Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I really geek out on mystery in novels in general but this extends to British mysteries. I used to read tons of mystery novels. I haven't read as many in the last few years as I used although I've been turned on to a couple new series. I love a good series with a regular detective with a compelling personality. Who doesn't , right? I love getting into British mystery series and have a bunch I followed over the years including Midsomer, Cracker, Prime Suspect, Inspector Lynley, Inspector Lewis, Morse, Poirot, Miss Marple, and Sherlock Holmes. its' kind of funny becase these shows are super "straight". I love that about them. I love the study of the human condition that a good yarn of mystery can give us.
The Jeremy Brett adaptaion of Sherlock Holmes is one of my most ultimate favourite tv series. I adored Brett and can watch the programs over and over...sometimes if I can't sleep I will watch a whole episode on YouTube! I have a little tiny Sherlock Homes fetish. I'm not like crazy detail fan obsessed but maybe the next best thing, at least when I first got into the novels. I read all the Sherlock Holmes novels in a compendium one summer. What a fantastic experience. I will watch nay rendition of Holmes,a comedy, a spoof, a serious adaptation. So...I was pretty excited to see the new Sherlock Holmes with two hunky studs, Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. Yummy! For the first few minutes...I gotta be honest. I had trouble with Downey as Holmes. I was struggling. But then...there was one moment where it just happened, I bought it. I loved following the subtle expressions in his eyes. In fact, Guy Ritchie has the camera on Holmes eyes quite a bit during the movie. Downey's portrayal is really good for a couple of reasons. One, I liked and believed the eccentricity of the character. His mood and how he wore hats and used them to express his emotions was a good detail. In one scene at a cemetary it is quite brilliant how within two minutes the very same wardrobe transforms on the man. This Holmes is hilariously funny because like all nerds...he is dead earnest. He has no idea how funny he looks: he thinks he's got swagger-not! It is the commitment to being dead earnest that some of the best sight gags are achieved by Downey...who is a superb physical comic. The plot is not very developed. I was sad about this...but all other aspects of the movie are fantastic. There are enough riffs and revisions that this is a highly successful film adaptation. I loved the friendship between these two blokes. I give it an 8/10. (If there was a good strong mystery...this movie would have been perfect!)
The Seven Percent Solution has a cast just right off the chain,. Vanessa Redgrave, Laurence Olivier, Alan Arkin, Nicol Williamson, Samanthat Eggers and Joel Grey. Just crazy talent! A must see with Arkin playing Sigmund Freud.
One of my very favourite adaptations of Sherlock Holmes is the movie Murder By Decree , a Canadian production dirrected by Bob Clark, starring Christopher Pllummer and James Mason. This was good evil fun, with a decent plot for ti's time...now over done in many movies. Murder By Decree is delicious because it combines Sherlock Holmes and Jack The Ripper. Yummy!