Tintin reviews

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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Damien » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:28 pm

OscarGuy wrote:It's a Shrek spin-off regardless of whether it's a cat movie. If you didn't like the Shrek films or their style of humor, I'd be surprised if this film is any better for you.


The scene in the trailer in which Puss stops his derring-do in order to chase a red lasre light was enough to sell me. The people behind the film clearly know their cats!
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:27 am

The Wrap sums up Tintin's rave reviews and mulls over the curiously non-commented upon J. Edgar which screened in carmel over the weekend.

By Steve Pond

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Two of the season's previously-unseen awards contenders were unveiled over the last few days, but it's a lot easier to find reactions to Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" than Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar."

The Spielberg film, which is subtitled "The Secret of the Unicorn," opens in Europe this month, two months ahead of its U.S. release. The embargo on reviews was lifted over the weekend, and the result was a flood of praise.

Eastwood's "J. Edgar," meanwhile, debuted in the filmmaker's hometown of Carmel, Calif., where its initial screening was cut short by a power outage. It re-screened the next night...but even the twitterverse was curiously silent about the film, in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

First, the word on "Tintin," Spielberg's animated (via motion-capture) version of the Belgian comics by Herge:

On Twitter, @TimeOutFilm called it "an absolute pleasure, maybe Spielberg's best since 'Jurassic Park,'" while Stuart O'Connor of the Screenjabber website (@Screenjabber) tweeted: "fabulous -- a rollicking adventure with terrific pacing, lots of laughs & best mo-cap to date."

Right after seeing it, @GuyLodge said it was "a friskier Indiana Jones chapter than 'Crystal Skull' could ever be" and added, "smashing set pieces override a few misplaced story beats."

Later, he tweeted, "I think it's entirely likely that 'Tintin' will end up being this year's best Steven Spielberg film." (The other contender for that distinction: "War Horse," the more prestigious drama that has yet to screen.)

In a full review, Empire Magazine attributed some of the film's success to the effect that producer Peter Jackson had on lightening up Spielberg -- who, wrote Ian Nathan, "has brought a boy's heart, an artist's quile and a movie-lover's wit to computer generating Herge's immortal hero."

The animation, he said, "expands the Belgian's formal elegance into a wonderland of digital detail without ever losing sight of the bubbly charm of the books."

Even the French, who might be expected to look askance at Hollywood's take on a property that means more in Europe than the United States, have been approving. The French Premiere called it "a stunning and radical film" -- though, to be fair, whatever translation program is used to generate the English version of its website leaves a lot to be desired. For example:

"The irony inside, it is that this triumph of extremist-technological movie, deeply pioneer, will charge in the rooms to the moment same where the potential intelligentsia (twittos and blogos) feeds almost daily of his been one of unsound mind hate with respect to the 3D and/or performance captures (indeed the shameful treatment reserved to the last Zemeckis)."

Back in the English language, Screen Daily's Mike Goodridge could scarcely contain himself: "'The Secret of the Unicorn' is a spellbinding cinematic feat which delivers Tintin to a new generation with the same exhilaration as Spielberg and Lucas reinvented the '30s serials in 'Raiders of the lost Ark' 30 years ago."

Matt Mueller at Thompson on Hollywood found a few things he didn't like -- John Williams' "bombastically annoying" score, the frantic pace, creepy close-ups -- but in general he was won over by a film that, he says, "delivers one thrilling set-piece after another in a way that suggests that Spielberg has not only pulled out his Indiana Jones toolbox but has decided to pack anything and everything into 'Tintin' that the logistical, budgetary realities of shooting live-action won't let him do. Let off his leash, he's clearly having a blast, and so do we."

The closest thing to a negative review among the first reactions came from Robbie Collin, writing for the British newspaper the Telegraph. He called the film "a serviceable all-ages adventure romp that trades heavily on audiences' affection for both the books and those who have adapted them without giving an awful lot back."

