Tag Archives: whodunnit

345 – Death on the Nile (2022)

Listen on the players above, Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

The latest in a long line of star-studded adaptations of Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries, Death on the Nile sinks without trace under the weight of Kenneth Branagh’s all-consuming ego. Failing to understand that one of the pleasures of such films is the attention given to the impressive cast, he instead gives his focus entirely to his own performance as Poirot, engaging in mythmaking and heroics at the expense of everybody else. In its limited capacity, the focus on Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express worked for Mike – here, there’s no defending it.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

196 – Knives Out

Writer-director Rian Johnson’s playful, knockabout whodunnit Knives Out has been receiving praise for its screenplay that we feel isn’t quite warranted, and isn’t much to look at either – but it’s a lark, and one that carries some unexpected sociopolitical commentary. José argues that Johnson doesn’t learn enough from the films upon which his pastiche is based, making too little of both the wonderful cast he’s assembled and the wonderful sets he’s had assembled for him, though the film isn’t devoid of flair or structural neatness. Mike was with the film more or less all the way, though suggests that it won’t play as well in the distracted environment of the home, the minutiae of the countless plot details easy to lose track of as one tries to make sense of them. So it’s worth a watch, but it’s neither as elegant nor as charming as we’d like.

The podcast can be listened to in the players above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

19 – Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

We visit Sidney Lumet’s classic version of Murder on the Orient Express to compare and contrast with Kenneth Branagh’s. Which performances do we prefer, what do we make of the differences in style and tone? José, with Poirot-esque precision, interrogates Mike, because it’s his first time seeing the 1974 film, and indeed it turns out that Mike is the real murderer.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

18 – Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Innocence meets experience. Mike doesn’t know whodunnit; José remembers the 1974 adaptation fondly. Mike wants to talk plot; José wants to talk cast. Mike’s enthusiastic about the film’s Poirot-centric approach; José is less keen. Although we approach it from different angles and don’t always see eye-to-eye, we find a great deal of food for thought in Kenneth Branagh’s film of Agatha Christie’s classic novel.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.