Holmes, Holmes, and Holmes, I presume?

The conversation Alan Decker and I had about George Lucas and JK Rowling didn't end there, you know. It continued ever onward and here is how the rest of it unfolded...

 

VampireNomad

There is also something to be said for allowing a thing to be what it is. Even if it could have been improved. Maybe it SHOULDN'T be improved because changing it makes it something else entirely. I sort of, admittedly, feel the same way about remakes now. We're living in a time where everything is a regurgitation of something that came before and I wonder why we feel this pressing need to continually reinvent and retell, in increasingly watered-down and CGI'd fashion - our own stories?

 

CmdrAJD

My general answer is that the major film studios and TV networks are all owned by corporations that fear risks. Brand names and known quantities make more sense in that kind of environment. I don't think anyone ever thought that Robocop screamed to be remade, but we're getting it anyway because it's a recognizable title.

 

VampireNomad

That's an accurate and terrifying assessment. You know that means in twenty years we'll get another King Kong, another Total Recall and another Robocop, right?

 

CmdrAJD

Very likely. And in fifty to sixty years, we could have Warner Brothers remaking Harry Potter without Rowling to prevent them from making major changes to the story.

 

VampireNomad

And Disney could re-release Star Wars with all the major characters replaced by Disney Channel stars of the day to appeal to a whole new generation.

 

CmdrAJD

We may not have to wait long for that. They keep cramming their actors into the Muppet films. Why not Star Wars?

 

VampireNomad

Honestly we need to stop giving them ideas...

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

See, George Lucas, THAT is where that quote goes.

Not where you stuck it.

 

CmdrAJD

While I really don't need new Star Wars films, I'm somewhat optimistic. Disney has done really well with how they've handled the Marvel films, so I'm hopeful that they'll give the Star Wars filmmakers the same freedom

 

VampireNomad

I'm hoping for Tony Stark cameos in everything.

 

CmdrAJD

I will second that

 

VampireNomad

"Mos Eisley. You will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

"Except Thursdays at my lab."

Like that.

 

CmdrAJD

So there's the exception to our no changes rule. Every film is better with Tony Stark.

 

VampireNomad

Correction: every film is better with Robert Downey Jr.

But otherwise, don't mess with things. Everything is sacred. The only exception is the RDJ Rule.

 

CmdrAJD

Now that's going to lead to a whole discussion of his Sherlock Holmes movies, and I... am not a fan

 

VampireNomad

I am a HUGE fan. Though I admittedly do not view them as Holmesian in the slightest.

 

CmdrAJD

The movies would probably be far worse without RDJ, so your rule still works. But you're right, they really aren't Holmes films at all.

 

VampireNomad

If you consider them period piece Mission: Impossibles then they are awesome and a damn sight better than anything with Tom Cruise in them. So, rule intact.

Though - and here's an unpopular opinion so please don't lynch me - I do vastly prefer Jude Law's Watson to Martin Freeman's. But my ultimate all-time favorite Watson is Lucy Liu.

 

CmdrAJD

Jude Law does make a fun Watson. I really like that he, Freeman, and Liu can have such different takes on the character that all work so well

 

VampireNomad

The Watsons are so different! It is fascinating how they all embody the essence of Watson - none are really completely altering who he essentially is - and yet every single one is so totally new.

I have to say that I believe if all the Watsons had dinner together and crime broke out, Liu and Law would kick the most ass and Freeman would be in trouble.

 

CmdrAJD

I don't know. We've seen that Freeman's Watson can hold his own. He's the most "former military man" of the three.

 

VampireNomad

But he's the least kick-assy in the spontaneous sense. I think Liu could take him easy. I'm just saying in any fight my money is always on Lucy Liu.

 

CmdrAJD

It's hard to argue with that, but any Holmes would be lucky to have these three Watsons working with him.

 

VampireNomad

I think it is quite easily argued that every Holmes, regardless of iteration, NEEDS a Watson (or even three) to keep him out of the inevitable heated arguments and dire trouble that follow him.

 

CmdrAJD

Absolutely. RDJ, Cumberbatch, and Miller's take on Holmes can all make people want to punch them with almost no effort. It's not that they're socially inept. They're socially oblivious.

