Albums, Herge, Moulinsart, Reviews, Steven Spielberg, Tintin, Tintin in the Congo, Tintin Movie News, Tintin on the Net

For those of you newbies to Tintin, he is such an icon that the Vatican’s official newspaper actually just recently wrote an article on him. Specifically, on the debate that’s been going on in court on whether or not to ban ”Tintin in the Congo” for racism. Now, one might think that just because of the Vatican’s very nature the article would certainly be defending those poor congolese people of the past that were portrayed far from accurately. But the author actually took the time to look at the facts of the article and has chosen to vigorously defend Tintin as his movie comes out around the world, stating that Tintin has been a good example of Catholic values throughout the ages. The article must be remembered and pulled out in the future to hopefully silence all of those foolish people that talk of Tintin being racist, gay, nazi,…you fill in the blank. The article is especially upset that Tintin in the congo has, in the UK, been ”wrapped up like a pornographic magazine and consigned to the adults-only section” of British book shops.

Like an excellent lawyer in Belgium at the moment arguing that the book is simply showing stereotypes from the time of Hergé, ”L’Observatore Romano” also holds to the obvious fact that ”Tintin in the Congo” is simply a reflection of its time, the fruit of a man who had never seen what Belgium was really doing there and only had false stereotypes to go on. We know how much effort Hergé put into researching his future albums, so it would be unfair to characterize hardly any of his other albums based on this one album. Furthermore, the African people, while certainly shown as unintelligent and naive people, are not even portrayed as villains in the story, but rather the gangsters Tintin deals with there. Tintin has nothing against these people and neither did Hergé. There is really nothing in the book that would lead anybody except the most sensitive of Congolese person to truly be offended by the book, and then that guy would probably just see how his people were drawn on the front and find some other comic to read (or take Moulinsart to court…). As the Vatican put it, ”The comic book was published in the 1930s, and for that reason expresses the values of the era – but can it really perturb young Britons of today, raised as they are on the Internet, video games and fish and chips?”

The Vatican praises Tintin’s character, calling him ”an angel” helping widows and orphans…Tintin is said to be driven by ”a sacred moral imperative – to save the innocent and conquer evil….Tintin is a Western knight of modern times, an unstained heart in an invulnerable body.” It’s great to see people still defending Tintin in the press. ”Le Soir” was a Catholic newspaper when Tintin was around, yet another reason that the Vatican would be pleased with kids reading Tintin. I myself am not catholic, but I certainly support kids reading about Tintin’s heroic virtues rather than all of the junk out there for them to read.

Interestingly enough, while the Vatican sings Tintin’s praises, one zealous worker in Lebanon tried to cover up Spielberg’s name from a Tintin poster. Circuit Empire, in charge of cinemas in Lebanon, commented that ”He knew that Spielberg was blacklisted and he took it upon himself to black out his name,” pointing out that this was not some movement of several men but just one worker. The name was quickly uncovered and the posters are still seen today. Of course this was nothing against Tintin, but it’s funny to watch how different countries react to big American films like this and how it affects Tintin’s release. I found it interesting they also commented that technically according to the strict laws in Lebanon Tintin should be banned, but due to the popular black market selling films the law would be impossible to implement and people are allowed to see it on the big screens.  There’s a unique piece of Tintin trivia you can remember and tell other Tintin friends in the future…

Sources: http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/246045/20111109/vatican-banning-tintin-book-politically-correct-lunacy.htm

               http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10765314

Bianca Castafioe, Captain Haddock, Red Rackham's Treasure, Snowy, Steven Spielberg, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin

Back in May 2007 I wrote the first post to what was then called TintinMovie.com. Four and half years later, I have finally seen the film. The question is, has it been worth the wait?

A Brief Review for Non-Tintin Fans

If you’ve never read a Tintin book or watched the cartoons, this bit of the review is for you.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is fun film for all the family with a good mix of action and humor. Much of the comedy is slapstick which has a broad appeal but there are a few more adult gags sprinkled around. The plot is simple enough for all but the smallest of children to grasp and the film rattles through it with little time spent on introspection or character development before diving into the next action sequence. Though some of those action sequences, especially the chase through Bagghar, are overly complicated.

The animation, including the motion capture, is fantastic and I completely forgot that what I was watching was not real. The cityscapes, both of Brussels and Bagghar, are wonderfully detailed and the character’s faces are expressive. At times, Tintin’s face had a slightly spooky, unreal quality and Captain Haddock’s head did not seem in proportion to his body but not in a way that detracted from the film. More disappointing was the 3D. This was the first 3D film I’ve seen and I won’t bother again. Occasionally the effects did enhance the film but more often than not they got in the way by drawing your attention to them rather than the characters and I would recommend seeing the film in 2D.

Another disappointment was the music by John Williams. There is nothing wrong with the music and it does it’s job well, however it lacks that knockout punch. There is no “Indi’s Theme” or “Emporer’s Theme” that you will be whistling as you leave the cinema.

Apart from these minor quibbles, Tintin is a good film and a great way to spend a couple hours for both adults and children.

A Longer Review for Tintin Fans

The film is great. It honours and respects the original books without being limited by them. Adapting three books into one story (Crab with the Golden Claws, Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure), has given the Spielberg and Jackson the space to take the best from the books and fit it into the very different medium of film.

