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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (BLU-RAY)
Did You Know?

Due to Warner Bros.' fast-tracking of this sequel, director Guy Ritchie was forced to drop out of an adaptation of Lobo, while Robert Downey Jr. was forced to drop out of Cowboys & Aliens ~IMDB

Sherlock Holmes is back (Robert Downey Jr.; The Avengers) along with his sidekick Watson (Jude Law; A.I.) complete with wife in tow (Kelly Reilly; Pride and Prejudice). This time Holmes is out to capture and bring to justice his arch nemesis Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris; Fringe) after Moriarty killed his love Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams; The Vow). Their new task sets them on a path which leads them to a gypsy woman named Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace; Prometheus) who is in Moriarty’s sights. Can Holmes save the girl, save Watson’s marriage, and ultimately avenge his love?

I’ll be honest here. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first film. It had a few things going for it, mainly that Guy Ritchie was behind the camera, but it didn’t feel like a Guy Ritchie film in the end. I had hoped, at best, this mainstream farce would at least give Ritchie the clout to return to his RockNRolla franchise, as was promised at the end of that film. Unfortunately Sherlock Holmes 2 was his next project, in what I assume was done in movie studio fashion of striking while the iron is hot. In any case I never bothered to see the film in theaters as I had done the first and I was at least a little intrigued to see what unfolded in this next chapter of the Sherlock Holmes franchise.

When I look back at what I witnessed for over two hours the Pirates franchise comes to mind. Depp was so perfectly sleazy, charming, and had a dialogue and accent that pretty much made the film. The sword fights and special effects were all just bonus. Then when the second film came out it was too much Depp, too much sword fighting, and the story kind of went belly up. This is exactly what happened to Sherlock 2. Far too many fight sequences, far too many in that watch it once in slow motion and then again in fast forward bit that was kind of cool back when it was done in the 2003 film The Last Samurai, a film that only employed it once throughout its entire runtime. In any case Robert Downey Jr. failed to do his character justice, there was nothing but fight sequences, and the story didn’t seem to do anything for the first hour (possibly more). Frankly I was bored and wanted nothing more to do with it. I of course watched it through to the end but by then I was completely detached. I didn’t care what happened either way. So was the BD at least quality?

Sherlock 2 is done in that very English gray tone that tends to mute color a bit. The film looks fantastic with a high detail presence and admirable black levels that are rich and deep helping to set up very nice line definition. Color is decent but it could have been better. Like I said, the picture is done with almost an artistic sense, just muted enough so that your transported to the cold gray industrialized world of England, but color does suffer for it. Audio is perfect. Bullets whiz all around you, back chatter is present which gives you that theater experience, and dialogue is crisp and easy to follow.

~Commentary Picture-In-Picture with Robert Downey Jr.: I think the film offers up more then enough RDJ but hardcore fans of the franchise, the actor, or the director might want to have a peek. It’s at time funny.
~Movie App
~Focus Points: A plethora of featurettes for fans and videophiles to enjoy. 
~Digital and DVD Copy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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