Sherlock Holmes

So I’ve recently seen the new Sherlock Holmes movie, and while it’s far too early in the morning to write a proper review I’m curious to hear how many of you have seen it/liked it/hated it/what have you. Vaguely steampunk, with all the pretty tech? Kind of silly?

Personally, I liked it, but what really caught my interest was the brief debate that came after…

The idea that Holmes and Watson might be gay is a pretty damn old idea, and the film definitely played with that a bit – the first thing you see in Watson’s office is several statues of naked men. However, when Robert Downey Jr. joked about it, the woman who owns the copyright to Sherlock Holmes in the United States threatened to not allow a sequel if they implied Holmes or Watson was gay.

(By the way…. does anyone know how she even owns the copyright?)

But, gay sequel or not, I really enjoyed it!

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16 Responses to “Sherlock Holmes”

  1. I’ve seen the movie a few days ago, I think it’s pretty awesome. This woman, How the hell did she get the ownership of the franchise? The lady can’t take a joke apparently.
    I recommend on who reads and loves the books to see this, it’s Sherlock Holmes with a twist of Indiana Jones.

  2. I’m no expert on the subject, but dctopman’s comments after the article here ( seem to suggest that her claims may not be as strong as she’s representing them to be.

  3. Ugh…I think America is far too fixated on whose gay and who isn’t. I love the interaction between the two, but it would absolutely ruin the characters for me if they made them gay.

    By the way, I love the film, (Seen it three times already. XD) It feeds my Victorian obsession beast. 😀

  4. All things considered, especially choice of director, great movie.
    I dont know about any of this gay talk.
    However, the books never insinuate any kind of relationship of that type.
    Lets not spoil a great series of books and short stories by this distraction.
    I notice most who are so opinionated about Sherlock Holmes dont know
    the stories. Try reading a book people.
    The newest version was a bit enhanced with extra action.
    yet the portrayal of Holmes was nearly right. He was a boxer and martial artist,
    did experiments on the dog, a bit arrogant and blunt. And brilliant.
    Try Jeremy Brett as Holmes, none better.

  5. Here’s another link on the copyright issue ( Copyrights can be extended if the work is changed. But it does get a bit complex with earlier works being in the public domain.

    I liked the movie, much funnier than I expected. Loved the fast banter. Some detail tweaked me a bit like Homes wearing a belt and braces, although one time he used the belt to escape. Guy in the tube ran the cold water while in the tube instead of the hot. Tower bridge under construction appeared to be 100 years old. It’s a Homes movie, who’s not looking at details?

  6. Ah, so it wasn’t bad? I’ve been waiting to hear a few reviews before giving the prestigious Mr. Downey a shot. As for the “real” Holmes and Watson’s bedroom lives, I would honestly say that any homosexually detected is really just a product of culture separation. It was once not uncommon for two British gents to embrace without reprise;) Although, I think it was always adorable.

  7. Oh, I don’t for a moment believe that Holmes and Watson were ever intended to be gay characters… but the idea is a long-lived and amusing one, so I see no harm in playing with it!

    Waterbug: I was also a bit confused about how old Tower Bridge was supposed to be, but it made for an awesome-looking end scene, so I guess it’s all good? haha.

  8. Totally enjoyed it. I think it’s the most fun I had at a 2009 movie.

    The Sherlock-Watson gay thing: well, it’d depend on how it was done.


  9. If the Doyle “estate” is going to raise a fuss about THAT, they clearly need a colonic.

    As for Holmes and Watson having a gay relationship, I suspect, vaguely, that the compulsion to make Holmes gay may have something to do with the idea that Victorians were effete. I frown at this, Sir. I frown.

    I’m a big fan of making everybody queer just to annoy people — but to make Holmes and Watson gay would actually kind of be insulting to the concept of male-male friendship and love. As it’s shown in the original stories, I see their relationship as being at least as complex as a romantic male-male relationship, and introducing sex into it would be…interesting, but not really true to the characters. I would consider this an application of filmmaker’s hubris, not genuinely inspired re-imagining. Such a thing seems potentially to be little divorced from Sadaam and Satan on South Park.

    As of 1996 UK is a Life + 70 country, and Doyle died in 1930, I assume the claim of copyright for Holmes derives from derivations of later revisions.

    If the woman in question owned the copyright to something authorized anew after Doyle’s death but while the original works were still under the life + 70 copyright, she might argue that the new movie took character material or details from the newer works that were still under copyright.

    But I’d think that would be a REALLY hard sell.

  10. No, I haven’t seen it yet.
    I think the Plummer film made an oblique reference at a sexual dimension to the Holmes/Watson relationship, if I remember well.
    I’d be more interested in a look at Holmes as Watson’s “invisible friend” and alter-ego in a “Walter Mitty” sort of way.

  11. It seems that there was a problem of finances in Doyle’s estate – thus Holmes became property of a Scottish Bank, who then sold the US rights to a consortium (or sommat), whereupon the last sole owner married the woman in question – and after their divorce she sued.

    And Sued.

    And Sued some more, and apparently has won herself the rights to the franchise as far as the United States is concerned after some decades in litigation.

  12. Just recently came across an article that helps explain the copyright issues:

  13. I Loved this movie..and willing to watch it again…
    I think Mr. Downey jr. portrayed the charachter excellently.. and no, I dont think they are gay .. just friends…

  14. Just seen it yesterday.
    The after review in our round brought up the phenomenon of steampunk, which is why i ended up here..
    So i guess it’s pretty much teampunk, especially the doomsday machine under the parliament.
    In general, it’s pure GuyRitchie stuff with booze, fighting and more fighting…
    I think he deserves a Knight button of sorts,
    for portraying the old english enviroment.
    blody brilliant, i say..

  15. i find it hilarious that all the attention is directed as to whether or not Holmes and Watson were gay (which is a subject not at all touched upon by the books) and not at all on the fact that Holmes was a frequent user of cocaine, which is explicitly stated more than once.

    Y’know. Don’t worry kids, we’ll just portray Holmes as both a brilliant mind AND a substance abuser (alcohol in the 2009 movie, tobacco and coke in the book & TV show), which is sure to give you a clear idea about mental health, but God forbid there be any mention of homosexuality! Needless to say, I think people are sort of missing the point with the gay thing.

    And also, the movie took plenty of liberties with the canon anyway- I felt it was more about playing around with the characters than anything else, so I think we can afford to take it a little more tongue-in-cheek than, say, a Brett version of Holmes. Besides, if they were going to take the gay-spin in the next movies, they’d have a lot of explaining to do with all that Watson-has-a-wife and Holmes-digs-Adler expose in this one.

    At the end of the day, Plunket’s getting way too hyped up about an amusing fan-created concept which isn’t really part of Doyle’s original creation. You want gay? Go read Oscar Wilde.

  16. LOVED the production design (well-deserved Oscar nominations) and was not disappointed in Ritchie’s direction… paced well-enough for the action/mystery/buddy film that it purports to be it certainly carries through on all that. Its re-creation of Victorian London, high and low, was very finely done with immaculate details and just the right balance between plot, character, and place for the mainstream Hollywood entertainment that it is.

    My big complaint is the totally unnecessary addition of the female love interest/triangle but thank goodness they didn’t spend too much time on her! Rachel McAdams was definatley – in character and acting chops – the weakest link in the whole film and had the potential to bring it all crashing down if she was given any more screen time. Ugh, probably Joel Silver’s idea.

    There was a little Steampunk addition at the end which wasn’t required to make this film appealing to anyone who enjoys the aesthetic or just the Victorian without that additional flair.

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