Tag Archives: Robert Downey Jr

Sherlock Holmes and the case of Oversaturation

image courtesy of Wikimedia

image courtesy of Wikimedia

Is anyone out there not getting enough Sherlock Holmes? With the pending third film in the Robert Downey Jr. franchise, a BBC series(Sherlock) that just began its long-awaited 3rd season and an American adaptation (Elementary) in its second, the market is pretty well saturated with stories of the detective. According to IMDB 252 movies and television series have been based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories and books since the character first appeared 125 years ago.

A federal judge has ruled that the Deerstalker (Holmes’ signature headwear), 221 b Baker street, Watson and Moriarity  along with all elements of stories written before 1923 are now in the public domain. This means that the first 50 tales involving the character and any character development or events within can be used without paying the writer’s estate. Chief Judge Rubén Castillo of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, stated that elements introduced in Holmes stories published after 1923 — such as the fact that Watson played rugby for Blackheath, or had a second wife — remain under copyright in the United States. (All of the Holmes stories are already in the public domain in Britain.)

This means some pretty great things for Holmes as a literary character. The new volume of short stories from various writers that touched off the original suit will go into publication in March and we can expect plenty of affordable reprintings of the classic stories.

As for television and film I have to ask: What hasn’t already been done?

Comedy ? Done

Younger Sherlock? Done

Older Sherlock? Done

Female Watson? Done

Sherlock as a doctor, a lawyer? an action hero? Done! Done! Done!

I adore Sherlock and find the RJD films to be fun. I loved House (a slightly different take) and thought Michael Cain, Roger Moore, and Jeremy Irons were all excellent as Holmes in their respective films. While I haven’t seen Elementary, I am sure it is a fine take on a tried and true property.

Anyone who remembers The Raven knows that an attempt to give Sherlock the Castle or Murder She Wrote treatment (think about it they’re the same show) will fall flatter than the notes Holmes squeaks out on his violin.

I fear however the public domain ruling will give rise to even more adaptations and interpretations of an already overused character. Below are 3 Sherlock Holmes concepts you will see in the next year:

1. Watson is the killer

2. Sherlock as a woman

3. Sherlock Holmes played by The Rock, Zach Efron or Channing Tatum

Seeing the master sleuth done to death is more than I can bear. It is nothing new, but at least it used to have a price tag.

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Iron Man 3: Marvel’s Answer to The Dark Knight Rises?

I’m sure by now that all of nerdom has seen the newest trailer for Iron Man 3. (If not, shame on you, and it’s at the bottom of this article.)

Kingsley's Mandarin (image source: Marvel)

Kingsley’s Mandarin (image source: Marvel)

Anyway, the trailer was pretty epic, and it made me even more excited to see it. It also made me a little more confident that Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin won’t be a caricature of the villain he should be. He feels like he’s going to be a very menacing nemesis. I was worried when they cast Kingsley due to his somewhat less than favorable performances in BloodRayne, The Love Guru, and The Dictator. I was starting to lose faith in him as a quality actor, but I just kept reminding myself of how sinister he was in Sexy Beast, which if you haven’t seen, you should really check it out. From the looks of the Iron Man 3 trailer, he’s going to be phenomenal.

One concern I have after seeing this trailer is whether Marvel is trying to make this into their version of The Dark Knight Rises or if that’s just how things happen to turn out. I mean, the premise is the same – billionaire hero meets a new foe, foe turns out to be his greatest threat, foe destroys his entire world and strips him of everything, hero finds strength and rises up to fight back and defeat foe. Kinda makes you wonder if Marvel is taking notes from DC on this one. After the disappointment some people felt after Iron Man 2, it might be a good idea.

RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man (image source: nme.com)

RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man (image source: nme.com)

I want this film to be great, I don’t want it to turn into Spiderman 3. This is my biggest concern – overkill. The numerous Iron Man suits that will be appearing in the film make me wonder if it might. They’ve got the Patriot Armor (War Machine with a new paint job), Tony’s new armor (Mark number whatever it is now), the Hulkbuster armor, and then all the drones. It seems to be a bit much. If they throw in Fin Fang Foom, I might walk out of the theater. Learn from Sam Raimi and Brett Ratner, don’t try to do too much. Overkill is called that for a reason.

