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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Downey Jnr’

Sherlock Holmes – sequel to begin filming

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes. So I was quite happy with the last 5 to 10 minutes of the film, when they openned things up for a sequel – with the unveiling of Professor Moriarty, Holmes’ archrival in the books. Moriarty is, perhaps, the first example of a supervillian, and is described by Holmes’ as the ‘Napoleon of crime’. For more on the character click here.

Now, with the film approaching $300 million at the international box office, it looks like the sequel could start filming as early as June this year.

Warner Bros haven’t yet given the film an official green light, but Robert Downey recently pulled out of other commitments in June using the Holmes sequel as his reason. Exciting times.

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Sherlock Holmes – A Review

January 2, 2010 2 comments

Guy Ritchie has been a hero of mine for almost a decade now. The first movie of his that I watched was Snatch. I was still at school at the time, and Snatch was an instant hit with us school boys. It’s still in my top ten films of all time… maybe even the top 3. Admittedly his last few films have been a bit disappointing – Swept Away was rubbish, Revolver was critically panned and Rock ‘n Rolla was okay, but still not quite there. So it was quite a surprise when Ritchie was selected to direct Sherlock Holmes, his most high profile directing gig to date. In fact the producer, Joel Silver, goes so far as to say that this film sprung Ritchie from directing purgatory. But the bottom line is that when Guy Ritchie makes a film I go see it.

So was it a wise move to pick Ritchie? I have to say that the answer is a resounding yes. For those who aren’t in the know, Sherlock Holmes is a film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional character of the same name. And while some Sherlockians (the Holmes equivalent of Star Trek’s ‘Trekkies’) will be disappointed at the films portrayal of Holmes, the rest of the world will be overjoyed that Sherlock has once again become relevant. He is no longer a stuffy English gentleman with a razor intellect. Rather he has become a sharpshooting, bare-knuckle-boxing bohemian with sharp reasoning, a somewhat questionable lifestyle and a dark, manic depressive streak. And did I mention he’s pretty ripped, with a decent six pack?

The project’s original writer, Lionel Wigram, has lobbied hard to get the new Holmes franchise off the ground. In the end he had to become an independent producer and only finally managed to sell his idea for Holmes by commissioning an “Indiana Jones” style graphic novel about the sleuth which focuses on Holmes grittier qualities… such as his martial arts skills (which were never explicit in the novels but were there in Holmes background).

I have to say that the new angle is a stroke of genius, and having Ritchie as director is a match made in heaven. He brings his usual take to the film – fast, punchy dialogue, a distinctive musical score, some bare-knuckle boxing and an engrossing picture of 19th century London that is dark, depressing and completely intriguing.

The story itself is actually an original, taken directly from one of Doyle’s novels. The premise is that Holmes and his right hand man Dr. Watson, are sucked into a dark web of intrigue after foiling a series of ritualistic sacrifices masterminded by Lord Blackwood (played by Mark Strong). Blackwood is sentenced to death by hanging, but after his sentence is carried out he refuses to stay in the grave and rises from the dead to wreak a plague of havoc. As the fabric of society unravels around them, and the government and police begin to turn them, Holmes and Watson rush to uncover the dark forces that are at play. What ensues is distinctly un-Holmesian, with street chases, shootouts, some spirited fisticuffs and an electrified cattle prod.

When it comes to the acting side of things Downey is excellent. His accent is flawless, and the character seems to fit him like a glove. Apparently he was visiting Joel Silver’s offices with his wife (Susan Downey, who eventually became one of the films other producers) when he learned about the project.  Initially Ritchie was reluctant to cast Downey as he wanted a younger actor, the idea being to focus on Holmes in his youth as he learns and grows into a legend. However, he eventually took a chance on Downey, and that chance has paid off. In Downey’s own words ‘when you read the description of the guy – quirky and kind of nuts – it could be a description of me.”

Jude Law is also excellent, his portrayal of Watson as former soldier, doctor, womaniser and gambler is a huge departure from original Watson – a bumbling fool who provides more comic relief than anything else. But the new “hot Watson” is an excellent partner for Holmes as they feed of one another’s energy and wit.

All in all Sherlock Holmes is a fantastic journey, and just writing about it makes me want to watch it again. No doubt the special edition DVD will be added to my collection in the near future. Go watch it.

Iron Man 2 – it’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Iron Man was a real winner in my opinion. It was pretty much everything that you want in a superhero film – hardcore machinery, witty banter, pretty girls and lots of awesome action. And since I enjoyed it so much I think  it’s only fair to start giving the sequel some airtime.

Iron Man 2 (initially under a fake working name of Rasputin) is supposedly the second part of an Iron Man trilogy.

The storyline of the film is set 6 months on from the events that took place in Iron Man. Jon Favreau is once again directing the affair and had a hand in writing the story along with Robert Downey.

Not a whole lot is known about the plot, aside from the fact Stark is going to hit the bottle a bit, and Pepper Potts gets a boy friend. But I suppose we don’t really need to know what’s going to happen as long as we know who the bad guys are. In this film there are three:

  • Justin Hammer who, as the comic books go, is a business rival to Tony Stark, making his money in unethical ways. In the film he’ll be played by Sam Rockwell who, incidentally, was considered for the role of Tony Stark in the first film.
  • Whiplash who (in the comics) is a gifted electrician working at Stark International dreaming of fame and fortune. His quest leads him to become a weapons designer, special agent and assassin. In the film he’ll be played by Mickey Rourke. For the film the character will tweaked to include elements of the comic (not comical) villain Crimson Dynamo.
  • Black Widow, an undercover spy posing as Stark’s assistant. The character will be played by Scarlett Johannsson who stepped in at the last moment to replace Emily Blunt.

Obviously the film will put its own spin on the characters so we’ll have to wait and see what happens there. We’re also going to see the emergence of Iron Man’s sidekick War Machine (who’s alter ege is Lt. Colonel James Rhodes) which was foreshadowed (not very subtly) in the first film. The character will be played by Don Cheadle who replaces Terrence Howard.

As far as filming goes, things are all done and dusted and the film is currently in post-production getting the final magic added. This is one of those films you’re definitely going to have to see on the big screen.

Below I’ve included some stills from filming which were released today. The film’s poster is included above… released yesterday. There’s also some decent ‘behind the scenes’ footage on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpm2nCGV5is – definitely worth a watch.