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).
She’s just 18, but Saoirse Ronan has already amassed an impressive cinematic resume thanks to her collaborations with directors Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna), Peter Jackson (The Lovely Bones), Peter Weir (The Way Back) and now, Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) with The Host.
Based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling book, the narrative has Ronan playing a young woman named Melanie Stryder whose body is being taken over by an alien soul. The battle of wills between Melanie and the Wanderer serve as the heart of the film.
During the interviews for The Host, Ronan talked about the challenge of playing two roles in the story.
The Host, co-starring Diane Kruger, Max Irons, and Jake Abel, opens nationwide March 29th.
Red Riding Hood is, of course, a stylized adaptation of the classic fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. However, this is a darker, sexier version of the story set in a village that is haunted by a werewolf. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) falls hard for orphaned woodcutter Peter (Shiloe Fernandez) to the disapproval of her family, who have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons).
The lovers plan to run away together. That is, until Valerie’s sister is killed by the local werewolf, who is preying on the villagers. Enter werewolf hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), who warns the town that the killer could be anyone of them. Is Valerie connected to the beast somehow?
Red Riding Hood is directed by Catherine Hardwicke – the same filmmaker who helmed Twilight – so expect steamy scenes.
Mars Needs Moms is Disney’s newest animated feature in a tale about a young boy named Milo (voiced by Seth Green), who gets a whole new appreciation of his mother (Joan Cusack) after she is abducted from Earth by Martians.
So, Milo does what any 9-year-old son would do; he stows away on a spaceship to reunite with his mom.
Mars Needs Moms is based on the book by Berkeley Breathed.
Battle: Los Angeles finds a marine platoon facing off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles. Actually, L.A. becomes the last stand for mankind after the world’s greatest cities fall – and as the platoon enters a battle no one expected.
Don’t dismiss this slightly ridiculous sci-fi plot because there are a number of notable names associated with the production. Aaron Eckhart, singer Ne-Yo, Bridget Moynahan and Michelle Rodriguez star in the pic.