Sherlock Holmes vs Ricky Ricardo

This is a tribute to Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). Holmes may not have appeared a whole ton but when he did show up he got the job done. He was able to stay one step ahead of the other characters. Ricky is a nice guy but he’s not really known as a fighter. Holmes can fight surprisingly well for a genius too so he should be able to quickly take Ricky down with either his sword or his gun. Even in a fist fight to be honest. Sherlock Holmes wins.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) Review

Usually when you think of the Hammer crew you think of sub par films that rely on a lot of extra grit and shock value. Sherlock Holmes is a series you associate wit high quality writing and a lot of twists that will keep you going. Since this is one of the only Sherlock Holmes’ films that I would say is not a good film I would usually blame that on Hammer but to be fair this also happens to be the weakest Sherlock Holmes adventure that I’m aware of. Even the original one didn’t exactly rate very highly for me and this one is close. I would still say the other adaption I’ve seen of this film is better but for the most part 1959 remains faithful, it’s just not able to save the film from the ending.

The movie starts back in time when the Baskervilles were as corrupt and evil as ever. They kidnapped a peasant girl and had some dark plans for her. While they were burning a guy alive in the fireplace she manages to make a break for it. Unfortunately the head of the house, Mr. Baskerville catches and murders her. He doesn’t get to enjoy his triumph for long though as he is brutally murdered by a dog. We cut forward in the future where every other Baskerville head has moved into the mansion and been murdered in the same way.

In the present day Henry is the final Baskerville member still alive. He intends to move into the house because he believes that all of the deaths were coincidence and have nothing to do with some kind of supernatural dog. Regardless, Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes and Watson to get on the case so that Henry will not be destroyed. Holmes is too busy at the moment though so he sends Watson along instead. Henry realizes that this means Holmes isn’t taking things too seriously and so he isn’t worried either. He’s just going to have a good time. Holmes does give Henry one warning though, don’t go to the bog alone at night. After all, that’s where everyone else died right? Henry couldn’t care less though and if someone, say a lady were to ask him to go then he would have no qualms about doing so.

As you can probably guess, this makes things a little difficult on Watson. Watson is effectively the main character here since he really gets to play detective more here. Usually you see Watson enjoying the snacks a lot in the background so this time he’s going to get to work that off. Watson’s always a fun character though and he does well here. The only time he lets Henry get into a bit of a difficult spot is when he left him to be guarded by a few other characters but in his defense, I don’t think he could have expected that the guy would run off though so I’ll cut him some slack there.

The writing is on point as you get to try and solve the case along with Watson. It’s not exactly Scooby Doo style where you are clearly introduced to each suspect as they all act a little strange. Here you are thrown into the house and gradually meet the characters. There are quite a few suspects like the escaped murder convict, the happy next door neighbors, Mortimer himself and a number of staff inside the mansion. In this kind of thing you can’t really trust anyone.

Honestly this would be a very easy film to survive for most characters though. Seriously, just don’t go to the bog, swamp, ocean, or any place listed in the curse. Sure, if you assume that the myth is fake and someone is carrying out the murders, at least you know that the person so far only likes to murder people in one spot. It’s like the evil mermaid film where everyone told the guy not to go to a very particular patch in the ocean but he laughed them off as he swam to his death. If Henry would just mind his own business and not be too desperate then he would be fine. Of course as soon as he gets asked out to the bog on a date he is quick to run there. Not exactly the most heroic guy that’s for sure.

Meanwhile Holmes is definitely a solid character as always. I like how downright rude he can be to everyone as he even factors this into his plans. When all else fails, he basically just tricks his opponents into making the next move which is really a solid strategy. After all, antagonizing the opponents is certainly a valid strategy if I’ve ever seen one. Holmes is 5 steps ahead in pretty much every scene and that’s definitely the kind of lead that you want in a mystery film.

