Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Monday Morning Movie Break

with 2 comments

After all that’s gone on in Wisconsin, and in the United States as a whole the past few weeks, I needed a break. 

So I took one, and watched the most recent movie Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr., as the title character and Jude Law as his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson.  I enjoyed it a great deal, as it’s a different take on a character I thought I knew all too well after devouring all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and reading all the best science fiction and fantasy “knockoffs,” some of which are diverting in their own right.

See, in this last movie version, Sherlock Holmes is played as a guy who’s not merely cerebral and/or half-touched in the head, but also a prime physical specimen, which I didn’t expect to see at all even though it follows from the text.   (How could Sherlock Holmes have done all the things he was said to do without being in excellent physical shape?  Especially when you consider all the drugs Holmes sampled, partly for the sake of research and partly to get away from the tedium of daily life.)  Downey, Jr., has always been among my favorite actors because he’s obviously not  just a pretty face; he’s intelligent, has a sense of humor, and doesn’t take himself too seriously, which all served him well here.

How did I miss this movie when it came out in 2009?  I’m not sure.  But I’m glad I caught it now, because it’s well worth watching — the only thing that I’m sure was not period was the cleanliness of the London city streets as depicted.  (No streets could be as clean as that; not our modern ones with all our technology and lack of horses, certainly not the ones back then without the tech and with the horses.)

Watching this movie helped me to remember that there’s still some things I haven’t experienced in this world that might be worth the time, as I’d really been fretting over the state of the world (and my place within it) again, partly due to whatever cold or flu bug I’ve picked up this time.

There’s a lot of things that are completely out of my control.  I’ve known that since I was small, and that lesson was reinforced considerably after two of the most important people to me in the world died (my Grandma in 1999, and my beloved husband Michael in 2004).  Watching the political world going wild, not being able to get away from it, and not being able to do very much about it gets to me.

I’m glad, and grateful, when anything can transport me away for a few hours — and this movie did.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves intelligent action movies or appreciates Sherlock Holmes and believes that a really attractive guy like Downey, Jr., can play him as credibly as anyone — or maybe even a bit better.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

August 8, 2011 at 5:55 am

2 Responses

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  1. I was unfortunate enough to watch this movie *after* the recent (also modernized) Holmes miniseries, “Sherlock,” which trumps the film version in almost every respect. You’re right about the film: the acting is stellar, but it was obviously filmed in-studio, and I’m not overly fond of its blatant irreverence to its source material. (It doesn’t help that I’ve *been* to London not so long ago, and even nowadays it’s not that clean!)

    Check out “Sherlock” if you get the chance–each episode is film length (90 minutes) and treats one of Holmes’ adventures in a unique way. “A Study in Pink” (for “A Study in Scarlet”) is probably my favorite so far, though they’ve already introduced Mycroft Holmes, Moriarty and (in a minor capacity) Irene Adler(ova). Benedict Cumberbatch (unfortunate name; great actor) is Holmes, and while he *is* in great physical shape in accordance with the text, a slight aura of nerdiness clings to him, only lifting when he smiles–and he only smiles when he discovers something interesting. 🙂 The series also treats Watson’s character capably, having hm invalided home from Afghanistan (as he was in the books), but from the most recent Afghanistan war.

    Jenni L.

    August 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

    • Jenni, do you know what channel has the “Sherlock” miniseries? I’d be interested to see that — and you’re right that it sounds more detailed.

      I really enjoyed this movie, though; the music in particular was chosen well (you know I always notice that) and I thought Jude Law’s acting was also outstanding. I don’t know what it is with Law; he subsumes himself into any role he plays, and you notice the acting more than him. (Val Kilmer, in his prime, was like this.)

      Barb Caffrey

      August 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm


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