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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One of those really bad ideas that surprisingly turned out rather well, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes doesn't entirely work but offers enough fun along the way for that not to matter that much. Feeling at times like one of producer Joe Silver's projects for his Dark Castle horror label before the budget escalated, it pits a two-fisted Holmes against a supernatural adversary who has risen from the grave (not the first project to have the idea: Holmes was due to take on Dracula in a rival project at Columbia, and it's perhaps not accidental that Mark Strong's Satanic villain is played as a cross between Dracula and Himmler). The emphasis is on action and comedy rather than sleuthing and intellect, but when a film includes a spectacular setpiece where a giant henchman destroys a shipyard and knocks down a ship (not a boat, a full-sized ship!) in an attempt to crush the world's greatest consulting detective it's hard to complain that you're not getting your money's worth. It's certainly no surprise that while the slew of Homes films over the past century have usually been reliable but modestly financially successful earners, this is the first to do real blockbuster business: it's a crowd-please and no mistake.

While it's good to see the trend of giving Watson his due as a man of action and intelligence continuing here, Holmes doesn't come over quite so well despite Robert Downey Jr's best efforts, the script generally limiting his deductive reasoning to evaluating the most effective way to beat an opponent (not entirely out of keeping with Doyle's stories) with too many of his other conclusions rather too elementary to convince us of his genius. Even a scene where he improvises one of his disguises from items he finds on the street doesn't work as well on screen as it probably did on paper. Instead the emphasis seems more on a Withnail and Watson approach to the mismatched flatmates that offers some amusement but never really takes hold as well as the BBC's engagingly ingenious modern-day updating in Sherlock. Nor does Rachel McAdams' Irene Adler really work here, never given a real chance to demonstrate the genius that made her the only adversary to beat Holmes in favor of a bit on Unresolved Sexual Tension bickering rivalry.

The real star of the film is the city of London itself in the age of Empire, which assumes centre stage as setpieces are set around shipyards, a half-built Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and London's Docklands when they still were docks, and very vividly realised it is too on a scale previously undreamt of. The CGI may not always be 100% convincing and its flaws are magnified on the small screen, but if it had been attempted in an earlier age it would have required model shots and matte paintings that would have required a similar suspension of disbelief. Best of all is the was the film manages to weave the director's love of London lore into the fabric of the action, setting in the most vividly realised depiction of the disparity between the Empire's corridors of power and it's barely working class underbelly since Tony Richardson's The Charge of the Light Brigade.

A great Holmes film? Certainly not. But for the couple of hours it's on it's far more entertaining one than we probably had any right to expect.

As usual DVD buyers are left with shortv shrift on extras - just a single featurette, with the bulk of the extras - additional 'focus point' featurettes and picture-in-picture mode - reserved for the Blu-ray release only.

While Sherlock Holmes was an enjoyable Victorian adventure that at times owed more to an action movie version of The Odd Couple than Arthur Conan Doyle, the bloated custard pie of a sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows at times is uncannily reminiscent of those messy self-indulgent latter Burt Reynolds-Hal Needham films where everyone was having a good time except the audience. The shift in power from producers and director to star is almost instantly apparent with the horribly overindulged Robert Downey Jr. using the sloppily constructed shadow of a plot as an excuse to dress up in bad disguises - Chinamen, women, pensioners, gypsies, various items of furniture - and indulge in supposedly hilariously slovenly slapstick antics and Jack Sparrow-like eccentricity, so much so that it really should be retitled The Robert Downey Jr. Drunkenly Pissing About for his Mates Show. And what a tiresome show it is too, resembling nothing so much as a bunch of very loud drunks in a curry house after the pubs have shut confusing volume with wit. The main objective here seems to be to engineer situations that will allow Holmes to look ridiculous, which is a joke that outstays its welcome but constantly gets repeated in louder variations in a ragbag of barely connected scenes until you start wondering if you're not watching a sequel to Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke's dire version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (it even shares that film's joke of having Holmes referred to as `Shirley'). On the few occasions he does use his smarts, it tends to be something so ridiculously prescient like predicting exactly which bullet to replace in which rifle to save his life ten minutes later that there's little doubt Ritchie and co. are just extracting the urine at Holmes' expense.

