Young Sherlock Holmes
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Chris Columbus, who helmed the first two Harry Potter movies, wrote the script for this bouncy marriage of a Sherlock Holmes detection story and an Indiana Jones-style cliffhangers. This odd combination received a lot of criticism when the film was first released, but ultimately the mixture of a Victorian detective story and an ancient Egyptian cult is charming and a lot of fun.
Nicholas Rowe is perfect as the snotty, elegant young Sherlock Holmes, and Sophie Ward is absolutely radiant as his romantic interest. Alan Cox as Watson (a dead-ringer for Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry Potter) is less effective, but tolerable. The effects were groundbreaking in their time, featuring the first computer-generated characters -- animated by Pixar before they became a household word -- and still hold up nicely. They actually have more charm than most modern CGI effects. The film does suffer from slow patches and a premise that could have been pushed even further, but this is still a good family film and most older kids and adults interested in special effects should enjoy it. (Be warned, however: younger children may find parts too frightening.)
Sadly, as far as extras goes, the DVD is "Elementary, my dear Watson": nothing, not even a trailer. That's a shame, since many special effects breaththroughs were made on this movies, such as the computer animated stained-glass window character, and early work from Pixar (yes, Pixar!)
P.S.: Make sure you watch all the way through the end credits for the quick bonus scene.
In a snowy and sinister December at the height of the Victorian Era, Watson, as a teenager, is sent to Brompton, a private school in a snowy London, when his old one is shut down due to lack of funding. Upon arrival, he meets a violin-playing smart-Alec who deducts his character from his mere appearance. It's the beginning of a life-long friendship.
Holmes' life on campus is rather cosy. He has a pretty girlfriend Elizabeth (Sophie Ward) and her uncle, Professor Waxflatter, is a crackpot inventor of the Doc Brown variety who lives in the school attic with all of his crazy inventions. At first, Watson and Holmes have fun getting up to mischief on campus but a series of bizarre suicides soon distracts them.
The local Inspector Lestrade is too lazy to do anything about it, leaving them free to investigate. Apparently the victims are all sane, happy men who seem to go suddenly mad with fear and hurl themselves to the nearest oncoming death. Things get personal when Waxflatter suffers the same fate and stabs himself in fit of madness.
Why are ordinary men going crazy? Who is the mysterious black robed person hiding in the shadows? What dark secret was Waxflatter hiding?Read more ›
The effects are a little cheesy and they show their age, but there are a few good ones. The hallucinations are really creepy and are very well done. One of the freakiest is when Watson is attacked by the very pastries that he loves. If you only see this scene, it's worth the price of this DVD. Overall, the tone is dark, so it is very watchable even though it's a children's movie. As for the actors, they do a good job, especially the kid playing the role of Watson. This one is really worth checking out.
Sherlock Holmes, a young man still in school, faces a mystery that involves an old religious cult that may be responsible for the recent, strange murders taking place in London. Watson is the narrator of the story. He has just arrived at Sherlock's school, and fascinated by the charm, intelligence and wit of his soon to be good friend, follows him along on his adventure. Poisoned darts, DaVinci-like experiments, mysterious acquaintances, seemingly unexplained events, and ghosts from the past make an appearance and very soon "the game is afoot".
It has a solid script that combines the mundane environment and events of high school with an interesting mystery/adventure plot penned by Chris Colombus in the well-known Conan Doyle style. It has equally solid main characters that not only accurately portray younger versions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, but also behave believably and in accord to the books written by Conan Doyle.
The realistically reproduced sets and costumes (you will even get to see the iconic cape, hat and pipe) and the speculative twists on the origins of the characters make this movie more than just enjoyable and entertaining, it makes it as charming as Holmes and Watson's personalities.
If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or simply enjoy an old-fashioned, well-crafted, surprising mystery, buy this movie. You won't be disappointed.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a pretty good movie but not quite a five-star rating. I love almost any movie about Sherlock Holmes and you will enjoy this one.Published 1 day ago by S. Mansfield
I've purchased before.
Perfect production - needs no 'explanations'
Spielberg at his best??
Good movie. I liked it although it is geared toward the preteen crowd.Published 7 days ago by anne burnard
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