The third being: no Guy Ritchie. I’m sorry, but I like Guy Ritchie films. Apparently I’m currently fairly alone in this, judging from the box office from the Man From UNCLE and King Arthur flicks; but those were fun, dammit. And so were the Sherlock Holmes flicks. I am not entirely sure that the next one will be as fun.
Watching the first episode now, and I’m pleasantly surprised on how well it works. Then again, I did like the Downey/Law Sherlock Holmes, so obviously I’m not entirely a purist on these issues*.
*Doyle would have liked that movie, I think.
[UPDATE] Ah, so there are only three episodes’ worth so far. Which means that I should probably ration them a little. I have to say, they took full advantage of my preconceived expectations from reading the original Conan Doyle.
…Because Sherlock Holmes was fun in a way that demonstrated that somebody in Hollywood actually likes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that’s why. And because the American ambassador had the right idea, dammit.
And to answer Ken Hite’s last question: it was a perfectly good movie that hit a lot of of his – and my – buttons on the way past. I liked it; Guy Ritchie took Sherlock Holmes seriously, and contra Ken (slightly) I thought Jude Law was better than Russell Crowe would have been. Setting looked very believable, local tech level ditto, Downey/Law’s interaction with each other very good, and they managed to make this current film without using too many elements that will be needed for the next film.
So go ahead and see it in matinee, and definitely see it when it hits DVD.
Howard Tayler liked it, Aint It Cool News ditto, Rotten Tomatoes seems to be having a disagreement between fans and film critics. I’m on the cusp between deciding to see it now and waiting until DVD, and this is one film where I’ll be unhappy about the latter if I like the film; it looks like it’ll be more fun to watch on the big screen. Anybody go see it yet?
Ace tipped me off to the new Sherlock Holmes movie (coming out in December): he’s got some thoughts about this one that you should check out. And before you start worrying, apparently Guy Ritchie (director) and Jude Law (Watson) are both Holmesians, while Robert Downey (Holmes) is… Robert Downey. So, there’s already a couple of good signs that it won’t suck.
But to segue, while looking up the answer to a question that my lovely wife asked (“Was Sherlock Holmes was the physical confrontation type?”) I came across bartitsu.org, a site dedicated to the… well, there’s some controversy whether bartitsu is a ‘real’ Victorian martial art, and not helped by the fact that Doyle called it ‘baritsu.’ Still, people seemed determined to reproduce it now; they have books out (Bartitsu Compendium, Volume 1: History and the Canonical Syllabus) and the aforementioned website.
And this article on the umbrella as a combat weapon is quite good, although I shall politely not address its claim to be an authentic journal article from the Victorian era.
[UPDATE] I have been informed in comments that the article is quite real. I stand abashed.