Sherlock isn't the only one of Doyle's giant intellects to get the dumbing down treatment. Jared Harris at least tries to make something of Moriarty, but after his effectively shadowy introduction in the first film he's revealed too soon here and remains in plain sight for much of the movie as an unthreatening presence because the script can't really come up with any evidence of his criminal genius. Only in his last scenes do you get any sense of him as a real danger not just to Holmes but humanity in general. Stephen Fry makes a complete dog's dinner of a now flagrantly gay Mycroft Holmes (no mystery or humorlessness here to Sherlock's indolent but intuitively smarter brother), even throwing in an unwelcome nude scene for no good reason other than to try to get a cheap laugh. But the film is constantly trying too hard to get big laughs out of how ridiculous the Holmes brothers are to ever be genuinely funny, and in the process it completely undermines them as the good guys, let alone a pair of geniuses. Only Watson emerges with dignity intact, albeit reduced to straight man and occasional armed backup for Downey's clowning. As for the women in the film, they're simply a distraction from the boys' night out to be disposed of as quickly as possible (Rachel McAdams), sidelined (Kelly Reilly), worm the goat (Geraldine James) or just there to hold the horses (Noomi Rapace) in thankless roles.

Despite hopping between England, France and Germany, it doesn't even have the strong sense of time and place that was such an impressive feature of the first film, which set the adventure right in the heart of a lavishly recreated industrious London at the height of the era of Empire. Although crying out for a similar treatment with a story hinging on the world rushing prematurely to industrialised world war but which never feels like there's anything real at stake, this just has the odd rather grotty looking master shot of a big building or street before launching into another scattershot comic action scene with the maximum amount of destruction. Even these are pretty tediously executed, with only a standout chase through the woods playing in slow motion and freeze frame to emphasise the firepower and destruction raining down on our heroes really working.

Finally the film finds some sort of shape and plot in the last third as it catches its breath and decides to get round to a genuine battle of wits that depends on some genuine deductions and countermoves. It's not a terribly memorable resolution even if it does pay homage in its own way to Holmes and Moriarty's sightseeing trip to Reichenbach, but in a film as clumsily frenetic as this it's a welcome relief that you can finally find something to mildly enjoy. But ultimately, despite outgrossing its predecessor worldwide, this is the kind of wildly misjudged, joyless and relentlessly in-your-face sequel that not only loses all the gains of the original film but leaves you with no desire for any further adventures from this particular incarnation of Holmes and Watson

Once again DVD buyers are poorly served, with the bulk of the featurettes and maximum movie mode option only available on the Blu-ray, but this time Blu-ray buyers get stuffed as well - many extras are only available via a Movie App, which adds inconvenience (not to mention allows the studio to remove them at any time) to content that should have been on the disc. Poor show all round.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2012
The good news is that what I actually got in the Sherlock Holmes Collection [Blu-ray] was the Triple Play Editions of both films, including Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Version, in a cardboard sleeve. As this is (at time of writing) only a couple of pounds more expensive than the triple play version of A Game of Shadows on it's own.

However, the bad news is that the Digital Versions are Ultraviolet downloads. If you want to claim them you'll have to: Sign up for a Flixster Account, Install their downloader/player on your computer, install their app on your iOS or Android device and use that and only that to watch your films. The files have been locked against other players. If you want a digital version of these films, you'll have to use their platform.

Obviously, if you like the Flixster app/player, no problem. It downloaded the files and played them just fine. But as consumers who are willing to pay the asking price for legal copies of new films, we don't deserve to be taken advantage of. Which is how I see this. You when you buy a triple play bundle you don't get asked 'Do you want itunes downloads or Ultraviolet downloads?,' you just get what is in the bundle. So we as consumers, don't get a choice of how to watch the films we paid for, on the devices we paid for. Does that sound fair to you? Ironically, you can get exactly what you want, on the platform that you want, if you are happy to download it illegally, (which I'm not.)

Physical discs aren`t tied to a certain manufacturer's players (even if BD technology all gets licensed from Sony) and neither, I think, should digital versions of movies. It doesn't really matter whether one app is better or worse than another. People will have their preferences, and since they are paying, they should have a choice.

I think both films are great and I don't have the heart give them a low rating just because of Ultraviolet/Flixster. You'll find plenty of reviews telling you how good they are, on amazon and elsewhere. I'm not too disappointed, as I primarily wanted the Blu-rays for main TV viewing and the DVDs to watch on my laptop. But, I thought it might be useful to share the above info with anyone else, so they know what they're getting. Personally, I think optical media are still the way forward until distribution companies get their act together. Highest quality, widest compatibility, simple choice.

