T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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Film Review and Fandomness

We went to see the new Sherlock Holmes last night, on Orange Wednesdays at Cineworld. Orange Wednesdays are the only exception to my rule of only seeing films at IMAX or the Electric (thanks to AMC fail when we saw Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and my being generally opposed to Cineworld's ethos) and there seems to be a direct correlation between how busy the cinema is and how bloody quiet it is, as both times now we've seen a film there on a Wednesday evening in a packed auditorium where everyone shut up - as opposed to half-empty auditoriums where noisy bastards feel a need to fill the silence.

I wouldn't go there normally considering it's now £6.85 for a single ticket at peak time (with an extra few quid on top if it's in 3D)! I don't mind paying a tenner for IMAX because, you know, it's a 60-foot screen; we saw Sherlock... on Screen 12, one of Cineworld's smallest screens. I mean, it's still bigger than Screen 1 at Odeon but, you know, for nearly seven pounds I expect better when the film hasn't even been open that long.

To prove the point about why I dislike their treatment of films: they're showing a Luc Besson film entitled The Lady, which is only on Wednesdays at lunchtime. We're several editions behind on Empire presently so I've not heard of this, but Cineworld's treatment of it alone makes me think it would actually be quite good, if I had time to see it. According to Cineworld logic, only unemployed people want to see arthouse films. Which is about as ignorant as Jeremy Clarkson's presumption that only poor people use public transport.

Plus they were obviously sore about Vue obtaining the rights to the POTO 25th anniversary gala - and thus lots of money - considering their sarcastic 'summary' of it on their Twitter feed. :P

Anyway, gripes about the company aside, here are some thoughts on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I think actually I should have bought the first one on DVD already to re-watch it, as I'd kind of forgotten HOW AWESOME it was.

I'd actually forgotten why it was awesome until Watson turned up. I dunno, I just found the Holmes/Adler relationship a bit boring, which is weird because I quite liked her character in the first film. I suppose it gave Holmes a somewhat more personal reason to catch Moriaty other than his generic evilness, but apart from that I didn't really see the point of Adler being there at all.

I really enjoyed the scope of the film, starting in London and taking in France, Germany and Switzerland. Obviously, I enjoyed the fact that some of it was set in Paris, and I loved the house/castle in the Alps with the waterfall underneath it. So brilliantly extravagant and just perfect that all the pompous heads of state would meet there for a peace summit. Nothing says 'rich' quite like having a waterfall under your house. ;)

I love seeing the Palais Garnier on film. In modern life it's difficult to take in the scale of the facade because there's a traffic island in front of it; it's still impressive, of course, because you come out of the Metro station with it behind you, then you notice it when you turn around... but I really like seeing it on film when it's set in the actual time period. You get a more direct sense of how imposing and grand it would have been when it was built. I am still in POTO mode to a degree and my brain is incapable of not connecting the building to the myth, so even though Sherlock... is set some ten years later, I still kind of wanted Erik to turn up. :P I will expand on this later under a separate cut. ;)

Watson's wife (Mary) was also only in the film briefly, and she seemed like a decent character - wearily accepting of Holmes and his position in Watson's life yet not quite willing to relinquish her husband entirely to his escapades. I liked the gypsy woman too (Simza I think she was called?) as she slotted nicely into the Holmes/Watson escapades without seeming like a third wheel.

Oh! How could I forget Stephen Fry!? Well, he was basically playing himself, but he was still brilliant. :D It's possibly rather more of them than we were expecting to see (*ahem*), but I was already prepared for that thanks to him apologising on Twitter. :P LOL at "Sherlie" though; aside from the silliness of the nickname, it also summed up their relationship. I cannot imagine what a young Sherlock was like, but one presumes he was just as insufferable as a boy and would have to be kept in check by his older brother - who has, by the time they are grown-ups, apparently left him to his own devices. :)

The film segued very well between comedy and action, without the action scenes becoming trite or boring. The chase through the German forest was very well shot, and Paul liked how they utilised Holmes's fight 'predictions' to better effect this time around - especially when Moriaty did it at the same time.

It goes without saying, but OMG THE SLASH. Prior to these films the only Sherlock Holmes incarnations I'd seen all the way through were a Billy Wilder film that Naomi brought with her one New Year's Eve (which was ridiculously slashy but not overtly), and a Christmas BBC adapation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Richard Roxburgh as Holmes (which is ironic considering he played Moriaty in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen...) - and I can't remember much about that one because it was all draped in moorland.

I remember commenting when I saw the first one that it was brilliantly slashy, and I like that they didn't ignore those obvious undertones. I remember briefly studying ...Baskervilles when doing 20th Century Literature at uni (hence probably why I watched the adapatation at the time) and the lecturer mentioning the slash even then - although not in those words, obviously. :P This film also pasted on the slash by the trowel-load, which was hilarious without ever feeling remotely inappropriate or misplaced (given Watson's recently-married status). I think Simza just assumed they were a couple anyway. :P

Most of my favourite quotes, therefore, are Holmes/Watson exchanges or just from Holmes himself. Off the top of my head, and probably not verbatim:-

On the train to Brighton, just after Holmes has thrown Mary from the carriage into the river and is trying to stop them getting shot by machine guns:-

Holmes: "Lie with me, Watson!"
Watson: "WHY?!"

