Otto Ratburn vs Sherlock Holmes


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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.

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Mr Ratburn vs Sherlock Holmes


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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

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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

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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

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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

Sherlock Holmes and the Woman in Green Review

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It’s time for the next installment in the Sherlock Holmes film series. This one is pretty solid as are just about all of the Holmes titles to be honest. We even get to see the return of Professor Moriarty once more as he proves to be the real mastermind. This means that the woman in green doesn’t get to be quite as important as she might have been, but still makes for a pretty good antagonist. The detectives have their work cur out for them this time!

The film starts off with a lot of gruesome murders occurring in London. Holmes is struggling to find a motive or something that connect the victims while Watson believes that it is probably just an insane villain. Coincidentally enough, hypnotism is starting to become popular and a lady named Lydia has been performing it on people. Watson claims that hypnosis is completely fake and wouldn’t work on anyone with an ounce of character, but is that entirely accurate? Only one way to find out!

As always Holmes is a solid main character who is good at staying one step ahead of the villains. While Moriarty has bested him in the past, I’d say that it was effectively a draw this time. That being said, Holmes’ final plan was rather risky as he left himself with no real out until Watson came. He would have had to try fighting 3 against 1 and even with his skills that may have been tough. I’m glad that hypnosis didn’t work on him though.

Watson is a blast in this film and I dare say that he might have even been better than Holmes for once. I definitely liked the scene where he starts to insult the hypnotists quite a bit. While he ultimately loses in that scene I do tend to agree with him. Hypnosis is not something that should work on anyone so easily. If you’re strapped to a chair and forced to watch a bunch of lights for days or something then that’s one thing. Looking at lights for a few minutes? Nah, I’m definitely not going to buy that one. A bunch of films portray it as some kind of super power that works almost instantly, but I just can’t buy into that. Watson was right even if the film made him appear to be wrong.

Lydia was a decent villain but not as good as the lady from a few films ago. Lydia is more of a minion than a commander even if the whole plan does revolve around her abilities. She does a good job in the role. Moriarty seemed to have a different actor in this film as he looked very different, but the personality was still the same as always. He really does have a flair for theatrics even though it ends up costing him pretty much every time.

As always the writing was quite strong in this film. The banter between the characters was on point and the mystery was fairly sound. It’ll keep you guessing for a little while until the film basically tells you who the villain is. Admittedly this is rather early on, but seeing the heroes try to solve the puzzle is fun as well. The pacing for the film is great and the movie never drags on. That is definitely how a good mystery film should be when you think about it. It’s gotta keep the action and tempo up at all times.

Based on how many times Moriarty has died you will probably be wondering if he is really dead by the end of this film. In truth he should have been dead quite a long time ago and it’s clear that the writers just like bringing him back. It’s definitely possible that he could return, but I wouldn’t mind keeping him out. He is a great rival for the legendary Mr. Holmes, but we’ve had quite a few other villains who were able to hold their own as well. After all, at the end of the day Moriarty is basically just a real smart villain who likes to banter. We can certainly find a few other villains to fit that role.

Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out this film. It may not have a whole lot of unique things going for it, but at the end of the day what else do you need aside from the classic Sherlock Holmes formula? No two mysteries are the same after all so by shuffling the suspects and locations you have created a brand new story. With the film series coming to a close I am glad that it has continued to perform at a top level. The film makes no real mistakes so it’s just a blast from start to finish. It’s easy to see why Holmes is still regarded as the best mystery franchise.

Overall 8/10

Sherlock Holmes vs Barry William Cox


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This is a tribute to the latest Sherlock Holmes film. While he may have actually been outsmarted for once, Holmes did a good job of staying in the game until the very end. Barry wouldn’t have gotten quite so close in this case. While Barry would probably win a hand to hand fight, Holmes always has his gun at the ready. Barry won’t be able to close the gap in time and just can’t hope to win this fight. Sherlock Holmes wins.

