Friday, November 13, 2009

Just A Little Update on Liverpool

Because I haven't posted in a very long time indeed. Keep meaning to. Got a few post drafts saved but I just can't seem to bring myself to actually write any of these. For those of you who don't follow, Liverpool brought in glorious victory over Man U the week after my anger post, lost on All Hallow's Eve, and tied things up on the 9th. So yes, things haven't been going too hot this season indeed, although it's becoming apparent it's for reasons other than Liverpool being a two-man team, thankfully. Anyway, as of last game, here are the Premier League rankings:

1 Chelsea 12 10 0 2 29 8 +21 30 2010–11 UEFA Champions League Group stage
2 Arsenal 11 8 1 2 36 14 +22 25
3 Manchester United 12 8 1 3 23 12 +11 25
4 Tottenham Hotspur 12 7 1 4 23 17 +6 22 2010–11 UEFA Champions League Play-off round
5 Aston Villa 12 6 3 3 20 12 +8 21 2010–11 UEFA Europa League Play-off round
6 Manchester City 11 5 5 1 21 14 +7 20
7 Liverpool 12 6 1 5 27 18 +9 19
8 Sunderland 12 5 2 5 20 19 +1 17
9 Stoke City 12 4 4 4 12 15 −3 16
10 Burnley 12 5 1 6 15 25 −10 16
11 Fulham 11 4 3 4 14 14 0 15
12 Everton 11 4 3 4 15 17 −2 15
13 Wigan Athletic 12 4 2 6 13 22 −9 14
14 Blackburn Rovers 11 4 1 6 14 25 −11 13
15 Birmingham City 12 3 3 6 10 14 −4 12
16 Bolton Wanderers 11 3 2 6 15 24 −9 11
17 Hull City 12 3 2 7 10 25 −15 11
18 West Ham United 12 2 4 6 16 20 −4 10 Relegation to 2010–11 Football League Championship
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 2 4 6 12 22 −10 10
20 Portsmouth 12 2 1 9 10 18 −8 7

Which can be read in a neater format on Wikipedia.

So we're 7th right now, with a game against Man City next Saturday. I am PRAYING for a win. I am hopeful, nay, I am CERTAIN Liverpool will win. And a win against Man City could be enough to make the teams swap places. Then the Reds just need to knock Aston Villa out of the way. As long as we score enough points to keep in the top 5, I'll be content. Of course I'd be happy even if the Reds end up at #20. Once a Red, always a Red. But I'd really like to see the team go on to the top five again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two Man Team?

I've been a Liverpool fan since I was ten years old. I fell in love with the team when Gerard Houllier was managing. Was he the best manager in the history of the team? Of course not. I severely doubt there will ever be a manager, at LFC or anywhere else, who can top the great Bill Shankly. Shankly is beyond legend.

But Houllier was still a pretty good manager. From November 1998 to May 2004, Houllier guided Liverpool to victory in 2 Football League Cups, 1 FA Cup, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 European Super Cup, and 1 Charity Shield. That's a record pretty consistent with every manager post-Bob Paisley, and it's fairly well-known the largest reason Paisley's record looks so good on paper is because Shankly was forever sticking his nose back into Liverpool's business, even after he retired from the team.

When Rafael Benitez came in in 2004, it was viewed by some as a good thing, and some as a very, very bad thing. Rafa never stays on as manager with a team for long. His average is about three years, but in some cases he stayed on for one, and in the case of Liverpool Rafa's been on for five now. A guy who hops around a lot must be a shit manager, right? Look at Brian Clough, for heaven's sake! But at the same time, the man was a very good manager, at least in some cases. He was nothing to write home about, but he did a pretty damn good job with Valencia, and it looked like maybe another Houllier, a decent manager who may not guide Liverpool the level of greatness Shankly and Paisley did, but he would certainly keep Liverpool as one of the best teams out there.

