Tag Archives: sherlock holmes

The Best Movie Characters of the Decade

Remember I promised my “decade” posts? Well, it’s the end of December, so I guess it’s the right time for them. I guess most of them will be film related, not because I don’t read or listen music, but because the books I read and music I listen are, most of the time, created in the previous decades.

Oh, and btw, the decade started in 2001, so these all cover 2001-2010 period.

An important note: I put “the best” in title because it’s short… But it’s actually my favourite characters, regardless of their actual quality or the opinion other people have about them.

5. Joker

The best thing about “The Dark Knight” (and the only good thing about it, besides Gary Oldman with a mustache). And while a lot of the hype was generated after Ledger’s death, it would be unfair to say the character (or performance) didn’t deserve it. Joker was unique and a whole world for himself, and you could just feel there was always more about this character than meets the eye.

The best thing about him: The air of mystery, and the fact will probably never know the whole story, just add to the appeal.
The worse thing: While certainly memorable, one must admit part of the hype is due to Ledger’s death, so it’s impossible to determine exactly how much of an impact would character otherwise have.
Personal story: This is the only character on the list I don’t have a personal connection with; I put him solely because he’s really memorable on himself. The only thing I could share is the fact he made an otherwise overrated movie watchable for me.

4. Juno

What is great about Juno is that she is, obviously, not a realistic character… Yes she does seem like one. Sadly, there are not many female characters like her in media these days, particularly not those who encounter the problems she had in the movie. Juno has a perfect mix of a tomboyish charm and femininity.
The best thing about her: She is unique, and yet, it’s easy to identify with her.
The worst thing: Hype backlash. While Juno is certainly an adorable character, she is not as great as people claimed at one point.
Personal story: I admit it, one of the main reasons I like Juno is… She looks and acts like me. A lot. (Minus the teenage pregnancy thing). Some people don’t notice this, but it’s really rare to see a tomboy character who is, well, chose to how tomboy girls really are. So yes, you could say I got attached to the character a lot.

3. Jack Sparrow

Hands down, he’s my favourite male character of the decade. The fact he’s played by Johnny Depp (who I admired and… admired (if you know what I mean) for more than a decade). Jack Sparrow was so beautifully over the top and he stole the show in a second (remember, Pirates of the Caribbean were supposed to be all about Will and Elisabeth!)

The best thing about him: He made the world realize Johny Depp’s greatness. Way too much, perhaps. (To the point I miss his earlier, indie roles).
The worst thing: Lame sequels. The character got old fast.
Personal story: It was the summer of 2003 and I was really lonely. It sounds pretty lame, but Johnny Depp in heavy makeup sure made me feel a little better!

2. Kitten

A transgendered orphan on a search for mother, love and acceptance, who gets to meet many people (IRA members are just for start), but holds onto her unique world. It’s impossible not to like Kitten and hope she’ll be alright. Sometimes you cringe at her need to ignore the bad things, but at the end, you can’t help but liking her.

The best thing about her: Her innocence and optimism. Admittedly, sometimes it’s way too much, but you can’t help but like her and hope the things would eventually turn good for her.
The worst thing: Breakfast on Pluto was a fantastic film, but it wasn’t for everyone, so not many people got to see Kitten.
Personal story: I am really attached to this character because she reminds me of my grandmother (minus the transgender part). My grandmother had the same optimism, born out of despair. A lot of bad things happened to her (both of her sons died, for example), so she just learned to shut herself from the horrors around.

She was always smiling and talking about stuff such as clothes and makeup (she loved pink and funny music). It was annoying, this optimism of hers, because she was often blind to the real world around her, but it’s not like one fails to understand how she came to be like that. So it’s impossible to watch Kitten and not to see her in the character.

1. Amélie Poulain

My favourite character of the decade. I could dedicate several posts to her and the impact this movie had on me.
The best thing about her: She is unique, maybe even quirky, but it’s easy to relate to her.
The worst thing: Once again, the hype backlash. After the initial praise for the film and the character, people got a bit tired of Amélie. But it doesn’t mean she’s not a fantastic character.
Personal story: I’ve watched this film in 2002, during a lonely summer. Watching Amélie gave me so much hope. I’ve never seen a movie character so close to what I really was, whatever that meant. So Amélie has a special place in my heart.

Honorable mentions: Briony (Atonement), Sinéad (The Wind that Shakes the Barley), Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings), Sherlock Holmes, Snape (Harry Potter series).

What to do when you have 2 days off

Some useful advice:

  • Sleep in.
  • Don’t do anything in particular. Because you can.
  • Go to movies. Watch something profound or entertaining, but not obviously crappy (no romantic comedies, action films or parodies).
  • Listen to the music that was popular when you were 14 and that you considered crappy at the time. It’s still crappy, but at least you get to remember your early teens.
  • Visit blogs, comment, update your own website.
  • Make love to your loved one.
  • Eat popcorn. Lots of it.
  • Think about your novel. Plan it. Research. Daydream. Then plan and research again. Then daydream. And daydream a little more. It’s good for writing. It’s necessary.
  • Go to bed at 4 AM. Because you can.
  • Relax, take it easy. Don’t try to do way too many things.

