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The Hound of the Baskervilles
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Manufacturer: BBC Warner
Starring: Richard Roxburgh, Ian Hart, Richard E. Grant, Matt Day, John Nettles (II)
Directed By: David Attwood
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5

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Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Binding: DVD
Brand: Warner Brothers
EAN: 9780790774206
Format: Anamorphic
ISBN: 0790774208
Label: BBC Warner
Manufacturer: BBC Warner
Number Of Items: 1
Publisher: BBC Warner
Region Code: 1
Release Date: 2003-01-21
Running Time: 100
Studio: BBC Warner
Theatrical Release Date: 2003-01-19

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Editorial Reviews:

In this energetic and bold adaptation Conan Doyle's legendary characters are portrayed with a pace and vigor that capture the spirit of the original story. Sir Charles of Baskerville lies dead on the moors of his family estate. The look of abject fear on his face and the presence of animal footprints around his corpse suggest the impossible; that the ghost of a fearsome hound long feared by the Baskerville family is responsible for his death. As the new heir Sir Henry Baskerville takes up residence at the estate legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusted associate Dr. Watson arrive to investigate the mystery.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA UPC: 794051173126

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The white-knuckle version of "The Hound"
Comment: This is a story about a Canadian, Sir Henry Baskerville, who inherits a valuable and huge estate on Dartmoor, a dreary and forbidding environment. A family curse, (manifested by an incredibly huge, vicious, and horrific hound), has apparently caused his ancestors' demise and it looks as if Sir Henry is similarly doomed.

The characters who surround Sir Henry at his ancestral home are a nefarious lot and it's near impossible to decide who is behind which of the many mysterious goings-on around Baskerville Hall. A sub-plot is that an escaped murderous lunatic has escaped from a nearby prison and is running amuk in the neighborhood. In the end, the buck stops with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to prevent Sir Henry's death.

To attempt to compare this adaptation of Doyle's Magnum opus to the previous releases would be a futile endeavor indeed. While all the other "Hound" versions fall into the mystery genre, this one clearly fits into that of "suspense".

Here, we have a serious, non-traditional look at "The Hound of the Baskervilles," perhaps more true to Doyle's tale (in its approach and rendering) than all of the others. However, if you are one of those rabid Sherlock Holmes movie fans who has viewed, re-viewed, and savored the numerous other renditions, you are hereby advised that this film might possibly not be your cup of tea, perhaps due to pre-conceived notions of what the film's general ambiance and casting should be. I can best describe it by saying that this is how a writer-director might have completed the film if they had simply read the story (having never read any other Doyle works), and having never previously seen any other Sherlock Holmes films.

Don't get me wrong, this is a superb movie but it's best to first clear your mind of any prior stereotypes which you've developed about Sherlock Holmes. Both the casting and the filmscore also contribute to this actuality.

Some observations: if you like films with rain, ("It was a dark and rainy night...") then you'll be really wild about this one. My second-favorite "now-British" actor, (Richard Burton still holds my No. 1 spot), Richard E. Grant plays "Stapleton," carrying off this unique role with unparalleled excellence. He's actually Swiss but you'd never know it by seeing him in his traditional roles. I first saw him in "Gosford Park," (2001) the finest tongue-in-cheek British mystery ever produced,...

Gosford Park

...where he played "George," the hubristic and surreptitious sub-butler.

The scenes, sets, and cinematography in this film are just terrific. The original music, by Rob Lane, is subtle, appropriate, and very dark, which of course adds to the movie's considerable appeal to suspense fans. I particularly enjoyed the séance scene which comes to an abrupt end, and which will help to generate your white knuckles.

"The Hound of the Baskervilles" (2002) is a BBC production, shot in letterbox format, and runs for 100 minutes. The 5.1 Surround Sound is great (love that thunder!) and there is a "making of" facet to the DVD. There are also interviews with the cast and the crew.

Beyond all those comments, all I can say is that I hope you enjoy viewing this fine film as much as I did.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Almost a Great Adaptation
Comment: There is much to admire about this adaptation of Hound of the Baskervilles. As great as Jeremy Brett was, and he was the greatest Homes ever IMO, his version of The Hound was rather dull. Kudos to this production for trying to bump up the excitement a notch.