Rafa started out as pretty good, too. Over the years, he's taken Liverpool to win an FA Cup, a European Cup, a European Super Cup, and a Community Shield. In four years, 2004-2008, Rafa was looking like another Houllier. Lesser than Houllier, certainly, but another decent manager, who, like all managers, made the occasional mistake and got a bit more flak than he deserved. Liverpool was 2nd last season, 4th the season before that, 3rd the two seasons before that, and fifth in Rafa's first season.

This season, however, Rafa has beyond dropped the ball. Rafa lost the ball before it even came into play and is now stumbling around like a drunken moron. Now, okay, a lot more people are at fault than just Rafa. The team needs to work harder, work better, practice more. Above all else they need to work on shooting and passing. Liverpool is a TEAM. But Rafa is also very much to blame, especially for today's loss to Sunderland. There is no chance in hell Liverpool ever should have lost to Sunderland today. Not in the post-Shankly days. But Liverpool did lose, and why? Partially because the players out there were shit, which is both their fault for playing poorly and Rafa's fault for putting people out in places they ought not to have been and not using a single substitute the ENTIRE GAME. There's also a few random acts of idiocy that I can't even fathom, like a kid who threw a beach ball into the pitch. A kid who was a Liverpool fan no less!

And you know what aggravates myself and a lot of my fellow Liverpool fans about today's loss? Today's loss to Sunderland is our fourth less. FOUR GAMES LOST BEFORE DECEMBER. That's downright pathetic. At this rate, the best we can hope for is fourth again, and with teams like Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Man City playing the way they have been this year, fourth is looking like an impossibility as well.

So let's pause to look at Liverpool's record so far this season.

LFC v. Tottenham Hotspur (loss)
LFC v. Stoke City (Win)
LFC v. Aston Villa (loss)
LFC v. Bolton Wanderers (Win)
LFC v. Burnley (Win)
LFC v. West Ham (Win)
LFC v. Hull City (Win)
LFC v. Chelsea (loss)
LFC v. Sunderland (loss)

Now, there are some exceptions to the rule, Burnley and Chelsea being the bigger exceptions, but do you know how Liverpool won most of the games they won? It was because of the man who is easily the greatest midfielder out there at the moment, Steven Gerrard, one of the best strikers out there at the moment, Fernando Torres.

When Torres and Gerrard were both injured playing internationally, Rafa was fuming. Why? Because he knows full well what we fans all know. Rafa has, slowly but steadily, been letting the rest of the team fall to shit, and all because he had Torres and Gerrard. Sure, there have been a few losses, like Chelsea and Tottenham, where even with Torres and Gerrard the Reds lost, but on the whole, as long as Gerrard and Torres were in the game, Liverpool came out on top. And of course, none of us were really complaining when they came out on top. After all, who gave a damn about who scored how many goals? LIVERPOOL WON!

But deep down we always knew, and today's loss leaves us no choice but to confront what we've been suppressing. Liverpool FC, the greatest team out there, has been devolved from a team to a duology. And that really is a problem. Chelsea, who we played last and lost to, would not have lost to Sunderland. And Chelsea was without their finest two players this week. So why would Chelsea win? Because even without their best, they know how to play, they know how to play as a team, and they might not score as high, but they will still score.

Rafa did very good with Valencia, and in light of the past five years, but particularly this season, I am almost forced to echo my fellow fans' sentiments. I want to be nice, however. Don't sack Rafa yet. Four losses before December is a big problem. A two-man team is a MAJOR problem. But I say give Rafa a chance to shape up. Let's see if Rafa can't pull Liverpool together before season's end. No chance in hell will we make second again, nor will we be Champions, but let's see if Rafa can't take us to fourth. If Rafa can take Liverpool to fourth with what's left of the season and do so by actually creating a team and not relying solely on Gerrard and Torres, there will be hope for Liverpool to go on and do a damn fine job next season.

