Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

I have waited all year for this movie! Part of my birthday celebration was seeing the first showing at my local theater. As a passionate Agatha Christie fan, I have thoughts both good and bad so settle in for a semi-bumpy Orient Express ride.

Many people had doubts about Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of beloved detective Hercule Poirot. If you’re a doubter, I want to put your mind at ease. Mr. Branagh is hands down the best part of the movie. He kept the spirit of the Poirot we all know and love while adding humor and his own unique touch to the character. He is a constant source of smiles and laughs, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Overall the ensemble cast did not disappoint. Johnny Depp is fantastic as always (SPOILER) even though his part is short-lived. Michelle Pfeiffer and Penelope Cruz have some shining moments, and Dame Judi Dench’s monologue about little Daisy Armstrong made me tear up. Lucy Boynton and Sergei Polunin’s respective portrayals of Count & Countess Andrenyi are dark, a hidden gem that is impressive considering their inexperience. Josh Gad was good for the most part, but the chase scene involving Poirot felt awkward. The conflict between Hercule and Dr. Arbuthnot also felt clumsy. Daisy Ridley acted well, but I did not like Mary Debenham’s demeanor. In the book, she is polite and reserved which leads Poirot to suspect she might be the mastermind behind the murder; his suspicion makes little sense in the movie because Mary is much too bright and happy.

The book’s methodical layout is not perfectly suited for a movie. Some may find the added action irritating, but I understand the necessity to shake up the format onscreen. That being said, some of the clues got lost in the shuffle due to a speedier pace. As far as I remember, all the clues from the book were included, but they weren’t given the time they needed to simmer and encourage the audience to consider possible outcomes. Perhaps the extra, non-book stuff could’ve been trimmed to accommodate character interviews and clue discoveries, making the final reveal much more grand than it actually was. I also want to mention that I don’t remember Biniamino Marquez being named at the end. (SPOILER) The twist relies on the shock of twelve people being involved, each with a specific connection to the Armstrong family. The cast may seem large, but those who know the story well won’t miss anything, even if only one name is passed over. This goes back to details being muddled at the end. Murder on the Orient Express is one of the greatest stories ever written in the mystery genre. If you don’t lay it out correctly, you spoil the thrill and fun of the twists and turns.

I love two-thirds of the movie, but the ending is a disappointment. Things can surely get better from here so I hope Kenneth Branagh is giving the chance to continue the series, perhaps with a book that has less adaptations. I truly believe he can do great things with Poirot. The final scene hints at a sequel based on Death on the Nile. How great would that be?! 😄

🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boSSSZpAkyw&t=25s

🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂

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In The Barnyard

In The Barnyard (Source: http://kindredspiritmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shaun_the_Sheep_06.jpg)

Earlier this week, a friend of mine invited me along for a house sitting adventure.  The adventure was mine to have because my friend had already visited this house and barn many times.  I have seen farm animals multiple times in my twenty-one years of life, but feeding them was a brand new experience.  To be exact, there were five dogs, three cats, two doves, two horses, two donkeys, and a small herd of goats and sheep (approximately ten).  The first part of the afternoon was spent inside watching TV with the dogs.  Nothing especially exciting except for the new episode of Once Upon a Time (Any fellow Oncers reading this??).  Eventually it was time to go outside and feed the other animals.  It was raining, but I did not care one bit.  I was practically leaping out of my skin from excitement!  I put on boots and a large coat, and followed my friend’s lead out the door, over the little bridge, and into the barn.  After filling buckets with two kinds of feed, I volunteered to feed the horses (my favorite domestic animal).  I enjoyed every little thing: opening the gate, walking through the rain and mud, and filling the barrels.  What happened next was the real adventure.  I walked into the goat and sheep enclosure but left the feeding task to my friend.  Have you ever watched goats and sheep be fed?  They are greedy!  There were three bowls, and yet as soon as my friend moved on from one bowl to the next, the entire group would ignore the food in front of them and follow the bucket.  After giving the donkeys some feed, we made our way back into the horse pen.  The group of goats and sheep followed, and one particularly bossy sheep managed to push her way in.  She made her way over to one of the horses and watched it eat as though she was going to take part.  Like I said, GREEDY!!  As I made my way through the mud and attempted to herd the animal back to where she belonged, I could not help but laugh.  The seemingly annoying situation was actually a dream come true.  I felt like Anne of Green Gables trying to get her cow out of Rachel’s field with the help of her best friend Diana.  I managed to back the sheep against the gate but simultaneously had to keep the rest of the pushy herd out.  Teamwork prevailed, and all animals were where they were meant to be once again.  I really wish the chase was on video, but alas it is not.  All I have is the hilarious, muddy memory.  I hope I was able to paint a vivid picture and add some laughter to your Saturday night.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