So what are the film’s weaknesses that keep it from being a good film? Well, it’s pretty simple. The whole film revolves around a ghost dog so as you can imagine, a real dog does show up at one point. That means the gang shoots him down in the end so the film could not escape the animal violence. All animal violence is pretty bad but it can be especially bad when it’s a dog. As that is built into the very premise it’s why it is unlikely that a Hound of the Baskervilles title will ever be all that good. It’ll always have to try and outmaneuver the story itself which is no easy feat.

Also in true Hammer fashion the opening scene was totally unnecessary. We already could have suspected that the Baskervilles were probably shady but the film has to make it explicit just how bad they are with the live burning and the plans for the lady they kidnapped. The whole first scene just doesn’t even feel like a Sherlock Holmes film. You figure the captive would at least escape but she gets stabbed and dies anyway. The whole first scene could have certainly been cut and just thrown into the info dump early on in the film when Mortimer first showed up. That would have been the ideal way to do this.

Overall, Hound of the Baskervilles may be one of the most well known Holmes titles but I still consider it the weakest one. It’s also a story where Holmes is gone for a good chunk of it due to plot reasons. It’s an interesting twist of course even if this film changes how it plays out but of course the films where Holmes is present for more of it will end up being the stronger ones. It’s just not the same without him constantly picking apart every character’s alibi’s and just generally beating them up intellectually. He makes everyone around him feel small and that’s a huge part of his charm. If you’re a big Sherlock Holmes fan then you may still want to check this one out but otherwise I’d say to check out any of the other installments.

Overall 4/10

Dick Tracy vs Sherlock Holmes

Suggested by Destroyer Dick Tracy and Sherlock Holmes are both detectives who excel at cracking cases. If this were a battle of wits then I have no doubt that Sherlock Holmes would prevail. He simply has more experience and has solved more difficult cases. That said, Dick Tracy is definitely more experienced with having to get physical with his opponents. Holmes has proven that he is certainly more than willing to fight when the need arises, but in the end he’s not going to be as good a shot as Tracy. Gun skills are what will prevail here. Dick Tracy wins.

Otto Ratburn vs Sherlock Holmes

This is a tribute to the final Holmes film of this era. Holmes definitely ended on a high note even if he barely escaped with his life in tact. Otto is a tough guy so he shouldn’t be underestimated but I do think that Holmes has the expertise to defeat such an opponent without even harming him. Now that is a pretty good level of determination I must admit. Maybe Otto will return at some point but until then he is doomed to stay in the 0-1 spot. Sherlock Holmes wins.

Mr Ratburn vs Sherlock Holmes

This is a tribute to the second last Sherlock Holmes film in the Rathbone series. Holmes is a very consistent character who is always on point so it’s easy to see why he has been on such a winning streak. I do like Ratburn a lot so it’s a shame to see him drop down like this, but there is no way he could hope to fight off Holmes. Holmes has a gun so one shot will win the match. Sherlock Holmes wins.

Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night Review

Sherlock Holmes has returned with another film. The villains just can’t get away from his extensive mystery solving skills. He is just not the kind of opponent that you want to risk toying with. This film is definitely a mystery movie through and through as we get a lot of suspects and a jewel that has been stolen. With everyone stuck aboard a train it gives Holmes time to interrogate everyone, but at the same time the villain has the edge of being able to act first. Holmes will have to bring his A game to win this match of wits!

There are a lot of parties on the train of course. For starters we have the lady and her coffin. It’s perfectly natural to bring a coffin on board since someone died after all but it’s rather large so someone could possibly fit onto it. There’s also the matter of the jewel that the rich lady brought on board. She has had it for many years, but this is the year where someone will finally try to snag it from her. To that end she wants Holmes to prevent this. Fortunately the cops are also on board led by Lestrade. Surely no criminal can get past the air tight defense of all these heroes…right? The elites are on the case so the villains should be very scared.

