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The Adventures of Tintin [Blu-Ray]

Steven Spielberg

The Adventures of Tintin [Blu-Ray]
The Adventures of Tintin finds the beloved French comic character in the hands of Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. While Tintin has had several cinematic incarnations since his first appearance in 1929, this film is the first major studio production to exploit Hergé's classic character. With Spielberg directing, Jackson acting as producer and a script by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish (writer/director of 2011's Attack the Block) and Steven Moffat (TV's Sherlock), The Adventures of Tintin seemed poised to become a contemporary classic. While it doesn't quite meet those lofty expectations, it certainly manages to evoke the tone of the original comics and the feel of an old-fashioned adventure yarn. Originally subtitled The Secret of the Unicorn, the title was changed to simply The Adventures of Tintin (presumably due to North American's innate fear of unicorns). The unicorn in question is a model ship that Tintin (Jamie Bell) purchases at a flea market, inevitably leading to mystery and adventure; Tintin is pursued by thugs, threatened by a diabolical villain (Daniel Craig) and befriended by an alcoholic sea captain (Andy Serkis), all with his faithful dog Snowy by his side. Bell is perfectly acceptable as Tintin, but Serkis manages to steal every scene he's in as Captain Haddock, and Daniel Craig is a lot of fun playing against type. Spielberg doesn't cater to audiences unfamiliar with the source material; he drops us into the world of Tintin with little explanation. While this may alienate some viewers, it will please fans of the source material that understand that Tintin is little more than an audience surrogate through whom we view the adventures. The boldest choice of the filmmakers was to employ state-of-the-art motion capture technology, finding a happy medium between a live-action adaptation and a stylized homage to Hergé's artwork. While it sometimes feels odd watching such advanced technology utilized in the service of telling an antiquated story, for the most part it works, mostly due to Spielberg's ingenuity and fondness for the material. It may not be a perfect film, but it is a great deal of fun. The Blu-Ray includes a digital copy, as well as a DVD copy. There are several informative making-of docs that illustrate just how much respect and admiration Jackson and Spielberg have for Hergé. The highlight of the features is a special effects screen test where Peter Jackson is dressed up as Captain Haddock. Let's just hope the sequel isn't The Adventures of Tintin and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (Paramount)
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