1. Sherlock Holmes (2011)

IMDB score = 5.4/10

Holmes and Watson? = Kevin Glaser and Charles Simon

Synopsis = Sherlock Holmes is called when series of murders strike the town.

Defense by Paul Thomas Miller:

Antflix’s Sherlock Holmes movie is set in the present day in the US. It is a remake of the Basil Rathbone film: The Woman in Green. IMDB tells us “this movie was shot in days with one camera by filmmaker George Anton.” And it shows.

The style is a confusing cross between comic book, police procedural and film noir.

The acting is very much of an amateur dramatics club standard. Lines are delivered woodenly, disjointedly or with confusing emphasis.

The effects are dreadful. For example; each murder victim has a finger removed which is accomplished on film by bending one finger over and splashing the knuckle with ketchup.

The script is cringe-worthy, featuring lines such as “The Mesmer Club? Where all the top hypnotists meet?” from one of the villains. Or the stomach turning necrophilial sleaze of Watson asking “Why can’t more murder victims look like her?” Or clunky repartee such as “On the contrary, my stereotyping companion.” from Holmes.

The original soundtrack during a seduction scene sounds like a twelve year old’s attempt at being profound with an old synthesiser.

The general sound quality jumps all over the place from crisp and loud to muffled and quiet within a few seconds.

The continuity is laughable, with people sitting down two or three times in any one scene.

And the casting! Wow! Holmes is a chubby little chap in a flat cap who has an unlit pipe permanently stuck in his gob. Watson is, for some unknown reason, the only character dressed as a Victorian. Moriarty seems to be lifted straight out of a 1930s gangster movie. Gregson is seems to be played by a 1970s pimp. And the rest of the cast might just as well be made up of planks with faces drawn on them.

So exactly how can we argue this a good Holmes movie? Well for starters, there’s an enormous sense of a group of people just having fun trying to make a film. And when you watch it in that spirit, its perfectly enjoyable, in a cringey sort of way. The corny use of hypnotism, the clunky dialogue and the femme fatale fail are all good fun if you don’t take it too seriously. I got a chuckle or two out of them. Whether it’s intentional or not doesn’t bother me; I like laughing.

And while it may not be the most Canonical portrayal of Holmes out there, it has it’s Holmesian moments. There’s a nice meeting between Holmes and Moriarty which is strongly influenced by The Final Problem and Arthur Wontner’s Sleeping Cardinal. There are a couple of nice deductions about people. There are inferences drawn from mud marks. There is some hilarious mimed violin playing.

In summary, it's an enjoyable film. Just probably not in the way it was supposed to be.