At the Movies: Detectives and Aliens

I realized recently I’ve been spending a lot of time and money at the movies this year.  It’s been pretty ridiculous, to be honest.  At any rate, I have a post coming up soon with lists of everything I saw in 2009, what I wish I hadn’t seen, what I didn’t see that I wish I had, what I’m lucky to have escaped seeing, and so on.

For now, however, I thought I’d share my thoughts on two of the big holiday blockbusters I happen to have seen recently. Should you see them, too?  Well, maybe.

Sherlock Holmes: I saw this one on Christmas Day with my friend Brunbec. We are both big Holmes afficionados and had been anxiously awaiting it. To anyone who has read any of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and who has also seen the trailer for this film, it will come as no surprise when I reveal to you that the Sherlock Holmes in the film bears very little resemblance to the one in the stories. The film does carry on certain elements of plot and character from the stories, but the over all effect is to produce a violent, flashy rogue whose tendency toward fisticuffs nearly outweighs his logical abilities. But we knew that going in and it was fine.

The film was very visually entertaining. I mean, come on, you get to spend the two hours staring at Rober Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams. These are very pretty people. The overall look was stylish as well. Plot-wise, eh. The story seemes too episodic, composed of interesting nuggets that didn’t always cohere — at least that’s the impression I got. Robert Downey Jr.’s fake British accent was also fairly awkward. Other than that, though, it was pretty good.

Avatar: I went to see this film with my dad and brother while they were visiting. I’d had no intention (NONE) of seeing it myself, but I was outnumbered on this occasion.  I was pretty excited about seeing a movie in 3D, which I never had before (Did you know the 3D glasses are actually these plastic sunglasses-looking things now, and not those paper glasses with red and blue lenses? This was news to me.), but I wasn’t terribly interested in the plot. In terms of story, you can cash in on basically every single cliché in the White Man and The Natives genre. My brother called it Dances with Aliens.

Nonetheless, I thought the movie was fairly entertaining. It was pretty. I wasn’t as wowed by the style and effects as most seem to have been, though. Honestly, I’m not sure seeing it in 3D was even a significant factor, as the 3D effects were so subtle as to not be noticeable most of the time. Also, the glasses hurt my nose after two and a half hours.

The highlight of the movie: My dad, brother, and I got great amusement out of the trailer for the new version of Clash of the Titans, in particular, the moment where Liam Neeson grandly and dramatically screams, “RELEASE THE KRAKEN.” This became our rallying cry for the following days. It’s quite a useful expression, particularly when your crass younger brother, not accustomed to fine fake meats, overindulges in the tofurkey and becomes a bit gassy. RELEASE THE KRAKEN! Yes, we are fancy people.

Have you seen either of these? What did you think?


  1. Haha. I only lament that the preview for Clash of the Titans didn’t play when we went to see Avatar. Damn.
    I want to see Sherlock Holmes. In fact, this next week before school starts back, I plan on going to the movies by myself a few times. That will be one I catch.


  2. Sounds fun! Going to the movies yourself always feels so indulgent. I recommend splurging and actually buying something from the concession stand, too. It’s like taking yourself on a date!


  3. Avatar I don’t plan to see for the simple fact that the aliens are humanoid. Why, for the love of dog, do movie people spend bajillions of dollars making wonderful (if inherently wrong) scenery and planets etc, but then have ZERO creativity when it comes to making animals and ‘people’?

    Clash of the Titans trailer funniest moment: Title screen flashing “Titans Will Clash” – well, you’d bloody hope so, with a title like ‘Clash of the Titans’ wouldn’t you?


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