It has been tradition since the movie “Michael” for our family to go to the movies Christmas Day.  Every year starting just after Halloween, the e-mail suggestions from everyone in the family start pouring in.  We all get a vote and obviously the movie with the most votes wins as “The Christmas Movie”.

My prowess as a movie “picker” has been in question ever since I picked “Will Smith’s – In Pursuit of Happiness”. Unfortunately my vote has been considerably downgraded since that unfortunate recommendation.  Sorry Will but that movie put a real downer on Christmas dinner.

This year as the e-mails arrived, it appeared the pick was a toss up between Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. I was desperately rooting for Sherlock.  The trailers all looked great and how could animation possibly be superior to the acting abilities of -Robert Downey Jr.  Yes he has had “personal problems” but when I watch him on the big screen, he is magical.

I was in luck because I had a number of other family members who felt the same way!  So yes, Sherlock was the pick!

That is about as happy as it gets.  The after movie reviews were mixed.  Half really liked it and like myself, some fell asleep.  As in the movie “Amadeus”, this movie had too many notes.  I am sure all of the producers of Hollywood think us mad but yes, it was a bit long and had a few unneeded scenes.

What do we know.  We are a group of country bumpkins who simply “watch” the movies and fork over the money that makes the movie either a success or a failure.

I felt that a degree in Chemistry was desperately needed to follow the plots.  Since I don’t have one I had to depend on the big picture of “Oh, so that’s why they died….OK, that makes sense but what difference does it make if the flame turns pink or green”.  You get the picture.

I also hate to have a narrator.  I don’t like it when someone has to tell me what is happening in a movie.  It makes me feel dumb or worse it makes me realize you think the audience won’t “get it”.   Now why would I want to go to a movie that makes me feel dumb?

As for the “too many scenes”…what was that boat scene about?  Did it serve a purpose?  We are talking about Sherlock Holme’s ability to solve crimes not outsmart a neandrathal who is trying to knock a ship over.  This is where I started to fall asleep and as in “Amadeus” – the Emperor yawns.  It was the kiss of death.

As for the characters, I found Watson’s fiancee the most miscast.  Sorry, I am sure she is a fine actress but she didn’t fit the character.  Maybe it was her occasional arched eyebrow.   I kept expecting her to be “the bad guy”; trying to get to Holmes via Watson.  But that’s not how it ended so I don’t think that’s what was intended.

To summarize, I liked the second half better than the first half; some scenes were great and others – not so great; and I would have changed a few people in the cast.

The door was left open for a sequel and a new cast member, Professor Moriarty.  My vote would be for “Jason Isaacs”.  What a lovely villain and a great opponent and equal for Robert Downey Jr.