Blu-ray Review “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed: Warner Home Video
Release Date: June 12, 2012

Blu-ray Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Film Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Can Robert Downey Jr. do no wrong?  He is brilliant as Tony Stark and amazing as Sherlock Holmes.  The interactions between RDJ and Jude Law are just absolutely perfect.  They are made to start in these roles together.  Jared Harris is also an amazing villain and a great rival for Holmes. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is not just an action film.  It is so much more.  Thought maybe not the best sequel ever, it definitely improves some on the first film and is downright really entertaining. I really enjoyed this film and I hope that Warner continues this franchise.

The Blu-ray presentation is very impressive for this release. The 1080p transfer looks really sharp and crystal clear. It also boasts an aspect ratio of 2.40:1.  The audio track is also amazing boasting a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  During the film’s action scenes, my surround sound system was shaking the walls, which is totally awesome! This releases (like most WB’s releases) comes stocked with all the goods. It comes with a Blu-ray of the film, plus a DVD disc as well. Lastly there is an UltraViolet streaming digital copy included.

The special features are decent but not completely overwhelming.  There is a Maximum Movie Mode including, which is a Picture-in-Picture track hosted by Robert Downey Jr..  It is a very informative and who will honestly turn down a one-man-show of Robert Downey Jr.? There are 35 minutes of “Focus Point” included through seven featurettes, within Maximum Movie Mode. Lastly be sure to check out the free Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows movie app for iPad2 or Kindle Fire. The app synchs with the Blu-ray disc to start exploring the rich and exciting history of Sherlock Holmes.

Synopsis: Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room…until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective. Around the globe, headlines break the news: a scandal takes down an Indian cotton tycoon; a Chinese opium trader dies of an apparent overdose; bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna; the death of an American steel magnate… No one sees the connective thread between these seemingly random events—no one, that is, except the great Sherlock Holmes, who has discerned a deliberate web of death and destruction. At its center sits a singularly sinister spider: Moriarty. Holmes’ investigation into Moriarty’s plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London to France, Germany and finally Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead, and moving perilously close to completing his ominous plan. If he succeeds, it will not only bring him immense wealth and power but alter the course of history.

Own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack or Digital Download 6/12!
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Book Review “Sherlock Holmes On Screen”

Author: Alan Barnes
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Titan Books; Updated edition
Release Date: January 31, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Right now with the rebirth of the character Sherlock Holmes due to Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr., the world’s top detective is back in the spotlight. This book covers the complete film and TV history of Sherlock Holmes. The book is softcover and is packed with rare archive pictures throughout and they are presented in black and white. Honestly I was aware of how much Sherlock Holmes exists in pop culture but I had no idea how in depth and how much in fact. This book really gives great insight into the most famous detective in our time.

The foreword is given from the co-creator of BBC’s “Sherlock” with Benedit Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. It is clever and a great intro to this book. The books approach is an A-Z format listing episodes and films by title. It covers every single portrayals of Holmes, including Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Peter Cushing, John Cleese, Roger Moore, Larry Hagman and of course the latest Robert Downey Jr. In each adaption, it covers “The Mystery”, “The Investigation” and “The Solution”. It covers overall a century of depictions ranging from the silent era to the present day.

Just because you think of the classic Basil Rathbone playing Sherlock, this book also shows the other side of the role in animated shows like Batman, Scooby-Doo and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you are also wondering what is the new addition to this version, it is new research into the Sherlock’s silent film series. It is really interesting and especially with the new film “The Artist”, silent films are hot now and this definitely fits the appetite. Of course there is also new material for Guy Ritchie’s reboot of “Sherlock Holmes”.  If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes than you will not want to miss this fantastic collection of every Sherlock Holmes work.


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Film Review “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 9 minutes
Warner Brothers

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

It is 1891. At his typewriter, Dr. James Watson (Law) is completing his memoirs. He has come to the chapter concerning his wedding and perhaps he and Sherlock Holmes’(Downey) greatest adventure. “It was 1878, “ he begins.

Told in director Guy Ritchie’s inimitable style, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is a worthy follow up to 2009’s initial “Holmes” film. The familiar faces are back but it’s a new face that makes the film so enjoyably fun…the face of Holmes greatest adversary, Professor James Moriarty (Harris). As evil to the core as Holmes is brilliant, Moriarty has devised a way to not only begin a major military conflict but also make a fortune off of it. With the soon to be newlywed Watson contemplating the end of his work with Holmes, our private investigator instills the assistance of his older brother, Mycroft (the always dependable Stephen Fry) As Watson heads to Brighton with his new bride, Holmes gains the confidence of a gypsy woman named Simza (Noomi Rapace, who starred as the original “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”). But is the new team clever enough to match wits with Moriarty’s genius?

The formula for a good adventure film is two-fold. First, you need likeable characters. And second, you need adventure. Both ingredients are featured here in spades. Refining the chemistry they began building in the first film, Downey and Law are more like an old married couple then professional partners. If I were to liken them to another film duo, I would call them the Riggs and Murtaugh of the 19th century. Their comfort with each other makes them seem like old friends to the audience. Fry, who hosts Great Britain’s annual BAFTA awards each year (I would love to see him do the Academy Awards) is great comic relief. In her first English language film, Rapace makes a fine debut. And as Professor Moriarty, “Mad Men” co-star Harris proves himself a most worthy addition to the Holmes canon. The visual effects are outstanding while the gadgets Holmes comes up with would rival anything “Q” could come up with for James Bond.

