Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 2.50.51 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Ant-Man,” “Trainwreck” and “Mr. Holmes.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 11.45.14 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Ant-Man,” “Trainwreck” and “Mr. Holmes.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

MR. HOLMES: 3 STARS. “contemplative movie about aging and human frailty.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.43.22 PMMr. Holmes” stars Sir Ian McKellen as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, but the game that’s afoot isn’t so much a mystery as it is a revelation. “It is my business to know what other people don’t know,” Holmes said in “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.” Here, he discovers something many people know, but was unknown to him.

Set in May, 1947 Holmes is a lion in winter. The once great detective is 93 years old, retired for many decades after a case went awry and drove him out of the business. He’s in self imposed exile, living in the country far from 221B Baker Street, accompanied only by his stern housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her young son Roger (Milo Parker).

As his memory fades he tries to piece together the true story of his last case, not the embellished version made popular by his former associate Dr. John Watson. “I told Watson if I ever write a story myself it will be correct the million misconceptions created by his writing.”

Told in flashbacks between the present and a recent trip to Japan—to collect some Prickly Ash, a rumoured remedy for senility—coupled with the fragmented memories of his last case in 1919, Holmes comes to the startling realization that human nature is not a mystery that logic alone can unravel.

There are no hounds, very few deerstalker hats and his signature pipe is nowhere to be seen. Arthur Conan Doyle’s character, the way we’re used to seeing him, is gone save for a glint in McKellen’s eye. “Mr. Holmes” is a contemplative movie about aging, friendship and human frailty.

As the title would suggest, this is a character study and McKellen makes the most of the opportunity to play the man at various times in his life. From the sharp edged Holmes in the flashbacks to the diminished detective in Japan to the reflective, frustrated and struggling man in later years, he fits them together like pieces of a jigsaw to form a whole. It’s a tour de force performance—actually three—that provides the fireworks in what is otherwise a deliberately paced story.

Director Bill Condon, reteaming with McKellen for a second time after “Gods and Monsters,” once again presents a radically rethought story of a man’s life. While a bit more drama would have been welcome, there is not mystery why the reflective nature of the material and McKellen’s graceful work are so appealing.


Sherlock-Holmes_Rober-Downey-Jr_hat-brocade.bmpRobert Downey Jr.’s entrance in the opening minute of “Sherlock Holmes”—he leaps off a buttress, effortlessly rolls down a set of stairs stopping just in time for the camera to catch his close-up—suggests that this isn’t your father’s—or your grandfather’s or mom’s or anybody else’s—Sherlock Holmes. The ensuing kung fu battle and satanic ritual confirms it.

Set in 1891 the story centers on Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law), doctor, war veteran and best friend, getting to the bottom of a case involving the supernatural, an ex-flame (Rachel McAdams) of the great detective, The House of Lords and deadly cult leader named Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). It plays like Holmes meets “The DaVinci Code.”

With “Sherlock Holmes” director Guy Ritchie has created the darkest movie of the Christmas season. Mimicking the depressing fog and industrial smoke that colored Victorian London, he’s made a drab and dreary looking movie that never met a shade of gray it didn’t like. That would be fine if the story or the performances added some color to the film, but unfortunately for Holmes (and for the audience) not only is “Sherlock Holmes’s” color palate a bit monochromatic but the whole film is a little on the dull side.

The story is suitably convoluted for a Holmes story, there is plenty of intrigue, much deducing and loads of clues, trouble is, nothing much happens. The game may be a-foot but it feels more like a loose collection of action sequences bound together by some witty “Odd Couple” style banter between the leads and Downey’s quirky performance.

Downey plays Holmes like a cross between Robert Langdon and a Victorian street urchin. Apparently being brilliant means you don’t have to wash. Or tuck your shirt in. Or shave or clean your fingernails. Downey throws out the image of the debonair Basil Rathbone Holmes in a deerstalker hat for something much more bohemian. In fact, it’s closer to the description of the detective offered up in Conan Doyle’s books and short stories. Downey plays the role with suitable gusto (and acceptable English accent), but is let down by a script that is a non-starter.

Downey has good chemistry with Jude Law but the same can’t be said for Rachel McAdams as his love interest. Guy Ritchie isn’t known for his way with female characters and “Sherlock Holmes” and she suffers for it. The movie wastes McAdams in a damsel in distress role that requires her to do little other than leer in Holmes’s general direction. She’s more a plot point than a character and it’s a shame to see McAdams wasted like that. She gets lost in the über-maleness of it all.

“Sherlock Holmes” gets the spirit of Holmes but doesn’t deliver the goods. Big budget action scenes are sprinkled throughout, but even the huge set pieces like the fight in the shipyard—which must have cost a fortune—contains no drama and the only real mystery here is how Guy Ritchie managed to take good elements—like Robert Downey Jr and Sherlock Holmes, one of the most popular characters of the last one hundred years—and make such a lackluster movie.