Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spectre (2015) - Teaser Trailer

Spectre James Bond 007 movie poster image wallpaper screensaver

The trailer for the upcoming James Bond movie, Spectre starring Daniel Craig as Agent 007 is out. The returning cast includes Ralph Fiennes as M (Bond's boss), Ben Whishaw as Q (Gadget expert), Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny. 

Joining the regular cast are Christoph Waltz (as Oberhauser), Monica Bellucci (as Bond Girl Lucia Sciarra), Léa Seydoux (as Madeleine Swann), Dave Bautista (as Mr. Hinx) and Andrew Scott (as Denbigh).

The teaser did not impress me that much. I hope that the movie will live up to the hype.

Sam Mendes returns as the director, after the billion dollar box office success of Skyfall. I enjoyed that movie despite the obvious similarities to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. Hopefully, the next movie will be more original.

Andrew Scott is not featured in the trailer. But looks like his work as Moriarty in BBC Sherlock is indeed taking him places.

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The movie's name refers to the global organization of the same name, SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion). It is an organization that often finds itself at loggerheads with James Bond and the British Secret Service.

Interestingly, the soon-to-be-released Tom Cruise movie, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation also features the Syndicate, which happens to be a rival organization of IMF. Check out the trailer below:

M:I -Rogue Nation not only beat Skyfall to its first trailer, but the movie itself releases earlier than Mr Bond's latest adventure.

While Spectre releases in the US on November 6 2015 and in the UK on October 23 2015, MI5 hits the theatres on 31 July in the US and UK.

It will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to two spy movies that seem to have similar plot elements and release within months of each other.

I enjoyed the preceding movies in both these franchises. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol had amazing action sequences and some moments of real humor. Based on Spectre's teaser, my money is on M:I -Rogue Nation being the more enjoyable sequel.

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Image Source: Wikipedia 
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

BBC Sherlock "A Scandal in Belgravia" - Canonical References [Part II]

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock deerstalker hat BBC Holmes

Dear Readers,

This post concludes the list of Canonical References in A Scandal in Belgravia. 

Scripted by Steven Moffat, it is based on the original story: A Scandal in Bohemia.  Here are the references to Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories:

1. John questions Sherlock: “You composing?” and he replies: “..helps me to think” - In the original story, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League: “I observe that there is a good deal of German music on the programme, which is rather more to my taste than Italian or French. It is introspective, and I want to introspect.”.

2. John’s lack of knowledge about Sherlock’ personal life is reflected in the question he poses to Mrs Hudson: “Has he ever had any kind of relationship, a boyfriend, girlfriend…” - Dr John Watson mentions in The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter: “During my long and intimate acquaintance with Mr. Sherlock Holmes I had never heard him refer to his relations, and hardly ever to his own early life.”

3. John remarks about Sherlock: “He is Mr Punchline. He will outlive God trying to have the last word” – In The Adventure of the Red-headed League, when Dr Watson expresses his doubt about Sherlock's proposition, Holmes replies: “You did, Doctor, but none the less you must come round to my view, for otherwise I shall keep on piling fact upon fact on you until your reason breaks down under them and acknowledges me to be right.” 

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4. Sherlock deduces the presence of Irene Adler (Lara Pulver) based on her perfume – Sherlock Holmes states in The Hound of the Baskervilles: “There are seventy-five perfumes, which it is very necessary that a criminal expert should be able to distinguish from each other, and cases have more than once within my own experience depended upon their prompt recognition.”

5. Sherlock solves the cryptogram in 4 seconds – Sherlock Holmes remarks in The Valley of Fear: “Because there are many ciphers which I would read as easily as I do the apocrypha of the agony column: such crude devices amuse the intelligence without fatiguing it.”

6. Moriarty’s text to Mycroft: “Jumbo Jet. Dear me Mr Holmes, dear me” – Direct reference to this note sent by Professor Moriarty to Sherlock Holmes in The Valley of Fear: “Dear me, Mr. Holmes. Dear me!”

Lara Pulver Irene Adler BBC Sherlock A Scandal in Belgravia

7. At 221 B Baker Street, Sherlock does not notice that Watson is gone and that Irene is now in the room – In A Study in Scarlet, Dr John Watson writes about Sherlock Holmes: “So engrossed was he with his occupation that he appeared to have forgotten our presence, for he chattered away to himself under his breath the whole time, keeping up a running fire of exclamations, groans, whistles, and little cries suggestive of encouragement and of hope.”

8. Sherlock remarks: “Coventry all over again. The wheel turns. Nothing is ever new” –

Sherlock Holmes mentions in The Valley of Fear: “The old wheel turns, and the same spoke comes up. It's all been done before, and will be again.”

