Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003)

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Released 5-Aug-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 93:26
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Peter Barber-Fleming
Edward Bennett
John Bruce
Ross Devenish
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring David Suchet
Hugh Fraser
Philip Jackson
Pauline Moran
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Christopher Gunning
Christopher Gunning
Christopher Gunning


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The very name, Agatha Christie, evokes a certain genre of storytelling. It hints of aristocratic ennui and intrigue - of drama and derring-do - and, of course, of murder most horrid. The writer herself has managed to maintain her popularity long since her own death in 1976, in her 86th year. So much so, that her official website claims she is outsold by only the Bible and Shakespeare. Whether that claim remains true may be the subject of some conjecture, but her depictions of the haughty rich, and her capacity to weave outrageously tangled storylines with rather preposterous but enchanting conclusions have certainly proven to have long term appeal.

     ABC DVD has recently released 4 episodes of the wonderful occasional series which feature the incomparable David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Christie's beloved Belgian detective. Each of these stand-alone pieces are helmed by different directors, which adds further frisson to each selection.

     The four delicious confectionaries on offer are:

NOTE: If you are interested in all four discs, you may like to hit the links above to be taken to the appropriate reviews. The preamble is the same in each case, with specific details for each film following.

      The elegant heiress Elinor Carlisle (Elisabeth Dermot Walsh) stands calmly in the dock, listening to the charge of double murder being read against her. It seems all in the courtroom are convinced of her guilt in the slaying of her infirmed Aunt Laura (Diana Quick) and her rival Mary, the upstart gardener's daughter (Kelly Reilly). Well, all except one. And that one is rather exceptional. Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) is far from convinced about her guilt, but his race against time is not treated with sympathy by those around him who see only how much Elinor stood to gain from inheriting her aunt's property, and ridding herself of competition for her fiancé Roddy (Rupert Penry Jones). A threatening letter and curious cases of poisoning add spice to this little tale.

      Sad Cyprus was directed by David Moore with cinematography by Martin Fuhrer. This is a rather straightforward telling of a lesser known Christie story. I found it ever-so-slightly under par in terms of story telling, but the acting is still divine.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced.

     This is quality television which has been respectfully transferred. It is incredibly crisp and laden with detail in both the shadows and the highlights. There is no evidence of low level noise at all.

     The colour range is strong, accurate and rich.

     This presentation is largely artefact free with the exception of some very minor aliasing.

     This is a single layered disc, so there is no layer change with which to contend.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The soundtrack is delivered in English Dolby Digital 2.0 and is crisp, clean and distortion free.

     The dialogue is superlative throughout and the audio sync presents no problems. There are no subtitles available.

     The original music is completely appropriate for this piece, providing an atmospheric background.

     There is a significant sense of direction in the soundscape, although there is little subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

     The menu is static with theme music.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

      There are no extras provided on either region's disc, so I'm sticking with the PAL Region 4 DVD.

Summary

     This is not my favourite of this series - but it is stylish and well presented.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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