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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Mamba Out

I know I blogged about Kobe Bryant yesterday, but I couldn’t stay silent after the performance he put on last night.  Jack Nicholson predicted 40 points.  Shaq asked for 50.  I would have been satisfied with an average performance knowing that his body could only handle so much.  The team gave him the floor and allowed him to take as many shots as he could.  Surpassing all expectations, the Black mamba scored 60 and led his team to victory one last time.  Fans would’ve accepted the bare minimum, but Kobe delivered a vintage performance, turning back the clock and refusing to go out on a low note.  When the game ended, thousands of people screamed his name while he embraced coaches and teammates on the court.  It felt like my childhood was replaying before my eyes: Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Devean George, Gary Payton, Lamar Odom, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Shaq, and many more.  Even Adam Morrison made an appearance!!  More basketball players, coaches, and celebrities paid tribute through video.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_j4drvDNw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX6PvEMAvtA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzpsyFvz7W0

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ZOdXrV2sM

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FKooZs-Pwg

🏀 Art inspired by Kobe – Kobe Bryant

🏀 My thoughts on Kobe retiring – Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

The entire night was emotional and overwhelming, but I wouldn’t change any of it.  A storybook ending for Kobe Bryant’s untouchable 20-year career.  The game of basketball will never be the same. 🏀 🐍

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Kobe Bryant | Black Mamba

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

• April 13, 2016

I was born in 1993.  Kobe Bryant’s NBA career started in 1996.  I was privileged to grow up watching the Black Mamba play basketball and achieve success wherever he went.  It was hard to find admirers of Kobe outside the L.A. circle therefore I found myself defending him more times than not.  I didn’t need to do that, but I wanted to because I felt the hate was mean spirited and over the top.  Despite all the doubters and haters, Kobe and his fans have reached the light at the end of the tunnel.  The Black Mamba’s 20-year career is coming to a close, and no one has anything negative to say.  People from all over the world are sharing how much they respect him.  That speaks volumes about the man and player he has become.  I’ve watched him evolve from arrogant kid to fierce competitor, strong leader to humble legend.  I cheered him on through highs and lows and never once gave up.  Words cannot describe my admiration and respect.  It is very hard to let go because his career coincides with 20 years of my life (I’m only 22!).  But, I know he’s in pain and ready to move on.  I wish he and his family nothing but the best.  God bless you Kobe Bryant!  Thank you for your contribution to the game of basketball.

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

🏀 2008 NBA MVP 🏀

🏀 NBA Slam Dunk Champion 🏀

🏀 2x NBA Finals MVP 🏀

🏀 2x NBA Scoring Champion 🏀

🏀 4x All-Star MVP 🏀

🏀 5x NBA Champion 🏀

🏀 18x All-Star 🏀

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

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Source: http://www.nba.com/lakers/KobeJerseys

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

Art Inspired by Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant

🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Lord of the Dance | Blogmas 2015

Okay readers.  Time to cheer up and put some life back into Blogmas 2015.  Prepare for a freak out in 3…2…1…

YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!  THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!!!!!!!!!!  Michael Flatley, my dance hero and the reason I started dancing.  He is FINALLY coming to California.  I am crying tears of joy!!!!!!!!!!  This is the best thing that has happened in my life in a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

I have NEVER seen Michael Flatley live, only on “Riverdance” and “Feet of Flames” VHS tapes over and over and over and over and over again.  My Christmas has suddenly taken  a turn for the better.  Click the links & witness the majesty:

• Michael Flatley Youtube Channel

• Michael Flatley Website

For those of you wanting to purchase tickets to the “Lord of the Dance United States Tour 2016,” click this link – USA

I am beyond excited and already have a countdown on my phone.  God help the person, place, or thing that tries to get in the way of me seeing Michael Flatley live.  There will be hellfire and brimstone if that happens!!!!!  On a lighter, sweeter note, I am watching Christmas movies and waiting to go to work.  I hope you are having a lovely, relaxing Saturday. :)

Vlogmas – Lauren Michele

10 days until Artmas – Lauren Michele Photography – WordPress.com

20 days until Christmas…

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– Lauren Michele <3

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