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Sherlock (Blu-Ray) DVD Review

Sherlock (Blu-Ray)

December 6, 2010

Director: Paul McGuigan,
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Loo Brealey, Rupert Graves, Zoe Telford, Vinette Robinson, Mark Gatiss,

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DVD Review

Sherlock Holmes? Transposed to modern day London, with computers, mobile phones and the Internet? Surely this will never work?

The idea that London’s most famous Victorian detective, as penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, could work in a modern setting must have seemed crazy to all but the most visionary of people – thankfully Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (two of the men behind the regeneration of Doctor Who) were two such visionaries. Sherlock Holmes, in modern day London, is both inspired and intriguing – and is an unquestionable success; one which apparently took a few people by surprise, including the BBC and star Martin Freeman (Doctor Watson).

Freeman may be better known as playing ‘Tim’ in the Office (or as the naked male porn star in Love Actually), but his role as Watson in Sherlock threatens to give the comedy actor a new shot at being typecast all over again. He is a youthful Watson, a man of action and a perfect foil for the brilliant, irrational and slightly unstable Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) – a man who could quite easily fill the role of The Doctor (Who, not Watson) himself without too much of a stretch.

Just like previous incarnations of Holmes before him, Cumberbatch plays Holmes with a degree of insanity – plagued by the fact that nobody is able to even keep up with him, let alone challenge him. Holmes is so bored in fact that he resorts to taking pot shots at his own living room wall with a gun, and keeping severed body parts in the fridge for ‘study’ – yes, this Holmes is only a slight nudge away from being one of the madmen he often catches. It’s this unpredictability – the sort of instability that followed David Tenant in his final few episodes of Doctor Who – that make this series so watchable.

Sherlock was only intended for a short run by the BBC, filming just three feature length episodes, but its runaway success ensured it was granted another series almost instantly – one which Freeman must fit in around his work on The Hobbit, where he plays Bilbo Baggins. Sherlock is edgy, it’s unpredictable and it’s brilliant. It displays writing at its very best and brings the legend that is Sherlock Holmes screaming into the 21st century for the Doctor Who generation.

I’ve mentioned Who a number of times in this review, but the parallels are there to be seen by all. The complex and in-depth style of writing, the cinematic shooting and the casting show very strong influences – as does the huge success of the show.

If you’ve ever thought of Sherlock Holmes as being a little stuffy, maybe even boring, think again. Sherlock, while staying true to the original’s intricacy and detail, is an action packed powerhouse of a series, and one that I’ll personally be following with glee.

Darren has enjoyed an interest in film for many years, studying the subject at Newport Film School where he worked on the film ‘Cop on the Edge IX: Prelude to Justice‘ in a directing and acting capacity. The official site can be enjoyed here. Darren setup WhatDVD.Net in 2003 to further his love of films and to write passionately about the movies he enjoys, and about those that he doesn’t.

Although his day-to-day activities mean that he now has less time to review movies than he would ideally prefer, he still tries to review new releases, and DVDs from his extensive collection, whenever possible.
view all DVD reviews by Darren Jamieson

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Rating: 96%

Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t4pgh

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