Sitting down to watch this movie, I was filled with mixed opinions. I liked the first one as a whole film. Then I saw the recent BBC adaptation of Sherlock in its modern day context and found a new interest in what used to be my favorite Disney film. What am I talking about, you may ask? The Great Mouse Detective, plain and simple. This story of rats, cats, and
The one, true Sherlock Holmes.
danger is one of my favorite stories and so cleverly done I think it should rank as one of the best Disney creations of all time. But enough about that. So, when I sat down for the sequel to Guy Ritchie’s critically acclaimed Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t expecting the world of this film. Just some entertainment.
And it didn’t really do that, that much. I was constantly befuddled by the dialogue and the quick witted humor in its attempts to be funny, leaving me unsure as to what was more important, the characters or plot. The action took over all too much of the film and left the sleuthing for the last second. You would get a
Despised friends til the end.
few of those extended deductions, but not enough of any detail that I could have noticed myself. Moriarty’s storyline and relevance in the entire showdown was rushed and wasn’t developed very well at all. If I hadn’t had seen the first film (which this was supposed to stand alone as a Sherlock film) I may not have had any idea or interest of what was going on.
And then we come to my issue with Robert Downey Jr. in this film. I thought he made a great comeback, I don’t fault him for that. But what has he done in the last five years that could be considered a serious role? Or even a character that doesn’t have a swelled head? I’m seeing Zodiac back in 2007 and that’s about it. The persona he’s created
I forgot to mention Noomi Rapace was in this one…
since the success of Iron Man is that he is Tony Stark in every role. When you see these movies, it’s not “Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes.” It’s “Robert Downey Jr. playing a playboy, egotistical jerkoff.” If there was some range to his acting (other than a standout performance in Tropic Thunder) since his comeback, I would give him more credit. This movie was more of the same.
The playboy strikes again.
It wasn’t to say there weren’t things in this film I enjoyed. After watching the greatness that is Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, I know the elements he brings to a movie are fast and slick. Jude Law comes off as a decently done Watson with all the hesitations and reservations he’s supposed to have. Hell, that’s probably because I’m a Jude Law fan. And Stephen Fry makes a great guest star as Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft. Although I don’t think you could ever consider the two brothers, maybe that wasn’t the point. Jared Harris’ performance was unremarkable, but I gave a sigh of relief at killing off Rachel McAdams early in the story. Not a spoiler; a message from the Hollywood gods that she really wasn’t meant to be in these movies.
So you add all these disappointments together into one movie and you end up with a confusing plot and rinse and repeat
Can we see some more explosions please?…
rapport between two characters seen countless times before. The classic buddy comedy with a facade as a thriller action film. I don’t mind all the action and high definition, slo-mo cameras, but this movie got a little ridiculous. The fight with the Russian assassin, the explosions and all the weaponry… This loose adaptation wasn’t really that close to the Sherlock Holmes story was it? I think it would be best to allow the BBC and the British to do what they do best with their British authors. Make television versions worth watching. 5.5 out of 10.
1 Comment | tags: BBC, BBC adaptation, British, British authors, buddy comedy, confusing dialogue, deductions, disappointing, Disney films, egotistical, explosions, fast and slick, great comeback, guest star, Guy Ritchie, high definition cameras, Iron Man, Jared Harris, Jude Law, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, loose adaptation, mixed reviews, modern day context, Moriarty, Mycroft, not enough substance, not funny, persona, playboy, quick witted humor, Rachel McAdams, rinse and repeat rapport, Robert Downey Jr, Russian assassin, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, showdown, sleuthing, spoiler, standalone film, Stephen Fry, swelled head, television versions, The Great Mouse Detective, thriller action facade, Tony Stark, too much action, Tropic Thunder, unremarkable performance, Watson, weaponry, Zodiac | posted in Movies
This movie came to me as a change of pace from jolly ole London. Straight from the director of The Mighty Boosh and Come Fly With Me (two BBC series I love, can’t go wrong with Noel Fielding or Matt Lucas) Paul King, this little movie, Bunny and the Bull is the story of agoraphobia. Stephen (Edward Hogg) travels through his past and towards his front door to face the past that created his fear of leaving his house. Hurt feelings are uncovered and adventures in the weirdest ways are had, and I loved every minute of it.
So let’s see… Stephen goes on a cross-Europe adventure with his friend and gambler Bunny (Simon
Bunny & Stephen on their outrageous adventure.
Farnaby). For all you Boosh fans, Farnaby played pie face and Howard Moon’s twin in The Mighty Boosh. His outlandish acting is required again as Bunny, an unlikeable character needed to drive Stephen from his rut and his home. There are some great parts to this movie. Like, first of all, Stephen’s England flat doubles as a OCD’er’s paradise. Every item used in his home, every routine, is boxed and categorized for later sentimental value. Its quite a sight to see. And what comes in contrast to this to bring Stephen’s life to a screeching halt?
What's going on here, Julian Barratt?
The most amazing animated backgrounds and interactive panels. Stephen and Bunny slip into couches, ride around in crabs, and cross maps in search of what Stephen has been missing. This quirky comedy comes with a dark side that is finally faced at the end of the film. And, although you may not like the way it ends, it brings a conclusion that Stephen, and hopefully the audience can live with. Liberation.
