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.
The force was strong with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as the flick took in $220 million, an opening figure that was only surpassed by December 2015’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Coming in light years behind was the animated flick Ferdinand with $13.3 million. Here’s the top 10:
Don’t expect Coco to be the #1 film next week with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but for now the animated flick is ruling the roost with an $18.3 million weekend. Justice League was #2 with $9.6 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. Coco – To date, the film has made over $135 million domestically. It collects $18.3 million this weekend.
2. Justice League – $9.6 million
3. Wonder – Julia Roberts drama takes in $8.5 million and crosses the $100 million domestic mark.
4. The Disaster Artist – Acclaimed comedy-drama from director/star James Franco makes $6.4 million.
5. Thor: Ragnarok – $6.2 million
6. Daddy’s Home 2 – $6 million
7. Murder on the Orient Express – This Hercule Poirot mystery has done well domestically with over $91 million amassed. It makes $5.1 million this weekend.
8. The Star – $3.7 million
9. Lady Bird – $3.5 million
10. Just Getting Started – Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones comedy bombs with a miserable $3.2 million debut.
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).