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Guy Ritchie
Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace
Writing Credits:
Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

Box Office:
$125 million.
Opening Weekend
$39,637,079 on 3703 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Quebecois French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Castillian Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 129 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 9/1/2020

• “Maximum Movie Mode” Interactive Feature
• “Focus Points” Featurettes
• Movie App
&bull. Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows [4K UHD] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 7, 2020)

With a more action-oriented tone, 2009’s Sherlock Holmes threatened to provide a misguided update on the classic character. However, it turned into a lively reinvention that did nicely at the box office – well enough to inspire a sequel.

Which we got with 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, a crashing disappointment after the fun first movie. Across Europe, a variety of terrorist acts occur, and Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) suspects that his archenemy Dr. Moriarty (Jared Harris) spearheads these.

Holmes wants to work once again with Dr. John Watson (Jude Law), but his old partner plans to marry and leave the sleuth biz forever. This retirement ends – or gets postponed – when they learn that Moriarty wants to target Watson and his new bride Mary (Kelly Reilly). This brings Watson back into the fold and leads the detective duo back into action to thwart Moriarty’s various nefarious plans.

As I mentioned earlier, I really liked the first flick and found the sequel to be a terrible disappointment. The climax helps semi-redeem the flick, but the first 100 minutes or so are largely a mess.

This time around, Downey's Holmes is too much of a frantic clown. He seems less like a master detective and more like a goof who happens to fall into various situations without much cleverness or insight. Every once in a while, he pulls some deduction out of his butt, but usually he just kind of blunders around and gets lucky.

Rapace is a dud as a romantic lead, partially because there's virtually no romance, but even if the filmmakers shot for a connection between Holmes and Simza, it wouldn't work. Rapace looks like she's not sure what movie she's in. She comes across as vaguely dazed much of the time, like they just handed her the script 10 minutes before they shot - and the screenplay’s missing random words.

The story is a muddled mess, and it underuses Moriarty. We're supposed to accept Moriarty as a brilliant criminal mastermind because we've heard him called that for decades, but the film's Moriarty seems to coast on collective cultural reputation. Harris is fine in the role, but he doesn't get enough to do.

Instead, the movie seems more concerned with comedic set pieces and the aforementioned slow-motion action sequences. These come to decent fruition during the climax, but most of the time, they feel gratuitous, like Ritchie figured they worked well in the first flick so he'd heap them on the second go-round. The more we see them, the less effective they become.

I really liked the first film, but the second delivers a genuine disappointment. The actors look too interested in laughs to bother with good performances, and Ritchie prefers pointless flash to storytelling.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/Audio A/ Bonus B-

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the image satisfied.

Sharpness was solid. The movie offered good clarity and definition from start to finish, as I noticed no issues with softness.

I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes failed to appear. Source flaws were non-existent.

In terms of palette, Shadows stayed with a decidedly chilly set of colors. Like the first film, hues were desaturated and rarely displayed anything beyond a basic sense of gray and sepia.

A bit of orange/amber crept in at times, but the flick usually felt fairly monochromatic. Within those constraints, the tones worked fine, and the disc’s HDR added a bit of oomph to the hues.

Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows were well-displayed. HDR brought extra power to whites and contrast. Expect a pleasing image here.

I also felt thoroughly impressed by the lively DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Shadows, as it offered more than enough pizzazz to merit “A”-level consideration. The soundfield created a terrific sense of place and threw out fine action when appropriate.

The movie’s various fight/chase sequences boasted vivid material that showed up around the spectrum in a lively manner. Music always offered good stereo imaging, and quieter scenes were convincing, too. These showed a clear sense of place and meshed together in a pleasing way.

Audio quality always excelled. Effects were dynamic and clear, with deep bass and good punch. Music showed similar strengths, as the score was lively and full.

Speech came across as natural and concise. I liked this track and thought it added a lot to the movie.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the original Blu-ray? Audio remained identical, as both discs sported the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack.

Like the first film, Shadows used Super 35 stock and finished as a 2K product. That again limited the room for improvement that the visuals showed.

This meant we got format-related benefits like marginally superior delineation, deeper blacks, brighter whites, and stronger colors. These were enough to mean the 4K looked better than the Blu-ray, but since the BD already offered such strong visuals, we didn’t find a major upgrade.

No extras appear on the 4K disc, but the included Blu-ray copy comes with some materials, and we launch with Maximum Movie Mode. Hosted by Robert Downey, Jr., this provides an interactive look at the film.

Much of the time Downey provides “walk-on” bits. In these, he pops onto the screen and offers occasional commentary.

In addition to Downey’s “walk-on” moments, we find still galleries, footage from the set, and notes from costume designer Jenny Beavan, producers Susan Downey and Lionel Wigram, and director Guy Ritchie. The comments look at cast/character elements, stunts and action, set design, costumes, effects, story and themes, and a few other areas.

As a substitute for a traditional audio commentary, “Mode” suffices, but it never excels. The main issue comes from all the dead air, as a moderate amount of movie passes without any information.

On the positive side, the Blu-ray’s producers let you skip ahead and bypass the gaps, though I’m not sure I trust how well that works. I suspect the chapter encoding might jump over some of the content.

In any case, we learn a reasonable amount about the film, and Downey, Jr. acts as a fun host, so even with some flaws, the “Mode” becomes enjoyable.

Available during “Maximum Movie Mode” or on their own, we can access seven Focus Point featurettes. These fill a total of 34 minutes, 59 seconds and include “Holmesavision on Steroids” (4:02), “Moriarty’s Master Plan Unleashed” (7:09), “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry” (5:18), “Meet Mycroft Holmes” (5:30), “Sherlock Holmes: Under the Gypsy Spell” (4:02), “Guy Ritchie’s Well-Oiled Machine” (3:04) and “Holmes Without Borders” (5:51).

Across these, we hear from Ritchie, Downey, Jr., Wigram, Susan Downey, Beavan, producer Joel Silver, chess advisor Adam Raoof, director of photography Philippe Rousselot, consultant author Leslie Klinger, executive producer Steve Clark-Hall, production designer Sarah Greenwood and actors Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Kelly Reilly, Rachel McAdams and Jared Harris.

These examine cinematography and effects, stunts and action, story and characters, cast and performances, the film’s use of chess, costumes, sets and locations and Ritchie’s work on the set.

The “Focus Points” are a staple of WB Blu-rays, and these offer a good collection of notes. Because they’re self-contained, they don’t combine to create a true “making of” documentary, but they still manage to tell us interesting info about the flick. They combine interviews and behind the scenes footage well to create enjoyable programs.

The disc also promotes the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie App. This promises to allow you to “investigate the action packed world of Sherlock Holmes and enhance your viewing experience with your mobile device or tablet. Explore interactive scene breakdowns, compare the script to the movie and examine the rich characters and history of Sherlock Holmes.”

I didn’t try this – I don’t want to attempt to follow all that material on my iPhone’s smallish screen – but I wanted to mention this option’s existence.

After the first film provided an enjoyable reinvention of the franchise, I had high hopes for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Alas, it comes as a letdown, as it seems too silly and insubstantial to live up to its predecessor. The 4K UHD boasts strong picture and audio along with some decent supplements. As a home video release, Shadows satisfies, but the movie itself disappoints.

To rate this film visit the original review of SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS

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