Monday, November 13, 2017
Reserved Seating: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS & THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Adam: Welcome to Reserved Seating. I’m Adam Riske. Rob DiCristino is off this week. He has been listening to Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” since Friday morning.
Hook or Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If you are in one of the markets playing this film in 70mm, I am jealous of you.
I had seen one previous take on the story before (the 1974 film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Albert Finney as Poirot) and I much prefer Branagh’s version, which is more souped up and less staid. I think that approach benefits this story, which is leisurely paced. Did I fall asleep during Murder on the Orient Express (2017)? Yes I did, but that was more because of the fireplace demo atmosphere of the film than it being boring (it’s a little boring). To be fair, I saw it with Mark Ahn, who also fell asleep and I dropped my popcorn on him by accident at one point, providing 4DX level thrills to his viewing experience. Also, JB and Jan were in theater, too, and we didn’t know until after the movie was over! They both liked Murder on the Orient Express (2017). So, the viewing experience was just as star-studded as the picture itself. Speaking of stars, one of the drawbacks of both Orient Express film versions I’ve seen is that the actors don’t have a lot to do, which is disappointing for a cast of this caliber. You expect the film to be an acting showcase, but most of the performers have one or two scenes with less dialogue than you would expect. It’s a case where the material being classic attracts star power, but Branagh’s Poirot is (as JB once noted wonderfully about actor Daniel Day Lewis) the diamond and everyone else is the setting.
Tangerine is nearly perfect. If you are a fan of Fish Tank or American Honey, you should like this one. The Florida Project tells the story of an extended stay hotel called Magic Castle that’s just outside the Disney World property in Kissimmee, Florida, and populated with many families living just above the poverty line who must move out for a day each month to avoid being considered residents. The hotel is run by Bobby (played by Dafoe is an amazing performance I hope wins him a much-deserved Oscar), a compassionate and fair man who looks after his guests but is not above losing his shit when they do something hazardous to his business or themselves. His most trying residents are a young mother named Halley (Bria Vinaite) and her grade-school daughter Moonee (played by a complete natural named Brooklynn Prince). Their relationship is more akin to college roommates than mother-daughter, as Halley leaves Moonee to run off with her other friends in the Magic Castle and nearby hotels, getting in trouble and mouthing off to adults.
We’ll be back next week with a new review and Rob’s return. Join us then! Until next time…these seats are reserved.