In A Study in Scarlet, Holmes states: “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before”

9. Sherlock's advice to Irene: “This is your heart and you should never let it rule your head” - Sherlock Holmes states in The Adventure of the Lion's Mane: “Women have seldom been an attraction to me, for my brain has always governed my heart, ....”

10. Mycroft’s observation about Sherlock: “My brother has the brain of a scientist or a philosopher, yet he elects to be a detective” – Dr John Watson writes about Holmes’ acting skills in A Scandal in Bohemia: “It was not merely that Holmes changed his costume. His expression, his manner, his very soul seemed to vary with every fresh part that he assumed. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime.”

11. Sherlock remarks to John: “If it’s about the Leeds triple murder, It was the gardener. Nobody noticed the earring” – Possible reference to The Adventure of the Cardboard Box where earrings played a vital role in solving the mystery.

12. The initial case of the hiker killed by a single blow to the back of his head from a blunt instrument near a body of water - Reference to The Boscombe Valley Mystery in which one Charles McCarthy who was killed by repeated blows to the back of his head from a blunt weapon. His body was found beside the Boscombe pool. (Thanks to Anonymous commenter for pointing this out).

Click here to read the first part of Canonical references.

Feel free to point out any references I might have missed out.

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Image Sources: BBC Wales, Hartswood Films, Masterpiece Theatre

Friday, March 6, 2015

Elementary Season 3 Episode 16 "For All You Know" – Recap and Review

Elementary Sherlock Holmes wearing scarf Oscar Rankin Season 3 Episode 16 For All You Know

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) finds himself as the main suspect for the murder of Maria Gutierrez (Jessica Diaz). Detective Demps (Richard Brooks) and Detective McShane (Aaron Serotsky) are handling the investigation. They have a handwritten note from Sherlock that sets him up for a meeting with Maria on the day she disappeared.

Sherlock confesses to Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) that he was heavily addicted to drugs three years back after the supposed death of Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer). Sherlock reaches out to one of his former acquaintances, Oscar Rankin (Michael Weston). Oscar used to supply drugs to Sherlock during the period Maria was murdered.

Oscar believes that Sherlock had killed Maria and warns him to stay away. Joan tries to get some information from Maria's family members, but receives no help.

Sherlock meanwhile gets beaten up badly by two unidentified men on the street near his brownstone. Sherlock pickpockets the wallet of one of his attackers. The wallet identifies the man as Prentice Gutierrez (Felix Solis) who is the brother of the deceased Maria.

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Sherlock and Joan visit Prentice at his workplace. He is not co-operative at first, but Sherlock convinces him of his innocence. Prentice informs him that Maria was being harassed by a man just before her death.

Sherlock and Joan next talk to Councilman Robert Barclay (Gary Wilmes), at whose office Maria was working around the time of her death. He claims to be a fan of Sherlock's work and offers his complete assistance to the two detectives.

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, Sherlock gets arrested. In desperation, Joan reaches out to Oscar. He shows Joan a blood stained shirt that was supposedly worn by Sherlock after killing Maria.

Sherlock deduces the identity of the killer based on the aforementioned shirt.

Joan Watson wearing winter coat jacket leggings gloves leg warmer snow boots in Elementary Season 3 Episode 16 For All You Know

Canonical References
1. Elementary Sherlock uses the following famous quote from The Sign of the Four: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? ”

2. Sherlock getting attacked and beaten up severely by two men on the street - This is a bit tenuous, but reminded me of the original story: The Adventure of the Illustrious Client. In this story, Sherlock Holmes is physically assaulted by two men on the orders of Baron Adelbert Gruner. Stuart Townsend portrayed Del Gruner in the show.

Elementary Sherlock Holmes wearing scarf in Season 3 Episode 16 For All You Know

This was an OK episode. The resolution to the mystery was very weak.

Miller's Sherlock once again proves why he is so different from the Canonical Version. While talking to Oscar, he reveals that he used to have a lover. Of course, now and then we would have a scene showing Elementary Sherlock in bed with random women. The Canonical Holmes is very averse to the company of women.

Another point of interest: In the opening scene of the episode, Joan receives her client - a guitar player (Keira Keeley) who claims that someone has stolen her musical tune and composed a jingle out of it. This consulting session is interrupted by Sherlock's antics upstairs.

We never hear about this case or the client again in the episode. Some kind of resolution would have been great. 

Guest star Michael Weston however makes an impression as the quick talking Oscar Rankin. May be we will see more of Oscar in later episodes.

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Image Source: CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

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