Agatha Christie-Marple-A Murder is Announced (2005)

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Released 7-Apr-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 94:33
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By John Strickland
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Geraldine McEwan
Christian Coulson
Cherie Lunghi
Robert Pugh
Keeley Hawes
Zoë Wanamaker
Claire Skinner
Frances Barber
Elaine Paige
Matthew Goode
Sienna Guillory
Catherine Tate
Christian Pedersen
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Dominik Scherrer


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 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Agatha Christie created two of the most enduring characters in crime fiction, Hercule Poirot & Miss Jane Marple. Both of these characters have recently been brought to life again in a series of four Granada Television telemovies each. The Poirot ones arrived first and were followed by these ones featuring Miss Marple. Both series were shown on ABC television here in Australia and both have been released as a series of DVDs by Roadshow.

    As you would expect from Agatha Christie, all four of these new Miss Marple (played here by the wonderful Geraldine McEwan) stories are full of murder, twists, lies, red herrings and deceptions. It is impossible to describe the plot in detail without giving away the story and spoiling the twists. Accordingly, for each movie I will describe the crime and the main characters involved.

    This last of the four Miss Marple mysteries has an interesting setup. In a small village called Chipping Cleghorn an advertisement appears in the local newspaper announcing that a murder will take place at 'Little Paddocks', a local house owned by Letitia Blacklock (Zoe Wanamaker) on a particular day and time. Quite a few of the villagers turn up to see what will happen and at the appointed time, the lights go out in the room, someone bursts in with a torch shouting that it is a stickup and then two shots are fired. When the lights are restored, Letitia is wounded and the person who burst into the room is dead. Miss Marple, who is staying at a nearby hotel, hears of the murder and decides it is high time to visit a family friend who lives in the village. When other people start dying things become even more confusing.

    The other characters who become involved are:

    Another good quality Miss Marple mystery this time with more personal involvement for Miss Marple - rather than just being around after the fact she is present for some of the murders. Recommended for fans of this style of mystery.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good and better than the first three.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, somewhat better than the others. The sharpness was affected by light grain although there was less grain than in the other titles in the series. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was good.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    The only noticeable artefacts were a few small white specks. I did not notice any of the aliasing present in the other three transfers.

    There are no subtitles which is disappointing.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Dominik Scherrer is very good indeed, surprisingly so for a television production. It adds significantly to the mood of the show. The music sounds very warm and full.

    The surround speakers were used quite extensively for music when played using Dolby ProLogic II.

    The subwoofer was used to add bass to the music but this was more a function of my amp's bass management than anything else.

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu was very simple, only allowing for scene selection. Music plays over a still from the show.

R4 vs R1

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

    The set of four movies is available as a box set in Region 1 which includes the following special features:

    As the local releases include no extras, the R1 is obviously a better choice.

Summary

    A interesting final instalment in this series of Miss Marple mysteries, this time involving multiple murders.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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