Meanwhile, Eastwood's "J. Edgar" had a much quieter unveiling over the weekend -- an invitation-only Friday night screening at the third annual Carmel Art and Film Festival, a five-day event set in the Northern California coastal city where Eastwood lives and once served as mayor.

The screening took place after a special tribute to Eastwood, which included the first presentation of the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award. (In future years, the award will go to people for whom it wasn't named.)

But that Friday night screening ended abruptly before the movie itself had ended, cut short by a power outage on the Monterey Peninsula.

The film was then re-screened on Saturday night, to an audience that included James Franco, in town to present his own movie "Sal."

Given Carmel's rather sleepy vibe, it's no surprise that those who went to the "J. Edgar" screening didn't immediately race to the internet to post their reactions.

Still, you'd expect some kind of reaction -- and at least initially, the only thing found is a succinct "Great #film!" from somebody who might not even have seen the movie.

It's strange: on a weekend when a two-time Best Picture and Best Director winner unveils his latest film, the biggest Clint Eastwood news comes from the release of an old audio tape in which George H.W. Bush aide James Baker said that candidate Bush briefly considered recruiting Eastwood to be his running made in 1988.

"J. Edgar" will open on November 9 after a November 3 screening at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles. Presumably, the cone of silence will have lifted before that.
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Sonic Youth » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:44 am

When it comes to cats, Damien's an easy date.
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:08 am

It's a Shrek spin-off regardless of whether it's a cat movie. If you didn't like the Shrek films or their style of humor, I'd be surprised if this film is any better for you.
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Sabin » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:59 am

Sabin wrote
Damien wrote

Can't wait for this one!

Right now I'm wearing a Tin Tin wrist watch, and drinking cider from a Tin Tin glass, with a Snowy key chain in my pocket. The apartment has a Tin Tin sculpture (wooden) and one of Snow (plastic).

Tin Tin rules!

Between this and Puss 'n' Boots and the new Alvin and the Chipmunks picture, this may be first year in which the Animated Feature Film Oscar actually means something!

...um...are you fucking with me, bro?

No way. Tin Tin and Alvin are beloved childhood icons of mine, and Puss 'n' Boots is all about a cat -- who could ask for anything more than this trio of films?

Y'know what? You're a goddamn cartoon!
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Damien » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:59 pm

Sabin wrote:
Damien wrote

Can't wait for this one!

Right now I'm wearing a Tin Tin wrist watch, and drinking cider from a Tin Tin glass, with a Snowy key chain in my pocket. The apartment has a Tin Tin sculpture (wooden) and one of Snow (plastic).

Tin Tin rules!

Between this and Puss 'n' Boots and the new Alvin and the Chipmunks picture, this may be first year in which the Animated Feature Film Oscar actually means something!

...um...are you fucking with me, bro?


No way. Tin Tin and Alvin are beloved childhood icons of mine, and Puss 'n' Boots is all about a cat -- who could ask for anything more than this trio of films? :D
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Damien » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:57 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Chipmunks won't be nominated and I wasn't aware you were a fan of the <em>Shrek</em> films.


Not a Shrek film, a movie starring a cat and all about the feline's adventures! :D
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:10 pm

Chipmunks won't be nominated and I wasn't aware you were a fan of the <em>Shrek</em> films.
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Sabin » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:49 pm

Damien wrote

Can't wait for this one!

Right now I'm wearing a Tin Tin wrist watch, and drinking cider from a Tin Tin glass, with a Snowy key chain in my pocket. The apartment has a Tin Tin sculpture (wooden) and one of Snow (plastic).

Tin Tin rules!

Between this and Puss 'n' Boots and the new Alvin and the Chipmunks picture, this may be first year in which the Animated Feature Film Oscar actually means something!

...um...are you fucking with me, bro?
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Damien » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:08 pm

Can't wait for this one!

Right now I'm wearing a Tin Tin wrist watch, and drinking cider from a Tin Tin glass, with a Snowy key chain in my pocket. The apartment has a Tin Tin sculpture (wooden) and one of Snow (plastic).

Tin Tin rules!

