Sherlock Holmes (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 3-May-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Maximum Movie Mode
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 128:24
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Guy Ritchie
Legendary Pictures
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Robert Downey Jr.
Jude Law
Rachel McAdams
Mark Strong
Eddie Marsan
Robert Maillet
Geraldine James
Case ?
RPI ? Music Hans Zimmer

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Finnish Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1
Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     What a cracking reinvention of an old favourite! Sherlock Holmes offers a fresh take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation; one that takes the calculated intrigue and plotting of the original stories and injects some equally well calculated popcorn fun into the mix. Guy Ritchie’s take certainly comes off as a Victorian Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Jackets perhaps, but at no point does that seem like a bad idea. The character development and plotting are pitch perfect.

     The film plays up the classic characters' debaucherous tendencies as much as the most notable previous adaptations had played them down. Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is wilder, but retains the cocksure calculating genius for which he is known. Watson (Jude Law) has a little thuggish edge, though it's an effective addition and anchors Holmes' antics.

     Set to a backdrop of Masonic societies and political intrigue, the plot sees Holmes reluctantly investigating the sinister Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who appears to have returned from the grave after being hanged for the ritual sacrifice of a number of young ladies. An old flame, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), becomes involved when she tries to hire Holmes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of another fellow, affectionately dubbed "The Ginger Midget".

     The supporting cast are magnificent. In addition to those already mentioned, Eddie Marsan is great as police detective Inspector L'Estrade, Kelly Reilly adds real charm as Watson's fiancé, who shares a mutual disdain with Holmes, and ex-wrestler Robert Maillet (WWF's Kurrgan in the late 1990s) is memorable as Jaws-like recurring henchman.

     Sherlock Holmes is a lot of fun.

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Transfer Quality


     The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio in 1080p. The video is reference quality for live-action material Blu-ray. The image is sharp and clear. A fine level of filmic grain is present throughout. There is an excellent level of shadow detail visible at all times and plenty of fine detail in deep blacks (particularly around the many articles of black clothing).

     The colour palette is deep and rich. The colours are stylised to emphasise blues and greys, and look perfectly even throughout.

    There is no sign of compression artefacts in the transfer

    English subtitles are available and they appear to be accurate to the spoken word and well timed.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The film features an English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and Czech, Finnish, Polish, Russian, Turkish and Thai Dolby Digital tracks.

     The audio is excellent. The mix is crystal clear and creates an immersive field to support the video. The dialogue is well placed in the mix and easy to understand. The audio is well synchronized to the video.

     The film features an orchestral score that is punctuated by rollicking fiddle-driven period twang, reminiscent of the likes of The Pogues. The soundtrack makes dynamic use of the surrounds throughout the course of the film. The city scenes buzz with engrossing Victorian clatter. The action scenes thump about in all directions. The calculated quiet moments bring the mood to a standstill. The subwoofer is used effectively for rumbly action, and to support the score.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     A modest set of extras are provided, all presented in 1080p.

Making of Featurette (14:06)

     A fairly standard press-kit "Making Of" featurette. Amiable and fluffy.

Maximum Movie Mode (31:13)

     The film can be played in "Maximum Movie Mode" which basically plays the film and occasionally breaks out to "making of" type featurettes. In total this adds up to a little over half an hour of material. Just about all this material can be played individually and all is pretty much exactly the same content found as extras on the Special Edition DVD edition of the film. The featurettes are titled: Drawbridges & Doilies : Designing a Late Victorian London, Not a Deerstalker Cap in Sight, Ba-ritsu - A Tutorial, Elementary English - Perfecting Sherlock's Accent, The One That Got Away, Powers of Deduction and Observation, The Sherlockians, Future Past.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This disc appears to be pretty much identical to the US Region A Blu-ray release of the film.

     Locally, the film is also available as a 2-disc DVD (reviewed here) and single disc DVD (reviewed here).


     Sherlock Holmes offers a fresh take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation that combines the old whodunit intrigue with fun popcorn action. A cracking reinvention of an old favourite. The video and audio quality is top shelf. The extras are worthwhile, though lack variety.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Capturing the character and censorship - Le Messor (bio logy class) REPLY POSTED