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3D Blu-ray Review The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-Ray Review (1 Viewer)

Neil Middlemiss

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The Adventures of Tintin is not well-known in the United States though fans around the world, particularly in Europe, are legion. Creator Hergé (whose real name is Georges Remi), created a plentiful bounty of exciting tales for the young reporter Tintin to undertake. For this animated telling, several comic books have been combined (The Crab with the Golden ClawsThe Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure) to cover the right amount of character and quest ground for a feature film.


Created using motion capture technology (similar to how James Cameron created the performances of the Na’avi in Avatar), the animation is beautiful, moving with a flow and gravity that is just this side of reality (keeping the feel true to animation while delivering a photorealistic sense). Motion-capture as a technique has experienced some pains at the box office, mostly at the hands of filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, who’s Mars Needs Moms became one of the biggest flops of recent memory; but while Zemeckis had the best intentions of throwing his weight behind the technique, he never fully-gripped the freedom that the technology affords the filmmaker. Spielberg seems to have learned from Zemeckis’ trial and error.  


The Adventures of Tintin (with the subtitle The Secret of the Unicorn outside of the U.S.) is a wonderful film ripe with technical brilliance, brisk adventure, and enriching messages of courage and belief in self – a deserving winner of Golden Globe for Best Animated Film and, if it were not for the confused rules around motion capture and animation, surely would have taken home the Best Animated Oscar at this year’s ceremony.



The Adventures of Tintin (3D)


Studio: Paramount Pictures
Year: 2011
US Rating: PG – For Adventure Action Violence, Some Drunkenness and Brief Smoking
Film Length: 106 Minutes
Video: MPEG-4 1080P High Definition

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English 7.1 DTS HD-Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese


Release Date: March 13, 2012

Review Date: March 11, 2012



“There are plenty of others willing to call you a failure. A fool. A loser. A hopeless souse. Don't you ever say it of yourself. You send out the wrong signal, that is what people pick up. Don't you understand? You care about something, you fight for it. You hit a wall, you push through it. There's something you need to know about failure, Tintin. You can never let it defeat you.”


The Film

4.5 / 5


Young Tintin picks up a model ship of the famed Unicorn in a busy marketplace but no sooner has the money exchanged hands he is approached by a man offering a dire warning if Tintin doesn’t give up his newly acquired model. Not more than a moment later, Tintin is again approached about his model ship by a man name Mr. Sakharine, who emphatically offers to purchase the Unicorn – but Tintin is not persuaded. Puzzled by the attention paid to his purchase, Tintin begins to investigate, but his home is burgled and his model stolen. The Unicorn holds a secret (a scroll in the mast that came loose in Tintin’s home) and the robbers, coming up empty handed with the ship they stole, kidnap Tintin and place him on a rusty ship (the SS Karaboudjan ) bound for Morocco where the mystery only deepens. It is here that Tintin meets up with the former ship captain, a blustery drunk by the name of Haddock, and together, they break free seeking to uncover the mystery of the Unicorn, take down the baleful Mr. Sakharine and get ‘the story’ along the way.


Hergé’s Les Adventures de Tintin first appeared in Le Petit Vingtième in January 1929 and rose quickly in popularity, eventually selling more than 200 million copies of the comic books worldwide. What began as comic strips evolved into comic-books, albums, radio, television, and now a motion-capture animated film. Thoughtful adventure tales featuring a young Belgian reporter, Tintin, and his faithful fox terrier, Snowy (or Milou in the French versions), lead the red-headed boy around the globe and even into space. Throughout the stories are a collection of great characters including Captain Haddock, who is a major character in the new film, the bumbling look-a-like detectives Thompson and Thompson, Professor Calculus (not featured in this film) and a slew of nefarious types whose misanthropic and selfish ways must be thwarted by Tintin and Snowy. The Adventures of Tintin has long-been lauded for both its clever storytelling and beautiful ligne claire animation style which features clean and strong lines, realistic detail and bold colors. More than anything however, Tintin is a beloved character and the 20th Century world in which his adventures unfold are sacred to millions of fans from every corner of the globe.



