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The Adventures of Tintin 3D(2011)
Tintin's first encounter with Captain Haddock and the discovery of a clue to the treasure and sunken ship commanded by the captain's ancestor Sir Francis Haddock. But someone else is in also search of the ship and the pair seek protection from a former thief as they set out to find the lost treasure.
For more about The Adventures of Tintin 3D and the The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray release, see the The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 2, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Daniel Mays
Director: Steven Spielberg
» See full cast & crew
The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray Review
A fine film feels more complete in 3D.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 2, 2012
You're about to walk into a whole mess of danger.
If Tintin wore a Fedora, carried a whip, and took up archaeology rather than journalism, he could very well be Indiana Jones. Director Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin looks and feels an awful lot like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade and mimics the spirit and style of all of the Indiana Jones adventures, capturing with uncanny similarity the styles, the era, the action, and the music, all resembling the director's high adventure series with darn near every scene. Indeed, The Adventures of Tintin, though based on the comics of Hergé they may be, plays as if a modern day digital creation of an Indiana Jones-worthy adventure. Yet no matter how closely it resembles Spielberg's famed quartet of pictures, there's no denying that The Adventures of Tintin works very well on its own; there's just enough difference in the stories and styles -- the digital motion capture versus pure live action, the absence of a love story, the slightly toned-down violence and the somewhat more family-friendly vibe, the emphasis on playful mystery rather than hard action and adventure -- that Tintin succeeds as its own entity and not just a companion to or curiosity for fans of Raiders, Temple, Crusade, and Skull. The Adventures of Tintin is a fun, rollicking adventure to say the least; it's breathtakingly exciting, structurally captivating, and an amazing achievement of digital filmmaking that's on the cutting edge of moviemaking technology with every frame.
A young investigative reporter named Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his trusty dog Snowy stumble across a prize that Tintin just has to have: a replica of the famed vessel Unicorn, a triple-masted, double-decked ship with no less than fifty guns at her disposal. The real Unicorn set sail in 1776, was lost under mysterious circumstances, and may have been carrying secret cargo. As for its model, it's choice, one Tintin acquires for the bargain price of a single Pound. As soon as the money exchanges hands and the product is officially under the auspices of a new owner, others come-a-calling for it, including Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (Daniel Craig), a devious mystery man with long-held ties to the real Unicorn, a man familiar with the secrets this model holds. Of course, Tintin isn't selling for any price. Misfortune -- or perhaps a stroke of fate -- strikes; an altercation between Snowy and a stray cat destroys the ship, but out slips a secret cylinder which rolls underneath Tintin's cabinet. He heads to that local library to learn more about the Unicorn but comes home to find the ship missing. He's able to track it -- or rather another replica -- down at Marlinspike Hall, leading him to another confrontation with Sakharine and the revelation of parts of the mystery these models hold. Tintin returns home to a ransacked flat, but he does manage to discover the lost cylinder and find inside of it one of three clues necessary to piece together the greater puzzle. He places the slip of paper inside his wallet, which is pinched by a local pickpocket; to get it back, Tintin will have to rely on the investigative skills -- or lack thereof -- of a pair of bumbling detectives known collectively as "The Thompsons" (Nck Frost and Simon Pegg). Moments after losing his wallet, Tintin is kidnapped and imprisoned aboard the Karaboudjan, a vessel commandeered by none other than Sakharine. There, he meets up with that ship's imprisoned skipper, Haddock (Andy Serkis), with whom Tintin and Snowy escape and begin a race against Sakharine to uncover the secrets of the Unicorn while dodging numerous attempts on their lives along their way towards destiny.
