This week, we’re chatting about movie advertising, I share some really neat news about Iron Man 2, and I give an update on the voting in that Monopoly: Canadian Here and Now edition.
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Mark Strong, Rachael McAdams, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, and William Houston.
Not going to lie to you…I know nothing about Sherlock Holmes. Never read the books, haven’t seen any other film adaptations…unless you count the Disney classic the Great Mouse Detective. So I walked into this not knowing if it was going to be faithful to the original books, or previous iterations. I was going for the main reason people go to movies: I liked the actors, the trailers looked pretty kick-ass, and the reviews were good. Would this be a good first exposure to these characters?
Victorian London. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are at a crossroads, as Watson is about to get married, pretty much meaning that he won’t be helping out Holmes anymore. They see their final case to the end as they witness the death of Lord Blackwood, some sort of occult worshiping royal who had murdered six women. Once Blackwood is hanged, it seems like everything is over…except Blackwood is mysteriously resurrected three days after his execution. Is he really some sort of dark lord who came back from death to murder again? This is a case for Sherlock Holmes! Watson is drawn back into Holmes’s world, as they try to uncover Blackwood’s plot. Also gumming up the works is Holmes’s old flame Irene Adler, who is pursuing her own agenda for a shadowy employer. What is Blackwood’s plot? Who is Adler working for? Will Watson get to the church on time?
What I Liked
I had no idea Holmes was such a delightfully offbeat character. At least he is in this iteration. He is a deeply flawed and troubled individual…except when he’s focused on a case. As many others have pointed out, Downey and Law have an amazing rapport as Holmes and Watson. And there are some great montages demonstrating Holmes’s thought process. Oh, and Hans Zimmer composed a very unusual film score that struck me as quite different…and good.
What I Didn’t Like
As detective movies and cop movies go, I found the whole thing to be rather conventional. It just had the feeling that I’d seen it all before.
It offers nothing new, but it is a fun time-waster.
Directed by James Cameron
Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguiz, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, and Laz Alonso.
Jimmy, buddy, where have you been? The man who gave us the first two Terminator films, Aliens, True Lies, and the #1 film of all time, Titanic, kind of dropped off the face of the Earth for the past 12 years. The official reason was he was waiting for the technology to catch up with his vision so he could start making bigger and better movies. The real reason was he, personally, was developing the technology. 12 years and several technological breakthroughs later, what was he giving us? Avatar. As I told a buddy, that’s why this film is such a big deal.
Several hundred years in the future, a Marine by the name of Jake Sully loses use of his legs in battle, but gets a second chance on the distant moon of Pandora. Jake is selected to pilot an “avatar,” a genetically engineered body of one of the Pandoran natives, the Na’vi. By controlling this avatar, Jake can become one of the Na’vi, and it’s hoped that this means the Na’vi will be less resistant to the humans tearing up their villages and mining the rare ore beneath them. So, while in his avatar body, Jake soon becomes part of a Na’vi tribe and begins to enjoy their way of life. And soon, Jake is torn between two duties, as he tries to meet the demands placed on him by the Company, and protect the paradise that is Pandora and the Na’vi.
What I Liked
As was to be expected, this film is visually spectacular. I paid the extra to see it in IMAX 3D, and James Cameron designed the whole film to be seen in that format. Pandora is a truly fleshed-out world, with fantastic creatures and stunning landscapes. The 3D effects were understated, too, with a lack of stuff popping out of the screen. All of the performances were top-notch as well, with Sam Worthington being quite good as our hero, Jake Sully. Technically, this film is mindblowing.
What I Didn’t Like
The plot is fairly predictable and routine. You’ve seen about a dozen of these films before and you know what’s coming…the outcome is never a surprise.
Mr. Cameron, it is good to have you back, and you’ve once again delivered some solid sci-fi entertainment.