Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I still like the stories, which I have read again and again. I enjoy the Basil Rathbone movies, and I especially liked the series on PBS with Jeremy Brett as Holmes. I thought Brett captured the Holmes that Conan Doyle had created, and the opening theme was Saint-Saens' evocative Danse Macabre.
Holmes has appeared in many novels written by authors other than Conan Doyle. I am a fan of the series of historical novels by Carole Nelson Douglas that star Irene Adler, the only woman to ever outwit Sherlock Holmes. Irene and her husband elude pursuers, who believe they have died in a train crash. Irene then goes on to investigate and solve mysteries, with her friend Nell Huxleigh acting as her Dr. Watson. I also like a new series for kids, Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, in which the boys of the Baker Street Irregulars take a leading role. I also like the TV series House, which based the title character on Holmes.
I did not rush out to see the new movie series starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes. It sounded like this Sherlock Holmes was a major deviation from the traditional versions, in particular being much more action-oriented. I still have not seen the first movie, but I was lured into seeing the second movie, A Game of Shadows, by a blog post on NPR's site titled Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure in Good Music. The author, Anastasia Tsioulcas, writes that classical music has a major and important role in the film, in particular the Schubert song "The Trout," and Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. And so I went to the movie with my son, already a fan, and my husband. As a movie, it started pretty slow, but turned into an entertaining action-packed tale. There are many references to the original Conan Doyle story. This Sherlock Holmes has very little in common with Arthur Conan Doyle's creation, however, Robert Downey, Jr. portrays an interesting character, more goofy and physical than the original. I was hoping for a bigger role for the music, but it is important to the plot and the score is very nice.
Would I go to the next Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie? Maybe. In any case, long live Sherlock Holmes, in all his incarnations!