Agatha Christie: Poirot-Mystery of the Blue Train (2005)

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Released 2-Mar-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 94:13
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 English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Hercule Poirot, one of Agatha Christie's most famous creations, has been brought to the small and large screen many times, probably most famously by Peter Ustinov in the series of movies made in the 1970s and 80s. More recently, the role has been inhabited by David Suchet who has appeared in many made for television productions for Granada television as the Belgian sleuth. He has been making these shows since 1989 in an on again, off again manner, however, recently, four more episodes were made in 2005. A previous set of four were made in 2003, which were reviewed on this site at the time of their release. This one is one of the four most recent productions, Mystery of the Blue Train - A Journey To Death. As usual with Poirot stories (and Agatha Christie generally) there are many suspects and a convoluted plot involving red herrings, half-truths and small hints.

    The plot here involves a group of people travelling by The Blue Train from Paris to Nice. By the end of the journey one of the young women on the train has been brutally murdered in such a way that her identity is difficult to establish. Poirot, of course, investigates with the help (or hindrance) of the local law enforcement, Inspector Caux (Roger Lloyd Pack). The characters travelling on the train include:

    Unlike most episodes in this series this one was actually shot in the south of France. Although benefiting from the locations and some stylish direction, I found this story to be a little cramped in the 90 minute run time and although still worth watching not as good as some of the other episodes in the series. Suchet as always is excellent as the annoying perfectionist Hercule Poirot.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is average.

    The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite soft throughout, affected by grain and macro-blocking. Luckily there was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was poor.

    The colour was reasonable but there was some colour bleeding, especially from lighter colours.

    From an artefacts perspective there was quite a bit of macro-blocking to be seen especially on faces, backgrounds and in smoky scenes plus some minor aliasing here and there.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear, easy to read and in yellow.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is 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 music was good featuring some jazzy instrumentation and some tasty guitar.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu was still and silent allowing for the ability to select scenes and turn on subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

    This latest set of four stories seems only to be available as a box set in both Region 1 and Region 2. In Region 1 they are pan & scanned plus do not have subtitles. They do, however, include some minor text based extras but have the same sort of video difficulties. The Region 2 versions seem to be the same as ours. Region 4 seems to be the pick.

Summary

    Another outing of David Suchet as Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
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
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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