Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Poirot picks

I'm a fan (obviously) so ** stars still means a worthwhile watch

1. Sad Cypress (2003) *****
By far the strongest episode to date, not only for the great performances... but direction and editing.

2. Mysterious Affair at Styles *****
Who doesn't love the very first book? Hastings... where is he? I'm hoping they do The Big Four which will bring back this hilarious duo. The production value may have gotten better through the years... but this is where it all began.

3. Death on the Nile (2004) *****
With Emily Blunt (Young Victoria, Devil Wears Prada), James Fox, Emma Griffiths Malin (Forsyte Saga), JJ Feild, Judy Parfitt, Barbara flynn, ... felt a lot like Murder on the Orient Express.
Solid cast, shot on the same boat as the earlier version. Excellent with some nice alterations from the original book.

4. Lord Edgeware Dies (2000) ****
This has all four of the characters Agatha Christie fans love. Japp, Hastings, Lemon all join Poirot in this fun mystery.

5. Murder in Mesopotamia (2001) ****
I love the location, and with the addition of Captain Hastings (he wasn't in the novel) the production proved to be a stylish with a bit of comedy thrown in.

6. The Hollow (2004) ***
A man who is "alive" even in death. Hmmm... good casting choices for this one. Jonathan Cake, Megan Dodds, and Claire Price form a very nice triangle. A much smaller production but no less entertaining.

7. After the Funeral (2006) ***
Kudos for adding a bit of the creepy factor. Geraldine James, Julian Ovenden (Foyle's War) Lucy Punch, Monica Dolan and the rising star Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Bastards, Fish Tank) star in a more "classic" who-dun-it scenario.

8. Five Little Pigs (2003) ***
Similar to Elephants Can Remember the story takes place in the past. Julie Cox, Toby Stephens, Aidan Gillen, Rachael Stirling star.

9. Hickory Dickory Dock (1996) ***
This one is an early one but a fun episode. A younger Damian Lewis (Life, Band of Brothers) plays Leonard Bateson among a really young cast. Miss Lemon and Chief Inspector Japp play bigger roles which is a nice revision.

10. The ABC Murders (1992) **
One of the first feature length stories... well done. Hastings and Japp are the bonus.


Evil Under the Sun is not up there simply because I LOVED the 1982 version with Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, James Mason, Denis Quilley, Nicholas Clay, and definitely Roddy McDowall.

Cards on the Table, Appointment with Death, Murder on the Blue Train... great casts and production value, unfortunately I wasn't fond of the changes made from the original books. Pity.

The remaining novels are among my favourite, and of course the most expensive.
Hallowe'en Party, The Big Four, Elephants Can Remember, Black Coffee, Dead Man's Folly (this one is fantastic!) and of course Murder on the Orient Express. Can't wait.