Behind the adventurous and spirited Tintin film is a dream team of creative talent. Steven Spielberg directs the first animated film in his long and accomplished career, Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) co-produces, current Doctor Who show runner and writer Steven Moffat authored the first draft screenplay and the talented Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Joe Cornish (Attack of the Block) co-wrote the final drafts. And finally,  providing an extraordinarily playful and sophisticated score is the legendary John Williams.


Spielberg excels with the total freedom that directing in the digital realm provides. He pushes and pulls the camera in evermore exciting ways to capture a moment or the sense of scene. One of his trademarks, showing characters reflected, is found here numerous times (and ways), and he segues from locations with great imagination (for example, when the contours of a hand become the sand dunes of the Moroccan desert). Perhaps the most remarkable example of the freedom Spielberg exercises in animation is the three-plus minute sequence shown in one continuous shot. Tintin and Capt. Haddock are pursuing (and being pursued by) some nefarious types and as they travel down a mountain road, into a city, through the tight streets and along a waterway, the camera loops around with them, through buildings, down zip lines and about the action in a stunningly exciting twist and turn of adventure. It is a prime example of the boldness and thrill of direction by one of cinema’s most gifted storytellers.



The cast are dynamic in their voice and motion capture roles. Jamie Bell, who was cast when young Thomas Sangster needed to drop out during production (funding) delays, is expert in conveying the inquisitive and daring nature of Tintin. He provides Tintin with the required inquisitive soul and brave disposition. Playing Sakharine is a solid Daniel Craig who gives the sinister character a fine ‘bad-guy’ flair without descending into mustache twirling. The bumbling Thompson and Thompson are portrayed by the comedic duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), who are once again very in tune with each other – and very funny. The standout performance however is delivered by the go-to actor for motion capture, Andy Serkis. Having brought nuance and character to Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and intelligence and calculation to Caesar in last year’s surprise smash Rise of the Planet of Apes, Serkis delivers a rousing performance as Captain Haddock, the drunk ship’s captain with a lovable mix of gruffness and gregariousness.



Spielberg and his animation team have an exquisite eye for detail beyond the production design and set details (animated, of course) that adorn everything from the crowded market place that opens the film to the run-down nautical mess of the SS Karaboudjan (Captain Haddock’s ship). There is a bevy of activity within, around and throughout the view of the frame creating a vibrant world impossible to appreciate on a single viewing.


It is no fabrication to say that The Adventures of Tintin is as much a Raiders of the Lost Ark sequel as any of the Indiana Jones features. Spielberg himself became a fan of Hergé’s work following a French review of Raiders that drew frequent comparisons to the stories of the young Belgian reporter. Travails across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, searches for treasure, mystery, and nefarious foes seeking to discredit or do away with the hero are common staples of the Harrison Ford played hero, and Tintin – a lot younger and considerably more wide-eyed – carries that mantle firmly. Of course, the superb score by John Williams, which occasionally evoke the Raiders score without every borrowing from that classic, help to link these films as well.


The Adventures of Tintin is a delightful movie-going experience enhanced by 3D and a pleasure to watch again and again.




The Video

5/5

3D Implementation

4.5/5


Producer Peter Jackson remarked of the animation they were creating for The Adventures of Tintin, that:


We're making them look photorealistic; the fibres of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people – but real Herge people!”


And he is exactly right. The detail from cloth, skin, eyes, iron ship walls, sand, sea and sky are wonderfully precise in their detail but never betraying the realm of animation from which the Tintin stories are born. Shadow and light are brilliantly rendered and the complexity of animation in the locations is such a beautiful thing to see. Spielberg and Jackson (who is credited with some second unit direction) clearly know how to handle actor portrayals for use in the animated territory.


In theaters, the 3D was some of the very best that I had seen. Animation tends to excel with the use of 3D and Tintin is no exception, but the level of detail and Spielberg’s craftsmanship elevate even the finest accomplishment of 3D in animation to date. There is a terrific sense of depth throughout the entire production and the placement of light sources provide the visual context that allows the 3D to work very well indeed (something that Martin Scorsese’s Hugo also accomplished to the finest degree). The 3D on this Blu-ray release doesn’t quite match the excellence of the theatrical experience, but even in home viewing, The Adventures of Tintin succeeds terrifically as a film and as a 3D experience.


