Sunday, December 13, 2009


“It does make considerable difference to me havingsomeone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely.”

In the film, as in the books, both Holmes and Watson know their way around a fight and their skills are frequently tested. Holmes is a skilled martial artist; this propensity links him with both the star and director of “Sherlock Holmes,” as Downey and Ritchie have practiced martial arts for years, and worked together to create Holmes’s distinct fighting style. “Doyle called it Baritsu in the novels, which is tied to a 19thcentury hybrid of jujitsu that is actually called Bartitsu, created by Edward William Barton-Wright,” Downey explains. “Jujitsu is Guy’s chosen martial art. Mine is Wing Chun Kung Fu. So, we developed our own combination of martial arts styles for the movie.”

As efficient as he is at neutralizing an enemy in the course of his work, Holmes is also known to blow off steam in a boxing ring at a working class pub called the Punch Bowl. Here, in front a raucous crowd, Holmes takes on a massive boxer named McMurdo, played by David Garrick, in a brutal bare-knuckle fight which showcases the detective’s prowess and physical strength.

“The bare-knuckle boxing ring is the only place where Holmes doesn’t think,” says Downey. “But even there he does think; he thinks about how to win the fight, but doesn’t think about all of these ongoing concerns of life. Interpersonal relations don’t enter into it. It’s just you and your opponent.”

“The Punch Bowl is where Holmes goes to hone his skill, to make mistakes, and test out techniques against very powerful opponents,” comments fight consultant Eric Oram, who for years has trained with Downey in Wing Chun Kung Fu and helped prepare the actor for the fight sequences. “He starts by using the least amount of force in the first half of the fight. It’s only after his opponent crosses the line that he wants to teach him a lesson.”

More out of necessity than choice, Watson too knows his way around a street fight, though he is more of a brawler compared to the fluid combat style of Holmes. “Watson is used to the up-close-and-personal fight-for-your-life stuff,” Downey attests. “He has a much more accessible but no less effective style than Holmes. As a matter of fact, there are often times when Holmes over thinks in order to come up with the best deduction, where Watson will just strike with any tool that’s handy.”

“Watson is a war veteran and used to thinking on his feet,” says stunt coordinator Franklin Henson. “He can throw a wild punch in reaction, and, like a street fighter, he’ll use whatever it takes—his head, knees or elbows—to bring an opponent down.” Law relished participating in the fight sequences. “When you’re in the hands of someone like Guy, who shoots with such a unique eye, you know you’re not shooting a standard fight scene,” says the actor. “He’s always looking for a new way to reveal the story behind the fight, and he knows exactly what he wants. So it’s good fun.”

Director of photography Philippe Rousselot utilized lighting and camera to make the textures palpable and the fights a truly physical experience. “Guy wants the film to feel to the viewer as if you’re there,” Rousselot states. “A good example is the Punch Bowl fight. It was crucial to bring in every detail, from a miniscule drop of sweat to the effect of each blow on the opponent’s body to the sea of movement and tussling in the crowd.”

Ritchie also used these sequences to deconstruct Holmes’s thinking over the course of a fight. He and Rousselot accomplished this moment-by-moment technique using a high-speed digital camera called the Phantom, which creates an ultra-slow motion effect. “The Phantom takes one second of filming and strings it out over 40 or 50 seconds,” says the director. “The camera takes in a great deal of information in a very short period of time, which is the perfect lens through which to illustrate how Holmes’s mind operates. He is able to condense an enormous amount of information into a fraction of a second.”

For a key action sequence—on a multi-story set representing the half-constructed Tower Bridge—Ritchie rehearsed extensively with the actors, along with Oram and Henson, as well as fight coordinator Richard R. Ryan. “We worked very closely with quite a big stunt team,” notes co-producer Steve Clark-Hall. “They knew Robert’s capabilities, which are considerable, and were able to play to his strengths. Pulling off this degree of high intensity action in these stunt sequences was quite a team effort.”

Ritchie sought a strategic blend of rehearsal and spontaneity to ensure the chaos of fighting was reflected in the sequences. “I made the creative decision to make the film gritty, so I didn’t want things to be too choreographed,” he says. “We discussed everything, but we also made sure to leave room for improvisation. I didn’t want it to look too perfect.”

This sensibility appealed to Rachel McAdams, who had extensive stunt work in the Tower Bridge sequence. “Guy liked to keep things messy and keep the truth within this fantastical world,” she notes. “There’s always the temptation to get too refined when dealing with this period, but Guy made sure it was also rough and tumble and modernized. Doing this movie with Guy taught me to be really quick on my feet and precise, yet always open and flexible.”

Of course, humor was an important ingredient in the action and found its way into all the action scenes. “There needed to be moments of levity and other moments of gravity,” Ritchie offers. “So the funny bits got funnier and the darker bits got darker as we went along.”

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Comic News: Boom Studios for December 16th

Boom Studios has released previews for their books coming out on December 16th.

Written by Mark Waid
Drawn by Jean Diaz
24pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: John Cassaday
COVER B: Tim Sale
COVER C: Jeffrey Spokes
Diamond Code: OCT090784

Last April BOOM! Studios showed the world that MARK WAID IS EVIL with the smash-hit series IRREDEEMABLE. This December, BOOM! shows the world that Mark Waid is now… INCORRUPTIBLE! Super villain Max Damage had an epiphany the day The Plutonian destroyed Sky City. When The Plutonian turned his back on humanity, Max Damage decided to step up. Now Max Damage has changed his name to Max Daring and turned from his formerly selfish ways to become… INCORRUPTIBLE.