If Marvel can manage to make this film the grand opus that it looks to be, this could be their greatest film to date. I don’t think it could outdo The Dark Knight but it could definitely one-up TDKR. If they’re not careful though, they could end up with another X-Men: The Last Stand.

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What 2013 Has to Offer on the Big Screen

I thought I’d take a moment this week to briefly look at what’s hitting the box office this year and give a quick prediction on the outcome of each.

  1. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – January 25th. Premise: Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) play the fairy tale brother and sister who are all grown up and have become professional witch hunters. Prediction: Van Helsing meets Brothers Grimm, which means a lot of action with an intriguing story but hopefully with more Grimm and less Helsing.
  2. John Dies at the End – January 25th. Premise: You take a drug, it sends you through time and space, you might come back normal, or you might come back as something else. Something otherworldly. Now the world is in danger of a sinister invasion and it’s up to two college dropouts to save it. Prediction: Dude, Where’s My Car? meets Buckaroo Banzai but with Paul Giamatti for added effect. Definitely worth a viewing, high or not.
  3. A Good Day to Die Hard – February 15th. Premise: John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his son travel to Russia to fight Russians and stop a nuclear weapons heist. Prediction: I think it might be getting to the point where it might be a good idea for John to die. Hard.
  4. Warm Bodies – February 1st. Premise: A zombie becomes human again through the power of love, other zombies follow suit. Possible hilarity, horror, and action ensues. Prediction: I think someone might be trying to “Twilight-ize” zombies. Let’s hope not.
  5. Oz: The Great and Powerful – March 8th. Premise: A prequel to The Wizard of Oz telling the story of how Oz (James Franco) becomes the Wizard. And it’s directed by Sam Raimi. Win win. Predictions: I think this film will be fantastic and be the magical wonder that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland failed to be.
  6. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – March 29th. Premise: All but a few Joes are killed off by Cobra. Now it’s up to the remaining Joes (The Rock, Channing Tatum, some other people), including the original Joe (Bruce Willis) to, for lack of a better word, retaliate. Prediction: Hopefully this film will offer some retribution for the let down that was G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.
  7. Evil Dead – April 12th. Premise: A remake of the original with a female lead (Jane Levy) in place of Bruce Campbell’s Ash. It’s also promising less humor and schtick and more blood and gore. Sounds promising. Predictions: Hardcore fans will be difficult to convince, but from what I’ve seen so far of this flick, they’ll be won over. It looks wicked.
  8. Iron Man 3 – May 3rd. Premise: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns to take on his greatest foe yet, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). From the looks of things, this might be the Dark Knight Rises of the Iron Man series. Ya know, a very powerful foe shows up, strips him of everything, and then Tony must find the hero in himself to defeat his enemy. This also begins Marvel’s Phase II. Prediction: Probably won’t be the best of the three films but I’m sure it’ll outdo Iron Man 2. And make Marvel a lot of money.
  9. Star Trek Into Darkness – May 17th. Premise: Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the Enterprise crew return to take on a most deadly foe, possibly Kahn, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Prediction: This film will be epic, just like the first, and seeing Benedict as a bad guy is going to be sweet. This is a can’t miss flick.
  10. Now You See Me – June 7th. Premise: A film about bank-robbing illusionists, directed by Louis Leterrier and scored by The Chemical Brothers. Enough said. Prediction: I have a feeling this is going to be one of those twist-and-turns, mind-f*ck types of film. But with bank-robbing illusionists.
  11. Much Ado About Nothing – June 7th. Premise: Joss Whedon adapted this classic Shakespearean tale while making The Avengers. He cast it with people from Firefly, Buffy, Angel, and The Avengers. He made it because of his insecurities with taking on a huge project like The Avengers. It’s Joss Whedon’s take on Shakespeare….do I really need to say anything else? Prediction: I love Joss Whedon. I love Shakespeare. Without even seeing it, I love this film.
  12. Man of Steel – June 14th. Premise: Zack Snyder directs, Christopher Nolan produces, and a bunch of great actors star in what is sure to be the best Superman film ever. And a film that will hopefully restart the series and lead into a Justice League film. Prediction: The more I see of this, the more I believe that this film will be one of the greatest comic book films of all time. But I’ve been wrong before.
