The Adventures of Tintin… in 3D!

TinTinIt took just over three weeks, but I finally made it out to see The Adventures of Tintin… in 3D.

Adapted from The Secret of the Unicorn, the 11th comic book in the Tintin series by cartoonist Hergé, the movie, directed by Stephen Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, holds true to to the original relatively well. It starts off with Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his white dog Snowy as they look through the outdoor market, eventually coming upon an antique model ship, which he buys for a single pound. After making the purchase strange people start approaching him and eventually his journalistic instincts perk up after his house is ransacked and the ship stolen. So begins the adventure that sees him meet Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and travel by boat, plane and motorcycle in a story that has that Indiana Jones feel, but is also an innocent mystery like you’d expect from Tintin.

When it came to the graphics I thought the 3D would turn me off. At some points I was a bit irritated, but for the most part I thought the technology was used very well, and aside from the glasses being too small for my big head, I didn’t have much of an issue with it this time around. The motion-capture animation was brilliant and brings to life the many exciting scenes throughout the movie, like the plane crash in the Sahara, a dangerous motorcycle ride through a Moroccan village and even the flashback pirate fight on the Unicorn.

I didn’t really do much research into the actors for this one, for no reason in particular, but I was surprised to find out that Serkis and Daniel Craig were in it as Haddock and Sakharine. I couldn’t even tell it was either one of them, but especially Serkis who is a master of voices. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear the voices of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the Thompson Twins. They added the comedic side story of clumsily searching for the pickpocket stealing the wallets of everyone in the city. Overall the acting was incredible and I think it was good that I wasn’t distracted trying to figure out who were behind the characters.

If you’re looking for a fun adventure movie this one definitely provides you with that. It’s basically non-stop action, save for a few scenes and it’s fun for the whole family, though there was a lot more guns and fighting than I had expected. It was the best non-comedy animated film that I’ve seen and I give The Adventures of Tintin 5/5. If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think in the comments!

My top 5 movies of 2011

It’s the end of the year, so you know what time it is? That’s right, it’s time for my 3rd annual top 5 movie blog post.

Looking back to 2009 I was a big fan of comedies, as all of my choices gave a good laugh or two. In 2010 I’m sure I watched funny movies, but I moved on to more dramatic/thriller kind of movies for my top 5 picks. After watching 37 movies this year, let’s see what top picks are. When you’re done scrolling let me know your favourites:

5. 50/50

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, 50/50 is based on a true story of writer Will Reisler who blends the seriousness of a life-threatening cancer story, with comedy.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2It was a long journey but the story of Harry Potter was finally settled, and they couldn’t have finished it in a better way. I found as the cast got older and the storyline became darker, the movies became more entertaining.

3. Bridesmaids

BridesmaidsI hadn’t really seen a comedy that made me laugh til it hurt since The Hangover, but I was expecting Bridesmaids, starring Kristen Wiig and a great cast would at least compete for the title – and it matched it.

2. The Help

The HelpAs I mentioned in my review earlier this year, I was worried the movie version of The Help, wouldn’t live up to the book version – thankfully it did, and then some. This is a great story to open up the discussion of race relations, but also one with strong female characters played by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and (though on the evil side of strong) Bryce Dallas Howard.

1. Super 8

Super 8When I first saw the previews for Super 8 I wasn’t all that excited to see it, but once I watched it I couldn’t take my eyes off the movie, and it shot to the top of my list. I’ve seen a few people saying this J.J. Abrams directed movie is an homage to producer Steven Spielberg’s films like E.T. for the most part, but I could also feel a hint of Hook and Jurassic Park – simply for the use of the children.

I’m split about J. Edgar

J. Edgar

It’s not too often I’ll go see a movie based on the star, but Leonardo DiCaprio is usually a good choice. With J. Edgar, it looked like a great story about the troubled man who made the FBI into the law enforcement power it is today, so off I went to see it.

Acting

As J. Edgar Hoover, DiCaprio conveyed the frailty of the man with his mother, the overcompensating dominance with those in the bureau/politics, and the extreme paranoia against anything foreign, especially communism. I found it hard to feel for Hoover since he rarely let his emotions show, outside of anger.

