'Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection 4'
(David Suchet, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (2008) 2009 / Acorn Media)
Overview: David Suchet returns as Hercule Poirot—the Belgian sleuth of unsurpassed deductive powers and peerless viewer appeal—in two fresh adaptations of Christie classics.
DVD Verdict: Ah, yes, he may look a little more rounded out, he may have larger bags under his eyes, he may well even be sorting a little too much eye liner, but those little grey cells are still working perfectly!
But then again, isn't it right and proper that as we must to, so does the great Hercule Poirot age before our very eyes? I think so, which is why these new 90 minute episodes are so heatwarming, so real; like your favorite uncle had stepped into the breach help the family out with a little problem!
And so yes, these 90 minute movies are wonderful, truly lovely and rich to beyond, gievn all the Hollywood dirge out there currently! The mysteries are are intricate, as unfolding as ever, and there isn't a moment when a clue isn't being over heard, or viewed without knowing! The two stories - oh, but how I wish there had been more - are 'Mrs. McGinty's Dead' and 'Cat Among The Pigeons,' and both having been aired before under different TV guises, this time get more fleshed out and involved.
'Mrs. McGinty’s Dead' brings us once again the lovely, somewhat batty mystery novelist and old friend to Poirot, Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker, 'My Family'). In the opening scene a young man finds his aunt dead on the living room floor and is immediately charged with her death. Set to hang, Poirot tries to save the man from death, for a murder he might not have committed. Other guest stars include: Paul Rhys ('Vincent & Theo'), Amanda Root ('Persuasion'), Siân Phillips ('I, Claudius'), and Emma Amos ('The Last Detective').
In 'Cat Among the Pigeons,' Poirot goes to help out his old friend from his past - who's now heading up the prestigious Meadowbank School for girls - Miss Bulstrode (Harriet Walter, 'Atonement'). Well, amazingly he is only there to watch and help her decide who should succeed her when she leaves her head post at the end of term, but soon murder upon murder fast collapses the Meadowbank School of cards.
Soon questions are even raised about royalty, like Princess Shaista of Ramat, a political refugee under constant threat from revolutionaries in her country. And so, once the murder spree has begun, our famous stocky detective delves into all these secrets and so many more to unearth the true secret of what is going on ... and why! Guest stars include: Natasha Little ('Vanity Fair'), Claire Skinner ('Bridget Jones’s Diary'), Susan Wooldridge ('The Jewel in the Crown'), Anton Lesser ('Miss Potter'), and Katie Leung (the 'Harry Potter' movies).
Finally, and on a sad note - for us fans of the mystery/crime series, there is no Inspector Japp, Captain Hastings or Miss Lemon. Sadly missing from these episodes, they are brought to wonderful life buried within the special features disc - which includes interviews with the actors who brought those characters to life. Oh, and you get to see David Suchet without his Poirot mustache! If that even floats your boat!!! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:
Super Sleuths, a behind-the-scenes documentary, exploring the widespread appeal of Agatha Christie’s famed detective - featuring interviews with stars David Suchet, Philip Jackson (Chief Inspector Japp), Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings), and Pauline Moran (Miss Lemon), as well as longtime producer Brian Eastman, director Ed Bennett, writer Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War), among others.