The Adventures of Tin Tin

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adventures of tintinIt’s been a few years since Steve Spielberg sat behind the directors chair and this weekend he gives us two movies.

In this 3D motion-capture film, I immediately thought of what David Letterman said when Tom Hanks was on promoting Polar Express years ago. Letterman asked, “If you have to film all the actors doing this stuff to make the animation…why not film them and…make that the movie?”

Hanks seemed at a loss for words as the crowd laughed.

Now, the animation is impressive to look at. I just wish the rest of the movie was as fun as the opening credit sequence.

After watching this and the horse movie coming out in a few days – I wonder what happened. In the early ‘80s, after those great films in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, most would’ve said this guy was a great director. I’ve now seen more bad movies he’s done than good.

He brought his man John Williams to do the score. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Daniel Craig (in the great The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) is Red Rackham, Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes) is Captain Haddock. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are funny in their films, but not in this. Cary Elwes (the prince in The Princess Bride) is a pilot here, and Jamie Bell is Tintin – the young reporter thrust into an adventure after buying an old model ship that has a treasure map inside. It could be the first time in years I recall seeing a young protagonist I cared nothing about.

Now, I knew nothing about the Belgian cartoonist Herge. Perhaps fans of his comic and animated TV series will enjoy this. I thought the animation, which could be fun in some of the action sequences, made the characters look soulless. And I was surprised by the lack of humor in the story, which combines three different Herge stories.

This is a one-dimensional story that simply wants to jump from action sequence to action sequence. And somebody needs to explain to me, after watching Charlize Theron play an alcoholic in Young Adult and now this Captain character drinking nonstop – are we supposed to laugh at people that have serious alcohol problems? At least Young Adult was rated R. This film is geared at children.

By the end of this movie, which felt a lot longer than it was, I was exhausted from Spielberg trying so hard to dazzle.

I’m giving this 2 stars out of 5.

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