Massive Movie Weekend
This holiday weekend ended up being a massive movie weekend for me. Not only did I watch two movies, but one BBC series, and shorter film.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Sherlock Series 2
After being pulled in so completely by the first Sherlock series, it became a moral imperative for me to watch series 2 when it was available. And, just like with series 1, I was not disappointed.
For those not in the know, Sherlock modernizes the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, moving the famous consulting detective into modern London. This Sherlock, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is every bit as eccentric as the original, and every bit as brilliant.
Like series 1, series 2 is three episodes running roughly an hour and a half each. The episodes are inspired by Doyle’s original mysteries, though often expanded and adjusted for the modern era.
Just as series 1 built up to the revelation of James Moriarty, Holmes’ arch nemesis, this series builds up to what looks to be their final battle. But along the way, we are introduced to Irene Adler, who is every bit as skilled as Sherlock himself. The first meeting between them will certainly make jaws drop. The second episode is a modern take of The Hound of the Baskervilles. All of this builds to the final episode of the series, Reichenbach Fall, which any readers of the Doyle mysteries knows is a play on the location of Holmes and Moriarty’s final battle.
The Woman In Black
I was curious to see this movie, having read the original novel as part of my 100 books in 366 days. This chilling tale stars a post Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe as a lawyer sent from London to settle an estate with a creepy past. The movie takes some liberties with the book, losing the framing story of Kipps family telling ghost stories one night, but amps up the chill factor. The movie also changes the ending, which worked okay, but I thought the ending of the book was much better. It was enjoyable, but the book was much better.
John Landis’ entry into the Masters of Horror series, this shorter watch follows a burned out cop (played by Brian Benben, who always seems to play frustrated characters well) as he follows a series of bizarre deaths. The only connections: each victim was last seen in the company of a beautiful Native American woman, and each victim looks like they were attacked by an animal.
Like a lot of his other films, Landis manages to skillfully weave the horror with just the right amount of comedy. He even manages to weave in a reference to his classic American Werewolf in London. And, at a run time of roughly an hour, it makes for a quick and fun watch.
I wrapped by the movie weekend with a Film Noir classic. Dana Andrews plays Detective Mark MacPherson, called in to investigate the murder of Laura Hunt (played by Gene Tierney), a rising star in the advertising world who everyone seems to love. Things get complicated as MacPherson begins to fall in love with the dead woman over the course of his investigation.
If you have not seen it, it is definitely worth watching as you try to figure out who the murderer is. And, if you have seen it, you will want to watch it again, not only for the brilliant performances by Andrews and Tierney, but from co-stars Clifton Webb and Vincent Price as well.