Monday, May 7, 2012

TV Review: Sherlock - "A Scandal in Belgravia"

Benedict Cumberbatch and Lara Pulver as Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler in A Scandal in Belgravia
Benedict Cumberbatch and Lara Pulver as Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler

This episode is a modern update of A Scandal in Bohemia.  While the series itself is contemporary take on the classic stories, the character of Irene Adler has been given the extreme makeover. 

Irene Adler has morphed from an adventuress into a dominatrix who is bisexual as well. She is the one to rescue Sherlock and Watson from their precarious situation at the end of the first season. 

Soon, Sherlock and Watson take on a royal blackmail case which involves Irene. The episode rambles on with Sherlock and Irene playing a game of cat and mouse, taking turns to outwit each other. The climactic scene features Sherlock deciphering the key to unlock Irene’s smartphone. Moriarty makes a brief appearance.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in A Scandal in Belgravia
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson
The character of Irene Adler is not the only one to get a modern update. The great Mycroft Holmes himself is not immune to the dictates of a “modern” adaptation. Mycroft is still employed by the British Government; it is his relationship with his younger brother that bears the brunt. Mycroft and Sherlock have a very antagonistic relationship in this series.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss as Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Homes in A Scandal in Belgravia
The Holmes brothers

In the Canon, Sherlock and Mycroft share a mutually respectful relationship towards each other. They do not gush around each other, but they do have a lot of respect and goodwill for each other. The Granada series, the Russian series and SherlockHolmes: A Game of Shadows captured the essence of this relationship nicely.

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The Granada series in particular knocks this one out of the park and I recommend the episode “The Greek Interpreter”. The scene in the Diogenes Club, where Watson meets Mycroft for the first time is pitch-perfect and Charles Gray is just amazing as Mycroft in this episode as well as in the series.

The episode has references to some of the original stories: The Greek Interpreter (The Geek Interpreter), The Speckled Band (The Speckled Blonde) and The Adventure of the Illustrious Client. 

Click here to read all my posts about BBC Sherlock. 

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Image Sources: CumberbatchwebCumberbatchwebFanpop

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The latest trailer for The Dark Knight Rises is out

I enjoyed the first two movies and the trailer has confirmed my hopes that this trilogy will be one of my favorites, on par with the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Chris Nolan seems to have the Midas touch. I have seen all of his movies except The Prestige and Following. Nolan has a knack for making engrossing psychological thrillers. The Batman movies are not an exception. In the first movie, Bruce Wayne dealt with fear. In the sequel, he had to deal with the anarchy unleashed by the Joker.

In the trilogy finale, he deals with the destruction brought on by the masked terrorist, Bane. Speculations have been rampant ever since the first teaser came out in July 2011, as to whether the Dark Knight will bite the dust.

Fans of the Caped Crusader will be familiar with the infamous storyline ‘Knightfall’ in which Bane systematically breaks down Batman both physically and mentally and finally literally breaks his back. Whether the movie will follow the same plot is debatable, I for one certainly do not think that Batman will be mortally wounded. It is after all his movie and the title also suggests otherwise. My personal opinion is that Bruce Wayne will either pass on the mantle to someone else or possibly go underground and create “Batman Incorporated”.

Christian Bale continues his stellar work as the titular character. The same praise applies to Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman reprising their roles as Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennyworth and Jim Gordon respectively. These men are the few allies, Batman can rely on in his relentless fight on crime in Gotham.

As was the case with Aaron Eckhart and the late Heath Ledger with the second movie, the focus this time is mainly on Tom Hardy as Bane and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard also have supporting roles and have managed to arouse the curiosity among the fans about their possible dual identities.

Last but not the least, it is also speculated that Ra's al Ghul will make a cameo appearance. With such a strong ensemble cast, Nolan's record of making critically acclaimed movies, Hans Zimmer's music and the rest of the talented crew, July 20 2012 can’t come soon enough...

I would like to hear from the readers on their thoughts about the movie or the ending in particular. Please use the comments section to voice your thoughts.

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