Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 35.7 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABCThe Video
Sherlock Holmes comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. I watched the film on my high-def projector setup and was definitely satisfied by the detail which is found on the Blu-ray release. However, not all is perfect in the HD world of Sherlock Holmes.

I definitely had an issue with the soft glow found throughout the movie, something which is present on many Warner Bros. new release films such as The Time Traveler’s Wife and 17 Again. Past the glow we get a very pleasing level of detail, but the movie does look a tad bit softer than I would have hoped.

The film’s colors are generally very appealing, but I did think black levels could have been slightly inkier at times. Despite the annoying aspects of the presentation, a quick comparison with the DVD and you find a nice upgrade in all aspects.

While Sherlock Holmes isn’t a high-def stunner, there are many scenes which viewers will find impressive. The movie looks good and would easily recommend the high-def presentation as the DVD is significantly less impressive. Most viewers should be satisfied by this release at the positives outweigh the negatives. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included as the lossless option. 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks are included in French, Spanish and Portuguese. Optional subtitles include English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

I expected at least a decently-impressive mix, but the results are more than just decent. The mix is extremely active and makes sure to pay attention to the surround speakers. Some may find the surround moments a bit overpowering at times, but that would be the biggest complaint I think anyone could have.

The quality of the mix is very good, everything is presented as clear as one could expect. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. The clarity of the music and effects are also pleasantly clear throughout.

The mix is definitely one of the more immersive tracks I have experienced recently and found myself very impressed by the amount of attention that was paid to even the smaller details. I don’t think the audio could have sounded any better and will easily impress. 10/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

Maximum Movie Mode (HD)
This is an interactive viewer experience in which the entire film is examined. Included are Walk-ons with Director Guy Ritchie, Focus Points, PiP, Storyboard Comparisons, Still Galleries and more.

Drawbridges & Doilies: Designing a Late Victorian London (5:00) (HD)
Production Designer Sarah Greenwood and Co. confess to the challenges of creating a “reel” 1895 London with a Guy Ritchie edge.

Not A Deerstalker Cap in Sight (4:15) (HD)
Costume Designer Jenny Beaven, plus cast & crew reveal privileged information on updating an icon.

Ba-Ritsu: A Tutorial (3:58) (HD)
Learn the imaginary martial art form developed for Sherlock Holmes that incorporates elements of Wing Chun, Jujitsu and plain old movie magic.

Elementary English: Perfecting Sherlock’s Accent (4:04) (HD)
Robert Downey Jr. voiced Sherlock Holmes in “received pronunciation” (RP) with the help of celebrated Dialogue Coach Andrew Jack.

The One That Got Away (3:44) (HD)
In “A Scandal in Bohemia,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle hinted about one woman who had gotten the better of the sleuth. Rachel McAdams and others testify about the female touch in this film.

Powers of Observation & Deduction (4:01) (HD)
Producer Lionel Wigram imbued the story with hundreds of details tying the film to the Sherlock “canon.”

The Sherlockians (3:03) (HD)
The experts at a “Sherlockian” conference in New York explain why Sherlock Holmes is one of fiction’s most enduring characters.

Future Past (3:08) (HD)
This is a look inside the process of re-creating a past that no longer exists.

Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented (14:07) (HD)
Witness how Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. reinterpret the master sleuth.

Warner Bros. BD-Live
Today (April 1st) at 9:00PM EST (6:00PM PST), viewers will simultaneously watch the movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and hear an interactive Q&A where fans can submit questions about the blockbuster film, directly from their homes. The LCS will also post questions and answers in text form.

Warner Bros. BD-Live community members who have registered and signed up at the Sherlock Holmes LCS registration page – www.SherlockHolmesBlurayEvent.com – will receive an emailed invitation to participate in the event. WB BD-Live registered users who own the Blu-ray Disc and have signed up for the BD-Live LCS event will be able to insert the disc, connect to WB BD-Live and logon to the LCS at this designated time to participate in this exciting event.

Disc 2:

DVD Copy of the film

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

The extras are quite extensive and presented in an impressive way. Maximum Movie Mode is always an impressive way to present the film and makes an audio commentary something of the past. The Focus Points will likely be entertaining to most viewers. The DVD and Digital Copy is a nice addition that definitely adds value to the package.

Please note that the Blu-ray Combo Pack is available only for a limited time and will eventually become a standard Blu-ray release. The version I am reviewing is the combo pack version which will be available at all retailers upon initial release. 8/10.

The Movie
Sherlock Holmes is an extremely popular character that has finally been given a major motion picture. The film is directed by Guy Ritchie, a man who in my opinion has made some great films as well as his share of terrible films.

The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. The film also stars Rachel McAdams as part of the supporting cast. The movie always looked promising but unfortunately did not have a chance to see the movie theatrically.

Going into the Blu-ray release I had some good expectations about the film and by the end I was quite satisfied by the film. The story features a great mix of tension and humor, much like Pirates of the Caribbean films.

The film is over two hours long but I think the film is presented with such great pacing that it never really becomes evident unless you have a limited amount of time. The movie’s story is very fun and easily sets itself up for a sequel.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in particular definitely help add to the film. They definitely help give the characters life and I don’t think the casting could have been better. Robert Downey Jr. will charm viewers with the great humor he brought to the part. Jude Law is also a great addition and is very likeable as his sidekick.

Reception to the film has been generally positive, but I do think many over-analyzed the movie just a bit. The movie is definitely more of a popcorn flick, but is definitely a bit smarter than the typical popcorn flick. Everything about the movie is fun and extremely entertaining. The movie is not a masterpiece in cinema, but it is fun. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Sherlock Holmes Is a fun movie that I think most viewers will enjoy. The Blu-ray release is good, featuring a pleasing video presentation and immersive audio experience. Extras are also impressive, making this release easily ‘Recommended’ to all.

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