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112 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The worst post-viewing experience ever!
I'll explain my review title later, but first, a quick summary:

Animation 10/10:
Possibly the best animation I have ever seen. The facial expressions, character movement, and the motion of clothing to wind, rain / character movement are outstanding. The crisp details of each scene were wonderful, as were the light and shade effects. There are people who...
Published on 9 April 2012 by Maxwell Edison

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Spielberg Than Hergé
I'm afraid I'm going to have to dare the ire of the fans. Because I was, it seems, less impressed by this film than most.

But first, the positives: the CGI was genuinely amazing. It successfully bestrode an intriguing middle ground between the cartoonish and something very, very close to photo-realism. From the waves on the ocean to the expressions on the...
Published 19 months ago by Theo


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good on the whole, 16 Aug 2013
By 
Ken Raus "Ken Raus" (Lugdunum) - See all my reviews
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It would've been good to have the option of a French dub for linguistic authenticity although Herge did seem to choose Anglophone characters with names like Haddock and a British identity-as to the film itself the motion capture cgi amazes to the extent to which I wonder if it isn't redundant given it's realism...this version dvd has about 1hr 30 minutes story time,about 3 minute intro and a very long credits up to 8 minutes and two extras of about 20 minutes together,quite stingy actually but the film is excellent with the plot only as mad as the books...the voices are very good,of Frost and Pegg in particular and the whole thing entertains marvellously-I hope they do the series although it iis clear if you get the continatal dvd tht this film is also a pastiche of maybe three separate stories which is a bit cheeky,although the Herge estate approved it,probably for good royalty reasons,given the dead writer has no say in it...still,a classy effort,mais je prefere le version Francais.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All in all a rather splendid adventure for those proverbial children of all ages, 26 July 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is the first wholly MoCap animated feature where the technology's weird mixture of the photo-realistic and the cartoonish actually works completely, and works rather wonderfully. It's not just that the dead eyes that plagued earlier MoCap films have gone but that, rather than pointlessly inserting unconvincingly animated versions of real people in a fantastic environment, it uses it to faithfully recreate the characters from the comic albums as they would look in a three-dimensional environment. It's not just a case of wearing a blue sweater with a duck tuft hairstyle or putting on a big putty nose, beard and captain's outfit to approximate them, these really are Tintin and Captain Haddock, but with the benefit of fully fleshed out and surprisingly naturalistic performances courtesy of Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis. And it's not only Thomson and Thompson and Red Rackham who get the benefit, the film beginning with a fun cameo from Herge painting Tintin's portrait in the opening scene and wondering if he's painted him before some time.

But the technological leap would be mere window dressing if it was the only thing the film had going for it, but thankfully this is Steven Spielberg rediscovering the real sense of fun and adventure he had back in the heady days of Raiders of the Lost Ark. At times the frequently beautifully lit camerawork overdoes the swirling and swooping to highlight the original 3D as if he's having a bit too much fun with his new toy, but it's grounded by a solid screenplay with plenty of sly humour that only really runs out of steam in the last reel or so once the action leaves Africa (but then endings have often been a problem in many a Spielberg film). But along the way there are enough clever or exciting setpieces, from a chase seen from a dog's eye point-of-view to a rather excellent pirate battle, to forgive the anticlimax. All in all a rather splendid adventure for those proverbial children of all ages.

Plentiful extras in the form of a multi-part documentary on the Blu-ray release, which offers excellent picture and sound, but as usual DVD buyers are less lucky with just two featurettes from the longer documentary.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An artistic TRIUMPH! Thank you, Steven & Peter!, 19 May 2012
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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HERGÉ'S ADVENTURES OF TINTIN!!!

I just couldn't get enough of them. The books were truly the stuff of legend, so colourful, bold and exciting, with the right mix of cartoon, humanity and realism to make this world and its inhabitants so appealing to generations of fans worldwide. As a child, I loved all those amazing adventures of this young, courageous and intelligent reporter Tintin and his loyal dog Snowy as they travelled all over the world - and into outer space, lest we forget! - solving mysteries, thwarting villains and conquering challenges with so many colourful friends like Professor Calculus, Detectives Thomson & Thompson and of course, the irrepressible Captain Haddock.

I never ever thought about a motion picture based on these timeless stories to be honest with you. Yes, there was the absolute quality animated series from the nineties, and I was happy to leave it at that. I mean, Hergé's style was just so vivid and distinctive that it was easy to translate into a cartoon, but much more difficult for a live-action film, and maybe even a CGI-flick as well.

I suppose I didn't want to run the risk of being disappointed by a feature-length Tintin film (no different than any other lifetime fan of the books, really). Which is why when news of Tintin finally hitting the big screen came around, I really didn't know how to take it. I saw a few images, and then I saw the trailer. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before, so I decided to reserve judgement a little longer until I'd finally checked out the film.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is essentially an adaptation of the book of the same name, "The Crab With The Golden Claws" and "Red Rackham's Treasure". Here, our Tintin is a most famous reporter (accompanied by best friend, Snowy) who one day buys a model ship of the Unicron, a famous historical ship. But it isn't long before shadowy individuals are after the model for their own purposes. Tintin must uncover the secret of the model before it falls into the wrong hands, and to do that, he will need the help of a certain old sea captain.

