16 items from 2016
I love murder mysteries. All the twists, turns, and tensions of a great whodunit always make for captivating storytelling. And when it comes to writers of gripping crime fiction, none is more well known than Agatha Christie. The best-selling novelist of all time, Christie penned stories that have had readers on the edge of their seats for the better part of a century. There is surely no better source material, therefore, to use as the basis for a mystery adventure game. It’s for these reasons that I was very excited to play Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders this week, an adventure and investigation game developed by Artefact Studio and based on Christie’s novel of the same name.
The game turns out to be a very faithful adaptation of the original story. Belgian detective and crime-solving genius Hercule Poirot, who is perhaps only second to Sherlock Holmes in the ranking of fictional detectives, »
- Joseph Banham
As the release date for the investigation game Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders draws ever closer, some fresh screenshots have been revealed for your detective consideration. The developers of the game claim that the new screens feature important players for the investigations in the game, so you may want to take a close look at them.
Stumped yet? Well, so are we, but fear not; it’s not as if key clues were just going to be willingly given up in before release, is it? While the shots may apparently contain some important folk, you’ll probably have to check the game out if you want to find out why they are so important.
So whether you want to scan them meticulously and memorise every potentially crucial morsel of information or you’re just keen to see what Poirot’s adventure is going to look like, you can check out »
- Gareth Cartwright
When Agatha Christie’s murder mystery play The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952, the actor Sheila Sim, who has died aged 93, had doubts about its ability to last for six months. But the fact that she could wait until just before its 50th anniversary before publicly confessing those doubts, at a lunch at the Savoy hotel with 300 other actors who had appeared in the play, showed them to be unfounded. By then it had long passed its 20,000th performance, and it is still going strong, as the world’s longest initial run of a play.
Through starring as Mollie Ralston, owner of the snowed-in Monkswell Manor, Sim set the seal on her growing reputation as an actor. Her husband, Richard Attenborough, co-starred in the play as Detective Sergeant Trotter, who arrives on a pair of skis, »
- Dennis Barker
Sheila Sim, the British actress who was the widow of British actor and director Richard Attenborough, and starred with him in several films as well as in the original stage production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” died on Tuesday. She was 93.
Her death was announced after a performance of “The Mousetrap” in Nottingham’s Theatre Royal. In the world premiere of the whodunit there in October 1952, she starred as Mollie Ralston, the proprietor of Monkswell Manor, opposite Attenborough. The couple moved with the production to the West End, where it has been playing continually ever since.
Since 2013 Sim had been living in Denville Hall, a London retirement home for actors, and she had been suffering from dementia.
Sim and Attenborough were married from January 1945 until his death in August 2014 at age 90.
- Carmel Dagan
Quentin Tarantino can do whatever he wants. At this point in his career, twenty-two years removed from the pop-culture milestone Pulp Fiction (1994), the lowbrow aficionado has dabbled in everything from Kung Fu (Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2 [2003/04]) and Blaxploitation (Jackie Brown ) to world war (Inglorious Basterds ) and revisionist westerns (Django Unchained ). Each crucially dependent on their assigned genres, but unmistakably stamped by an artist who loves to screw with the status quo. No other filmmaker can channel the sophistication of Jean-Luc Godard and the violence of John Woo through the veil of a 1970s exploitation flick – much less attempt to in a coherent state of mind. But this is where the Oscar nominated Tarantino resides full time: right on the edge of cinematic sanity.
Proudly marketed as the director’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight is another high-tension affair; punctuated by a script you could bounce a bullet off of. Racial slurs, »
- Danilo Castro
The plot thickens in Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders with the launch of a brand new trailer. This first full-length preview for the point-and-click mystery adventure game shows events turning a little bit darker, and bloodier, than what we have seen in previously released footage.
Based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, The ABC Murders follows Belgian detective Hercule Poirot as he attempts to solve the titular case. It appears that developer Artefacts Studio and publisher Microïds have created a solid mix of puzzle-solving and storytelling, capturing the spirit of Christie’s classic mystery novels and successfully emulating the mind of its quick-witted protagonist.
Having previewed the game earlier in the month, I must say that this trailer, with its flash cuts and blood-splattered titles, makes the game’s tone seem a lot more serious than I found it to be while playing the first hour. You »
- Joseph Banham
Dance, who comes from a working class background, told the Radio Times that a decline in repertory theatre was partly to blame for a reduction in opportunities for state-educated actors since he started his career in the mid-70s.
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- Jasper Jackson
When the cats away the mice will play? Something like that. This week's two part podcast marks the very first without your host (none of you needed to hear me whine about The Hateful Eight again! -- plus I was sick the day of the recording). So let's see what Nick, Katey and Joe think of it in this sure to be exciting conversation; I only have a vague notion of what they each thought of it so can't wait to listen with all of you!
00:01 Introductions & Teasings
19:00 Reader Question: Three comedy performances that went wildly underappreciated this past year. Nick, Katey and Joe each pick a favorite.
