Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raiders and Tintin

Don't forget this is the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
One of my best memories is seeing a sneak preview at the old Crest cinema in San Bernardino a couple of months before the general release. The Crest was the theater in which the original King Kong was tested before an audience in 1933, so there was some stellar adventure history there to begin with. I attended the Raiders sneak with my dad and there were only three other people in the theater, one of them a guy in my filmmaking club. Spielberg's last film had been 1941, his major (and only, I think) flop, and they were being rather close to vest with this movie. We knew from the rolling stone ball moment that this was gonna be a great movie. I remember driving my friends crazy with urging them to go see this movie. I still watch it once or twice a year.

It's fitting that Spielberg is releasing The Adventures of Tintin this year, and it looks like a lot of fun. I am usually opposed to CGI-reliant movies, that is I really dislike when CGI serves as primary image during action moments when live action would have fit better. However, if the entire movie is CGI, that can be OK because it's simply the latest form of animation. I have always liked Sky Captain, for example, because it was promoted as a digital-set and location movie and it looked good. Anyway, I think the best uses for CGI are these: to be used as matte paintings were originally used, to enhance visuals in a subtle way; and when the visual style of the material is so unique or recognizably part of its success that it would actually disappoint to see depicted any other way. This is the category in which falls The Adventures of Tintin.

Herge's Tintin has a distinct look that is a primary reason people recognize it instantly. To merely put actors in costume just wouldn't do the movie justice. Remember the Popeye movie with Robin Williams? Doing Tintin all CGI is the only way to go. Check out the trailer, if you haven't seen it, and I think you'll agree. I'm really looking forward to The Adventures of Tintin...

More to follow...

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