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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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Out With the New, In With the Old | Throwback Thursday

What does that title even mean??  Patience young padawans.  Let’s look at some of the facts:

🕸️ A certain witchy drama is getting a reboot; yes, I’m talking about Charmed.

🐘 A continuation of the 1995 film Jumanji premieres at the end of 2017.

🌟 All is well with the Force because new Star Wars movies are being produced & released.

💰 DuckTales is coming back to television!  The reboot will premiere on Disney XD this year on a to-be-announced date.

👠 Fashionistas could step back in time & fit right in because many of the current trends were pulled from previous decades.

🎤 Gwen Stefani and JoJo released albums last year, a first for both since 2006.

⌚ If names like Andy Griffith, Buffy, The Cheetah Girls, and The Parent Trap ring any bells, you might want to make space in your schedule for binging sessions because Netflix has what you need.  Two seasons of Fuller House, a Full House sequel show, are also available.

📺 TeenNick airs retro Nickelodeon shows overnight, a programming block known as The Splat.

✨ The classic animated Disney movies are one by one being made into live action films. So far so good!

👾 The demand and availability for retro merchandise is widespread and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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That is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the picture.  Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about nostalgia.  I’m not sure of the main cause.  It could be adults missing the carefree days of childhood; you don’t truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone.  It could also be consumer attitudes turning against the present-day options in media and merchandise.  Personally, I think it’s a bit of both.  To clarify, no fault lies with the evolution of technology & entertainment.  There’s something endearing about what we grew up with.  Those memories are ingrained in our minds and hold a special place in our hearts.  Enjoying something from the past is what I imagine time travel to feel like, a transportation of mind, body, & soul; bliss takes over the senses along with admiration for a way of life without the advances of the present.  Here is an example.  Most of us can’t live without a cellphone in our hands, but I think we subconsciously miss a time when they were nonexistent.  Each household had one stationary telephone, and phone calls were special.  There are problems as far back as history goes, but this topic is less about politics & society and more about the ideology of “simpler times.”  When circumstances become overwhelming, we revert back to when life was, in the mind of a child, simple.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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I’m a Bad Blogger | Blogmas 2016 🎄

❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄

13 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS

❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄

Sorry guys!  I am failing miserably at Blogmas this year.  Because I work in retail, my schedule has been ridiculous these past few weeks.  For example, I worked until 11pm last night and opened this morning at 7am.  Needless to say I am exhausted and enjoying some much needed couch time.  Anyone else watching the New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys game??  GO BIG BLUE!!! 💙 What else is new in my life??  Let’s see… One of my friends asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  I am honored to be asked and ecstatic to be involved.  Obviously I can’t look like an oompa loompa so I’ve been working extra hard to get into tip top shape.  I’ve started drinking green tea every day because it has so many health benefits.  I’m not a huge fan of the smell and taste so I add lemon which also has numerous health benefits.  Problem solved!  My body is starting to feel much better, but it goes deeper than that.  Working with holiday shoppers has taken a toll on the joy I usually feel this time of year.  Sipping a hot cup of tea and being still for a few minutes each day has been a great way for me to recharge.

❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄

VLOGMAS – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvowXnQBLryeHcwz801Rsx7d1upOgV8k

❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄

6 DAYS UNTIL ARTMAS – https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com

❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄 🎁 ❄️ ⛄ 🎅🏻 🎄

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele <3

Previous Post: The Balloon & the Zipper | Blogmas 2016 

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Oscars 2015 Part II – Best Dressed

Here it is readers: Oscars 2015 Part II.  Tonight I will be discussing the top five dresses that caught my eye on the red carpet.  The following information and images are brought to you by the New York Times.  Let’s skip the chit-chat and get things started counting down from the #5.

Oscars 2015 Jennifer Lopez

Designer: Elie Saab.

Celebrity: Jennifer Lopez

The warm nude color is gorgeous against Miss Lopez’s skin.  Although I approve of the monochromatic details and minimal styling, this was not my #1 pick because I am not a fan of wide V necklines.  In my opinion, the neckline ruins an otherwise perfect Saab creation.

Oscars 2015 Anna Kendrick

Designer: Thakoon Panichgul

Celebrity: Anna Kendrick

This gown missed the top spot because of simplicity.  I find no fault in simplicity, but many of the red carpet looks this year were eye-catching because of the details.  However, Anna can do no wrong in my eyes.  The pink hue and jewelled collar, appropriately accentuated by soft neutral makeup, make her skin glow.  She did more than enough to make my top five.