Between this and Puss 'n' Boots and the new Alvin and the Chipmunks picture, this may be first year in which the Animated Feature Film Oscar actually means something!
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:53 pm

Here's Variety:

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
By Leslie Felperin
Variety.com


Steven Spielberg was apparently turned on to the Belgian comicstrip hero Tintin while making his first Indiana Jones films, so it seems entirely fitting that his motion-capture animation "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" should rep such a rollicking return to action-adventure form, especially after the disappointment of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that's largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged auds. Pic should do thundering typhoon biz globally, but will whirl especially fast in Europe.

Paramount release is skedded to bow Oct. 22 in Euroland and then roll out worldwide, hitting North America just in time for Christmas. It's a canny distribution strategy that will maximize exposure and B.O. potential in the territories that know Belgian artist Herge's source material best, thereby building up a solid rep before the pic reaches the U.S., where Tintin is still effectively a cult figure, known mostly among comicbook fans and Europhile cognoscenti.

Early buzz on fan sites indicated that expectations weren't high for Spielberg's take on the material, given the arguably overused devices of 3D and motion-capture. Working hand-in-hand with Jackson, however, the director and his team have deployed both technologies with subtle finesse throughout, exploiting 3D's potential just enough to make the action scenes that much more effective without overdoing it; likewise, the motion-capture performances have been achieved with such exactitude they look effortless, to the point where the characters, with their exaggerated features, almost resemble flesh-and-blood thesps wearing prosthetic makeup.

Indeed, in the early going auds might wonder why the filmmakers bothered with motion-capture at all. But the choice starts to make sense once Snowy, Tintin's faithful white terrier, performs antics not even the best-trained pooch could perform and the sets, stunts and action sequences become ever more lavish.

Extreme Tintin purists might quibble that the screenplay, by all-Brit team Steven Moffat ("Doctor Who"), Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead") and Joe Cornish ("Attack the Block"), doesn't stick to the letter of Herve's original strips. But others will appreciate how skillfully it shuffles and restacks elements from three of the adventures: slices from "The Crab With the Golden Claws" (published in 1943), the lion's share from "The Secret of the Unicorn" and a wee bit from "Red Rackham's Treasure" (both published in 1945). The remainder of the latter book will presumably bedrock the inevitable sequel.

Accompanied by his mutt mate Snowy, boy reporter Tintin (voiced by and based on the movements of Jamie Bell) buys a scale model of an old ship called the Unicorn at an outdoor market in an unnamed city with both French and English writing on its storefronts -- a sly bit of fudging that tips its hat to the fact that the books were retranslated for every country they were published in. Two other men immediately try to repurchase the model off him, first sinister gent Sakharine (Daniel Craig) and then an American named Barnaby (Joe Starr).

Tintin refuses, and once he realizes the ship contains a vital clue about the location of missing treasure, the ever-inquisitive lad begins his adventure in earnest. Eventually he's kidnapped and spirited off to the Karaboudjan, a steamer nominally under the command of one Capt. Archibald Haddock (Andy Serkis), whose permanent state of inebriation has left him powerless against the machinations of Sakharine.

Haddock, it transpires, is the last remaining descendant of Sir Francis Haddock (also Serkis in flashbacks) a 17th-century naval commander who lost his ship, the Unicorn, in a battle with pirates led by Red Rackham (Craig). Tintin helps Haddock escape, and after a detour in the Sahara and a bravura chase through the fictional city of Bagghar, Morocco (all done in one shot), they make their way back to their point of origin. Along the way, they're aided and abetted by two bumbling, identical Interpol officers named Thomson and Thompson (Wright regulars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, respectively), who aren't that critical to the plot but are helpful in terms of comic relief.