Armie Hammer, as Hoover’s long-time second in command, had much more of an emotional role to play. As a man who was so clearly devoted to Hoover, he always seemed to have to keep him in check when he got out of line, but he hardly faltered, even though Hoover never really showed the affection he wanted until they were old men.

Makeup

Since the story took place across two different times, when the characters were younger and old, a lot of makeup magic was needed to make sure the characters looked like their real life counterparts. As an older Hoover, they did a tremendous job on DiCaprio. Aside from a few scenes he looked as close to the real man as they could make him. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum was Hammer’s makeup. As an older Tolson, his face looked like it had a blob of plastic thrown on with slits for a mouth and eyes. It unfortunately took away from the movie as I was distracted every time he was on screen.

Plot

My biggest issue with the movie was the story. I’m not sure what they had in mind, but to me it seemed like a 2hr, 17 min dump of everything that happened to hoover from the time he began his rise to his death. The lack of focus along with the sometimes awkward jumps back and forth in time made it hard to stay focused and into the story.

Finally…

In the end I could forgive some of the bad makeup and the acting was brilliant, but the neverending story simply made this movie boring for me. Since I’m so torn, I give J. Edgar a 2.5/5.

If you saw the movie, what did you think?

The Ides of March and Integrity in Politics

Ryan Gosling

A political movie about integrity? You can see this won’t end well…

The Ides of March doesn’t involve too much politicking, but focuses on the integrity in politics. We’re introduced to Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), a staffer on Governor Mike Morris’ (George Clooney) campaign team, as they Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are running for the Democratic leadership. Morris is (in my view) the ideal candidate who appears to run on a higher moral ground and the same can be said for Meyers, who has some experience, but is generally not as jaded as his campaign brethren. He stands up for his candidate and after one seemingly innocent meeting in a bar with the other candidate’s chief campaign guy, Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti), things begin spiraling out of control.

Both Meyers and Gov. Morris begin the movie with a lot of integrity, but as certain events come to light, we see them descend in to not so moral grounds. Morris, in public, is the same affable guy you’d want to run your country, but behind closed doors he’s the  opposite. With Meyers though, his descent is thrust upon him like a disease as he tries to make things right for the Governor. Fighting for his career, he’s caught between a rock and hard place and you can see him become jaded as things got out of hand. I enjoyed the last scene as the movie leaves the audience with with the question, will he continue down the path he’s on, or will he stand up for what he believed in so strongly at the beginning?

When it came to character development, the movie did a wonderful job, but the pace was incredibly slow at times and some dialogue was tough to get through. Up until the characters started their decline and I understood where the plot was going, I wasn’t all that interested in it. Once it did pick up though, I ended up enjoying it for what it was, even though it wasn’t normally something that I’d watch. I give The Ides of March a 3/5.

Save your time and avoid 30 Minutes or Less

30 Minutes or Less

You’d think these three starring in a movie made by the same folks who brought us Zombieland would mean you’re getting a funny movie, right? Wrong.

30 Minutes or Less stars Jesse Eisenberg as Nick, a pizza delivery guy with little to no ambitions in life. Parallel to his story, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson‘s characters (Dwayne and Travis) who have to pay off a hit man to kill Dwayne’s father – this is where Nick comes into play. Dwayne and Travis lure Nick to a car impound lot and get eventually strap him with a bomb vest. Nick, with the reluctant help of Aziz Ansari‘s character, Chet, has to rob a bank and get Dwayne and Travis the money or else he’d be blown up.

There’s a lot I could complain about but I’ll just stick to the actors who, to me, mailed it in. McBride, while normally funny and sometimes hilarious, relies way too much on very base humor and to be honest the jokes get borderline if not overtly racist at times. His best friend, played by Swardson was probably the highlight of the movie, but only due to lack of options. Eisenberg’s stock had been rising with me with Zombieland and The Social Network, but it plummets back to Earth with his non-emotional dialogue and seeming lack of effort. Finally, Ansari, who I normally find really funny at times, was flat and there was no way I could see him and Eisenberg as friends in real life.

Like I said in the title, save yourself the time and avoid 30 Minutes or Less. I give it a 1/5.

%d bloggers like this: