Seems like director Steven Spielberg has been real busy this 2011 holiday season. He has two movies being released this Christmas weekend; “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tintin”. Since the latter has been released a bit earlier, and I am somewhat familiar with the beloved comic character, I figured I’d go see it first. I remember the stories to be absolutely delightful when I was a kid, reading them from comic strips in Asia (but my memory of it would not be vivid) taking TinTin and his faithful dog Snowy all around the corners of the globe. Spielberg has given the material new life, as he adapts the graphic novels “The Secret of the Unicorn”, "The Crab with the Golden Claws" and “Red Rackham’s Treasure” for the big screen. This film was originally called "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of theUnicorn" in the United Kingdom.
The film begins in an ala-“Pink Panther” style opening sequence as Tintin (Jaime Bell) is a young man who in a small market stumbles upon a fabulous model of the Unicorn ship. Oddly, as soon as he buys the model, he gets two other offers to purchase it from his hands and one of them is a fellow known as Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (voiced by Daniel Craig) and seems to be hell bent in acquiring the ship model by any means necessary. There begins an adventure to uncover the secrets of the unicorn that takes Tintin and his dog Snowy out to sea; together with the assistance of a drunken Capt. Haddock (Andy Serkis), they must stop Sakharine’s schemes and discover the secret of the lost ship called the Unicorn….
Based off three of Herge’s comics, the script by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) made a rip-roaring adventure that never loses a beat and is paced at an extremely delightful style. There is so much going on with “Tintin” but Spielberg and company competently lays about its groundwork as the viewer is taken for a thrill ride. The screenplay is filled with comic book sensibilities and ingenuity as Spielberg maneuvers everything in an almost “Indiana Jones”-like style. There is an old-fashioned look about the animation layouts here, and the charming ‘busy’ screenplay is intentionally convoluted to generate viewer interest. This is the type of film that the less you know about the plot the better (readers of the graphic novel would be at home though), as its enjoyment stems from the adventure itself. The comic bits may seem slapstick at times, but it comes naturally, as the direction keeps up its breathless pace.
Spielberg has been known to creatively skilled with shots that have a lot of tracking camera work, eccentric constitutions, and mind boggling narrative transitions that would be a chore to pull off in a live action film. He maximizes what he has in animated form, as he elegantly stages each scene to further the impact of the following scene. I had a lot of fun watching “Tintin”, as Spielberg kept me at a breathless pace in a ride that encompasses land or sea. It was surely a well-endowed motion picture, as its excitement is complemented by humor, and its humor complemented by clever dialogue. The film is fantastically action-packed, and it is more or less a chase film as Tintin, Haddock and Snowy are pursued and they in turn are racing with their pursuers.
The motion capture animation is stellar this time around. Everyone who followed my reviews knows that I am not too fond of the Robert Zemeckis style of animation; while I believe the technology was good but needed improving in “The Polar Express”, this was improved in “The Christmas Carol” but the skin details still looked a little ‘waxy’ and too smooth in those films. Zemeckis seemed to have perfected the 3D animation as the skin tones looked very detailed complete with freckles and texture. I have to say that the animation was excellent, as the movements were smooth and fluid, there is a “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World‘s End”-like scene that was just gorgeous and the action scene complete with swordplay and swashbuckling style almost made me drop my jaw. I saw some mild synching issues with the voice and the performance capture animation on some scenes, but they were barely noticeable.
Another thing that really stood out was the way Snowy was animated. He is a triumph in motion capture as I was very impressed with the amount of simple detail given to this charming character. He was just so perfectly animated and attuned to the surroundings that I could almost feel him breath. The rest of the supporting cast were good, they added a lot of personality to the story. It also helps that when there is no action in the screen, the story is helped along with charming scenes of drunkenness and banter between Tintin and Haddock while inspectors Thompson and Thomson (played by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg) are in the hunt for a certain pickpocket (Toby Jones).
