Hits and misses
Tintin went home to Belgium last Saturday for the world premiere of Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.
if the proverbial intrepid reporter was more than a cartoon and movie character, he would have been pushing and shoving amid all the other hometown reporters lining the red carpet.
instead, Tintin and his creator, the late Herge, were the stars of the show, and Belgian princess Astrid gave the occasion an oldworld royal touch amid the movie nobility headed by Spielberg.
The movie is rolling out first across europe and elsewhere before hitting the United States by the Christmas movie season.
“To hijack Tintin and bring it to America first, and then release it overseas second, would be something that would not have even occurred to us,” Spielberg said.
“From the outset, the plan was to give Tintin back to the countries where Tintin was the most beloved.”
The director has been riding a wave of support from local critics despite opening in a traditionbound nation ready to pounce on any desecration of its cultural icon by Americans.
“Action adventure and slapstick: Spielberg’s Tintin movie has it all,” was the headline Saturday in the De Morgen paper.
Spielberg bought the rights to the character in the 1980s – and three decades of waiting for the result ended with “what they call in the movies, a happy ending,” said cartoon and movie expert Hugues Dayez.
And the Belgian government even made Spielberg a Commander in the Order of the Crown.
For Spielberg, a happy ending will mean the movie is such a box office success that a sequel becomes unavoidable. Together with Lord Of The Rings director peter Jackson, he will be ready.
“We have chosen the next story. We have a screenplay that is being written right now,” Spielberg said, refusing to say which of Herge’s two-dozen Tintin books he would take.
The books have sold over 220 million copies around the world.
The first movie tells how Tintin discovers a key to a treasure by accident, then is sent fleeing evil criminals across the world, with the drunken sailor Captain Haddock in tow.
The tough part might be selling to 21st century kids a bygone world where good and evil were so clearly cut and where Jamie Bell’s Tintin, enhanced in performancecapture technology, is virtuous without even a whiff of vice. Some critics have called him boring because of it.
Bell, best known for his Billy Elliot performances, used his dancing skills in chase scenes to give his Tintin as much a cartoonesque flair as possible.
Yet flaws, or even a girlfriend, are not for Tintin, Spielberg said.
“There is a purity about Tintin,” he said. “Tintin is part of a world, i hope, is in some places still with us, and perhaps will come back some day.”
Sticking to Herge’s 80-year-old legacy was more important than adapting to modern whims, the director said.
“We weren’t really interested in using Tintin as a commercial tool to get younger people into a film like this,” he said.
Tintin opened in several european nations on Wednesday and will open in South America and Asia on nov 10 before hitting the United States and Canada on Dec 21.
“From Shrek to Toy Story, you can name all the animated films that have come out in recent decades that are wholly original and that is exactly how America will receive Tintin,” Spielberg said.
The director knows one sure way of finding out whether fans believe he respected the cultural legacy of Tintin.
“When this thing opens, i will just have to see which country i am allowed back in,” he said. – Ap n Tintin opens in Malaysia on Nov 10.
Keeping to the spirit of the John Carpenter 1982 horror classic, director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr’s debut feature makes a worthy prequel.
Make no mistake – this is not a version of Carpenter’s film or a remake of it but rather, it is meant to complement it – in fact, this film ends exactly where Carpenter’s film begins. Other than the question of where the film’s heroine – palaeontologist Kate Lloyd (played by Mary elizabeth Winstead) – fits into this universe, everything else that happens here is accounted for.
A friend who has watched the 1982 film at least 100 times was amazed at just how the Dutch director has aligned every reference in the 1982 film to what happens here. There is even a brilliant nod to a certain blood test and the special effects here resemble Carpenter’s movie, which is cool.
At the same time, those who have not seen the classic can still find enjoyment as there are plenty of scares, action and humour present.
in the end, however, it’s the characters that make the film. in the 1982 film, Kurt Russell’s RJ Macready provided that special quality, and here Winstead proves she can do the same. She has strong support from Joel edgerton and a mainly norwegian cast.
i can’t wait for this DVD to come out so i can watch the two films back to back. – Mumtajbegum ( HHHHI)
DIRECTOR Andrew niccol had the smart idea of creating a world where time is the currency and humans are genetically engineered to stop ageing after turning 25.
it’s a theme any of us can relate to since all of us do obsess about getting old (go on, admit it). But as the film points out, everything that is thrown out of balance comes with a steep price. niccol also had the smarts to cast Cillian Murphy as the “time keeper” – an officer of the law who ensures there are no unjust transfers of the said currency. Murphy grounds the sci-fi flick back to reality. Then there are the thugs called the Minute Men. Yes, all very clever.
But the film stumbles with the main story which revolves around characters played by Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. it shamelessly plays on that poorboy-rich-girl plot, which ultimately works against the film.
niccol could’ve made the film a vehicle to talk about discrimination of status, age, wealth (which he sort of does), but all that gets lost when romance is allowed to drive the show.
Timberlake seems equipped as an action star but the only thing he is required to do here is to give smouldering, lost and angry looks. With all this bogging down the film, the audience has no choice but to focus on things like costume, props and cinematography – which are, in fact, pretty nice to look at. – Mumtajbegum ( HHHII)
i HAVEN’T seen nicole Kidman in a movie for quite awhile, and this one certainly doesn’t do her any favours.
The other headliner, nicolas Cage, was not too bad, considering that the last movie i saw him in – Drive Angry (2011) – was so bad, it was funny.
So, Trespass, as its name suggests, is a classic hostage-at-home movie.
Cage plays smooth-talking, smarmy-looking Kyle Miller, a diamond dealer who is desperately trying to broker deals to get him out of enormous debt.
As he is on the road a lot, his wife Sarah (Kidman) is left all alone in their enormous house with their typically rebellious teenage daughter Avery (Liana Liberato).
One day, when Kyle returns home after trying to put together a deal, a bunch of bad guys, who know he is a diamond dealer, break into the house and take the couple hostage.
Kyle, for some reason, is extremely reluctant to open up his safe and just give them the diamonds, even when they threaten his wife. And so the movie goes.
Trespass does try to elevate itself above other similar films by having several different layers of motivation behind the situation, but in the end, i can’t say it was particularly well executed.
it’s watchable, but not a must-watch. – Tanshiowchin ( HHIII)
What’s Your Number?
ROMANTIC comedies can finally be declared as dead. What has done it in are crude comedies, highly ridiculous plot lines and that insanely preposterous need to have a saccharine sweet ending.
in this film, wooing is thrown out of the picture, instead we have a pair of protagonists involved in a string of one night stands, which in turn, stands to define them.
Don’t get me wrong, Chris evans is a cute guy and in this film he is just so adorable. His likeability factor definitely goes up every time he appears shirtless (and, sometimes, without pants too) and gives a very goofy smile or an aw-shucks laugh.
The same applies to Anna Faris – this actress is fearless when it comes to making a fool of herself, which not many actresses can pull off without being thoroughly irritating.
nonetheless, the movie is more annoying than entertaining. not even the cameo appearances by a number of known actors is going to help this rather awful number.
At every turn, one is more likely to cringe than chuckle at the socalled humour. not the reaction one expects from a romantic comedy but that’s the reality of this genre now. – Mumtajbegum ( HHIII)