New on DVD this week
The following movies are being released today on DVD and for digital download.
"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" (PG-13, 129 minutes, Warner)
Victoriana buffs will not be amused by this film, but it's a modest improvement on bad-boy director Guy Ritchie's first tweaking of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective. Not because it's more subtle: This sequel is just as profligate as its 2009 predecessor, with explosions, anachronisms and quick cuts. But the dialogue is a little sharper, and Holmes gets a worthy opponent in Professor Moriarty. It seems a diabolical mastermind has begun a series of bombings and assassinations, hoping to spark a "world war." Robert Downey Jr. plays Holmes as brainy yet highly physical and keen on dressing up. Jude Law returns as Dr. Watson, Holmes' famous sidekick. "A Game of Shadows" draws here and there on Doyle's tales but relies more on Hong Kong's hyperactive 1980s new wave, as filtered through "The Matrix" and Quentin Tarantino. Extreme close-ups, violent edits and slo-mo inserts are used to depict both visceral action and Holmes' methodical thought. Thinking, however, is not the movie's priority. The game here is action farce, and that's better played with swagger than intellect. Contains action, violence and drug use. DVD extras: "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry," "Moriarty's Master Plan Unleashed" and "Holmesavision on Steroids" featurettes. Also, on Blu-ray: Downey Jr. "movie mode" commentary from Holmes' point of view, "Guy Ritchie's Well-Oiled Machine" and three other making-of featurettes.
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