  



The Sound

5/5


The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is an exemplary, reference-quality option providing a superb amount of enveloping surround sound and directional effect action in addition to a full, rich and delightfully precise audio throughout the presentation. John Williams score is a joy to hear – especially his infectious theme for Snowy – and the sound design is award worthy. Pay attention to the sounds at the docks and aboard the SS Karaboudjan, with the creaks and ambient sounds of the ocean creating the effect that we are aboard the ship with the characters. The ‘pop’ sounds of the period guns firing, the deep repeating sounds of the prop plane, and the booming sounds of the storm that Tintin and his companions must fly through – are brilliantly delivered with the audio.



The Extras

3.5 / 5


Disc One

3D version of the film


Disc Two

Blu-ray (2D) version of the film


Toasting Tintin: Part 1 (1:24) (HD): On January 23, 2009, Steven Spielberg began the motion capture process – this extra shows Spielberg and cast/crew celebrating the start of the process by reading a note from Hergé’s widow (Hergé passed away in 1983)


The Journey of Tintin (8:54) (HD): Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson talk about their discovery of Tintin and how the comics captured their imaginations




The World of Tintin (10:46) (HD): Michael Farr – biographer of Hergé and custodian of a wealth of knowledge of Tintin – and others talk about the origins of Tintin, the inspiration behind the character. A good extra feature.


The Who’s Who of Tintin (14:17) (HD): A look at the variety of characters and the task of casting them. The sneak look at the motion capture process is fascinating, though brief.


Tintin: Conceptual Design (8:38) (HD): An interesting look at both the collaborative process between Spielberg and Jackson in deciding the look of the characters and the film in general, and how WETA developed the world  - taking the drawings and making a remarkable photorealistic quality.


Tintin: In the Volume (17:54) (HD): The volume is a space about the size of a basketball court and is the space where the performances are captured by the cameras as the actors maneuver frames of objects and guides on the floor. Fascinating.


Snowy: From Beginning to End (10:11) (HD): Snowy – who is known as Milou in the French versions – is the intelligent and playful sidekick to Tintin (pronounced Tantan in the original dialect) – this special feature shows us how he was brought to life in the film.


Animating Tintin (11:00) (HD): A fun look at taking the performance capture work and maturing the originally captured – and often crude animation – into the vividly real and smooth animation, including building sets, textures, lighting and all the many details that fill each frame.


Tintin: The Score (7:01) (HD): Nominated for an Academy Award, John William’s score for Tintin is a treat for the ears. Williams score is faithful to the French/Belgian origins – it is brassy and bold in the Pirate sequences, playful and inquisitive during the investigative moments and always perfectly in tune with the characters and story. We see the process of scoring to the images and hear Williams talk of alternate opening tracks and writing for the characters.  


Collecting Tintin (3:58) (HD): A look at some of the merchandise that accompanied the release of the film.  


Toasting Tintin: Part 2 (3:12) (HD): This special feature bookends the extras as Steven Spielberg toasts the completion of the film on September 15, 2011.   



Disc Three

DVD + UV Digital Copy of the film



Final Thoughts


The Adventures of Tintin is a smarter affair than the typical family film to be found at the multiplex, but not so smart that it finds itself limiting its appeal. While it is true the beginning of the film feels a little slower than the second and third acts (and not due to any laborious exposition), Tintin is worth the set up.


Set in that timeless Europe, The Adventures of Tintin it is a refreshingly inventive and exceedingly appealing feature helmed by one of cinema’s most successful storytellers. It is a shame that a larger American audience did not grip the appeal of Hergé’s characters, but the embrace by audiences around the world have assured that we will see a sequel directed by Peter Jackson and produced by Steven Spielberg (switching roles from this first film). Hopefully more will encounter this film on DVD and Blu-ray as it should be seen by so many more viewers out there.


Highly Recommended!