After a bit of googling I found that Flixster had given itunes codes to customers who had problems with the Green Lantern and Harry Potter Part 7 back in Nov 2011, so I emailed Flixster support link, to see if they would help me. Their first email was just a generic FAQ and advertising for their app, which appears to be their standard response. I replied that it was a shame that they didn't want to try and solve my problem. They emailed back and asked for a time to contact me. I'm still waiting for the call.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2012
This is an excellent box set containing both of Director Guy Ritchie's take on the classic character of Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. The following is my reviews for both films starting logically with the first one.
My thoughts going into this film were this shouldn't work should it? An American playing one of the greatest fictional British characters in History, being directed by the man who brought us Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and (Cough) Revolver, Guy Ritchie.

To my pleasant surprise however Sherlock Holmes works as a truly entertaining film. Robert Downey Jnr takes the lead role as the eccentric genius Detective Sherlock Holmes. Accompanying him is his good friend John Watson played by a mostly dead pan Jude Law. Mark Strong is the villain of the story Lord Blackwood who seeks to rule the world through Fear and Black Magic.

This film is clever, action packed and very funny throughout. It is an unorthodox approach to the classic Sherlock Holmes character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but with a strong cast, good story and entertainment factor of ten out of ten and I highly recommend a viewing of this.
The second film `A Game of Shadows' follows on from the action packed first film with Holmes played by an excellent as always Robert Downey Jnr and his long suffering companion Watson played by a humorous and swave Jude Law.

The plot essentially begins with Holmes piecing together several terrorist attacks, murders and business acquisitions across the world which all have connections with a certain Professor James Moriaty played by Jared Harris. Next begins a chase across Europe to thwart Moriaty's evil plot to plunge the world into war and reap the profit's.

I must admit I though this sequel improved on the first film with respect to the growth of the characters of Holmes and Watson as there is a lot more humour and friendship between them evident. It is also a great addition to the film that Holmes Brother Mycroft is featured in this film played a hilarious Stephen Fry.

The only disappointment for me was the character of Moriaty who is obviously Holmes nemesis in the film, but the problem is his character is a little bit one dimensional and in my opinion he doesn't quite live up to the evil-genius he is portrayed as in the Book's and other Television adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

That is only a minor complaint though, and in general Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a greatly film and is worthy of your consideration if you enjoy funny, action packed movies.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2012
For me, these movies are a little bit Jekyll and Hyde-ish. While the first one is a great period piece, the sequel is not nearly as good. However these films don't have any special features (Disappointing)

Sherlock Holmes 1: What a blast!! I saw this movie twice in the cinema and loved every sceond of it. The acting is fantastic, Rob Downey is great as the unorthodox Holems, my favourite actor at the moment; and Jude Law more or less matches him as the more level-headed Watson. Also Rachel McAdams is great in arole that could have come off as annoying and pointless, almost like a female Holmes. Her performance and stunning good looks make this not the case. Mark Strong also was a good baddie, but he probably should have been in it more.

All in all, this is an ingenious film, packed with stunning action and great acting, much better than Avatar, that was released at the same time!


Sherlock Holmes 2: Let's start with the positives. Downey is still as good as ever and his chemistry with Law and also with Stephen Fry are perfect (even though Fry doesn't have much of a part). Now to the negatives, Noomi Rapace is a good actress, she was grat in the Millenium trilogy, but she was absolutely wasted here and her and Downey don't have nearly as good a chemistry as he did with Rachel McAdams. Also, I really thought that Moriairty was a rubbish villain especially compared to Mark Strong's Lord Blackwood. Guy Richie uses great sets in the movie and I love the lighting, but is a little too much for me.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2012
The films are great. Sherlock is traditionally intelligent with Watson being something of a dunce, but in recent years there has been a leaning to Watson being the brains behind the operation. Particularly the first film has managed to capture Holmes playing both roles. He is certainly the more intelligent of the two, but at the same time is also a complete pillock. This actually works very well and adds something unique to the film. My biggest issue with the product, and I don't want to sound like I am just repeating other reviews, but ultraviolet sucks! I spent two hours trying to set up flixster and ultraviolet accounts, the issue being that they just wouldn't link, inputted one of the codes and pressed play. I could only bring myself to watch about a minute of it before giving up, it's not that it spends ages buffering (in fact some buffering may help it) but the quality of the video is terrible! I know streaming is never going to be as good as blu ray or even DVD, but YouTube, VHS, and an app I have on my iPad called tvcatchup that streams live free view channels all put it to shame. I don't know if it's just my Internet connection, but as I said YouTube looks much better so I think it's the app. The quality may be ok for an iPhone maybe, but on an iPad or laptop you're going to wish you hadn't bothered. I know I can download it, but with limited hard drive on an iPad it isn't ideal. iTunes digital copies are the way to go. They were versatile enough that you could stick them on an external hard drive and bang them on the iPad when needed

