Sherlock Holmes fans are in for a treat from master actors separated by 99 years.
In the recent gem “Mr. Holmes,” Ian McKellen hits the perfect bittersweet notes as an aged Sherlock, whose lonely life is haunted by his final case, his fictionalized fame and his fading faculties. Laura Linney, as his put-upon housekeeper, and Milo Parker, as her wide-eyed son, add to the acting tour de force in an involving story that gently unfolds in dueling flashbacks amid stunning seaside scenery. The Blu-ray (Lionsgate, $25; also DVD, $20) adds two superficial featurettes barely the length of the included trailer.
Once thought lost, the silent film has been lovingly restored from a recently discovered French dupe negative by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and La Cinematheque Francaise. The project was supported in part by the University of Minnesota Library’s Sherlock Holmes Collections, the world's largest repository of materials dedicated to Arthur Conan Doyle's creation.
Speaking of Doyle, he pops up on Flicker Alley’s essential Blu-ray/DVD ($30) of the rediscovered silent film in a Fox Movietone newsreel discussing his beliefs in spiritualism. Other historical goodies include 1900's "Sherlock Holmes Baffled," the earliest known film for the character, presented in high-def; other Holmes shorts; and a wealth of background material on the project.