Over at Kung Fu Monkey, writers Mark Waid and John Rogers agree: Young Sherlock Holmes is worth a second look.
They are so right.
This Spielberg-produced, much overlooked film is a lovely gem and even has a clever sequence utilizing early computer effects more seamlessly than many of today's bloated CGI monstrosities. Taking advantage of the flatness of early computer creations, they animate a smashed, stained glass window in wonderful fight sequence/hallucination.
Chris Columbus's cleverly scripted the tale of how Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson met and became good friends and comrades at arms. Little touches include where Holmes got his deerstalker hat and how he formed his theories on deduction.
The film is surprisingly sweet and enjoyable, true to the canon in general, and actually quite poignant at times. It also makes an excellent case for Moriarity as a true villain for the ages. He is played most convincingly here by Anthony Higgins, who would go on to play Holmes himself in Sherlock Holmes Returns.
It's lovely to look at too, with cinematography by Stephen Goldblatt, excellent performances all around and nuanced direction by Barry Levinson.
What I most remember about the film though, is one of my favourite soundtracks of all time by Bruce Broughton. It's quite a magical suite of music and never fails to carry me away. Listen to portions of here at Bruce's site.
Yoda says, "Seek out and great viewing pleasure find you will."