Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Undershaw Saved!!

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I don't know how I missed this one. . . . .

Andrew Martin: Can I have my Sherlock back, please?

Holmes is not, unlike Ritchie's man, active and acrobatic; he is reflective and clever

When people berated Steven Spielberg for dumbing down Tintin, I looked on with bemusement, but then I didn't spend half my childhood reading Tintin stories. I did spend half of my childhood reading Sherlock Holmes stories, which is why I have a bone to pick with Guy Ritchie, director of the Christmas blockbuster and nominal Holmes film, A Game Of Shadows.
Sherlock Holmes, Mr Ritchie, is not, unlike Robert Downey Jnr, a pretty, button-eyed sprite of about 5ft 8in. He is, as A Study in Scarlet states, "rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing". Nor is he relentlessly tooled up and constantly engaged in gun battles. He carries a revolver only in exceptional circumstances. Holmes is not, unlike in Shadows, a regular at white-tie functions, inhabiting a world with all the strained aspiration after glamour – and about as much wit – as an advert for After Eight mints. His favourite food is eggs on toast, and he often visits quite dowdy locations, for example Norwood – Upper Norwood in The Sign Of Four, Lower Norwood in The Norwood Builder.
Also, he is not, unlike Ritchie's man, hyper-active and acrobatic. He is reflective and clever; he has written "the definitive monograph on the polyphonic motets of Lassus", whoever he is, and whatever they are. He sometimes lies on his sofa for days on end, and the stories are full of bookish languor, as in The Five Orange Pips, where "the equinoctial gales had set in with exceptional violence", but Holmes sits one side of the fireplace "cross-indexing his records on crime" while Watson sits on the other reading a sea story. He might, as in A Case Of Identity, solve a case without leaving his rooms, and when he does make a deduction, we can follow his reasoning, whereas in Shadows, Holmes's epiphanies are lost in a blizzard of fast cutting.
In Crime And Mystery: The Hundred Best Books, HRF Keating attributed the success of the stories to the passing of the Education Act of 1870, which created a society that "could tackle reasonably difficult material". We are now relieved of that obligation.
A Game Of Shadows – which should be called A Videogame Of Shadows – is a function of our society's stress on the physical, which is also why my local branch of Barclays Bank has just been decorated with huge pictures of Premier League footballers. That said, the latest television Holmes, with Benedict Cumberbatch – which returns on New Year's Day – swims against the tide. As Holmes, Cumberbatch conveys stillness and abstraction. We can believe that here is a man who "cannot live without brainwork", whereas Ritchie's Holmes is more like a man who can't live without a self-repeating machine pistol.

It's an Outrage! . . Well, it's not like we didn't already know.

Sherlock Holmes and the mystery of the missing eight minutes

A painful cut to the BBC's reinvention of the classic detective has left US fans in uproar

American viewers really can't get enough of Sherlock, one might deduce. After an appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch prompted scenes of hysteria in New York, US fans complained that eight minutes of the actor's performance had mysteriously gone missing from the hit show.
The BBC's modern-day reinvention of Arthur Conan Doyle's sleuth has joined Doctor Who and Downton Abbey as one of British TV's most successful exports.
When the US PBS network invited viewers to join series star Cumberbatch for a preview screening of A Scandal In Belgravia, the episode featuring whip-smart dominatrix Irene Adler, more than 10,000 fans applied for seats at the 400-capacity French Institute in Manhattan.
The ticket-winners included Sherlock obsessives who had travelled from London and South Korea. Cumberbatch's arrival on stage was greeted with the kind of screams that normally accompany singer Justin Bieber. When the episode aired this week, it attracted 3.2 million viewers, doubling the average prime-time PBS audience. The new series also topped the US iTunes television download chart.
However online sleuths, who had previously acquired British DVDs or seen illicit downloads of the episode, spotted the PBS version was reduced from the original broadcast by the BBC in January. Eight minutes was cut from the 90 minute length to fit PBS's scheduled running time. "They cut scenes. Good ones. What the hell...that makes no sense," one viewer complained on a Sherlock Tumblr blog. "It's frustrating..."
Another pieced together the missing scenes, writing on a web forum: "Quite a bit of the scene in Buckingham Palace was snipped out, as well as the scene in the taxi afterwards with Sherlock showing John (Watson) an ashtray he took." The viewer added: "I think American audiences were deprived of seeing some of the humour that makes this series so clever." PBS was urged to cut an episode introduction by Scottish actor Alan Cumming to make time for more Sherlock.
Sue Vertue, Executive Producer of Sherlock at Hartswood Films, admitted she was the reluctant editing "Scissorhands". "We had to cut eight minutes. The PBS episodes have to be 82 minutes because of sponsors announcements. It breaks your heart," she told The Independent. "We try to cut the bits which aren't essential to the story but they are often the lovely character scenes. We'll see if we can avoid it next time." No cuts were, however, requested or made to the scenes, which caused controversy over here, in which Lara Pulver appears nude as whip-wielding Adler.
Sherlock has yet to equal Downton Abbey's PBS ratings of 5.4 million viewers but Mrs Vertue said she did not feel any competition between the two shows.
She described the American audience as "very dedicated. It's amazing that they had 10,000 requests (for the screening). The atmosphere in the room was electric. It was great for Benedict".
Yet she remains sceptical over Elementary, a "rival" US Sherlock, created by CBS, which stars Jonny Lee Miller as the detective, transplanted to contemporary New York. "CBS asked if they could do ours and we said 'No'. We could have gone for financial gain but we wanted to keep creative control." Mrs Vertue added: "It will be annoying if they use elements that can be traced to our show rather than the original stories."
As the wife of Steven Moffat, co-writer of Sherlock and the driving force behind Doctor Who, Mrs Vertue is a keeper of one of Sherlock's great secrets – how did the detective fake his suicide after apparently throwing himself off a hospital roof at the end of the last UK series? "I've been offered good money to reveal that," she said. Mr Moffat yesterday took to Twitter to dismiss a rumour Sherlock had been cancelled.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'll be back!. . . .

