Agatha Christie-Marple-At Bertram's Hotel (2007)

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Released 2-Apr-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 93:24 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Dan Zeff
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Geraldine McEwan
Francesca Annis
Emily Beecham
Nicholas Burns
Peter Davison
Martine McCutcheon
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Dominik Scherrer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/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 English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
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 and Miss Jane Marple. Both of these characters have recently been brought to life again in a series of Granada Television telemovies over the last few years. Both series were shown on ABC television here in Australia and both have been released as a series of DVDs by Roadshow. Unlike Hercule Poirot where the stories are mostly set in the 1930s, these are set in the late 1940s after World War II.

As you would expect from Agatha Christie, all of these new Miss Marple stories (played here by the wonderful Geraldine McEwan) 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.

This is one of two movies shown on the ABC in 2008, however they were made in 2007 for the BBC. In At Bertram's Hotel Miss Marple returns to a hotel she stayed at when she was very young. She finds it strange that the hotel does not seem to have changed at all. She is there to assist a friend of hers, Lady Selina Hazy (Francesca Annis) who has asked for her support during the reading of a will. The will is of missing aviator Sir Richard Blake, who has been declared dead after being missing for more than seven years. There are many people interested in the will including Blake's ex-wife and their daughter. Also staying at the hotel at the time are a jazz singer, a milliner, a racing driver, a church canon, identical twins and some possible ex-Nazis. When one of the maids is found dead on the roof, Miss Marple investigates against the wishes of the assigned detective.

Stylistically, this telemovie includes some nice touches, somewhat reminiscent of a 1950s melodrama. This is a particularly fine example of the series with lots of twists, some romance, many suspects and lots of clues. Fans will definitely enjoy this one.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is very good but not spectacular.

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 without being overly crisp. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was good.

The colour was very good with no issues to report.

There were no noticeable artefacts.

There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which are clear and easy to read.


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 256 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 rich 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 and turning on and off of subtitles. Very loud 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.

There is no Region 1 release of this particular episode at this stage. Go for the local product.

Summary

Another instalment in the series of Miss Marple mysteries featuring Geraldine McEwan.

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?)
Friday, June 27, 2008
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) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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