From Clio's Vault:
By Kelsey Deane Wright
According to hundreds of published stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which first appeared in The Strand Magazine in 1891, and have since been translated into many languages, Sherlock Holmes practiced as a consulting detective between 1881-1904, while living at #22l-B Baker Street with his good friend and colleague, Doctor John H. Watson. The famousfirst floor study overlooking Baker Street sn still faithfully maintained as it was kept by Holmes and Watson in Victorian times.
Sherlock Homes was born on January 6, 1854, and for more than a century, his name has been known in every country of the world. Not only is the name Sherlock Holmes a popular one, but his appearance has grown to be popular too: with his hawk-like features and piercing eyes of a bird, the long dressing-gown and smoking pipe, with deerstalker cap on head and magnifying glass in hand. Holmes's appearances are details that are so familiar and recognizable to many that if he were to appear amongst us today we would know him at once. Holmes is still however a sphinx-like figure, wrapped in mystery like the crimes he tried and eventually solved, and just like most legends, it is often difficult to separate fact from fiction. Holmes's; partner Dr. Watson considered Sherlock Holmes to be "the worst tenant in London." He was, however, the great detective's loyal companion and Holmes was aware of Watson's value. He said to him on one occasion, "It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light."
The best way of appreciating the real character of Sherlock Holmes is to read his published adventures and form one's own opinion. We can then accompany Holmes and Watson in their hansome cab, rattling over the cobbled streets of Victorian London, while they peer through the fog in search of adventure, justice, and criminals. People old and young have grown to love Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. For more than a century we have been fascinated and utterly entertained by the duo and how they take so much pride in solving mysteries all over the streets of London.
When it comes to the most recent 2009 film, Sherlock Holmes, there seem to be mixed feelings about how the public and individual movie review personnel rated the movie as a whole. In a lively and active new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes and his sturdy partner, Dr. Watson, embark together on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes struggles as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.
In this film, directed by Guy Ritchie, with talented actors Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Eddie Marsan, and the beautiful Rachel McAdams, the legendary Sherlock Holmes gets a new look and a bit of attitude. One film reviewer stated: "I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and loved The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes television series, which for many fans defined who Sherlock Holmes was. I had been awaiting this movie with great anticipation, and wasted no time in to getting to the theater to watch it once the film was released."-Philip Lee McCall.
The film was said to be visually dark but beautiful, and I myself am glad that Ritchie did not try to make London all clean and posh. England during the 17th and 18th century was not as breath-taking and beautiful as it is today. Then, days could sometimes be grey and rough. Guy Ritchie truly brought forth the "grittiness" that he is known for in all his films, and represented London exactly as it was back then. He did a great job overall in this new direction of a classic character like Sherlock Holmes and his loyal, trustworthy crew. I also thought that actors, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law's chemistry as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson was right on the mark and very believable. It was really entertaining to watch them banter back and forth. I found Robert Downey Jr. and his portrayal of a darker, more manic Sherlock Holmes a bit alien at first, but the moment he began his quirky Holmesian "deductions," I was hooked. The film was action-packed but was also the story of two best friends and the passion they shared for solving mysteries.
Over the years, Hollywood spent quite a bit of money reinventing old stories, with hope of bringing new life to them. Some have been great and other quite terrible; in fact I am sure a few authors are still turning in their graves over some celluloid flop. This 2009 film of Sherlock Holmes offered hope that sometimes Hollywood can get it right and make a film worth remembering and adding to the existing canon from which it was borrowed. I would also like to add that the actors in this film really brought it home; this film was carried on their exceptional skills, because the story is what you would expect a Sherlock Holmes mystery to be.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the film, there were others that did not. Reviewer Ben Puetz stated: "Despite all the explosions and quick cuts, I found Sherlock Holmes to be rather boring and tiresome. There were a few visually entertaining spots, but as for the story, it fails to hold any interest. It's one of those films that I found myself checking how much time was left. Guy Ritchie did put his touch to this film, but he is best served to stick with the style of movies that have worked for him in the past. I would stay away and find a better option." Another film reviewer from Rotten Tomatoes.com by the name of Bret Simon stated: "Guy Ritchie's film arrives with the bristling, cocksure, indefatigable force of a movie preordained as a franchise-in-waiting. This is pop Hollywood filmmaking, but not something anyone should feel the need to think about, or see more than once."
Although there will always be different views from many different people on this 2009 action packed film about Sherlock Holmes, you have to ask yourself how did the film make you feel. Did it remind you of early Saturday mornings as a child? Did it make you laugh? Were you confused as to what was going on? Did you even find it amusing? Anyone can review a film and give their honest opinion. You are the ultimate film reviewer.