As many have said, The Hound is far from Doyle's best Holmes story, and it has been done to death. This version tried to add some excitement that has been lost through the years. The most effective way they accomplished this was with the scariest, most atmospheric Devonshire ever. The constant wind and rain made the moors appear cold unpleasant and dangerous. I also admired the Baker street set, both interior and exterior. I also liked the red herrings in the persons of Barrymore and Dr Mortimer. They have not looked this suspicious since the Rathbone version.

I liked Roxburgh as Holmes. He did not have a lot to do, as Holmes is not in the story all that much, but he seemed cold and analytical and had a proper Victorian stiffness. Sir Henry, the Barrymores, Dr Mortimer and the Stapletons were all well cast as well.

What I did not like: 1.) the young and "unusually passionate" Watson. There is a reason Ian Hart's Watson's passion is "unusual". That is because it is misplaced. Holmes and Watson were properly reserved Victorian men. Watson had served in Afghanistan and had been wounded, and he is a doctor, so he should have been more "stiff upper lip" IMO. I cannot blame his passion in the climax in which something horrific happens that was not in the book. The director and writer may have seen Holmes and Watson as "a couple", but that does not mean that Doyle did. 2.) Holmes' cocaine use. Yes, we all know that Doyle referred to Holmes using cocaine. However, he only did this when he had no cases, and thus, no exercise for his mind. Cocaine apparently provided a similar stimulation to working on a case. In this movie, he starts shooting up just after starting the case, which makes no sense at all. 3.) The lack of the walking stick scene at the beginning. The best way to start a Holmes story is with Holmes demonstrating some deductive reasoning. The scene in which he deduces much from Dr Mortimer's stick should have been included and they could have done without the Turkish bath scene. 4.) the denouement was too long and protracted. The movie moved along quite well until Holmes reappeared, and then it sort of ground to a halt. 5.) The Hound. I found the CGI hound to be a bit silly. Not because it didn't look "real" enough (and it did not). ---SPOILER ALERT---It was silly because they tried too hard to make the Hound look unreal. IMO, the only version that really has gotten the dog more or less right is the Basil Rathbone version. Sure the hound of the legend is described as a "great black blazing eyed beast...larger than any hound mortal eye looked upon". But the hound that attacks Sir Henry is just a dog. There is no "ghost" breed of dog or "hound from hell" dog. The dog would simply have to be a big dog like a Great Dane or a Bull Mastiff. He was supposed to be coated with phosphorus to give it an unreal glow, but would still have been a real dog.

I also did not like the false assertions by the filmmakers during the "making of" featurette. They said Holmes only smoked cigarettes, and never wore a deerstalker, and that these were stage props that somehow found their way into people's perception of Sherlock. But in the stories Holmes smokes all manner of tobacco products, mainly pipes. Maybe in The Hound he only smoked cigarettes, but they did not say that. And, Sidney Paget has Holmes in deerstalker and hooded coat (no cape) in some stories (but not The Hound), so it was not merely actor William Gilette who came up with those trappings. These guys should know when they make such statements that the viewers may know a thing or two themselves.

So, I give it a `3'. It was very "in your face" for the first two thirds. It could have been the best ever if they hadn't gotten too cute with the story. The basic story by Doyle, filmed in such an atmospheric manner would have worked just fine. It's still many miles ahead of the ludicrous Matt Frewer efforts.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: DVD did not work on DVD player
Comment: The only way we could watch the DVD was to use our computer. It would not run on our DVD player.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Very unfaithful to the original! Beware!
Comment: I am very glad that I checked this DVD out from the library instead of blowing my money on buying it, or even squandering three bucks to rent it. I, like every true Holmes fanatic, was very interested when I saw this DVD and immediately snatched it up and hurried home to watch it. What a waste of time!

After having read almost all the reviews of this movie on this webpage, it's fairly obvious to me that the vast majority of the people who actually liked this travesty were people who aren't true Holmes fans. I'm not even referring to Holmes 'purists', I'm talking about anyone who read enough of the Conan Doyle stories to know, and appreciate, who Holmes and Watson were. Trust me, folks... they weren't THESE guys!