  13. World War Z – June 21st. Premise: Brad Pitt stars in this adaptation of Max Brooks’ bestselling novel about a U.N. employee trying to stop a worldwide zombie outbreak. Prediction: I’m pretty much done with the whole zombie genre, and I haven’t read the book, so I’ll probably wait until this comes out on Blu-ray.
  14. Pacific Rim – July 12th. Premise: Guillermo del Toro writes and directs this film about giant robots fighting to save the world from giant alien monsters. Prediction: I was sold at Guillermo del Toro. The rest is just icing on the cake.
  15. wolverine_jackman_660The Wolverine – July 26th. Premise: Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels to Japan to train with samurais and take on a powerful new foe, The Silver Samurai. Prediction: This has to be better than Wolverine Origins. If not, I give up on Hugh Jackman. And Wolverine.
  16. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – August 16th. Premise: Part 2 of the series finds Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends searching for the mythical Golden Fleece. Prediction: I enjoyed the first film, so I may go see this one. I’m hoping this film will fill some of the void that Harry Potter left, but I doubt it.
  17. Riddick – September 6th. Premise: Vin Diesel returns to his most badass character to take on new alien predators, new mercs, and an old foe. Prediction: I will watch this film because I love the others. I will hope this film is the last in the series because I don’t want this series to be run into the ground like Diesel’s other popular series, Fast and Furious.
  18. Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers – September 27th. Premise: Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) discovers that the machine he’s created is still creating food-animal hybrids and wreaking havoc. Now it’s up to him to stop it once and for all. Prediction: If you don’t like the first film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, you have no soul. No but seriously, the first film was hilarious and great for the whole family. This one will be too. I can’t wait.
  19. Oldboy – October 11th. Premise: Spike Lee’s remake of the ultraviolent Korean cult classic about a man (Josh Brolin) who has five days to figure out why he was imprisoned for 15 years without explanation. Prediction: Of all the films on the list, this is one I’m looking forward to the most. I love the original, and I cannot wait for this remake.
  20. The World’s End – October 25th. Premise: Edgar Wright directs a film about five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival. Prediction: This is the final film in Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s “blood and ice cream” trilogy, so I hope it’ll be pretty damn good. I have a feeling it will be.
  21. Ender’s Game – November 1st. Premise: Based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, 70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. Prediction: Die-hard scifi fans will go ape over this film and then probably rip it apart. That’s how it works. I want to read the book before I watch it.
  22. Thor: The Dark World – November 8th. Premise: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battles an ancient race of Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who threatens to plunge the universe back into darkness. Prediction: Part two of Marvel’s Phase II looks to be another epic win with the addition of Doctor Who number nine as a baddie. Get ready to nerd out, kids.
  23. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – December 13th. Premise: The journey continues for the Dwarves, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) as they seek to retrieve their gold from the dragon, Smaug (voice by Benedict Cumberbatch). Prediction: Do I really need to predict anything for this? People will flock and empty their wallets for this film. We all know what’s going to happen.
  24. Anchorman: The Legend Continues – December 20th. Premise: The Channel 4 News Team returns for more crazy on-set adventures. Predictions: Probably won’t be a hilarious as the first but I’m sure it will be freakin’ hilarious! And filled with many great one-liners that will be quoted for years to come.

I know I’ve missed a few films here and there, but I don’t really care. I think the list is long enough as it is now. It doesn’t need any more.

What films are you looking forward to this year?

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Iron Man 3 Trailer

I have to admit that I was not really that excited about Iron Man 3. I’m a big comic book fan, and I loved the first film with the Armored Avenger. I didn’t hate the second one, and Avengers was great, but I wasn’t sold totally on another outing with our favorite snarky billionaire.

The trailer doesn’t have me completely won over, but I like Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce, so I’ll stay cautiously optimistic. Plus, I’m always up for a little RDJ.

I wonder if I’m the only one hitting peak superhero film fatigue…

This trailer is for the UK release, which is in April, 2013. In the US, Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013. (Why do they get it before us?)

 

 

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