There are some great cameos in this film! Richard Ayoade (former Boosh shaman and now IT Crowd
The Amazing Noel Fielding!
star) plays a Museum Curator in Germany, specializing in cobbling and shoes. There’s Julian Barratt as Atilla, the Russian madman obsessed with dog’s tit milk, and Noel Fielding, as Javier the failed Spanish matador. With all these Boosh actors, what could be wrong with this quirkily dark film? Yes, you end up hating Bunny. Yes, you feel frustrated with Stephen’s insecurities. But it all comes together in the end. This movie deals with standing up for yourself. With taking a chance. With getting up after love and loss, sadness and fear strike you down. Because, as this movie would suggest, it’s always important to bet again on the long-shot.
Leave a comment | tags: adventure, agoraphobia, animated, Atilla, BBC, betting, Bunny, Bunny and the Bull, Come Fly With Me, dark side, dog's milk, Edward Hogg, Europe, fear, gambler, Germany, Howard Moon, IT Crowd, Javier, Julian Barratt, liberation, London, madman, matador, Matt Lucas, Museum Curator, Noel Fielding, OCD, outlandish, Paul King, pie face, quirky, Richard Ayoade, routine, Russian, shaman, Simon Farnaby, Stephen, The Mighty Boosh, travling movie, twin | posted in Movies
This cute little film filled with British actors takes a new look at the story of Romeo and Juliet and uses a British topic of interest. Garden gnomes. (Not sure if a lo of Brits have these, but it’d be interesting to see some U.K. gardens.) I watched this with my mom (U.K. T.V. analyst and fellow blogger) mostly for James McAvoy’s voice talents. We’re both fans, but for slightly different reasons. (Not really though, he is pretty dreamy.) This tragic William Shakespeare story is turned on its head (as the poster suggests) with a cute plot device using warring gardens who happen to be owned by Miss Montague (Julie Walters, good old Mrs. Weasley) of the “Blue”burys and Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson) of the “Red”bricks.
Set apart from typical Pixar and Dreamworks films, this film takes its own approach to animation in the 3-D. Although
McEvoy and Blunt as the disguised Gnomeo and Juliet
Touchstone and Miramax do good animated films, this British touch to the way things looked was refreshing, at the same time that it seemed a bit off in its sharpness and cutting edge-i-ness. But it’s all the same to me these days, what with all these mass amounts of animal infested, fantastical adventures films made for kids and adults in 3-D animation. (I would recommend Rio though, it was quite a cast and story.) But the story stands out in comparison to the lack of pizzazz in the animation, and gave it some credibility.
Warring gardens with love in the mix.
So as expected, the story follows quite closely to the original Romeo and Juliet plot line. (Less death unfortunately.) The warring families led by Lord Rebrick (Michael Caine) who’s Juliet’s (Emily Blunt) father and Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith) who’s Gnomeo’s (James McAvoy) mother despise each other for reasons that seem a bit hazy. The real test between the families is whose garden is superior. One night, in order to impress her father, Juliet sneaks out of the garden in order to retrieve a beautiful flower to spruce up the garden. Surprise, surprise, Gnomeo sneaks out as well for some mischief. The two cross paths, sparks fly, and their love is forever fated.
But oh the problems that ensue. One’s red and the other’s blue! What will they do? Their love is forbidden and they may only meet in secrecy. And there must be some conflict that arises when their love is discovered! And yes, there is. This version doesn’t disappoint and how could it? True British actors are tackling a fellow countryman’s play.
Now let’s talk about the cast. I was quite surprised at the acting chops associated with this film, and every last one a Brit! Of course there’s the two star-crossed
Sorry Jim Cummings you just missed the mark.
lovers, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine lend their voices to their parents as some veterans of the BBC business. Also, and more unexpectedly, Jason Statham is featured in this film as Tybalt the red menace of the Montague house. I was really surprised to discover this after a few Transporter lines were delivered. I just can’t seem to grip the idea that Jason Statham is British! Matt Lucas, the good old Little Britains sketch comedy genius of the hairless kind lends a generically comedic voice to Benny, Gnomeo’s number 2. Even Patrick Stewart (Will Shakes himself) and OZZY OSBOURNE himself lends his voice to this film, as a ceramic fawn!
Thanks to this British cast for the cute film!
The only miss in this film is Jim Cummings as the pink flamingo garden ornament. His annoying attempt at some sort of foreign bird just loses it for me, because, to put it bluntly, didn’t deliver a funny line. This is quite disappointing as Jim Cummings has been in the Disney voice business since the early 90’s.
But all in all, this cute film about what our gardens hold delivers a nice little escape from reality for 75 minutes. With the occasional grown up joke and slapstick comedy, mixed with witty uses of the gnomes and what they’d be like if they could move (Toy Story style), this movie delivers a bit of entertainment worth a watch if you’re into British accents or children’s love/comedy/adventure films. 6 out of 10.
AND DID I MENTION THAT THE FILMED IS FUELED BY A ELTON JOHN SCORE AND SOUNDTRACK?!?!?
