The Bicentennial Production Design - Can we just give a standing ovation to the 1976 Academy for giving the award to a contemporary movie? They had a Western, a period drama about the theatre...
Thursday, January 5, 2012
If Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as a frail and uninspiring revival of a series that lead many to question the need for throwbacks to its origin, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is an equally worded title that hits back with a whopping "Indiana Jones style adventures will never die." And with the ever increasing quality of motion capture cinema, this style of film may just be here to stay.
Having not grown up with the Tintin stories, I went in to Spielberg's latest family-ready adventure a bit skeptical of my ability to latch on to the story. Sure, I had more than my fair share of blogging buddies ready at the shot of the pistol to sound off with any number of Tintin related facts or stories that I worried I may be overwhelmed. But Spielberg handles the transition for long time fans and newcomers with great precision. For those new on the scene, the core cast of characters are introduced. These introductions are swift, to the point, and lack an obtrusive nature films of its like often fall into.
Of course that's partially because none of these characters are particularly dynamic. Sure, they're a little rough around the edges - which goes a long way in making them believable and enjoyable - but by and large they each fall on one side or the other of a particular goal and its easy to determine which side of the fence they fall on. For a family film with great ambition this is understandable, and vintage Spielberg. After all it gives Spielberg the opportunity to explore this animated world in which he and his crew brought to life. And explore they do.
With some stunningly choreographed visual spectacles and action scenes that'll have you working a death grip on your arm rests, Tintin uses the three-dimensional world in which it operates to masterful success. In fact, I must say that remains my favorite component of the entire film. Granted that may be telling of the film's lacking in other areas, but by and large the action sequences more than make up for the other misgivings. I honestly felt like I was a kid, back at disneyworld, experiencing one of those simulation rides (e.g. the Star Wars Tours ride) all over again. They were eventful, constantly moving in a variety of directions, and full of sequences that made you want to jump up and yell "yes!" Of course you shouldn't, but that's because you're in a room filled with other people and that would be awkward.
But speaking of jumping up and yelling yes, how's about a big round of applause for the year of Andy Serkis. If they awarded a Most Valuable Actor (MVA) award at the Oscars each year, I believe you'd be hard pressed to find another candidate. Between this and Rise of the Planet of the Apes he has become living proof that even with just motion capture at your disposal, you can still act the hell out of a film.
Overall Score: 8.00/10
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish
Comic Book Series By: Hergé