Did anybody associated with this movie read any of Doyle's stories? I mean, I understand that if a classic is going to be remade, there is such a thing as artistic license, and a few slight changes can be worked in for the sake of drama. I certainly don't think a movie has to be 100% faithful to the book, but PLEASE! This one insults the sensibilities of all true fans of the great detective. There have been so many remakes of this movie that another was hardly necessary, but the executives behind this flick evidently thought they would bring Sherlock Holmes' greatest adventure to a new generation of viewers by 'modernizing' it and changing the story all around. Well, it stunk because of it, and they shouldn't even have used the original title, IMO. At least the Granada television series, starring the best Holmes of all, Jeremy Brett, had the good sense to change the title of one of Conan Doyle's stories when they made some changes to it (original title: The Noble Bachelor. Granada title: The Eligible Bachelor). No way in hell this dud should have the same title as the 'real' Hound of the Baskervilles. It's almost false advertising to call it that! I have an idea. How about, instead of rewriting half the original story, thus making it unrecognizable to Holmes fans... how about just writing an all new story? Conan Doyle gave his blessings for anyone, anytime to go ahead and write anything they want about Holmes. Why pollute an all-time classic story by removing scenes that were important to the original story, and adding irrelevant scenes like a seance and a Christmas party? What's the point?

As to Holmes' use of cocaine in this movie, it's been said a hundred times already that he never used it while on a case, but even if the re-writers felt it necessary to show him injecting it once, I would have been okay with that. Again, artistic license. But later in the movie, they show him taking it again, and reveal several needle marks in his arm, in order to make it appear that he is a damned junkie! That's too much and very unnecessary.

As for the oft-mentioned CGI animated hound, I agree with those who said it was painfully obvious this was animation. They tried to make a 'monster hound' for the sake of effect, instead of sticking to the script. It was supposed to be a REAL hound that was covered in some sort of luminescent phosphorus, but didn't come off that way in this film. Where is that 'ethereal' glow to the hound that was so well documented by Watson? Instead, we are treated to a 'Frankenstein' hound. The hound was supposed to be seen as something supernatural by those who saw it, not as a cartoon. Lions and tigers and hounds, oh my!

Lastly, the casting and the acting. It has been pointed out many times also that Richard Grant should have been the one to portray Holmes, not Richard Roxburgh. Had those two switched roles, I feel it would have redeemed a little bit of this bogus remake. This is supposed to be a Sherlock Holmes movie, not a Jack Stapleton movie, but in this case, the groom far outshone the bride at the bride's own wedding, if you get my drift. Matt Day, as Sir Henry Baskerville, gave a wooden performance about half the time, I thought. All too often it sounded as though he were reading his lines.

I have read some people's opinion that this is a movie that should be seen by all true Holmes fans. I TOTALLY disagree! This is a movie that all TRUE Holmes fans should avoid like the Bubonic Plague. You will only be disappointed and appalled at the pointless changes to the story, and you would no doubt agree that this movie should NOT be called 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' because, clearly, it isn't. The only way to enjoy this movie, IMO, is to not know anything about the original Doyle story and accept it as a 'new' Holmes story. Those who are familiar with the original story will likely feel much as I do, I believe.

If you must see this movie, do what I did. Check it out from your local library. That way, you won't be wasting your hard-earned money on it. Peace.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Nothing is carved in stone
Comment: Sherlock Holmes,afterall,is a fiction,and not a real person,and the so-called"canon"of his adventures represent a collection of fictions and not an historical record of any reality...Thus,when a new take on one of these fictions comes along I am hard-pressed to understand why it is so necessary to some that all of the plot devices of the original be maintained and that nothing original be added..This version of "The hound of the Baskervilles" rearranges much of the original story,adds a number of original touches not included in the Doyle work,and comes off as a refreshing break from the same old ground trod repeatedly in the past...Being a fan of the late Jeremy Brent,I can be sympathetic towards those who say that Richard Roxburgh does not measure up,but Brent was all about portraying the classic Holmes as written by Doyle,while this new version calls for a portrayal that departs from the Doyle model,and in this Roxburgh succeeds well...While the basic outline of the story has been maintained,the new Holmes is darker,less secure in his abilities(thus his departure from smoking three pipes in order to think out a problem,and instead his use of the 7% solution),and therefore more human than the Doyle creation,which in itself seems a much-needed improvement..Watson,whom many regard as being in fact Doyle himself,is young,which was what Doyle was when writing most of these original stories,so the fact that he is portrayed here as a young man seems much more true-to-form than the many old Watsons that have come before..Some may quibble with the ending,but,afterall,this film uses the original story only as a launching pad for something new and different and,therefore,one cannot really expect the ending to be the same old same old.

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