Oscars 2015 Emma Stone

Designer: Elie Saab

Celebrity: Emma Stone

I am not a fan of the yellow-green color family therefore this dress is not my “Best Dressed” pick.  However, Miss Stone earned her #3 spot by miraculously pulling off this color and embodying the style and grace of “Old Hollywood.”  The styling– side curls, coral lips, and matching bracelets –was well done and assisted in making the color easier to accept.

Oscars 2015 Felicity Jones

Designer: Alexander McQueen

Celebrity: Felicity Jones

First of all, I am thrilled to see Felicity evolve from female lead in the British television film “Northanger Abbey” to Oscar-nominated actress in “The Theory of Everything.”  She was gorgeous then, and she is gorgeous now.  The color of the gown is surprisingly flattering.  It is light gray, and yet shine and a hint of periwinkle keep Miss Jones’ skin looking alive rather than washed out.  The detailing in the bodice is what edged out the competition for this #2 spot.  The color reminds me of space, and the bodice accents remind me of the ocean.  In a nutshell, this look is a chic ocean/outer-space hybrid.

Drum roll please!!  I am giving the “Best Dressed” title to…

Oscars 2015, Lupita Nyong'o

Designer: Francisco Costa, Calvin Klein Collection

Celebrity: Lupita Nyong’o

I stand and applaud Ms. Costa.  APPROXIMATELY SIX THOUSAND PEARLS!!!  I think we can all agree that not many people could wear this gown and pull it off effortlessly.  Mission accomplished Lupita!  The silhouette is elegant, and the pearls make Miss Nyong’o’s skin glow.

If you would like to see other red carpet looks, here is a link to the New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/red-carpet-watch/oscars-2015/felicity-jones

I hope you have enjoyed my two-part recap of the 87th Academy Awards because I had a lot of fun writing it.  Perhaps I will do this again next year and add on more information such as a movie review and/or men’s fashion.  Until then, stay classy readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

Oscars 2015 Part I: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/oscars-2015-part-i-and-the-oscar-goes-to/

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Oscars 2015 Part I – And The Oscar Goes To

Oscars 2015(Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wxtzw0UVkcw/VMO4JhBZANI/AAAAAAAAMrc/_5CAcxONTrs/s1600/poster1.jpg)

The 87th Academy Awards took place last night, and all the media outlets are buzzing about the movies that got snubbed.  This year’s tight race was made up of outstanding nominees; no matter who won what category, the other nominees would have been snubbed in the eyes of the general public.  Congratulations to both the winners and nominees!!  Here is a complete list of winners, courtesy of ABC News and Washington Post:

– Actor: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

– Actress: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

– Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

– Animated Feature Film: “Big Hero 6”

– Animated Short Film: “Feast”

– Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”

– Costume Design: Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”

– Documentary Feature Film: “Citizenfour”

– Documentary Short Film: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”

– Feature Film: “Birdman”

– Film Editing: Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

– Foreign Language Feature Film: “Ida”, Poland

– Live Action Short Film: “The Phone Call”

– Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Original Screenplay: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”

– Original Song:Common and John Legend, “Glory” from “Selma”

– Production Design: Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Sound Editing: Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper”

– Sound Mixing: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, “Whiplash”

– Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

– Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

– Visual Effects: Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, “Interstellar”

If you would like to see the nominees in each category, ABC News has that covered: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/oscar-winners-full-list-2015/story?id=29148491

If you are like me and have, unfortunately, not seen any of the nominated films, here are the trailers for all the winners:

“American Sniper” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MItGoIxoVGk&index=14&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Big Hero 6” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcqbqeXIjZ8&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=2

“Birdman” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jAfBd3g6bA&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=7

“Boyhood” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiDztHS3Wos&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=9

“Citizenfour” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiGwAvd5mvM&index=4&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSxt1GNQX-c

“Feast” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAIf4aIOYyY

“Ida” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JIXxo8qUn0&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=3

“Interstellar” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LqzF5WauAw

“Selma” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

“Still Alice” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrXrZ5iiR0o&index=10&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgGXL5lJ-6g&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=8

“The Imitation Game” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuPZUUED5uk&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=12

“The Phone Call” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0NggvtmNeg

“The Theory of Everything” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUayjO_KgsQ&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Whiplash” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHDEZXoh4-c&index=11&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

Stay tuned for Oscars 2015 Part II, which will be posted tomorrow.  I am warning you now: The topic is my best dressed pick as well as honorable mentions.  I am only discussing the actresses, not the actors.

“I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.”  – Meryl Streep

– Lauren Michele :)

Oscars 2015 Part II: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/oscars-2015-part-ii-best-dressed/

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