Without A Clue (1988) Blu-ray

1727811hThis isn’t typically a movie I would watch. I was never a fan of Sherlock Holmes but since it’s a 80s movie, late 80s to be exact, it does come with a couple of memories, thus making it a memory movie and the reason why I’m reviewing it now.

I was 19 when it came out and was just a week into my first job at K-Mart. My mother wanted to see it badly but my father didn’t want to and she had no plans to see it by herself, so I offered. If this had been a serious Holmes flick, no, I don’t think I would have done my mother a solid, but, hey, the trailer actually made it look funny and I’ve been a fan of Michael Caine ever since his creepy work in The Hand (1981) impressed me.

Last night was the second time I’ve seen this flick ever and it’s not a bad movie really.

Michael Caine plays Sherlock Holmes and Ben Kingsley plays Dr. John Watson. The opening makes you think you’re dealing with a serious flick as Holmes and Watson are hiding out in a museum eager to catch these two crooks. Jeffrey Jones as Inspecter Lestrade shows up moments later to arrest and take the crooks away, but once he and everyone are gone we see the gag. Holmes is the idiot and Watson is the real mastermind behind the legend.

Holmes in fact isn’t even Holmes, he’s Reginald Kincaid, a washed up actor, Watson hired to portray the legendary detective whom he writes about and has these tales published in a local magazine called, The Strand. Peter Cook playing Norman Greenhough is the editor.

But Kincaid has screwed up for the last time and Watson kicks his ass to the curb. He tries to continue investigating this ongoing case that stems from the museum robbery in the beginning but finds he can’t get anywhere because Holmes isn’t with him. Reluctantly he now has to go find Kincaid and get him back, for this case ends up being a big one, but for this one last time. This case is so big, in fact, clues eventually end up implicating their infamous nemesis Professor Moriarty (Paul Freeman). This time out Moriarty is trying his hand at counterfeiting.

Lysette Anthony (Krull) even puts in a late appearance, almost at the hour mark, as Lesley Giles, the daughter of Peter Giles, a printing press technician who has disappeared, but Anthony is an imposter; a plant to keep tabs on Holmes and Watson.

By the end Kincaid and Watson come to respect and even like one another after their life and death confrontation with Moriarty and his henchmen. The way this movie ended I always thought they might do a sequel. They never did. The comedy is more prevalent in the beginning and while it’s not necessarily laugh out load I still found it amusing. Chuckle worthy to be exact.

On March 31st Olive Films releases it on separate DVD and blu-ray editions. This film was originally released on disc back in 2004 but in a full frame transfer. This will be the first time it has seen a widescreen release. not to mention a blu-ray one.


Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.85:1 high definition widescreen—English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio—no subtitles.

The back of the box states the aspect ratio is 1.66:1 but I’ve read some other reviews stating it’s really 1.85:1, which may be right. I think a 1.66:1 ratio would show some black bars on the left and right sides, Olive’s transfer fills the whole screen, so I’m going to concede and say this is more a 1.85:1 transfer.


My mother owns the initial DVD so I compared that transfer to Olive’s new blu and while it looks better I would call this blu just a moderate upgrade. Certainly if you’re a fan the main selling point is the widescreen transfer. Based on that alone I’m recommending this new DVD and blu. Personally, I can let a lot slide, a moderate upgrade is better than no upgrade at all. I know that’s setting the bar low, but if a flick isn’t in it’s original aspect ratio that’s a deal breaker for me. Period.

There are no extras on this disc other than the film’s trailer.

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About Shawn Francis

Movie collector and horror writer.
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