Sherlock Holmes

Release Date: December 25, 2009
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Movie of the Day for Wednesday, April 29, 2009
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It's a touching story of a man...and his man.

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Position Staff In Brief
29/38 John Seal Downey isn't bad, but Rachel McAdams is dreadful and the story paper thin
113/169 Max Braden I went in as a Holmes and RDJ fan hoping this would be good, but it's just too commercialized. Jude Law was good. From Hell was better.

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Sherlock Holmes. Does the character’s name ring a bell? It should. Look it up on IMDb and 16 different versions appear to have been made for the screen in one shape or another throughout time. Another new version is in the works. The plot is pretty straightforward on the surface as it’s set in 1891 with the titular detective Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson engaging in a battle of brawn and wits with a nemesis who plans to threaten all of England. So why would we want to enter down this road again? Here are a few reasons that this film could be unique.

First off, it’s directed by Guy Ritchie, of Snatch fame, who will undoubtedly bring a unique visual style and potentially some frantic pacing to the story. Secondly, the cast appears to be pretty strong, beginning with the actor of the moment, Iron Man and Mr. Blackface himself, Robert Downey Jr. If you know of a more daring actor than him, let me know and the debates can begin. I expect primarily silence from the peanut gallery at this standpoint.

Also signing on for the cast are the venerable Jude Law as notable sidekick Watson, the usually solid Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, New Jersey gal who earns Holmes’ respect, and new Ritchie stalwart Mark Strong, who coincidentally made a very strong impression in Guy’s most recent film, RockNRolla. With Strong playing the villain, Lord Blackwood (such a cool, old-school name, too), all told, that’s a pretty solid lineup that could potentially knock one out of the park. I only wish Daniel Craig could take a break from Bond and squeeze in a supporting role somehow.

I expect this to be a little less funny than some other iterations, as it’s been reported that Law will not be portraying the “bumbling fool” that Watson has kind of become known for. Holmes is always a nutty mess and that would fit right up Downey’s alley, with him certainly having the experience to draw from.

Long-time super producer Joel Silver (the Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and Matrix series of pics) is on board, so studio expectations are likely to be high. However, period pieces, which this most certainly is, can definitely struggle at the box office. With Ritchie appealing more to younger fans, it will be an interesting sell once this is marketed for release. (Brandon Scott/BOP)

Vital statistics for Sherlock Holmes
Main Cast Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Supporting Cast Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan
Director Guy Ritchie
Screenwriter Michael Johnson, Guy Ritchie, Tony Peckham
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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