With Christmas over, the hunt for perfect gifts is over as well.
As I have been hunting around for presents, I have taken on a near ‘buyer beware’ attitude. The other week when I was in the stores I thought I had found the perfect present for my mother.
It was a “Sherlock Holmes” set on DVD with four movies, episodes from an old TV show, and a featurette. Right on the box was a picture of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. These two men were and will always be what I think of first when I hear “Holmes and Watson.”
On a closer look, I read the titles and realized that Nigel Bruce was in only one of the movies. The Hound of the Baskervilles in the set which meant these were all of the lesser movies. That was very disappointing. So I put the box back on the shelf and moved on. If I am to give my mother a box set of Sherlock Holmes movies, Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone have to be together.
Thanks to the Guy Ritchie movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as the British detecting duo, interest in Sherlock Holmes has been renewed. Ritchie’s version of the detective is less clean, less proper than Rathbone’s version. Then again, Rathbone was a Shakespearian actor and carried that Victorian gravitas with him.
I like the Downey Jr. version of Sherlock, it makes him more approachable and understandable in some respects. I see a man who has many interests, many abilities but with a touch of the lack of social niceties. He knows enough how to be in society but only because he remembers what happens when it does not work out well.
There is a new edition of Holmes on TV in the CBS show Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as the detecting pair. The premise is that Sherlock has recently left rehab and Watson is a former doctor who is his ‘sober companion.’ The British citizen has a beautiful but messy grey stone and consults on cases with the New York City police. His contact there is played by Aiden Quinn.
Sherlock is rude, brusque, incredibly smart and highly annoying. Watson is constantly frustrated at his behavior, amazed at his deduction abilities, and constantly thwarted in her efforts to help Sherlock on his path to sobriety. But they work well together as partners when it comes to solving crimes. The writing is crisp and fast moving without giving a person whiplash. There is not a box set of this series – yet. I tend to watch it on my computer since I never get to watch it when it is actually broadcasted on Thursday nights.
The other night, the husband and I went out to see a different British detective in the movies. We finally got out to see Skyfall starring Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench. The opening sequence of this movie is worth the price of admission. The story focuses more on M and her career at MI6 but Bond is right there in nearly scene trying to figure out who is trying to destroy M.
This movie still has those fantastical chase scenes and an incredible villain in Javier Bardem. But the realistic point are the meetings and hearings that M is forced to attend to give testimony regarding her agency and if it is necessary any more. I was thrilled with all aspects of this movie and heartily recommend it to action movie fans. In my mind, Craig may be the best Bond after Sean Connery.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.