Agatha Christie: Poirot-Mrs McGinty's Dead (2008)

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Released 2-Apr-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2008
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
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 (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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    David Suchet is, in my opinion, the quintessential Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's most famous sleuth. He has now played the role since 1989 (in an on again, off again manner) racking up over 50 episodes with more on the way. This is the first of the most recent crop of four new stories which have been shown recently on the ABC here in Australia. Suchet's grasp on the intricacies of the character was obviously strong from the very beginning of this series. His performance here as the fastidious, intelligent and politely sarcastic Poirot is wonderful. The production quality is high as is the quality of most of the large ensemble cast. 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.

    This episode, Mrs McGinty's Dead involves the death of a charlady (or cleaner if you prefer). She lived in the small village of Broadhinny. A young man, James Bentley (who was her lodger) is accused and convicted of her murder, however the investigating officer is not convinced of his guilt. Accordingly he asks Poirot to investigate before the young man is due to be hanged just in case he got it wrong. The large collection of suspects include the local rich politician and his b****y new wife; the niece of Mrs McGinty and her rude husband; the local shopkeeper; the owner of the rundown manor house and his disorganised wife who take in lodgers; a local playwright who is writing a play with an old friend of Poirot, Madame Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker); the playwright's wheelchair bound mother who he dotes on; the local doctor and his strange and nervous wife and even an old co-worker of Bentley's who seems to want to prove his innocence.

    Another quality episode, although possibly with too many characters to introduce in 90 or so minutes. The cinematography is quite interesting in this one with quite a few interesting camera angles. The score by Stephen McKeon is also impressive for a TV show and includes a reworked version of the series' original theme tune (from 1989). As usual the cast is full of recognisable English TV faces.

    Recommended for Poirot fans and fans of English mystery generally.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is 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 not overly clear and sharp with some scenes being quite decent in this regard and others looking like we are watching through vaseline smeared on the lens. 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 which added to the softness.

    There was some edge enhancement here and there along with some occasional light grain.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which are clear and easy to read. I did notice one error with someone being accused of 'bot crimes' rather than 'both crimes'.

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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 surround speakers were used for music and atmosphere 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.

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

Extras

    No extras.

Menu

    The menu design is simple, featuring a still.

 

R4 vs R1

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

    This does not currently seem to be available in Region 1.

Summary

    Another high quality entry into the long running series of mysteries starring David Suchet as the Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    No Extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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