Bit of an update, I have just downloaded the film and picture quality is great, but you can't move the file to an external hard drive like you can with iTunes films, and you can only download a film 3 times and on a tablet this effectively mean you can only watch it 3 times as you are probably going to have to delete it after watching unless you only want a small handful of films on. Streaming also only works or three years after entering the code so if streaming works for you, you can only watch it that way for a few years. If streaming is improved and allowed to be used for life, or downloads are allowed as often as needed they may be on to something but as it is if you buy the blu ray and want to watch on a tablet legally, you have to pay for a second time to get a copy off iTunes (something that has been free in the past and should be free. Tablets are becoming a big part of today's life and if you pay for a film companies must enable you to watch them on a tablet)
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on 12 February 2013
Sherlock Holmes is a quintessential British character, created by Arthur Conan Doyle and therefore the movies show traditional "British" setting - whatever that means, in the serials or movies. I will refrain from writing reviews per se and will confine my opinion to the packing and method of dispatch.

Of course, the movies are GOOD no two doubts about that. Guy Richie has been very successful in getting "his" Sherlock Holmes to speak with a good British accent, since Robert Downey Jr. is American. But that should be expected from a professional Director like Ritchie or an actor like Downey, for that matter. Personally, I somehow cannot imagine Sherlock Holmes doing Karate chops but maybe he too has "adapted" with time!! The way modern technology has been used to create sets using computers, is marvelous. Best example I feel is the creation of the "old" British dockyard using Green screens behind the actors.

Honestly, if you are a fan of Jeremy Brett, it will require a HUGE effort on your part to accept Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes. However, that in no way implies that Brett was "better" than Downey Jr. or otherwise. But having grown up watching Sherlock Holmes serials on TV that starred Jeremy Brett as the very able Holmes, I personally felt Downey does not look as suave. But it's my opinion.

Now for the packing. Each Blu ray disc is firmly held and there is no chance of it becoming loose. The only way that can happen if the clips break. The outer covering is the typical stiff cardboard box.

As usual, the packing at Amazon is good and this package arrived in good condition. But I think bubble-packing is intended to do just that. So unless someone physically opens and reseals badly, Amazon packing will ensure it reaches you without the product being damaged.

All in all, a good - in fact, excellent buy at the price this pack if offered. Go for it.
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on 1 January 2013
THE SHERLOCK HOLMES MOVIE COLLECTION [2009/2011] [2 Film Collection] [Blu-ray + DVD + ULTRAVIOLET Digital Copy] Make It a Double Shot of Sherlock Holmes Excitement!

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law team up for Two exciting film adventures from the director Guy Ritchie. In the first film ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ Sherlock Holmes [Robert Downey Jr.] and Dr. Watson [Jude law] plunge into a world of dark arts and startling new technologies, and duel against the ruthless Lord Blackwood [Mark Strong] and the brilliant temptress Irene Adler [Rachel McAdams]. Then in, ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,’ the duo faces their greatest enemy, Professor James Moriarty [Jared Harris], in a dangerous battle that could alter world history.

FILM FACT Part One: Awards and Nominations: Sherlock Holmes [2009]: 2010 67th Golden Globe® Awards: Win: Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Robert Downey, Jr. Broadcast Film Critics Association: Nominated: Best Score for Hans Zimmer. 200982nd Academy Awards: Nominated: Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. Nominated: Best Art Direction. Empire Awards: Win: Best Thriller.

FILM FACT Part Two: Awards and Nominations: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [2011]: 2012 Saturn Awards: Nominated: Best Action/Adventure Film for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Nominated: Best Costume for Jenny Beavan.

