~SHERLOCKE HOLMES vs. JUNG & FREUD . . .
SHERLOCKE – WINS !!
‘SHERLOCKE HOLMES: A GAME of SHADOWS’ – DIRECTED BY GUY RITCHIE, STARRING: ROBERT DOWNEY, Jr. and JUDE LAW
‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’ – DIRECTED BY DAVID CRONENBERG, STARRING: MICHAEL FASSBINDER, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY & VIGGO MORTENSON
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH, JAN 12, 2012
‘SHERLOCKE HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS’ – is one sequel that does not quit. In fact it is so good – it leaves you panting for the next. Fast paced, with a great story – tons of action, way romantic settings, and imbued throughout with a dense and gifted production in every nook and cranny – it is a movie for all movie fans across the spectrum, but esp for quick-minded visual artists and graphic designers, to say the least. even the credits roll – with sheer audacity.
The sets are astounding, set in 1891 London – the mad crazy street scenes, esp turn-of-the-century Chinatown in London !! just rush into the solitary overgrown madness of the famous detective’s home office – without missing a beat, and the visual rush just keeps on giving. . . the breath-taking high mountain villa, built over a waterfall, is that a real place ? – is just jaw dropping.
the acting is sublime and the ensemble cast just mesh into one black velvet cape of a caper. not to mention that every time Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law come on screen – which is pretty much always !! – your heart does skip a beat. Magnetic, charismatic, totally taking over the plot and bringing these old literary characters to life again. A rich, ripe, ironic and true – cinematic magic life. It’s not so much that you get involved in the emotionality of the movie and the characters – it’s that you are swept up and surprised and damn well entertained !!
the seamlessness of Guy Ritchie’s movie – he is so better off without Madonnna, is he not ? – is shadowed itself – by a bookend set of wonderfully seamless !! visual puns, pulled off by Robert Downey, involving a full body camo suit of the most curious nature – – and that’s all I’m going to say. The trailer and the film clips might be consumed by the fierce acrobatic action scenes, but yo any artist, in any creative endeavor or field – of any stripe !! – is gonna fall hard for this one – esp in the final frames, ha. wicked. good one, couch potato, NOT !! RITCHIE !!
ok. hint: it involves a hood and some good ole Victorian upholstery.
post script: one review I read put the movie down – because it was “unbelievable”. my godz, to say that is to really miss the point. that’s what it’s really all about. get over that notion – fast. or miss a brilliant movie-making feast. the action is over-the-top – it is a thriller. and even the more so for being an historical thriller at that. but you can ride it, you can suspend your disbelief, and the plot does tie up rather outrageously, but in essence: neatly !! that’s the brilliance of the Conan Doyle stories, after all. and that’s why the foxy Sherlocke Holmes lives to see another – day. mile high rushing mountain water falls notwithstanding.
and if you like to follow that path, for sure hit IMDb – and scroll down to their Did You Know ? section. where they lay out some of the film’s anachronisms, continuity slips, ‘crew or equipment visible’ – caught by sharp eyed historian and/or film buffs. as for me, I’m still digging the running gag on Jude Law’s hand-made knitted scarf, and Downey’s book end scene-stealing – camouflage stunts !!
and p.s. although of course everybody is making, or trying to make media-wise, a big deal of the great gypsy tarot card reader NOOMI RAPACE plays, duh. I thought the low-key RACHEL McADAMS pulls off a terrific, totally believable, and graciously under-played humorous rendering of the long-suffering wife of Dr. Watson. who not incidentally makes being thrown off a train racing across a miles high bridge into the rushing waters below – well, a bit far-fetched – but absolutely and most maddeningly charming. well, that’s the walloping ride of a great movie, for ya – in a fast plunging, and most extravagant – nutshell.
bet Steven Speilberg wishes he could still make movies like that.
watch the trailer: ‘SHERLOCKE HOLMES: A GAME of SHADOWS’
JUDE LAW, who else could partner with Robert Downey, Jr. and come out – so on point ? droll is the word.
and, yeah. ya gotta love that hand-knitted rag of a scarf around his neck . . . tres beau. nice detail, wonderful production, absolutely top notch.
on the other hand, ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’ – is absolutely the worst movie I have ever had to sit through, period. except for maybe some contemporary boring and way over-wrought French films. the worst production. the most boring adaption of an historically vivid moment that ever ruined the big screen. the production skills are zilch. the acting is even worse. the narrative is stiff and, I think annoying, is too kind a word for what goes on here.
once you’ve seen VIGGO puff down on his first cigar – you’ve seen it all. and I mean – he isn’t even good at that. they should have shown him doing Freud on coke (cocaine) – now that would have been not only a bit more dramatic and real !! but it would have given Viggo something to get into. acting range-wise, Ms. Knightley is just plain annoying, setting a most un-delightful tone that miscarries throughout. not to mention that she comes across as just plain ole desperate. her accent is the pits. no, she does not a Jewess, make. her jaw wrenching fits made me want to flee, right then and there . . . and if her movie-career can recover from this fiasco – I’d be very surprised. I mean unless you think seeing her full on naked, tied up to the 1920 era bedposts – is the cat’s meow ? ok. so she has her real breasts, is it just me – or does that not in itself a movie – make ?
MICHAEL FASSBINDER is such a woody one-dimensionally flat Jung – that he doesn’t even make it to wormy and deceptive. His performance was so un-nuanced and so un-inspired – it made me want to come home and throw out all my Jung books, and I mean that, tarot card manuals and all. there goes his rep, Jungian hi-end highly illustrated coffee table books be damned. and if cigar smoking ever had a chic – well, no longer. and for sure, take that Freudian clause – off your professional Dr. shingle, pronto.
the only thing that revived me after this clueless and stagnant hoax of a cinematic drama – was catching a real New York City – deli egg cream. and that’s not funny. or Freudian.
the only thing ‘dangerous’ about this movie is that the audience doesn’t come equipped with real rotten tomatoes to throw at it. what a ghastly over-written flop. if the guys who made this misfired production show up at the red carpets – shame on them. and throw the tomatoes – fast and furious.
watch the trailer: ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’.
MICHAEL FASSBINDER as JUNG, and VIGGO MORTENSON as FREUD, and that’s about as good as this movie gets. once you’ve see Viggo chomping on a cigar – he doesn’t even seem to like it – you really don’t want to see it over and over again . . . not to mention with nary a facial variation, or even a big breathy exhale – to add a little old European spice. ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’ is like an endless edit gone bad . . . way bad. boring and dumb. curious it could have been, big legends going down here.
so, don’t even bother – except possibly if you’ve got a taste for some celebrity S & M porn, in which case it’s rich fodder for hardcore KEIRA KNIGHTLEY fans.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY – THE OFFICIAL FILM WEBSITES.