The age of physical media may be going the way of the dodo bird, but there are still legitimate cases to be made for having an extensive Blu-ray collection. Streaming your films may be wonderful if your internet never gets laggy, but from my perspective having a disc handy, especially with first rate features, is absolutely necessary.
Murder on the Orient Express, ambitiously directed by Kenneth Branagh (who’s also convincing as Hercule Poirot), is an absolute visual stunner. Branagh brings his underrated cinematic scope (for examples, check out his flicks Hamlet and Thor) into Agatha Christie’s immersive world, as Poirot investigates the passengers on a train where someone was recently murdered.
Boasting an all-star cast that includes Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, and Michelle Pfeiffer (delivering the film’s most standout performance!), Murder on the Orient Express is a must-have if you love watching a beautifully mounted production that’s anchored by first rate stortyelling.
Click on the media bar to hear Daisy Ridley talk about what makes Murder on the Orient Express a unique film:
Murder on the Orient Express also boasts an array of special features, but the crown jewel of the extras are its deleted scenes. The 16 minutes worth of extra footage brings a more comedic element to the proceedings, as Poirot’s obsessive grooming is played for laughs. Also included is a surreal montage sequence which Branagh cites as an homage to the Salvador Dali scene in Spellbound. Last but not least, there is an extended section at the Arasta Bazaar which introduces all the major players of the film (the final scene is much more brisk). The extras also include several featurettes (including a spotlight on Agatha Christie and the music behind the film) as well as commentary from Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green.
Kenneth Branagh’s inspired adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express hits Blu-ray and DVD February 27 via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Branagh, who directed the feature, stars as the inscrutable Hercule Poirot, the detective who is trying his best to solve a murder that takes place during a tragic train ride. The all star cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, and Judi Dench.
Click on the media bar below to hear Ridley discuss the cinematic appeal of Murder on the Orient Express.
Special features on both versions include a plethora of featurettes (“Agatha Christie: An Intimate Portrait,” “Let’s Talk About Hercule Poirot,” Unusual Suspects (Part One, Two and Three), “The Art of Murder,” “Music of Murder,” “All Aboard: Filming Murder on the Orient Express.
Along with commentary from Branagh, the filmmaker also provides optional commentary on the disc’s deleted scenes.
Agatha Christie had a successful cinematic run this year thanks to the success of Murder on the Orient Express, and another of her works is also available as Crooked House hits Blu-ray and DVD January 16.
The tale centers on Charles Hayward (Max Irons), a former spy turned private detective who investigates the death of a wealthy patriarch. Family secrets abound during his investigation as Hayward digs deeper into the lives of a theater actress (Gillian Anderson), the patriarch’s widow (Christina Hendricks) and the family’s matriarch (Glenn Close). Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, the script was penned by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).
Blu-ray extras include three featurettes (Agatha Christie: A Timeless Fascination, Whodunnit? – The Characters of Crooked House, and Elegance & Innovation: The Design of Crooked House). The DVD comes with the two featurettes (the Agatha Christie segment is a Blu-ray exclusive).
On this day in 1974, PARAMOUNT PICTURES released MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Directed by SIDNEY LUMET from the classic novel by AGATHA CHRISTIE, this film is as famous for it’s cast as it is for it’s story. The all-star line up included ALBERT FINNEY, LAUREN BACALL, MARTIN BALSAM, INGRID BERGMAN, JACQUELINE BISSET, SEAN CONNERY, JOHN GIELGUD, WENDY HILLER, ANTHONY PERKINS, VANESSA REDGRAVE, RICHARD WIDMARK and MICHAEL YORK.
Tonight’s debut of the CBS series HARPER’S ISLAND will be a bit of a test for some audiences. It’s a sort of AGATHA CHRISTIE meets WES CRAVEN murder and mayhem mash-up that may or may not be a little too graphic for the non-cable crowd. The series is designed to last thirteen weeks with no reprieve. Cast members die each episode with little or no warning. We spoke star KATIE CASSIDY who told us this is a strange gig for her. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR BELOW):