DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Sherlock Holmes, Blu-ray + DVD/Digital Copy (2009)

An all-stops-out spectacular on the Sherlock Holmes theme that departs extensively from Doyle's originals.

Published on April 26, 2010

Sherlock Holmes, Blu-ray + DVD/Digital Copy (2009)

Sherlock Holmes, Blu-ray + DVD/Digital Copy (2009)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong  
Director: Guy Ritchie
Studio: Warner Home Video
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS HD-MA 5.1; French, Spanish, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Extras: Maximum Movie Mode (including picture-in-picture, storyboard comparisons, stills galleries, featurettes, timelines); “Focus Points” eight production featurettes; “Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented” featurette; BD-Live features; DVD copy; digital copy
Length: 128 minutes
Movie Rating: ****         Video Rating: ****
Audio Rating: ****1/2         D-BOX Motion Rating: ***

Sherlock Holmes is director Guy Ritchie’s fresh take on the classic literary detective.  In this movie version, Robert Downey Jr. portrays Sherlock Holmes while Jude Law is Holmes’ faithful friend and companion Dr. John Watson.  The movie opens to find Holmes and Watson apprehending the nefarious criminal Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong).  Blackwood is thereafter hanged for the murders of several young women that occurred during satanic rituals.  However, the case is reopened when Blackwood apparently rises from the dead and throws London into a panic when new murders start taking place.  It is up to Holmes to use his keen powers of deduction to solve the mystery and dispatch Blackwood for good.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sherlock Holmes.  The movie is nicely-paced and features a fair amount of action.  Robert Downey Jr. injects his trademark brand of confidence and humor into the role.  Jude Law has great on-screen chemistry with Downey Jr. and the two make for a very entertaining crime-solving duo.  I won’t be at all surprised if there are several sequels made for this movie franchise.  Sherlock Holmes has repeat-viewing quality and this Blu-ray is definitely worthy of purchase consideration.  Highly recommended.  

The overall high definition video quality of this Blu-ray DVD is very good.  Images are pristine with exquisite detail.  Black levels are uniformly deep throughout the film.  Colors are warm and rich with appropriately-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is well done with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is excellent.  The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix.  Dialogue is crisp, almost always intelligible even amidst all of the on-screen action, and properly positioned in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for the sound effects and Hans Zimmer’s music score, plus including several split rear effects.  The low frequency effects channel produces tight and punchy bass. 

Sherlock Holmes is compatible with the D-BOX Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your chosen seating.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of D-BOX motion and vibration happening in this movie.  However, the effects that do take place certainly enhance the overall movie experience.  My favorite D-BOX highlights are the horse and carriage scene at the beginning of the film (the motion and vibration simulates darting around turns and riding on bumpy cobble-stone streets), the ship coming loose from its moorings at the docks (plenty of moving and shaking occurs here), and the huge explosion outside of the warehouse (the forceful impact of the blast resonated throughout my body).  Overall, the D-BOX motion and vibration quality for Sherlock Holmes is fair-to-good. 

– Calvin Harding Jr.
 




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