Category Archives: Review

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sidney Paget: Sherlock Holmes

Image via Wikipedia

Note: As people comment here and in other places, I plan to update this with footnotes providing citations for various points (for and against). Because I love playing with Sherlockian research, even if I’m not that awesome at it.

To preface this, I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for twenty-five years, since my father gave me a water-stained and dog-eared copy of the "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," containing the first twelve stories of the canon. I have read everything by Doyle, probably read an additional two dozen pastiches, listened to close to a hundred audiobook and radio versions, and watched a variety of television and movie renditions of the master detective. While I by no means consider myself a Sherlockian scholar, Holmes is certainly my first and most persistent fandom.

It has been with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I’ve been awaiting the Guy Ritchie vision of Sherlock Holmes. I planned to see it at a midnight showing on my birthday (because that would have just been awesome), but it turns out that the nearest theater to where we were in Tennessee was well over an hour away. So I waited until Sunday, when we got back. I had a terrible cold, and didn’t want to go out — until David asked if I wanted to go see the Sherlock Holmes movie.

Because that’s different, you see.

Interestingly (and to a great extent, flatteringly), a number of my friends have been waiting on my opinion of the film before going to see it themselves. They know of my obsession fanaticism interest in all versions of Holmes, and since I gave my brief review on Twitter, a number of people have contacted me asking for a more detailed review.

If, however, you just want the short version, here it is: I thought it was a very fun and enjoyable update to Sherlock Holmes that keeps to the core of the canon, although casual audiences might not realize that.

More detailed thoughts (minor spoilers)

Transformers 2: Revenge of Michael Bay

Before I begin on my attack commentary on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I need to set the stage.

During the week, I had a lot of trepidation about going to see this, to the point where flat asked why I was going to see a movie I expected to be bad. I didn’t have an answer at the time, but it really comes down to the fact that I support the Transformers franchise. I’ve watched and read just about every version of Transformers — maybe not every episode or issue, but I at least looked into it. I’ve been a fan for 25 years, and I expect I’ll be a fan for 25 more. So I have a strong interest in seeing any version of Transformers succeed.

Further, I had heard so many bad things leading up to this that I had very low expectations. Living through the disappointment that was Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull also killed off a chunk of my soul. I even read (and reposted on Twitter) io9’s hilariously scathing review. I had resigned myself to trying to watch the movie as if it was just a movie about alien robots beating the shit out of each other. I set my opinions and emotional investment in the franchise aside. I also tried to get into the mindset of braindead appreciation that allowed me to (accidentally) appreciate Terminator Salvation as an entertaining movie.

So, keep that in mind: I’m a fan that wants to see the franchise succeed, but is willing to set that emotional investment aside and try to see the movie outside of my own nerdrage. And I recently was able to appreciate a movie that was criticized for many of the same flaws as this one. I’m not sure how much more sympathetic and biased I could be toward this movie.

And even then, I was still surprised at how fucking horrible this movie was.

Spoilers. Though I’m not sure how to spoil this movie any more than it spoils itself.