Mr. Holmes (Blu-ray)

December 3, 2015 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Ever wonder what Sherlock Holmes was like in his later years? Mr. Holmes attempts to answer that question. Ian McKellen plays Holmes, and he’s battling early dementia and befriends a young boy named Roger (Milo Parker). He’s the son of Holmes housekeeper. Roger and Holmes grow closer as they spend their days taking care of bees. Holmes begins to really admire Roger. Holmes is bothered by the fictional account of himself written by his former partner, Dr. Watson. He attempts to set the record straight, but has some difficulty in his later age. Holmes does start to remember more of the past as he spends time with Roger. This helps refresh his memory. We see various flashbacks of his earlier days as a detective. We see the event that caused Holmes to retire. It is indeed a tragic one, but not one I will reveal here. After a second set of flashbacks, we eventually come back to the present day which brings the film full circle.

I admit that I was never the biggest fan of Sherlock Holmes, so admittedly, this wasn’t the most interesting film to me. I also prefer seeing this detective in his prime for a feature film, and not a story of this sort. The acting is fine and it’s certainly a sweet story, but also a very slow and plodding one. I can’t see myself revisiting it any time in the near future. I can appreciate the film more than I can enjoy it. We certainly get a unique take on Sherlock Holmes. Still, the story didn’t quite intrigue me enough. For those curious to see another side of Holmes, then this film may be more for you. For all others, I’d suggest sticking with something else.

Video: How’s it look?

Presented in a 2.35:1 AVC HD encode, Mr. Holmes looks every bit the part. McKellen has a very unique look to him and the sheer clarity of the Blu-ray enables us to get a look at his face. Flesh tones are warm and natural, and it even appears that Victorian London seems to have a few sunny days. How nice. This is yet another shining example of a new to Blu-ray film that looks every bit as good as we’d imagine it would. Nary a complaint here, this one delivers.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The included DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack more than serves its purpose for the film. As any fan of Holmes knows, the majority will be dialogue-driven (elementary, of course) but the film does make way for a few instances of surround sound. The front stage does take the brunt of the soundtrack, but when Holmes boards a train, there surrounds are active as when a swarm of bees are featured – it was a nice effect. Aside from that, this is a pretty straight-forward track that more than works.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Mr. Holmes: The Icon – An all too brief with a few words by Ian McKellen as he takes on the role of the world’s most celebrated (fictional) detective.
  • Mr. Holmes: The Story – A short featurette in which the plot of the movie is shown. I like to call that a trailer.
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

It’s hard to dislike a film that has its heart in the right place, but I still can’t say Mr. Holmes did much for me. There are some fairly interesting elements here, but I’m more content with seeing the detective solve a case in his prime, not looking back on it.

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