Watson’s old friend shows up which is certainly interesting. It makes sense that Watson will know some people since he isn’t with Holmes 100% of the time, but naturally since this is the character’s first appearance that will make you very suspicious. It’s like when any 00 agent shows up in a James Bond film. It raises a lot of red flags. We’ve also got a very confrontational character who doesn’t like the way that Holmes and Watson are always bursting onto crime scenes. While he may have a point it might also be an attempt to get them off his back. He intimidates Watson so much that the old man almost breaks down.

Then we’ve got the train conductor who really doesn’t want Holmes to snoop around. As far as he is concerned everyone needs a permit and to do things officially. He has a habit of writing things down as well which is awfully suspicious. Then of course we have the ladies from before. There is the rich one who is very adamant about Holmes protecting the jewel, but perhaps it is all an act to cover up the fact that she is attempting to fake the theft. There is also the younger lady who isn’t very co-operative and doesn’t like talking all that much despite seeming to know a lot more than she lets on. We’ve also got the tea thieves, but there’s not much to say about those guys.

Sherlock Holmes is on point as always. He’s still the same genius that he always is and learns a lot about the case right away. He solved it rather easily this time around as it was clear that he knew who the culprit was very quickly. He simply had to wait for some actual proof before coming forward with it. He played more mind games with the villains than usual here and substituting the diamond multiple times is a good way to always have control of the playing field.

Things get a little dicey for Watson as always. I don’t think it was his best appearance although he certainly came in handy towards the end of the film though so that’s a good thing. Useful or not, I’ve always been a fan of Watson and it’s easy to root for him. He may not be a genius like Holmes and his ego can get in the way at times, but Watson always tries very hard. You certainly can’t say that he isn’t doing his best to nab the culprit by the end. Even when the suspects get personal like in this film.

It’s been a while since we have seen Lestrade get some action so I was happy to see him return here. He actually looks fairly good here as he picks up on the final plan of Holmes before anyone else. That’s pretty impressive and he holds around 4 people at gun point. I do think that getting in a car with them is risky though especially since he has the villains driving the car, but this man’s a pro so who am I to point out the flaws in his plan? He also doesn’t let the passengers push him around the way that Watson does. Lestrade always assumes control.

Moran is the main villain here and apparently used to work with Moriarty. Naturally he is in disguise as one of the suspects mentioned earlier. You’ll probably figure out who it is right away but you’ll still be intrigued from start to finish on what his end game is. He’s a fairly good villain and definitely had a solid backup plan as well. He’d probably make the top 5 Holmes villains, but is still a step down from some of the others. His sidekick Sands is not very noteworthy though. The guy only appears for a few scenes and is easily handled by Holmes.

There isn’t much more to be said that I haven’t already talked about in these films. The Holmes movies are very direct so they are short and to the point. This does wonders for the pacing of the film and more importantly, it is backed up by impressive writing. You’ll be hard pressed to find any scene that isn’t written quite well. This is in fact one of the better Holmes films as it feels authentic from the start and isn’t trying to phone the plot in. Some franchises start to weaken after so many films but not this one.

Overall, I highly recommend checking this Sherlock Holmes film out. It’s a solid adventure with a lot of twists and turns. The atmosphere is just right and all of the characters are quite solid. It’s easy to see why this Holmes line of movies is so well known. It has completely earned its reputation and I imagine we will be lucky to ever see another depiction be quite as awesome. The current films do a good job but we’ll see if they can manage it for 10+ like this one did. I do miss how quickly they churned out films back in the day.

Overall 8/10

Sherlock Holmes: Dressed To Kill Review

We have now come to the end of this Sherlock Holmes series. It’s definitely been quite the ride with a whole lot of excellent films. Interestingly enough this one is more of a thriller than a mystery since we all know who the villain is, but that’s where the game of cat and mouse comes into play. We even get to see the villains trick Watson one last time.

Legends say that there are 3 music boxes which hold immense power. If you gather all 3 and listen to the music, it will tell you a secret code that will lead to a treasure worth a large fortune. Naturally the villains want to grab these 3. They manage to snag 2 of them, but an innocent small business owner bought the third and then Holmes bought it from her to keep the lady out of danger. Hilda and her posse are prepared to fight to the death with Holmes. Can the detective really hope to come out of this unscathed?