Been visiting the house of Mouse, so will be back posting in a couple of days.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dates and tales for the Harpooners meetings.

We are still in need of someone to do one of papers noted below:  

281/47                   May (18th)                              Maza                   Randy Getz/4

282/48                   June (22nd)                             3Gab                     Foster/32

283/30                   July (27th)                              Blac                     JAndrew Basford/11

284/49                   August (24th)                         Suss                     Wayne Flynn/10

285/50                   September (21st)                    3Gar               Michael Bragg/21

286/51                   October (19th)                       Thor                     Edw Moorman/24

287/52                   November (16th)                   Cree                Sarah Boslaugh/12

288/7                     December (21st)                   Blue                       [OPEN]

I think. . .

. . . there is a trailer for the new 'Elementary' on you tube.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Available at Amazon. . .

In Russian

On a lighter note. . .

Observation. . .

My reviews are in for Scandal in Belgravia

It took me two times watching it to end up liking it, but not without a lot of reservations.
I have to put part of my dislike down, and this is the case in many newer shows, to the audio.
The sound is not good on many of these productions and one, at least I do, has to listen too closely or rewind and listen again. You can seldom sit and watch and listen through the whole program.
Especially with fast paced dialog like in Sherlock, where missing just a couple of key words can throw of a story line. Add to that my bad ears and, . . . . well it can be a mess.

I wish I were a better word-smith, but I hope I get my point across.

First my dislikes;

I am not enjoying the antagonistic relationship between the brothers Holmes. Especially with such good actors in the parts. We know from the Canon that that was not the case. The amount of humor that Sherlock is showing goes against the rest of the image they are trying to present.

I am not enjoying the fact that you can not savor the little mention of clues or other cases in the program. We are spastically taken too quickly through those things. I suspect this is to imply the why Sherlock is thinking.

I think the maniacal nature of Moriarty is going a little to overboard.

I saw no need for the no pants part of the script, especially at the palace, because, again in the Canon, Holmes respects the queen.

Irene Adler just wasn't right. Another shock value thing I believe. It falls into the category of, 'lets see if we can tarnish in some way things others really like.'
Ok, I'm going add this quote here because it says it better than I can; Jane Clare Jones, a doctoral student of feminist ethics writing in her blog on The Guardian's website, criticised episode writer Steven Moffat's representation of Irene Adler, arguing that her sexualisation was a regressive step. She writes, "While Conan Doyle's original is hardly an exemplar of gender evolution, you've got to worry when a woman comes off worse in 2012 than in 1891."[26] Jones argues that while Conan Doyle's Adler was a "proto-feminist", Moffat undermined "her acumen and agency ... Not-so-subtly channelling the spirit of the predatory femme fatal [sic], Adler's power became, in Moffat's hands, less a matter of brains, and more a matter of knowing 'what men like' and how to give it to them ... Her masterminding of a cunning criminal plan was, it was revealed late in the day, not her own doing, but dependent on the advice of Holmes's arch nemesis, James Moriarty."[26]

Guy Ritchie is doing it big time, the shock thing.
And it may actually work better for Guy Ritchie because he has completely changed the face of Holmes, where we all look past Downey as being Holmes and just look at him more as a Victorian action hero.
In Sherlock we are expected to see Sherlock Holmes, just in a more modern light.
We are suppose to believe it is being faithful to the Canon, and in many ways it does. But then, for shock, they jump to far away.
Irene, Mycroft and Moriarty are perfect examples.