Overall (Not an average)

4.5/5

 

TheBat

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Adam Gregorich said:
Thanks Neil.  I didn't have time to see it in the theaters, but according to Amazon my copy just shipped.  Anything really not appropriate for kids?
I saw it in the theatre. it has some action scenes. it might be a bit a too much for youngsters. they might find it too slow. the 3d is very good on it. Jacob
 

Neil Middlemiss

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I'd agree with Jacob and just add that some folks may be uneasy with the level of drunkeness (which I found hilarious), and some of the bumps on the head and shoot outs are quite realistic (given the medium). It isn't a 'lively' animated film in the vein of Cars or Rio, but I saw it in the theater and the kids of families that were seeing it that day all seemed to enjoy it though it likely is a little more 'mature' (not sure if that's the right word) for the very young.


Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich

Thanks Neil. I didn't have time to see it in the theaters, but according to Amazon my copy just shipped. Anything really not appropriate for kids?

/t/319191/the-adventures-of-tintin-3d-blu-ray-review#post_3905747
 

Edwin-S

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It wasn't a bad film, but it's a good thing the Academy did not qualify this as an animated film. It it had been nominated it probably would have won, merely because of the visuals. In every other way this film, while decent, would not have deserved to win. Overall, RANGO, the actual winner, was a better film than this. TINTIN was okay but it still failed to really capture the flavour of Herge's character and storytelling. Herge's TINTIN comics had plenty of action, but they also had a quality that Spielberg's version didn't quite capture. Spielberg's film is basically all action and gives a lot of the supporting characters that surrounded Tintin short shrift.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Here is a brief Q&A with both Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson


Steven Spielberg Interview


STEVEN SPIELBERG

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN


Q: Hi Steven. You, along with Peter Jackson, have been Tintin fans since you were kids. What is it about the character Tintin that has kept you fascinated over the decades and do you identify anything in yourself with him?

A: Tintin is an intrepid, tenacious reporter who often becomes more a part of the story than just a reporter reporting the news. What I identify with Tintin is that he does not take no for an answer and that’s the story of my life.


Q: After working with Peter on The Adventures of Tintin, what surprised you about him?

A: I was quite surprised at how patient and thoughtful Peter is. He doesn’t let anything rattle him to where he becomes locked in indecision. He’s a problem solver. He likes to look at a challenge from several different angles and then, very methodically, he makes the best choice to solve the problem.


Q: Peter says you bring "childish excitement" to a film set.

A: In a sense, Peter is right. I get very, very anxious on the set. I have a thousand ideas and I don’t censor myself. I wind up cutting some of them out in the editing room. If I was more like Peter, I would save myself a lot of footage, needless footage that I shoot and then don’t use later in the process. Peter does have a very good sense of seeing the big picture and finding the most expedient way into that image or that emotional moment. So, we were, in a way, I guess two code-breakers working on the enigma code trying to figure this movie out together and once I realized that we were just two sort of scientists in a lab trying to figure out how to make something work, there’s no ego, there’s no competition. It’s just, we’re both on the same page. Two huge Tintin fanboys just trying to bring this movie to you in a way that you will like.


Q: The motion-capture technology in The Adventures of Tintin is cutting-edge, but I'm sure the most important ingredients in making a movie for you remain the same. It's about the story, the plot and characters.

A: For me, I think five-minutes into watching this movie people will soon see that the medium is not the message, that the characters and the story and the plot is. If the movie is working, you'll forget if it’s 3D or whether it’s widescreen. If the movie doesn’t work, then immediately you start to pick apart whatever it is that has contributed to that. If any movie is working, hopefully how it was made will be the least of your concern. You’ll only want to have a good time.


Q: Do you work with actors in motion-capture differently than what you would on a traditional movie set? And, do you think the motion-capture suits and dots actors wear helps them become the character just as a costume or make-up on a regular movie set would?

