Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Drinking Games

Two and a half years ago, Guy Ritchie revived the classic Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Iron Man himself as the eccentric detective. This past Christmas, he also directed the sequel of the film, in the wake of the BBC’s brilliant Sherlock series. Now that sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is available on Blu-ray and DVD. Whether you like these new films or you prefer the BBC show, you can enjoy the new movie with this drinking game of shadows. Of course, if you want to start things off right, you can also enjoy Guy Ritchie’s original Sherlock Holmes with a few drinks here. Though we don’t recommend using formaldehyde as your spirit of choice, as Holmes does in the movie. That would kill you dead faster than Lucy Liu’s upcoming Elementary television series.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of titles to choose from today in all three categories including two brilliant Criterion releases, the second Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes film, a Dutch family film that stars a frequently naked lady from Game of Thrones, and a mixed bag of direct to DVD releases. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Accident Ho Kwok-fai (Louis Koo) is the brains behind a four-person team of assassins who specialize in making their hits look like accidents, but when one of their own is killed in an accident not of their making he suspects the team is being targeted. Johnnie To produced this dark little gem that teases a couple well choreographed action scenes but focuses instead on suspense and feelings of paranoia, loss and suspicion. It’s a sharp thriller that surprises more than once throughout its short running time, and it marks director Soi Cheang as a director unafraid to go against the usual stylized Hong Kong action grain. Some of the choreographed accidents are incredibly precise and seem to rely on an awful amount of luck, but they are professionals after all. Shout! Factory’s first foray into Asian cinema is a winner.

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The Reject Report - Large

Apparently sometimes you can’t go back to that well too many times. Despite critics claiming it’s filled with the same old stuff, audiences weren’t scared enough to avoid The Devil Inside this weekend. In fact, not only did the film hit at #1, it’s generated the third biggest opening in January history behind Cloverfield ($40m in 2008) and Star Wars Special Edition ($35.9m in 1997). The Devil Inside showed a huge upturn in box office for exorcism movies, shadowing recent films like The Rite ($14.7m opening weekend) and The Last Exorcism ($20.3m opening weekend), both of which were PG-13 films. The Devil Inside was struck with an R rating. But we shouldn’t look to that for the reasoning behind such a lucrative opening. Instead, we have to look at the film’s ending. More so, we have to look at the buzz that was generated late last week because of The Devil Inside‘s ending. Test audiences were angry. Some even booed and yelled expletives at the screen when the film ended. A lot of this buzz came late Thursday night, and people who weren’t planning to see the movie may have changed their mind just to find out what the hell everyone was up in arms about. No, that can’t account for all of The Devil Inside‘s number. Some of that came from fans of the genre who wanted a good scare this weekend, but it had to have been a factor in some capacity. Paramount’s decision to shock people more […]

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The Year in Review: Box Office

Here’s how the Christmas weekend broke down: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $29.5m (+130.7%) $61.9m total Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – $20.2m (-48.9%) $79m total The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – $12.7m NEW $21.1m since Tuesday release Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $12.5m (-45.9%) $49.5m total The Adventures of Tintin – $9.7m NEW $17.7m since Wednesday release We Bought a Zoo – $9.3m NEW War Horse – $7.5m NEW released Christmas Day New Year’s Eve – $3.3m (-54.7%) $32.6m total The Darkest Hour – $3m NEW released Christmas Day The Muppets – $2.1m (-39.1%) $75.7m total Yes, we usually save this chart for the end of the recapping Reject Report, but this week is about the year, not the weekend.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes rogue and infiltrates his local IMAX theater. First, he scales the wall of the plus-sized building and slides in undetected through the air vents. He slowly lowers himself into a theater seat to enjoy an early screening of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Unfortunately, he finds himself in the middle of a wild crowd of six-year-old kids for the early screening of the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. To deal with the psychological damage, Kevin then stumbles into the Sherlock Holmes sequel and later finds an extra seat in Young Adult, where he can imagine that his chubby caboose could land a hottie like Charlize Theron.

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The Reject Report

It’s December 16th, and the winter blockbuster season is very nearly upon us. This coming weekend sees three huge movies hit, all of which are sure to be box office megastars. Yes, even the chipmunks. One of those films, the one where that one guy from Top Gun runs a whole lot, is only hitting IMAX, so it’s day of box office bloodletting will have to wait. In the meantime, Sherlock Holmes and, yes, the chipmunks are going to be taking the box office by storm. Plus, unlike 2009, they won’t have any blue aliens to contend with. It’s this week’s edition of the Reject Report, and this shiz is about to get Chipwrecked.

