Monday, April 18, 2005

Sherlock Explosion!

I've noticed in the past few weeks that certain big shot authors like Michael Chabon, Caleb Carr, and not-so-big shot authors like Mitch Cullin, (as well as hack anthology editor Martin H. Greenberg) have either come out with or are coming out with, new Sherlock Holmes books. Not being the biggest reader of the original canon of Arthur Conan Doyle, I usually prefer the adaptations and these updates. It has to be pretty bad (Holmes In Space!) for me to ignore it.

The first one of these guys to really make an impression for me was Nicholas Meyer and his book "The Seven-Percent Solution" . This of course, helped him to eventually become a filmmaker, and, oddly enough, a guy responsible for truly reviving Star Trek. Read his filmography, and you'll see what I mean.

My favorite Holmes film is "Zero Effect", a film that takes all of the characteristics of Holmes (brilliant detective, master of disguise, inhuman, with a sidekick who is his human contact with the outside world), a plot of an Arthur Conan Doyle story (A Scandal In Bohemia) and modernizes it into a bizarre 90's comedy. It also adds a sly reference to "Love Story" in it, through the character played by Ryan O'Neal. This is a film that was sold more as a Ben Stiller comedy, but since he is the Watson of the story, it is really a return of Bill Pullman, master comic actor. You know this if you've seen him in Ruthless People, as "the world's stupidest man", as one character calls him.

Written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan's son, Jake, who never cops to ripping off Holmes in the commentary on the dvd, this is one of the great unsung films of the nineties. Check it out, Joe Bob would say.


Pisser said...

Am trying to decide whether an explosion of Sherlock is a good thing...

Good to hear your wife is still with you!

your fiend, mr. jones said...

It is a good thing if the vehicle is good.

My wife and I enjoy a relationship where the agreement to disagree on the merits of Zero Effect is in full place.

Pisser said...

A very well-adjusted pair, indeed.