Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Adventures of Tintin (2011) 3/5


-We've got bad news. We've only got one bullet.
-What's the good news?
-We've got ONE bullet.

Steven Speilberg's first foray into animation was pretty cool. It really is worth watching for the sea battle and the chase scene alone. That being said, I have three rather glaring gripes:

1. Indiana Jones is garbage without Harrison Ford in full Han Solo-shooting-Greedo-first-bad#*@ mode. Speilberg has been working on this movie since "Raiders of the Lost Ark" came out because someone told him it reminded them of the French comic book character. I get that they are both rather adventurous types, but no one is Indy except Indy. Not Nick Cage (National Treasure), not Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider), not Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), I guess maybe River Phoenix (Young Indy Chronicles), but no one else! After reading the comics to prepare for his roles in the film, Andy Serkis (aka Gollum/King Kong/Ceasar) admitted that the stories were more Monty Python than Indiana Jones. This is all well and good, except that it feels like Speilberg was trying to remake Indiana Jones. This worked during the two scenes mentioned above, but for the other 100 minutes it just didn't cut it.

2. Motion capture animation technology stinks unless you are making a live action film with a few animated characters or you simply want your characters to look very creepy. It's called the "Uncanny Valley (read more about it here) As digital (or robot) humans begin to look almost perfectly (but not quite) like humans they enter a really unfamiliar zone of creepiness. It is a little better here than in "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" or "The Polar Express" because the characters are a little more cartoony, but the uncomfortable feeling is still there.

3. 3-D is a horrible abomination that has been forced on unwilling movie patrons to keep box offices up while people start drifting away to their TVs and computers. I took Abby to see this movie today with two free tickets (thanks Uncle Toby!), and shelled out $7 for the $3.50 apiece 3-D charge. My first gripe is that the previews (which I usually love) are almost unwatchable because the glasses glare like crazy while the house lights are still a little up. It gets a little better once the movie starts, but it still doesn't ever leave the realm of mild distraction. With our current digital technologies movies look amazing! Why muck them up with a piece of plastic in front of your face to dim and blur the screen. I have never heard a single person says that they would rather see a movie in 3-D. Hopefully I have seen my last 3-D film at the theater as Abby doesn't seem to be a very big fan either (she took her glasses off and watched the 2nd half of the film blurry).

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