Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – Movie Review [Exploring the Past]

TL;DR – A perfectly pleasant presentation of Poirot’s perceived peculiarities as he pertains the proceeds of a pernicious passing.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ streaming service that viewed this film

The Orient Express on a mountainside.

Murder on the Orient Express Review

Every year, you intend to see one or two films, but they manage to slip out of your hands like the one fish they need to eat in Alone. In 2017, one of those films was Murder on the Orient Express, a modern adaptation of the classic book and film. Indeed, if nothing else, the cast list alone merits giving this one a watch. Today, given that I am about to watch the sequel, it felt like a better now than never prospect, so let’s dive in.  

So to set the scene, it is 1934, and we start in Jerusalem at The Wailing Wall, where hotel staff are making eggs for a painfully precise Poirot (Kenneth Branagh). A Rabbi, a Priest, and an Iman are accused of stealing a relic, and the city is about to explode into a riot. Well, one arrested police chief later, and a boat ride to Istanbul, Hercule Poirot and an assortment of colourful characters board the famous/infamous Orient Express, three days of peace and no crime, bar for a bit of murder discovered after an avalanche derails the train. A train full of people, one of them a killer, and the threat that more may die before the snow is cleared.

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Belfast – Movie Review

TL;DR – A delightful film that has the ability to surprise you with its emotional content, even when you know it is coming.    

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Belfast. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Belfast Review

When I trace my lineage back in time, half of me comes from Ireland and the other half from England, which makes any film set in Northern Ireland this odd combination of interests and concern. I honestly did not know what to expect when I walked into the cinema, which was for the best as I got sucked into this narrative and world.

So to set the scene, on the 15th of August 1969, it was a quiet day in the suburbs of Belfast. Ma (Caitríona Balfe) calls out across the street for Buddy (Jude Hill) that it is time to come home for dinner. As the request gets passed up the road, Buddy comes galloping home only to crash into a riot in progress. As the violence increases, a barricade is put up on the street, and Pa (Jamie Dornan) comes rushing home from overseas because soon, the family will have to make some hard choices.   

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Movie Review – Victoria and Abdul

TL;DR – A beautiful film, wonderfully acted, but it does glaze over history

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Victoria and Abdul. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

So we are about to look at Victoria and Abdul a film that promotes itself as ‘Based on Real Events’ … ‘Mostly’. Now, on the one hand, this could sum up most ‘based on true events’ films, but it is telling that they had to add the disclaimer which we will see as we go through it. Overall I did like Victoria and Abdul despite its many issues, but it does present a very one-sided view of the past and that is deeply problematic. Though I must say it was interesting watching the BBC make something that is almost irreverent about the Royal Family.

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Movie Review – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

TL;DR – A solid film with intrigue and a unique premise, it is well filmed and acted, but also surprisingly reserved by the director

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

So I should start my review with the proviso that I have never read the book (though this is something I am going to fix) so I can’t tell you if Miss Peregrine’s is a good adaptation of the source material, but what I can tell you is that it is a fascinating film in its own right. I should also point out, this is probably not a film for young children, as there are a number of horror elements to it.

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