Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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/Filmcast Ep. 82 – Sherlock Holmes & Up in the Air

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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss the pleasures of A Perfect Getaway, praise the beauty of A Single Man, and do a double review of Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us in two weeks on Monday January 11th at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Daybreakers.

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Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes edged out James Cameron‘s Avatar to win Christmas Day at the box office, $24.9 million to $23.6 million. Avatar is currently tracking to smash $200 million in just 10 days of release (on Sunday) and should hit $250 million by Wednesday (in only 13 days of release).

But the bigger news is that, even though we’re in a recession, Christmas Day ticket sales have destroyed previous years records. The record for a Christmas Day opening was set last year when Marley and Me grossed $14.4 million. In fact, if you add the grosses of the the top three films of Christmas Day 2008 you would get $35 million. If you add the Christmas gross of this year’s top three films, you get $63 million. [reuters]

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If you’ve watched the trailers, seen the posters or read the rapidly multiplying coverage, you’ll already know that Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes are very different men indeed. There’s definitely some core factors that tie them together, of course, such as their almost supernatural powers of observation and, to varying degrees, skill in a fist fight.

The conception of this new Holmes started before Robert Downey Jr‘s casting, even before Ritchie’s involvement. Indeed, they were picked to fit. After the break, see some of the concept art that producer-writer Lionel Wigram had comic strip illustrator John Watkiss draw up in order to convince the studio of his approach.

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Early Buzz: Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

The first reviews for Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes have begun to hit the interwebs, so I thought we’d do a round up of the early buzz. So far the response is kinda mixed. Some critics loved the film, while others hated it. Although it should be noted that the film currently has an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. Here is a look at some of the review quotes:

The Guardian: “Sherlock Holmes is high-end hack work. It could have been made by anyone. There’s the odd Ritchie-ism, like crunchy slo-mo in the fight scenes, but he was, presumably, brought on board for reasons not wholly to do with his cinematic style.” … “Sherlock Holmes isn’t even a magnificent mistake. It’s just a film that makes you hanker after Ritchie’s back catalogue. Snatch included.”

Box Office Magazine: “Easily one of the most enjoyable action pictures in recent memory, this alternately brisk and brainy reworking of the legendary detective’s mythos makes the delightful Robert Downey Jr. into a rumpled, complicated and alternately swashbuckling and pratfalling Holmes for our time.” … “under Ritchie’s expert guidance, Downey has at last found a big, iconic mainstream movie character that draws on the full range of his limitless acting capacity, not just his brash narcissism, the way Iron Man’s Tony Stark does.”

More after the jump.

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Sherlock Holmes

Warner Bros has released 30 production photos (some of which we’re seen before) for Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t really looking forward to this film, but I know a lot of people who have seen the final cut, and LOVED IT. So this might be the movie to see this Christmas. Check out the photos after the jump.

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Warning: the following article is highly anecdotal. I do a lot of my writing in public: cafes, bars, etc. Working from home offers a lot of distractions, so I work among strangers. (Less distraction that way; go figure.) That leads to a lot of casual conversations about upcoming movies, what’s good and what people hope will be good. And while the data that comes out of all those conversations is completely unreliable in any real sense, it does lead to certain conclusions.

Over the last few weeks as I talk to people, there’s one movie that almost everyone asks about or pegs as the film they’re excited to see: Sherlock Holmes. The film comes up in almost every casual conversation now. Avatar runs way behind it. Now some tracking data is out there that suggests that audiences are a lot more interested in Sherlock than Avatar. But could an awards nomination bump act as last-minute juice for Fox and James Cameron and change the playing field? Read More »

Iron Man 2 Movie Trailer For Christmas?

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Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau retweeted the following message on his twitter account, leading us to believe that we can expect the first trailer for Iron Man 2 attached to Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes, which hits theaters on Christmas Day.

RT @Ann_Howard: @Jon_Favreau PLEASE tell us the trailer is coming soon – w/Sherlock Holmes, perhaps??

I had assumed that Marvel would have wanted to release the trailer with James Cameron’s Avatar on December 18th, but it makes sense to attach the teaser to another film starring Robert Downey Jr. But I’m sure the trailer will also premiere online days before the Christmas holiday.

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