As studios scramble to appeal to the digital download fans while still clinging to the lucrative-but-quickly-fading home video model, we get awkward releases such as the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Blu-ray combo pack, which comes with a Blu-ray disc (of course), a DVD and something called Ultraviolet (“your movies in the cloud!”).
This is jolly good, but Warner Bros. decided that wasn’t enough. Remember the days when you would put in a disc and you could immediately watch the movie and the special features to your heart’s content?
Yeah, those days are gone.
The Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows combo pack comes with a “Maximum Movie Mode”, which “takes you inside the mind of Sherlock Holmes” – in other words, Robert Downey Jr. walks us through the movie as if we don’t get enough of him in the movie itself. It also comes with 30 minutes of mini-making-of featurettes, which outline aspects of the film ranging from the high-tech action scenes (which cries of everything you shouldn’t do in sequels) to the relationship between Holmes and Watson and more (these are worth watching).
But the real juice appears to be on the official Sherlock Holmes movie app, which you can download to your smart phone or tablet to do all kinds of cool things while watching the movie.
I want simplicity. I want to watch the damn movie. I maybe I want to watch a couple special features (okay, I really don’t). I sure as hell don’t want to download some silly app I’ll delete the next day and that will distract me from actually enjoying what I purchased in the first place – a perfectly decent and funny action movie.
How did we go from nice and simple VHS tapes to nice and simple DVDs to box sets that give us the movie in 50 formats and less content? The Sherlock Holmes combo pack is a perfect example of dollars being spent on things the consumer doesn’t want. We want simplicity. We want ease of use. We want a movie and straightforward special features.
At least I do.
Despite this, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a fun little movie. It isn’t great, and it isn’t nearly as epic as it should be given that Moriarty is the villain, but it’s worth seeing. Read my original Sherlock Holmes 2 movie review now.