But! Should Rafa fail to prove he can actually build a team, once this season's over, boot his ass faster than you can say Albuquerque. And to echo my fellow fans' sentiments, bring back Kenny Dalglish. Dalglish is already on as club ambassador and as a part of the youth academy. It'll be an easy promotion.

Dalglish was one of the better strikers of Liverpool history, and was voted #1 in "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". Simply put, Dalglish was voted #1 player in Liverpool history. Current Captain Steven Gerrard was voted #2. Dalglish was also one of the better managers of the post-Paisley days. From 1985-1991 Dalglish guided Liverpool to win 3 Division One Championships, 2 FA Cups, and 4 Charity Shields.

And to top it all off, the man can still play, too. A special relief game was hosted at Anfield for the Tsunami in 2005, where ex-Liverpool players played pop stars and the stars of popular TV shows. During the game, Dalglish showed that even after more than a decade of not playing, he still had the goods. Kenny Dalglish is the ideal man to take over Liverpool FC if Rafa fails, and most of my fellow Liverpool fans would agree, judging by reactions to our past two losses.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BBC Radio 4's Dr. No: A Review

Let me start by saying this was a very good adaptation. I generally don't listen to audio drama adapted from books, as they often do what this audio drama did sparsely -- that is, use snippets of the prose as narration. This adaptation wisely avoids using it too often, and sometimes when it does it changes it, makes it an internal monologue for James. Some of it works, like during the centipede sequence. Some of it, like when James is drinking the night before he departs, feels a bit forced. But on the whole, this was one of the better audio dramas I've heard, and I've heard a very good share, thanks largely to my working as a ghost writer for an audio drama group for two years and a staff writer for a different audio drama group for a year. Technically I'm still a member of these groups, but I've since ceased writing for them. For now at least. But thanks to that line of work, I was exposed to the world of audio drama, and I love them greatly. Many I love more than TV or film.

And now to discuss the cast.

David Suchet...ah, the brilliant David Suchet. Is there any doubt that this man is Hercule Poirot? He is to Poirot what Jeremy Brett is to Sherlock Holmes. I love his portrayal so very much. I even hear Suchet when I read Agatha Christie's Poirot books now. The man is capable of bringing such genius to roles. He is a very talented actor who has garnered much less attention than he deserves. But here, he falls short. Suchet's voice doesn't sound like a half-German, half-Chinese madman. It sounds a like a very bad attempt at an old B-movie alien. And he hams it up. Playing a role like Dr. No hammy is fine. The role calls for a little ham, a touch of camp. But Suchet really hams it up. It's a shame Suchet played Julius No in this way. The man had the potential to bring something really great to the role, something genius.

Toby Stephens makes a passable James Bond. He does a very good job with the material, carries the role well, but it feels a bit wrong. There's too much steel in his voice. Too much prickle. It almost reminds me of Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor in Blood of the Daleks. Angry, not wanting to open up to anyone, bitter. James Bond should be distant, but not sealed off. Still, the man does a very, very good job. Judging by this, I can't say I would want Toby Stephens as James Bond in film (had he not already played Gustav Graves, thus knocking him out of the running), but I do want him to return, at the very least just once more in the upcoming adaptation of Goldfinger. Now I'm not saying Toby Stephens is a bad James Bond. Far from it. But see, here's the thing a lot of people don't understand: The literary 007 evolved, as all good characters do. From Casino Royale through From Russia With Love, James Bond was a tool of the government. That is the James Bond Toby Stephens, or at least the portrayal Stephens turns in here, is suited for. From Dr. No to The Spy Who Loved Me, we see a James Bond who, while still very much a tool of the government, is burned out by his job, is showing signs of humanity. And in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice, we see about as near to human as James Bond ever becomes. Toby Stephens is not suited for those James Bonds, not judging by this audio drama. He would, however, be good in The Man With the Golden Gun, which returned to James Bond the Tool.

