Sherlock Holmes

What an onslaught of Holiday movies. Sure Hope I can keep caught up. The first film to cross off the list is Sherlock Holmes. I wasn’t sure what this film would be like with Guy Ritchie at the helm of a mainstream film. Better known for his edgy indie films like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, you wonder if he can pull off appealing to the masses for a holiday big budget film. Surprisingly, he does just fine! He still carries a lot of his “indie” style into Sherlock Holmes, especially the way he reveals information in the story and his way of cutting the fight scenes together.

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Wonder Boys) is a perfect choice to play Holmes. The seeming brilliant, yet spaced out with an over active imagination, is right up Downey Jr.’s alley, having already played a similar confident egotistical crime fighter in Iron Man. Another great choice in casting is Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Gattaca, Road to Perdition) as the level-headed sidekick, Dr. Watson. Law’s demeanor plays well off the sporadic off-the-wall ramblings of Holmes. The one casting move I didn’t really care for was that of Mark Strong (Body of Lies, RocknRolla)  as the villanous Lord Blackwood. Although he looked menacing, I wanted a little more from the character and maybe a  could have brought that. Rachel McAdams (State of Play) is also in the film, but to me was really a non factor in the film, really not offering too much when she was on-screen, but not taking anything away either.

In all, I would recommend this film. It is worth seeing for sure. Robert Downey Jr is wonderful to watch, having already been recognized for his performance with a Best Actor nomination for a Golden Globe. I would have liked a bit more information during the film, more of the Sherlock Holmes studious observations as they took place rather than leaving most all of them for trying to make a clever reveal later on. Still, if that is the only complaint, it is a very good film and good holiday movie fun. Next holiday film on the list, Up In The Air!

Wedding Crashers

065935221012Wedding Crashers is a decent comedy, in the same vein as Meet The Parents and American Pie. John, played by Owen Wilson (Bottle Rocket, Shanghai Noon), and Jeremy, played by Vince Vaughn (Swingers, Clay Pigeons) are long time friends that have mastered the art of hooking up with girls at weddings. There are dozens of rules and even a Wedding Crashers playbook to follow. All of that goes out the window when they attempt to crash the wedding of weddings. Well known politician William Cleary, played by Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction, Catch Me If You Can), is hosting the wedding for his daughter, and while crashing the wedding John starts falling for Claire, played by Rachel McAdams (The Family Stone, Mean Girls). Wanting to get to know Claire better, John agrees to go to a weekend get-a-way at the Cleary house on the coast, and of course Jeremy has to go along….all the while being pursued by the Cleary youngest daughter, Gloria, played marvelously by Isla Fisher (Swimming Pool). The comedy continues as John and Jeremy experience about every awkward situation you might imagine during their stay, complete with Mrs. Cleary (Jane Seymour, Live and Let Die) hitting on John!

As far as performances go, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn make for a good comedy team pairing. They are so different comically and physically, they really play off each other well. For instance during the touch football game, it is the bigger of the two, Vaughn, that gets so banged up, which is perfect for Owen to chime in and comment on. Probably even a better pairing is Vince Vaughn and Isla Fisher, who are even further apart physically, and she plays the young girl obsessed and possessive so well, and Vaughn’s reactions to avoid her make them a very comical duo to watch. OK, Will Ferrell (Anchor Man) has just a bit more of a cameo in the film and just seemed out of place and in the way. I will admit there are very few things that I have actually enjoyed him in. He overacts so much he is just annoying. Ignore him though, plenty of other things to laugh at in this one.

I don’t believe this was as funny as the movies listed in the beginning, but it is a darn funny movie. There are several sexually themed jokes, but nothing over  the top gross or anything. I would say if you are in the mood for comedy this is a good one to catch.