Aside from a crack about a shepherd said to have shown too much enthusiasm for animal husbandry, the humor throughout is resolutely PG-friendly, lacking in the knowing irony and snarky, anachronistic wisecracks that have become such predictable fixtures of other recent blockbusters and reboots. Spielberg largely honors the innocent, gung-ho tone of the original stories, with their air of boyish derring-do (femme characters barely feature at all here), sensibly shunning the racist and anti-Semitic elements that just won't wash with contempo auds. Result is retro without being stodgy or antiquated; Tintin himself, for instance, has a more mischievous glint in his eye than the wide-eyed naif of the strips, which makes him feel more modern, if curiously unplaceable in terms of age.

The worst that could be said of "The Secret of the Unicorn" is that the action is so relentless, it nearly comes to feel like a videogame as it leaps from one challenge to the next. Younger auds will embrace it more than older ones, although even teens may feel it lacks the kitsch majesty that made "Avatar" such a hit.

Toon geeks are likely to be among "Tintin's" biggest fans, so consistently stylish and richly detailed is its design work. With immense sensitivity, the animators have translated Herge's spare, elegant drawings into a multidimensional world that seems realistic (especially in its use of chiaroscuro lighting, which plays wonderfully with sunlight and shadows throughout) yet still charmingly stylized and cartoony. Perhaps the film's sweetest joke comes at the very beginning, when a street artist, modeled on the real Herge, does a quick-sketch portrait of Tintin that looks exactly like one of the original strips.
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Re: Tintin reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:45 pm

Screen Daily, in agreement.

If this is eligible for animated feature, it knocks Rango out of the box.


The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
16 October, 2011 | By Mike Goodridge


Dir: Steven Spielberg. US-New Zealand. 2011. 106mins


The Herge estate must be thrilled that they entrusted Tintin to Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson who bring the character to the screen with much of the books’ humour, spirit and sense of adventure intact. The Secret Of The Unicorn is a spellbinding cinematic feat which delivers Tintin to a new generation with the same exhilaration as Spielberg and Lucas reinvented the ‘30s serials in Raiders Of The Lost Ark 30 years ago. It’s an example of what the Hollywood system does best – harness the best material, talent and technology in the world and cook it up into unadulterated entertainment for young and old alike. Oh, and it’s also glorious in 3D.

The Tintin adventures are rip-roaring and old-fashioned – and this film takes the audience into that era in more ways than one.
Since Tintin is a European phenomenon first and foremost, Spielberg and his distributors Paramount and Sony opted to release the film at the end of this month in Europe before a Christmas US release. Its inevitable success here will no doubt help to build buzz for domestic family audiences to whom the world of Tintin is an unknown. It’s a clever reverse of conventional wisdom whereby the US dictates openings in the rest of the world, and should pay dividends for the production.

Expanding on the superior motion capture technology developed by Jackson’s Weta Digital for Avatar, Spielberg is the first film-maker to render humans with success, helped by the fact that the characters’ faces possess many of the exaggerated features drawn by Herge.

And if Robert Zemeckis, who pioneered the technique in the Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol, is jealous, he should be. Spielberg’s expert storytelling and understanding of his vintage material is just as crucial here as the technology. This digital movie is never creepy, but full of charm and excitement, and the audience becomes instantly hooked on its visual style within minutes.

It’s not like a Disney animated movie which hits very young children and its intense action and adult notions will mean its fanbase starts slightly older – 10 or so. Adults of all ages will lap it up. Jackson is directing a second film, and opportunities for building on the existing Tintin book sales and merchandising are dramatic. Some toy version of Snowy The Dog will appear in the bedrooms of millions of kids over the next few years.

The story blends three Tintin adventures together – The Secret Of The Unicorn and its sequel Red Rackham’s Treasure and The Crab With The Golden Claws – but doesn’t betray the source books, rather displaying great affection to them and the essence of the characters. From the delightful 2D-animated credit sequence onwards, Spielberg tosses in plentiful references to the whole series and aficionados will love spotting them.

The action starts immediately at a flea market in Brussels where investigative reporter Tintin – after a street artist amusingly paints him just as Herge would have – takes a shine to a model of a 17th Century warship. But just after he has bought it, he is approached first by an American called Barnaby, then by a sinister bearded man called Ivan Sakharine keen to buy it off him. Tintin refuses and takes the model home, but when his faithful dog Snowy knocks the ship off a sideboard, the middle mast breaks and a metal tube slides out and rolls underneath it.

