High Cost of Men Accosting Women

DATELINE:  Naked Oscar in Gilt

oscar

In Hollywood, it is growing abundantly obvious that the only men who haven’t groped women are gay. That lets out repulsive men like Harvey Weinstein. What women would have gone with him willingly? He’s a toad—and clearly heterosexual.

We hesitate to ask if gay Hollywood icons have groped other men. We’ll have to ask Tab next time we see him. So far, we haven’t heard any charges—but since Hollywood is a place where copycats rule, you can expect the gay rapists to be fingered before Xmas.

You may expect a new sense of revisionist history: condemnation of formerly critically successful movies will be on the agenda because the participants and producers were sexist swine. Cue the recall of Oscar—a naked man in gold gilt.

In the meantime, we are hearing that Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck (but not Matt Damon), and sundry other men have proven their heterosexuality by accosting actresses. It must be a rite of spring.

Men, not accused of molesting women, will now be outed as disinterested parties (clubs where men dance only with other men).

Of course, at the time, usually in the distant 1990s, actresses expected to remain silent in the face of these kind of onslaughts. So, it is only 20 years later that a spate of rape charges is coming forth. We aren’t sure whether the statute of limitations has passed on some of these cold cases. We also wonder if an accusation is deadlier than actually finding someone is guilty.

Women are now boycotting Twitter because it is part of the male-dominated system. Apparently, these same women have missed the boat that Twitter also has favored the Russians over Hilary Clinton.

Since women are nowadays the primary readers in our society, writers like Hemingway are likely to be dunned more than ever. Expect a cadre of writers to come charging out of the closet soon.

If we start making judgments based on the thrilling days of yesteryear, no one will be safe. Twenty or thirty years ago was a different world, even if it pretended to be the Golden Age of Enlightenment.

If women are prepared to press the issue of male malfeasance, you can bet your bottom dollar and top drawer that these guys will go into rehab, aka “therapy,” which is certainly a way out of the dark and deep woods of the groped past.

As for us, we have always viewed light in the loafers as a standard defense.

 

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The Long & Short of 3-Hour Movies

DATELINE:  Time is Short

Agreed

We have just informed well-intended friends who always recommend long movies to us, that our tolerance level has passed beyond endurance.

We are no longer putting three-hour movies on our dance card.

Gilligan’s Island started out as a three-hour tour, but turned into an epical series with TV movie sequels.

In our misspent youth, we watched Lawrence of Arabia multiple times. That was four hours a shot.  We also took in films like Cleopatra, or Ben Hur. It may be we saw them more than once.

Today long films are not a sign of epic historic proportion, like the Bridge on the River Kwai. We watched recently again Once Upon a Time in the West, which was not only long—but slow. Those oldies were fascinating, whereas today’s movies are pompous, overwritten stories by directors who happen to think of their own self-importance before the audience’s bladder.

Hitchcock thought film should err on the short side to match the human kidney tolerance. Even he exceeded our new guidelines by pushing movies to two-hours.

Nowadays we always figure there are six minutes of credits at the end. That helps if we skip that, though we are loath to do so.

We still believe the best movie is under 90 minutes. As much as we dislike Woody Allen, he had the right idea. Many of his best movies were only 75 minutes in length. Including credits.

Before you point out that we have watched many series like Downton Abbey, Bette and Joan, and Endeavour, all recently, we would point out that those are episodic and run usually an hour.

Most of the time they’re also self-contained. It took 25 years to film all of The Poirot Agatha Christie stories. We don’t intend to take 25 years to watch them. However, they are usually about an hour in length.  A few of the classics are shorter movies. More than tolerable.

The upshot of our complaint is that we are no longer in the market for epic movies to be watched in one long sitting. Our life is now counting down to a precious few days.

If we’re going to spend time on a movie, hovering over three hours in length, it had better be special.

Alfred Hitchcock & Agatha Christie: Never the Twain

DATELINE:  Giants in Separate Corners

   agatha       hitch

Recently the question came to us: Why did the two great forces of mystery and suspense never collaborate?

The answer may be surprising. They were both highly successful, popular and beloved: one in film and one in literature. They were both British, lived and died around the same time, and trod the same grounds of creativity.

A few claim Hitchcock was a misogynist: but his greatest collaborators were women (apart from his wife Alma). He enjoyed the works of Daphne DuMaurier (Rebecca, The Birds) and Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train).

