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Murder on the Orient Express (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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Murder on the Orient Express - Blu-ray Details

Movie Review

5 stars

The Avenger of the Innocent returns!

There is a masterful elegance that chugs alongside this murder mystery throughout its entire journey. From beginning to end, Murder on the Orient Express is an expression of old fashioned mechanics.  There really is no other way to put it and, apparently, that turned off a lot of critics. Whatever. From the engaging beginning in which the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) calls out the Chief Inspector of the crime Poirot has been asked to assist on to the line-up of the suspects at the end, this film is full steam ahead.

Murder on the Orient Express, under Kenneth Branagh's masterful direction, re-establishes this famous character and his quirks in a way that many fans of the prior movies/television shows and of Agatha Christie's own novels can appreciate. It is smartly done and looks absolutely amazing.

Is it sacrilegious to suggest that in a few quick moments (ending as Poirot smells the pastry masterpieces in the kitchen), Branagh makes me wish for more from him and less from David Suchet, who portrayed the character from January 1989 to November 2013 on the BBC? It probably is, but Branagh nails this performance.   And he needed to in order to make this infamous story – adapted by Blade Runner 2049’s Michael Green – work as well as it does.

There are, of course, many fine actors in this mystery. I’ll quickly go through the passenger list because its important to the success of the movie. On board this murderous ride are the likes of Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. One of them has committed a murder aboard this renowned trans-European train and it is Poirot’s job to sniff out the killer.

And Branagh, as the talented director that he has always been, STILL has the grace and the skill to make this movie charm the pants off of any audience member reluctant to dive in. There’s not a wasted moment in this page-turner of a mystery. Seriously. From the stunning CGI vistas to the comedic touches along the way as this group of strangers rubs more than elbows thanks to the rocking of the train, Branagh has a modern masterpiece on his hands and he delivers time and time again on board the Orient Express.

Each and every actor – with a special tip of the hat to Depp’s portrayal of one paranoid businessman (read as gangster) Edward Ratchett – brings their A-game to this film. But only one of them dares point a pistol at the famous Belgian detective in demand of his services. Too bad he’s the one to go.

Beautifully photographed by Haris Zambarloukos, who also shot Thor and Cinderella for Branagh, and scored by Patrick Doyle, Murder on the Orient Express – with a rather dramatic avalanche that derails the train (but never the movie) and incredibly well-staged scenes of suspense inside each and every train compartment – absolutely wows the viewer with an artistic vision that is both constant and immediate. This is a fully charged and old-fashioned mystery that never surrenders in its sense of duty.  This film is a long and perilous journey in which our "little gray cells" definitely do not starve and die.

There’s simply no easy way off this train. You want to be included in the mystery, the style, and the mood and, due to a swift intelligence behind the camera, the greatest detective in the world is back on the case for our continued pleasure.

Murder on the Orient Express is one ride you do not want to miss.

All aboard!

 

Film Details

murder on the orient express - bluray

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and thematic elements.
Runtime: 114 mins
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Michael Green
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe
Genre: Drama | Crime
Tagline: Everyone is a Suspect.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I can only see a world as it should be. It makes an imperfection stick out like the nose on your face."
Theatrical Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site: www.cluesareeverywhere.com/
Release Date: November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: November 10, 2017
Synopsis: When a murder occurs on the train he's travelling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

Murder on the Orient Express - Blu-ray Details

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Available on Blu-ray - February 27, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Simplified), Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); Digital copy; Movies Anywhere; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

20th Century Fox releases Murder on the Orient Express on blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1. The film is expertly color graded and the color saturation provides minute detail puncturing, replicated here in great moments of detail, texture on the train, and atmospheric environmentals. The mood is sharpened throughout the feature by the costumes. Fortunately, even threads are visible in this fine presentation. The transfer handles all the happenings expertly. Blacks are deep and colors, as mentioned early, are varied and supple. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that accompanies the picture is just as strong, rattling window frames and walls with its immersive field of sound.

Supplements:

Commentary:

With a fine commentary provided by Kenneth Branagh and Michael Greene, this one scores big, big points. It is both clever and informative; a winning combination.

Special Features:

With a featurette that includes interviews with Agathat Christie’s grandson and great-grandson, fans of the author are bound to be pleased with this collection. Want to know why her lead detective’s moustache is so grand? It’s included here. Also included are interviews with cast and crew, as well as looks at the composer, the shooting and staging of the mystery, and 16 minutes of deleted scenes.  A DVD and Digital Copy are also included with the release.  

Agatha Christie: An Intimate Portrait (19 min)
Let's Talk About Hercule Poirot (10 min)
Unusual Suspects: Part One (5 min)
The Art of Murder (16 min)
Unusual Suspects: Part Two (6 min)
All Aboard: Filming Murder on the Orient Express (17 min)
Unusual Suspects: Part Three (7 min)
Music of Murder (7 min)
Deleted Scenes (17 min)
Theatrical Trailers (4 min)
Gallery (3 min)

murder on the orient express - bluray

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