Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e08 Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993) – 7/10 period crime detective mystery drama TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer (Original Short Story): Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Captain Hastings: Hugh Fraser
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Miss Lemon: Pauline Moran
Writer (Dramatisation): Anthony Horowitz
Karl Johnson: Saunders
Elizabeth Rider: Grace
Simon Shepherd: Andrew Hall
Hermione Norris: Celestine
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Ken Grieve

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e08 Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan (1993)

Poirot is sent to the coast for a holiday after the doctor, rather disappointingly, diagnoses him as "run down" rather than heroically enduring a life-ending malaise. While he’s there, a $300,000 pearl necklace is stolen from a locked box in a drawer in a room guarded by two people.

7/10

A lot of fun but the ingenious mystery and nature of the crime is not communicated quite well enough and feels like a lot of details have been left out. It is, in fact, the reverse. The writers have added story and details that weaken the central mystery instead of adding to it. The rest of the additions to the episode are a joy, however. Japp gets a magnificent gag with a teddy bear ("That’s for your boy?" Pregnant pause. "Yes."). Poirot gets his wonderful "am I going to die" face on for the doctor at the beginning and is a little put out to discover he’s only "run down" and he gets spectacularly miffed when he keeps getting people running up to him while on holiday saying "You’re Lucky Len and I claim my ten guineas!" This climaxes in a great scene where he finally meets Lucky Len.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e06 The Chocolate Box (1993) – 7/10 period detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer (Original Short Story): Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot: David Suchet
Chief Inspector Japp: Philip Jackson
Writer (Dramatisation): Douglas Watkinson
Rosalie Crutchley: Madame Deroulard
Anna Chancellor: Virginie Mesnard
Director: Ken Grieve

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e06 The Chocolate Box (1993)

Poirot returns to Belgium for the first time in years to accompany Japp who is being honoured by the Belgian government. While there, Poirot is reminded of a case that didn’t go his way and he decides that the time is right to reveal the truth.

7/10

It’s terrific to see a young Poirot skilfully brought to life by David Suchet with his normal weight and gait and a bit of running around and a bit of extra hair on the toupĂ©. Dramatiser Douglas Watkinson does well in structuring the story and there’s plenty to like, especially with Poirot as a burgler and his constant lack of discretion. I did chuckle happily at the scene where Poirot is asked for, not by name but, "by moustache." Even though Hastings isn’t here, there’s a lovely feeling of friendship with Poirot accompanying Japp to an award ceremony in Belgium. While the setting and atmosphere are terrific, the colour blindness that is at the heart of the detective story climax doesn’t convince. Even if pink looks green and green looks pink, couldn’t you still tell whether a lid and a box were the same colour? Regardless, a good episode.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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The Wrong Trousers (1993) – 10/10 stop motion classic comedy action movie review

Cast / crew
Animator, Writer, Characters Creator and Director: Nick Park
Animator: Steve Box
Peter Sallis: Voice of Wallace
Writer: Bob Baker
Writer (Additional Contributions): Brian Sibley
Producer: Christopher Moll

The Wrong Trousers (1993)

Wallace buys Gromit a pair of Techno-Trousers to take him for walkies but their lodger sees them and envisages an entirely different, and more nefarious, usage.

10/10

While this is lightning-in-a-bottle stuff and one of the most brilliant half-hours of film ever created, writer, animator and director Nick Park has shown with his subsequent movies that this funny, imaginative, snappy, charming and warm-hearted adventure wasn’t a fluke. Climaxing with a classic chase sequence which features a moment as good as Bond’s Lotus diving into the water or anything you can name, this is a pleasure from start to finsh and is absolutely, categorically, undeniably a must-watch for everyone.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot s05e05 The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993) – 8/10 period crime detective murder mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Pauline Moran: Miss Felicity Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Clive Exton
Leonard Preston: Mr Edwin Graves
Anna Mazzotti: Margherita Fabbri
David Neal: Bruno Vizzini
Vincenzo Ricotta: Mario Asciano
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: Brian Farnham

Agatha Christie’s Poirot S05E05 The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (1993)

Poirot is drawn into London’s gangland underworld following the murder of the master of Miss Lemon’s new boyfriend.

8/10

Poirot: ‘Haven’t you ever exaggerated your own self-importance to impress a girl?’
Hastings: "Well certainly not. Never. Oh, well, I once told a girl I was a member at Wentworth when I wasn’t. But she didn’t play golf anyway. She thought Wentworth was a lunatic asylum."