Continually throwing the gay thing out there falls into that category also. You've said what you want us to think, be done with it. It doesn't matter which way you believe him, them, to be. Stated once then move on.

Again for shock value, the reference to a young princess in the photos.

I was really enjoying the ending, where Holmes out does Irene. The explanations during that last scene with Holmes, Holmes, Adler and Watson was great, the tit-for-tat.
And I didn't mind, to much, Mycroft delivering the news about Irene (which I don't really see the need of having in the first place) to Watson.
But way over the top the scene with Holmes and the sword. Just wasn't needed.
No explanation was needed of what happened to Irene.
If the storytellers wanted to bring her back later, fine, but they didn't need a rescue by Holmes. To much action/super hero stuff.

And, lets see; Didn't Guy Ritchie have Irene working for Moriarty?

In the Canon you can find something good in Irene, but that can not be said here.

I think I will add more later of what I didn't like, but for now, lets move on.


The friendship between Holmes and Watson, of course.


Mrs. Hudson.

I ended up liking the actress Lara Pulver. I think she did a great job, I just didn't like the Irene she had to play.

I did enjoy the last exchange of solutions.

I did find the human emotions Holmes shows toward the doctor at the Christmas party, and to Mrs. Hudson and Watson throughout the tale very refreshing.

I did end up enjoying the episode, but it did leave me with reservation about the rest of the series. But I will watch them. After all, it is Sherlock Holmes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Because it's Friday and you deserve it. . . .

(Ellery Queen, editor)Sherlock Holmes dies and goes to Heaven. There is a brouhaha. Sherlock Holmes asks St. Peter what seems to be the problem. Apparently, Adam has gone 'walkabout' among all the souls. It will take ages to find him. Holmes tracks down Adam, very quickly.
The Lord asks Holmes how he recognized Adam among the millions of souls, without ever having met him.
"Elementary, my dear God, he has no navel."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scandalous . . .

I have only just started watching last weeks Scandal on PBS and am not yet sure how I will feel about it. I will finish watching it and maybe watch it again and . . . . so will wait a couple of days to review it.
But in the mean time. . . here is a very good review.

Scandalous. . .

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bafta Denies Brett

We regret to inform you that The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will not be honouring Jeremy Brett with a posthumous Award.  Our petition, dossier and letter were discussed at the Academy’s Television Committee meeting which took place at the end of January.  However, despite all of our support from several leading actors, producers and directors, the Board of Trustees decided that their initial decisions on posthumous Awards would not change.

Ms. Kelly Smith, Head of Television and Video Games within BAFTA relayed the information to us, saying:
     To confirm BAFTA Awards are given for excellence in particular categories at our awards ceremonies for their work in the Awards year.  These awards may still be presented to someone who died between the completion of their award-winning performance and the date of the ceremony itself.  In keeping with this policy, Heath Ledger for example won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, even though he died before the date of presentation.
     The Academy also honours individuals with either Special Awards or Fellowships, which recognise outstanding contribution to the film, television or video games industries for overall bodies of work.  However, our Board of Trustees decided a number of years ago that these honours should not bestowed posthumously.

So… we couldn’t get BAFTA to recognise Jeremy’s talent and work.  But we are however proud to have made a try for it.  We are also very proud and thankful for all of the support which we received, be it from actors, television executives, producers or directors.
Most of all, we would like to say a big big THANK YOU to all of Jeremy’s fans and admirers who joined us on our venture.  Thanks to you and to your belief in what we were trying to do, Jeremy Brett and his work received a big bag of publicity all over the world.  We shall forver be grateful for that.
To our critics, and especially to those who thought our campaign “unrealistic”, we would like to point out that from the start, our contact at BAFTA, as well as past and present members of the Academy thought that we may indeed be able to achieve something.  Had this not been the case, none of our work would have been discussed at any official meetings.  We did not succeed.  But we tried.  We did our very best.  We could have done nothing more.
On a last note, we would like it to be known that we are very grateful for the politeness shown us by Ms. Smith.  It was indeed a pleasure to correspond with her.
For those whom it may interest, we shall continue to update you as to what will become of our team.  Please stay tuned.
Once again, THANK YOU for your support!