Sunday, July 26, 2015

Movie day.

The coming of Mr. Holmes to theaters has been a Sherlockian event in many a community. Here in Peoria? Well, since our Sherlockian society organizational skills are somewhat lacking, along with a few other important factors, no such luck. For many a Sherlockian, going to see Mr. Holmes is probably their first time in the theater in quite a while. ("They're charging how much for popcorn!?") But not for me.

For a huge "movies in theaters" buff like me, this latest little Sherlock Holmes release came at a time when I was taking a movie vacation day out of all my normal responsibilities, and had worked out a plan to see it in the center of a rare three-movies-in-one-day event. "What?" one might ask, "You're not giving sole focus to such an important Sherlockian event and allowing time for the consideration it deserves?"

Well, if your mind is Sherlockian enough, they're all Sherlockian movies.

My first stop for the day was Paper Towns, a coming-of-age tale of a young fellow's quest to find a larger-than-life person in a town that only exists on a map. "Been there, done that," I thought as this movie found its footing. Literally. Sherlock, Texas. Except Sherlock, Texas isn't really a paper town, it's more of a digital town, appearing on Mapquest, but not so much in reality.

And as in both Paper Towns and driving to Sherlock, Texas, it's really about the journey and the travel companions than the actual destination. The movie was very nostalgic for me, on several levels.

My second stop for the day, as I mentioned, was the big summer Sherlock Holmes event movie.

(And then the blog accidentally got posted, half-finished. Come back later for the rest.)

Well, that's done. Now, if you're the sort that doesn't like people to criticize those things you happily enthuse over, you might want to bail on this particular blog now. Right now.

Now I remember why I didn't like the book Mr. Holmes is based on. Not enough Holmes, too much melodrama. And a horrible final message. (Lie to people. They can't deal with the truth.)

There was a moment in Mr. Holmes where Sherlock Holmes is in a theater watching a Sherlock Holmes movie and commenting upon how over-done it is. At some point late in the movie, I found myself kicked out of the movie's world as the movie still went on, sitting in a theater having the same thought's as the Ian McKellen's Holmes did earlier in the film -- t'was very meta.

I didn't buy the reason Sherlock Holmes quit being a detective, as though years of dealing with crime and horror had not prepared him for one woman's suicide. The Japanese subplot seemed mainly there so nuclear devastation could add more drama.

(And then it became time for a third movie . . . and this prematurely posted post gets updated again before finished. Stay tuned.)

Now comes the part where I hand a handy ad hominum argument to those who don't understand it's a logical fallacy and won't allow that any reasonable human being could seriously dislike Mr. Holmes.

Here's my final rating scorecard for my movie day, which, it turns out, goes exactly opposite of Rotten Tomatoes percentage order.

Worst film I saw today: Mr. Holmes (88% critical favorite on RT).

Enjoyed a lot, but second in fun: Paper Towns (58% critically acclaimed on RT).

And my most enjoyed movie of the day, despite possibly the worst presidential casting in history:

Pixels (disliked by all but 19% of RT critics).

Yeah, I just gave Adam Sandler higher marks than Ian McKellen. I love me some Sherlock Holmes, but that name gets no one a free pass . . . especially on movie day!

P.S. One last minute thought: The alternate universe that Mr. Holmes existed in did intrigue me. His world's Canon had more books in it, and I wondered what the title of the glass harmonica story was.


  1. I respect your opinion on Mr. Holmes, but you LIKED Pixels?!? C'mon....

    1. It had a certain "Ghostbusters" vibe that made my inner thirteen-year-old happy. I'd say even Doyle knew sometimes you have to entertain "the man who's half a boy," but that makes it sound far too respectable.

  2. Very interesting, Brad. I didn't like the book much either and so will probably have the same reaction to the storyline of the film. But I'm looking forward to the pretty pictures and Sir Ian's sartorial splendour. I must admit that I've always had a soft spot for Adam Sandler (shhhhh!) and so will probably watch Pixels, too.

  3. Do not like Adam Sandler (Period) - The movie Mr. Holmes was watching was 'The Lady in Grey' and had a glass harmonica in it, so...

  4. I agree re: Mr. Holmes's "first foray into fiction." It was silly and a betrayal of the character, whose every instinct and life's work was about uncovering the truth. Same regarding the suicide as well; while I believe Holmes would certainly have been affected, I could not buy that he would punish himself for 30 years because he failed to prevent a woman who wished to die from doing so. I did like the performance, nevertheless, and the relationship with the boy. I HATED the portrayal (non-portrayal) of Watson and the blithe way in which that entire relationship was dismissed as irrelevant while a brief encounter with a suicidal woman became the focus of Holmes's life. It was just bizarre.

  5. I found it challenging to watch SH age. Remeber when the book Slight Trick of the Mind came out Michael Chabon wrote The Final Solution. I prefered the Chabon book over the Cullin. Perhaps I am so fearful of aging or dying that I'd rather not face the decline of my hero. I went to a matinee of the film and the theater was full of old people. I wonder if that was the target audience?
    However, there was great cinamatography, sets and costumes. Too bad they had to use allergy as plot point. An interesting fact of Sir Ian's homosexuality playing Sherlock and his fear of the Lady in Grey. All in all, let me say again, bad Sherlock is better than no Sherlock.