Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Sherlock Holmes Collection|
Actors: Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh, Jason London, Emma Campbell, Gordon Masten
Director: Rodney Gibbons
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
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Good Fun Versions NOT FOR PURISTS
Jim Jr | Buffalo, NY United States | 08/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Baker Street Regulars will have epileptic seizures over these adaptations of Holmes. They are not exact reproductions of Conan Doyle, but they are very enjoyable if you are willing to suspend belief. Each story could most accurately be said to be "suggested" by the Doyle original, than a strict version. So if you know the stories well, be prepaired for a few surprises.Matt Frewer at first seems to be giving a a very mannered version of Holmes, almost as if he is doing a comic impression, but on closer examination he is a Sherlock who is laughing at what he considers inferior humans. It is a very different Holmes and once you get used to it, a valid impression of a person who considers that he has a superior intellect to every other person.Keneth Welsh is an exceellent Watson. He is the perfect counterpoint to Frewer's Holmes. Some of the looks he gives Holmes are priceless.All the casting is excellent. Canada does a great job of substituting for Victorian England.For anyone looking for some enjoyable mysteries and puzzels, these are good stories. It is a real bargin to get 4 hour and a half productions for this price. For Holmes purists, don't rip them apart, just forget them and watch other versions."
Lady Blakeney | USA | 08/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These four films, which originally aired in the US on the Hallmark/Odyssey Channel, look (for all intents and purposes) to be targeted at family audiences. They are bright and viewer-friendly, and hopefully have just enough to get younger viewers interested in the fascinating adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Though they have many positive attributes, they also have a few flaws. Arguably the weakest of the series is the first entry, "The Hound of the Baskervilles". It suffers from a serious lack of atmosphere, a thoroughly modern Sir Henry, a peculiar-looking Hound, and a Holmes so off-the-wall you have to look twice to make sure it's not Jim Carrey donning the deerstalker. Matt Frewer certainly has the right look, but in his debut he exaggerates Holmes's eccentric tendancies to the extreme. He tones it down considerably in the later three movies, however, and as a result his performance improves a great deal. This "Hound" benefits from an excellent Dr. Watson and suitably mysterious Barrymores, who may or may not be behind the murder that took place at Baskerville Hall.
"The Sign of Four" sticks close to the original source, except for a few details. One wishes for a stronger Mary Morstan and a more eccentric Thaddeus Sholto, but a comically antagonistic Inspector Jones more than makes up for this lack. The appearance of the Baker Street Irregulars is a treat, as is an alternate, action-packed ending. Although it deviates from the ending described by Doyle in the original novel, it makes for a far more interesting one--especially for younger viewers.
"The Royal Scandal" combines two original Conan Doyle stories, "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Bruce-Partington Plans" and molds them into a fairly decent 90 minutes. Of course, there is the requisite pairing of Holmes and Irene Adler in a romantic relationship, but fortunately it is less cheesily done than one might suspect. Sherlock's older brother Mycroft also appears, albeit altered to suit the plotline. This movie is also split into two halves for some reason. You get the first 30 minutes on Disc One. After that, you must switch over to Disc 2 for the last hour.
Finally, "The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire" deals with the mysterious murders of members of a religious group in the Whitechapel district. The victims all have the bite marks of a vampire, naturally prompting suspicion to fall on a supernatural force. Speculation points to a demon who has come to wreak vengeance for a misdeed committed by the group's leader. Of course, Holmes is sceptical of all things supernatural, good and evil, and sets about finding out who is behind the murders and why they are taking place. By the end, his thoughts on the unexplainable are changed by a series of events.
Overall, these films are an entertaining diversion for an evening at home with the kids or by yourself. Part of the fun is seeing if you can pick out redundancies (i.e. the director's choice to use the same minor actors in different parts, the number of times Holmes either says "My good man" or my personal fave "I don't know...yet"). The only real thing the discs lack is that there are no extras which should make up for the spent money on a DVD set containing four films, two of which were previously released on VHS. Other than that, these come highly recommended."
Comedic, but superb
Lady Blakeney | 05/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have suffered through many less than entertaining Holmes efforts in my 63 years. There's been Doyle's shoddy later works, awful prints of Arthur Wontner's films, lumbering Jeremy Brett episodes that were too heavily padded, the dull deadly necklace, the recent muddled case of evil, and Reginald Owen's study in slumber. The Sherlock Holmes Collection, on the other hand, is a godsend. It may not be pure Doyle, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Have you tried reading the Three Gables lately? How about the Creeping Man? Matt Frewer has his detractors, but things are never dull or dreary with him involved. He seems to be having fun. I did the same while watching him. He reminded me of the comedic tone of the better Rathbone and Bruce efforts, the humorous moments in Caine and Kingsley's Without A Clue, and the sense of fun of the Ronald Howard series. Kenneth Welsh is a splendid Watson. Welsh has become my favorite of all cinematic Watsons. His interpay with Frewer is delightful. The relationship between Mycroft and Sherlock is most interesting. It's a tangled skein to be sure. It shows that Frewer's Holmes can be more that just humorous. The same is true of Holmes' interaction with the alluring Irene Adler. Frewer is wonderful in those scenes. Miss Adler knows just how to get under his skin. This is a fine collection. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I found it to be an extremely lively and entertaining set."
A Holmes for the whole family
Lady Blakeney | 03/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've tried Brett, Cushing, Lee, and Rathbone, but always there were members of my family who were less than captivated...until this DVD set. These interpretations may not be entirely by the book, but they are entertaining viewing for family gatherings after Church. Frewer's Holmes may not be entirely serious, but he will certainly entertain the small ones and that's commendable."