SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Jared Harris
Distributed by Alliance Entertainment
A BIGGER threat hounds the world’s most well-known detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and his sidekick Dr Watson (Jude Law) in this sequel.
The two partner up with a gypsy, Sim (Noomi Rapace) to bring down their greatest and deadliest enemy, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).
Everybody loves Downey and Law, and the first movie was such a success that their fans clamoured for the sequel.
Like most sequels, it was hard for director Guy Ritchie to make it as good as the first one. Still, A Game Of Shadows has lots of action to keep the audience entertained.
The visual wonder of the 18th Century sets, although often gloomy and dark, is awesome. The special effects used on some scenes are equally spectacular, especially the shoot-out scene in the forest where bullets zoom in on Holmes and the gang.
It is a whole new plot altogether, so one does not need to watch the first one before watching A Game Of Shadows.
With commendable acting by Downey, Law and Harris, and some clever humour thrown in, this film is a must-watch.
Among the DVD features is Sherlock Holmes And Dr Watson: A Perfect Chemistry, an interesting behind-the-scenes commentary by Law, Downey and the filmmakers on the two characters’ and the actors’ unique relationship.
Other featurettes include Holmesavision, which focuses on the technology behind Holmes’ slow-motion vision in some scenes and Moriarty’s Master Plan Unleashed, a look at the villain’s murderous plans in the film.
Directed by Eric Brevig
Starring Anna Faris and Tom Cavanagh, and voiced by Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake
Distributed by Alliance Entertainment
THE once-famous Jellystone Park will be closing, since the number of visitors are decreasing. Mayor Brown also wants to make some money by selling the land.
This means that Yogi (Dan Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake) will lose their home. They join forces with Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and documentary filmmaker Rachel (Anna Faris) to save the park.
Amidst all this, Yogi must prove to everyone that he is “smarter than the average bear”, which is difficult to do since he is such a klutz.
This is the part where you cringe at whatever mishap the bear gets into. No adult mind can handle the lame jokes and not-so-funny slapstick acts by the two bears Yogi and Boo Boo. In fact, they are over the top.
The story is simple and light. With a plot that makes every school teacher happy (since it is so full of life lessons), it is a typical kid’s film.
However, the film version doesn’t bring the same excitement as the cartoon version of Yogi Bear. The bear’s interaction with the real-life adults seem amiss in some scenes.
Even the DVD bonus features are for kids. One teaches young viewers to keep parks clean, while another one invites kids to “look” for Yogi.
It also shows the making of the film with interviews with the cast and crew.
WE BOUGHT A ZOO
Directed by Cameron Crowe
Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johannson, Thomas Haden Church
Distributed by Movie Magic
AFTER losing his wife, Benjamin (Matt Damon) buys a large house that comes with a zoo, much to the thrill of his daughter and the anger of his son. In spite of it, Benjamin works to reopen the zoo with the help of the head keeper Kelly (Scarlett Johannson) and the zoo staff.
The zoo soon runs into a financial trouble, so Benjamin and the others must find a way to get it back to its former glory.
We Bought A Zoo is about losing a loved one and learning to move on.
Damon delivers an amazing performance as a single father. He shows a sense of vulnerability that connects easily with the audience.
Director Cameron Crowe brings more to the table than just family drama. The animals — tigers, bears, ostriches and zebras — are probably the highlight of the film.
Still, Crowe never forgets to emphasise the emotional journey the characters go through. The hardships that Benjamin and his family experience are heartbreaking but the way they go through it all is the most important.
There is only one DVD feature and it highlights the cast working with animals for the film. It is a wonderful look at how the cast get used to the animals, and the animal trainers at work.