Young Sherlock Holmes

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Nicholas Rowe, Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, Anthony Higgins

’Young Sherlock Holmes’ is a charming film that has captured many hearts with its intriguing premise, the plot development and the overall Victorian atmosphere. Combined with the cool special effects and good acting, it is a thoroughly enjoyable film from the first minute to the last.

At last, Paramount Home Entertainment has released this film on DVD and the result is a movie presentation that renders an image free of blemishes of speckles. Though a bit of grain is evident in a handful of shots, it is never distracting and oftentimes a result of the optical effects used in much of the film. Colors are vibrant and rich but never over-saturated. This gives the film the warm hues it needs for the indoor shots, while the blue hues of the nighttime scenes are equally impressive and vivid. Black levels are very good throughout, creating a deep image with solid shadows, helping to increase the level of suspense of the film. Very slight edge-enhancement is evident occasionally but he compression is free of any artifacts.

The audio on the DVD comes as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that makes good a frequent use of the surround channels. While not extremely aggressive, the surrounds are put to good effect here, creating bustling, lively and eerie ambiances – especially once the chanting enters the picture. An English Dolby Surround track and a French mono track are also provided on the release.

Sadly the DVD does not contain any special features, which is a bit disappointing, especially since the glass knight scene in the church is actually one of the first ILM-generated computer-animated shots in movie history and would most definitely have deserved some explanation. A commentary track on this project would have also been nice, but unfortunately none of that sort can be found here.

’Young Sherlock Holmes’ is a great entertaining Sunday afternoon flick and the DVD is solid in terms of quality, no doubt. Too bad only that Paramount has not added a single additional feature to the release.