Then this, after Holmes has been briefly dead and brought back to life by Watson injecting what I presume was an adrenaline shot (Holmes's invention, obviously) into his heart to resuscitate him, after beating his chest has failed:-

Holmes: "Who's been dancing on my chest?!"
Watson: "That would be me."
Holmes: "Why does my ankle itch?!" [Watson explains there is a splinter in his leg, then a bit later:] "Did you call me a selfish bastard?!"
Watson: "Probably."

Watson: "How did you know I would rescue you?"
Holmes: "You didn't rescue me, you collapsed a building on me!"

Holmes, on sampling his brother's 'personal oxygen supply' in a handheld device: "What is this marvellous contraption? May I have it?"

And finally, this was my absolute favourite quote from the entire film; Holmes on why he doesn't like horses:-

"They're dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle."

Bwahaha! We almost didn't need the visual comedy of him riding the miniature pony because that line was pure genius.

I'm sure there must have been more, but those are the only quotes which stick in my memory. Other favourite moments were Watson getting into a fist-fight over his ill-gotten winnings, then subsequently arriving at his wedding bruised and hungover (hee!), THE DANCING OMG (I can't decide if that was hilarious or adorable: "Who taught you to dance, Watson?" / "You did."), all the Paris stuff (Opéra, Tuilleries, Eiffel Tower, I just loved the scenery), the bit with Watson and the cannon vs. the hitman, the implication that Moriaty was trying to start World War I and the depressing reality that it was inevitable anyway (and in fact that Holmes may well have caused it instead with his well-meaning telegram), Holmes killing Watson's dog again (LOL) and their silly jungle game at the start... actually, I pretty much loved all of it. :D

So, thoroughly enjoyable, very watchable, highly recommended. GO AND SEE IT NAOW.

Right then, here's the separate cut with my POTO-related ramblings, which I want to keep apart from the film thoughts because they're only semi-related... Not being content with wanting to be Jack the Ripper (as per a post a few weeks ago), my Erik!Muse popped his head up to enjoy the film with me last night as well. This is what happens when the Palais Garnier appears for more than half a second; it's like a disease.

I had a silly little idea pop into my brain during the bit where Holmes, Watson and Simza were on the roof after the explosion (oh yeah, I was also really glad they didn't blow up the Opéra as suspected), whereby rather than finding only trace evidence of the hitman's presence - the scrapes in the floor, etc. - they would find him dead on the floor instead, having been conveniently Punjab lasso-ed by Erik. :D I imagine Erik would be quite appreciative of Holmes's investigatory skills and inventive endeavours, although I'm not sure what he would make of Watson. :) Plus, if we take Kay's canon into account, the presence of Simza would remind Erik of his gypsy background - he would probably realise immediately that's what she is, compared to the Englishmen - though I can't quite figure out if that would be a good or a bad thing. The gypsy part of his life was both negative and positive (abusive yet sheltering), though by the 1890s - ten years after the events of POTO in any event - he would probably only look upon his early years with the same nostalgia as the rest of us do, with an understanding of how they made him who he is.

Bit of a tangent there... Um, yes, so Holmes and Watson find a dead hitman on the roof, and a strange masked man in a hat and cloak quickly disappears through a hidden doorway. Why would Erik kill the hitman? Simple: he's trespassing on the roof of his house! Aside from the fact Erik is bound to notice Holmes and Watson clambering around backstage and wonder what's afoot ("the game", natch), only to spy on them later in the proceedings...

I very much enjoy the idea of him still living under the Opéra even after the events of 1881, but no longer prowling around terrorising people as the Phantom. Maybe Christine de Chagny (née Daaé) is the female star in the opera Moraity attends - we may never know. :) In my head these two stories are now irreversibly connected and I will never unsee Erik in that sequence in the film - even though he was technically 'unseen' anyway. ;)

Fandom makes me crazy, apparently. But I think we already knew that.

In other news, I was supposed to re-start gym attendance this week but being insanely busy has put a damper on. Paul's Monday nights have now been reclaimed, as Broken Amp is going monthly rather than weekly, but he was at Alex's this week, then I had choir on Tuesday and we went to the cinema last night, obviously, so I need a quiet end-of-week before going out to the cinema again on Saturday for The Artist at the Electric.

We booked to see it at the Electric thinking it wouldn't be on elsewhere, and naturally, because it stormed Cannes it's on everywhere. Still, it will be interesting seeing it at the Electric and for once I don't mind them showing a mainstream film. :P (Even they've relegated it to Screen 2, though.)

I also want to try and catch Hugo in 3D at the IMAX whilst it's still showing. It's nearly Oscar season so there will hopefully be some good stuff in the pipeline (although War Horse is being trailered to death), but even if there isn't, the new Tim Burton endeavour, Dark Shadows, opens in April or May. It looks gothalicious so I am very much hoping for an IMAX release. 60-FOOT GOTHIC JOHNNY DEPP, HELLO. :)

Right then, I think this entry is MORE than long enough, so I will sign it off. Apparently with my LJ these days you get nothing or you get epic spam. Sorry.
Tags: fandom: phantom of the opera, reviews: films
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