Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ian McKellen as Holmes

I just read that Ian McKellen will play Sherlock Holmes in an adaptation of the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. I remember reading the novel a long time ago, and I disliked it. Because Holmes was suffering from impaired mental faculties, the author used it as an excuse to give partial scenes, then retread them later over and over to add new stuff. He could at least have done it in a less annoying way by not repeating huge swathes of text. I suppose it will be less annoying onscreen, but then again, I recall a Mystery! series called Case Histories where we kept getting flashbacks of the detective as a boy running through fields and screaming for his dead sister. Five seconds would have done as a reminder of that trauma in his life, but no they had to keep showing the flashback in full every damn time. It was so shitty, when we already got the point the first fucking time we saw it.

Anyway, at least Hollywood is willing to do Holmes stories that do not feature either Moriarty or a fucked-up Irene Adler. Some of us like it when Holmes doesn't associate with psychopaths and instead solves rational mysteries by criminals who have more sophisticated motives than, "I'm just a fucking evil sadist who wants to create chaos in the world, like a Bond villain with delusions of grandeur."

Edit on September 9th:
Alyssa has a post about evil masterminds who have clumsy, nonsensical schemes. It contains a lot of plot spoilers for TV shows like The Newsroom, The Bridge, and Sons of Anarchy. (I don't watch any of those cable shows.)

But I totally agree with her complaints about the over-reliance on evil geniuses.

Mastermind shows are particularly vulnerable to this kind of ex post facto reconsideration, because when you make someone all-powerful, it’s tempting to test the limits of their capacities by having them show up in places they couldn’t possibly know to be, by having them get exceptionally lucky in ways that defy reason and the odds, or giving them levels of hubris that would cause even smart people to get caught.

Irene Adler aka Moriarty in Elementary is the stupidest, most obsessed idiot I've seen since the psychotic child that was Jim Moriarty. Yes, I'm still bitter about both of them. Fuck them all, and may this evil genius trope die.

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