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Movie Breakdown: Murder On The Orient Express

November 8, 2017


Pre-Screening Stance:

This one looks like it should be a winner.  It’s based off Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery, it’s got a rather big cast of famous faces, and Kenneth Branagh is a pretty solid director (especially when it comes to period pieces).  Why then do I feel like it’s going to be a dud?

Post-Screening Ramble:

I greatly enjoyed Murder On The Orient Express, but I can see how it may not fly over too well with some.  It’s a hefty, patient film that expects you to be dazzled by every shot and intrigued by every line of dialogue.  The best way – I think – to describe it is Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films without the break neck pace and stylized methods.  Detective Hercule Poirot (a scene-chewing Kenneth Branagh) is an even-keeled perfectionist who solves crimes by asking questions, observing people and thinking.  So, unlike Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock, he doesn’t punch anyone or get loaded, and his only real quirk is that things have to be even/equal/etc.  If this sounds as though it might be boring for you, then it probably will be.  If, however, you’re down for a classic who-dun-it with a pretty setting and the right amount of over-acting, then this one will delight you.

My overall recommendation is that you head out and catch Murder On The Orient Express this weekend.  Not only is it a perfect fall weather movie, but it’ll make you want to go home and toss on the classics that inspired it.

One Last Thought:

This is a beautifully shot film and I’d really love to catch a 70mm screening, but it’s being shown in that format just about nowhere.  That’s a shame.  What”s also a bummer here is that I’d like to say maybe it’ll happen down the road, but my guess is that at some point seeing a 70mm print of anything will cease to be an option.

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