Martin Jarvis, the director, also plays the role of Ian Fleming. Though my ears ultimately grew used to him, I have to say I can't stand it. It's radically different from the voice I had always heard in my head (which sounded a bit like Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins) and radically, radically different from the real Ian Fleming. Now look, I don't have a problem with him sounding different from either of those. Would it heighten my enjoyment if he had? Yes. But I can live with a different voice as Fleming. But Jarvis...Jarvis makes my ears bleed, just a little bit.

I won't prattle on about the rest of the cast, partially because it would take too long, and partially because I do not have all of their names handy. Suffice it to say everyone was excellent, though I think the best of the incidentals go to M, Moneypenny, and Major Boothroyd.

Now, on to the drama istelf.

The script follows the book closely. A few sequences are shaved or altered slightly -- for example, James Bond vomits in his room immediately after killing the centipede rather than rushing into the bathroom; this we know because there was neither narration nor sound effect to suggest Bond had moved away from his bed -- but all in all it stays very close to the book. Some of the best segments of this drama are lifted straight from the book. That is to say, the narrations of Martin Jarvis as Ian Fleming. Specifically, these are where Jarvis reads the description of the characters, such as Honeychile Ryder, or the sequence when Doctor No enters Bond and Honey's room to examine them while they are drugged.

Wisely, the Bond of this play is written in line with the book. He is not a super-spy, he is not the suave, womanizing killer of the films. Numerous times Honeychile tries to convince him to sleep with her over the story. Were this a film by any actor aside from Dalton or Craig, Bond would have hopped into the sack with her immediately. But here, as in the book, Bond resists her advances, and tells her to wait until all of this Crab Key business is over. Here, as in the book, Bond is an investigator, an arm of SIS pursuing his mission. Nothing more, nothing less. He's still clever, he's still intelligent, and well, it just works for me. Timothy Dalton is my favorite James Bond with Daniel Craig as a close second. Why? Dalton nailed the Dr. No to You Only Live Twice Bond perfectly, and Daniel Craig nails the Casino Royale to From Russia With Love Bond perfectly. As I noted above, Stephens seems better suited to a Craig-type Bond, but he does a very good job with the script, which turns in this later Bond as he was presented in the books -- an intelligent agent, not some witty super-spy with fancy toys.

The BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Dr. No runs for approximately 87 minutes. It is an engaging 87 minutes, and certainly an 87 minutes well spent, even to a non-Bond fan, though certainly fellow Bond fans will get more pleasure out of it.

I am quite looking forward to the forthcoming adaptation of Goldfinger. Personally, I think Goldfinger is one of the worse novels, but even at his worst, Ian Fleming was good, and if it is adapted in the style of Dr. No, it will be good. I am hopeful Toby Stephens will return as agent 007. That they are producing Goldfinger also makes me very happy. Dr. No was originally announced as a special one-off deal to celebrate Ian Fleming's centenary, but EON Productions and Ian Fleming Publications have clearly given the go-ahead for more. If more is to follow Goldfinger, I suggest Live and Let Die. It's my personal favorite of the James Bond books, and it was never properly adapted on screen. It's also a cracking adventure with excellent pacing that could not only work well on radio, but engage audiences who may ordinarily find audio drama such as this Dr. No adaptation a touch too dragging.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Adventure of the Satanist's Zombie

© Warner Bros
I have recently gotten my hands on a copy of the script for the upcoming Sherlock Holmes film. It is a first draft, dated March 14, 2008, but I feel compelled to review it nonetheless. As something of an avid Holmes fan, it's a bit difficult for me to review basing it solely as a film, so I'm going to try to keep as much Holmes fandom as I can out of this, but as it is supposed to be a Sherlock Holmes film, I will naturally come back to the Holmes factor sooner or later. I'm also going to be doing a bit of synopsis as I go. SPOILERS FOLLOW. Scroll to the very bottom if you want my non-spoiler last words and my grade.

