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Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:36 pm
by SnoopyDances
Sherlock Gnomes opens today! :lovehearts:

Post professional and personal reviews here. :popcorn: :soda:

From Variety:

Film Review: ‘Sherlock Gnomes’
They're wonderfully tactile eye candy, but the gnomes don't bring much to the party in the second of their mild, Elton John-fueled adventures.

“Sherlock Gnomes,” the sequel to “Gnomeo & Juliet” (which came out in 2011 — how on earth did we manage to keep our anticipation under control for this long?), lists Elton John as its sole executive producer, just as the earlier film did. The new movie not only features Elton John’s music (though there’s significantly less of it than there was in “Gnomeo & Juliet”) but a smattering of cutely over-obvious Elton John in-jokes.

When Gnomeo (James McAvoy), the far too square and colorless hero who still looks like the son of C. Everett Koop, tries to infiltrate a flower shop, his comrade, Benny (Matt Lucas), speaks to him over a walkie-talkie using Gnomeo’s code name, Tiny Dancer. During a news report about how the garden gnomes of London are being mysteriously snatched, a photo montage of missing gnomes includes an Elton John gnome seated at a glittery piano. And unless I’m mistaken, the film’s villain, Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou), a dastardly yellow mascot in a purple diaper and bowtie who suggests an evil version of Baby New Year, has been given a physiognomy — spaced-out chicklet teeth, curvy smile and gleam — that’s a winking echo of Sir Elton’s.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but what exactly is the point of all this Eltoniana? “Gnomeo & Juliet” had enough vintage songs to qualify as an Elton John musical, and they helped to glide you through the movie. But it was still as though someone had said, “Let’s come up with a concept for a musical built around Elton John songs — the concept being that the story, the characters, and the whole damn spirit of the thing should have nothing whatsoever to do with Elton John.”

In “Sherlock Gnomes,” the director, John Stevenson (“Kung Fu Panda”), and the first-time screenwriter, Ben Zazove, seem to be casting about for something — anything! — to give their movie an identity, a hook beyond the noisy, frantic, and desperately tinny action on display. Compared to the average digital adventure devoted to, say, the Smurfs, “Sherlock Gnomes” features animation that’s fantastically detailed and tangible, with the surface of each garden gnome (notably their oblong hats) convincingly scuffed, pocked, cracked, chipped, corroded, weathered, distressed, and earth-encrusted in a way that makes you feel you could reach out and touch them.

They look marvelous, but as characters they’re on the flat, dull side. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, once again, voice Gnomeo and Juliet, who are now a couple, and the raging conflict between them is that Juliet…has her mind on other things. That’s about it. (Just wait until they have gnome-kids.) In addition to McAvoy and Blunt, “Sherlock Gnomes” showcases an unusually A-list pedigree of vocal talent (Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Johnny Depp voicing Sherlock Gnomes in an impeccably posh but rather anonymous English accent). Yet apart from Chiwetel Ejiofor, who lends Dr. Watson a layered melancholy, the actors give little life to the proceedings, since no one’s bothered to figure what this movie has to offer beyond terrifically tactile stone figures going through the motions of what might be called Generic Animated Action Rescue Plot, with chase scenes set to “The Bitch Is Back,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” and (during a ride on sewer rapids) “I’m Still Standing.”

Little ones may be charmed, but “Sherlock Gnomes” is benign yet witless, with almost no zip or panache or excitement. “Some say it’s a job for Sherlock Gnomes!” says the breathless TV newsreader, reporting on the theft of gnomes from eight adjoining gardens. “Others say it’s a slow news day!” I’d call it the latter.

There’s no kick or twist whatsoever to the character of Sherlock Gnomes. He’s just the classic tweedy snob-logician of legend, and his search for the missing gnomes leads him from one not-exotic-enough locale to the next: a Chinese restaurant where the jokes are both dim and borderline racist, a natural-history museum presided over by gargoyles who talk like East End thugs, and a doll museum where the stage-strutting character of Irene, voiced with gritty gusto by Mary J. Blige, shows up for no good reason apart from the fact that someone decided the movie needed to have at least one showstopper that wasn’t by Sir Elton. That said, the time is ripe for an Elton John musical, on stage or at the movies. He should even executive produce it. Just leave garden gnomes out of it.

