I blame Charlie Rose. He has a marvelous series – Why Shakespeare? – running right now. Jude Law was one of the guests, with an ulterior motive – promoting the second Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes film. Law plays Watson. I really didn’t like the first film. But Law talked about how much he, Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. had learned on the first and how that had improved the second. So when I arrived at the cinema yesterday and found that the film I came to watch would not start until later in the day, I purchased a ticket to Sherlock Holmes and hoped that Law spoke the truth.
He did. I only looked at my watch once, and I laughed, out loud, more than once. A vast improvement on the first film. Still stylish. Still influenced by Asian fight films. The second Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes film had sass, a soundtrack and Stephen – Frye that is. Oh yes, and Jared Harris – the best performance of a villain that I’ve seen in years. [Yes, better than Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort.]
I only looked at my watch once during the entire film, because the pacing was tighter than the first. SPOILER ALERT – The opening exposition was a delicious bit of choreography, and in true SH style, what appears to be true might not be.
Garry Marshall‘s New Year’s Eve was the film that had drawn me to the theatre. What better film to watch on the last day of the year? As it turned out, none better. That ensemble comedy turned out to be a three-hanky tear-jerker albeit with laughs. I loved this movie.
The multiple plots were deftly handled. There wasn’t one that I didn’t want to know how it unfolded. The cast was huge, and often surprising. That might have been the only drawback, because some times a bit part had a name player in it, and that pulled me out of the moment – but just for a moment.
The big star of the film was New York City during the holidays. The year that Brokeback Mountain came out, I arrived in Manhattan on the 1st of January. Confetti still lay on the street in Times Square. FAO Schwartz was dressed for Christmas and the Rockefeller Center tree was still alight. The magic I felt as I walked the streets then was captured in this film.
I am adding New Year’s Eve to my list of favourite contemporary holiday films.