A Case Of You (Film Thoughts: Murder On The Orient Express)

largeposterAn All-Star Cast is assembled in ‘Murder On The Orient Express,’ directed by Kenneth Branagh and each one is visually stunning. I mean, Johnnhy Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench – they’re here. Add to that Broadway-centric stars like Josh Gad and Leslie Odom Jr. and that makes me doubly happier. So why is it that I was not overwhelmed with happiness after seeing ‘Murder On The Orient Express’? Perhaps because I felt a lot of things were overly familiar, and also maybe because the ‘reveal’ is the same as the 1974 version. The screenplay, by Michael green, introduces a bit of ‘new stuff’ but it just did not connect for me. And while the film is gorgeous (the cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos is nomination worthy) to look at, a lot of times it felt pretty but no substance. Branagh’s direction had some nice touches – the last-supper type scene with all the suspects was inspired – the movie still limped. Pfeiffer is great here, but just like most people in the cast, underutilized.

Perhaps the movie just isn’t for me. I vacillated quite a bit on seeing it, and only did when a friend asked me to go with him. I don’t know if I would have gone alone.

Alice and Looking (Movie Thoughts: Alice Through The Looking Glass)

large_alice_through_the_looking_glassI was Netflix-and-Chilling with a friend and we were trying to figure out what to watch when we chanced upon ‘Alice Through A Looking Glass’ and he suggested we see it. This wouldn’t have been my first choice – nor fifth – but sure I will go with the flow and see it. I remember seeing the first Tim Burton directed one, and it was okay, but not really my cup of tea – haha, see what I did there? I know this film was sort of a flop last year, and I know it was only produced and not directed by Tim Burton.

Again, for me, it’s just okay. There is a very thin plot – that of Alice (Mia Wasikowska) going back and forth with time – to ‘rescue’ Mad Hatter’s family, sort of an explanation to the Hatter’s sadness. Of course, the special effects here is awesome to look at – everything looks vibrant and full. But of course, I am not going to be the best judge of these things but visually I was impressed. Emotionally. this film is barren. I don’t think anyone connected with each other, and their interactions all seem very by-the-numbers, wherein reactions are more indicated than felt. Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen certainly tries, but you can see the rest of the cast – Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway in particular – phoning it in. One thing I have to say about the film, though: I wasn’t bored, and maybe that’s more because of my company than anything else.