Film Review: 'Sherlock Gnomes'

Reviewed at Regal E-Walk, New York, March 22, 2018. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 86 MIN.

PRODUCTION: A Paramount Pictures release of a Paramount Animation, MGM, Rocket Pictures production. Producers: David Furnish, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Carolyn Soper. Executive producer: Elton John.

CREW: Director: John Stevenson. Screenplay: Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Ben Zazove. Editors: Prakesh Patel, Mark Solomon. Music: Elton John, Chris Bacon.

WITH: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Demetriou, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Julie Walters, Ozzy Osbourne.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:38 pm
by SnoopyDances
Entertainment Weekly

Sherlock Gnomes is a serviceable family adventure sequel: EW review

In the wake of Paddington 2’s success, it’s hard to write off the potential of animated kids’ movie sequels. That’s especially true in the case of Sherlock Gnomes, the sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet. Sherlock Gnomes shares much of the Paddington films’ basic DNA, from the use of a beloved British folk character to a star-studded voice cast, but Sherlock Gnomes doesn’t quite have the originality and spark to make it a pop-culture phenomenon. Yet it’s still an enjoyable family adventure with a solid message.

Much like Disney films do with their fairy tales, Sherlock Gnomes softens some of the darkness from its source material. Here, the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets didn’t end in tragic death. When Sherlock Gnomes opens, Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are newly married, and are soon named by their parents as the new leaders of the garden community. Having just moved from Stratford-Upon-Avon to bustling London, the gnomes have a lot of yard work to do to get their new garden in shape, and it doesn’t take long for the stress to take a toll on Gnomeo and Juliet’s marriage. Their problems increase exponentially when every other gnome is suddenly kidnapped from the garden, necessitating the intervention of Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp), the self-professed protector of London’s garden gnomes. Where there’s Sherlock there must, of course, be Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), though the latter is starting to chafe under his friend’s condescension. The film’s main through-line, in fact, is the parallel between the Gnomeo/Juliet and Sherlock/Watson relationships, in which one friend starts to take the other for granted. Because they didn’t die tragically, this version of Romeo and Juliet instead have to learn that marriage is an everyday process of work and negotiation and appreciation — not too different from a platonic or working relationship, as Sherlock and Watson prove.

This film has just as much fun playing around with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes canon as the first film did with Shakespeare. The Hound of the Baskervilles is reimagined as a domineering dog at a local park, Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) becomes a pie mascot, and Mary J. Blige saunters through as a Barbie doll version of Irene Adler. The last of those is the most memorable (particularly when Irene forces Juliet to attend a tea party in her dollhouse, complete with imaginary tea), though the multiplicity of Sherlock Holmes parodies and reboots over the last decade has lessened the impact of these stories. The fact that Holmes’ canon is so well-known now that the plot also becomes fairly predictable, though cartoon dream sequences illustrating Sherlock’s leaps of deductive logic serve to shake up the movie every now and then. B-

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:43 pm
by SnoopyDances

‘Sherlock Gnomes’ Review: It’s No Mystery Why This Lazy Animated Sequel Is Just For Kids

Executive producer Elton John’s imprint is all over Sherlock Gnomes, the sequel to his 2011 animated effort, Gnomeo & Juliet, a cutesy toon take on Shakespeare that inevitably has sparked another literary-inspired sequel riffing on the legend on Britain’s most famous investigator, Sherlock Holmes. You can almost see the committee meeting to decide where to go next: “Hey, what rhymes with gnomes? Oh wait. Holmes! Let’s do it and just figure out some sort of story to go with the title!”

As I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), this largely flat sequel is blessed with a terrific returning voice cast to add much-needed spark, including James McAvoy and Emily Blunt back as Gnomeo and Juliet. The pair has survived the battle of the garden gnomes between the Montagues and Capulets and moved to London, where they plan to open their garden just in time for spring. Much to their horror, they discover that all of their garden gnomes are missing and, as it turns out, the same thing is happening in gardens all over the city. Who you gonna call? The Gnomebusters themselves: the great Sherlock Gnomes and his faithful sidekick Watson.