A: I’ve always found that whether actors wear stylized makeup or wigs in a live-action movie or big costume drama, or are called upon to act in a western or be chased by dinosaurs, it does give them a sense of great ambience and environment and they kind of feel like they’re in a great court. But, what is most important is it all comes down to the actors looking each other in the eye. That’s where the truth is told and that’s where all the drama or the comedy happens. When you see Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot, they’re dressed outlandishly and everything else, you know the truth of those performances is when they’re looking at each other, acting together. Actors just need each other to act together. All of that other stuff is forgotten. Our actors who wear motion-capture suits, they were wearing headgear with a little camera and dots on their faces. After laughing at each other for about 10 minutes and getting that out of their system, they then become performing characters. I think that is the secret of great acting: you have to bring your imagination to the party. You have to have a great imagination and you have to bring it every day when you’re working. Your imagination and your skills as an actor are what see you through, not what you’re wearing or where you are.


Q: How important is new technology to you when you make a movie in this digital era?

A: It may be a digital era in terms of certain kinds of movies, but it’s still an analog era in terms of telling a good story. That’s the most important thing. There’s nothing of greater importance to me or Peter than the story.


Q: You directed The Adventures of Tintin and Peter Jackson produced it. If there is a sequel, will you switch roles?

A: Hopefully, with success, Peter is scheduled to direct the second Tintin adventure which, by the way, does include the character Professor Calculus. I’m really looking forward to working with Peter as a producer and as a collaborator in the same way Peter has worked with me to support me in directing Tintin. He supported me in just about every creative decision from the beginning of this process to the end.


Q: You have been known to make films for yourself and you have been a huge Tintin fan since you were a kid. Is this the reason you wanted to make The Adventures of Tintin?

A: This movie, I made it for everyone. I mean, some movies I make for myself. I do that sometimes when the subject matter is very sensitive and very personal and I really can’t imagine that I’m an audience member. I would lose myself too much if I thought of myself as the audience. There are other types of genre films that I need to be able to direct from the audience, to be right next to you watching the picture being made and Tintin is just such a movie.


Q: 3D is not new, but we have seen an explosion in popularity with 3D in recent years with great 3D films and not so great 3D films. What do you think about 3D?

A: Not every movie, in my opinion, should be in 3D. There are a lot of stories I wouldn’t shoot in 3D. But, you know, there are movies that are perfect in 3D. I think the last great 3D movie I saw that really enhanced the experience for me - you’ll have to excuse me for mentioning a film I co-produced - it was the last Transformers which I think is the most amazing 3D experience I’ve seen since Avatar. But, 3D needs a trained eye. It can’t be done by everybody. People do 3D just for the sake of commercializing their movie another five or six percent and they don’t know really how to do it. They should care how to do it better by bringing other directors and collaborators into their lives to help teach and instruct how you really make a 3D movie because it’s not just like putting a new lens on a camera and forgetting it. It takes a lot of very careful consideration. It will change your approach to where you put the cameras. So, 3D isn’t for everybody.


Q: You have been outspoken about the how audiences are charged higher ticket prices to watch a 3D movie.

A: I’m certainly hoping that 3D gets to the point where people do not notice it because once they stop noticing it, it just becomes another tool and an aid to help tell a story. Then maybe they can make the ticket prices comparable to a 2D movie and not charge such exorbitant prices just to gain entry into a 3D one, with the exception of IMAX, where we are getting a premium experience in a premium environment. I'm hoping someday there will be so many 3D movies that the point of purchase prices can come down which I think would be fair to the consumer.


Q: The Tintin books feature wonderful adventures, but there's also a lot of narrative and subplots. Was that hard to include in the film?

A: In the Hergé books, there’s a lot of narrative, there’s a lot of, not only just adventure, but also there’s a lot of subplot. What made it delightful, I think, for Peter and I, is that in the middle of all this forward motion, we take time for the characters to have a relationship with each other. We take time for Captain Haddock to moan about, you know, what brought him to drink and close to ruination and we go back in the first movie to Captain Haddock’s ancestors so we get to know a lot about why Captain Haddock is the man he is today. We’re very concerned about keeping the narrative moving because Hergé was concerned about that too, but also, in honoring Hergé it was very important for this film to take little rest stops to get to know the different people involved.


Q: Do you have moments when you are on a film set and you discover something you thought would work doesn't?

A: I’ve got a lot of examples I can give you about moments where I thought something would work on film and it didn’t work, but I never came to that decision with the film half shot, where I was stuck on a runaway train and couldn’t jump off. On those occasions where I have admitted defeat, that this is not going to work, I haven’t embarked on that project and made that movie.


