On Movies & Movie Collecting: ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’ – Hey, a Guy CAN Change His Mind…if He Can Afford To, Anyway

(C) 1985, 2023 Paramount Pictures/Amblin Entertainment/Paramount Home Media Distribution. Movie art by Drew Struzan.

Remember, Dear Reader, when I told you yesterday that I’d canceled a couple of movie pre-orders on Amazon due to necessary budget cuts?

I didn’t have a long list of pre-orders, mind you, especially for titles with January 2023 release dates, such as Groundhog Day: 30th Anniversary Edition (January 10) and Young Sherlock Holmes (January 31).  But since I have no idea about how long I’ll be here or how much I’ll need to spend for food and stuff once I’m “on my own,” I decided to cancel Young Sherlock Holmes (which is only being released as a high-definition 2K Blu-ray – for the first time! – but in a steelbook container).

On Amazon, Young Sherlock Holmes (which I did not see in theaters when it was released in 1985) is offered for pre-order at $17.99, $2 less than Paramount Home Media Distribution’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $19.99. That usually would cover most of the cost of a modest order for one from Pizza Hut, not including the delivery fee, sales tax, and a tip for the driver.

It’s a Matter of Points…Rewards Points


Until yesterday, this was my only “monthly” splurge. Image Credit and (C) 1993, 2023 Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

However, when I checked my Amazon Visa Rewards Shop with Points account (which I usually don’t “raid” this early in the year and let points accumulate so I can get something really good with rewards points), I saw that I had close to 960 points credited there. So, even though I suck at math, I am not totally innumerate, so when I saw that I could afford to order Young Sherlock Holmes and use the rewards points to cover at least half of the cost, I re-ordered it.

What Paramount Says:

(C) 1985, 2023 Paramount Pictures/Amblin Entertainment/Paramount Home Media Distribution. Movie art by Drew Struzan.

The cult classic from director Barry Levinson, writer Chris Columbus and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg comes to Blu-ray in this LIMITED EDITION steelbook. Following the teenage years of Sherlock Holmes—who meets and befriends his future sidekick John Watson during their first semester of boarding school—the adventure begins after a series of deaths occur on campus. The groundbreaking Oscar-nominated special effects include the very first use of a completely computer-generated character in cinema.

Carefully Watched Packages – The Saga Resumes

Photo by Deva Darshan on Pexels.com

Amazon estimates that Young Sherlock Holmes, which was written by Chris Columbus and directed by Barry Levinson, will be delivered on Tuesday, January 31. I’m taking that ETA with a grain of salt; there’s still quite a bit of a logistical logjam with the shipping business, and I have no idea if the disc originates from the plant in Mexico or the one in Germany. If it’s from the disc replication plant in North America, it might arrive by the 31st, sure. From Europe? It depends on when the discs are made and shipped.

I could watch the movie on Amazon Prime Video – it’s currently on rotation there – and be done with it, but I decided to buy it to add some variety to my movie library. I’m not a Sherlock Holmes fan, but I do like the character enough to have bought a couple of Nicholas Meyer’s pastiche novels – including The Seven Percent Solution – and Herbert Ross’ 1976 film based on Meyer’s 1974 novel.

“Steven Spielberg Presents”

Steven Spielberg also produced Young Sherlock Holmes. As you know, Spielberg is my favorite filmmaker of all time, and even though he did not direct the movie, Columbus and Levinson worked closely with the director of E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; according to the review by Roger Ebert, Young Sherlock Holmes leans heavily into the Spielbergian filmography for its tone and themes:

If these story elements seem typical of Conan Doyle, there is also a lot in this movie that can be traced directly to the work of Steven Spielberg, the executive producer. The teenage heroes, for example, are not only inspired by Holmes and Watson, but are cousins of the young characters in “The Goonies.” The fascination with lighter-than-air flight leads to a closing scene that reminded me of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.” And the villain’s secret temple, with its ritual of human sacrifice, was not unlike scenes in both the Indiana Jones movies.

Young Sherlock Holmes is also known by fans of special effects as being the first film to use computer graphic imagery (CGI) in a mostly live-action feature film. Movie buffs, especially those who know the history of George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic and John Lasseter’s Pixar, are aware that this sequence was created by Pixar, which was a small division of ILM when Spielberg and Levinson made Young Sherlock Holmes.

So, if all goes well and my order arrives on the 31st, I’ll have what seems to be a decent, enjoyable (if non-canonical) movie about, natch, a young Sherlock Holmes and how he met his long-time friend John Watson, plus a trivial bit of movie history to boot. I just hope that my luck with steelbook cases holds; on Blu-ray.com’s forums, I’ve read so many posts about consumers who receive steelbooks with dents or scratches or loose discs inside!

Aside from that, there’s not much to tell. I still have that annoying cold, although the symptoms are not as bad today. And I’m still uneasy about my future, but I’m resigned to it.

And on that note, Dear Reader, I’ll close for now. If I feel up to writing another post later, I will do so. If I don’t…I don’t. So, until next time, stay safe, healthy, and warm, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Source: Young Sherlock Holmes review, December 4, 1985, originally published by Roger Ebert on the Chicago Sun-Times, and republished on his website, rogerebert.com.


Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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