Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride Review

Sherlock and Watson find themselves in Victorian era in this holiday special as they try to solve an old mystery. It’s funny and flashy but is it as good as the 9 episodes of brilliant television that preceded it.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman pick up where they left off, as Sherlock and Watson respectively, with that great chemistry that we’ve become accustomed to and the back and forth banter. It’s also good to see the whole cast involved in one way or the other, reprising their roles in a different era.

The episode does well in tying in with the rest of the show and along with keeping the character interaction the same that’s probably its greatest achievement. The continuous references to people not being happy with Watson’s representation in his tales is as good as any of the multiple on-going jokes that are the closest thing to the Sherlock we are used. The gothic setting is fresh and exciting and there are some genuine jump scares, but the investigation at times comes close to being ScoobyDoo-like instead of Sherlock Holmes.

The mystery at hand isn’t really as mentally and physically tormenting as originally presented in the start of the episode in Watson’s narration, no matter how hard they tried to portray it as such. It doesn’t achieve that feeling of awesomeness that a fan of the show would expect, it’s only in the last 20-30 minutes that the flow returns to its best.

It was great to see our favourite high-functioning sociopath back in action in a different era whilst stills holding links to the overall story and not being just a standalone, unrelated episode. Nonetheless it doesn’t live up to high expectations.

7.5/10

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Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, go ahead and do that, before you got through this one.

This time, we look at the theme of each of the three interpretations and how each of them was executed.

Firstly in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, the English director leaves his mark on both movies, making it look modern as far as tone and texture are concerned, despite of it set a long time ago.  The idea of Sherlock predicting the fight scenes and telling to us what will happen and then acting upon that, is one of the most unique features of the film, and it’s the one of the most entertaining for the viewer, differentiating it from what we are used to.  The fact that they changed it up in the second movie, enhances its effect, especially in the final fight sequence in “A Game of Shadows”.  Moreover the score is composed by the stupendous Hans Zimmer, who again encapsulates the essence of the story with his music.

In BBC’s Sherlock, the story is set in present London, instead of the late 18th century that it originally takes place in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.   However that doesn’t stop the creators, to base a lot of the episodes on books by altering them in order to suit the modern backdrop.  On the other hand some episodes are completely made up and still carry the same weight and quality.  Moreover one of the best aspects of the show is looking through the eyes and mind of Sherlock as he deducts through crime scenes or even when showing off.  We follow him closely whilst he reads people, situations and even in his mind palace, getting as close as we’ve ever been to the brilliant consulting detective.

Finally in Elementary, they take a more common route to put Holmes in the mix, it’s set in New York where Sherlock is a recovering drug addict and currently consulting for the NYPD.  Watson is a female character and the show assume that the audience will take a leap of faith and accept that she has the talent to become a detective overnight with Sherlock’s guidance.  The procedural cop theme and the 24 episodes a season, of which most are filler episodes with simple murder cases, don’t help.  Nevertheless some great story arcs, a very emotional and unstable Sherlock Holmes make it worthwhile.  Changing up what we’ve come to know about the characters that surround Sherlock is brave and a very common occurrence in the show, with a plethora of examples like: Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft and especially Irene Adler and Moriarty; something that manages to distinguish the show from its counterparts.

All and all, these are three great interpretations of the famous Sherlock Holmes and all more than rewarding for the fans, but Elementary has to settle for third place, as the other two fight for the throne.

Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 1

With another Sherlock Holmes movie coming out in the summer, we take a look at other interpretations of the genius consulting detective and how well they have done in recent years.

Movies/TV Shows considered:

contemporary sherlock holmes

First part of the discussion will be the one thing that all three executions have in common and that is great actors in both major roles of Sherlock and Watson.

In Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. plays the homonymous character accompanied by Jude Law in the role of John Watson.  One of the most widely recognized actors of his generation RDJ adds his unique touch to the character, elegant and explosive, he delivers everything superbly with a minor yet satisfying old English accent as the only non-English actor of the three in question, from puns to monologues of deduction, he is just fascinating to watch on screen. 8.5/10

On BBC’s Sherlock we have one of the rising stars of our time, Benedict Cumberbatch with Martin Freeman playing the doctor.  Cumberbatch is incredible as Sherlock, he has a way with the character that transfers his eccentric energy and sociopath status to the viewer like no other.  Walking on the fine line of being so irritating that sometimes audiences find it too much, he gets the most out of the narcissistic and uncanny side of Sherlock. Along with Freeman they achieve both great moments of drama but also comedy, something that adds another dimension to the show. 9/10

In Elementary, it’s Jonny Lee Miller who shows his acting chops, out of all 3 interpretations he has the most dramatic tension in scenes and he gives scintillating performances time and again in the 3 years the show has been running.  He consistently manages to capture the feelings of Sherlock to perfection and it is when he has to show emotion that he shines. On this occasion Watson is portrayed by Lucy Liu and she might not be of the same caliber as Law or Freeman but she does a good job to keep up and support Miller. 8/10

To be fair, there isn’t much between the actors portraying the main man.  However as far as Watson is concerned, although Lucy Liu is a decent actress, she simply doesn’t have the star status and charm that Law and Freeman bring to the game.

Part 2: The production and theme.