I like seeing two movies back to back, and not always sequels or parts of a series. Making a slightly more abstract connexion makes for a more interesting viewing experience.
This week’s unusual pairing of movies are:
YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES
For me, the 1980’s were a magical time for movies. After STAR WARS in the late 70’s, blockbuster filmmaking kicked up. Steven Spielberg became a mogul after E.T. the EXTRA TERRESTRIAL in 1982. He took a few years off of directing and his company AMBLIN started producing several films for other directors.
Two of my favorites were both had screenplays written by CHRIS COLUMBUS who would soon make a name for himself as a director, eventually doing the first 2 HARRY POTTER adaptations. First up is the ever classic THE GOONIES. Richard Donner directed the cast of young kids that had some of the most hilarious and realistic kid interactions cinema ever saw. After 2 Indiana Jones films, this movie was a fantasy come true for every pre-teen boy that saw those films.
THE GOONIES still reverberates with me as a grown up, remembering my fondness of that time right as you turn from puberty into the teen angst. A treasure map, pirate ship, and a ton of underground tunnels for adventure, you simply cannot beat this for kicking the imagination up.
In the same year, 1985, a much lesser known film took on a more ambitious YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES. Even though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote of Sherlock and John Watson meeting for the first time as adults in his first story, this film posits that they met as prep school chums. Given that this was not based on any specific writing, it delves into some amazing depths of character and motivations for the entire canon of Sherlock Holmes material.
This is a highly underrated film with great action, sets, acting, and writing. Directed by Barry Levinson, YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES gets passed over far too often. With how present the character of SHERLOCK HOLMES is with ELEMENTARY and SHERLOCK on TV and Robert Downey Jr.’s films, I would hope more people discover this cinematic gem.
I put these movies together because they both came out in 1985, both executive produced by Spielberg, and screenplays by Chris Columbus. Somehow, they play really well back to back.