Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This was never a beach-side puzzle.

In Utah, assuming you've perpetrated a horrendous crime, you can choose, yes, you can opt into, the right to be executed by a firing squad. Like, right now. Twenty-seventeen. But only because they're currently all out of lethal injection drugs.

Wait, what?

Apparently, there are five volunteer shooters (all trained) that carry out the execution, but only one of their guns is loaded with an actual bullet. The other four are firing blanks. Perhaps obviously, no one knows who has what gun, so the person who ultimately kills the murderous bastard remains a mystery. 


A bunch of seemingly random people getting together in the snow-capped mountains, with the collective intent to kill a killer. 

Don't judge me, but I loved the trailer, too.
I've never read (or seen) the works of Agatha Christie before, so please forgive me for enjoying Kenneth Branagh's updated take on Murder on the Orient Express. Apparently, this movie sucks hard, and is significantly worse than the film version that came before, but I was more or less captivated for the hour-and-fifty-four-minute runtime. And being that I'm obviously a moron, I didn't see anything coming. And quite frankly, I'm not sure how you could.

Hercule Poirot is the world's greatest detective, and though the competition is stiff, he also just might be my favorite dick on the planet. See, Poirot's gift is totally his curse, as his insane attention to detail consistently robs his life of joy. When we meet Poirot, he's just publicly solved a case at the Wailing Wall, and is looking for little rest and relaxation (and, if I'm being frank, time for a little Dickens). Unfortunately, fate ain't exactly interested in all that, and throws Poirot an Oliver of a twist, routing him back to London to solve an urgent case instead. Lucky for him, there just so happens to be one seat left on the most regal of locomotives, the exquisite and opulent Orient Express. Should be a relaxing ride to London, right? Well, it could have been, had Edward Scissorhands not been stabbed to death along the way.

Perhaps you know where this is headed, or perhaps Poirot should deftly search the place you left your last f--k, but I was all aboard this old-school murder-mystery. Anchored by Branagh's electric performance (and insanely blue eyes), I could have spent the rest of my Wednesday afternoon with Poirot and this train full of famous suspects. Poirot outclasses all of them, thoughtfully/furiously turning over every stone possible. It may be a bit hard to keep track of who killed Colonel Mustard with what and where (my money's on in the billiard's room with the candle stick), but even after the ninety-eighth redirection, I found myself grinning along like a kid who doesn't necessarily understand what the adults are talking about.

There is nothing about this look that I don't want to immediately adopt.
Possibly the most exquisitely shot feature of 2017, I'd recommend Murder on the Orient Express even with the sound turned off. Combine the gorgeous sets, the ghost-like camera movements, the romantic grandeur of the mid nineteen thirties with a cast that features more famous faces than a holiday telethon, and I'm certain there's something for everyone. I know, the reviews say the film is basically a frozen dog turd on the sidewalk in front of a currently ablaze Wal-Mart, but regardless, a spectacle, even if ultimately not your cup of tea, is still a spectacle, you know?

Speaking of worthless opinions that don't make sense and no one cares about, here are the Yays and Boos. Collectively, we're thrilled that there's a bit of loose talk about this flick getting a sequel, but maybe we shouldn't be that surprised at this point. Hell, it's all too apparent that Hollywood will try anything...twice. 


