Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rated D - Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Welcome Back for a 'Quite Elementary' Edition of Rated D! if there's any other kind...

A few weeks ago Erika and I went to see a movie called "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows". SPOILER ALERT: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are back again, this time trying to save the world from the evil Professor Moriarty.

If you're looking for the well-dressed, pipe-smoking detective who smugly uses his powers of deductions to solve the most impossible of crimes... you might not find it here. On the other hand, if you enjoyed the last film and its high-octane injection, you'll have just as much fun this time around. Sherlock Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr. (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, A Scanner Darkly), is back and reminds us of how lucky we are that his drug abuse didn't Christian Slater his career. His cocaine fueled, frantic personality coupled with his smug, sarcastic attitude and... how shall we say... "bromantic" undertones in regards to his partner make for an unforgettable character that you all at once want to be best friends with and smack across the face. He's joined once more by Dr. Watson, played by Jude Law (Road to Perdition, Gattaca, and pretty much every movie of 2004), this time about to enjoy his honeymoon. Law's quiet marksman/reluctant detective is a great counterpart to the manic inspector and an equally interesting take on the familiar character. This time around, the duo is out to stop the evil, but seemingly uncatchable, Professor Moriarty, played by Jared Harris (Igby Goes Down, The Curious Case of Benjiman Button), whose maniacal nature is matched only by his brilliance. Though Harris' evil genious is deliciously deranged and quietly dangerous, I'd be lying if I said that the writers gave him a real orginal master plan. It's like the old adage, "In the kingdom of the blind, the man with one eye is king", but instead "In a world at war, the man who manufactures arms is king". Then again, I am of the mindset that its not what you say, its how you say it, so we can look past all that jazz. Director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels, Snatch.) once again creates a gritty, dirty world and delivers a tighlty wound story with great visuals and special effects. There's also a couple of fun supporting roles from Holme's eccentric, often-nude brother, played by Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), and Moriarty's right-hand man and expert assassin. Noomi Rapace (Sweden's version's of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire) also stars in the movie, but although her performance is solid, its pretty forgettable. Not really her fault, just not a whole lot for her to do. Anywho, if you enjoyed the first one, you'll probably have fun on this wild ride as well.

To Tie It Back To Health & Fitness...

Early on in the film Holmes is basically developing a crude version of an EpiPin (Epinephrine Injector). This device injects epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs, into the body and is commonly used when those with allergies go into anaphylactic shock. While assisting in an EMT training course I learned that people administering injections commonly hold the device upside down and accidentally stab themselves. Be sure to read the instructions carefully!

"People have an innate desire for conflict. So what you are fighting is not me, but rather mankind. War, on an industrial scale, is inevitable. I'm just supplying the bullets and bandages." - Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty

Technically Speaking...

The story is tied up neatly, and pretty much everything they show you is going to be important, whether it will be for misdirection purposes or to support the plot. Still, outside of the awesome action sequences, we move around so much that it might be nice here and there to give us a chance to digest some of the information thats being fed to us at Guy Ritchie's lightning speed.

REVIEW - 4 out of 5 Slow Motion Fights

A List of Fives

This Week's List... Happy New Year!

Movies with New Year's Eve Scenes!

1. Forrest Gump - A simple sweet story about simple man who accidently wanders through decades worth of huge moments in American history. Forrest and Lt. Dan share a depressing new year's eve party together in New York. Memorable Quote: "I'm sorry I ruined your New Year's Eve party, Lt. Dan. She tasted like cigarettes."

2. Money Train - It's not the best movie and there are plenty of wildly impossible scenes but I still like it. Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes are brothers, Chris Cooper lighting people on fire, J. Lo fresh off "In Living Color", and Robert Blake before he started... ya know... shooting his wife in the back of the head. Memorable Quote: "Now that would make sense. A black brother, a white brother, and a Latina sister."

3. 200 Cigarettes - I was way to young to enjoy this movie and appreciate its humor but its still one of those multi-lives intertwining on New Year's Eve stories that is jam packed with cameos, including Ben Affleck as a bartender who loves Devo. Memorable Quote: "And no I'm not gay. I get that all the time."

4. Assault on Precinct 13 - On New Year's Eve a small, low-budget precinct is attacked by dirty cops trying to kill a vicious criminal who will finger them all in court. Lots of tense shootouts and it does break several traditions by killing off characters that you might think will survive and vice versa, so it might be worth a rental if you're into melodramatic action movies. Memorable Quote: "Happy New Year, Sarge!"

5. When Harry Met Sally...- Possibly the ultimate romantic comedy. It actually takes the time to follow a man and a woman, showing them get closer to each other as opposed to spending the weekend together and calling it love. Memorable Quote: " I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. "

Still Haven't Seen It?

Win/Win - Paul Giamatti (The Negotiator, Cinderella Man) stars as a do-good lawyer and high school wrestling coach who is struggling to make ends meet for his wife and two kids. When he finds an opportunity to take care of a senile client for some extra money a month, things are complicated when the man's teenage grandchild shows up... and just so happens to be an amazing wrestler. There's something uplifting about this somewhat melancholy comedy. It never gets too dark but isn't just a fluff movie with no sincerity or emotion. I'd be surprised if this one doesn't make the rounds at the awards shows this year!

Next Time on Rated D -

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Oooh boy! My palms are still sweating from some of the action sequences in the latest installment.

-Gorilla Man

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