Peter Jackson interview


PETER JACKSON

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN


Q: Hi Peter. There was a lot of excitement when it was announced you were teaming up with Steven Spielberg to make The Adventures of Tintin. Steven directed. You produced the film. What was it like for you working so closely with such a master and what is something you didn't know about him that you discovered while working on Tintin?

A: Well, the thing that really surprised me I guess is, thinking about Steven’s huge body of work and the incredible films that he’s made that have affected all of us, I thought that Steven would have a process. I was imagining that there would be a way in which Steven would make the movie and I was looking forward to seeing it. But, what I discovered, which was delightful in a way, is that Steven walks onto the set and it’s like the first time that he’s ever walked on a film set. I mean, he’s literally childish. I mean that in a positive way. There’s a childish excitement that Steven brings to it and an enthusiasm that I wasn’t expecting and it’s very inspiring.


Q: You are a big fan of the Tintin books. So is Steven. What was it like making a Tintin movie?

A: The problem is: How do you adapt these books that both Steven and I have loved for a long, long time and do them justice? That’s a problem because there’s obviously a million ways that you could not do that and so the problem is how to you do it and that’s what we’ve sort of worked on. It’s been fantastic.


Q: Filmmakers have had mixed success using motion-capture technology in recent years. What is it about motion-capture that excites you as a filmmaker?

A: Motion-capture is not a genre. I mean it’s not a spaghetti western, for instance. Motion-capture is a tool and technique and what we tried to do is to really use both motion-capture and traditional animation. Steven and I are much more adept to live-action filmmaking. I mean, we can’t use computers. Either of us. I can hardly send e-mails. But, we wanted to be able to walk into this sort of virtual world that we created with the characters of Tintin and the locations and sets. We wanted to be able to pick up a virtual camera and shoot a live-action movie inside this strange, hybrid, photo-real world. It wasn’t the photo-real world that was important, it was the way in which we shoot a movie inside that world that we think the result is really interesting.


Q: One of the great characters of the Tintin stories is Professor Calculus. We don't see him in this movie. Will we see him in future sequels you do?

A: Calculus doesn’t yet make his appearance in the cinematic version of Tintin. But, obviously if we are lucky enough to do more Tintin movies, there’s a lot of stories that Calculus features in so we absolutely look forward to seeing him hopefully in the future.


Q: Can you talk about the importance of a character's eyes, whether it is Tintin, Gollum in Lord of the Rings or one of your other films. It seems that the key to making a character real starts with the eyes.

JACKSON: Well, when you’re casting a movie and when you’re shooting a film, the eyes are the most important feature of any performer. Any great actor knows how to use their eyes. As a filmmaker, I love shooting huge close-ups because its those eyes that mean so much to me. Way back when we were doing Lord of the Rings and we created Gollum and other characters in the computer, we built the eyes in a very scientific way. You study real eyes, you study how the light reflects in them, you study the back of the eye, you study the way irises reflect emotion. You go into great scientific detail, so with Gollum, and King Kong was another character who didn’t do a huge amount with his face but his eyes told you everything of what he was thinking, it was critical. Obviously with Avatar the eyes were critical in there. So, our company (Weta) has really put a huge amount of research and development into the eyes. With Tintin, just like with any other film, we had to create a cast and they had to be as expressive in the eyes as a live-action film.


Q: Tintin is relentless. Would it be true to say to be a successful filmmaker you also have to be relentless?

A: It’s all about his determination. You never, ever, give up once you start something, once you’re on the trail of something you don’t stop and that’s what you have to go through when you’re making a movie too. Once the train is rolling you have to stick with it.


Q: When you make complex movies like Tintin or Lord of the Rings do you know how everything will unfold or are you constantly coming up against surprises and challenges in attempting to get your vision on the big screen?

