Thursday, December 17, 2015

Quick Thoughts: "A Very Murray Christmas," "Mr. Holmes" & "Tokyo Tribe"

Quick Thoughts

Here's three more mini-reviews for you tonight.

A Very Murray Christmas
Okay, so its not much of a movie per se. But, there are a lot of great Hollywood actors involved in this one hour special you can watch right now on Netflix. Of course, the man of that hour is Bill Murray. Murray plays a version of himself trying get a Christmas special broadcast from New York City. The problem is that everyone he wanted for the show is having trouble making it due to the horrendous blizzard gripping the city. Running into famous actors playing themselves and famous actors playing characters, Murray still gets his Christmas special off the ground.

That Christmas special is mostly just famous people singing some very well-known Christmas tunes. Its a mini-musical, a special you might have seen growing up in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. Its absolutely harmless, but Murray really carries the thing, like he does with so many of his roles, he brings a wit and charm that is undeniable. I have to say that the "Santa Claus Wants some Lovin" number by Murray and George Clooney was particularly funny. I can't say that the thing as a whole blew my socks off, but its a fun watch for this time of year. Again, Miley Cyrus is in it, but not for very long.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Mr. Holmes
Sir Ian McKellen, you are a master of the craft.

McKellen plays a 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes suffering from dementia. We learn that his old colleague Dr. Watson has taken on the role of Arthur Flynn Boyle and wrote various stories of Sherlock's adventures. There was one case that Watson wrote horribly, one that Holmes that haunted Holmes for fifty years. He is having trouble remembering the case because of his illness. Holmes travels to Japan to get royal jelly in an effort to help his failing memory and he tries to write the true story of the case he sadly forgetting.

This may not feel like the typical Sherlock Holmes adventure, but it is a quieter and still elegant story. Its more about the story of how a man tries to set a record straight late in his life, but there is a small mystery that closes the film out that made me smile. Ian McKellen is just terrific, and I'd possibly be willing to throw an Oscar nod his way, but let's see the last few key performances this year has to offer before we get into that. For right now, "Mr. Holmes" is very much worth it, and a great little story.

FINAL GRADE: A

Tokyo Tribe
A movie about rival gangs in Tokyo, Japan...which also happens to be a rap musical. Yes, you read that right. This is the first rap musical I have ever seen in my life. And you what? It was actually kind of awesome. Something that is beyond words that you need to see to believe. Trust me, just go!

FINAL GRADE: A-

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