Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"I'll have a Blue Christmas. . . ."

It's all about BLUE this month.

By Ethan Rilly

Now I'm really BLUE! What do you think about this?

Is this how you remember BLUE starting;

I went to visit my friend Sherlock Holmes two days after Christmas and found him sitting on the sofa  wearing a purple dressing-gown. His pipe was on the coffee table and a pile of newspapers was next to him. Beside the sofa was a wooden chair with a very dirty old hat hanging on the back. His magnifying glass was lying nearby and I guessed he’d been studying the hat. 
‘You’re busy,’ I said; ‘perhaps I’m disturbing you.’ ‘Not at all. I’m glad to have a friend to discuss this with,’ he said, looking at the hat. ‘It’s not a very important case, but there are some interesting points and we might learn something from it.’ I sat down in his chair and warmed my hands in front of the fire. The weather was very cold and the windows were covered with ice. ‘I suppose that hat is a clue in some deadly crime that you’re trying to solve.’ ‘No crime,’ said Sherlock Holmes, laughing. ‘Just one of those funny little incidents that happen in large cities, where so many people live together in a small space. Many problems are just strange without being criminal.’ ‘That’s true,’ I agreed. ‘Our last case didn’t involve anyone breaking the law.’ ‘Exactly. You’re talking about the Irene Adler case. Well, I’m sure this one will be the same. Do you know Peterson, the security guard?

Would you have read it if this is how it was written?

This is how BLUE is suppose to start; I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes upon the second morning after Christmas, with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season.

Just reading the original one tries as best as one can his or her own English actors accent.

While preparing to re-read BLUE for some Christmas time research I came across the above version of BLUE here.

Now to be fair, this version is introduced this way; Intermediate readers keep close to the original stories but are retold in modern English using words from the top 2000 most common words in the British National Corpus. This means you do not have to learn words that are very uncommon or old fashioned. Other words are explained in footnotes.

While I understand the premise of the intent, I have to wonder why it would be necessary and would it make the reader want to read more about Sherlock Holmes, or any other book adapted this way.

The introduction also states that this adaptation is suitable for foreign intermediate learners and native 5th graders.
My daughter is a native 4th grader and I know she would have no trouble working through BLUE in its original format. Not to say she is smarter than other kids (we do however believe she is) but she has been taught how to work out things she doesn't understand. Or to at least ask questions.

And since the new version is already giving footnotes for 'difficult' words and such, I have to wonder why they didn't just do that with the original?

I am probably making this sound more serious to me than it really is. But when I read the opening paragraph, not yet realizing it was an 'easy' adaptation, . . .  well I though I had landed in a bad rerun of Sherlock Peorias rants on Elementary.

Okay, I'm better now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Elementary Review - Season 5, Episodes 103 & 104

#103 - 'Bang, Bang, Shoot, Chute"

So far this episode has been one of my least favorite of what I think is the shows best season to date.

One of two risk taking base-jumpers is shot while free falling from a tall building. Which proves to be unnecessary, since his chute had been messed with anyway.

Which leads Holmes to suspect that two people had intended to murder the jumper.
  For me, this episode fell back on what had been its problem last year; an over complicated story line and not enough Sherlockianisms.
The jumpers wife wants him dead because he had an affair, and a partner wants him dead for other reasons.

While the storyline for episode #104 had some big holes in it, it was at least a fun episode because of Sherlockianisms and some available good discussion points.

Biggest storyline flaw was the sausage shop owners part in the story.
We are lead to believe that the shop owner is really on top of his business. The only one that has total access to the workings of his business.
Yet, a; he doesn't notice that there is more ground meat the next morning than he ground the night before. B; where are the bones? C; How did the murderer know about the sausage shop? Had he been a customer, which surely the owner would have known, or a connection could have been made by Holmes in the storyline (which may have made it to easy).
Once again, instead of just a good storyline or mystery, the writers had to make it overly complicated for no reason.

However! We do get a mention of the Six Napoleons, Musgrave, and the Beryl Coronet with Mr Holder.

A good discussion point is Holmes' arrogance and how it my relate to how he handles cases (and people).

I had fun watching this episode, so I can fairly give it;

and if it is fun, well, that's the whole point isn't it?

SDofSH - "Here's a story, of a lovely lady. . . ."

While known, now, mostly for being Mrs. Brady, Florence Henderson was also a wonderful singer.

Florence Henderson 1934-2016

Starred in 1970's 'Song of Norway'

Which also featured the wonderful Robert Morley (1908-1992)

Who, as we know, played Mycroft in 1965's 'A Study in Terror'

So, there you have it, there you are.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Slightly less productive.

My posting have become rather limited of late.
Not from lack of interest.

I am having some eye issues, so I am not at the computer as much, or reading as much.
And it has limited my art work also.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be back to normal.

I know, you can hardly wait.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes - the Man from Uncle edition - Robert Vaughn

With the death of the last of the Magnificent Seven (1960), Robert Vaughn was best known for his time as an international spy in The Man from Uncle. For those of us in the 60's not mature enough for Bond, this was a great show.

Robert Vaughn 1932 - 2016

He had a very (very) small role in The Ten Commandments (1956)

Which we all know starred Charlton Heston who was in many Sherlock Holmes stories.

Charlton Heston (1923-2008)

Heston was Sherlock Holmes in stage and in film in The Crucifer of Blood.

Howard, thanks for the additional info.
Robert Vaughn at least once played Holmes on The Hollywood Palace.
Vaughn was Holmes, Phyllis Diller was Moriarty and Charlie Manna played Watson.

Bringing Robert, as Howard suggests, within One Degree of Sherlock Holmes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Elementary Season Five, Episodes #5 (101) and #6 (102)

 S5E5, 'To Catch a Predator Predator' finds Holmes and Watson on the trail of someone who killed someone killing sexual predators of young girls. A vigilante killing of a vigilante if you will.
S5S6, 'Ill Tidings' finds Holmes and Watson trying to find out who murdered a disliked Chef and some of his customers, which turns out to be a cover for an art heist.

While some eye trouble has kept me from spending as much time on my computer and art work I have been able to keep up with the episodes of Elementary, even if it is a day or so after the events.
And while I will not go into quite as much detail in my next few reviews I will at least comment.
Hopefully the eye problem will be resolved by the beginning of the year and I can get back to being a little more productive on this and my other blogs.

I would have to say that the last three episodes, including these two have been a few of my favorite of all the episodes so far.
A lot of what I have previously found fault with has, if not completely disappeared at least has been toned down a lot; i.e. the overly worked quirks of Millers Holmes and the over portrayed bad habits that seemed to have been used more for shock value than story advancement.

The last three episodes have seemed to be more cases driven and the opportunities for the display of Holmes' deductive than character driven.
That does not mean that character exploration has been totally dropped, but is playing less of a roll, at least for the time being.

So, for these two episodes I have to give the series;