In a way this film also felt a bit like a homage to the others so I wonder if the series knew that it was coming to an end. For example, it has been quite a while since Holmes was knocked out by the enemy and captured but that happens here. It wasn’t part of the plan or anything like that either so it certainly wasn’t his best moment. Still he did a good job of thinking up a plan on the spot and finding the escape route with the largest % chance of escape is just what you would expect from him. He’s still the best character in this film and definitely appears to be a little more merciless at the end as well as he talks gleefully about how the villains will be hanged.

Then we have Watson who is tricked by the villains one last time. It is child’s play for Hilda to use a smoke bomb to distract the assistant while she got away from the loot. It wasn’t a very promising start for Watson and he looked pretty bad but at least he took it in stride. Surprisingly he didn’t really help at the end to make up for this moment. I guess he can’t come out on top every time.

Next up is Hilda who makes for an interesting antagonist. She is definitely intelligent as she outwits Holmes in their first outing and comes close to achieving her objective. She isn’t quite as ruthless as some of the other villains as she prefers not to destroy her opponents but that can also be her undoing. Had the bald man been spared he could have easily identified her to the police which would be risky.

As always the writing is on point here. All of the characters are very polite even when threatening each other with death. They are chivalrous all the way through and one villain even allows Holmes one last smoke before he is to die. It’s definitely something that will be missed in the newer films. It’s also impressive just how much content the film is able to squeeze into each case since the movies are always so short. It always does a good job of making each scene count.

That being said, this film may have had one of the weakest intros. Maybe it wasn’t actually that long but it felt like a little while before Holmes and Watson actually appeared. At first the film was showing off the boxes and explaining that origin but the whole time you are just waiting for the crime to start. The auction was pretty interesting though.

Overall, Dressed To Kill is a reasonably good send off. It would have been perfect if it had ended with the second to last film instead, but we’ll take what we can get. Imagine ending on the first World War II adaptions…now that would have been something. Sherlock Holmes never overstayed his welcome in the cinema and managed to end without missing a beat. I highly recommend checking this film out to see just how much fun these old school murder mysteries are. I don’t know what mystery film I shall be checking out next but it certainly has a high bar to match.

Overall 8/10

Sherlock Holmes vs Dipsy

This is a tribute to the latest Sherlock Holmes film that I’ve seen. Holmes proved that even when he is on a boat he is a dangerous opponent to mess with. Dipsy never showed quite the same level of intelligence during the Telletubbies TV show so I don’t think Holmes will have much of a problem in this battle of wits. Even if he does, Holmes has some decent hand to hand skills at the ready to back him up so the detective shall be fine. Sherlock Holmes wins.

Sherlock Holmes vs Laa Laa

This is a tribute to The Woman in Green. Sherlock Holmes looked pretty good as always and resisted the powers of Hypnosis. I wonder if Laa Laa would also be able to pull off such a feat although I remain skeptical. Laa Laa isn’t really much of a fighter if I’m being honest here so there’s no way Holmes won’t win this round. He has a sword and a gun at the ready, what more can you ask for? Sherlock Holmes wins.

Sherlock Holmes: Pursuit To Algiers Review

Back to back Sherlock Holmes reviews? Yes, it’s time to jump right back into the land of mystery. This one throws the cast on a ship which means that there isn’t a lot of room to run for both the heroes and the villains. They will have to execute their missions with a lot of strategic planning in order to come out on top. It’s a pretty fun film and probably has the most direct confrontations between Holmes and the villains that we have seen in quite a while.

