Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (4K Ultra HD)
(Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Eddie Marsan, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / PG-13 / (2011) 2020 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, in 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.'
Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room, until now!
For there is a new criminal mastermind at large — Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) — and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective.
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: A Game of Shadows’ in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this September 1st, 2020.
For my money, this 'Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows: 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: A Game of Shadows' 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: 2.39:1 and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.
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 bewildering brilliant scene where Holmes is tossing an apple up in his hand, holding a gun ready to shoot at it in the other, for it now brings that gorgeous, green and red-tinged apple to life like never before! In fact, it 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 scenes where Holmes dresses like a Victorian bohemian, or an old street woman, peppers his conversations with wisecracks and such, which now are lovingly embodied with delightful, and vibrant angles of light and apparel definitions). 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, 16-bit), French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps), German: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps), Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps), Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1.
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, 'A Game of Shadows' picks up where the prequel left off; Holmes is tracking down Professor Moriarty, a man he believes is responsible for a series of bombings and mysterious deaths around world.
Though there is an element of mystery in this film, it is not as in-depth as the first film. Rather the focus is on the action sequences and clever humor.
The story itself is not special, but its pace is what counts and I can actually recall walking out of the theater back in 2001, feeling refreshed and glad that I saw this movie.
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are once again a true treat to watch as Holmes and Watson. Their chemistry and interactions are perfect; it's easy to tell that both had fun with the script and with each other.
The set and costume designs are exquisite, bringing to life of what Europe was like in the late 1800s and the sound and editing is crisply done also, the music top-notch too.
The visual effects are mostly good, but some scenes were a bit over the top and borderline ridiculous. One of many examples include a woman being thrown from a fast moving train into a river, without sustaining injury or even dying.
Of course, this is impossible. Then again, it's Hollywood. The filmmakers aren't doing their job if a sense of the ridiculous is not thrown into an action flick from time to time.
In closing, 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' delivers as a great, action-packed, and a rather humorous, popcorn loving flick and now here on 4K Blu-ray, well, there's never been a better time than now to check it out!
Oh, and as I ended with for the 'Sherlock Holmes: 4K Ultra HD' release, it's not your grandfather's 'Sherlock Holmes,' but can you think of any reason why it should be?
From Village Roadshow Pictures and filmmaker Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes”), 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows', stars two-time Academy Award® nominees Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man series) and Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley) along with Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, The Notebook), Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes), Eddie Marsan (War Horse), Geraldine James (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Jared Harris (TV’s “Mad Men”), Stephen Fry (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' (along with 'Beetlejuice', 'The Goonies' and 'Sherlock Holmes') 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 (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p, but sadly does not come with any Special Features.
Official 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Trailer
'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' 4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray Amazon Purchase Link