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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Etan Cohen
Cast:
Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes
Writing Credits:
Etan Cohen

Synopsis:
Holmes and Watson work to solve a murder at Buckingham Palace.

Box Office:
Budget
$42 million.
Opening Weekend
$7,411,522 on 2776 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$30,573,626.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
French Descriptive Audio
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date:4/9/2019

Bonus:
• “Together Again” Featurette
• “Seriously Absurd” Featurette
• “Mrs. Hudson’s Men” Featurette
• Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Holmes & Watson (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 1, 2019)

After the success of 2006’s Talladega Nights and 2008’s Step Brothers, it looked like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly would regularly work together in films. However, they took 10 years before they paired again for 2018’s Holmes & Watson.

Given how badly Holmes flopped, I won’t feel surprised if Ferrell and Reilly avoid each other for another decade. Lambasted by critics and ignored by audiences, the movie became a massive bomb.

Which it might have deserved – maybe. Set in the early 20th century, a corpse turns up at a party in Buckingham Palace.

Noted detective Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell) and his partner Dr. John Watson (Reilly) immediately take on the case. They deduce that long-time rival Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes) perpetrated the crime, and if they don’t stop him, he’ll kill Queen Victoria (Pam Ferris) in a few days.

When trailers for Holmes emerged, they received a brutal greeting from film fans, and I get that. The promos made the movie look witless as could be, so I understood the skepticism.

I kept the faith, though. Ferrell and Reilly worked so well together in Nights and Brothers, so I believed they’d deliver their magic a third time.

Nope. Holmes becomes a massive disappointment and waste of talent.

According to Wikipedia, the project originated in 2008, which means it predates 2009’s Robert Downey/Jude Law project Sherlock Holmes. That said, I assume changes occurred to reflect the Downey flick, as 2018 movie plays like a parody of the earlier flick, with gags that offer obvious references.

In 2018, the notion of a Downey spoof feels outdated, and Holmes can’t find ways to overcome this issue. We just don’t get enough comedic spark to let Holmes stand on its own and amuse.

The lack of real connection between Ferrell and Reilly especially disappoints. In their first two films, much of the enjoyment came from their basic onscreen chemistry, but they can’t recreate that dynamic here.

I suspect the material becomes the biggest issue. Holmes sticks Reilly and Ferrell with so many lame gags and situations that any form of comedic connection won’t do the trick and overcome the inherent flaws.

The movie’s jokes tend toward a mix of slapstick, gross-out bits and anachronisms. The film abounds with knowing mockery of century-old beliefs, especially in terms of medicine and science.

This means nearly endless comments about then-current ideas that now look ridiculous. I can take a little of this but the ream of dumb jokes in this vein gets old, especially because they seem more than a little smug.

On the same path, we find instantly dated Trump jokes. The shot of Holmes in a red fez emblazoned with “Make England Great Again” feels bad enough, but a later discussion of presidential politics that relates to Trump becomes out of place.

I bow to no one in my disdain for Trump, but these jokes seem self-congratulatory and pointless. The movie shoehorns in this lousy stab at commentary and it just inspires groans.

On the semi-positive side, Lauren Lapkus inspires a few minor laughs as Millicent, a mute woman allegedly raised by feral cats. The basic energy between Reilly and Ferrell also produces a couple of small chuckles, even if their chemistry here pales when compared to their work in earlier films.

These attributes can’t compensate for all the idiocy on display, though. When I saw Holmes theatrically, I didn’t think it was too bad, but on second viewing, I see that it’s almost entirely devoid of entertainment value.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Holmes & Watson appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The picture never excelled, but it was acceptable for SD-DVD.

Sharpness was usually fine. Wider shots tended to be a bit soft, but those instances weren’t extreme, and much of the flick offered decent to good clarity.

Shimmering and jaggies were minor but I noticed some mild edge haloes through the film. Source flaws were non-existent, as I detected no specks, marks or other blemishes.

The film’s palette usually opted for a light teal orientation or a mild amber tint. Within that design range, the colors seemed passable. They weren’t especially strong, but they were okay.

Blacks tended to be somewhat inky, but shadows showed reasonable smoothness. Nothing here did much to impress, but this was a more than decent presentation.

Don’t expect fireworks from the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, as we got a mix heavy on music and general environmental material. When the track used the side or rear speakers, it was usually for action scenes, but even those weren’t especially involving, so they opened up matters in a moderate way and that was it. For the most part, the soundscape stayed restrained.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and the score demonstrated pretty good vivacity.

Effects did little to tax my system but they were clear and accurate enough. Overall, this ended up as a decent but unspectacular track.

Three featurettes appear, and Together Again runs five minutes, nine seconds. It brings comments from writer/director Etan Cohen and actors Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall and Kelly Macdonald.

In this reel, we get notes about the lead actors and their performances/chemistry. The comments tend to be fluffy but some alternate takes add value to the piece.

Seriously Absurd fills eight minutes, 27 seconds with notes from Cohen, Ferrell, Hall, Reilly, Macdonald, producer Clayton Townsend, theatrical pickpocket Lee Thompson, and actors Lauren Lapkus, Billy Zane, Noah Jupe, Scarlet Grace, Billy Jenkins, Bella Ramsey and Colby Mulgrew.

“Absurd” looks at cast and characters. It becomes a pretty superficial overview.

Lastly, Mrs. Hudson’s Men goes for one minute, 12 seconds and provides a comedic bit. It provides notable historical figures who praise the sex appeal of Mrs. Hudson. It’s not particularly funny.

The disc opens with ads for Stan & Ollie, The Front Runner, Miss Bala, The Girl In the Spider’s Web, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom. No trailer for Holmes appears here.

Whatever goodwill Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly earned via their earlier efforts largely goes bye-bye with Holmes & Watson. A largely moronic and unfunny affair, the film squanders its leads. The DVD offers generally positive picture and audio along with minor supplements. Hopefully Reilly and Ferrell will rebound down the road, but Holmes becomes a massive disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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