Andy Serkis, Editorial, Herge, Peter Jackson, Snowy, Steven Spielberg, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Thomson & Thompson

Longer Thoughts on the First Images

Its been a week since the Empire Tintin Issue came out and I’ve had time to digest the images in it.

Below are my thoughts on those images. Note, the images, not the film itself. There is a big difference between a handful of stills and a full length film. Not to mention there is still a year to go and a lot can change. When the film is released I will judge it on its own merits and not pre-judge it.

However, several stills have been released by Spielberg and Co. so they are fair game. It has always been my intention with this blog to write what I think about the film. When I like something, I say so. When I dislike something, I will also say so. You are free to disagree with me and voice your own opinions in the comments in a polite manner fitting of Tintin fans.

The Good

Thompson.jpg

Scanned from Empire Magazine

This shot is the cream of the crop.

The texture of Silk’s beard, the look of the Twins, the detailed background, the composition of the shot, the lighting – they are all perfect.

The Not As Good But Still Good

Barnby.jpg

Scanned from Empire Magazine

Dark and moody, full of portent and potential action. The low camera angle and heavy shadows gives the shot a nice feeling of tension.

Haddock.jpg

From Empire’s online gallery

I wrote earlier that I didn’t like “the harsh light behind Haddock”. Interestingly, the print version of this image is much, much darker. This is down to the technological and production differences between VDU displays that emit light and printed matter that reflect light. In the print version, the back lighting looks less out of place and I much prefer the image even though it is harder to make out the details.

The Worrying

TintinOnBoat.jpg

From Empire’s online gallery

TintinHaddock-CloseUp.jpg

A close up of a scanned image from Empire. Click the image for full size

These two images are the only ones from the film that show the full body lengths of our main characters plus Snowy. In both of them, something looks off-key. Haddock in particular look unnatural in his pose in both. Maybe this is just Andy Serkis’s acting of a drunk and it will look OK in context.

Snowy also doesn’t look right. This may be because he is the only true character animation in the film whilst everyone else is motion-capture.

Given the quality of everything else, I willing to bet that in the film everything will look right but it does leave me with a Polar Express type worry.

The Bad

EmpireCover.jpg

I really don’t like this cover. The detail is exquisite but both Tintin and Snowy look really unnatural but without any of Herge’s charm. It would of been much better if they had only used actual images from the film. I suspect that this image is influencing my opinions and unduly increasing my worries about the two previous images.

Am I Excited? You Bet!

Despite all the quibbles and doubts I have about the images, all the signs are that will Spielberg & Jackson capture the look and the spirit of the books. Roll on October 2011!

29 Comments

  1. Gabriel

    Just a comment on Haddock’s posture on the boat: in the picture in the magazine it looks different to the picture on the internet because you can see the fold on Haddock’s jacket which may be causing the bump, rather than anything weird going on in his bone structure.

    I also love the detail of the sand in the wide shot of the desert…. Tintin and Haddock do look slightly weird but the overall shot is fantastic.

  2. My favorite image is the first. Dupont and Dupond are perfect, very similar to the design of HergΓ©!

    Barnaby also owes nothing to the style of comics. But the image in which he appears is the one that makes no direct reference to a scene of the albums. Have you noticed that Tintin has a bike? If he’s so kid who can not ride a moto, why he’s holding a gun?

    About the pictures of the entire body, the problem is in the arms of Haddock, that moved in the first and disproportionate in the second. At least apparently …
    I think the first should be closer to this: http://i61.servimg.com/u/f61/15/71/57/73/tintin11.jpg

    As for the cover, the biggest problem for me are the eyes and muzzle of Milu, too close. And the face of Tintin is a few childish. But with a picture in best angle to get a better feel…

    It’s like you said, Chris, can not really judge the film by the photos, but we can judge the images. They are good? Yes, but not entirely, obviously. But only with a trailer for us to judge better. And only with the complete movie to reach a real conclusion.

  3. Pe-ads

    I love the new images, though unfortunately you can’t really see if they’ve kept the different moustaches for Thompson and Thomson. I know they have different noses now, but I really hope they keep the whole moustache thing.

    Anyway, I thought the pictures were promising: the main thing I wanted to see. Hopefully we’ll get a trailer later this year.

    Pe-ads

  4. hey

    @Pe-ads we will be lucky to get a trailer this year. A teaser trailer is possible. Maybe a teaser will hit the big screen in 3D when tron legacy releases.

  5. Pe-ads

    @hey

    I know what you mean about the trailer. I don’t think we’ll get one this year, but if we do, I’m pretty (like you!) that it’ll be with Tron. I’m going to see that film anyway, so I’ll alert you guys if there is a trailer πŸ™‚

  6. THOUSANDS OF BLUE BLISTERING BARNACLES … I did not know this movie was being made!

    Part of the reason why I have any sort of imagination as an adult today is because I read Herge’s Tin Tin as a kid. Next gen adults will probably say the same thing about Rowling’s Harry Potter.

    From the stills you post (and I thank you for that) the movie looks to be as full of adventure and intrigue as I remember the Herge’s stories had in the past. Always liked the fact that Tin Tin wouldn’t think twice of about pulling a gun when he needed to. The stills show a clearly unique vision that Spielberg and Jackson look to be pulling off but still paying homage to the original Herge stories.

    As for technique…This sort of animation is very difficult to pull off. People get real uncomfortable watching too life like a cg character that is not quite right (the theory is refered to as the “uncanny valley” …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

    Which side of the valley this Tin Tin movie falls I do not know … Its a wait and see thing for me.

    Oh, and I am definitely going to see it.