And just one last note before we get started: Although by now the majority of the cast is known, in my head I have been seeing Ian Hart as Watson and a man who looks like Richard E. Grant but sounds like Richard Roxburgh as our Holmes. Really just putting that out there to eat up space, separate spoilers from the top of the post. Also note that I am writing this as I'm reading, so any guesses/statements made that later prove to be false (though I doubt there shall be any), that's why.

Now then, on with the post!

The script opens with carriages speeding through the snow. Watson hops out and hurries along to a sewer, where Holmes is already rushing in. And here, at the beginning, is where my problems with the film begin. Holmes was a man of action in the books. I know Sherlock Holmes is often thought of as being an elderly thinker, but in actuality, Holmes retired before he was 40 and often got involved in scrapes. Thus, a little fighting is fine. Heck, the 2002 Hound of the Baskervilles played it up a bit, but this film, I feel, takes it a bit too far. Holmes uses his revolver to shoot a guard dead, takes his hat, and then essentially turns into Captain Fisticuffs. Watson shows up while he's punching guards to hell and starts beating other guards down with a mini-club. This makes me groan. To no end. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are not Captain Fisticuffs and Billy-Club Boy.

And here at the beginning is another problem I have with the film. We open at the closing of a case, when Holmes is nabbing Blackwood. Blackwood comments on how he has already murdered many young women. Yes, yes, we get the case coming up that will take us through the rest of the film, but goddammit, I want to see Sherlock Holmes on the case that leads him to the sewer where he turns into Captain Fisticuffs. How did it start? How did Holmes determine it was Blackwood? How did he know Blackwood & Co would be holding a Satanic ritual to sacrifice a young woman in the sewer? Not all that important of information for the rest of the film, but DAMN IT I WANT TO KNOW! Somehow it seems to me a much more intriguing case than what we get with this film (more on this soon).

The film moves on the a little while later, with Holmes loafing about 221B Baker Street drinking himself into a stupor (this Holmes, apparently, is without his 7% solution of cocaine and his evening morphine). Watson announces he intends to marry, specifically, one Mary Morstan, whom fans of Arthur Conan Doyle will know from The Sign of Four, as a wife of Watson, who either died or ultimately separated from Watson. Holmes is not one bit happy about the idea of Watson marrying, and takes to boxing and drinking to calm himself down.

Blackwood calls for Holmes on the night of his execution, and tauntingly tells Holmes he will not die, that London will be his. Naturally, then, the sequence we see next, in which an angry mother attempts to assassinate him and in which Blackwood is beheaded, is misdirection. It's painfully obvious that Blackwood was not killed, and he did not return from the grave. But that is what appears to be the case, and as Holmes investigates Blackwood's "revival" he stumbles upon the corpse of a man Irene Adler asked him to locate. Holmes and Watson go out for fish and chips (apparently they existed in the late 1800s, chips I mean) which...bothers me a bit. Fish and chips? And I suppose London is going to be eternally foggy, too? How American can you get with the portrayal of London? Anyway, after a quick bite of lunch, Holmes and Watson investigate the home of this red-headed corpse, and lo! An occult symbol and men who no doubt work for one Mr. Blackwood show up. Cue shootout and chase sequences.

And before I continue, let me stop myself here for a moment to bring up another point: Sherlock Holmes is a superhero now. The script plays up his expert ability to deduce, which was nothing more than intelligence and careful training in Doyle's works, to being a goddamned superhero. I am seriously considering renaming Robert Downey Jr. Holmes "Captain Fisticuffs" since he apparently is a superhero now and likes punching things.

Holmes chases one of Blackwood's men, named Dredger, through a shipyard, in a manner which it seems it meant to induce lols, but I cannot help but yawn at the writing. Hopefully the direction makes this sequence somehow engaging. As they continue through the shipyard, there's more fighting and Watson tries to reunite with Holmes and...I'm sorry. Let me stop here. I really, really seriously hope they brought in other people to do the re-writes, or at least help with the re-writes. Word on the street is they're already working a sequel. If that's true, for the love of whatever god you believe in, DO NOT LET MIKE JOHNSON NEAR SHERLOCK HOLMES. Sherlock Holmes is a man of action, yes, but SHERLOCK HOLMES IS NOT AN ACTION HERO.

