Hi everyone, this is the spoiler thread for OrientXP!!
I'm not 100% certain this thread is really needed, because it's pretty well known "whodunnit" but maybe there are a few out there who have never seen the 70's film or another version or who have never read the book. Anyway, may I start out by saying, RIP Ratchett
It is everything people have talked about visually - a stunning costume drama plus breathtaking views of the mountains. The train is fantastic, I didn't find it claustrophobic to watch but there's a lot of people walking past each other in close proximity and Kenneth Branagh uses that really well. It cuts between the train and the outside really well.
Johnny makes a massive impact from the get go. It is partly his costume - when he is wearing that magnificent coat he seems so much bigger and more menacing and a lot of his character comes out in his facial expressions. At one point he just stares in a mirror and gives this terrifying look - as you'd imagine a psychopath.
Kenneth Branagh said on Jimmy Kimmel that Johnny spent hours perfecting his walk, and although he doesn't do that much walking there is something about the way he does it. At one point he sweeps through the train like some rude, upstart who can't stand the presence of others.
The character is not likeable, really evil but it isn't one of JD's huge, wonderful, OTT performances. It is much more ..... I can't find a better word than menacing but also brash, arrogant, uncouth. There are small details like the way he uses his napkin and speaks when he eats. The lunch conversation with him and Poirot is fantastic - Poirot's loathing seems to ooze out of him.
Yes of course I am totally biased but when he is in the scene you are constantly drawn to him. I thought he was particularly brilliant with Josh Gad's and Derek Jacobi's characters - he is like the nastiest boss you can imagine - someone whose employees are frightened of them.
With the exception of one or two people who don't make much of an impact, every character is interesting an interplays brilliantly with the others.
I went in knowing that I was going to like this because I think Kenneth Branagh is such a brilliant filmmaker and he has a dream cast. But I cannot stop thinking about how much I loved it. I am sure I'll think of some more things but can definitely be excited about this one.
Firefly6 I am glad you liked what I said - to be honest I was holding myself back a bit trying not to go OTT and gushy. Because honestly it is a wonderful, classy film. In a few years I think people will talk about it with reverence and Johnny's performance is superb. He doesn't overplay it, I think it would have been easy to ham it up a bit, but actually there is a lot in what he doesn't say. In one scene his compartment door gets flung open and he stands with a gun - and the look and what he says are just chilling. A bit of it was in the trailers but the whole scene was so good. There are a number of others which are really notable but the thing to me which really stands out is that when he arrives in the film, it is almost like he causes noise and discomfort. Everyone else's lives are just going along but then suddenly: bang, this guy arrives and it is all change.
I am definitely going to see it again, possibly alone or just with one other person - we were a bit of an excitable group but mixed ages and everyone really enjoyed it. But I could do with quietly watching it. I cannot wait to read what others think - I don't like the gap where it isn't out yet elsewhere.
Since my workplace had off for Veterans Day yesterday, it was a good opportunity to go see a matinee of OrientXP. The theater was about 1/3 full, even at the first showing before noon, which is pretty good for this theater on a weekday (albeit a government holiday in the DC area where MANY folks had the day off). I really loved the film, and I especially loved Johnny in it- for me it was on par with Black Mass and better than Pirates (don't get me wrong, he's always great in Pirates, but that is just a fun role for him nowadays, whereas this was something really different).
The minor gripes first- I tried to avoid most of the review comments before seeing it but did hear that Kenneth Branagh was grabbing a bit too much attention. And I will say that towards the end, the bit about him mulling over what to say to the authorities and saying he couldn't lie, and challenging someone to shoot him, felt a little overindulgent and long. By that time, the reveal had been made and I started to get a little impatient about just wrapping up the case and not dragging it out. (I will say, though, Michelle Pfeiffer was outstanding in this section). Also, that mustache I was prepared for it, of course, and there's one funny little sight gag with the mustache in some sort of protective device while he slept. But I think that if he'd kept the top part, which was still huge and wide, and ditched the sort of double thing he had going on underneath, it would've still been very impressive and maybe a tad more realistic My last gripe had nothing to do with the film itself but just my movie theater- the sound cut out just as the "20th Century Fox" fanfare was playing, and was silent for several minutes. One woman jumped out of her seat to go tell someone, and we all thanked her when she returned, and a minute later the sound was fixed, but they didn't bother to go and rewind it. So I missed the beginning part with the little boy and the eggs. I gather that he was upset they were different sizes?? Well, I'm sure I'll see it again (hopefully this weekend!) so I'm sure I'll catch the beginning then.