    Regards,
    urbeecar

  7. Mike Dutton

    I am disappointed how so many passionate fans have been following this blog, and now when images of the film are finally released, there are massive debates over whether or not it should be made and how an arm might be disproportionate.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: you can’t judge something properly by a photograph! I have seen people turn away from this site and petition the HergΓ© Foundation to force the directors to cancel the project.

    This is before any real footage of the film is released, and after only 5 snapshots are seen. How disappointing. It’s people like that that make me regret ever hearing about this movie. I can see that few people are as enthusiastic as they used to be, to the point that they now don’t think it should be made. You’re gonna debate it now, after following it for years, saying how much you want to see the film get made? Shame on you!

    This is what it comes down to. The greatest directors of all time join up to make a movie about Tintin, they have the greatest writers, the greatest composer, and probably the greatest casting possible, but the film’s a failure already because of a disproportionate arm? Not a very sensible argument, is it?

    The love for Tintin’s media projects is dead. Nobody cares anymore, all for the stupidest reasons. To quote Alcazar, “we live in sad times”.

  8. Pe-ads

    @Mike

    Errr…

    No offense, but nobody’s really dissented on this post. Yes, some people have expressed concern, but concern is perfectly valid.a

    If people are getting all up in arms about it, then, yeah, that is a bit over the top. But no one’s doing that here.

    I guess you were just ranting at the world in general, not necessarily at comments in this post. It’s okay, I rant too πŸ™‚

    However, next time can you clarify who you’re speaking to/about? Because the comments for this post are to do with other comments and the post itself. Chris didn’t really express dissent, just concern: which as I said before, is, IMHO, valid.

    Pe-ads

  9. Mike Dutton

    @ Pe-ads

    Yes, I meant the world in general. I’m sorry, I got carried away. But it really annoys me that people can show such hatred over a project, with their evidence consisting of a few production photos. But the petition was going too far, and I didn’t want to acknowledge that elsewhere, because I wanted people to know about here, but I wrote that message terribly, and I apologise to everyone I offended.

  10. Stephen

    I have to agree with you mutton! Of course many of the people on this page will stick with it until the end,but that any body would go the extreme of actually asking them to cancel the movie!!!??? That’s just pathetic. I remember some website that predicted that the Tintin purists would be even worse than the Tolkien purists who complained about every single difference between the movies and the lord of the rings books. I think that in many cases they will be right! Three cheers for everybody who is willing to stick with this movie until it’s shown in theaters,or at the very least until a trailer is released! Shame on those who make rash judgements way way ahead of time. Of course there is room for concern,but until I see it,I’m going to give it a chance.

  11. Pe-ads

    @Mike

    I assumed you were just letting of steam. I do it myself (far too often…) No offense taken πŸ™‚

    I do agree with your views if they are directed at the wider world, though πŸ™‚

  12. Mike Dutton

    @Emily

    I imagine it will be either October 26th or December 23rd. It’s reported that the film will be released in New Zealand, so it must be released in Australia around that time.

  13. Geoff

    I agree there are stupid comments on other sites like comingsoon.net, but it’s like that with every single movie in production lol. I love the pics can’t wait for this movie and the next one, and one after that πŸ™‚

  14. Mike Dutton

    Of all the Tintin products, I’m surprised little has been mentioned of the Belvision Tintin cartoons. Why don’t you make a thread, explaining what you think about them, and then anyone who remembers them can join in?

  15. Mike Dutton

    Yeah, there’s a lot of worry regarding whether or not these Spielberg and Jackson will pull this off, but even if they fail, you can’t say that it’s just Hollywood coming in to screw it up. It’s obvious that real effort is being put into this. This isn’t Hollywood trying to make money, this is two people working as hard as they can to make something brilliant. Whether you like the motion capture or not, you have to respect that.

    Besides, why does everyone have a Polar Express worry? These techniques are not Zemekis, they’re Jackson’s Weta Digital techniques. Gollum and King Kong never had a Polar Express look, because Jackson and his team knew what they were doing, so why all of a sudden are we starting to doubt their expertise? If it wasn’t for Polar Express, nobody would be thinking like this. No photograph is going to represent the perfect display of the motion capture or CGI used in the making of the film until they move in a trailer, so why are so many people walking away from it “just in case”? Well, the joke’s on them, because they’re missing out on what could be a ride of a lifetime!

  16. Stephen

    Hey! I guess there isn’t much news lately,it’s been a while since anything new has come up. I really have no idea how long this has been updated on this page,or if this news is really news to anybody or not. But by chance I found a brief section on imax.com for the upcoming Tintin movie. Here’s the link: http://www.imax.com/movies/m/the-adventures-of-tintin-the-secret-of-the-unicorn-an-imax-3d-experience/
    I’m not sure whether or not the information that Tintin would be in 3D was confirmed or not (it was at least suspected cause of the Spielberg quote) but this confirms it. I had not heard it would be in imax up until now though. Since Imax has a considerably high quality in sound and picture,outside of a better screen size,this was exciting news for me. I know how I’ll be watching this movie!
    The only other new (I think) piece of information I found was an official precise release date in theaters: December 28th. Could we get much later into this year? I’ll wait…:-)
    Thought this might interest you.

  17. stephen

    Oh. By the way,that first page I left a link for was information about the USA release. I don’t know about here in Europe. I couldn’t find a UK imax site. Never been there. Does imax exist in the UK?

  18. LEOLUCCA RANDISI

    WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH POLAR EXPRESS? I thought The Polar Express had really awesome animation and if the Tin Tin movies look any wear as good as The Polar Express then we are in for a treat IMHO.

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