Apart from that fact, both Hitch and Agatha loved to use the setting of trains for their greatest works! Hitchcock could have directed Witness for the Prosecution in 1957, his peak, and most think he did direct it:  but it went to Billy Wilder who used Hitch’s techniques to great effect. Hitchcock could have directed Ten Little Indians in 1945, but chose to avoid the Christie works altogether.

Hitchcock told Francois Truffaut that he disliked the genre of the ‘who done it.’  He found it antithetical to his idea of what made for cinematic story-telling. He likened the genre to a crossword puzzle, with revealing clues as the main point of the story. It was bread and butter for Christie, but Hitchcock hated the notion and revealing the killer at the end of the story.

You may think two of Hitch’s intriguing films, at the least, were of the who done it school:  Psycho actually revealed who the killer was, but not in the way you expected it to be in the final reel. Stage Fright was one of Hitch’s least favorite films and he filmed it because he was told it was a Christie story, but turned out to be one of his weakest entries.

In Shadow of a Doubt in 1943, Hitchcock had two minor characters discuss how to murder each other—and referred to Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective of Christie, in less than flattering terms.

It’s almost tragic that Hitchcock did not direct Witness for the Prosecution or Murder on the Orient Express to see how he might have handled the material. Both films are brilliant stories and wonderful films, but the echoes of Hitch are omnipresent.

So, we were left without any collaboration between the two greats of 20th century murder mystery. It’s not much of a mystery, but it is a tale of audience misfortune.

Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders with Suchet’s Poirot

DATELINE:  A Worthy Series

ABC

Suchet as the inimitable Hercule

David Suchet’s bravissimo performance over two decades as Hercule Poirot might be appreciated many times. This week we took in The ABC Murders again.

The climactic murder scene takes place in a cinema where Hitchcock’s Number Seventeen is on the screen as a backdrop for the serial killer. We suspect the Master of Suspense would approve.

The Agatha Christie story became the first full-length movie episode from the delightful TV series. For that reason alone, the plot is clever and intriguing. Christie uses a device that brings together the grieving family of the serial ABC serial killer as Poirot’s band of intrepid sleuths.

The notion that the victims’ family would want to take an active role in catching their beloved one’s killer is compelling, even if Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) is exasperated by his friendly nemesis with the mincing steps, and obsessive neatness.

Poirot’s demeanor as a private investigator remains firm in its resolve, but already we begin to see in the nuances of Suchet’s performance that Poirot is beginning to become jaded and horrified by the endless murders he deals with.

Indeed, this serial killer sends Poirot a series of letters, challenging him to stop the carnage. It becomes so personal that the Belgian detective is more distracted by his moral repugnance.

As his aide-de-camp Captain Hastings, Hugh Fraser matches Suchet as the obtuse man of action—as they both seem weary from four seasons of sadistic killers. Pauline Moran’s Miss Lemon, Poirot’s dedicated secretary, is absent from this episode.

Christie had such brilliant creativity in finding ways to develop characters and contrive plots that are truly mysteries to entertain an audience.

Over the length of the Poirot series, bringing all the stories to film (something the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series could not do), is a monumental achievement, matching the flavor of the literature of the Christie stories with film plays. A large debt is owed to Suchet, the driving force behind the detective.

 

 

A Covenant with Alien

DATELINE: Another Prequel

Tea for two Tea for Two?

Ridley Scott is back is one of his better entries in the Alien series. Now in prequel mode, he is midway through the Midway. Alien Covenant is nothing new under the alien sun.

If you haven’t caught on to the old Agatha Christie chestnut, Ten Little Indians, you may be surprised that this latest Ridley film has an ever-diminishing cast.

Two of our favorite performers—Guy Pearce and James Franco—made their exits early, about ten minutes into the film.

That left an uninspiring cast to face-off against two, count’em, two versions of Michael Fassbender as the automaton android/synthetic biolife force—or whatever the hell he is. Regardless, he doubled our fun in this movie.

David is the older model from Prometheus—and the updated robot is Walter, serving on ship Covenant, ten years later. It’s actually only been five years since the first movie prequel, but Fassbender still looks good as the ubiquitous pal of budding aliens, hatching the plot.

All your favorite moments are here again: emerging aliens from the chest, neck, and mouths, of the benighted crew.

