Thursday, 13 January 2011

Sherlock Holmes 2009

I decided against going to the cinema to watch the 2009 version of Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr Watson. my impression at the time that this was a version set in contemporary London designed to appeal to the teenage 20 something weekend cinema audience. I should have given the matter better attention then having enjoyed watching the film on HD TV twice over the past week. True the film is angled at the weekend audience with a tale of black magic and virgin sacrifice and much fast moving action, dramatic moments and such like rather than the fastidious thoughtfulness as Holmes observes and analyses, and then unveils his conclusions to the police and Dr Watson. However I shall remember this version because of one haunting image and incomplete Tower Bridge seen at distance as well as at close up with the main span yet to meet at the centre.

The story is of Holmes and Watson rescuing a young girl who is about to be sacrificed for the pleasure of one Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), just before Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsden) arrives with his force to complete the capture. Blackwood is found guilty of other similar crimes and is sentenced to death. Three months later there is evidence of Blackwood breaking out of the tomb in which he was buried. Holmes is summoned to a meeting with the Home Secretary, the Chief Justice and an Ambassador at what appears to be a Masonic Temple and these prominent men ask for help because Blackwood was a former member of a society that explored the world of magic. The Ambassador is then killed by what appears to be a demonstration of supernatural powers and Blackwood then becomes head of the secret Order saying he has a scheme to take over the British Government and in the United States and bring control over the whole world.

There are two sub story interests. Watson is moving out of Baker Street to his own accommodation as a prelude to marriage. Holmes who prior to the involvement with the Blackwood and the Order was going through a bad patch behaves badly when invited to meet the fiancée and is challenged by Watson’s new relationship and the consequences for their own. Holmes also as a female interest, a former attractive female adversary Irene Adler played by Rachel McAdams who asks him to help her find a missing man named Reordan. When Holmes and Watson investigate and find where the man was living there is evidence of much dubious and potentially criminal work using substances. Men arrive evidently intended to remove all trace of the man by burning/blowing up the residence and they are protected by a giant man which involves a prolonged fight involving a ship years which leads to half completed vessel sinking in the Thames.

The two men are held in custody until their release by Lestrade. They discover that the missing man has taken the place of Blackwood in the Tomb. Holmes has noted that Blackwood has a great resemblance to the Lord Chief Justice and is in fact his son, The Lord Chief Justice is then killed by his son and we learn that the Home Secretary has been working with Blackwood to implement his plan. Holmes is then able to trick The Home Secretary to reveal the plan to kill all the Members of British Parliament who refuse to accept the new world order but not how. I cannot member how she becomes actively involved in the next sequence but Holmes, Watson and the woman make their way to the Houses of Parliament via the river and the underground workings and discover a machine which will release gas into the chambers where the Parliamentarians have been assembled. Blackwood appears, still pretending, that he has been brought back from the dead and has supernatural powers seeking their support or their death. They are unaware that supporters have been given an antidote to the gas, When it is evident that the plot fails because of the intervention of the trio, Blackwood escapes and Adler also runs off with part of the device which relates to a new radio mechanism which Blackwood had intended to set off the lethal machine pumping gas in the ventilation system of Parliament. It is at this point that all three meet on the top part of under construction Tower Bridge. In the struggle between Holmes and Blackwood, the villain gets caught up with ropes and is hung to death from the workings. We also learn that Adler is working for Professor Moriarty and was after the radio aspect of the device all along. This provides for a sequel adventure. As the film progresses Holmes is able to reveal to Watson and the police how all the supernatural events have been clever tricks. This includes how with an accomplice Blackwood was not hung but had the appearance of being hung and was given a prepared potion which also gave the impression of a lifeless body. The family tomb has also been prepared so that it would collapse in such a way to give the impression of being broken out of from within. This enabled the man who had provided much of the technology and devices to be placed in the Tomb and then for Blackwood to appear out at an opportune moment to ensure his presence was witnessed and reported.

I also discovered why I had the impression that the film had a contemporary setting. This is more to do with the portrayal of Homes as artistic and bohemians or as I have often described a creative genius, an individual apart from others who connects the dots differently from the average individual. The supernatural aspect was also influenced by the life and work of Aleister Rowley who worked and wrote about the use of black magic, the summoning of demons and devils into the natural world.. The film opened the same weekend and Avatar but still managed to make half a billion dollars at the box office with a budget of under 100 million.

I am trying to have more balanced days as I attempt to return to fitness and lose weight. I continue to watch films and other TV, to write and to work on the art project. At present I am working on the basis of 3 to 4 sets a day with 100 a month, achieved over past six months with the exception of December. My approach is also not to let project work accumulate half completed in the downstairs work room which is amazingly clear and tidy at present. I have also commenced work on cleaning and keeping tidy the rest of the house with the kitchen in good order although I need to work on the top oven of the cooker and also on the surfaces. I am running down the freezer prior to a defrost in about two weeks. I will wash the day room floor before the week is out. I would like to have a sort out and tidy of the rear yard but the weather will have to improve. It turned much colder again in the afternoon and early evening than I had anticipated.

There was mixed fortunes in game play against the computer. Although I was behind the top score in Mahjong for almost all the levels, I achieved the best yet with three levels to go and finished with an all time high score of just under 18million points. On the other hand have closed in on that elusive 101 games at second level chess achieved two years ago, K crashed out at 97, just four short of the target. Such is my present good spirit that I have sent about remedying

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