Murder on the Orient Express and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
I’m hardly what you’d call “well read” as most of my cultural education comes from television and movies followed by people TALKING about television and movies, so while I’m aware that there’s a book out there called Murder on the Orient Express written by someone whose work I should really get around to reading, I don’t actually know what the story is about nor who the killer is which I GUESS would make me the target audience for a slick Hollywood retelling of the story starring some of the most beloved character actors out there… and Johnny Depp. I’m certainly excited to see this as I do love me a good mystery, and seeing a movie is ALMOST as good as reading a book… right? Anyway, does Kenneth Branagh manage to successfully bring the Agatha Christie classic to the silver screen once again, or does the brilliance of her work get lost in the midst of his vision for the material? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with the famed detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) solving yet another world class mystery in the heart of Jerusalem and is now ready to take a much deserved vacation to recharge his mystery solving batteries! As luck would have it, he runs into an old friend named Bouc (Tom Bateman) who gets him a ticket on the one and only Orient Express which Bouc is the director of. Sadly for Poirot’s plans of leisure, not only does the train get stuck in an avalanche but one of the passengers (Johnny Depp) comes down with a bad case of MURDER! With only some minor cajoling from Bouc, Poirot begins to investigate The Case of the Stabbed Dude by looking into the pasts of all the other passengers (Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, and Miranda Raison) to see if there’s anything to connect one of them to the guy sleeping in a pool of his own blood. Will Poirot uncover the criminal mastermind who was unfortunately enough to be sharing a train ride with the world’s greatest detective? Just who was the man who got viciously murdered, and what could have motivated someone to commit such an act? Wait… isn’t it a bit TOO convenient that the train JUST SO HAPPENED to get stuck after a murder is committed!?
The Brothers Grimsby and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Louis Leterrier
It has not been a good year for comedies so far, has it? Even if you cut out bottom of the barrel garbage like Dirty Grandpa and Fifty Shades of Black, we’ve got Hail Caesar which was underwhelming (for a Coen Brothers film), Pride Prejudice and Zombies which was one joke told over and over again, and Gods of Egypt which wasn’t even SUPPOSED to be hilarious. What are we left with? Deadpool? Zootopia? We need a REAL comedy that’s all about telling jokes instead of mashing it together with super hero antics or civil rights messages delivered by way of Furries! Good thing Sacha Baron Cohen is still around to show the people what’s what… right? Honestly, I don’t have much hope for this from what I’ve seen in the trailers, but the guy is a damn good comedian and is responsible for some of the most transformative and influential works in that area in the last decade. Can he pull it off at least one more time? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the misadventures of Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Sebastian (Mark Strong); two brothers separated during their youth due to their parents dying and subsequently being adopted by different families. Sebastian grows up to be Not James Bond, while Nobby grows up to be a loser, though he seems pretty happy with his life overall; what with having eleven kids (at least) who all seem to love him and Rebel Wilson as his girlfriend who he’s madly in love with. Despite all the riches that life has bestowed upon Nobby though, he still has a hole in himself that Sabastian left when the two were separated. Well the good news is that the movie doesn’t take too long for the two of them to meet back up. The bad news is that, on top of being a loser, Nobby is a blithering idiot and fucks up Sebastian’s mission; causing him to become an internationally wanted man in the process. Now Sebastian has to clear his name, find out what the evil plot the Bad GuysTM are planning, and deal with his dumbass brother in the process. Nobby’s biggest concern on the other hand is to not miss the football game and try to make up for lost time with his brother. Can these two work together to save the world from the Bad GuysTM? Will the twenty eight years of separation prove to be too large a hurdle for them to overcome? Does Sacha Baron Cohen whip his dick out at least once!?