The Adventures of Tin Tin: Belgian cartoon artist Hergé was thrilled at the prospect of having his most famous creation, Tintin, brought to life by Steven Spielberg. Sadly, Hergé isn’t around to see The Adventures of Tintin, Spielberg’s crisp, richly rendered animated adaptation, which could be counted as both a success and a failure. Spielberg has brought Tintin to the big screen all right, but not quite to life.the film’s motion-capture technology, while impressive, is too silkily seamless, making all the hectic action on-screen seem oddly cold and distant. On the surface the film is unimpeachable, but the surface is where it stays. That’s why, when all the chases, fights, stunts and stand-offs are over, it’s ultimately no great shakes. The Ides of March: The film is based on Beau Willimon’s 2008 play Farragut North but George Clooney – who directs and stars in this snappy, wellcrafted but ultimately empty adaptation – changed the title, presumably in deference to viewers who may not be familiar with Washington’s Metro system.the new title also telegraphs that someone in this story of US realpolitik at its most cut-throat will get it in the end. Will it be Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling), the gifted, cipher-like media consultant working for Democratic governor Mike Morris? Will it be Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Steve’s boss and seasoned political hack who, with his protégé, is trying to clinch the Ohio primary for Morris? Duffy (Paul Giamatti), the crafty operative working for Morris’s opponent? Or will it be Morris, portrayed by Clooney as a handsome, charismatic campaigner, who begins his stump speech with the stirring words, “I am not a Christian. I am not an atheist… My religion is written on a piece of paper called the constitution.” Clooney does a good job opening up the ideas Willimon explored onstage, but the result is still a pessimistic truth so universally acknowledged it doesn’t bear repeating, however stylishly. Hoofmeisie: An Afrikaans-language comedy about a group of primary school girls and their parents vying for the girls to become head girl of Laerskool Stumbo Pops. Not reviewed Don 2: Having conquered the Asian underworld, Don has his sights set on European domination. In his way are the bosses of the existing European underworld and all law enforcement agencies. Not reviewed
Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked: The third film about the animated chipmunks sees the little critters go on a cruise and get shipwrecked with the Chipettes. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol: This film is a fun reboot of the action adventure series, featuring nifty gadgets, exotic locations and impossible stunts, courtesy of a relaxed Tom Cruise in great form. Arthur Christmas 3D: It’s a delightfully warm and fuzzy Christmas tale for a contemporary audience that fills them in most imaginatively about the way Santa copes, yet never losing sight of the Christmas spirit. Brighton Rock: This adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel transplants the action to the 1960s, but still emphasises the story of a man who tried to do things his way. Beautiful characterisation and acting. Don’t be Afraid of the Dark: A scary film where the scares peter out far too quickly. This Guillermo del Toroproduced film plays out like a dry run of Pan’s Labyrinth. Drive: Menace-laden and moody, this is an art-house action flick about a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway car driver. It’s steeped in neon-drenched 1980s action flicks and alternates between hypnotic slow takes and hyper-kinetic violence. Not for the faint-hearted. New Year’s Eve: If you’ve seen Valentine’s Day, then there is no need to see this offering from Gary Marshall. Yet the blooper reel is hilarious and better than the film. Puss in Boots 3D: The feature-length animated spin-off – a star turn for the Shrek supporting character voiced by Antonio Banderas – is almost shockingly good. And not just because many will approach it with lowered expectations. After appearances in the last three Shrek outings, who would have thought that Puss would land on his feet when thrown into a movie of his own? It turns out he does, mainly because the movie tosses him in a completely new direction, and about as far away from the earlier films as possible.