Just to be clear, this movie is called Sherlock Holmes, yes? Because you know so far I haven't seen a lot of Sherlock Holmes. I've seen a lot of Captain Fisticuffs versus the Obvious Enemy's Lackeys in a Victorian England version of The Transporter. Honestly that's what they should call this movie. I say this because I'm very nearly halfway through, and not only does it seem very obvious that either a.) Blackwood survived or b.) Someone in Blackwood's occult group is making it look like Blackwood survived, but there hasn't been a lot of mystery, or a lot of investigation. Just a lot of Holmes and Watson bickering and Holmes running around being an action hero. Which he should not be.

On page 46, we get our first sample of Holmes being Holmes, and yet at the same time, it doesn't feel like Sherlock Holmes. It feels like a crackpot private investigator. I know a script is different from a book, and often times a lot of characterization is the actor, but I've read plenty of scripts in the past, and I can still get a feel for characters. And if it's a well-established character, that character is usually written in a manner written to be recognizable. Mike Johnson, however, once again proves he either does not understand Sherlock Holmes, or he is more interested in the production of popcorn fare than he is concerned with making a Sherlock Holmes film.

A short while after Holmes begins his investigative work, he pays a visit to Irene Adler, and here I have further complaints. Holmes is...excited by her in her underwear. And Holmes and Irene end up having sex. That is...just no. Look I'm not saying Holmes is a virgin (though it's perfectly believable) but the man has never, ever, in any story, novel, or film displayed an interest in women, save for Irene Adler, and that is solely because she outwitted him. And that was about it really. He had this disturbing semi-love for her because she beat him. He wasn't sexually attracted to her. He wasn't in love with her. It was just a sort of begrudging respect that hinged on a crush. Once again, Mike Johnson, you fail to understand Sherlock Holmes.

I will say, though, one of the better moments from the trailer was much more understated in the first draft. Props to whoever changed the moment of a maid finding Holmes handcuffed half-naked to a bed.

Once Holmes is out of that jam, however, I daresay the script becomes better. Holmes and Watson have a good relationship now, instead of a slash-erific "Holmes: Watson don't leave me! Watson: But I must!" And Holmes is off to investigate while Watson keeps packing. This leads to a line in the script which made me laugh. Quote: "ON WATSON: Decision time." I'm sorry, but, that just, really, really, really made me die laughing. Mike Johnson's script is full of touches like these, little flourishes we don't really need. In my experience, a script is like a book. If we can surmise or infer, do not tell us. And yet Mike Johnson tells us everything. Very often in very amusing ways.

After Holmes and Watson head out to the chemical plant where Blackwood babbles about his scheme some more and uses some theatrics, the film is feeling more Sherlock Holmes. It feels more like an amusing twist on Holmes, like those old Basil Rathbone films where it was Sherlock Holmes vs. Nazis, but it does feel somewhat like Sherlock Holmes now. Sadly, this is begins on page 63. Unfortunately, we are at this point about 11/20 of the way through the script (odd number I know, about 55/100 if that makes you feel better). The film's reported running time is 139 minutes (2 hr, 19 min). That means we have about 69.5 minutes of a film that is more Captain Fisticuffs than Sherlock Holmes. This, to me, is a bit of a problem, if indeed you intend to make Sherlock Holmes and not Captain Fisticuffs. Now look, I know running time doesn't match evenly with a script, but you understand my point. For Holmes to only be Holmes-ish by the halfway point is a problem, though it fortunately doesn't result in a tonal shift.