Interview with Hayley Holmes

Hayley Holmes is known best for her role of Harper on “90210”.  This year she also recently appear in the film “Rubber” and the web series “The Guild”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Halely about her roles and also what she has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about experience working on “The Guild”?
Hayley Holmes: My manager submitted my reel for the audition. I love “The Guild”, I have been watching it since season one. I am huge fan of Felicia Day. When I had the opportunity to audition for it I was very thrilled. I was lucky to book the role and I got to meet everyone on set and it was all very exciting.

MG: How was it working with such a fun cast?
HH: It was amazing working on it. They are such great comedians. A lot of them also do writing as well. Every time you are on set someone is cracking a joke or coming up with a funny one-liner. It was just a great group of people.

MG: How did you become involved with the film “Rubber”? and what did you think about the film?
HH: Before I even auditioned I read the script for that and I thought it was such an interesting idea for a movie. It is something that has totally never been done. It was completed different from anything I have ever done. I was a fan of the director Quentin Dupieux and have seen his other work. I thought if anyone could do it Quentin could. When I was able to come on it was great. We filmed in Palmdale in the desert. We were almost living the circumstance that were in the film.

MG: You appeared on the show “90210”, how was working on that show? Any plans for this season?
HH: They just started filming season four but there are definitely plenty of options for my character Harper to come back. She likes to stir the pot with the other characters. It was so much fun and I love playing her. She is such a type-a nerdy person and I am so not that girl, so it was very fun to get on everyone nerves and push the envelope. Everyone on the set was so cool, laid back and fun. It was nice to see that coming from such a hit show.

MG: From teen to tween, how was it working on Disney Channel show “Good Luck Charlie”?
HH: It was great and such a different dynamic. The vibe is just so friendly and everyone is hanging out and having fun. It is also cool because you get to film in front of a live audience. It is almost like theater.

MG: Tell us about your work as a contortionist?
HH: Oh yeah. My mom enrolled me into gymnastics when I was 3. I started liking it. I would do backbends and my teacher told me it was amazing. I started to build upon it and practice and working the flexibility in my back. My parents didn’t think it was a skill that anyone would ever utilize but I have use it so much in so many different projects so far. It has been really cool.

MG: What else do you have planned next?
HH: I also recently learned that this McDonald’s commercial I was in was up for an Emmy this year, so that is really exciting. I am currently out auditioning and trying to get a TV show to work on and along those lines.

Interview with Teck Holmes

Teck Holmes got his start on MTV’s hit reality series “Real World: Hawaii”. Teck has also appeared alongside Hollywood heavy weights Ryan Reynolds and Forrest Whitaker, to name just a few. Teck is currently hosting the popular television show “Hole in the Wall”. Movie Mikes had a chance to speak with Teck about his current projects and about his role in the upcoming film “Douglas U”.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about working on “Hole in the Wall” and how you got the job as host?
Teck Holmes: “Hole on the Wall” is a fun fast paced family show where contestants have to contort their bodies to fit into different shapes in order to fit through a moving wall. If they aren’t able to fit through the different shaped openings the contestants get knocked into a pool. How I got the job was I went on an interview just like any other job. I auditioned and the casting people liked me and offered me the job.

AL: Can you tell us about the addition of Aaron Gingrich?
TH: Aaron is the life guard on the show and he’s a great guy. If you look at us as Laurel and Hardy, Aaron is my Hardy. Aaron is a really great and funny guy and I am excited to have him be a part of the show this season. Aaron brings a really great energy to the show and we have good chemistry together.

AL: As a host what’s the most challenging aspect of the show?
TH: Smiling! I always have to make sure that I am smiling enough. To me this job is second nature and I don’t even really see it as hosting. I am very comfortable with the crew and the cameras. I just always have to remember to smile more.

AL: Can you tell us how you got involved with “Real World: Hawaii”?
TH: I am so happy that I was a part of that show. We had a great time. I was in my early twenties at the time getting to live in Hawaii with no cares in the world. It was really great to have the ocean as my back yard.

AL: Did you go through the traditional casting process for that show?
TH: I had sent in a tape which I had shot and somewhat edited to look like I was already on the show. Jason from “Real World: Boston” had found my tape and told the MTV people that it was really good. After that I was asked to be on the show. I think doing my tape the way I did really helped.

AL: Can you tell us about working on “Van Wilder”
TH: The original script called for a blonde hair guy who dressed like Lenny Kravitz. I had thought I was having a joke played on me because the character description was just like me. I thought to myself that if I don’t get this role then that’s my sign to go home. Thankfully I got the role. I got to work with Ryan Reynolds and Kal Penn which was really great.

AL: Do you have a role of yours that sticks out as a favorite?
TH: My whole career is my favorite! It has been just one big fast paced roller coaster ride that I am enjoying. It’s a good time.

AL: Can you tell us about your upcoming film “Douglas U”?
TH: The film has a great script written by Hari Williams. It’s a fun fictional story about the first black college west of Texas and the process of attending. I actually attended a similar college so I felt I had a close tie to the script. The film also stars Wanita ‘D.Woods’ Woodgett and Thomas Mikal Ford. The film should be coming out this fall.

AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?
TH: I am actually going to the Bahamas with “Hole in the Wall” for the summer where we will be taping at the Atlantis resort. When I get back from that I will be doing more “Hole in the Wall” and hopefully auditioning for some movies.


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