Overall | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Collector's Pack (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Collector's Pack (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 11-Nov-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Overall Package

    Lovers of Agatha Christie will have plenty to smile about with this little collection of goodies. Lavishly filmed, superbly acted and very well transferred, this is a respectful tribute to the most popular crime writer of modern history.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 5-Aug-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 97:41
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 1.75:1
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 after 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.

     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.

      Linnet Ridgeway (Emily Blunt) has everything. Beauty, wealth, comfort, admiration, and recently, a rather dashing new husband, Simon Doyle (JJ Feild). Unfortunately, she stole her husband from her 'very best friend' Jacqueline De Bellafort (Emma Griffiths Malin) and Jackie's not the kind of girl to let go easily. To add to her deep aggrievance, Linnet continued her outrage by also 'stealing' her planned honeymoon with Simon, on a river boat on the Nile. She decides to haunt their every step, making veiled threats about their personal safety.

     As luck would have it, Msr Hercule Poirot is taking that same boat trip on the Nile. When Linnet is found dead in her bed, with a bullet in her head (oh my, what an appalling rhyme!), the "J" written in her blood above her tends to make it an open and shut case of guilt for Miss De Bellafort. But she has a perfect alibi - and several others on the cruise emerge as having equally shady pasts and unsatisfactory dealings with the late Mrs Doyle. The questions (and the bodies) pile up in this rather elegant classic - one of Christie's most loved stories.

      Death on the Nile was directed by Andy Wilson with cinematography by Martin Fuhrer. It is an eminently satisfying viewing experience.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

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 version.

Summary

     This is a fine representation of a dearly loved crime story. It had a strong film version made in the 70s with Sir Peter Ustinov as Poirot, so there is more to compare than with most of these discs. It has been very well delivered with crisp, subtle presentation. Highly recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Monday, October 18, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Poirot Extras -

Overall | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 5-Aug-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 93:22
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 1.75:1
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 after 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.

     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.

      After the hanging of her mother, Caroline Crale (Rachael Stirling), convicted of murdering her husband, Amyas (Aidan Gillen), the orphaned little Lucy Crale is sent to Canada without ever being told the true story behind the tragic death of her father, a talented and aristocratic artist, and tortured by a letter her mother wrote on the eve of her execution, protesting her innocence. Fourteen years later, Lucy returns to England and secures the services of Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) in unravelling the truth.

     Poirot contacts those who had surrounded the couple on the fateful weekend of the murder: Philip Blake (Toby Stephens), Amyas' best friend; Philip's brother, Meredith (Marc Warren), an amateur apothecary; Angela (Sophie Winkleman), Caroline's half sister, who Caroline maimed as a child in a fit of temper; and Miss Williams (Gemma Jones), the governess devoted to Caroline. Of special interest to Poirot is Elsa Greer (Julie Cox), who was, at the time of the murder, Amyas' 18 year old muse, and cruelly and blatantly engaged in an affair with the painter. As he interviews each participant, the story unfolds from their perspective. Stories of threats and secrets - and poison and passion. Finally, Msr Poirot gathers all the participants together in a classic parlour tableau, and with much aplomb reveals who actually dunnit.

      Five Little Pigs was directed by Paul Unwin with cinematography by Martin Fuhrer. Although Fuhrer was responsible for the photography on three out of four of these productions, the decision in this particular story to use a lot of hand-held camera shots was, in my opinion, a little over-indulgent and self-conscious. For this reviewer, the production values rather overtook this production, though it does finally steer itself back on course as the film draws to a conclusion.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

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

     With the exception of the abovementioned abuse of hand-held camera shots, this is a stylish and elegant little piece with some rather glorious lighting in places, and a deft hand at sweeping the audience along with the story.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Tuesday, October 19, 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

Other Reviews
Web Wombat - James A

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 5-Aug-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

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.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Death on the Nile (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Five Little Pigs (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-Sad Cypress (2003) | Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

Agatha Christie: Poirot-The Hollow (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 5-Aug-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 93:37
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 1.75:1
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 after 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 this wonderful occasional series which features the incomparable David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Christie's beloved Belgian detective.

     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.

      Lady Angkatell (a gloriously daffy Sarah Miles) and Sir Henry (Edward Hardwicke) are holding a weekend soiree on their country estate. Poirot (David Suchet) just *happens* to be taking the country airs - so he can observe their graces - and the party behaves most ignobly, and Msr Poirot sees their lack of graces at close quarters! Included in the party are Dr John (Jonathan Cake) - a brilliant and ambitious doctor; his socially gormless wife Gerda (Claire Price) and the aesthetically detached Henrietta (Megan Dodds). Henrietta and John have been engaged in a clandestine affair, much to the consternation of young Edward Angkatell (Jamie de Courcey) who has carried a life-long torch for Henrietta, apparently unaware that young Midge (Caroline Martin) is equally besotted with him.

      Things are further complicated with the unannounced arrival of a problem from Dr John's past in the form of Veronica Cray (Lysette Anthony) - a glamorous actress who has decided to return for her man.

      And so the stage is set, with complications, hidden agendas and threats of exposure abounding. Poirot's constitutional walk is interrupted as he comes upon a murder tableau arranged around the swimming pool. In mute horror, Gerda stands over John's bleeding body holding a gun while the rest of the family appears from different paths leading to the pool. John moans Henrietta's name and dies. With lightning reflexes, Henrietta grabs the gun from Gerda and flings it into the pool.

      The police arrive and begin their enquiries, with Poirot's assistance. Can it be as plain as it seems? Did Gerda conjure up the wrath of the aggrieved and murder her husband? With the meticulous application of his "little grey cells" Msr Poirot begins to unravel a most puzzling case.

      The Hollow was directed by Simon Langton with cinematography by James Aspinall. The plot is very complex with loose threads left all over the place, but it's totally engaging.

 

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

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 in either region, so I'm sticking with the PAL Region 4.

Summary

     The tangled webs of the upper class are deliciously unravelled in this little tale of hidden agendas and cloaked jealousies. A wonderful way to spend an hour and a half.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Sunday, October 17, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
"The Hollow "Theme -