So begins the adventure as Tintin gets caught up in a race with Sakharine to find the two other models of the ship, called the Unicorn. Each of the models contains one of these tubes containing a parchment with clues to the whereabouts of the lost treasure of the Unicorn. Along the way he meets Captain Haddock, the last living descendant of the captain of the Unicorn, who joins him in his quest to foil Sakharine onto an ocean ship to the Sahara and back.

Each of the Tintin regulars – Thompson and Thomson, Bianca Castafiore, Nestor the butler, the treacherous first mate Allan – is lovingly brought to life here, but best of all are the three key characters Tintin, Haddock and Snowy. As played by Jamie Bell (his body movements as well as his voice), Tintin is appealing without being anodyne. As played by Andy Serkis, Haddock is a hilarious Scottish drunk, all his profanities and exclamations intact from the books, and Snowy is the perfectly realised canine companion to them both, his every movement or tweak of the ear enriching his characteristics.

As you’d expect, the colour palette and mass of visual information is sublime. When the eye happens to rest on Tintin’s quiff or Snowy’s fur, the detail is staggering. But thanks to a script by Steven Moffat, and Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film’s key achievement is capturing the essence of the books.

Principally written and set from the 1930s to the 1960s, the Tintin adventures are rip-roaring and old-fashioned – and this film takes the audience into that era in more ways than one. It is a style which entirely lacks the contemporary references of a DreamWorks Animation movie or the technological swagger of a Michael Bay action film, but its success depends on that innocence. Audiences will love it for that, just like readers used to love the books.

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Tintin reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:43 pm

Hollywood Reporter. Variety is also a rave, but I keep getting boxed out when I try the Print function.


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: Film Review
9:34 AM PDT 10/16/2011 by Jordan Mintzer

The Bottom Line
First Tintin installment takes Steven Spielberg back to his fun-filled, visually splendid roots.
Director
Steven Spielberg

Screenwriters
Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish

Cast
Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig
Steven Spielberg brings the slightly antique world of the famed European comic-book series to splendid, action-filled life as only he can.
LONDON — Serving up a good ol’ fashioned adventure flick that harkens back to the filmmaker’s action-packed, tongue-in-cheek swashbucklers of the 1980s, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is a visually dazzling adaptation of the legendary – at least outside the US – comic book series by Belgian artist Herge. The first part of a trilogy produced by Spielberg and Peter Jackson, this kid-friendly thriller combines state-of-the-art 3D motion capture techniques with a witty, globe-trotting treasure hunt featuring the sleuthing boy reporter, his trustee fox terrier, and a cast of catchy side characters. Banking on the comics’ British and European fan base to build overseas momentum, Tintin will be released there late October, rolling out Stateside on December 21 just a few days prior to Spielberg’s War Horse.

our editor recommends
'Adventures of Tintin' to Bow in Italy at Rome Film Festival'The Adventures of Tintin': New Trailer Hits the WebComic-Con 2011: Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson Silence Skeptics With 'Adventures of Tintin' Footage Although only marginally popular in the States, Tintin is to many readers worldwide (especially in Western Europe and the UK) what Batman and Spider-Man are to Americans: a comic book they discovered as kids, grew up with and continue to cherish. The brainchild of Belgian illustrator Georges Remi (whose nom de plume was Herge), the Tintin comics – originally published in French between 1930 and 1976 – have grown over the years into a multinational franchise that includes translations in dozens of languages, various animated films and TV series, two live-action movies, several theme stores, a museum and even a field of study known as “Tintinology.”