If you have a sense of having been there and seen that, Scott still can give you an entertaining countdown to the next prequel. We presume Michael Fassbender will be ageless and sociopathic yet again. We always enjoy an actor making love to himself. How delicious.

 

 

 

 

Is Trump a Moron?

DATELINE:  Smarting Insults

rex Smarty Pants Rex Tillerson

After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to refute the accusation that he privately called President Donald Trump a “moron,” we have to investigate the ramifications.

Kim Jung Un recently called Mr. Trump a “dotard.” It seems to be open season on the mental state of the MAGA-low-maniac’s personality.

Both moron and dotard used to be early 20th century terms used by prototypical psychologists. Then, the unwashed, deplorable public took up the words—thus rendering them on the lighter side of slander and libel.

Dotard used to refer to someone with Old Timers’ Disease in the old days before punchy and punch-drunk went the way of medical diagnosis.

Moron was frequently a level of retardation before that went down the tubes to emerge as Downs’ Syndrome. A moron used to be someone with the intellectual acuity of a ten-year-old. However, we have met some fairly sharp ten-year-olds—and feel that is a bum rap.

Our deplorable education system has finally resulted in a generation of deplorable voters electing a deplorable candidate. Let’s take quotes off the term moron.

Well, you know the term is often lumped in with idiot, imbecile, fool, clod, dullard, nitwit, dumbbell, jerk, and the all-purpose loser. It’s a big tent of disparaging terms proving all roads lead to Rome. You don’t need GPS to figure out that the map is littered with wrong turns.

We know Mr. Trump is lost in there somewhere. However, we have concluded he is most likely to respond to his favored sobriquet: son of a bitch, often used to delineate and denote NFL football players who have arthritic knees or pray for deliverance from “rednecks.”  But that’s another story.

Melania Trump Suffers from Bookworms

DATELINE:  Beauty Meets the Beast

Melania

Immigrant-come-lately Melania Trump will find no sanctuary in one of the biggest sanctuary cities in the United States. They have put her on ICE.

Our beautiful and exotic First Lady has run headlong into a beastly book monster.

A librarian in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has rejected any overture of kindness from the First Lady—and has not shown her American hospitality in the least.

In an age when most young people are not encouraged to read and won’t do much reading, except on Twitter where sentences are limited to 140 characters, a self-righteous librarian has decided to burn the books gifted to her library in Cambridgeport.

Mrs. Trump sent to the library about a dozen books written by Dr. Seuss as part of a gift she dispersed around the nation.

Melania would read them to her young son, Barron, several years ago and thought they would be a wonderful gift to any well-stocked library.

She didn’t consider they already had some editions, and she didn’t consider maybe she should’ve sent them to an underprivileged library of some wayward public school without much resource.

Nor did Mrs. Trump suspect that among liberal activists, Dr. Seuss is now considered even more suspect of being a secret racist–and hiding it in plain sight of the Grinch.

This gave a liberal librarian the opportunity to say nay– and throw kerosene on the books and bric-a-brac at the First Lady.

Not since Joseph Goebbels took over the libraries of Nazi Germany have we seen such anti-intellectual attitude. And this, from a librarian who prefers to read children books about same sex pecadillos and union organizers.

Mrs. Obama often read the Dr. Seuss books to young students during her visits to school children when she was First Lady. Somehow between Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Trump, the books in question became racist. At least in the mind of one liberal librarian.

So, banning books now has moved directly into the most liberal bastion in America:  Cambridge, Mass., where we once lived as a child—and hated Dr. Seuss as a sidelight.

Little did we know that indoctrination was part of our education.

Mrs. Trump now has been infected by bookworms.

 

 

Stranger Bedfellow: Peyton Manning

DATELINE:  Super Bowl Hay Woven into Political Gold

At one point during the heyday of Tom Brady, way back when he was young, everyone thought that the future for Tom Brady, Donald Trump’s quondam friend would be a career in politics. He had the red hat and he had the swagger.

Trump even lobbied him as a husband for Ivanka a dozen years ago. Tom’s certainly a better catch than Jared Kushner.

There was inevitable talk he would seek a role in political office in Massachusetts, though the state is probably a tad more liberal for him than his actual politics. Tom doesn’t need deodorant because avocado ice cream smells better than it looks.

However, the Trump people may be more delighted with that pizza-slinging huckster-cum-politician Peyton Manning.

