With awards season truly hotting up we are treated with the nominations for the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. They’re an interesting bunch, a lot of the more challenging and/or smaller films have been passed by. The Los Angles Times has it spot on when they say that the nominations seem to recognise those works featuring the A-list actors, more accessible films and less dark dramas. No Tyrannosaur or Like Crazy to be found below.
What you will find is my gut reaction and my opinions for each category (apart from Best Original Song and Best Original Score as that is not my strong suit) whether you want it or not. Continue reading →
Blistering barnacles, it’s a Tintin motion capture feature!
Young reporter Tintin buys a model ship, just before two other men – one with a creepy pointed beard – both also try to buy it. Intrigued by the potential story behind the model Tintin refuses and sets off to investigate, just to have the ship stolen from his apartment. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard detectives, Thompson and Thomson, are on the trail of a master pickpocket.
If that seems like a rather brisk intro, that’s how it feels in the cinema. Once past the opening sequence, which was drawn in the style of the original comic that had me drowning in nostalgia before the film had even begun, there’s no messing around. It’s just straight into the mystery with no ambiguity about who the bad guys are and who’s on Tintin’s side. We’ve got three whole books to get through here! Well, not quite. The story has been predominantly pulled together from the classic Hergé comic books The Crab With the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure but with events reordered and all those pesky opium references taken out.
The film is a lot of fun with the action on full steam ahead. It’s packed with exciting chase scenes, multiple guns fired by accuracy-impaired henchmen and minimal exposition. There’s plenty of physical comedy, especially when Thompson and Thomson are around and kids won’t be able to resist Snowy’s appeal. Tintin’s terrier frequently seems like he’s smarter than any of his human associates and steals every scene he’s in, although Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock gives the animated dog a good run for his money.
Allegedly (i.e. according to Wikipedia), Steven Spielberg went back and forth on animation versus live action and it was Peter Jackson who persuaded him to take the motion capture route. I can’t decide whether it was worth the effort or whether I missed anything by going 2D. The most I can say is that the production doesn’t get in the way of the film. My fears of an Uncanny Valley feel were allayed and overall it’s technically impressive, if not beautiful. The animation aspect has allowed for the string of spectacular action sequences to be made at all, while at the same time the pratfalls and blows to the head don’t make you wince, in the same way that Daffy Duck landing on his head isn’t cringe-worthy.
This family-friendly adventure is thoroughly entertaining but it’s good, not great. Despite seeing a man killed early on, the slapstick humour means that any feeling that our heroes are ever in real peril is extinguished and the ending is a bit of a damp squib after all the fireworks leading up to it. Tintin‘s makers have set themselves up well for a sequel though and there’s no reason to think that this isn’t a franchise that couldn’t run and run and run. And run.
Combine Emma Stone and Allison Janney and I couldn’t be more excited. Stone is a an aspiring author who decides to tell the story of “the help” from the point of view of African American maids. Lots of social commentary and hopefully some humour too.
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
With a script written by Stephen ‘Doctor Who‘ Moffat, Edgar ‘Scott Pilgrim‘ Wright and Joe ‘Attack the Block‘ Cornish, Steven Spielberg in the directors seat and Peter Jackson just hanging around the set, it’s hard not to get a little bit excited about this motion-capture adventure. And yet…
There are a lot of things to get excited about with the upcoming, Spielberg-directed, Tintin film. Getting us jumping about is that the scriptwriting credits read like the ultimate Mild Concern wish list: Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish were all tasked with stringing three of Hergé’s books into one film. That’s two trios of awesome right there. Then move down to the cast, bursting with Great British talent: you’ve got Gollum, James Bond, Billy Elliot and Westley (or Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Cary Elwes, if you’re fussy about your actors’ names.)
But we have fears too. There’s the obvious worry that no film could do justice to the original Tintin books, or even the (classic) animated series. Then there’s the hyper-realistic, motion-capture animation, which had me examining the trailer expecting the same creepy vibe I got off The Polar Express. Check out my conclusions, and other uninformed comments, after the jump.