Film (with rating): Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13)
Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) hunt down the evil
Professor Moriarty (a wonderfully villainous Jared Harris) who has unleashed a
plot to start a world war.
knew the sequel would be better than its predecessor? “Game of
Shadows” once again includes Downey and Law as the main players, and their
chemistry and acting talent propel this flick high on the star chart. I’m a fan
of Downey, mainly because the guy once had his life–literally–in the gutter.
And look at him now. Anyone who can transform a life like that gets my respect.
So even before I saw “Game of Shadows,” I gave it the benefit of the
doubt. It did not disappoint.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film makes good use of the
gray, drab 19th century London atmosphere as well as other locations
throughout Europe. The action sequences, especially one on a train, are
surprisingly good and anxiety-provoking. One gripe: Ritchie tends to overwork
some of those action scenes, especially when he utilizes the slow-motion
feature. It’s a bit like spice in a recipe. A little goes a long way. Too much,
and all you can taste is the spice, not the food.
But overall, “Game of Shadows” wins. The plot is
clean, the characters are likeable, the actors did a bang-up job with their
roles and the villain is awesome. Harris really carved out a great “bad
guy” in Moriarty. Mostly, I’m impressed that this sequel surpassed the
first in the series. So even with a few faults (come on! Give Rachel McAdams
more than 48 seconds of screen time!), “Game of Shadows” is a hit.
Maximum Movie Mode:
Inside the Mind of Sherlock Holmes
What to serve for dinner: For this week’s meatless entre, let’s try a London
staple, veggie style–vegetarian bangers and mash (starkrecipes.com).
4 Yves Vegetarian Spicy Italian Sausages, sliced into rounds
2 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
Generous handful mushrooms, chopped
Generous handful kale, washed and chopped
2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
Generous splash balsamic vinegar
4-6 red potatoes, steamed or boiled
Butter and milk to taste
Put potatoes to cook. While they are softening, heat oil in
large saucepan. Add chopped onions and garlic and saut until translucent. Add
chopped sausage and mushrooms and saut, stirring, until sausage looks brown
and appetizing. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Add washed kale and pepper, turn
heat down to low and cover, just for a few minutes – don’t overcook.
Mash potatoes with butter and milk. Serve a cup of mashed
potatoes topped with sausage and veggies. Serves four.
What to talk about over dinner: What was your favorite action sequence? What did
you think of the chemistry between Holmes and Watson? How did Robert Downey Jr.
transform his life so dramatically? Do you enjoy period pieces? Are you looking
forward to the London Olympics next month? What’s your favorite sport? Have you
ever been to London? If you could go back in time, would you visit 19th
century Europe? Why or why not? What would it be like to live in that time?
What’s your favorite line from the film? Was the dialog too modern? Do you
think Guy Ritchie ever got tired of being called Mr. Madonna?