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.
Based on the iconic children’s series by Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit centers on the titular character, a self-confident and mischievous rabbit (Corden) who is determined to claim victory over the animal hating Mr. McGregor (Domnhnall Gleeson). McGregor is vying for the affections of his neighbor Bea (Rose Byrne), and it’s up to Peter and his siblings (voices of Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki) to stop the coupling from coming to fruition. Will Gluck, who helmed the 2014 feature Annie, directs.
“I guess when he does mess up and make a mistake, he rectifies it in the best way possible,” said Corden. “And that I think is the best message for the film really which is everyone is going to make mistakes, all the time, all of us, whoever you are, there are screw ups coming your way. But what’s important is how you deal with those mistakes and who you are in those mistakes and that you learn from them and try not to make them again.”
Click on the media bar to hear Corden talk about the “constantly evolving” process behind Peter Rabbit:
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.
From the very first Star Wars movie, the mysterious Force has been at the center of the story’s mythology. While The Force has never been clearly defined, we’ve seen its supernatural, meditative power, and we know it can be used for good or for evil. Daisy Ridley, who joined the series for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and stars in the new movie, The Last Jedi, wishes our world would somehow find a way to tap into The Force… and use it for good.
The wait is almost over! Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.
Kenneth Branaghdoesn’t mind taking on literary giants, and now he’s in Agatha Christie territory with Murder on the Orient Express. Directing the film and starring as Hercule Poirot was a creative challenge for the filmmaker, and he definitely wanted to bring a different take to the 1974 version.
“The one thing (screenwriter) Michael Green wanted to do that I applauded was show Poirot in action from the word go,” said Branagh. “I present a denouement at the beginning of the show from a case that we did not know. When I read the script to begin with, the thing I found most delicious was leaning forward thinking what is he doing exactly? From the time he puts that pane on the wall, He’s just a bit mad, isn’t he, this fellow.”
Click on the media bar to hear how Shakespeare and Agatha Christie shaped him as a storyteller.
Co-starring Daisy Ridley and Johnny Depp, Murder on the Orient Express is now playing nationwide.