Joining the cast in those respective voice roles are Johnny Depp and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who lend a bit of wit and whimsy that might be appreciated by adults dragged to this by their kids but are lost on the small fries who won’t get the funny references such as Holmes suspecting an ordinary bulldog in the park is really the Hound of the Baskervilles. I laughed at that bit, but most of the flick is aimed at the youngest members of the family. Holmes and Watson, supposedly Gnomes themselves, are too subtly outfitted to match the rest of the cast and seem like cartoon versions of the real human counterparts they play. Aside from some clever 2D black-and-white sequences meant to show what goes on in Sherlock’s head, the overall un-inventive animation doesn’t help to pique interest or make this seem anything more original than an excuse to fill the soundtrack with a few Elton John classics, as well as a couple of new tunes written by the musical superstar and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin. One of those is for Mary J. Blige, who joins the cast as Irene, a Victorian doll with a rocky past involving Sherlock.

There’s always the obligatory villain, of course, and in this case it is the classic Holmes nemesis Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) — in the guise of the slimy mascot of Goobarb Pies, a pure junk food product oozing out of a mischievous character that causes lots of mayhem. Returning from the first film’s cast are Michael Caine and Maggie Smith, as heads of the manor and now retiring from running the garden; Stephen Merchant; and Ozzy Osbourne, who is back as Fawn but sadly has precious little to do in the frenetic plot revolving around Sherlock’s and Watson’s attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearing Gnomes.

John has not missed a beat in making this all about the music catalog, and Paramount and MGM, who teamed on the release, certainly will try to capitalize on the plush toys handed to critics attending the screening just so they don’t forget what these movies are really all about. Paramount opens the Rocket Pictures production Friday, just in time for spring break many of the kids who probably will eat it up even after being exposed to far more sophisticated toons from Disney/Pixar, DreamWorks and the like. The director is John Stevenson, working with a script by Ben Zazove and several writers with story credit. Producers in addition to EP John are Steve Hamilton Shaw, David Furnish, and Carolyn Soper.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:05 pm
by jruoss
I certainly don't like to put too much stock in reviews of anything involving Johnny, but I get the feeling this isn't one of his crowning achievements. I was so much more interested in Corpse Bride and Rango just based on the subject matter, and these reviews don't reveal anything that might make me feel differently. It does seem like a clunky combination: Elton John music and references combined with gnomes and Sherlock Holmes??? Johnny was talking about seeing Sherlock's voice as a "razor", but I didn't quite get that from the bits in the trailer etc. I feel like his participation had everything to do with his friendship with Elton, and not much else. Maybe I'll regret my negative tone here once I actually see the movie, but I think I'll wait for netflix on this one...

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:35 am
by SnoopyDances
I saw the movie tonight. :popcorn: :soda:

I just recently watched the first movie, Gnomio and Juliet. If you’ve seen that one you’ll find this along the same line. I did think this one was a bit stronger on plot since the first movie spent a lot of time introducing the characters. If you haven’t seen the first, don’t worry, this one is pretty easy to follow.

The audience was full of kids about 10 and under and all seemed to enjoy it. The kids could follow the plot and seemed to be glued to the screen.

The plot was simplistic for adults but still enjoyable. The entire audience gasped at the plot twist toward the end so it worked well.

Same Elton John music as the first movie. I can’t get “I’m still standing” out of head! :lol:

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:24 pm
by SnoopyDances
Has anyone else seen the movie yet?
What did you think?

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:46 pm
by Ade
Not out in the UK until May.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:14 pm
by SnoopyDances
Ade wrote:Not out in the UK until May.


Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:36 pm
by Sweeney Todd

Sherlock Gnomes is fun and engaging for the whole family

While not the most exciting sequel, Sherlock Gnomes is engaging enough to make a trip to the movies with the family worth it.

