Agatha Christie-Marple-Towards Zero (2007)

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

Released 4-Sep-2008

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio-VERY LOUD!
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 92:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nicholas Winding Refn
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Geraldine McEwan
Graham Garden
Richard E Grant
Ronni Ancone
Johnny Briggs
Amanda Burton
George Cole
Will Mellor
Adrian Rawlings
Dan Stevens
Emily Woof
O.T. Fagbenle
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 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

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

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 Granada Television telemovies over the last few years. Both series have been 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 (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.

This is one of four movies which were made for UK TV in 2007 and shown here on the ABC in 2008. In Towards Zero Miss Marple visits and old school chum, Lady Camilla Tresillian who is bed-ridden at her seaside estate. Also visiting at the same time, either staying at the house or a local hotel, are Neville Strange, Camilla's adopted son and a famous tennis player; his ex-wife, Audrey (Saffron Burrows) and his current wife Kay; Kay's gigolo friend, Teddy Latimer, Thomas Royde, a plantation owner from Malaya whose family took Audrey in when her family was killed and Mr Treves, (played by an old looking Tom Baker), an old friend of Lady Camilla. As the bodies start to drop the police begin to investigate led by Superintendant Mallard (Alan Davies from Jonathan Creek). As usual Miss Marple sticks her nose into the investigation much to the police's chagrin. Greg Rusedski also appears briefly as a tennis player at Wimbledon.

As usual with this series the production values are high with excellent costumes, a fine ensemble cast and a quality score. This is a particularly fine example of the series with lots of twists, many suspects and lots of clues. Fans will definitely enjoy this one.

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

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 some mild macro-blocking in backgrounds. There was no evidence of low level noise.The shadow detail was good.

The colour was very good with no major issues to report.There was some light colour bleeding.

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 a Region 1 release of this particular episode but only as part of a four disc set. If you only want this story, go for the local product, otherwise consider the Region 1 set.

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, September 19, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
It has screened on the ABC - REPLY POSTED