That said, Tintin himself is far from your typical, butt-kicking crime fighter. The blond-haired, baby-faced journalist has no known superpowers, no clear age, no apparent love interests and he resides in Brussels, which is a far cry from Krypton. If anything, his erudite approach to solving mysteries, along with a taste for escapades in the Middle East, Asia and Africa throughout the mid-20th century, make him a less brawny, more European counterpart to Indiana Jones, which is purportedly what first sparked Spielberg’s interest in bringing Tintin to the screen back in the early 1980s.

It’s precisely the old-school exploits of the Jones films that the director and screenwriters Steve Moffat, Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) have channeled here, transforming two of the 23 Tintin comics into a saga filled with captivating CGI action and clever sight gags, while maintaining a compact narrative that never takes itself too seriously. Such additions should help the film receive a warm welcoming across the Atlantic, although the franchise’s overseas renown more or less guarantees that international grosses will exceed domestic ones.

After an animated credit sequence with nods to both Saul Bass and Spielberg’s own Catch Me If You Can, we first meet Tintin (Jamie Bell) while he’s getting his portrait sketched by a Herge look-alike in an outdoor flea market. The drawing produced is the type of pared-down, thick-line illustration (a style known as the ligne claire) which was the artist’s trademark, and its contrast with the complex visual universe created by Jackson’s Weta Digital fx house shows how far animation techniques have come since the last century, although The Adventures of Tintin still manages to capture much the winsome spirit of the original.

Along wish his incredibly apt canine sidekick, Snowy, the reporter is quickly sucked into an intrigue involving a treasure lost at sea back in the 17th century, when a ship called The Unicorn was attacked by a pirate vessel led by the infamous Red Rackham (Daniel Craig). Kidnapped by Rackham’s evil ancestor, Sakharine (also played by Craig), Tintin is tossed on a steamer en route to the final piece of a puzzle that may reveal the treasure’s location, and which is hidden inside one of three models of the original Unicorn.

It’s on board that Tintin crosses paths with the film’s most colorful character, the scotch-guzzling, bad-mouthed – at least for an 8-year-old living in the 1940s –Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). Offering up plenty of comic relief in comparison to Tintin’s straight-edged ways (one mark of Herge’s series is how little personality Tintin seems to have compared with everyone else), Haddock accompanies him throughout some of the movie’s more thrilling and humorous set-pieces, including a terrifically rendered flight across the ocean where the sailor manages to fuel an airplane with his own whisky-infused breath.

That sequence, as well as a dazzling flashback scene where past and present are intermingled with plenty of wit and digital splendor (most notably in an image of The Unicorn emerging from the sea and crashing, dreamlike, onto a row of sand dunes), showcase Spielberg’s talent for creating action that is less about bullets and bombs than in keeping things visually alive, introducing dozens of ideas in only a few shots. This is what makes Tintin an altogether more successful mocap experience than earlier efforts like The Polar Express, and the director (who operated the camera and is credited as “lighting consultant”) approaches the medium in a realistic way that’s also far from the epic worlds of Avatar, setting things in a past of lifelike artifacts and locations.

As the action moves from Europe to Morocco and back again, the pace is well maintained and the story never seems to overstay its welcome, which is not the case with many recent blockbusters. John Williams’ score, which mixes moody 60s-style music with the composer’s more grandiose themes, accompanies events up through the rather ingenious finale (involving a massive duel where shipping cranes are transformed into sabers), before a cliffhanger sets up the next installment (to be directed by Jackson).

If the mocap technique falls somewhere between live-action and animated moviemaking, the same goes for the performances, which are altogether fluid yet sometimes (especially in certain dialogue-heavy sequences) give the impression of watching a very realistic video game with the sound turned up a few thousand notches. Serkis (King Kong, The Lord of the Rings) nonetheless manages to turn Haddock into what will surely be the trilogy’s most memorable personage, while Bell (Billy Elliot) makes Tintin about as interesting as he can be, which is to say sometimes less so than his dog.

As the bumbling detective duo Thomson and Thompson, Edgar Wright regulars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg provide comic asides that will help adults stay in tune with material aimed at an audience younger than the teenage or twentysomething Tintin, even if this Belgian hero seems to be a model of PG behavior.


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