11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Not a complete failure, but disappointing,
This review is from: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn [DVD] (DVD)A disappointing film by two genuinely great directors specialized in popular entertainment, like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. The secret of The Unicorn was the first Tintin book I read (my parents give it to me as a present when I was 9 years old, more than thirty years ago). It is also one of my favorite Tintin books. This might be why I felt disappointed by this. Absent from the movie is all the subtlety in the book. What is present here is a very heavy handed, video-game like approach.
In theory, this could have been a match made in heaven, as previous works by Spielberg especially (like the Indiana Jones franchise) have a strong resemblance to Tintin, in terms of plot and in terms of the epoch (the thirties and the forties were the epoch were both Tintin and Indiana have their best outings). In practice, the film doesn't work. Let's try to analyze why.
Let's first concede that Tintin is difficult to bring into the screen (previous adaptations, both animated and live-action, have failed). I think one of the reasons is that Tintin lives in a very stylized world, and this becomes quite obvious when one transplants Tintin from a drawing in a paper to a photographic medium (even in the form of computer animation).
The charming plot of the book (Tintin finds by accident a manuscript hidden inside a model ship called the Unicorn that might be a clue to a hidden treasure, and soon sees himself chased by other people interested in that treasure), has some minor changes, but those changes are generally for the worst. For instance, the slimy Bird brothers in the book were better villains than Ivan Sakharine in the film, who was not one of the bad guys in the original book. Mixed up with the plot of the Unicorn (and in a not very convincing manner), appear elements of other Tintin books, especially The Crab with the Golden Claws, another favorite of mine.
Lastly, the animation is not completely convincing: the problem of the unrealistic eyes (the so called uncanny valley, which many have pointed already in The Polar Express, and which evidently hasn't been solved) makes for a Tintin that is slightly creepy. By the way, the photography is some scenes is too dark and murky, when the Tintin books are famous for the use of bright colors and little contrast (the famous clear line style).
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Initial post: 19 Mar 2012 20:01:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Mar 2012 20:02:38 GMT
Kevin Forde says:
Dark and murky? Have you been watching the 3D version by any chance? I've only seen this in the cinema so far (not bought the disc yet) -and then in 2D- but I was very impressed most of all by its bright colours throughout. I love the look of it. As to the story, I mostly agree, but I wasn't disappointed overall. I preferred the book's take on it and each of the changes/additions felt unnecessary, but overall I didn't really mind because it all looked so lovely. They did try to cram too much in, with a result it felt like it went on for much longer than it actually did. For once I wouldn't mind a shorter cut... or at least a 'slower' cut where everything didn't get chopped up with quick cuts too much. It was unneccesarily exhausting is what I thought, although I did enjoy it as I say.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 02:33:48 GMT
Andres C. Salama says:
Yeah, I saw it in the screen on 3D. Maybe the theater didn't make a good job in projecting it but it seem pretty dark and murky to me.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 08:03:18 GMT
Kevin Forde says:
As with all other movies (IMO), 2D for the win!
Posted on 6 Apr 2012 18:20:33 BDT
I saw the film in 3D and dark and murky didn't come to mind, nor did I find the animation unconvincing or Tintin creepy. It is a joy of a film and far better than I imagined it could be. I felt it was very much in the spirit of the originals. We must have watched completely differrent films!
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