Monday, December 28, 2009

The Game's Afoot

In the spirit of holiday togetherness I consented to --against my wishes -- see that detestable abomination that is being hailed as a movie based off of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and . . . I liked it.

Mostly. I wouldn't call it a film that captures the essence that is Sherlock Holmes (If that is in fact what you are looking for I would suggest PBS's The Case of the Silk Stocking, featuring Rupert Everett as Holmes. He has the part down to perfection.) The excess of action in the new film got on my nerves. Not that I minded them giving Holmes a chance to fight. These are adventure novels after all, and I even squeal with glee to see my dear Watson back to his original role as a competent individual as opposed to the blotting idiot with a mustache the movies usually portray him as, but over five minutes of he-hits-him-who-hits-the-other-guy-back-who-them-proceeds-to-hit-him-again isn't exciting. Its boring. And why was all of London suddenly under construction? I wish they would have kept Holmes' internal, analytical narration of his movies throughout the heavier action sequences. It was adorable.

I also would have preferred they cut out the bald scary guy. I liked him, but the buff, bald, stooge, rival is a stereotype in action movies that I don't altogether like. And let the records show that I detested, abhorred, hated and could not stand the Irene Adler. Honestly, the character has one conversation with Holmes in one short story and if they are going to transport her character into a rival/past lover instead of client who he admires they should at least have the decency to make her interesting.

But other than these flaws that I have been so helpful as to point out --with perhaps the addition of Holmes being a little more deliberately nasty than he should be -- I enjoyed the movie. I liked the way they pulled bits and pieces of the novels to make the plot, particularly the red haired midget, but also the secret society and the rivalry with Lestrade was superb. Gotta love friendly bickering. . .

In other, only slightly related, news, I have just finished reading The Master of Ballanstrae by Robert Louis Stevenson and I loved every second of it. Vengeance. Sibling Rivalry. Betrayal. Storms. Burred treasure. Stevenson may well have been a genius. There is something about reading a pure, unadulterated "Blood and Thunder" adventure that just completely absorbs you.

I think this book comes at a good time too, as I am just finishing up the last two chapters of my own book and am plaguing myself with the question of "What does it all mean?". Because no matter what philosophical or political questions are raised, and though THE CITY OF GEAL (as I am calling it until a more suitable title can be found) has been assigned the more grandeur, high minded title of an "epic", it is, first and foremost, an adventure novel. Made to be read well into the night, keeping the reader gripped by the drama as it unfolds. Any other concerns of being misinterpreted or having an unfair --or even too easy -- ending can be put out of my mind to be mulled over by class rooms a hundred years from now (yeah right). I have followed the story to its end and that's all I need to do.

Happy adventures all

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