Now to what I loved- I totally agree with everything kat said about Johnny's performance. It was menacing and vulgar but in an organic way- he didn't have to ham it up to make very clear what kind of a person he was (and I will say that with the trailer, I was a little concerned about this but his tone in this film was just perfect)! I wish he'd had a tad more interaction with some of the rest of the cast, but as kat said, his treatment of his employees, with Pfeiffer, and with Poirot was perhaps all that was needed to get the point across. Though I was excited when I saw a black and white flashback or two and it left me hoping for more of them with other cast members The cinematography, camera work, costumes (Johnny's coat was EVERYTHING!), makeup (there was a whole scene where I found myself totally fixated on Daisy Ridley's amazing eyelashes ), hair, place settings at the table, and so many of the other details were beautiful and perfect. All of the cast was wonderful. I haven't seen Hamilton, but the soundtrack has been on heavy rotation in my car CD changer for almost 2 years, and when I saw Leslie Odom Jr.'s big scene with Poirot defending Mary, I got such an awesome Aaron Burr vibe The whole vibe of the train, people bustling by each other, everyone's relative location, was great. It made me want to be a passenger on that train, though maybe without the murder
Meant to add, though it has nothing to do with OrientXP itself, I was shocked that one of the trailers they showed was for All The Money In The World, still showing and giving a prominent credit for Kevin Spacey. I hadn't seen this trailer, but I know they're still planning to release this film at around Christmas, reshooting all of Spacey's scenes with Christopher Plummer. The film is coming up so soon I know they need to promote it, and I'm guessing that they will quickly try to clip his name and face out of the trailer asap (you don't even see his full face until near the end of the trailer, and there were enough side shots that I'll bet they could substitute a few more of those so you can't really see him). But it was probably too soon to take care of that yet, and it felt like a bit of a sucker punch to see that trailer
Just saw it today! LOOOVED IT! This entire Cast was so GREAT! Johnny's Performance left me kinda speechless, you see him not for ten minutes (in all), i guess, but his performance was captivating as hell. Every bit really get's you.
At one point he just stares in a mirror and gives this terrifying look - as you'd imagine a psychopath.
It was SOOO damn good. Johnny just gave me the chills,especially here.
Aw thanks Jdsaby - so happy you and MadScntst enjoyed. I've seen it twice now, second time was actually better. I like that he keeps popping up even after he'd been killed, the black and white scenes are beautiful and I noticed them more when I saw it second time. I also agree about having a slight concern (which I kept to myself) when I saw the trailers. I thought Johnny was going a bit OTT New York gangster when he said 'your the world famous detective' but that whole scene plays slightly differently in the film and it works so well. Someone I work with saw it on my recommendation and said what she'd liked about his performance was that he came across as a bit desperate and panicky - which is another element I hadn't really seen. Will have to go again on the weekend. I am so happy this is doing well at the box office. I go back to what I said above - in a few years time when this is being shown on the TV the brief description will say things like - 'Kenneth Branagh's superb, all star cast etc etc etc.
Post by depptheman (moo) on Nov 14, 2017 12:29:28 GMT -5
Saw the movie this past weekend. The photography was outstanding. Johnny looked incredible, and played his character OH SO WELL! But the movie itself....hmmmm. Have to say I almost fell asleep not too long after what happened to Johnny's character. I think the story jumped too quickly to Johnny's characters' demise. Not enough character development of the other characters. The actors were all excellent. But I didn't find this to be a great movie. Barely just barely a good movie
kat, yes I agree with you that Johnny looked desperate and quite paranoid, which was a great additional layer to his cockiness and evilness. I do also like that he pops up again in the black and white scenes; however, as I think I mentioned above, there were a few at first and I guess I expected it to continue at the same rate and was slightly disappointed that there weren't a few more of them. It would've been nice to "see" each character's association and motive in flashback-- would that have been too literal?? Would it have taken too much time?? I don't believe so, personally- I think it could've been done.
moo, I'm sorry you didn't care for the film I felt a bit like you did on my first viewing that there wasn't enough character development, but on the second viewing I think I "got" more out of each character. But it shouldn't be necessary to have to view it twice to get that, so I dunno (and remember, I was already familiar with the 1974 and the book, which I read a couple of months ago, so I already had a headstart knowing the characters!) As I think I mentioned, I was a little unsatisfied with the end bit and how Poirot resolved the case, with some changes and judgementalism that I felt dragged things out at an odd or awkward time. To me, it put a small hiccup in the flow of the movie right when it should've been the big finish. In my case it was a pretty minor issue, but I can kinda see the point of some of the criticism from the critics.