In essence, there are two readily-evident elements that work the hardest in making The Adventures of Tintin a successful 21st century movie. The most obvious are the digital renderings, and what a sight to behold they are. The Adventures of Tintin makes use of what is fundamentally the same technology utilized in the creation of Robert Zemeckis' The Polar Express, but here with appreciably superior results. The picture is absolutely sublime, the digital captures and environments perhaps the most photorealistic ever to appear in a picture, certainly of the performance capture variety and arguably even when comparing it against more "traditional" digital renderings (and what a world to live in when digital filmmaking can now be referenced as "traditional"). Though the movie won't be mistaken for live action, it passes itself off as such at least at-a-glance, and it's clear that the line between the real and the artificial is already blurred and will be erased out completely in a matter of years, not decades. The Adventures of Tintin dazzles with the veritable ease by which it creates an entire world -- buildings, roadways, vegetation, water -- with such convincing attention to absolute realism, right down to the most subtle little texture, the most minuscule detail that allows the environments to pass off as about 98% real. And it's the way water gently rolls with appreciable body and texture, the way clothing naturally wrinkles and shifts with character movement, the way human and canine hair blow in the breeze that make this so convincing. Every character is detailed right down to the smallest crease in skin, freckle, or stubble of facial hair. It's truly a sight to behold, even as it carries a certain style reflective of a flat, two-dimensional, decades-old comic. Yet The Adventures of Tintin proves far greater than the sum of its visual excellence; there's a nifty, action-packed story populated with quality characters to be enjoyed, too.
At its core, and beyond the superficialities of the animation, lies an entertaining high adventure romp that's clean and family-friendly, perhaps a bit dark and violent at times, but generally safe for younger audiences. The movie hearkens back to the comic and serial high adventures of its era, again like Indiana Jones, this movie serving up a fairly simple but rather physically-involved mystery, supported by well-conceived and superbly-executed action and a light comic underbelly. There's some exemplary action scenes, some things which would prove a bit more challenging in a straight live-action film -- a character hanging by his collar off the barrel of a rolling tank encased in the shell of a building -- but here even the most outrageous stunt fits seamlessly into the whole. The picture is extra-daring but still family-friendly. Better, the characters are very well put together. Tintin, like Indiana Jones, is something more of a brain but with the physical capacity to pull off some nifty tricks in the midst of action when the adrenaline is pumping, using a combination of quick wit, physical skill, and an understanding of how things work to his advantage. The Captain Haddock character boozes his way through the movie, usually to high comic effect and, generally, to the necessity of the plot. Though by far the elder character, he represents the bumbling sidekick to the mature-for-his-age Tintin. The tandem works very well, even if the good Captain is often more along for the ride though critical to the plot he may be.
The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Here's a case where a movie really seems to benefit from its 3D presentation. It's not that the story is any different or that this is a superior cut to the 2D-only version, but the 3D visuals suit the story, the world, and the characters so well that it's as if the 3D visuals were the last piece of the puzzle to make this a complete movie. 3D seems a natural for performance capture; it ties the characters and their environments and adventures together in a way the 2D version can't, even as the 3D film recreates a decades-old flat cartoon. Spielberg's eye for movie magic seems to extend into 3D, and certainly this is the way to see The Adventures of Tintin. The even better news is that Paramount's Blu-ray 3D transfer is superb. There's a minimal amount of crosstalk which only appears in a handful of scenes, but the transfer is otherwise pristine. The 3D visuals produce an incredible sense of real space and depth, whether on city streets or peering down the long corridors of the Karaboudjan, the latter of which produces a very real, very perceptible sense of length. Character bodies and physical locations both appear shapely, both in the foreground and in the background. Whether round whiskey bottles or Captain Haddock's rotund nose, whether the very real flow of rolling ocean waters or that tuft of hair on Tintin's head, the 3D transfer brings every object to life with uncanny ease. That same ocean water seems to stretch far back into the screen and, on the front end, spill out of it. Ditto desert scenes. There aren't really any "gimmick" effects, though Haddock's and the Thomspons' rather large noses seem to poke out of the screen when looking almost dead-on at the camera. A few other nifty effects seem to penetrate the boundaries of the television, but this one is primarily about creating a shapely, very real world, which the film produces and the transfer captures with ease.
