Tuesday, July 28, 2009

declining entertainments

I was excited to hear that Guy Richie was going to direct a Sherlock Holmes movie. Even better, Robert Downey, Jr. would play Holmes, and the movie would have a big budget and a great cast.

I am a fan of Guy Ritchie. I haven't seen everything he's done, but I liked Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Snatch was hilarious. And I highly recommend the recent RocknRolla. This movie is awesome in the best Quentin Tarantino tradition; not quite as good as Pulp Fiction, but close.

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most revered characters in literature, and for good reason. I've read the complete collection several times, going back to when I was kid. The characters, plots, and stories as a whole are clever, subtle, and richly detailed. Holmes himself is brilliant, stubborn, devious, witty, sophisticated, damaged, brooding, whimsical, tenacious, ethical, loyal. And tough. Definitely tough.

What he is not, however, is the James Bond of the 1880s. Or John McClane with a British accent. Or Neo downloaded into a Victorian version of the Matrix. Anyone who's ever read a single Sherlock Holmes story knows this. Why, then, when I see Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes trailer, am I assaulted by images of Robert Downey, Jr. in acrobatic, jump-cut, bullet-time fight scenes? I mean, sure, Sherlock Holmes got into some altercations. He boxed a couple of guys. He ordered Watson to take criminals into custody at gunpoint. But he's not a comic book superhero! Seriously, WTF?

This movie will suck. I don't think I even have the heart to watch it. And while we're on the subject, I've read Prince Caspian several times (ok, maybe several dozen times), but I somehow never realized I was reading the talking animals version of Saving Private Ryan. Thank you Walt Disney Motion Picture Corporation for pointing out what has apparently been a severe error in my reading comprehension.

7 comments:

Gleemonex said...

You know, I don't think I've seen any Guy Ritchie (I'm afeared of violence -- is that a legit fear in this case?) -- but I had the same impression you did of the trailers for Holmes. I love ACD, I love RDJ, but I'm not sure they've been properly brought together ...

HHL said...

It's been a while since I've seen Snatch and LSaTMB, so I won't venture an opinion, but the violence in RocknRolla was more joke-y than gory or hyper-realistic. Didn't bother me a bit... but maybe I'm too - as they say - desensitized to it?

Dunno. But the dialog is incredible, and the plot is winding and crazified and well-paced and unpredictable -- and yet lacks holes and makes perfect sense. I'd say it's just a really fun movie, and the violence is just kind of part of the scenery.

Rondell said...

Where the rap lyrics at? Ugh I thought this journal was for musical professionalism.

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