FARSCAPE #2 (Ongoing)
Written by Rockne S. O’Bannon, Keith DeCandido
Drawn by Will Sliney
SC, 24 pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Joe Corroney
COVER B: Will Sliney
Diamond Code: OCT090779

HOLY DREN, FARSCAPE IS ONGOING! Yes, Farscape fans have made the mini-series such successes that we made Farscape an ongoing series! Secrets are revealed, alliances are made and hearts are broken in this, the start of a new chapter in the lives of your favorite characters! Written by the creator of the show Rockne S. O’Bannon!

Written by Chris Gorak, Pierluigi Cothran
Drawn by Damian Couceiro
SC, 24 pgs, FC, (2 of 4), SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Erik Jones
COVER B: Chris Brunner
Diamond Code: OCT090791

She cheated death and now the hunt is on! Nola continues her quest for revenge in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans and finds herself in the destroyed city’s twisted web. From Chris Gorak (Right at Your Door) and scripted by Heroes comic writer Pierluigi Cothran!

Written by Erik Hedman
Drawn by Wanda Gattino
SC, 24 pgs, FC, SRP: $2.99
COVER A: Fernando Guell
COVER B: Arild Midthun
Diamond Code: OCT090808

Continuing BOOM! Kids’ all-new direction for everyone’s favorite-feathered penny pincher, Uncle Scrooge! Building on a tradition created by some of the greatest creators the comic book world has ever seen, like Carl Barks and Don Rosa, these issues follow Scrooge on new adventures that North American audiences have never seen! Join us in a bold new era for Scrooge that pays tribute to the past but heads into a new future!

Written by Mark Waid
Drawn by Minck Oosterveer
COVER A: Erik Jones
COVER B: Alexander Stojanov
SC, 24 pgs, FC, (3 of 4), SRP: $3.99
Diamond Code: SEP090698

Catherine’s terminal condition reaches the point of no return, but she’s determined to solve the mystery of Death if it’s the last thing she does. And chances are it will be. Mark Waid’s tale of mystery and the macabre speeds towards a stunning climax!

Written by Giorgio Salati, Riccardo Secchi,
Alessandro Ferrari
Drawn by Stefano Turconi
COVER A: Magic Eye studios
COVER B: Marco Mazzarello
SC, 24 pgs, FC, SRP: $2.99
Diamond Code: SEP090717

Featuring a brand new team of super-heroes culled from Disney’s Mickey and Donald universe! Come adventure with The Duck Avenger, Super Goofy, and the main man Mickey himself, as they take on the Phantom Blot and his nefarious group of ne’r do wells! At stake…nothing less than the riches in Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin!

Written by Marie Croall
Drawn by Erica Leigh Currey
HC, 112 pgs, FC, SRP: $24.99
TPB, 112 pgs, FC, SRP: $9.99
HC ISBN13: 978-1-60886-524-6
TPB ISBN13: 978-1-934506-88-2

Nemo, Dory and Marlin have become local heroes, and are recruited to embark on an all-new adventure in this exciting collection! Their reef is mysteriously dying and no one knows why! Facing dangerous waters and incredible odds, Nemo travels the great blue sea to save the one thing that matters most of all–home.

Written by Steve Niles
Drawn by Nat Jones
HC, 128 pgs, FC, SRP: $24.99
ISBN13: 978-1-60886-002-9

Long sold out and out of print, Steve Niles’ classic GIANT MONSTER comes back into print, and this time in a deluxe full-size hardcover! Ever since the original 6 x 9 paperback sold out, retailers and fans have been inundating BOOM! to put the book back into print, so we’re doing it — but with a new sense of flair and a splashy new hardcover package! Astronaut Don Maggert’s first space flight swallows him alive in the grip of intergalactic horror, transforming him into something that throws the entire planet into peril! Featuring over-size Kaiju action in a full-sized deluxe hardcover edition!

2nd Prints Out This Coming Week

THE ANCHOR #2 2nd Print
Written by Phil Hester
Drawn by Brian Churilla
SC, 24pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
Diamond Code: SEP090680

Heaven’s hulking enforcer is on the hunt for both demon blood and the truth about his origin. His never ending battle takes him to a wild horse preserve in England where he must destroy or be destroyed by a hellish, bestial huntsman who feasts on unwitting campers. On a scale of 1 to 10, this comic goes to eleven. Retailers — clear racks on either side of The Anchor for the safety of lesser books.

KILL AUDIO #2 2nd Print
Written by Claudio Sanchez
Drawn by Sheldon Vella
SC, 24 pgs, FC, (2 of 6) SRP: $3.99
Diamond Code: OCT098070

The world of Sight and Sound is in chaos and Kill Audio is its only savior! Reluctantly going along with a plan he knows little of, he is hoping to discover his mysterious past and learn why he cannot die (although not for lack of others trying!).

UNCLE SCROOGE #384 2nd Print
Written by Erik Hedman
Drawn by Wanda Gattino
SC, 24 pgs, FC, SRP: $2.99
Diamond Code: OCT098130

You will feel the need for GREED! Follow the adventures of everyone’s favorite-feathered penny pincher! An all-new direction for icon Uncle Scrooge, as he comes to BOOM! Kids. Building on a tradition created by some of the greatest creators the comic book world has ever seen, like Carl Barks and Don Rosa, these issues of Uncle Scrooge will follow Scrooge on new adventures that North American audiences have never seen! Join us in a bold new era for Scrooge that pays tribute to the past but heads to a new future!

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