  • So that whole 'egg delivery' thing started out as an underlined Boo. But we're adults around here, capable of change.
  • So...they had roundhouse kicks back in 1934? Welp, that's what you get for taking a picture of the Countess (though major props to the guy who just smashed his camera as a courtesy).
  • There are soooo many great shots in this one, but the extended overhead take of Poirot going from cabin to cabin may have been my favorite.
  • We should no longer speak. Not only does this line easily enter my list of things I should have on a t-shirt, but it also perfectly captures how I feel with just under 97% of the people encounter. Same applies to I don't like your face.
  • The guy who runs the Orient Express is my f--king hero. And his suggestion concerning the constant, gentle rocking of the train as something that makes this form of travel...even sexier...only further cements that status.
  • Clearly, you don't need any further evidence that I'm a strange bird (/total psychopath), but I took entirely too much joy in Poirot's love of reading. Honestly. If I could person in this world that likes a book as much as this dude, I would probably instantly die of happiness.
  • The only thing better than a stern interrogation? A stern German.
  • And finally, I think I have to reiterate how much I loved the character of Poirot, even if it's possibly the only point I've actually made so far. He's basically a f--king superhero, right, but his super power is that he notices everything. I know that sounds lame as f--k, but remember guys, I spend my days surrounded by people who are so f--king unaware of their surroundings, it's all I can do to not jump out the f--king window. But Poirot? Man...this dude sees/listens/considers everything. Holy shit, right?
Mr. Grindlewald gets his own car on the Hogwarts Express.
  • Hey, Herc, I'm all about balance in my life, too, you know? But if I step in a giant pile of horseshit, I'm gonna wipe it off so both my shoes are shit-free. Not step in it with my other foot.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer, sexy as ever, is quite the...cabin hopper, no? The Boo? Uh...I'm not sure exactly.
  • 'Bunkies' with Gad? I love the term, Poirot, but, uh, no f--king thanks. If I spend any more time with Olaf, I'm gonna wanna build a snowman. Out of rocks. On my nutsack.
  • So...what was that growl thing from Depp? Is that the sound your face makes when it's finally reached the point where it's more old balloons than actual human skin? Either way, I was terrified.
  • What the f--k was that mustache-guard contraption Poirot was wearing? And why don't I have one?  [for the record, that applies to not only the contraption...but the mustache]
  • Romance never goes unpunished. So true. 
  • Wait, wait, wait. For a guy who's that particular, I was a little surprised to see him share dessert. Especially with a f--king scumbag.
  • I may have failed to mention it, but the train eventually gets stuck in the snow. And if you ever need a definitive visual for the the word precarious, please look no further than the snowed-in Orient Express. See also: Poirot's meeting with Miss Mary Debenham near the end of the film.
  • Speaking of Daisy Ridley's character, the lady behind me totally had her pegged as the killer. How do I know this? Well, it doesn't take a detective when someone basically yells, SHE DID IT.
  • There's a story that takes place before this story and it's a bit...convoluted, to say the least. Like, if I died, I imagine maybe a dozen people would be moderately bummed out. But what happens here? I think maybe two-thirds of the world's population was affected. Maybe more.
  • Yo, how you gonna stab Catwoman in the back like that? 
  • Um, that might have been the lowest low-speed chase I've ever seen. 
  • And finally, I'm not sure how the other versions of this story end, but what we're left with is pretty f--king weird, to put it mildly. And the way Poirot feels when it's over? Yeah...that's kind of the way I felt too. I accept it, I understand it...but I'm not exactly thrilled with it.
In my life, I try not to kill anything. Insects, animals in the road, the mood...whatever. Hell, you name it, I want nothing to do with it leaving this world. The way I see it, the only thing worse than killing someone, is not killing someone, even though you really wanted to.

Unless you've volunteered for a firing squad, of course. Or a passenger on the Orient Express.

Because you're f--ked either way.


  1. I haven't seen the original either but I vaguely remember reading this in school. And by vaguely I mean I only remember the ending. I'll probably check this one out on DVD now that you said you mostly liked it.

    1. Brittani!!!

      Damn, girl. That was fast. Even for you.

      I'm sure you'll be more sensible about this one, but I really did have a good time. Branagh's not nearly in enough shit that I see, and I really, really loved his performance. While the quality of the film may be debatable...the quality of the cast is not! (and the cinematography, too)

      Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  2. The trailer for Avengers: Infinity War will launch on December 4th.

    1. Thanks, Marvel. I was going to go to work that day and teach children English and social studies.

      Screw that noise.

  3. I saw the version with Ingrid Bergman which was great . For some reason my mother wants to see this one, i dont know why or for whom but i hope not for Johnny 9 Digits. I like Brannagh but the ttailer for this was horrific. Also his mustache looks more sentient than my ovaries were during JL.

    1. Just take your mom, dammit. Your disdain for J9D will be rewarded handsomely.

      And besides, if (and when) you hate this, we can talk about Baby Driver again. It'll be sooooo much fun.

      Dude, don't f--k with the stache. It'll come for you.

    2. Yeah we are going on Friday :)

      Why would I ever talk about that horrific film again? :D

    3. You know you love baby driver sati, just admit it. You love it more than Hugh and Jason combined. Admit it!! =P

      Man, Hugh and Jason combined? I bet that'd bring you to near death ;D

    4. Ohh in an unlikely event that it happens - most likely during my trial - I have an elaborate and detailed plan of action.

  4. That 'stache reminds me of Daniel Day-Lewis. Badass!!

    I might go catch this as I don't know anything of the originals either