Holmes & Watson Blu-ray Review

Fan-favorite comedy duo, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly team up for a brand-new take on the timeless characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Holmes & Watson. Check out Ralph Potts’ Blu-ray review.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Sony Pictures – 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly MacDonald, Ralph Fiennes
Written & Directed by: Etan Cohen
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: April 9, 2019

“Weapons of Mass Deduction”


“Go back in time to witness the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, played by Will Ferrell (Anchorman), and his trusted sidekick John Watson, played by John C. Reilly (Stan & Ollie) as they are tasked to solve a murder at Buckingham Palace before the Queen becomes the killer’s next victim.” – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

In Holmes & Watson Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a mysterious murder at Buckingham Palace. It seems like an open-and-shut case as all signs point to Professor James Moriarty, the criminal mastermind and longtime nemesis of the crime-solving duo. When new twists and clues begin to emerge, the world’s greatest sleuth and his trusted assistant must now use their legendary wits and ingenious methods to catch the killer before the queen becomes the next victim.

After seeing the trailer for Holmes & Watson I knew exactly what to expect, a throw away comedy that would throw every insipid, politically incorrect, crass and outlandish situational gag at the wall to see what stuck. The fact that is true doesn’t mean that Holmes & Watson doesn’t have its moments. Director/writer Etan Cohen, goes for everything, including the kitchen sink, which certainly smacks of lazy writing but, there are some chuckle worthy moments.

I admittedly tend to find Will Ferrell’s penchant for one note comedy and incessant half naked antics to be tiresome, luckily, we don’t get any of the latter here. I like John C. Reilly and predominantly find his pairing with Ferrell to work well. The plot for Holmes & Watson isn’t the problem as the potential for a solid comedy is there. The screenplay relies too heavily on the antics and chemistry of its two stars, and bombarding the audience with over the top situations and cheeky humor rather than crafting a funny bone tickling comedy that resonates.

Be that as it may, Ferrell, and Reilly make for an entertaining tandem whose buffoonery provides moments that could certainly make Holmes & Watson popular among those that enjoy fast food comedies. As someone that can take or leave these types of films, I generally took it for what it was, had a few sporadic chuckles and called it a day.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide: 

The rating is for crude sexual material, some violence, language and drug references.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Holmes & Watson comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a high-quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.

The lossless soundtrack competently delivered the elements present in the recording. Dialog was well intonated with crystal clarity and good room penetration. The presentation offered an open soundstage across the front with definitive channel separation and good dynamic range. Surround use was limited to spatial cues and occasional panning effects that enhanced dimension. There weren’t any sub bass frequencies contained in the mix however the subwoofer was used to provide low bass emphasis that extended the low range content associated with the soundtrack’s elements.

Bonus Features:

  •  Line-O-Rama: Watch improv come alive as the actors embrace the Sherlock Holmes canon
     Deleted Scenes
     Will and John: Together Again: Nearly Step Brothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly possess and an incredible comedic chemistry. Watch their antics on the set of Holmes and Watson as they reminisce about their hilarious history.
     Seriously Absurd: The Cast: Serious about the craft of acting, Rebecca Hall, Lauren Lapkus and Ralph Fiennes and Billy Zane attempt to keep straight faces working on a set with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.
     Mrs. Hudson’s Men: The world’s foremost artists, scientists and authors could not resist the allure of Mrs. Hudson.
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Holmes & Watson is a fast food style comedy that is marginally helped along by the chemistry and comedic charisma of its two stars. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a fair supplemental set that should appeal to fans of the film. Depending on your tolerance for comedies of its ilk Holmes & Watson could muster enough laughs to be worth a rental on Blu-ray.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems 

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