page contents data-mobile="true" data-tablet-width="1100" data-tablet-small-width="840" data-mobile-width="640">
Log in

Murder on the Orient Express; take this thrilling train ride

English crime writer, Agatha Christie’s 1934 classic whodunit, Murder on the Orient Express, first filmed in 1974, returns to the big screen for the second time. In the 2017 film version of Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh directs and leads an all-star cast including Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom, Jr, and Josh Gad. Murder on the Orient Express is the story of 13, first class passengers traveling on a luxury train to London when one of the passengers is found dead in his cabin, the victim of multiple stab wounds.

Hercule Poirot (Branagh), the internationally known, fictional, detective happens to be on board and is coaxed into solving the brutal crime. The film takes viewers though Poirot’s painstakingly, thorough examination of the suspects and their possible motives.

Murder on the Orient Express is a fascinating, far-fetched, yet definitely entertaining film. And it’s a See It!

It has a Titanic feel to it. Wealthy passengers travel opulently to their destination. Like Titanic, the mode of transportation is damaged. In Titanic, it’s an iceberg; in Murder, it’s a snowy avalanche which derails the train.

While I was familiar with the story title, I was unaware of how the crime would be solved, which added additional intrigue to the mystery. And, the outcome is a truly a surprise.

Again, this is a star studded cast which enriches the production. Murder on the Orient Express gets an “A” for cast diversity. Among the 13 passengers, there is a black man, Leslie Odom, Jr., who starred in the Broadway musical, Hamilton, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is a Hispanic man. Further, there are many characters of color in background and small roles. Often movies set in time periods such as the '30s have all-white casts, as if people of color only came into the being in the '60s and '70s.

Additionally, the cinematography is creative and exceptional. With scenes shot from a multitude of angles and ranges.

Murder on the Orient Express is rated, PG-13, and is 116 minutes. And it’s a See It!

Movie Review: Zoolander 2


In 2001, Zoolander told the story of two unlikely models Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) who took the fashion world by storm. But it was Derek whose unique style and pouty expression mesmerized his league of followers. To show their gratitude and to give back, the two performers designed and built the "Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Good Stuff Too". When a disaster destroys the Center, they are disgraced and even blamed for the tragedy. This humiliation leads them to disband and find their own individual forms of seclusion.

Zoolander 2 picks up 15 years later with Derek and Hansel coming out of isolation and determined to reclaim their mega careers and overcome the lingering effects of their pasts.

Back in '01, the first edition of Zoolander performed poorly at the box office. But it developed a following once it was released on DVD, resulting in this sequel. I didn't see that film. But round two of this story deserves a similar box office fate. This movie is awful. The dialogue is loaded with silliness – not funniness. Writing good humor is an art and these writers assume that anything these offbeat characters blurt out will be comical. Additionally, the story is disjointed.

At some points, it's even painful to watch.

Zoolander 2 also wastes the talent of seasoned performers. In addition to Stiller and Wilson, there's Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, Kiefer Sutherland and a short appearance by Justin Bieber and an even shorter one by MC Hammer. Kiefer Sutherland who has a small but recurring role is actually the funniest. There is a problem when a person on the screen infrequently outshines those who have major roles.

Let's not waste any more time on this debacle and get to our cast diversity rating, Zoolander 2, gets a D. Its diversity is as bad as the rest of the film.

It's rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language. It gets our lowest rating, Dead on Arrival.

Subscribe to this RSS feed