It really is hard for me to find a bad note about “The Adventures of Tintin”, maybe there is but I was so busy being entertained that my brain probably shut it off. I wasn’t too impressed with some of the promos and with expectations so-so, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved the film. I wished that I could’ve seen this in 3D, since the scene with the motorcycle and the cranes would have rocked; oh boy, I’d hate to think what I would’ve missed in that pirate ship battle. The only flaw I can really find is its predictability on some scenes, but they were too small to really pick at. Great Snakes!..I am so IN for its sequel!!
Before his death, Tintin creator, Georges "Hergé" Remi, remarked that Steven Spielberg was, in his opinion, the only director who could ever do the character justice on the big screen. Indeed, Hergé as realised by Spielberg sounds like a tantalising prospect; a match made in heaven. After all, the adventures of a certain whip wielding archaeologist clearly have a great deal in common with Hergé's globetrotting, bequiffed reporter. After seeing The Adventures of … more
I have never read the Tintin comics or the graphic novels, so I was not sure what to expect when I went to see the new movie. I knew Steven Spielberg was behind the movie, so my expectations were high. After seeing the movie I now want to check out the comics the movie was based on. Speilberg has created a very special and well done animated feature. The CGI effects works perfectly. The story moves along at a rockets pace. And I was completely captivated with … more
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish Directed by Steven Spielberg Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig Tintin: How’s your thirst for adventure, Captain? Captain Haddock: Unquenchable, Tintin. When I was a kid, I abhorred the series of Tintin book. I found them to be tedious and terribly dull. And so when it was announced that the Belgian books would be adapted into a film, I was less than … more
Star Rating: Like his Indiana Jones films, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin is a rip-roaring action adventure that takes many cues from the Saturday matinee serials of yesteryear – equal parts detective story, travelogue, chase film, treasure-hunt fable, buddy comedy, and stunt spectacular. The key difference is that it’s of the junior division. The age of its hero is never given, and yet he looks and sounds no older than sixteen … more
Tintin is a young European journalist who also solves crimes. After buying a model ship, he becomes involved in a mystery about a pirate treasure and finds his life is in danger. I loved this movie. The motion capture technique is fascinating and so well done. Some characters look cartoonish while others look very real; the scenery is strikingly beautiful. The action-packed story is part pirate swashbuckler and part Indiana Jones adventure; the combination makes for a spectacular … more
So what do you get when you take the director of The Lord of the Rings movies, the director of the Indiana Jones movies, and the writer/producer for the current series of Doctor Who and give them $135 million to play around with? Turns out you get the best action film I've seen in ages and what will likely be the Best Animated Film winner at the next Oscar ceremony. The Adventures of Tintin is based on a Belgian comic book that, despite having three years of French in high … more
You know, I've said it before and I'll say it again... I'm so sick of slick, shiny, technologically advanced yet soulless 3D animated films. However, despite this begrudging sentiment, I'm really beginning to get excited about this new Tintin film. Right off the bat, you've got Steven Spielberg directing and Peter Jackson producing. Yeah, sure their last few films have been major disappointments (For Spielberg, his past ten or so films have been terribly disappointing. For Jackson, … more
Originally titled: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, (the U.K. release still has the original title), the film's title was shortened to make it more direct and easy to remember in the worldwide release. The film adapts three of the graphic novels about Tintin and his canine sidekick Snowy.
The Adventures of Tintinfollows the exciting exploits of a young reporter, his dog, a sea captain with a drinking problem, and a couple of bumbling Interpol detectives as they travel from Europe to the Sahara and Morocco in pursuit of a pickpocket, model-ship collectors, and long-lost treasure. Steven Spielberg's and Peter Jackson's long-awaited full-length film, based on the original "Tintin" comics by Hergé, combines the stories "The Secret of the Unicorn," "Red Rackham's Treasure," and "The Crab with the Golden Claws" into a generally fast-paced adventure that feels just a tad too long. The individual stories and the characters Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Thompson and Thomson are all quite faithfully represented. The motion-capture animation is similar to that ofPolar Expressand is both fascinating and a bit odd at times. As in the comics themselves, the characters are highly stylized and instantly recognizable, but Tintin's facial expression is eerily stoic and there's a hint of strangeness that's hard to put a finger on. Snowy is delightfully funny to watch, though he is a bit ...