Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Adventure of the Five Ticket Stubs

It may be said of my friend, Mr. Brad Keefauver, that he was not someone who did those things he enjoyed most by halves. And when the commitment to a cause took him, he became a force beyond what might be considered reasonable or rational to his fellow man. (The insights of women being so much more keen of course. And other genders doubly so.) Then it was not surprising that, early in January of 2019, we found ourselves seated for a fifth showing of that remarkable film Holmes and Watson . . .

Sorry for the royal "we," but when you "chronicle your own adventures," as it were, or "third-person narrate your own biography" . . . you know, "pound your own keyboard?" "Post your own blog?"

In any case, with only one more night of screenings left in Peoria, tonight was the night I went to see Holmes and Watson in the theater for a fifth and final time. So I feel like I might need to explain myself to those who are, perhaps, less enthusiastic about movies in general. How can a person sit through any movie five times in a few short weeks?

Well, this won't be the first time I've done such a thing -- in college it was not at all that unusual. The summer Star Wars came out, I saw it thirty-two times in the theater. And the key to seeing a movie more than a couple times is quite simple: Beyond just making you enjoy its story, the movie has to provide a world that you enjoy existing in for its run-time.

And, boy, do I enjoy the world that Holmes and Watson creates.

It's a world where Sherlock Holmes is England's greatest hero and everyone knows it. It's a world of lavish Victorian vests and long coats, giant cakes with hidden corpses that still are worth eating on your way to the morgue, and a long-suffering Mrs. Hudson whose accent is so thickly layered that its depths might hold megalodons. A world where Lestrade is properly vexed by Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft is properly superior to his brother, and the signs on institutions explain exactly what their attitude is. It's a world where folks can break into song, have sexual dreams that betray their hidden feelings at exactly the wrong moment, and invent social conventions ahead of their time while relishing the problematic viewpoints of their own era.

It's faux Victorian London via Hollywood and theme park, populated by a cast of charming louts, ladies, and street urchins of the most enjoyable sort.

At this point, I truly think John C. Reilly is in strong contention for my favorite John Watson of all time, filling out all the qualifications of a "Watson wanted" ad like a champ. Holmes and Watson is totally his story and its world is one he practically creates, loving it all from its Queen to its corpses with Watson-tinted glasses. He loves the world he lives in, and that comes through the screen as the original Canon's Watson comes through on the printed page.

And that, American ladies, filthy news kids, and wankers, is how I've come to see this particular Sherlock Holmes movie five times in the past few weeks. Your prime Earth-Sherlock may have the word "Granada" attached, or be set in the present day, but for a no-qualifications-needed good time that leaves a smile on my face during every roll of the credits, Holmes and Watson is where I haven't minded spending nearly eight hours of late, with no regrets at all.

One night left in many a city or town, so get out and see if it's a world you can handle, if you haven't already!

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