Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
See the world’s most famous detective as you’ve never seen him before, portrayed by acting legend Ian McKellen, in this ingeniously plotted suspense-thriller. For thirty years, Sherlock Holmes has been haunted by his final case, one that remains unsolved. Now, spurred by a mysterious trip to Japan, Holmes quietly slips out of retirement to confront the ghosts of his past—and a spellbinding mystery that will take all of his deductive powers to solve.
Decades retired and now succumbing to the increasing loss of memory, the once illustrious detective Sherlock Holmes (McKellen) works diligently with the help of his housekeepers son, a young boy named Roger (Parker) with a bright mind who has taken a liking to the old man and his interests against his mothers wishes; Holmes attempting to reconstruct the events of his last case which continue to elude and plague him as he feels some crucial element of his life was drastically affected by the case, although the rhyme and reason remain unknown. Now with the assistance of the young boy (whether or not he should desire it) the two fight the clock and his mind, as well as the reservations of his housekeeper as they attempt to unlock the clues of his final case before they become lost forever.
Directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) from a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher which itself was based upon the novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind” by Mitch Cullin, Condon does a phenomenal job at the helm of ‘Mr. Holmes’ guiding this beautiful and moving film with obvious passion and care and with a talent for managing to make every minimal sequence or shot look fantastic. The film also owes a great deal to the incredibly talented folks who comprise the cast, including the always phenomenal Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings, X-Men) who delivers an impressive portrayal of Sherlock Holmes that is perfectly complimented by Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada and the rest of the supporting cast, all of whom deliver notable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Mr. Holmes’ is an intelligent, well crafted, and incredibly enjoyable film that allows viewers a glimpse at a very different man than the Sherlock Holmes they are likely familiar with, portrayed brilliantly by the incredibly talented Ian McKellen. With a solid cast and the obvious care from director Bill Condon in addition to the beautiful surroundings, landscapes and numerous buildings and cars perfectly representative of the age, this film is a true treat to behold. Overall, ‘Mr. Holmes’ is a wonderfully entertaining gem filled with notable performances and constant beauty, I would highly recommend checking this one out, you’ll likely be quite pleased that you decided to do so.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Mr. Holmes’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. This high definition video presentation looks wonderful, delivering a detailed, colorful and flawless presentation, beautifully representing the film’s beautiful settings and artifacts, holding up admirably at every point and never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate that should not disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds great, providing a rich, clean and beautiful audio presentation throughout that utilizes all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer in the films gorgeous score in addition some background activity during more heavily populated sequences, in addition to nature-related noises and the like, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible at any point. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Mr. Holmes’ doesn’t include a great deal in the way of extras, although it does include two short Behind the Scenes Featurettes with interviews/comments from members of the cast and crew, they are: ‘Mr. Holmes: The Icon’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length), and ‘Mr. Holmes: The Story’ (approximately 3 minutes). The Theatrical Trailer for the film is also included.