Sherlock Holmes: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital
(Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / PG-13 / (2009) 2020 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: The hangman did his job, Dr. Watson declared the condemned man dead ... yet Lord Blackwood has emerged from the tomb to assert his deadly will over 1890 London.
Is he in league with the forces of hell itself? Is the whole Empire in peril? It’s a mystery macabre – and only Sherlock Holmes can master it.
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law put memorable imprints on Holmes and Watson in this bold new reimagining that makes the legendary sleuth a daring man of action as well as a peerless man of intellect.
Baffling clues, astonishing Holmesian deductions, nimble repartee, catch-your-breath scenes of one slam thing after another – director Guy Ritchie helms the excitement reintroducing the great detective to the world.
Meet the new Sherlock Holmes!
Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the simply brilliant 'Sherlock Holmes’ in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this September 1st, 2020.
For my money, this 'Sherlock Holmes: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is 'Sherlock Holmes' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10, Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 and Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable.
For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; such as the excellently orchestrated Meat or Potatoes? fight scene, where once it was all drab and uncolored, all a blend unto one another, here it is now vibrantly separated and allows each punch, each deflection from Holmes to be its own movement. It just all comes more vividly to life, which is amazing to see, in truth.
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the now he's Far Too Fond of Himself hanging scene, where the faces of all three centralized characters are now way more "alive" and expressive (given the horror they have seemingly stumbled in on!) Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.
As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit).
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, English director Guy Ritchie ("Snatch," "RocknRolla") applies his witty and gritty crime thriller style to the first mainstream 21st Century version of Holmes, one that will likely appeal to a younger crowd and those less familiar with previous incarnations of the iconic sleuth.
The reason is the new Holmes is much less concerned with the quality of the mystery and more focused on breathing a new quirkiness and style into the character and his top-notch detective work.
The script hopes you'll be hooked on the reveal of how Holmes figures everything out and not so much the crime/mystery itself. In other words our new Holmes is about creating an entertaining diversion in the form of clever logic, high-brow humor and old-school science - it uses mystery conventions but to a showier end.
Downey Jr. continues to impress in his turn as Holmes, managing to employ his same wit and charms while creating a unique character that makes you feel as if you're watching Holmes, not RDJ with yet another accent.
This Holmes is not merely a wise detective of old, but the quirky type, suggesting some insanity behind the genius. RDJ makes him much more colorful and entertaining and takes attention away from an okay storyline.
The mystery surrounds Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who appears to have supernatural abilities derived from an ancient magic. He creates terror in London appearing to have risen from the grave and committed a couple murders.
Holmes and his dear friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are on the verge of ending their partnership because Watson has plans to settle down and marry when the crafty Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) gets them deep into the Blackwood case.
The supernatural angle didn't work well for the latest Indiana Jones film and it doesn't exactly do well here. Indeed, 'Sherlock Holmes' (2009) is a little more Dan Brown's Angels & Demons and a little less Se7en,' if you will.
This is fine for those who can look to Holmes for a more mainstream romp than what an older crowd might hope to be a rigorous exercise in fine mystery and logic. Again, the fewer the expectations, the better.
As for the lean and mean Guy Ritchie depiction of Holmes, it's not entirely unfounded. The script creatively draws the connection between Holmes' intellectual prowess and how he might use it in a physical bout.
It does take a bit of settling in to understand exactly what direction this new Holmes is going in, but it works thanks to RDJ and picks up as the mystery thickens and Holmes' limits are tested.
McAdams' character lacks enough strength to stay memorable and as much as I like Strong, his character lacks dimension too. But the rebirth of Holmes will be a nice Holiday escape for the modern audience and those willing to keep an open mind.
It's not your grandfather's 'Sherlock Holmes,' but can you think of any reason why it should be?
From Village Roadshow Pictures and director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla), 'Sherlock Holmes' stars Academy Award™ nominee Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man series), Academy Award™ nominee Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, The Notebook) and Mark Strong (RocknRolla, Syriana, Shazam).
As for the Special Feature included here on this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition, that would be Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented, where we see how director Guy Ritchie and star Robert Downey Jr. set about reinterpreting the master sleuth and how Downey prepared for the role.
It's a near fifteen minute featurette and opens with the incredibly choreographed bare-knuckle fight scene (you know the one) and straight off the bat, Downey reveals that in recreating Holmes, he quickly discovered that he (the character) was stranger than even he (the actor) could ever have imagined!
'Sherlock Holmes' (along with 'Beetlejuice', 'The Goonies' and 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows') will be available on September 1st, 2020 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 (expected retail price) each, and feature an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features in HD, and a Digital HD* version of the feature film.
Fans can also own the 4 films in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers.
This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:
Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented
Official 'Sherlock Holmes' 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Trailer
'Sherlock Holmes: 4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray Amazon Purchase Link