Sherlock Holmes [2009] Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, Robert Maillet, Geraldine James, Kelly Reilly, William Houston, Hans Matheson, James Fox, William Hope, Clive Russell, Andrew Brooke, Tom Watt, John Kearney, Sebastian Abineri, Jonathan Gabriel Robbins, James A. Stephens, Terence Taplin, Bronagh Gallagher, Jefferson Hall, Miles Jupp, Marn Davies, Andrew Greenough, Martin Ewens, Amanda Grace Johnson, James Greene, David Emmings, Ben Cartwright, Chris Sunley, Michael Jenn, Guy Williams, Peter Miles, Kenneth W Caravan (uncredited), Sam Creed (uncredited), Radu Andrei Cucu (uncredited), James Currie (uncredited), Paul J. Dove (uncredited), Neil Findlater (uncredited), Andrew Goldfarb (uncredited), Kas Graham (uncredited), Thomas Kadman (uncredited), Brendan McCoy (uncredited), Bryan Samson (uncredited), Robert Stone (uncredited), David Swift (uncredited) and John Warman (uncredited)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [2011] Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Paul Anderson, Kelly Reilly, Geraldine James, Eddie Marsan, William Houston, Wolf Kahler, Iain Mitchell, Jack Laskey, Patricia Slater, Karima Adebibe, Richard Cunningham, Marcus Shakesheff, Mark Sheals, George Taylor, Michael Webber, Mike Grady, Alexandre Carril, Victor Carril, Thorston Manderlay, Affif Ben Badra, Daniel Naprous, Lancelot Weaver, Vladimir 'Furdo' Furdik, Jacques Senet Larson, Nicolas Senet Larson, Sebastian Senet Larson, Alexander Devrient, Fatima Adoum, Thierry Neuvic, Martin Nelson, Mark Evans, Anthony Inglis, Peter Stark, Roman Jankovic, Fredrick Ruth, Carsten Hayes, Jonathan Christie, James McNeill, Maitland Chandler, Joe Egan, Clive Russell, D.J. Bailey (uncredited), Gioacchino Jim Cuffaro (uncredited), Lukas DiSparrow (uncredited), Ray Donn (uncredited), Jeff Lipman (uncredited), Steve Munroe (uncredited), Danny Seldon (uncredited), Alain Stash (uncredited), Charles Walters (uncredited) and Paul Warren (uncredited)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Sherlock Holmes [2009] Producers: Bruce Berman, Dan Lin, Dana Goldberg, Joel Silver, Lauren Meek, Lionel Wigram, Michael Tadross, Peter Eskelsen, Steve Clark-Hall and Susan Downey

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [2011] Producers: Bruce Berman, Dan Lin, Ethan Erwin, Joel Silver, Lauren Meek, Lionel Wigram, Peter Eskelsen, Steve Clark-Hall and Susan Downey

Sherlock Holmes [2009] Screenplay: Anthony Peckham, Lionel Wigram, Michael Robert Johnson, Simon Kinberg and Arthur Conan Doyle (novels)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [2011] Screenplay: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney and Arthur Conan Doyle (novels)

Composer: Hans Zimmer

Cinematography: Philippe Rousselot

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 and 2.40:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, German: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese: 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, Polish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Turkish: 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Swedish, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, Italian SDH and Turkish

Running Time: 128 minutes and 129 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 4

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Director Guy Ritchie's version of the great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, is first and foremost an action hero. Guy Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes' films aren't anything like the new the British BBC TV shows, 'Sherlock,' where Sherlock Holmes usually sticks to observing rather than fighting. That's not to say this Sherlock Holmes, played superbly by Robert Downey, Jr., is any slouch when it comes to figuring out complicated dastardly deeds, but he is a Holmes for a newer generation of film goers who are used to frantic, helter-skelter action instead of methodical pacing.

Part of the fun with the Sherlock Holmes films is the coy way it plays with the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. These two men are oddly close and Sherlock Holmes usually casts Dr. Watson's, especially in the ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Games of Shadows’ the new bride is out of the picture whenever he finds the time.

The first 'Sherlock Holmes' film from Guy Ritchie cantered around a one-off villain named Lord Blackwood [Mark Strong]. The presence of one James Moriarty [Jared Harris] in the second film was only hinted at in that film. Here the rivalry is front and centre, and the two foes whose conflict has spanned the test of time, find themselves once again facing off against each other, both of them keenly aware of the other's intellect. James Moriarty is a dangerous sociopath, but so is Sherlock Holmes. The only difference is James Moriarty doesn't mind if he kills people to get what he wants, Sherlock Holmes isn't homicidal.