Sherlock Holmes: The House of Fear Review

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Sherlock Holmes and his trusty pal Watson are back to solve another tough case. The films have really been consistent with how great they all are and this is no exception. In fact, I dare say that the House of Fear is up there as one of the best Sherlock Holmes films to date. The setting is great and the mystery is a classic. You certainly won’t be able to not get enthusiastic about the case by the end.

It starts off with a group of rich people meeting up at an old house. They are having a toast when one of them dies. Nobody had taken it seriously when a letter arrived saying that one of them would perish, but they have to face the music now. A second letter arrives which leads to another death. They are forced to call in Sherlock Holmes. Some of the men are happy about this while others are not. Either way Holmes isn’t here to make friends so he prepares to blow this case wide open and find out who the murderer is before it’s too late. He better hurry though since the culprit isn’t done with this group yet.

This is classic Holmes in every which way. The setting of a haunted house is perfect for a mystery like this one and it even uses the classic premise of everyone getting bumped off one by one. That’s always been a horror tactic that works quite well if you ask me. Throwing in Holmes adds an extra wrinkle as the villains can’t take it too easy. The suspects are also solid as there are quite a few of them and they all have distinctive character. First there is the surgeon who takes everything in stride and really enjoys reading about murder. Perhaps he wants to finally put some of this into practice. Then we have the bubbly chairman who is always happy. The guy is thrilled to have Holmes on board which is always a red flag. There is also the tough guy of the group who keeps coming close to death. Why is the murderer failing so often when it comes to him? There are quite a few suspects on the table here so watch them all carefully. You’ve also got suspects outside the house like a Sailor who likes hanging around the area. The guy seems a little suspect and one of the victims did perish thanks to a knot that is usually used by sea men. There’s also the maid who calmly delivers the letters each night despite the fact that they always result in fatalities.

Fortunately Sherlock Holmes has yet to meet the case that is too difficult for him. This one does manage to keep him in the dark for most of it though. In fact, you could argue that this is one of the few times where Holmes really didn’t crack the case and the only reason the day was saved at the end was thanks to Watson. Perhaps Sherlock’s overconfidence actually got the best of him for once. Still, he definitely looks really good in this film. Certainly the detective that you want to have in your corner as he considers all of the angles.

Watson is a great sidekick to have as always. His habit of muttering under his breath never gets old and you do have to like his confidence. While Holmes may best him most of the time, it never deters Watson. He also gets to use his gun a little more than usual here as he engages in a battle against multiple hostiles. Watson probably has the funniest scenes of each Holmes film so the franchise just wouldn’t be the same without him.

Lestrade also gets to show up and he is as skeptical of Holmes as he always is. The guy just won’t cut him a break even though Holmes has proved time and time again that he always tends to be right in the end. I wonder why the Police Chief seems to have such a grudge against him. I suppose it’s just a competitive sort of thing as Lestrade wants to be right for a change, but that time doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

The ending to the film is pretty satisfying and also rather unexpected so that was a nice bonus. It may be a bit of a stretch, but honestly I don’t remember enough of the details pertaining to what would make this a stretch that I can debate the point. It’s something I’d be on the lookout for in a re watch, but thrillers are best to watch on the 1st run so I’d want my memory to get a lot fainter by that point.

The writing is unquestionably excellent. The mystery holds up well and there are a good amount of red herrings without overdoing it completely. For every red herring there is still a real hint and with the body count continuing to rise you never lose the sense of tension that you want the film to continue with. The film’s pacing is also pretty tight. It seems a little longer than most of the other Holmes films, but that may be because of how much it crams into the mystery. There is a lot to digest here, that’s for sure.

Overall, The House of Fear lives up to its name. The heroes even have to brave the elements at one point since this haunted house tends to lock its doors at the worst possible times. There’s never a dull moment in this film and I’d highly recommend checking it out. It has a good blend of suspense and humor. Two genres that are typically hard to blend together but this film shows how smoothly it can be done. I don’t want to say that this is the best Holmes film yet as that’s a bold claim, but I dare say that it is certainly top 3. It’ll be tough for any future film to surpass this one, but with this series there is always a chance.

Overall 8/10