Thursday, December 15, 2011

on Tintin

On Sunday I went to see the new Tintin movie and it goes without saying that I was sceptical. As many of you know (and I'm sure even more of you are) I was a long-term Tintin fan, so seeing the posters come out for a "new generation" of Tintin made me worried about what was going to happen to the childhood classic. It was going to be in 3D (which automatically made me want to hate it) and was made in that weird new kind of computer animation that us oldschool animation kids love to hate. On top of this, they had combined three different stories (1. The Crab with the Golden Claws 2. The Secret of the Unicorn 3. Red Rackham's Treasure) into the one movie, which just spelled disaster. 

You can imagine my surprise when I found that the movie was actually ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.

I saw it almost a whole week ago and I literally cannot stop thinking about it. I fully intend on seeing it again on the big screen, and then buying a non-pirated copy of the DVD. Seriously.

From an artistic perspective alone, the opening credits are a masterpiece. They somehow manage to capture the original simplistic feel of Herge's masterpiece, and yet inject such excitement and modernity into the whole thing. As well as being a pleasure to watch, the sequence was amusing and clever and truly ingenious. The result is a perfect combination of old and new that actual made me totally excited to see the film. I'll say it again - a masterpiece.

Tintin himself is also a babe of a redhead cutie. Represent. No I don't feel weird saying that about a cartoon. Any film wherein the protagonist is ginger-haired is automatically awesome because people with ginger hair are awesome. We gotta stick together, guys.

Tintin does kind of look a bit like he's only 12. But he totally rocks the jumper-over-collar combo and the blue works really well with his hair. He also knows how to shoot a gun and ride a motorbike, so no, you cannot pay him out. Ever. At all. He also solves tons of myseries all the time - in case you didn't know.
This new animation is so incredibly vivid and life-like that you get the best of both worlds because it looks hyper-realistic but still has the kooky and crazy potential of created cartoons. I'm not sure whether or not this was also a result of the 3D-ness of the film. I mean, I think this is really the first time I've ever felt that the movie experience was greatly improved by the extra dimension (literally). The action sequences were so beautifully constructed and so thrilling that my friends and I were literally jumping in our seats! It was a crazy and exciting ride the whole time, and they really exploited the new technology to their advantage - chopping camera angles and zooming in and out and making you feel like you were actually in the middle of it all. It was really well done!

Also, it was beautiful to behold. Every scene was like artwork with incredible detail and depth. The library is perfect and so are the ship/ocean scenes and all the flashbacks and when they get to north Africa it's a whole new world! Seriously guys, go see this movie just to ogle at how pretty it is.

The best thing of all, I think, is that it was also actually funny. Simon Pegg plays one of the Thompson & Thompson policemen, and all of their scenes are genuinely laugh-out-loud hilarious. I'm not even a fan of slapstick, but the pickpocket scene is wonderful! The drunken Captain Haddock (played by the dude that did Gollum for LOTR - but don't worry he's much more likeable here) makes for excellent adult-level humor, and it's easy to lose yourself in the whole thing. Daniel Craig plays the big baddie Ivan and does it superbly. Make no mistake - big kids will enjoy this just as much, if not more, than the small kids they drag along as an excuse to buy the tickets for. 
A screenshot from my favourite scene with Thompson & Thompson and the kleptomaniac pickpocket. SO GOOD.

The combination-plot of the three different books was handled so well that I didn't notice any discrepancies. 

Tintin (as a journalist) also uses stationary that looks exactly like the Moleskine brand I surround myself with and have undying loyalty too. This is just another nod to the artistic viewers. Yes, my snobby obsession with fine stationary has been validated. Massive brownie points to whoever is responsible for this small element of the film.

I also just have a MASSIVE soft-spot for any movie with a dog in it, and Snowy is pretty much the best dog/companion character in the history of humankind's fiction. They did him perfectly, too - it warmed my heart to see this loyal companion in 3D and saving Tintin's ass as much as ever.

All in all, I think you should really give this movie a chance. Walk in with a light heart and an open mind, and I really think you'll be surprised and happy with how great it is. This is the trailer, and it's corny and melodramatic, but have a little faith!!! 

I loved it. I'll put my name to this movie.

Then I got a little carried away...


And went and bought a whole lot of Tintin - in Chinese!!! The artwork is still the same, and it's wonderful to have hard copies in my hands again. The characters are simple because it's for children and I pretty much know the stories by-heart anyways. Best of all, they're totally affordable because books in China are way cheap.


I've also decided that owning approximately six different Tintin T-shirts just isn't enough for one girl, and I know that I can buy more like these in Beijing (this photo below is from a previous post about that time I went to the markets in Shanghai) so I think I'll just have to pick up a few different titles when I go back to Beijing on my way home in January. 


Totally pumped.

Tintin for life.

1 comment:

  1. You have to see the document, must, need to. Those Chinese Tintin's are awesome. I regret I didn't do that. Although I just ordered 12 Tintin's inspired by the document but still. Chinese.


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