Part 2 will be up shortly
You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. »
- NATHANIEL R
There are epic, snowy vistas to admire, but at heart this is a one-room, almost three-hour chamber piece. It’s a storytelling test for any film-maker, one that Tarantino passes with flying colours (mostly red). As the title suggests, there are no discernible good guys – or gals – here; only eight vividly rendered shades of bad. They’re a gallery of old west archetypes: bounty hunters, civil war veterans, lawmen, “cowpunchers” and, almost stealing the show, Leigh’s demented murderer. Holed up together in an isolated cabin by a blizzard with a mystery to thrash out, they engage in a delectable game of lies, threats, interrogations, reveals, reverses and, of course, eloquent, Tarantino-spun yarns. It’s like some unholy fusion of Agatha Christie, Bonanza and Reservoir Dogs, with the escalating distrust and plentiful weaponry leading inevitably to a violent climax. »
- Steve Rose
Displaying a transparency that few filmmakers of his fame and / or caliber would even bother with, Steven Soderbergh has, for a couple of years, been keen on releasing lists of what he watched and read during the previous twelve months. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing — and why not? what else are you even doing with your day? — the 2015 selection should be of strong interest, this being a time when he was fully enmeshed in the world of creating television.
He’s clearly observing the medium with a close eye, be it what’s on air or what his friends (specifically David Fincher and his stillborn projects) show him, and how that might relate to his apparent love of 48 Hours Mystery or approach to a comparatively light slate of cinematic assignments — specifically: it seems odd that the last time he watched Magic Mike Xxl, a »
- Nick Newman
You half expect Jessica Raine to turn up wearing a corset, or at the very least a pillbox hat. For someone who was told at drama school that she had a “modern face”, the actor is certainly making a decent living in period drama. It’s the modern roles that have been few; after Call the Midwife she returned to the 1950s once more for the Agatha Christie caper, Partners in Crime. In last year’s Wolf Hall, she skulked in the candlelit corridors of the Tudor court.
Raine is delicate-looking, but not remotely prim. And she swears quite a lot. “I am avoiding playing things that I’ve done before,” she says on the dangers of typecasting. »
- Emine Saner
Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders, developed by Artefact Studio, is a game that piqued my interest as soon as I heard it was in development. As a fan of both classic detective stories and puzzle-based adventure games, this point-and-click mystery based on one of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels appears to be a match made in heaven. I was delighted, therefore, to be able to get my hands on the demo of The ABC Murders this past week.
The game stars Hercule Poirot, one of the crime author’s most famous creations, who is known for his sharp wit and intelligence. The demo drops you off at the beginning of the mystery where the sweet, old tobacco shop owner, Mrs. Ascher, has been murdered on her own shop floor. Naturally, things aren’t as clear-cut as they initially appear, and the presence of an ABC railway guide at the »
- Joseph Banham
London — The festive finale of period drama “Downton Abbey” attracted a consolidated audience of almost 11 million in the U.K., where it aired on Dec. 25 on commercial channel ITV.
The two-hour episode drew an initial audience totaling 6.9 million, which gave it a 29.6% share. It has since added 4 million timeshifted viewers.
The Victorian-era special edition of “Sherlock,” which aired on New Year’s Day on the BBC, attracted the biggest live audience of the festive period with 8.4 million viewers. “Sherlock: the Abominable Bride,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, took a 34.7% share.
Scripted shows performed well over the festive period. BBC costume drama “War and Peace” grabbed an audience of 6.3 million on Sunday, a 25% share of viewing, while the public broadcaster’s three-part Agatha Christie adaptation “And Then There Were None” attracted an average 5.5 million viewers.
Comedies and dramas ruled on Christmas Day, and have attracted further viewers since. BBC »
- Leo Barraclough
Seems like old times: eight people in a room – seven men, one woman – all of them suspicious of one another’s motives and deceits, all of them talkative and foul-mouthed, most of them with a propensity for brutal violence and, in consequence, only a short time left to live.
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- John Patterson
If you haven't gotten a chance to see director Quentin Tarantino's revenge Western The Hateful Eight yet, you may not want to read any further. This story does contain some Spoilers. Keep reading if you want to know what one star thinks happens next, following the brutal and bloody ending that barely leaves any characters alive.
An Agatha Christie-like mystery that's equal parts Clue, The Thing and Scooby Doo, The Hateful Eight manages to kill off all of its main cast with the exception of two men. The survivors are Samuel L. Jackson's Major Marquis Warren and Walton Goggins' Sherriff Chris Mannix. They are both wounded, and probably won't make it very far. Not only that, the wanted woman Daisy Domergue has promises that the rest of her gang will be arriving shortly to avenge her death.
The movie ends on a shot of Warren and »
Those who watched TV over the festive period could be forgiven for thinking that people in the past barely bothered to get dressed. In And Then There Were None, the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery, we were treated to Aidan Turner, playing one of the chief suspects, naked and deliciously slippy in nothing but a bath towel. This weekend, in Andrew Davies’s version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, brother and sister Hélène and Anatole Kuragin will be seen snuggling incestuously in bed.
Related: Incestuous affair 'crucial' to BBC's War and Peace series
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- Kathryn Hughes
16 items from 2016
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