And Christ I hope this scene gets the cut. I really do. Ordinarily I'm all for telling the oversensitive animal rights people who wail about movies to piss off, but this...I'm a horse person. I've loved horses all my life, and am an avid rider trained in dressage. There is a scene here which makes me sick to my stomach at the thought of it. I dare not repeat it. Let's just leave it at I really, sincerely, hope they cut it, or do something clever with the camera, or something. I don't think I could take actually seeing this, even if they will use dummies to recreate it (or at least I hope they use dummies, and not actual corpses).

There is a brief flicker of the earlier Captain Fisticuffs film, but it soon resolves itself and we are back to the Holmes Lite, as I'm opting to call it. And now, a little while later, we have a section which irritates me immensely. I am fine with making some changes to Holmes' character. Every single actor has made changes, even Jeremy Brett, who was the most spot-on. But here, here we have a Sherlock Holmes who cannot play the violin worth a damn. Permit me to quote As quite clearly stated in A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant violin player, but he is only capable of playing pieces; if he is left to his own, he just sort of strokes randomly and produces what still sounds good enough to not make the ears bleed, but itsn't quite music. And here in the script, we have a Sherlock Holmes so terrible at the violin Watson came prepared and stuffed cotton in his ears.

And is it any surprise where the finale is taking place? Early in the film we are told Blackwood's behind the construction of Tower Bridge. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind this is obviously going to come up at some point? I'm afraid Tower Bridge might ruin it for me. I'm afraid all this Holmes Lite we've been getting will dissolve into Captain Fisticuffs On Steroids. After all, Tower Bridge is excuse enough for a set-piece, but Tower Bridge under construction? All I can say is, thank God Michael Bay isn't directing this movie.

Another fun quote from the script: "Irene swarms back down the stairs, retrieves her knife,
and gives Watson a saucy shrug; aren’t you glad I’m here now?"

We, alas, begin to dissolve back into Captain Fisticuffs, somewhat naturally, I suppose. It's the finale, and even if we were being Holmes-ish earlier, this seems to be more of an action film, and you can't have the climax without a fight! I can only hope that when this business is finished, when the denouement begins, we will return to Holmes Lite. At 96/115 pages, there can't be much more Captain Fisticuffs, can there? Anyway here appears to be another modification between the final product and this draft. Here, what appears to be the final struggle is taking place at the Tower of London and not on Tower Bridge (wisely, I think), and the bit with the hammers from the trailer appears to be nowhere in the script. But then, this is the first draft. I'm sure a lot has changed.

Again! Mike Johnson, you do not understand Sherlock Holmes! He just described Holmes being essentially a Victorian 007 as "quintessential Holmes". Wrong, good sir. Terribly wrong. And here, the last struggle between Blackwood and Holmes on Tower Bridge, it's not Captain Fisticuffs, but it's not Sherlock Holmes either.

"He's called the Professor. That's all I know -- except that he pays well." Indeed, they are setting up for a sequel. Professor, you say? Would that happen to be Professor James Moriarty? (Honestly I kind of saw the Irene working for Moriarty thing coming from a good distance away).

The finale, back in 221B Baker Street is nice. We're back to Holmes Lite here. Nice way to end, I think. And thus ends my ramblings and rantings and commentary of sorts.

© Warner Bros
At the end of the day, Sherlock Holmes is a very good film. It by no means approaches the level of such genius as my personal favorite film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, but judging by the script, it will make a very good film. But this is also the slight problem. Sherlock Holmes will make a good film. As a Sherlock Holmes film, not so much. Changing characters and elements is one thing, and that's fine, but this is like Basil Rathbone the Superhero Holmes. That doesn't sit well with me.

Rating the script as a film: I give Sherlock Holmes a B
Rating the script as a Sherlock Holmes film: I give Sherlock Holmes a C-

And now I'm off to browse the place I got the Sherlock Holmes script, see if I can't find something else worth reading. And who knows? I may just post another rambling, commentary-ish review of the script.