The film starts with a mysterious group luring Holmes and Watson to an abandoned house. They want Holmes to guard Prince Nikolas by getting on a plane with him and acting on an escort. Holmes accepts but there is no room for Watson so the sidekick heads on a boat to meet up with Holmes again later on. Holmes pops up anyway though and tells Watson it was all a trick. The problem is that 3 Russian spies come aboard and want to destroy Nikolas. There is also a mysterious lady named Sheila who always panics at the sight of Holmes. What secret is she hiding and why should she be terrified of Holmes? Time to find out!

At first the film plays out like your typical mystery as we are introduced to a bunch of suspicious characters and naturally they are all very sketchy throughout, but then we see the actual villains come aboard the ship. This means that either one of the suspects is an accomplice or they were all red herrings. Either way it makes for a fairly tense atmosphere. Also, the boat has a lot of people on it so in theory that makes it hard for the villains to try anything, but it can also be hard for Holmes to protect Nikolas without making it too obvious either. A lot of mind games are had here.

One such moment that worked really well was when the villains challenges Holmes and Watson to a game of curls. Throughout the match they use game lingo to attack the other person’s strategy about how to deal with the Prince. Holmes ends up doing pretty well in both arenas while acting innocent as he always does. Holmes likes to put up a humble facade even while he is smirking on the inside. He is fairly aggressive here as he breaks someone’s wrist and certainly doesn’t back down from the opposition. He even steps in to save the prince from an untimely swim when Watson proved unequal to the task.

This was definitely one of Sherlock’s better appearances. I’m also glad he was pretty careful about not actually getting on the plane that was pretty obviously a trap. He was maybe a little too trusting in even getting into such a situation, but I have to assume that he recognized the people he was dealing with right from the start. I’m also confident that he wouldn’t have fallen for a certain voice trick that was near the end of the film.

Unfortunately this was not one of Watson’s better appearances. He has a little too much fun with Sheila and forgets the situation too quickly. He’s a man on a mission right now so you think he would show a little more urgency. He also doesn’t guard Nikolas too well and tendsto let the guy out of his sight a lot. An old lady is also able to deter him from arriving as soon as he would have liked by putting him in the opposite direction. He was just really careless here and of course that tends to happen when you are the comic relief character of the series, but most of the other films put him in a bit of a better light than this one.

Of course, Nikolas still deserves most of the blame. He knows that everyone is after him but still makes alot of rookie mistakes. When Sheila asks him to go onto the deck with her to hang out he should have realized that this could be dangerous. Despite that, he seems rather oblivious the whole time and doesn’t even look for traps. He goes awful close to the water and just doesn’t show any common sense the whole time. His final scene is just as bad as all of the others and I was almost expecting his end to be a rather tragic one as a result. The guy just clearly doesn’t put too much stock in his own life.

Sheila’s subplot is probably the only one that just isn’t very good here. It’s just unnecessary and taking her out of the film would have put more focus on the actual case. She makes for a good red herring most of the time, but even then her motivations don’t seem all that consistent. From the three villains, Gregor was probably the best one. He is essentially the Moriarty of the group who likes to attack the heroes with carefully thought out plans when they least expect it. He isn’t as quick to act as the other two. Of course, waiting so long has its weaknesses as well, but I can’t say that there was any real fault with Gregor’s plan. It was actually really sound.

Mirko is the most aggressive one in the group and his knife throwing skills were on point. This guy is definitely a fighter. Naturally that’s not enough to take on someone like Holmes though. The detective is always ready for him. Then we have Gubec who gets the smallest role of the 3. That’s likely because he can’t talk so without any lines it was hard for him to be quite as memorable as the other 2. He still does his best though and isn’t bad I guess, but there’s just nothing all that likable about him.

Overall, This was a pretty solid Holmes film. The boat actually made for a great backdrop to the story. It was nice seeing the heroes and villains all stuck on such a small object like the boat. The film maybe spends too much time on red herrings, but at least the suspects are believable enough where you might suspect them for a while. Of course, the more Watson is sure that one of them is the culprit, the more confidence you will get in that just not being the case. It’s almost a little sad when you think about it.

Overall 8/10