In Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, around the globe headlines break the news: a scandal takes down an Indian cotton tycoon: a Chinese opium trader dies of an apparent overdose; bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna; the death of an American steel magnate...no one sees the connective thread between these seemingly random events—no one that is, except the great Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.), who has discerned a deliberate web of death and destruction. At its center sits a singularly sinister spider: Moriarty (Harris). Holmes' investigation into Moriarty's plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson (Law) out of London to France, Germany, and finally Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead and moving perilously close to completing his ominous plan. If he succeeds, it will not only bring him immense wealth and power but also will alter the course of history. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the Bonus View Maximum Movie Mode: "Inside of Sherlock Holmes" hosted by Robert Downey, Jr.; Focus Points featurettes: Holmesavision On Sateroids (HD 04:02), Moriarty's Master Plan Unleased (HD 07:09), Sherlock Holmes And Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry (HD 05:18), Meet Mycroff Holmes (HD 05:30), Sherlock Holmes: Under the Gypsy Spell (HD 04:02), Guy Ritchie's Well-Oiled Machine (HD 03:04), and Holmes Without Borders (HD 05:51); A "Game Of Shadows" Movie App for mobile device or tablet; BD-Live functionality; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 1080p AVC picture is stylized with a filtered effect ,to suggest the late 19th Century Victorian England (1891) setting. The imagery appears dense with compressed contrast that results in crushed blacks and shadows exhibiting poor or no delineation. Fleshtones are skewed in brownish hues with a desaturated appearance. Color filtering emphasizes browns, grays, and blues, and otherwise earthy dark tones. No bright colors are evident, with even reds deep and subdued. The cinematography creates dismal, drab, overcast visuals that project the sense of the time period. Resolution is generally well defined, with good detail exhibited in close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Due to the darker nature of the cinematography, viewing is optimized in a darkened environment, preferably a black room with a display capable of good black-level reproduction. The stylization is effective but in terms of pure imaging perimeters, the picture obscures the dramatic production design. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers a strong, aggressively enveloping directionalized holosonic® surround presence. The orchestral music score spans a wide and deep soundstage but instrument timbres are not distinct. Instrumental bass sounds perfectly natural and provides an impressive foundation to the music score. Dialogue is generally well produced and presented with effective spatial integration. Sound effects and atmospheric effects are effectively directionalized and panned, which enhances the sense of dimension and appropriately expansive space when the scene suggests. Foley and sound effects are effectively executed and directionalized. At times, during the action sequences, the SPL is at full-reference engagement in all channels, for dramatic effect. Bass extension is deep and powerful, especially in the .1 LFE channel, which extends to sub-25 Hz frequencies. This is an exciting and creative soundtrack that is engaging and is reference quality. (Gary Reber)