Leave a comment | tags: 3-D, adventure, animal, animation, BBC, Benny, bloggers, British actors, Brits, comedy, cute, Disney, Dreamworks, Elton John, Emily Blunt, fantastical, fawn, flower, forbidden love, foreign accent, garden gnomes, Gnomeo, James McAvoy, Jason Statham, Jim Cummings, Julie Walters, Juliet, Lady Bluebury, Lord Redbrick, love, Maggie Smith, mass amounts, Matt Lucas, Michael Caine, Miramax, Miss Montague, mom, Mr. Capulet, Mrs. Weasley, Ozzy Osbourne, Patrick Stewart, pink flamingo, Pixar, red vs blue, Richard Wilson, Rio, Romeo and Juliet, score, sketch comedy, slapstick, soundtrack, Touchstone, Toy Story, tragic, Transporter, TV, Tybalt, UK, voice actor, warring gardens, William Shakespeare, witty | posted in Movies
So I just finished this movie and, I have to say, I was blown away by its simplicity. I’m pretty sure this movie had about 5 shooting locations, and this simplicity alone was touching and dramatic. This film about the entity that is Charles Darwin and the theory that changed the world through conflict, was one of anguish, inner turmoil, and alienation. This movie may have been pure speculation about the life of Darwin and his quest to write “Origin of the Species,” but it is rare to encounter a film that makes you believe that the actor who is Darwin must have known Darwin. Must have been Darwin.
I had heard about this movie a year or so ago and have always had an affinity for Paul Bettany. All of his
Paul Bettany as Darwin with his Wife Jennifer Connelly as, well, his wife.
work is top shelf stuff. And Creation is no exception. Another amazing piece from across the sea, and it kept me entranced in Bettany and those around Darwin. The 1850’s was a time of religious dominance and this film portrayed that quite clearly. It is this conflict between science and religion (still ongoing) that frames the film. It is not all encompassing of the purpose, but gives substance to the interactions between work, family, and the past.
Martha West as Emma Darwin. What a relationship they had.
There are two amazing relationships that also frame this movie. The first is between Darwin and his daughter Annie (Martha West). The conflict between the live Annie and the memory of her past self haunts Darwin throughout the film. Annie loves her father and his dedication and fervor for life. And at the same time, she loves her mother and the devotion she shows to her religion. As Bettany says ever so touchingly, “I thought we were making the perfect child.” But it is this child that causes the loss of faith as well as the devotion to his soon to be world changing book. And, with every painful interaction, Darwin is forced to face the demons of his past and the issue that this creates with his family, most importantly his wife. And therein lies the second best relationship portrayed in the film. Between Darwin and Emma (Jennifer Connelly), there is an ocean. Emma’s religion and Darwin’s science seem to be the issue at the heart of the problem, but in a surprising and touching twist, it is the daughter that causes the rift. And the resolution is worth the watch in itself. It is rare in films that a leading man and lady would be married in real life. This is one of them. And I give that credit to whoever cast a married couple in a role like this. It’s absolutely amazing to watch two people with chemistry that is based in life to interact on film. Every scene with their interaction is so fluid and natural that I was blown away by how wonderful it must be to be those two in love. Quite literally the best part of the film.
And there are a few notable mentions to make about minor acting parts. Freya Parks does a great job as Etta, the oldest of Darwin’s children, fighting for the attention of her father who is perpetually focused on the memory of his dead daughter. Her scenes are touching and tragic in the way that she tries and seems to flounder without any affection from her father. The last scene, something to see. Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s current Sherlock) gave a great minor performance as Mr. Hooker, one of Darwin’s confidantes and emotional support in his hour of need when it comes to writing his book. And Martha West, bless her heart, gave it her all as Annie, the focus of Darwin’s obsession and past regrets. Having to play a protagonist and antagonist simultaneously must be quite hard for a child, and she pulls it off with aplomb.
You may have noticed the title of this blog. And I would have to say this plot reminds me of A Beautiful Mind, the great Ron Howard award winning story of another theorist who could see figments of his imagination, John Nash. All of the dramatic elements are there and its done with the same grace. I gotta give credit to Jon Amiel, a director who I’ve not seen do anything like this before, directing with all he has. Throw in some scenes straight out of The Fall with their exotic nature, and you have a recipe for a great movie. 9.5 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: 1800's, A Beautiful Mind, alienation, amazing, anguish, Annie Darwin, BBC, Benedict Cumberbatch, blown away, book, Britain, Charles Darwin, chemistry, child?, Creation, dedication, demons of his past, devotion, dramatic, dramatic elements, Emma Darwin, England, Etta Darwin, exotic scenes, family, father, father's attention, figments of the imagination, fluid, Freya Parks, haunting, in love, Jennifer Connelly, John Nash, Jon Amiel, loss of faith, married lead actors, Martha West, memory, mother, Mr. Hooker, natural, obsession, Origin of the Species, past, Paul Bettany, perfect child, relationships, religious dominance, resolution, Ron Howard, science vs religion, Sherlock, shoot locations, simple, The Fall, theorist, theory, touching, turmoil, wife, work | posted in Movies