Well, it looks like I did follow those tips this weekend (well, most of it). My husband and I are going to cinema tonight (to get a proper watching of “Sherlock Holmes”, because we decided watching a fun film again is better than giving more money to something we are sure it’s not really our thing (“Avatar”). But I will watch “Avatar” and talk about it- just not at the moment. For now, I want to relax, have fun, do nothing and don’t think about anything really profound… Except my novel.

Bonus track: 25 things I learned reading “Twilight”

This is a long overdue, last (?) installment of “Twilight” spitttings. So I realized it’s best to post them here first, then move them to their appropriate page in the spittings section.

  1. Sex with a vampire can kill you, but only if it’s premarital.
  2. Abusive, controlling behaviour is ok as long as it’s “true love”.
  3. So is pedophilia.
  4. Women are inferior to men.
  5. If they’re not, they’re infertile.
  6. Bad people are ugly, good people are beautiful (even if they don’t find themselves pretty and bitch about that all the time).
  7. Kids treat their parents as crap.
  8. It’s possible to be non-white and attractive (in a wild, uncivilized way), but it’s not nearly as attractive as being pale and white.
  9. In order to know anything about cars and sports, you must posses Y chromosome.
  10. If your boyfriend of 6 months leaves you, it’s perfectly ok to become suicidal.
  11. Blond females are stupid, bitchy and mean. All of them.
  12. Using swear words is bad, but stalking someone isn’t.
  13. Desire to have sex is a good enough reason to get married.
  14. Girls don’t need any skills apart from cooking, and no ambition apart of finding a man.
  15. Clumsiness is attractive. Safety helmets are sexy.
  16. People with bad complexion are not worth your attention.
  17. In order to feel smart, you should read classics such as Jane Austin and Shakespeare. You don’t have to understand a word of what you’ve read, though.
  18. Being forced into a relationship is romantic.
  19. Obsession and lust are easily confused for a true love.
  20. It’s perfectly ok for a father to hate his own child.
  21. Policemen are cowards.
  22. Being older than your boyfriend is a major disaster.
  23. It’s perfectly ok to neglect your child if you want to have sex.
  24. Logic is highly overrated.
  25. In order to sell a book, you don’t need any talent, writing skills or an editor.

Sherlock Holmes: Captivating and Memorable

Sherlock HolmesI was sure I wouldn’t like this film. Sherlock Holmes as an action hero, in Guy Ritchie style? No way.

I was in for a surprise.

My first impulse was- “this is ridiculous and it makes no sense”. Well, it doesn’t, does it?- which is exactly what makes this film memorable. Maybe I am giving Guy Ritchie way too much credit, but he didn’t simply made “Sherlock Holmes with many fight scenes”- he actually made a pretty good deconstruction of the story. Ritchie’s reading of Sherlock Holmes might not be close to mine, but he managed to make a memorable story which, against all odds, make sense- the way it is.

Unique reading of the story

First ten minutes or so were predictable, in a way I was almost bored (excessive movie action often does that to me). But restaurant scene with Mary blew me away, and it’s followed by the boxing match- so yes, you could say it got me interested.

Roger Ebert wrote in his review, “The less I thought about Sherlock Holmes, the more I liked “Sherlock Holmes.” Which is a good advice for anybody who likes traditional interpretations of A.C. Doyle’s stories (or anyone who is not crazy about fight scenes). But one must understand this is Sherlock Holmes; it’s not any less “true” because it’s not traditional. It’s Doyle’s world deconstructed, and you can see this in all the little details: allusions to original A.C.Doyle stories (along with quotes), setting (not true to the time, but not random either), and, perhaps the most interesting one, the clues left for the audience to deduct character’s past.

Robert Downey Jr. as HolmesThe best thing about this film, however, was Robert Downey Jr. His dirty, sweaty, smelly- but at the same time witty, hedonistic and egoistic Holmes is simply captivating. As interesting Ritchie’s reading of the story might be, not many actors could pull it off. It simply wouldn’t work well- or work at all- without Robert Downey Jr. Just like Johnny Depp is captain Jack Sparrow, Downey is this unique Sherlock Holmes. He completely stole the show- but it’s more than that. There wouldn’t be this film without him. Period.

The bad things?

You can’t really count often incomprehensible action sequences, since they’re meant to be that way. The only thing I really disliked were the female characters. Kelly Reilly’s Mary was so and so, but for some reason I couldn’t stand Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler. “She looks and acts too modern!” would be my first complaint, though, in whole honesty, you can say that for all the characters, as well as setting. But I still feel she didn’t belong there; she wasn’t captivating enough, interesting enough, memorable enough. Maybe the woman simply can’t act. But I am so happy they didn’t (spoiler) have wild sex (they didn’t, did they?), that would spoil everything.

The best of

  • -Boxing scene with “Rocky Road to Dublin” in the background. Not as amusing as fight scene in “Snatch” with “Golden Brown” in the background, but equally awesome.
  • -Art direction and cinematography. They are excellent, and serve the story perfectly.
  • -Watson with a brain. I hate interpretations that make him mentally slow (to say the least).
  • -Clues left for us to deduct character’s past.
  • -Unique vision of the story and setting.
  • -Last, but certainly not the least: Robert Downey Jr.