Death on the Nile (1978) Movie Review

Director: John Guillermin

Writer: Anthony Schaffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith

Plot: As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board. Can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey?

Tagline – The only thing that could follow “Murder” is “Death”

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Murder Mystery 101

Story: Death on the Nile starts when heiress Linnet Ridgeway Doyle (Chiles) marries Simon Doyle (MacCorkindale) and go on their honeymoon in Egypt, where many of the important people in her life are, with Jackie (Farrow) the ex-fiancée of Simon’s, famous author Salome Otterbourne (Lansbury) and her daughter Rosalie (Hussey), along with famous detective Hercule Poirot (Ustinov), Mrs Can Schuyler (Davis) and her carer Miss Bowers (Smith), Colonel Race (Niven), Mr Ferguson (Finch) and Andrew Pennington (Kennedy) complete the people in attendance.

As the guests head down the river for the cruise, they find themselves being the only people away from the main land, until Linnet is murdered, with Hercule needing to put the pieces together to solve the mystery of who was behind the murder.

Thoughts on Death on the Nile

Characters – Hercule Poirot is the world famous detective that just so happens to be the river cruise when a murder happens, he must work with the clues to try and solve the crime before everyone leaves the cruise ship. He does think outside the box when it comes to figuring out the suspects. Linnet is the heiress that has just got married after stealing her husband off one of her better friends, she is the one that gets murdered, with everyone on board having a reason for wanting her dead. Mrs Van Schuyler is always after extra money in her life, she has always eyed pearls anyone else owned. Jackie the jilted ex, that is still unhappy with the fact that Linnet stole her fiancée, bringing the gun on board in the first place. Salome Otterbourne is a famous author that is always looking down on people, she bosses her daughter around. We have more suspects, each one could have motivation for killing Linnet, each has their own story for being on the cruise.

PerformancesWe have an amazing cast here, each one shines through the film, with Peter Ustinov bringing the detective to life, while each person brings their society figure to life.

StoryThe story here follows Hercule Poirot as he looks to solve a murder on a river cruise of an heiress, he has plenty of suspects to question, all with motivation for killing the victim. As in most Agatha Christie novels, we get Poirot needing to try and solve a crime with a long list of suspects, one that will keep you guessing along the way. We do have to deal with plenty of rich society people here which are all very self-centred along the way, which will make us believe the people could well have been involved with what happened. It is a little bit long though, as it takes nearly an hour before the murder takes place.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is a murder that happens, with plenty of mystery about who was behind it, one that does keep us guessing.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film on the river cruise, it shows that the suspects could only be the people on the cruise, much like Murder on the Orient Express.

Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too long.

Final Thoughts This is a nice entertaining murder mystery that will keep us guessing along the way, with an excellent cast involved.

Overall: Entertaining Murder Mystery.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – S – Spirited Away (2001) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Once you do something, you never forget. Even if you can’t remember. ” – Zeniba

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Aug 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A young girl is accidentally transported to the spirit word and must find a way back home before it’s too late.

My Take on it – I have never been the biggest fan of animated films from Studio Ghibli and have actually avoided watching this film for years because I usually find the movies to be far too strange for my taste.

This month’s theme gave me the opportunity to finally see if my intuition was right or wrong.

I can sorta understand why so many people would rave over this film, but I wasn’t drawn into it enough to really care about the story or characters.

The way things are presented are in a very strange and crazy way and it is reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland kind of story but even more abstract in so many ways.

This film is visually stunning, but the story rambled on and didn’t really go anywhere which was disappointing for me.

The look and feel of this film is on par with the uniqueness of the rest of the films from Studio Ghibli and from an animation standpoint, things are great.

The characters are drawn in very strange ways and that made the story even harder to are about due to he abstractness of it all.

This movie was able to win an Oscar for Best Animated movie in a year with 4 pretty weak films alongside it in the category and I can understand why this film would be able to beat the competition even if I wasn’t really able to connect with things here.

Bottom Line – Really strange and crazy fairy tale-esque kind of story that is visually stunning but has a far too abstract story line. This film goes along with the rest of the Studio Ghibli fare with the way that the look and feel seem quite unique from an animation standpoint.  The characters are all drawn in very strange ways and that took away much of the wonderment from the storyline. This movie somehow won an Oscar for Best Animated film and I’m a bit surprised that the rest of the nominees were quite weak that year.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In order to animate the scene where Chihiro force feeds Haku the medicine in his dragon form, Hayao Miyazaki had his animators study a dog’s mouth as they fed it treats while a veterinarian held its lower jaw. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – S – Smallfoot (2018)

Director: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig

Writer: Karey Kirkpatrick, Clare Sera (Screenplay) John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Karey Kilpatrick, Sergio Pablos (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Danny DeVito, Gina Rodriguez

Plot: A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “humans” really do exist.

Tagline – Get Yeti!

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun and Enjoyable

Story: Smallfoot starts as we head to a yeti village where Migo lives with the honour of following in from his father Dorgle’s footsteps to be the gong ringer for the village. While training for his job, he ends up outside the village meeting a human, known as Smallfoot, who escapes before he can prove it to the rest of the village, Migo gets banished from the village for not agree about the beliefs of the stones, leaving him to go into the wilderness alone.

Meanwhile on the surface, struggling nature presenter Percy is looking for something to bring his success back, with the yeti story setting him on the path. Migo joins forces with Stonekeeper’s daughter Meechee to search for humans where he finds Percy and restore his name.

Thoughts on Smallfoot

Characters – Migo is a yeti living in the mountain top village of yetis, Migo is going to follow in his father’s footsteps being the one that wakes the village, until he meets a smallfoot or human. His ideas get him banished from the village until he can prove that humans are real. Migo is left in the middle of wanting to protect his yetis or let them learn more about the world outside the village. Percy is the nature presenter that is trying to restore his fame after losing his love for filming animals, he wants a quick story which will get attention only he finds Migo and his adventure to the yeti village will restore his love for animals once again. Meechee is the female yeti and daughter of Stonekeeper, she has been running a society in search for smallfoot, which will see her helping Migo and wanting to learn more about the world. Stonekeeper is the man that holds the rules that the village follows, what he says is the law of the village and anybody who questions them will be banished.

StoryThe story does show us how a village of yetis don’t believe any other creatures outside their village are real, until they find a human, that will make them question everything they believed and learn that not ever human is going to be evil. This story gets to show that you need to learn to accept and protect different species on the planet no matter what has been said through the years of history, you don’t need to follow in traditions just because you have always been taught this. This is everything you expect from an animated kids’ movie story, it is easy to watch and does play along nicely.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure takes Migo to a new location, one he wouldn’t have ever gotten a chance to visit, the comedy side of the film shows us just how everything is mostly slapstick through the film.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the mountain village and beneath the clouds where the rest of the world operates, it does paint everything to be a more colourful that a real version of the world.

AnimationThe animation looks beautiful showing us the Himalayas vast beauty.

Scene of the Movie – Escape the village.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too slapstick in places.

Final Thoughts This is a fun animated film, it has a strong message and will keep everyone entertained through the film.

Overall: Adventure fun.