The Expendables will still be done tomorrow but in its place for my girl's birthday will be The Adventures of Tintin by Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson!
The Adventures of Tintin does some amazing work. Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig, the movie dives into the world of Tintin and his dog Snowy (who is an awesome dog) and their hunt to discover what is so amazing about the fabled vessel, The Unicorn. He finds a companion in Captain Haddock, who is a descendant of the ship's captain, and is sought after by the villain of the story, Sakharine.
The movie is filmed using performance capture, which is mothion capture but with the added details of facial expressions, fingers, etc. A good similarity would be Beowulf or Gollum from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The amount of detail in this movie is astounding. The facial expressions and details to the characters, such as their hair, the reflection and behavior of light, and the interactions with their surroundings are phenomenal. There are times when I actually had trouble being able to tell if this was animated or not. This movie would also be one to see in 3D if it is at all possible still. The film doesn't need it as it worked perfectly fine in 2D but there were a few shots where one could tell it was originally released for 3D.
Something that I found wonderful about Tintin is that with the way the motion capture is so wonderful, one would think that this could have been a live-action film. But the movie hits certain points where it falls into the realm of cartoons and the wonderful working of animated physics. This lands the movie perfectly in the middle of the two. It looks so real but acts like a cartoon.
The voice acting was perfect as well. Jamie Bell did a perfect job as Tintin. An odd aspect to Tintin is that you cannot really tell his age very well. He looks as if he could be 14 but as he is a reporter, I would guess in the mid-20s. Captain Haddock was portrayed by Andy Serkis (who is no stranger to motion capture or Peter Jackson) yet at times I could hear what very much resembled Gerard Butler. A few lines came through as clearly Serkis but his work here just adds to his amazingness. The last major character was played by Daniel Craig and he was tough to peg as well. Now and then I heard James Bond come through but on the whole he sounded quite different as well. A fun addition to the minor cast is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson, two police characters that look identical.
The plot was based off of three different comics of Tintin that was written by Stephen Moffet at first. I believe he left the team after being offered Doctor Who (who could blame him?) and it was picked up again by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Joe Cornish. While I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, which felt much like Indiana Jones, I found it a bit see-through. It is an adventure movie and not a mystery but I started to feel like i was watching the movie play out what I had already guessed. To me this is what fell shy of perfect for Tintin. Good news though is that Tintin is expected to be a trilogy and I believe will do even better with Jackson and Spielberg at the wheel.
The Adventures of Tintin does a spectacular job at bringing Hergé's classic comic to life and is well worth investing the time (a short hour and 47 minutes) to become familiar with Tintin and his dog Snowy.
The Expendables and From Paris with Love are both up on the menu for tomorrow!