I am velvety-smoothReview is BELOWI am veltely smooth, too
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BR: Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows (2011)
 
Film:  Excellent    
BR Transfer:  Excellent  
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S
BRExtras:  
Excellent
         
Label / Studio:
Warner Home Video
 
Catalog #:
 
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A
Region:
All
         
Released:

June 12, 2012

 

 

 
Genre: Sherlock Holmes / Mystery / Comedy / Action  
Synopsis:
Holmes and Watson must avoid becoming the doomed pawns of Prof. Moriarty's eeevil plans. That is all.  

 

 

Directed by:

Guy Ritchie
Screenplay by: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Produced by: Susan Downey, Dan Lin, Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram
Cast:

Robery Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Paul Anderson, Kelly Reilly, Geraldine James, and Eddie Marsan.

Film Length: 129 mins
Process / Ratio: 2.40:1
Colour
Anamorphic: Yes
Languages:  English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:  Englsih SDH, French, Spanish
 
Special Features :  

Maximum Movie Mode with Robery Downey, Jr. / Movie App for iOS and Android devices / DVD copy of film and select extras / Ultraviolet Digital Copy

 
 
Comments :  

 

In practice, the first sequel in a franchise tends to be the weaker of the two (Die Hard II, Mission: Impossible II) but there are exceptions (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Aliens) that manage to break the rule of diminishing returns.

Whereas the first Sherlock Holmes (2009) film rambled on with a meandering story and had Robert Downey’s performance being eclipsed by a far more interesting Jude Law, the screenwriters of Game of Shadows seemed to feel the best way to handle Holmes and Dr. Watson was to enhance their divisions and combative behaviour based on what had been established in the first film: Holmes had overstepped his boundary and offended Watson and his bride-to-be, and the super detective’s arrogance had gone too far too many time for Watson’s patience, mandating a needed separation.

When Shadows begins, Watson’s intellectual self is in the process of pushing him away from Holmes, and he’s looking forward to his new life as a married man with a hottie, yet Holmes’ trickery creates more grievous upsets – tossing the new bride out of a moving train, for example – which aggravates their professional relationship. Their need to remain together stems from the evil maneuvering of slimy Prof. Moriarty (slimy Jared Harris), who appears to have killed Holmes’ fiery love Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams – hottie of the prior film, and sure to return in the next sequel) and is now determined to wipe out the dynamic detective duo.

The story is unsurprisingly byzantine – new clues yield new near-death experiences – and the addition of Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace) really does nothing except ensure there’s a pretty face bumping into due when things are getting too masculine, but what distinguishes Shadows from its predecessor is the dry humour and Holmes’ increasingly odd behaviour, often donning more elaborate disguises, and driving Watson to near madness (and murder). It’s a tighter script in terms of dialogue, and more so than in the first film, Guy Ritchie’s visual indulgences work extremely well in several kinetic action scenes. A chase through a thick backwoods is a superbly choreographed with bullets, canons, slo-mo footage, frame ratcheting, kinetic editing, and wit scurrying across the frame, whereas Watson’s sad ‘bachelor party’ works with more traditional editorial touches.

Also on hand in Games is Hans Zimmer’s score which either by design, by its existence in a temp track, or coincidence integrates small aspects of Ennio Morricone (specifically, a cue from Two Mules for Sister Sarah!), plus more klezmer music and Wagnerian bombast. It’s a great score that neatly supports and enhances the antics of the detectives without treating them as buffoons; they’re just a brilliant, eccentric couple who in different times might have been married.

Warner Home Video’s Blu-ray includes a sharp transfer and standard making-of extras, of which the most detailed are in WHV’s Maximum Movie Mode, covering most production aspects (but lacking an exclusive showcase on the score’s creation).

 

© 2012 Mark R. Hasan

 
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