A: I find that in the process of making a film you’re constantly discovering things that you never even imagined would work at the beginning. When I start a film I can sort of shut my eyes, sit somewhere quiet and imagine the movie finished. I can imagine the camera angles. I can even imagine the type of music without knowing the tune. But, in the process of making the film, you’re constantly discovering new things all of the time. I mean, actors come into the film and do things you never even imagined. Production designers come in, the director of photography lights it in a way that you never imagined. So, it’s always evolving, always exciting. In fact, with Tintin the process was even more stimulating because it begins with a very crude pre-visualization which is like a very simple piece of animation and then you slowly begin layering it and layering it. So, even though Tintin has taken Steven and I five or six years to get from the very beginning of the process to get where we are now, it’s been five or six absolutely dynamic years because literally every week we were seeing new things and new versions of shots that came to life and made us go, 'Oh, my God'. It’s exciting, it’s really exciting.


Q: How do you feel about the re-emergence of 3D?

A: I think the 3D situation is kind of interesting at the moment because, after Avatar, it survived for a while as this premium experience with higher ticket prices, but I think the audiences have now come to realize that there are bad movies that can be in 3D as well and, on top of that, you’re being charged an extra five dollars to see a movie that was as bad as when you saw it in 2D. I think that is being driven to some degree by the increased ticket prices, which is a shame and it’s kind of starting to backfire a little bit. I certainly believe that, with the right movie, 3D can enhance the experience. Absolutely, it can make a good film a great film. It can make a great film a really amazing film to see and that’s what I hang onto. But, certainly there’s the projection which is why this issue needs to be addressed. If 3D is to have a long-term future in cinema in the sense that it’s at all like when the CinemaScope was introduced in the 1950s and the surround sound and everything, these technological things are not new, it’s just another step forward, then something certainly has to be done about it in the pictures we are experiencing at the moment.
 

Neil Middlemiss

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This is an incredibly importantc comment for the use of 3D in my opinion:



Q: 3D is not new, but we have seen an explosion in popularity with 3D in recent years with great 3D films and not so great 3D films. What do you think about 3D?


A: Not every movie, in my opinion, should be in 3D. There are a lot of stories I wouldn’t shoot in 3D. But, you know, there are movies that are perfect in 3D. I think the last great 3D movie I saw that really enhanced the experience for me - you’ll have to excuse me for mentioning a film I co-produced - it was the last Transformers which I think is the most amazing 3D experience I’ve seen since Avatar. But, 3D needs a trained eye. It can’t be done by everybody. People do 3D just for the sake of commercializing their movie another five or six percent and they don’t know really how to do it. They should care how to do it better by bringing other directors and collaborators into their lives to help teach and instruct how you really make a 3D movie because it’s not just like putting a new lens on a camera and forgetting it. It takes a lot of very careful consideration. It will change your approach to where you put the cameras. So, 3D isn’t for everybody.
 

Timothy E

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I remember coming across Tintin in print for the first time when it was being serialized in Children's Digest. It was one of the final chapters in Cigar of the Pharaohs and it really captured my childhood imagination with its secret society, codes, masked villains, secret passages, and Egyptian motifs. That exposure encouraged me to seek out and collect all of the Tintin volumes in print.


I do not know why the Tintin stories have not been as popular in America as they are in the rest of the world but I am glad to see that the international box office for this film will guarantee another chapter to be directed by Peter Jackson.


Great review, Neil! I agree heartily with your opinions of the film.
 

dmiller68

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I did see it in the theaters and pre-ordered it when it was available to do so. I wish I wasn't so busy this weekend. I may not get a chance to see it.
 

Richard--W

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Why can't live action adventure movies be this good? Love this film. Love the stereopsis. This and Hugo, just wonderful films.
 

Brian Borst

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Richard--W said:
Why can't live action adventure movies be this good? Love this film. Love the stereopsis. This and Hugo, just wonderful films.
You haven't seen Raiders of the Lost Ark?
 

RMajidi

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Neil and/or anyone else in the know, the last I read (some time ago), the second instalment of Tintin was slated for release right about now. Clearly that's not going to happen, but have you heard any word around the traps about when this might be?

The roles were to be reversed in the follow-up, with Peter Jackson directing and Steven Spielberg producing.

As a lifelong Tintin diehard, I was skeptical when I first heard about plans for the motion-capture feature, but the film blew me away. Can't wait for the follow-up.
 

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