Sherlock Hound Casefile 4 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sherlock Hound

Sherlock Hound Casefile 4

By Chris Beveridge     August 16, 2002
Release Date: August 13, 2002


Sherlock Hound Casefile 4
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Case File IV contains episodes 15-18: The Golden Statue of Great Burglar, The Secret of the Sacred Cross Sword, The Adventure of Thames Monster, The Adventure of the Three Students

221 Baker Street has gone to the dogs! Based upon Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories, Sherlock Hound delivers an inspiring introduction of these classic mysteries to new audiences. The wonderful story telling and signature directing styles from Japan’s best talent such as Hayao Miyazaki (Totoro, Princess Mononoke), re-populate Sherlock Holmes’ world with anthropomorphic dogs and a light touch suitable for all audiences!

Presented on a DVD-10, the English version will be on a separate side of the DVD from the Japanese version and contains 30-60 seconds more footage per episode than the digitally re-mastered Japanese Version.

The Review!


Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in Japanese. Being over twenty years old, it's your basic stereo track that's really just mono with everything going through the center channel. It sounds good without any noticeable distortions but what sounds like a slight bit of hiss. It's hard for me to tell due to some hearing problems of my own. We also listened to the English track while writing the review and noted that it basically sounded the same and without any real problems.

Video:
The video side of things is two fold. We're given a bit of an explanation of the source materials, in that the video was remastered from the original 35mm source with the exception of the opening, ending and previews. This is quite noticeable when you watch it, as those three segments simply don't look as good as the actual show itself and are generally a bit darker and much grainier. The actual show itself though looks surprisingly good with great looking colors, solid backgrounds and a complete lack of cross coloration. This is probably the best the show has looked in years, if not since its original release.

Packaging:
The covers for this series are done up in something of a Victorian style look with the look of a novel almost. This cover features a nice forest green background with a pencil sketch of Lestroude and his fellow officers running at the camera while waving their batons. The back cover features a few screenshots of the show and a quick idea of the shows premise while listing the episode numbers and titles. The foldout insert provides each of the episodes chapter information for each side of the disc and a larger version of the front cover sketch. The back side gives an interesting rundown on the history of the show an its origins.

Menu:
The menus are identical on each side and consists of static images with the main menu being a book and you select to play everything, select an episode or check the credits. There's little else here, but moving around the menus is fairly quick and everything is laid out normally. On the plus side, when you play the Japanese side, it starts up subtitles automatically.

Extras:
Hidden within the episode selection menu is the promotional clips section, which shows a few teasers for the show. There’s about five minutes worth of these.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Moving into the late teen episodes, the general flow of the stories is now very common, but there’s still something that keeps me very entertained by these episodes. While the mysteries continue to be fairly simple, for those who are seeing them for the first time, especially the younger target audience, they’re rather fun in trying to figure out the how of the crime. After all, we know Moriarity is responsible for everything!

The opening tale is an intriguing one, where a million pounds worth of gold bouillon has been stolen from the basement safe of a bank. Lestroude and the police spend well over a week trying to solve this without any luck. Holmes seems content to stay out of their way until they want his help, but once he comes across a missing persons case in the paper, he deduces that the two must be connected in some way. A famous sculptor has gone missing just within a day of the gold being stolen, and as we learn, his son has gone missing as well. Holmes then moves in his mix of calculated and random luck way of finding the clues that leads him to the heart of things.

The other episode that I enjoyed rather well was the Monster of the Thames River. Things open nicely as we have a young couple rowing down the Thames, with David playing the flute for his sweetheart Mary. Unknowingly, a larger boat passing by has slowed down enough so that the crew can enjoy the peaceful sounds. David’s naturally embarrassed, but we learn from this that he’s actually quite skilled and has won competitions for his abilities.

Luck is not on their side though as the mysterious metallic Monster of the Thames appears underneath and drags the larger boat under. The resulting mess ends up sending David and Mary’s tiny rowboat all over, eventually ditching both of them into the river. David ends up being dragged under by the current while Mary is rescued by a sailor before she goes under. She’s convinced David is still alive though, and gets the services of Holmes to try and figure out what’s going on. And as always, Holmes knows there’s only one person devious enough to conceive and pull off such a caper.

While these episodes aren’t groundbreaking, I’m again very much drawn to the simpler nature of the storytelling. Having spent the past two years reading many many many children’s books to my daughter, I’ve become more accustomed to the style that’s required. That’s not to say Holmes is for two year olds, but it’s done in a manner that’s right for the target audience age. And in a sense, I’m enjoying reliving my simpler past. Good stuff.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Promotional Clips

Review Equipment
Panasonic DVD-LV50 Portable Player

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