Robert Downey, Jr. picks up right where he left off with the first film, with the second film entitled ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ and maybe even making him slightly more manic this time around. Sherlock Holme’ isn't dealing with the situation at hand very well. In the film ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ Dr. John Watson [Jude Law] is finally getting married, and Sherlock Holmes doesn't like it one bit. He has a deep love for his friend, one that he'd never admit, so he can't really get over the fact that his one and only true friend is leaving him. For a woman!

Much like the first 'Sherlock Holmes' film, in the second film ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ is just as fast-paced and just as action-packed. Even the flashbacks, as Sherlock Holmes works problems out in his mind at lightning-fast speed, are edited in a semi-nauseating way that will remind you of the cut scenes from Guy Ritchie's 'Snatch' and complete with sound effects for camera movements.

The fight scenes in both films, while nicely choreographed, are edited like every other modern action film, but with a lot of panache. There are nearly incoherent bursts of flailing limbs crashing into each other as Sherlock Holmes takes on one attacker after another. I think that since the fight was already shown in slow-motion inside Sherlock Holmes' mind that Guy Ritchie doesn't feel the need for us to watch the entire thing again in regular motion. Instead we get a rapid-fire succession of action shots.

However, like the first film ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ in the second film ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadow’ is carried this time solely on the back of Robert Downey Jr.'s charisma as a manic sociopath who may or may not be going completely delusional. He delivers his lines as fast as Guy Ritchie delivers the action. Sherlock Holmes' mood in this film seems much more agitated most likely due to his best friend getting married and leaving him. Downey is a treat to watch. There are certain things he must retain to make it a believable Sherlock Holmes, but he adds something else to the part that makes him so watchable. He's made the character his own. I hope sometime in 2015 they will release a third Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film, as they are fantastic entertainment.

Blu-ray Video Quality – Both ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ is a very shadowy video presentation that features great detail even though much of the films are spent lurking in dark places. Warner has offered a 1080p encoded transfer that looks, well, perfect. These are both demo-quality transfer throughout. When you can have films of this calibre as dark as this, honestly, I'm pretty sure that there are only a handful of well-lit scenes, especially with the wedding being one of them, the rest of the scenes play out in lots of darkened clubs, alleyways, balconies, parties, and forests. This is a very dark film with a colour palette dominated by greys and blacks. It could've easily been a movie fraught with crushing and banding, but it isn't. Blacks are some of the inkiest you'll ever see on this format. Shadows are perfectly delineated. Just check out the close-ups during the scene in ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson sneak into the weapons factory. Even though it's under thick darkness, shadows still accentuate facial features like lines, pores, and stubble. These are easy features to lose in a really dark film, but they aren't lost here. The same holds for textures as well. The woven texture of Dr. Watson's suits stand out no matter what lighting situation the guys find themselves in. To sum up both films, they are well-lit scenes sparkle with clarity. Skin tones appear to be genuinely natural. This is just a great presentation all around. There wasn't one instance of source noise, not one instance of banding that I saw and both Blu-ray discs look one of the best looking Blu-rays to come out in years.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Both film's 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation is just as impressive as the 1080p video image. Seriously, this is a heavy, thundering audio mix that will grab your eardrums. Booming bass rolls through the soundtrack during many of both film's intense scenes. Especially like the towering structure in ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ that comes crashing down in a weapons factory you'll notice the entire room shake like something is falling down on your house. Sound effects are used with great frequency, especially during the slow-motion action scenes in the Sherlock Holmes' films flashback scenes. Whenever Guy Ritchie's signature "wham, bam," sound effects take over they are localised perfectly in the speakers that they need to be in. The slow-motion scene with Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes, and others running away from the weapons factory in the ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,’ being fired upon, features some wonderful directionality. Bullets whiz by, the camera stops and watches a bullet splinter a tree trunk as the sound is produced with perfect clarity in the front channels. Explosions happen in front of, to the side of, and behind the characters, each time with the heft of the sound coming from the necessary place in the sound field. The audio in both films will easily impress. Guy Ritchie's soundtracks have always been chock full of special sound effects and there's no difference here. The entire track, from front to rear, is alive with action and doesn't stop until the credits have finished rolling.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: Because there are so many Extras in both Blu-ray discs, I am just listing what they are and if you want to check out each item individually, you will have to check out web sites that list what each extra is.

Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray]
Maximum Movie Mode: Director Guy Ritchie Walk On
Storyboard Comparisons
Still Gallery
Drawbridges and Doilies: Designing a Late Victorian London
Not a Deerstalker Cap in Sight
Ba-ritsu: A Tutorial
Elementary English: Perfecting Sherlock's Accent
The One That Got Away
Powers of Observations & Deduction
The Sherlockians
Future Past
Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [Blu-ray]
The Original Dynamic Duo
Beyond Baker Street
The Moriarty Gambit
Holmesavision on Steroids
A Band of Gypsies
Meet Mycroft Holmes
King of Shadows

Finally, Guy Ritchie the director and Robert Downey Jr. actor interpretation is certainly not in adherence with the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle original. In this version, Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. put emphasis on Sherlock Holmes as action hero as much as his deductive reasoning capabilities. As a result, both films are somewhat convoluted script-wise, but definitely provides a lot of popcorn film action, including a great slow-motion effects chase and battle scenes. No matter which Blu-ray disc release you opt for, both the video and audio elements of the get high marks for it transfer to Blu-ray, making for great demo material for your family, friends, and neighbours. That is why I am so honoured to have this 2 Film Blu-ray package, as it is total entertainment and will keep you well occupied throughout the two Blu-ray discs and is well worth dipping in now and again, as the first time you view these Blu-ray discs, you miss so much the first time round. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on 26 November 2012
Adaptations of Sherlock Holmes are like buses. You wait for one for ages, and then two turn up at once. For the head, there's the BBC's glittering Sherlock - Complete Series One & Two [Blu-ray]; for the heart, this new big screen franchise from Guy Ritchie.

Guy's Holmes is Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man 1 & 2 Double Pack [Blu-ray] [2008][Region Free]); his Dr Watson, Jude Law (The Holiday [Blu-ray][Region Free]). Their comical odd couple comradeship is the core of this pair of movies. Holmes exploits Watson without mercy, Watson is exasperated beyond measure, and yet the two friends are united by indestructible bonds of esteem, affection, loyalty and trust. Either would die for the other, and either would probably sooner die than admit it.

The stories are a clever mixture of fresh invention and imports carried over from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. From Sir Arthur, we inherit Mycroft (Stephen Fry), Mrs Hudson (Geraldine James), Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) and Moriarty (Jared Harris); but Guy also gives us new allies, new adversaries and new plot lines to give us the fun of unpredictability. (Other members of the supporting cast include Noomi Rapace and Mark Strong.)

The visual texture of the movies is delicious in its wealth of detail. CGI is used to magnificent effect, whether recreating nineteenth century cityscapes or painting fabulous natural scenery. Action sequences are designed and executed with a verve hardly paralleled outside The Complete Matrix Trilogy [Blu-ray] [1999][Region Free]. Hans Zimmer's jaunty music complements the movies perfectly. The Blu-ray transfers are of the quality you would expect.

These funny, spectacular, wittily acted and superbly crafted action comedy thrillers are the most entertaining of their kind that I can remember. Please, Warner Brothers, don't keep us waiting too long for the third...
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on 22 February 2013
Very pleased with this box set as we've become big fans of Downey Jr's portrayal of Holmes in these films. Law is also superb as Watson getting the blend just right between the subservience to Holmes and the machismo of his ex-army officer past. Richie's direction keeps the action flowing but not at the expense of the plot which often twists in unexpected ways. We've found ourselves reaching for these often on those free, poor TV nights and you find yourself always spotting a little added depth to the plot / characters that you've missed in the past.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 July 2013
It's all up there on the screen, a sumptuous recreation of the period. The CGI is a great gift to the eye offering colour and spectacle in just the right amount. Jude Law gives a refreshing performance as Watson, in the background but not the sidelines, he offers a dashing, and intelligent character that so often pails by comparison the principal, Holmes. It is also good to see Lestrade portrayed as an effective policeman rather than a pompous buffoon. The screenplay is effective; it has the look and feel of Murder by Decree and moves along like the Da Vinci Code. The actual story put me in mind of the fabulous Mark Frost book, The List of Seven. Holmes is selfish and charming in equal measure; RDJ's strong performance tips the wink to the cognitive musings of Jeremy Brett (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) and brings a sense of athleticism I don't recall seeing in the character before. The two leads bicker like an old couple but otherwise conform to the standard buddy cop duo. Mark Strong is suitably menacing as Lord Blackwood. The female leads look fabulous in costume and do well with what they've been given. This is one I thoroughly enjoyed and will watch time and again on DVD.
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