Blu-ray Review: ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’

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In “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” Sherlock Holmes goes up against his arch nemesis Professor James Moriarity. He and Watson are caught up in an international mystery that takes them from London to Germany and then to the cold mountains of Switzerland. Holmes must foil Moriarity’s diabolical scheme before he causes a world war. 

Sequels can go south very quick. I was happy this wasn’t the case here. With the release of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD, I was given the chance to re-evaluate it.

Upon a second viewing, this is still a great movie. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its flaws.The only real issue is the beginning of the film, where it feels like Ritchie is trying to frontload it a bit too much. The rest of the movie moves along at a good pace and keeps viewers riveted. Don’t try watching this in a noisy room or while doing something else because it’s way too complex and you won’t be able to keep up. 

The movie is visually dazzling and it carries over wonderfully in high definition. The picture is clear and enhances the grim beauty of turn-of-the-century London as well as the crisp and cold landscapes of Switzerland.The CGI used to sculpt some of the backgrounds blends excellently with the live-action aspects of the movie.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The 5.1 surround sound mix delivers a wonderful audio experience. The musical score is excellent and really complements the action and drama seen onscreen. There’s plenty of gunplay, punching, and background sounds to keep adventure fanatics’ adrenaline pumping.

There are two special features actually on the Blu-ray. One is a Maximum Movie Mode picture-in-picture video commentary featuring Robert Downey Jr. The actor shares his thoughts and ideas on the movie. Fans of Downey Jr. will love this.

Seven “Focus Points” featurettes are also included. They’re entitled “Holmesavision on Steroids,” “Moriarty’s Master Plan Unleashed,” “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry,” “Meet Mycroft Holmes,” “Sherlock Holmes: Under the Gypsy Spell,” “Guy Ritchie’s Well-Oiled Machine,” and “Holmes Without Borders.”

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

You get the A Game of Shadows Movie App, which gives viewers more access to special features. A lot of this material is usually found directly on the release but not so here. You have to download the app to your mobile device or tablet and sync them up to get to them. It would be a lot more convenient if they were located directly on the disc.

Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and movie fans will be happy with the “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack. There’s some entertaining extras and a great film with a pristine high definition transfer to make it worth everyone’s hard-earned cash. Consumers will no doubt feel they get their money’s worth when purchasing.