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Guy Ritchie was far from the most obvious choice to direct a big budget, period action comedy that hoped to turn the Sherlock Holmes name into a 21st century franchise. But half a billion dollars (worldwide) later he found himself the man behind a monster hit… and its inevitable sequel. Two years later, that sequel is now a reality, and the question becomes can Ritchie strike gold twice in a row with another entertaining blockbuster? Or has he delivered the Victorian equivalent of Speed 2: Cruise Control… Depending on how you look at it the answer sits somewhere in between. A Game of Shadows brings back the two major players in Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law), but instead of a generic villain with mysterious motivations we get Arthur Conan Doyle’s most notorious and evil mastermind pulling the strings and doling out the pain. Ritchie’s sequel tries to stick with the first film’s mix of stylish camera work, exciting set pieces, and witty banter between its leads, but unfortunately it falters almost as often as it succeeds.

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The Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows junket included a massive press conference that featured so much talent from the sequel to Guy Ritchie‘s 2009 film that they needed to be arranged in stadium seating, including stars Robert Downey Jr., Noomi Rapace, and Jared Harris, director Ritchie, producers Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, and Susan Downey, screenwriters Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney, and composer Hans Zimmer. Jude Law couldn’t make it because, as RDJ put it, “his son had a soccer game.” For forty-five minutes, the group fielded questions from the Los Angeles press (let’s be honest, Downey fielded questions from the press, frequently begging for someone to toss a query at one of the nine other people sitting around and behind him), and all the microphone-grabbing and cracks at banter did yield some interesting tidbits. Mainly, a story about Hans Zimmer essentially kidnapping thirteen gypsies, but that’s for later. After the break, break out your steampunk-inspired magnifying glasses and try to follow along, Watson, as we investigate the case of the eleven things we learned at the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows press conference.

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This is it: the final month of the year, a.k.a. the month to shell out as much cash as you got at the theaters. December is always the best and worst movie-going time. There’s so many damn pictures hitting the screens, and it’s the time where everyone’s running around, trying to get things done before the New Year. It’s wonderful, annoying chaos. This December is different, though. In fact, it’s going to be about 100 times more chaotic. Folks, if you plan on seeing all of the good to the “this will be up for Oscars, kid!” movies this month, plan on forking out a lot of dough. This is unquestionably the strongest month for films this year. Without further ado, here are the ones to end the year on a great note with:

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Enjoy playing Count The Explosions in the next trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. While there’s still a subdued kind of excitement to the proceedings, it’s not short on very quick chemical reactions. Hopefully the film will be an improvement on the first. At any rate, Guy Ritchie is raising the stakes by including Moriarty, Holmes’s greatest foe, played by Jared Harris. Of course Robert Downey, Jr. is back alongside Jude Law, and while they’ll be joined by Noomi Rapace, we’ll also apparently see the return of Rachel McAdams to the series. Check it out for yourself:

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Sherlock Holmes has always been a character steeped in a rich tradition of intellectual wit and gamesmanship. He’s a thinker, a strategist and an insane tactician fit to do battle with all the world’s most devious antagonists. But to hell with that, as Guy Ritchie is giving us the more explosive, action hero Sherlock Holmes. And while its not a thinking man’s game, it sure looks like a hell of a lot of fun. With the first trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the sequel to the fun, stylish, slow-motiony 2009 Robert Downey Jr. led film, Ritchie and crew lay it all on the line: in this round, Sherlock will be dashing and daring in equal measure, while Watson will continue to be frustrated. The boys are back and I’m betting on fun, so lets take a look at the tape. Also, Robert Downey Jr. in drag…

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It was a big day on the Internet for Guy Ritchie. Vulture reports that the sequel to the hugely successful sword and sandals film 300 has been taken out of its original director Zack Snyder’s hands and placed into Ritchie’s. The film is called Xerxes and is another adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel. Snyder was developing the sequel already, but now Ritchie will have the opportunity to put his own stamp on the project. I guess that means all of the fight scenes are going to go from being slowed down to sped up? Regardless, if they are able to cut a trailer with enough macho posturing to lure all of the fans of 300 back into the theater, then this could be a real coup for the director. But that’s not all. Ritchie also has a sequel to his successful 2009 film Sherlock Holmes coming out in December. E Online reports that this film has gone from being known as Untitled Sherlock Holmes Sequel to the slightly more fetching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Eh, I don’t know; it kind of sounds like a role-playing game. Untitled Sherlock Holmes Sequel might have been the thing to go with after all. It lets the people know what they’re getting. All of my snickering and sniping aside, this is pretty big news for a filmmaker I went about nine years without thinking about. It was like, he made Lock, Stock and Snatch and then he totally disappeared until […]

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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