that The Katie and I go to the movies, which it seems I have done more of this year than many before it, but I am compelled to talk about this.
I also led into an album review post I made with a similar disclaimer, but have since done another drop or 3 reviewing albums that interested me for whatever reason at the respective times. That ALMOST led to me discussing my disappointment with Alicia Keys' album last weekend.

This is not about that.

Went to see Sherlock Holmes yesterday afternoon.
Now, as a fan of Guy Richie movies and a within-the-last-few-years rediscovered fan of Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder anyone?), my hopes coming into this were quite high, and I will concede that my opinion of the film may have been swayed by such.
Look, I am a reader and a writer, very much of both, but I have NEVER read the Sherlock Holmes novels, so there is nothing to ruin here. I understand that the movie is an amalgamation of different and some non-canon elements in the name of making a movie of it, but my coming into this as a 'virgin' so to speak saves my opinion from any other influences that I might not have already named in the last paragraph.

I will easily call this my favorite movie of this year, and I will not be seeing Avatar until sometime in the new year. The movie kicks off with one of the things that I loved about it, and that would be Holmes serving one of the baddies his own ass, narrating to the viewer PRECISELY what would happen as it would so take place and why it would prove effective. This is a Guy Richie element, complete with a stop in the action at each sentence, a full summary and THEN we get a replay at full speed. Both of you likely remember this from Snatch.
The action of the initial sequence serves to draw you into the movie at the outset, and holds your attention for them to tell you a story. The story, and all of it's different elements are common and presented in their necessary order -- which is a deviation from Guy Richie's style, but we can all be thankful that he is no longer with Madonna or their may have been a severe miscarriage of this -- and still easy enough to follow without having someone to remember and feed it back to you.
It seems almost SURREAL how intuitive Holmes is and is written into his craft, where you learn before he REALLY gets to (well, back to) his major protagonist that it is sage advice to pay attention to what is happening and being said, as EACH element of the story is collected and revisited in the story. Sometimes you will be given flashbacks, but then only to things that were not initially obvious on camera, so do not rely on them.
Me? I go to a movie to watch a fucking movie, so I was paying attention.
[Phlip note - actually, as I am an asshole, I do this to look for plot holes]
Being that this is 2010 [fuck it, next week is elementary, barely matters now] and the story itself is set in 1891, the only application requiring suspension of belief is that we have to unthink a world with technology.
Everything else is wholly feasible as presented, there are no human beings catching rockets with their bare hands, stashing them inside of their assholes to smuggle them to another planet to save the natives.
[Phlip note - do I REALLY want to see Avatar?]
Anyway, the story progresses realistically, includes one fight scene and even the seemingly superhuman villain is exposed as having used LOW-tech parlor tricks to create the air of his own super power which he was using to make himself the protagonist.
[Phlip note - "smoke and mirrors, boys... welcome to the movie factory!"]
Anyway, the plots and subplots, as well as cinematography, do enough in involving the audience in the story to allow them the bonus of not looking away and fucking themselves out of a good viewing. Robert Downey Jr. has become the chameleon he has always been, but stifled on his deviation from the life course, I was apparently doing myself a disservice for joking him while he was on the low road, but he is redeemed to me, has not a strike since coming back to the limelight and is apparently deserving of his subsequent resulting successes. Jude Law plays VERY well in the role of Dr. Watson in a manner that actually gives him life that he never had in any shows or prior viewings -- or my understandings of the perceived silence from what I read ABOUT the books -- and carries it well.
True to anything Guy Richie has done before this, the humor presented is there and at times it draws a chuckle out of you for things that are not "classically" hilarious, but become such in application. Context is a beautiful creation and never more apparent is this fact than when applied to the humor of a Guy Richie creation.
What I also liked is that there was a hint--... No, fuck that, a PROMISE of a sequel, contained in an element presented within the first half of the movie, mentioned later and expounded upon at the very end. If the second movie is true to this one, then I expect no such fuckery in the production of such.
[Phlip note - I'm looking at YOU, Mr. Michael 'explody blowuppy slow-motion shit' Bay... You fucked up Transformers, motherfucker]
I look forward to that one as well, as I come into it with the rumor that Brad Pitt will be playing that villain in that one.

I would eschew the "5-star" assessment for the sake of this, but I make my own rules as it comes to these things. Since I won't be locked into the little box of having to commit to only using full stars for rating, I am giving this one a damn good 4.5 out of 5... I would see this again presented the chance to do so, and will own the DVD when made available in retail outlets.

The last movie I went to see was contained in the previews played before the one prior to it and was taken in BECAUSE of that preview... That being said, it was a bit ironic that IronMan 2 was in the previews of a movie also starring the main star of the one I was in to view. That won't be the next movie I see, though. I am pretty sure that will be The Book of Eli because Denzel Washington has been a man on fire since Training Day.
[Phlip note - heh, see what I did there?]

We're done here... We went to a matinee to see this, because we had to go get intoxicated with my siblings and cousins later on in the evening, but this is a movie that I WOULD pay the full 9 bucks to see, even if I need to do so in order to take in a second viewing, should no one come through with the bootleg.
I recommend this one, folks. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!


Tony Grands said…
I'll take your advice to see the movie, if you take my advice & read some Sherlock literature. It's not for everyone, but trust, PHLIP will appreciate the humor & suggestive situations this crazy sum'bitch gets into, without being bogged down by will-imposing movie agendas.

& yeah, Robert Downey is doing it big these days.

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