It has been seven years since we’ve seen our favorite garden gnomes. Sherlock Gnomes picks up not far from where the original left us. Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are still in love, but even fresh love has its issues.

After being placed in charge of their new garden home, Gnomeo and Juliet have two very different reactions — Gnomeo is excited and eager to decorate and freshen up the place, while Juliet stresses out to do the best she can. In doing so, Juliet pushes everything aside, including Gnomeo. And the more Gnomeo tries to get on Juliet’s good side, the more she pulls away.

There’s little time to work through their problems, as a bigger issue quickly presents itself. Gnomes all over the city are going missing. The mysterious Gnome-napper is taking gnomes and leaving clues behind for Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp), protector of all London Gnomes, to find, along with his friend and partner in crime-solving, Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Is Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) up to his old games and tricks? Or is something more sinister in play?

The highlight of the film, even though the role is small, is Mary J. Blige as Irene, a Barbie doll. She’s in fact the one who helps present one of the film’s messages when she attempts to convince Juliet that she doesn’t need a man to be strong. To this, Juliet replies, “You don’t need a man to be strong, but the right partner can make you stronger.

For the young (and young at heart) there’s plenty of action and jokes, and though it’s not as heartwarming or entertaining as the first, it’s one the children will enjoy. Don’t expect Sherlock Gnomes to break any records this weekend, but don’t mistake it for a snooze, either. The sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet features laughs for kids of all ages and a solid message about independence and love.

Sherlock Gnomes is in theaters Friday, March 23.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:47 pm
by bringmethathorizon
I will be taking my 4 year old granddaughter this Saturday
Can’t wait my two favorite men Johnny and Elton with my little sweetie I’ll post a review this weekend!

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:08 am
by bringmethathorizon
Took my 4 year old granddaughter to Sherlock Gnomes yesterday. We both loved it! It was full of action, adventure, visually awesome and the Elton John soundtrack was fantastic! Just enough in all the right places Johnny was so great as Sherlock loved his voice over, perfect British accent. He had dialogue through the entire movie. Great plot , story line, none of the kids including my Callie were figity and all seemed thoroughly entertained! Including Grandma A must see.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:27 pm
by Ade
That's fantastic to hear I am going to take a god child when it comes out.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:37 pm
by nebraska
I finally got to see Sherlock Gnomes today. I think it was a much better movie than the first one. Maybe that is just my preference for old-fashioned cartoon violence - glue, soap, and spraying water, complete with soap suds. ( I rapidly lost interest in the dueling super power lawn mowers in the first film. ) I went to the cinema with my daughter-in-law. This movie is probably aimed at kids, but we two ladies -- I am in my 70s and she is in her 50s -- both enjoyed it a lot. The critics who criticize the movie for not being deeply intelligent and well-plotted enough miss the point. It is just plain fun! And the not-so-subtle lessons about relationships don't hurt.

Don't ask me to be objective :bigwink: -- Johnny's voice was like soothing honey. :truefan: I could have closed my eyes and just listened to his dialogue and not watched the movie at all. His voice would have been worth the price of admission all by itself.

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:44 am
by Sweeney Todd

Sherlock Gnomes --Reviews, movie chat (spoilers)

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:36 am
by Ade
I saw it yesterday, in a pack theatre - we got the last four seats. It was an utter delight. Old fashioned, sweet, fun and the voices were excellent (for me, the one exception was Gnomeo - I remembered he'd irritated me in the first one). But superb voice work by Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith, Mary J Blige.

Johnny - needless to say - was in a class of his own though. Every other person we kept looking at each other and mouthing the name of the actor. You would never have known that Sherlock was JD. Being British and having observed the subtle differences in upper class British accents, I have to say that I marvel at how a blue collar boy from Kentucky can do that. Contrast his Sherlock voice to his real voice in the Dior advert and it is incredible. I think Emily Blunt put it best when she described him as a shape shifter.

I agree with Nebraska - it was like honey, very soothing. He also excellently got across the selfishness of Sherlock Holmes and his lack of emotional intelligence.

This was a lovely way to spend an early Sunday evening.