So is it any good? YES, and then some. Directed and produced by movie legends Steven Spielberg (Duel, Jaws, Jurassic Park etc) and Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings & King Kong), this Tintin epic is a true cinematic delight that's worthy of both the name and the creator Hergé. Both Spielberg and Jackson are genuine Tintin fans and it shows throughout. They clearly wanted to remain faithful to the original source material and as such, it is. The setting and characters here are all accurate and true, the story and plot unravels with the grace and intrigue that you would find in any legendary Tintin adventure, and there are so many dollops of wonderful humour, interaction and excitement. Long story cut short, this has the ESSENCE of Tintin.

But the most obvious aspect about The Secret of the Unicorn is unquestionably the animation style. The motion capture technique in completely unlike anything I've ever seen before in cinema or on television. At first, I wasn't sure if I was watching an actual live-action film or a CGI move that easily rivals anything from Pixar! It just blew me away how harmoniously it all blends together. Not only that, the character designs pay true homage to Hergé's original drawings as well! It's pure artistry in how it remains all the more faithful, yet also creates a brand new visioning for this generation.

The voice-cast is inspired, too. Jamie Bell (Tintin) and Andy Serkis (Captain Haddock) are flawless in their roles. You truly believe that they ARE Tintin and Captain Haddock(!), given how distinctive they make their performances. The same can be said for Simon Pegg and Nik Frost who provide the perfect bumbling tones for the incompetent (yet lovable) Thompson twins. Current "James Bond" Daniel Craig also deserves high-marks as well for his sinister & deliciously malevolent role as antagonist Sakharine.

What else is there? The soundtrack is rollicking, the film runs on for just the right length of time (at 102 minutes), the pacing is perfect, and Steven Moffat (of Doctor Who fame!), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz) & Joe Cornish all deserve props for their screenplay, producing a script that flatters the talents of the voice cast, and Spielberg and Jackson's vision for the film. I don't think I can praise this film enough. It's just an artistic masterpiece with virtually no fault whatsoever.

Extras on this DVD consist of two featurettes; a special behind-the-scenes look at the film's making (with great insight from Spielberg, Jackson, the cast and production staff) and an examination of Snowy (called "The Full Tail") which looks at the characters' original conception, various anecdotes and how the wonderful, little terrier was bought to life for the big screen. Delightful special features indeed to finish things off. And there're English subtitles as well for those who require them.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is one of the best family films to emerge in a long time. Like the original books, like the cartoon series, this is a movie that will appeal to children and adults alike. It has all the heart and soul of Hergé's stories and is hopefully the first of several more quality epics to come.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosy and hugely enjoyable and the best 3D since Avatar, 26 May 2012
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Having just acquired a 3D home cinema system, I was seeking something to demonstrate the 3D and bought Tintin out of curiosity. From the opening scene in the market place and the wonderful cameo by Hergé sketching Tintin's face, I knew that this was more than just a gimmicky 3D demo and that I would really love this movie! Peter Jackson, who used motion capture techniques in Lord of the Rings to good effect, has truly excelled himself here and produced one of the greatest animated films ever. Every scene is jaw-droppingly gorgeous - from Tintin's cosy little home, the landscapes and cityscapes, the rusting hulk of the tramp steamer, the sea-plane and the wonderful African palace. Watch out for the mirage scene in the desert, where the 3D was so convincing that, at one point, I involuntarily jerked my head back! Surround sound is exceptional too and adds a lot to the atmosphere.

You'll recognise a host of well-known British actors' voices. Andy Serkis probably steals the show as Captain/Sir Francis Haddock. Daniel Craig is well-cast as the boo-hiss villain. Pegg and Frost as the bumbling Thompson and Thomson provide some gentle but effective humour (loved the canary gag!) and young Jamie Bell is a very credible Tintin himself.

If I were being really picky, I could criticise the film for being perhaps a tad overlong with some of the action being a little far fetched and, as a 2CV fan, I am aware that this iconic little French car was not yet on sale in the late 30's/early 40's and should not have been seen in Tintin's time. No big deal though - I'm not enough of a pedant to let things like that ruin my enjoyment.

A couple of extras (on the 2D disk), including a brief history of the project and a making-of the Snowy (or Milou for the purist!) character. Worth watching for the amusing sequence of Jackson improvising as Haddock.

You don't have to be a Tintin fan to enjoy this charming movie, but if you are, I'm sure you'll agree that Jackson and Spielberg have treated the source material with great respect and the result is a definite success. If you're looking for a film that truly show-cases the 3D medium and is the best example you're going to get until the commercial version of Avatar 3D Blu-ray is released, then I can recommend Tintin unreservedly.

