Blu-ray
Recommended
3 stars
List Price
$44.98
Amazon
$44.98 (38%)
3rd Party
$27.99
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Overall Grade
3 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3 Stars
Supplements
0 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

Poirot: Series 3

Street Date:
March 6th, 2012
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
April 4th, 2012
Movie Release Year:
2011
Studio:
Acorn Media
Length:
0 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Season two of 'Poirot' is where the show started to find its tried and true formula. The great Agatha Christie detective Hercule Poirot would spend the first two-thirds of the movie interviewing potential witnesses and perpetrators, noticing tiny things about the crime scenes that no one else would, and grooming his mustache. Once the third act rolled around Poirot would find a way to gather everyone involved in the case together for one last, big reveal. While this season stays true to that formula, it's the first episode of the season that really stands out.

The first episode, "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" is one of the best 'Poirot' episodes out there. Breaking from its traditional narrative arc, this episode is a flashback to the beginning. We see how Poirot first came to England as a refugee from of the war. We see Captain Hastings, then Lieutenant Hastings, and how he and Poirot eventually met and formed a bond.

"The Mysterious Affair at Styles" caught me off guard because I was fully expecting to start up season three right where season two left off. Instead we were not only treated to a very clever whodunit mystery, but we were also made aware of the rich backstory between Poirot, Hastings and how everything came about.

As the season progresses though you'll notice a rash of strychnine poisonings. The first three episodes of the season have some kind of strychnine poisoning attached to the plot. Like there's no other way to murder someone mysteriously. It kind of became a running gag, rather unintentionally, to see how many times people could get poisoned in this season. It did get a little old after a while. You can only take so many people sipping down a spot of tea and then dropping the mug on the floor as they choke the poison down.

Series three does contain quite a bit of humor though as only Poirot himself can produce. He's so prim and proper, which is what makes his relationship with Hastings a comedic gold mine. The episode entitled "The Million Dollar Bond Robbery" is one of the best of the season. It features Poirot and Hastings taking the maiden voyage on the great ocean liner The Queen Mary. They're sent to watch over the transport of some very valuable government bonds being taken to the United States. Before the voyage Hastings wanted badly to go, and Poirot couldn't imagine himself floating on a multi-ton boat at sea. He feared sea sickness, Hastings assured him he wouldn't get it. Once on board Hastings comes down with sea sickness while Poirot has the time of his life. The way the two interact about the proceedings is some of the funniest material that the show has to offer.

The entirety of this third series is full of wonderfully fun stories, all of them being almost impossible to figure out before Poirot's big reveal. That's really what makes the show fun. Honestly, I can never figure out the whole plot until Poirot finally reveals it to us. I may have figured out one or two this, but as always Poirot knows all.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This Acorn release comes in a 3-disc package. Each of the discs are 50GB Blu-ray Discs. They're housed in a regular-sized keepcase that features a swing arm in the middle that holds two discs back-to-back. Like the other releases this one also comes with an outer cardboard slipcover featuring the same art work that is on the case. As far as I know this is a Region A release.

Here's the complete episode list:

1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
2. How Does Your Garden Grow?
3. The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
4. The Plymouth Express
5. Wasps' Nest
6. The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor
7. The Double Clue
8. The Mystery of the Spanish Chest
9. The Theft of the Royal Ruby
10. The Affair at the Victory Ball
11. The Mystery of the Hunter's Lodge

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Even though 'Poirot: Series 3' was shot on 16mm like the rest of the seasons before it, as time goes on the show looks better and better in HD. The picture quality here can be compared to that of 'Poirot: Series 2.' Yes, it's a predominantly soft picture, but considering the source, it looks rather good.

Detail, especially in character close-ups, features a great amount of detail. As the camera locks in on the face of David Suchet (Poirot) you can see the glimmer from his mustache wax, and you'll notice the immaculate care that's been taken to get every hair just so.

Because of the show's overall softness much of the light, be it indoor or outdoor, tends to bleed into the other colors. Grain is heavy, throughout, but it gives the show a very natural feel. Considering it's coming from 16mm film, it's easy to accept the grain being this heavy. Overall, though the colors pop. The green, English countryside looks marvelous. I think fans who enjoyed the look of 'Series 2' will undoubtedly like this presentation as well.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

Acorn has upgraded the sound on the 'Poirot' sets just a bit. For the first two releases we were given Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks, which worked, but were unremarkable in every way. Even though we are still being given a 2.0 Stereo track, this time around it's lossless. The PCM 2.0 mix sounds noticeably better than the first two seasons that have been released by Acorn.

Acorn has upgraded the sound on the 'Poirot' sets just a bit. For the first two releases we were given Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks, which worked, but were unremarkable in every way. Even though we are still being given a 2.0 Stereo track, this time around it's lossless. The PCM 2.0 mix sounds noticeably better than the first two seasons that have been released by Acorn.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

There are no special features provided.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.

Final Thoughts

As long as Acorn keeps releasing these seasons of 'Poirot' I'll be happy. It's commendable that they're so committed to bringing each of the seasons to Blu-ray in their original broadcast order. This time around we're given a bit of an upgrade in the audio department, while the video presentation looks as good as it did in season two. Fans will be elated with this release, but I'd still recommend this show to anyone, whether you've seen it or not.

Technical Specs

  • 3-Disc Set

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.33:1

Audio Formats

  • English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles/Captions

  • English

Supplements

  • None

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List Price
$44.98
Amazon
$44.98 (38%)
3rd Party
$27.99
Usually ships in 2-3 business days Buy Now»

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