This is a very good episode with a story that successfully gives you enough clues to point the finger of suspicion while misdirecting you wonderfully. The solid story is backed up, as is frequently the case in these hour-longs, by some wonderful writing and that lovely chemistry between Poirot and Hastings, especially, but also with Japp and Miss Lemon. Poirot is respectful and cheerful; he happily accompanies Hastings on a car shopping trip and shares his joy just like friends do. Writer Clive Exton really nailed the close friendship of the pair and never forgot the importance of humour. He gave Hastings the outstanding gag above and it’s not the only one. In fact, Hastings is awesome throughout the episode and gets to top it off with a car chase (which is quietly but brilliantly joined by a bus), a "you swine" and a classic punch on the nose.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains gory and unpleasant scene, inferred violence, brief violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S05E04 The Case of the Missing Will (1993) – 7/10 period murder mystery drama TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Philip Jackson: Chief Inspector Japp
Pauline Moran: Miss Felicity Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Douglas Watkinson
Beth Goddard: Violet Wilson
Producer: Brian Eastman
Director: John Bruce
Executive Producer: Nick Elliott

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S05E04 Case of the Missing Will, The (1993)

The day before he is due to make a new will leaving his entire fortune to his beloved ward Violet, Andrew Marsh dies. Poirot, who would have been the executor of the new will, smells a rat. When the time comes for the will to be read, however, even the old will cannot be found and Poirot’s suspicions are confirmed.

7/10

"I have been stumbling around in a darkened room. But now I see the light." – Poirot, accompanied by an entirely baffled Hastings.

Writer Douglas Watkinson generously shares the spotlight which is, of course, most unusual in a hero detective drama; Miss Lemon is served particularly well with a critical grammatical observation and a related reveal during Poirot’s summation while Hastings gets to impeccably and authoratively, in the nicest possible manner, discover and guard the crime scene. The finger of suspicion dots around gleefully and it’s a credit to Watkinson and director John Bruce that we can comfortably keep track; even making us feel like we’re one step ahead though, of course, Poirot is two steps ahead, just as we want him to be.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains unpleasant scene.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot S05E03 Yellow Iris (1993) – 7/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Writer: Agatha Christie
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Hugh Fraser: Captain Hastings
Pauline Moran: Miss Lemon
Writer (Dramatisation): Anthony Horowitz
David Troughton: Barton Russell
Dorian Healy: Anthony Chapell
Geraldine Somerville: Pauline Wetherby
Yolanda Vasquez: Lola
Robin McCaffrey: Iris Russell

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s S05E03 Yellow Iris (1993)

Poirot is perturbed when a restaurant called Le Jardin de Cygnes opens in London on the same day he receives a yellow iris at his apartments. He knows it is a reminder of a two-year-old murder which he could not solve due to circumstances beyond his control but it looks like he may have another chance.

7/10

Splendid Poirot with a terrific prologue and epilogue (“the English do not have ‘cuisine,’ they have food”) though the central mystery does seem short on clues and the memorable methodology was also used in the far more widely known SPOILER Sparkling Cyanide (Agatha Christie’s own novelisation of this short story). Still, what I absolutely love about these hour-long episodes is the relationship between Poirot and Hastings. They are so clearly the best of friends, it’s just lovely to see; here Hastings didn’t let Poirot not joining him in Argentina bother him. It’s so rare to see positive relationships in dramatic screen productions and it gave Poirot a uncommon identity and emotional connection that future filmmakers have seemed to overlook.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains mild adult dialogue and unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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Last Action Hero (1993, Arnold Schwarzenegger Fantasy Action Buddy-Buddy Comedy) – 8/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: John McTiernan
Writer (Screenplay): Shane Black
Writer (Screenplay): David Arnott
Writer (Story): Zak Penn
Writer (Story): Adam Leff
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Jack Slater / Himself
F. Murray Abraham: John Practice
Art Carney: Frank
Charles Dance: Benedict
Frank McRae: Dekker
Tom Noonan: Ripper
Robert Prosky: Nick
Anthony Quinn: Vivaldi
Mercedes Ruehl: Mom
Austin O’Brien: Danny
Producer: Steve Roth
Producer: John McTiernan
Executive Producer: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Last Action Hero (1993)

Through the use of a magic ticket, film fanatic Danny Madigan gets transported through to the world of the cinema and gets hooked up with his beloved screen hero, Jack Slater. Helping Slater solve the current ‘movie’ mystery, things take a turn for the worst as the bad guys get hold of the ticket and transport through to the real world causing mayhem as they do.

8/10

Hugely entertaining action movie which has several super sequences and is great fun throughout. It suffers very slightly from John McTiernan’s usual problem of feeling a bit too long and it definitely could have used some fine-tuning to some of the non-action sequences and silly reaction shots (there wasn’t time before the film had to be released) but there is a nice pile of gleefully cheesy one-liners ("Do you want to be a farmer? Here’s a couple of acres?" is my favourite, delivered by Arnie before booting a dude in the goolies) and the action is consistently spectacular, fun and thrilling.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word, mild swear words and violence, mild unpleasant scenes, mild gory scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.