 

VampireNomad

How very true.

Yes, even dear RDJ makes one want to ball one's fist in his general direction time and again. Cumberbatch's makes me want to punch him the most frequently. He's really working overtime on the asshole end of the spectrum. I find Miller's endlessly fascinating. He's the one whose layers I most want to peel.

(I meant that figuratively but, okay, literally works too. Though if we're talking peeling, RDJ trumps all.)

 

CmdrAJD

Of course. :)

But I do think that 'Elementary' actually benefited from 'Sherlock' coming first. 'Sherlock' has taken great pains to use many elements of the original stories, which has given 'Elementary' the freedom (or made it necessary, depending on how true the stories about the BBC watching for copyright infringements are) to take things in completely different directions.

 

VampireNomad

It's a great liberation, I think. Regardless of whether it's a forced or voluntary departure, it's allowed 'Elementary' to take great flights of independence which in turn allows the series to co-exist quite pleasantly. I always say to people "you don't have to choose between them - they cohabit beautifully and can both be watched with no troubles between them"

It's not just rote differences, as you noted. It's fundamental differences while still embodying the true essences of the characters.

 

CmdrAJD

Absolutely. I like them both quite a bit. 'Sherlock''s Moriarty was quite a change from the original, but then 'Elementary' was able to put an entirely new twist on it that I still felt worked exceptionally well.

 

VampireNomad

Agreed on both counts. I enjoy both Moriarty's. Though I admittedly generally am more devoted to 'Elementary''s characters (I just really adore Miller's Sherlock and Liu's Watson) I slightly prefer 'Sherlock''s Moriarty. That said, there's really nothing Natalie Dormer can't do. She's wondrous. I just tend to prefer her as Anne Boleyn and Margaery Tyrell.

 

CmdrAJD

I thought she was tremendous, particularly in her return episode a few weeks ago.

Miller's take on Holmes didn't work for me at first (certainly not like Cumberbatch, who I liked immediately), but he's grown on me.

 

VampireNomad

Her return episode was so brilliant!

I don't know, I just immediately adored Miller's Sherlock and took some time to warm to Cumberbatch. But to each their own, right? I do have a hands-down favorite Mycroft, though. 'Sherlock''s. 'Sherlock''s Mycroft is... oh man... he's like this absolutely divine thing. I love him.

 

CmdrAJD

Agreed. He's fantastic. Have you seen all of the new season? He has some of his best scenes ever in the final episode of the group.

 

VampireNomad

Mark Gatiss is the actor's name. He's amazing!

I have one left to watch. But every time Mycroft is onscreen I am immediately enthralled.

 

CmdrAJD

He writes the show. He acts in the show. He is amazing.

 

VampireNomad

I was going to say my standard high compliment which is "Mycroft is my spirit animal" but I already JUST gave that title to Dean on 'Supernatural' and can't dish it out again so soon. ;)

And I actually do think Dean is my spirit animal so I'll just have to love Mycroft differently.

 

CmdrAJD

He doesn't strike me as approving of the title anyway.

 

VampireNomad

Hahahahaha

How true

 

CmdrAJD

What really struck me about Dormer's return episode was just how good she and Miller are at playing brilliant. I'm not an actor, so I don't know how they go about preparing to play a genius (and I'm sure the process is different for each actor). Still, watching Dormer in her scenes with Liu, it was so obvious just from her facial expressions and reading of the dialogue that her mind was operating on a completely different level. I know it's acting and what she gets paid for, but damn she's good at it.

 

VampireNomad

It's very true. Both her and Miller's characters are clearly thinking circles around the other characters but in reality they're all just people - so to convey that sense of analytic detachment while at the same time basically puppeteering the world around them is a great achievement. I also must give props to Lucy Liu's Watson for being the most quietly effective. Every episode she grows and sees and understands more than you ever realize and it's subtle, this observation, and she does it in a way that you believe but is never trumpeted.

 

CmdrAJD

Her development as an investigator has been one of the real triumphs of the show.

 

VampireNomad

That's so true. It's a believable arc, one of quiet achievement and true study.

 

- Corinne Simpson and Alan Decker