Just as important, this Blu-ray 3D release of The Adventures of Tintin features the same stunning collection of visuals found on the standalone 2D-only release. The image produces all of those intricate details with incredible clarity and precision; nothing is lost through the 3D process. Fine lines on faces, the grimy walls of the Karaboudjan, even the texture of rolling water and static sand will dazzle all audiences. The 1080p resolution truly produces amazing results with this sort of material, and viewers will be astonished at both the end product and the attention to detail with which the digital artists created the film. Colors are equally impressive. They're just as balanced and brilliant as those on the 2D version, whether Tintin's red/orange hair, Snowy's white fur coat, Haddock's blue sweater, or the impressive flashes of regal colors as seen at the North African palace. Like the fine details, the color palette produces the most subtle shades with uncanny efficiency and high definition perfection. Fortunately, black levels remain true as well. Never do they appear too dark or even appreciably darker than those found on the 2D version of the film. Unfortunately, light banding remains, but is hardly cause for alarm. Indeed, this is a marvelous transfer whether considering the 2D or 3D elements, and it's even better with the two combined as one. The Adventures of Tintin benefits greatly from the excellence of the 3D transfer, and audiences will be treated to one of the most dazzling Blu-ray 3D transfers currently on the marketplace.
The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Adventures of Tintin splashes onto Blu-ray with a dazzling, balanced, and ever-effective DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack. It seems Paramount is embracing 7.1 audio for all of its major new release titles (see Hugo and Puss in Boots). They're all excellent, and this one is no different. The track delivers fantastic clarity in all situations and with all elements on the track: music, dialogue, and sound effects. John Williams' score plays with remarkably natural presence; it's seamlessly spaced and enjoys crisp definition throughout the entire range, solidified by a positive low end that ties it all together. It does play as rather dominant up front, any surround support not immediately evident though certainly not to the detriment of the overall sense of pleasant immersion the music delivers. Sound effects play with tremendous clarity, attention to detail, and space. Chaotic action scenes deliver moving and location-specific elements with ease and unflappable clarity, whether swerving cars, gunfire, or chaotic thunderstorms. Supporting elements prove equally superb. Light city ambience, gently rolling waters, or the hum of a large boat engine are faultlessly executed and help a great deal in delivering a sense of true, total immersion into the film. Dialogue is consistently clear and focused up the middle of the soundstage and never lost to surrounding elements. This is another first-class, reference-quality new release soundtrack from Paramount.
The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
This Blu-ray 3D release of The Adventures of Tintin contains all of the supplements included on the standalone 2D version, all available on this set's dedicated 2D Blu-ray/supplements disc. There are no extras exclusive to the 3D release.
The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Adventures of Tintin defines light, family-appropriate cinema action and adventure on the grandest of scales. The movie's photorealistic animation, quality story, and good characters come together with little effort. The Spielberg magic is evident even without a single natural life form to be seen in the end product, and John Williams' score is as rousing, playful, and full of adventurous spirit as always. Certainly, The Adventures of Tintin may only be a digital and re-imagined take on the world of Indiana Jones, but it works well enough on its own merits, with its own characters, its own ideas, and its own rhythm, though certainly the connections -- all the way to the setting and the names appearing under "director" and "composer" on the billing block -- are impossible to miss. The Adventures of Tintin brings back the classic goodhearted, safe Adventure film, made by people who love movies and care as much about heart, plot, and characters as they do sensationalism, all of which this movie offers in abundance. Paramount's Blu-ray 3D release of The Adventures of Tintin is fantastic. The movie just seems to gel in 3D, that extra dimension the last little piece of the puzzle to make this almost the perfect watch. The 3D release carries over the same fantastic 7.1 lossless soundtrack and collection of extras. This is certainly a release in the running for a spot on 2012's "best of" list and earns my highest recommendation.
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The Adventures of Tintin 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Adventures of Tintin Blu-ray - February 16, 2012
Next month, Paramount Home Entertainment will bring The Adventures of Tintin to Blu-ray. Director Steven Spielberg's interpretation of the Hergé graphic novels, this animated adventure stars Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Tintin, an intrepid reporter whose acquisition ...
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