Sherlock Holmes Blu-Ray Review

Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and for Download 3/30!

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
It’s an action packed flick about a classic sleuth and his ‘sidekick’, I reckon the cover is just fine. It’s not an artsy movie, or deep and thoughtful, so having the handsome starring faces in full Victorian garb staring back at me from the shelf will do. The menu is nothing but functional. They didn’t even bother to jazz it up with a stylized image, just plain old still from the promotional stock materials don’t do the menu business any favors.

Features: 8/10

  • Maximum Movie Mode – Watch the movie again with this quite cool feature. Director Guy Ritchie stands in front of two ‘screens’, one showing the movie, the other some extras, video, story boards, etc. He talks about making the movie, lots of technical details, and overall a very good almost classroom like lecture about how he made Sherlock Holmes. I like this feature and I hope more movies jump on board with the idea.
  • Sherlock Holmes Reinvented – How do you take a Victorian character with lots of nerdy smarts about almost everything and turn him into a Victorian character with nerdy smarts, tormented guts, a troubled soul, and a modern (while still in the Victorian era) zing? Guy Ritchie explains.
  • BDLive – Yea, go online on your player to see the features…..not any features to actually look at, but whatever.
  • Digital Copy – Put this little popcorn flick on your device to go and have a good time on the subway, waiting at the doctor’s office, or for your car to get fixed. Never watch movies at work though, that’s just rude. 🙂
  • DVD Version Of The Movie – A cute.

The Movie: 6/10
I had a great time. No, really I did. I love the whole idea of a modern, but still old timey Sherlock Holmes coming to life on our 21st century movie screens. I’m a fan of Robert Downey Jr. I like Jude Law. I dig the Victorian age, or at least our interpretation of the time period. I like action adventure. I could go on and on, the problem is, even with all this going for my movie watching experience, I came away feeling a little less than satisfied.

Let me break it into little bite size morsels and see if I can understand why I didn’t quite have as good a time as I should have. First, like I said, I dig Mr. Downey. He’s awesome. I know, he’s a bit self indulgent and cocky sometimes. I’ll give any critic that much on him, but you have to admit he dives into his roles like his whole self, or so it seems. Every quirky turn of his head, eyebrow raise, funny little grin, it’s all charming and engrossing (for me). Jude Law is pretty good, I’m just not as enthusiastic about him as most people are. I think he’s very good, he’s just not very exciting. He does Watson proud though, a really fine interpretation of the otherwise bumbling side kick was in the novels. He’s not bumbling, nor is he sidekickish, he’s pretty together and cool.

The rest of the cast is fine and dandy. I do enjoy Rachel McAdams. She’s got me hooked on that smile and she brings a certain casual strong elegance to her criminal minded character. Back to the rest of the cast, sometimes there is the odd flat liner, but I can handle that in an action flick. The bad guy is awesome, well, the actor is. I found the bad guy character a bit overly stereotyped, but hey, it is what it is. If you have seen RockNRolla, you’ll remember Mark Strong as a very engaging fellow and as the evil dude in Sherlock Holmes, he’s just as captivation.

The sets are amazing, of course. I mean, these days do you really have an excuse for having crappy sets and costumes? Even if I made my own movie I’d expect to pull together some groovy stuff. The music is just right, not too much, not too leading, just enough festive, action, depth to go along with the story, the characters and the time period, mostly.

The story is a Sherlock Holmes mystery, of course. There’s a bad guy, a sinister plan, a damsel, some trickery, some sleuthing, some comedy tit for tat between the close (seemingly very close) friends, Holmes and Watson. It’s fun and fast paced, just a good old time at the movies. So, why then do I not have a post-movie glow? The things I didn’t like are just enough to kill the glow, but not so much I wouldn’t recommend the movie to anyone looking for a good time. I didn’t like the way the story turned here and there. I didn’t like the end, the resolution, the leading up to a sequel even though we have no idea where will be a sequel… all adds up to kind of an empty feeling. There are moments I remember fondly, however, overall I will need to give it some time to bubble in my memory and then watch it again maybe to  hopefully gain a better appreciation for it.

Audio & Video: 9/10
Sherlock Holmes is one of the better Blu-Ray releases we have seen this year. Guy Ritchie’s version of Victorian London is brought to life in a ultra stylized gritty looking transfer that really delivers. The picture is very contrasty and there is not a great deal of detail in the shadows, but the lighter scenes look very good and preserve the theatrical presentation perfectly. If I had one complaint I would say the movie is not as sharp looking as some other movies we have seen in HD, and at the end of the movie the bad CG work perhaps looks a little too sharp. But aside from those gripes this is a top notch presentation.

The DTS-HD Master Audio track is easily the best audio track I have heard in 2010. From the opening scene the surround speakers light up then never stop right to the end credits. There are some amazing moments in the movie which the audio (and Hans Zimmer’s score) really amplify, excuse the pun. One moment when Mark Strong is talking uses a diagonal panning effect that really puts you on edge. This is showcase material and something to show off one of those new fangled HD audio receivers with. Overall I liked the movie, hated the ending, but loved the Blu-Ray presentation. As Meatloaf would say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Value: 5/10
I’m standing firmly in the middle on this particular disc. I enjoyed the movie a lot. The extra with the director is awesome. The problem is, I don’t love it, and I won’t be watching again anytime soon, if ever. Oh sure, I’ll drag it out if a young family member comes around and wants to have a couple hours of entertainment. That doesn’t mean I’ll watch it again, unless I’m really in the mood. So, the value isn’t great for me unless it’s about 5 bucks…not gonna happen. So, if you think you will indulge many times in the first adventure of the new/old Sherlock Holmes, I say park it on your shelf. If you are just curious and want a bit of fun, rent it, do the online queue thing, or wait for it’s debut on HBO/other cable TV channel.

Overall Score 7/10