‘Belfast’ Review: So Personal yet So Sterile

✯✯½

Kenneth Branagh has established himself over the years as one of the most prolific Shakespearean actors – both on the screen and working behind the scenes. With Belfast, he opts to tell a story that should bring him closer to home, to how he saw his childhood in Ireland. While it’s easy enough to see that Branagh’s heart is in the right place when telling a movie about growing up during the Troubles, perhaps there’s something missing to supposedly meaningful revisiting of one’s own childhood. Branagh certainly is a well-meaning director, but the reminiscences of the past don’t really add up to all that much in return.

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Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – Review

✯✯

For all we know this probably isn’t going to be the last adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express but after having already been adapted for the screen as a theatrical film in 1974 and twice for television, one can only expect that a recent spin would at least feel distinguishable because it would at least try to find a way to introduce the story to a newer audience. In some sense it would seem that Kenneth Branagh would be both the perfect choice not only to direct but also to star in the film as Christie’s Hercule Poirot, but quickly enough I was asking myself who exactly was this film being made for. For as appealing as the idea of a stylized period piece based on Agatha Christie can be, the marketing gave an idea it didn’t seem to know who it was for from the inclusion of an Imagine Dragons song. For as much as I’m thankful that awful song isn’t in the movie, it still rings off as exactly what I described prior; a new adaptation that has no idea who it’s for.

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