(Viewed on a Sony BDVE190 3D Blu-ray player and LG (passive) 3D TV.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can I Have a Dog like Snowy?, 20 Aug 2014
By 
A. Roberton "Alan Roberton" (Camborne, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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Just watched this for the third time and can honestly say, it just gets better and better.

I believe they are talking about making two more Tintin stories, if that is so, I for one will be there when they are released on DVD/BluRay.

The animation is amazing, more like real actors than 'cartoon' figures. The sound quality is perfect and the characterisation could not be better. I especially love the Thomson twins and Snowy is wonderful too. The kids will love Snowy so beware for the pleads of, "Can I have a dog like Snowy?"
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Spielberg Than Hergé, 26 Jan 2013
By 
Theo (Australia) - See all my reviews
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I'm afraid I'm going to have to dare the ire of the fans. Because I was, it seems, less impressed by this film than most.

But first, the positives: the CGI was genuinely amazing. It successfully bestrode an intriguing middle ground between the cartoonish and something very, very close to photo-realism. From the waves on the ocean to the expressions on the characters' faces, the animators were extremely successful in creating a world that is solid, real, and compelling. It most definitely draws us in.

It is, as stated, more Spielberg than Hergé. The quiet, the stillness, and above all the restraint that were such hallmarks of Hergé's work are nowhere to be found. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Filmic interpretations do not have to be slavish copies, and this one certainly wasn't. I'm sure that many fans will be quick to point out that this is a film that almost constantly pays homage to the visual side of Hergé's work - particularly in some of its most iconic and best loved panels. And it's true: the film does do precisely that. However, the similarities are all on the surface. For those who look deeper, and compare this film's intricacy of detail, and above all its relentless, ceaseless motion with the minimalism of Hergé's famous "ligne claire" style, it is at once apparent that at a certain point Spielberg made the choice to go his own way. Indeed, the film tacitly admits as much at the very beginning, when this movie's "Tintin" has his portrait drawn by an artist at a market stall. The artist closely resembles Hergé, and the drawing the original vision of Tintin. We are being politely but firmly told that this will be a film that respects the original, but does not feel so beholden to it as to be nothing more than a carbon copy.

The true artist must have scope for interpretation.

This film also gave us not just one but two stand-out performances. Jamie Bell, in the titular role of Tintin, and Daniel Craig as both Sakharine and Red Rackham. Each actor brings a level of reality to their characters rarely to be found in animated features. This fits perfectly with the film's visual approach: it's that whole "intriguing middle ground" between the cartoonish and the photo-real that I spoke of earlier.

I was less impressed with Andy Serkis's performance as Captain Haddock, which was certainly more overtly cartoonish, and just plain less interesting. But it is worth stating that some of the minor characters were exceptionally well rendered, and very much in the spirit of Hergé's original versions. I'm thinking here particularly of the pickpocket, played by Toby Jones, and a two-bit thug by the name of Tom, played by Mackenzie Crook. I'd like to think that Hergé himself would've approved of both these performances.

Yet despite all the good stuff, I did feel that from a grown-up perspective, this movie let itself down in the writing. Particularly in terms of pacing, it's more like a bad Indiana Jones movie than anything else. Certainly so far as depth of characterisation goes, all the heavy lifting is done by the actors and the animators. The writers contribute almost nothing. The main problem is that after a promising start, the film rapidly degenerates into little more than one long action sequence, with only very brief, unconvincing, and ultimately uninteresting pauses along the way. At times the relentless action seems to exist as little more than a showcase for the animators' virtuosity. And as outstanding as the animation is, technical brilliance for its own sake does not a good film make.

Earlier I spoke of Hergé's work as possessing a certain restraint. Indeed, I would even go so far as to say that I consider that restraint one of its defining stylistic features. This holds true not only on a visual level, but also in terms of story. Hergé knew when to give his readers time to think. A quiet moment here and there to reflect on what had happened and let it all sink in. Such moments are, I feel, sorely lacking in this movie. This film is all about the spectacular. It's a joy to look at and is without doubt a rollicking, two-fisted rocket-ride through adventure. But it's not a whole lot more than that.

Which is where, I believe, it really has let Hergé's original vision down.

Theo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good!, 27 Aug 2014
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Surprisingly good, the animation is shockingly high quality - better than video games released a couple of years ago, which says something given that it's a film.
The story is great, the voice acting is wonderful, and it's easily rewatchable as an adult. I know little about Tintin, so I didn't think I'd like this, but I really do love it!
Perfect for any age.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not Great, 18 July 2014
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Was looking forward to this film but I am not a fan of the style of animation used, very much human characters graphically coloured in,would have like it more if purely a CGI film. Sure there is plenty of adventure but a predictable storyline and not a film I am itching to watch again, thought that Snowy was by far the best character.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected!, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) [2012] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Didn't see this at the cinema as the reviews didn't seem very good - but it's a great movie - and even better for also being in 3D.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Yarn, 10 Oct 2013
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This movie is simply superb. Very well made and fast paced action from start to finish. Also very very nice to watch with vibrant colours everywhere. At this price you cannot go wrong. Buy it now!
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