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Hazekiah
12-30-2009, 07:14 AM
After striking out when all the Christmas/release day showings were sold out I FINALLY saw this movie!!!

Good stuff.

Fair warning...I'm going to discuss spoilers here so bugger off if you can't hang. Or at least skip this post.

:P




Okay.

Holy fuck, what a feast of Doyle/Holmes references this movie turned out to be!

Personally, I found it pretty impressive that they managed to incorporate SO FUCKING MUCH material from the original stories into a completely new and non-canon storyline. Which, when it comes right down to it, was basically "Sherlock vs. From Hell," but was just SO steeped in nods to the original material that it blended in with the Sherlock of the books almost flawlessly and seemed like a natural fit BEYOND just being the most true-to-the-books cinematic adaption of Holmes' adventures EVER. They really managed to construct a whole new adventure that still rang true in a million ways.

I was SO excited to see subtle little things like Holmes mentioning he keeps Watson's checkbook locked in his desk drawer -- which is only briefly alluded to in passing in the books -- and then to see that fleshed out with the idea that Watson was a compulsive gambler. And connecting Irene Adler to the Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans with the little headline about theft of naval papers leading to the arrest of a member of Parliament. Just two examples of MANY, but that stuff was PURE fucking gold.

And something I'd always gotten a kick out of was Sherlock's use and abuse of various drugs. What an awesome fucking direction to take that character. But I'd been led to believe it wasn't in this movie.

Not so!

The boxing scenes in the trailer made it clear that Sherlock's arms were not the "battlefield of puncture marks" described by Watson in the books, but it IS suggested in the rest of the film. Sure, the only needle-play he's involved in was inadvertently drinking a drug injected into wine through a cork --- whereas I would've preferred to AT LEAST see a random syringe laying about the clutter of his room or even just his morocco I.V. case upon the mantlepiece -- but this movie already went LEAPS AND BOUNDS above any other movie in terms of shattering audience expectations and restoring his original portrayal from the books in the movies, so I can hardly begrudge the filmmaker's choice to NOT blatantly make their hero an I.V. drug user, lol.

But, come on...it's Robert Downey, jr. so that pretty much says it all unconsciously anyway. It's a natural fit for him just like Tony Stark the alcoholic. Fucking INSPIRED casting.

And, by the way...he DOES consume Cocaine in the movie!!!

FUCK.

YES.

It's NOT intravenous and you kind of have to know some shit and pay attention but it is THERE!!!

When Watson finds him tweaked out of his fucking mind and "creating order out of chaos" with his violin/insect experiment Holmes mentions he's "been at it for six hours" and Watson chastises him by saying "You DO realize what you've been drinking is meant for EYE SURGERY, don't you?"

Yup. That's Cocaine FTW, goddamnit.

:)

And I'd actually completely written off any chance of it turning up when they used the whole "my mind rebels at stagnation" bit with which he excuses his Cocaine use in the books without the same, drugged out context in the movie. And the bit about deducing facts about a stranger from nothing more than a pocket watch was originally used in the books as a case study presented by Watson to occupy his mind and lure him away from the Cocaine he relied upon between cases but was similarly recontextualized in the movie. It's too bad that they felt they had to do that, but the scenes are handled well and it winks at those in the know without turning off the n00bs (and the Cocaine's still in there anyway) so I'll give 'em a pass, lol.

Ah!

And speaking of Cocaine one of the most DELIGHTFUL in-jokes was ALSO a nod to the Cocaine aspect!

It's awesome enough that they worked in Sherlock's masterful usage of identity concealment...but they even went so far as to essentially disguise him as Sigmund fucking Freud in one scene! BRILLIANT!!!

(And you don't even need to have read The Seven Per-Cent Solution, where Watson sends Holmes to Freud to treat his Cocaine addiction, to grasp what's going on there...they were both NOTORIOUS fans of Cocaine, so it even works for the casual fan.)

And don't even get me STARTED on the movie's Coca-Cola promotional tie-ins, lol. Again, fucking GENIUS.

The only irksome bit about the drug use in the movie was that he actually uses drugs to HELP solve a case at one point, where he was clearly established in the books as only having need of them IN BETWEEN his cases. But, then, he's also established as willing to do whatever it takes to crack a case AND as a staunch man of science, so I can understand the liberty taken in showing him use pharmaceuticals to help himself attain a pseudo-mystical state to get inside the psychology of the ritual he was exploring. And you can't argue with success, right?

So it bugged me a bit at first but it's obviously wholly explicable and in character once you mull it over for a minute. I approve.

And, sure, it just serves to deepen the connection between Sherlock Holmes and From Hell, but as far as borrowing is concerned it's a pretty fucking good source at least.

Speaking of which, for a while there I started to lose faith (as it were) that the dumb-dumb metaphysical problems would be left unresolved...but I suppose I should've known better, considering what a fine and respectable extension of the traditional lore it was turning out to be otherwise. So seeing that explained away satisfactorily by the end of movie was an immense relief.

Anyway...I could go on and on here but I've got to wrap this up for the moment.

In short?

This film DEFINITELY wins the Baker Street Irregular Seal of Approval.

WIN/WIN/WIN

Dronepool
12-30-2009, 12:02 PM
Cool, I thought the movie would be good when I saw the trailer. Glad to hear that it is.

Peaches
12-30-2009, 12:09 PM
I finally saw it last night and it was fabulous. I wasn't bored for a second....and while I'm not as into it as Hazekiah (never read the books or saw the old movies) I still thought it was nearly flawless.....10 out of 10 stars! You should all go see it. :)

And, after reading Haz's post, I like the movie even more. Hehe.

Hazekiah
12-31-2009, 02:58 AM
Cool, glad I rubbed off on you!

Erm, waitasec...that came out wrong.

Gah! Damnit.

>.>

<.<

I'm just gonna shut up now.

Shangri-LIE
01-04-2010, 09:54 AM
Sherlock Holmes sucks. Watson is where it's at.