The man who plays more golf with Trump than Brady is a rank conservative icon. Yes, word is out that Tennessee may be needing a new senator next year–and Peyton Manning has a “Hail Mary” chance and pass in his future.

Considered highly popular among those who never kneel except in church, and well-known not just for his on-field antics, but his off-field commercials, he knows something about sound bites.

Jingles and jingoism are not alien to Peyton. Nationwide Insurance and health care are up his passer rating. Just ask him to hum a bar or two.

We wait to discover whether his conservative ultra-right positions will sit well with the American public in general.  We know they will likely sit quite well in Tennessee, where the Beverly Hillbillies originally hailed—and where bluegrass is unusually red around the neck.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and nothing could be stranger than to find Tom Brady still playing in the NFL– and Peyton Manning in the United States Senate.

Lord of the Flies: Donald Trump

 DATELINE:  Free Speech & Concussed Politicians

lord

North Korea has it wrong. Trump is not the Commander-in-Grief. He is the Lord of the Flies, the William Golding horror reborn.

NFL fans of the game may be coming to a rather harsh realization. Freedom of speech cuts. Two ways. They were counter-free speechified by the players on Sunday.

You may boo your least favorite players in the stadium and to their face as they score winning points to help your team. Then, cheers. What manner is this hypocrisy?

On the other hand,  players have a right to express their feelings as well. We think they ought to just thumb noses, instead of a respectful knee to the ground. Save that for the bully-pulpit fans.

You may not like seeing players kneel during Our National Anthem.  It’s almost like praying for a better country.  Fat chance for that under the Lord of the Flies.

Mr. Trump is completely convinced that he would rather be right than president.  Trump is no Henry Clay when it comes to cold feet. He has performed no presidential feat greater than dividing the nation into red and blue. He leaves the white for separatist flags.

Perhaps his wish will be granted. We either will have the end of the world in a nuclear holocaust against another race of the Yellow Peril, or we will have a race war in America. In either case, you have to admit Trump has divided America in ways we haven’t seen since the Civil War.

Russian interference of the election is secondary to Trump hijacking of the Constitution.

Of course, we have come to expect the worst of NFL fans. They laugh and demean the idea of concussions. Ask Will Smith.

They watch gladiator athletes concussed weekly for entertainment. If memory serves, during the campaign President Trump scoffed at the idea of concussions for NFL players as a sign of weakness. Talk about brain bankruptcy.

All this goes to show that what goes around comes around, like Aaron Hernandez and Confederate resurrection.  It’s all in a day’s work for the Lord of the Flies.

Environmental Hottie: Leo DiCaprio

DATELINE:  Floodgates are Now Open

With flooding and natural disasters occurring now three and four times a year instead of once per century, we thought it was time to take a look at it Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary called Before the Flood.

We are already way ahead of you. We also laughed at the notion that DiCaprio, a semi-self-educated actor, is an expert in global warming. Yet, because of his fame and celebrity, the United Nations made him a special Messenger of Peace on the issue.

AT the UN, they listened to his speech with more rapt interest than at global warming scoffer Donald Trump.

DiCaprio begins his documentary with a litany of FOXNews expert ridiculing him for his so-called expertise. So we give him credit for recognizing that one. However, he follows it by a notorious plug for his movie The Revenant.

What can you expect from a child whose parents put Hieronymous Bosch’s notorious painting of hell  and paradise over his crib?

DiCaprio is no newcomer to the issue of climate change. He goes back to video clips over 20 years ago in which he meets with Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and shows his interest in the environment, using his fame as a passport to open doors.

With Irma and Harvey and Maria and earthquakes, DiCaprio is beginning to look like a prophet in the wilderness.  He says the real profits are from billionaires with fronting organizations like the fake news-media and politicians who deny global warming. Yep, that’s called biting irony. Fake media cuts two ways.

The entire term “global warming” is a misnomer. Actually, it is not warming; it is extremes in the weather.  And there’s no denying we have that lately in Irma, Harvey, or Maria.

The question is whether it’s caused by man made fossil fuel, or by forces of the universe yet unknown. Blame it on ancient aliens.

With the concept of expertise getting the short shrift in American culture for the past half century, it’s not surprising that experts are denigrated. It’s not popular to be one of the elite intelligentsia in a democracy of boors.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a scientist, an artist, or just an ordinary PhD.