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Dresses and Llamas

February 26th, 2015(Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/danmeth/a-tribute-to-the-memes-of-february-26-2015)

February 26th, 2015, a day made famous by llamas on the loose and a dress of many colors.  Congratulations America!  You have finally cracked.  In all seriousness though, the social media frenzy was amusing.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, allow me to explain starting with the llamas.  Three llamas were scheduled to make a therapy visit to an assisted living facility in Sun City, Florida.  They did indeed arrive and provided company for over an hour.  The handlers took the trio outside for a bathroom break, and that is when the hijinks commenced.  One llama got spooked and successfully attempted to break loose, followed by a partner in crime.  The pair ran around the city for an hour before being corralled.

All of my information came from this article by Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/02/27/llama-drama-2-loose-llamas-lassoed-after-running-amok-in-phoenix-area/

For more amusement, here is Fox 10 Phoenix video footage of the last 34 minutes of the llama chase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIFZQlhg-SQ

Time for The Dress!!!  The following story originated in Scotland and resulted in a social media frenzy and worldwide debate.  A bride-to-be’s mother sent her a picture of the dress she intended to wear to the wedding.  The bride and fiance found themselves arguing over what color the dress was.  The bride posted the picture on Facebook to get outside opinions.  No one could agree on what color it was.  A friend of the bride saw the online debate and decided to take it one step further by posting the image on Tumblr.  The debate took over the internet!  Here is the dress:

The Dress(Source: http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/ktrk/images/cms/536706_1280x720.jpg)

What color duo did you immediately see??  If you saw white and gold, you are part of the majority.  If you saw blue and black, you are part of the minority.  Sorry majority!  It has been confirmed that the dress is blue and black.  I saw blue and black the first time I saw the dress, and I still see blue and black.  The only time I saw white and gold is when I looked at a white and gold dress first.

There is a scientific theory that explains why different people see different colors.  I honestly do not care because I see blue and black, and those are the actual colors.  However, if you want to know, here is a New York Times article on the science: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/28/science/white-or-blue-dress.html?_r=0

The Original Story: http://www.businessinsider.com/origin-of-white-gold-or-black-blue-dress-2015-2

As if the color debate was not amusing enough, the dress was found on amazon.co.uk, and gag reviews were posted.  This sounds ridiculous, but some of the reviews are actually hilarious.  Here are some of my favorites:

“As an eye doctor, I placed this dress on display outside my office, and business went through the roof!”  (Anonymous)

“The good: Works equally well as formal or business casual attire.  The bad: Carves a crooked path through perceptual reality and leaves behind it a wake of confusion and existential crises. Also unforgiving on the hips. ”  (Credit to Daniel Wallace)

“I was going to a fancy white and gold party. (It’s a thing) so I bought this dress because clearly, despite the item description, it was the perfect color combination of white and gold. How disappointed I was when half the people attending told me I looked crazy in what they said was a “black and blue” dress. To make a long story short, I am now scared, depressed, friendless, back on my psych meds, questioning my entire existence and filing for divorce tomorrow. I gave it 3 stars Bc the fit is fantastic!”  (Credit to Joli Fine)

 

If you would like to read more gag reviews, here is the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roman-Womens-Detail-Bodycon-Dress/dp/B00SJEUIME/ref=sr_1_1?s=clothing&ie=UTF8&qid=1425096246&sr=1-1&keywords=Roman+Women%27s+Lace+Detail+Bodycon+Dress+Royal+Blue

I hope that rather than boring you this post gave you a good laugh.  Have a great day/afternoon/evening readers!

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”  – Charlie Chaplin

– Lauren Michele :)

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