You will be ridiculed for being different.

In 21st century America, you are persona non-grata. You might as well go out into the wilderness and start crying.

The people for whom this documentary is meant to educate have already Hit the remote button to shut off the screen.

In that sense, this is all a waste of time.

Silver Skies: Old Stars Return 

DATELINE: Yesteryear

George Hamilton

Hamilton with director Rodriguez
 

If you want an opportunity to see a bunch of your favorite 1960 stars, Silver Skies is the movie for you. It’s the tale of our group of elderly people living in an apartment complex for a come face-to-face with eviction when their homes are converted to condos.

 
Looking marvelous, George Hamilton does not look anywhere near his age, but the biting irony of this character: he is the only one of the residents with Alzheimer’s. Former mobster actor, Alex Rocco has turned into a softer grandfather figure.
The women stars include Barbara Bain, formerly of Mission impossible. There is Valerie Perrine, like Hamilton, extremely youthful still. And, in a major role, Marietta Hartley, best known for her TV commercials with James Garner.

Even Dick Van Patten shows up for a cameo.

Though this film is billed as a family drama, that is entirely deceptive from writer director Rosemary Rodriguez. The film is quite dark and bleak at times, dealing with elderly abuse and sexual issues among senior citizens.

The old residents and stars try to organize to fight back against greedy forces that have no respect for old age. For fans, this may be a glorious last chance to see those old familiar faces at again in the limelight. There’s no professional like an old professional.

Set in Sherman Oaks, California, where many former Hollywood types reside, the characters are all basically small time workers in the movie industry. It doesn’t really save them from the ravages of old age.
The film is ultimately done in by a saccharine ending under the credits. It is interesting to see a film entirely directed to the senior audience.

Feud: Ryan Murphy & Olivia DeHavilland

DATELINE: Creepy Producer

 

coda

The spry legend, Miss Olivia DeHavilland whose Oscars outnumber anything Ryan Murphy will ever compile, has fired another volley at miniseries Feud: Joan & Bette, created by Mr. Murphy.

Right before the series is about to reap Emmy glory for its hilarious and entertaining depiction of two movie stars in a death throe struggle like scorpions, more turns of the screw emerge.

Miss DeHavilland’s character, ‘herself’ it appears, is a mere supporting figure. Yet, she does not like how she is portrayed. In a deposition through her lawyers, she tells the world she never called her sister, actress Joan Fontaine, ‘a bitch’ to any director or producer.

That may mean she used to term privately among friends, or even to hapless Joan Fontaine’s face, but her point is the script and series misrepresented her behavior. She said: “The false statements and unauthorized use of my name, identity and image by the creators of Feud have caused me discomfort, anxiety, embarrassment, and distress.”

Yes, being violated is like that, no matter what your age.

Murphy’s glad-hand attitude demeans Miss DeHavilland by calling her “Olivia,” despite her age, her position, and the fact that he never has met her, let alone sought her permission to use her as a figure in a docudrama.

In blatant admission, Murphy’s mouthpieces claim: “The fact that the words attributed to her and the purported endorsement are false does not transform the character into anything other than an exact depiction of de Havilland.”  Hunh?

That’s quite an admission: they know they have misused her by having her say words she never uttered, but it’s all for the profit of Ryan Murphy—and to give us viewers a few guffaws.

We wish to point out that Miss DeHavilland is a real human being, not an emblematic symbol like the White Whale, appearing in a work of fiction.

Murphy is betting that the 101-year old Oscar winner may pop off at any time—thus giving him the last word, which he will have anyhow as time will likely bestow on him the honor to be standing at the end of all this mess.

In all likelihood, the arrogant TV producer probably thought DeHavilland was already dead—and it didn’t matter how he used her identity.

What the old legend is showing here is that identity theft can occur in many ways:  when you profit from stealing someone’s personality, you’re a thief, Mr. Murphy. But, as Hollywood producers go, that is no crime at all.

 

Fenway Park Signage Up Ahead

DATELINE:  Trolls in the Park
imbeciles at work
Perhaps you belong to that quaint community that used to recall when signage at Fenway Park said things like: “No Smoking.” Or the ever useful “restroom” with the corresponding arrow.
Today if you go to Fenway Park, someone will unfurl a banner that reads: “Racism is as American as baseball.”
We would rush to advise the holders of the banner that they left out mom and apple pie.
Yes, indeed, baseball has a racist history. You probably can find racism and associated with any topic. Human nature being what it is.
The modern slogan is symptomatic of the new Puritans, following in the footsteps of their witch- hunting ancestors from Salem who always enjoyed finger-pointing on the way to kangaroo courts.
The new Puritans of today are likely wolves in sheepskin. They are college educated and know better than you whether you should wear a seat-belt or smoke a cigarette. And they are not shy to find any pulpit on which to share their slogan. In this case,  it happens to be Fenway Park on live television. Bingo, they have bingo.
When you are among the enlightened, you have carte blanche to do whatever you want whenever you want. Next you know, they may start crying fire in a crowded theater.
What the New Puritans are really against is being forgotten, or seen as unimportant, a mere cog in social media.  For them there is nothing worse than being a number in a computer program.
We don’t see much difference between those hapless fools who want to wave and cavort whenever television cameras turn on around them, and the new pure Puritan.
It’s a great American tradition to ask for liberty or death, or to live free or die.
We recall the days when a Fenway sign was something like, “Wade, we’re not wearing any underwear,” which always inspired Wade Boggs to get another hit.

Lady in the Lake: Under Water, but Not All Wet

DATELINE:  Hard-Boiled School of Detectives

Marlowe:Montgomery

You have to enjoy a murder mystery that is set on Christmas and begins with a potpourri of carols to set the mood. We laughed all too hard during the opening scenes: it’s witty, sharp, and clever. Lady in the Lake is a classic.

The Raymond Chandler story was directed by Robert Montgomery in 1946 with the star also briefly in front of the camera. Mostly, he narrates, keeping his face out of the limelight.

Lady in the Lake is quite inventive and will leave you quite impressed with Montgomery’s dry and cynical comments. However, this style tends to undercut the film noir aspect, as it is studio-bound.

Director Montgomery also suffers from low budget-it is that makes his original murder tale cut too many corners. We never make it to the lake to see the lady fished out, only hear about it. Yet, the quick pace will surprise you.

That too is part of the first-eye view of the film: we see only what detective Philip Marlowe sees—and characters look directly into the camera frequently as they talk to Montgomery. It is diverting and intriguing. Alas, the mystery itself is not clever enough to fit the film’s technique.

Cast is uniformly superb, especially Audrey Totter as the femme fatale, Leon Ames as her boss, owner of a lurid crime publication, and Lloyd Nolan as a dubious cop.

We must confess that light-leading man Robert Montgomery is not as tough as the Marlowes of Bogart and Mitchum, but his dry and cynical wit is hard-nosed enough to cause other characters to give him a sock in the nose more than once.

You will fondly remember Lady in the Lake for its originality and dark humor.

Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes

DATELINE:  No Deerstalker Here

Everett Holmes 

with Ian Hart as Watson.

We wondered back in 2004 why Rupert Everett’s fascinating take on Sherlock Holmes did not lead to a series. It was around the time that Jeremy Brett had passed on—and a new Holmes was certainly ripe for the picking.

Granada TV and PBS passed on Everett’s interpretation, much to our regret.

Instead, we had the dreadful Robert Downey movie version—and the marvelous updated Cumberbatch TV Sherlock.

Yet, for our money, the classic look and demeanor of Everett was delicious enough. In the Case of the Silk Stocking, not part of the canon, we had a story that was part of the problem. It dealt with sexual problems in the multiple murderer—and Holmes was brought up to date by Watson’s fiancée who now is an American psychologist.

The other problems with the story-line featured cruel mistreatment of women, largely teenage girls brutally killed in a fetish demeanor. Holmes does not help much with his misogynist attitudes that may be accurate, however off-putting. Indeed, when he intrudes on the bedroom one a teenage girl, it seems almost creepy.

On Rupert Everett these foibles work to the flaws of Sherlock.

Ian Hart’s Watson is a tad too smug, and Helen McCrory as his American spouse-to-be is too much a concession to political correctness.

We were delighted to see Michael Fassbender in an early, important role. But, the film belongs to Everett who makes Sherlock’s tired, drug-addled character quite intriguing. There is a sharp undercurrent of sexual malaise in this Holmes, played by the openly gay Everett.

What a shame he played the role only here. It’s a worthy effort in the history of Sherlock performances.