Spoiler Warning

I’m going to assume that everyone has read the three books concerned but I won’t reveal anything specific to the film.

The storyline is 50% taken from Secret of the Unicorn and 30% from Crab with the Golden Claws. Only a tiny part comes from Red Rackham’s Treasure and the rest is new for the film. The two main source books are skillfully weaved together and work brilliantly. I suspect we have the skill of Steven Moffat to thank for this. Many of the key scenes from these books appear in the film – from Tintin buying the model Unicorn; Tintin & Haddock’s first meeting; the life boat and the seaplane; lost in the desert; and Thompson & Thomson in arabic dress. Often the visuals are identical to Herge’s originals and capture the full page illustrations from the book.

Where the film is weaker is where the plot does not follow the books. Particularly the sequence in Bagghar. Here it turns into an over-the-top Indiana Jones action sequence with a lot in common with a James Bond style chase from the 80s or 90s. It is beautifully done and amusing but seems out-of-place and redundent. The final showdown between Haddock and Sakharine is similarly on a large scale but it has a point in the film and also nicely echos Francis Haddock’s and Red Rackham’s sword fight.

The central characters of Tintin, Snowy and Haddock are true to the books. Haddock is a drunk and at times a coward and an idiot. Snowy is resourceful, loyal and as keen as Haddock to get at the whisky. Whilst Tintin is the perfect (almost too perfect) boy scout – honourable, smart and brave. The minor characters, such as Allan, are also consistent with the books and the cameo by Bianca Castafiore and Haddock’s reaction to her singing is excellent.

The Tintin Fan’s Film

From the opening sequence (which is fantastic and screamed out as a tribute to Saul Bass) to the last moments of the film, the movie is stuffed with Tintin references. I must confess I spent a lot of time just keeping an eye out for nods to the source material. Certain scenes, such as Omar Ben Salaad’s palace, are packed with them but there are many more subtle ones (watch out for the cans of food that Tintin has to dodge on the docks). Several times I was the only one laughing in the cinema as I spotted references*.

An early scene has the camera panning around Tintin’s study where newspaper clippings of some of his greatest adventures can be seen. Interestingly, they seem to place The Secret of the Unicorn in the correct chronologically point, i.e. none of his later adventures were featured (though I need to see the film again to be sure).

It will be obvious to any Tintin fan, from the first 30 seconds, that this film is made by people who love and respect the original. This is not a shameless plundering of a culture icon for financial gain but a real attempt to capture Tintin’s magic on the big screen. Whilst it is not a perfect or ideal adaptation of Herge’s work, it is damn close.

Chris T.

* At one point, there is a shark hanging from the ceiling. I’m sure this crops up in one book but I cannot place it. Can anyone help me out?

Captain Haddock, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin Movie Trailers, Uncategorized

 The blessing and curse of being familiar with the source material so well is that when we see the trailer from the movie based off of it we instantaneously recognize the sections from the book and quickly identify what has been changed and what looks the same. And our source material is a comic, meaning the fans know exactly what the story should be like AND what it should look like. Let’s focus a bit on what the latest trailer shows us about what has been left intact and what has been changed, so that whether you’re a die hard purist or an American who’s never heard of Tintin in his life, you can decide for yourself whether or not you should go see this movie.

ships

The trailer opens with the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s ship engaged in an intense battle in the middle of a storm. In the album this scene took place on a beautiful sunny day with normal weather. For whatever reason, that just wasn’t dramatic enough for the makers of the movie, so now we’ve got a stormy fight on rough waters and a couple flaming sails for good measure. It’ll take some getting used to, but the reality is that all the changes will do is make it more impressive on screen. At least the actual Unicorn ship has remained identical. Whether you think the change was unnecessary or not, I think it will definitely be worth seeing.  I like how one critic put it in a recent article: ”Finally! Pirates without zombies!”

francis

franboom

lightning

Sir Francis Haddock! While the weather may have changed, he looks like they copied and pasted him into the movie. And the same goes for his attitude…He’s pumped with energy and rage, ready to take down every enemy in his way. I’m looking forward to hearing him yell out an old English Haddock insult or two. In fact, one of my all time favorites is in the original French, when he yells out ”moule a goufres!”, literally ”waffle iron!” (actually I think it was in the plural but I can’t remember how to spell that). Aaah…Belgian humor…Somebody call the guys who dub the movie into French to make sure that the line makes it in there, at least in Belgium.

ship sunk

In my first post on this trailer I made it sound like the ship we see sink was the Unicorn, but actually it was the pirate ship that first sunk. We are only told about this fact by Red Rackham as we see men hauling stuff onto the sieged Unicorn. Now we get to actually see it happen. I think the cinema really is the perfect way to show the pirate ship battle.

I think a good reason for them adding a bit more drama to the weather and the battle in general is because the treasure they are fighting for is greater now.  Whatever it is is powerful and valuable, and apparently cursed too. The original fight felt like a fun old fashioned pirate movie, and that suits a chest full of jewels fine, but any fight for a thing that can change the course of history needs a scene more ominously set.

bricks

They kept the part with Tintin using the wooden beam as a battering ram! I always wanted to see that in 3D…

above

Poor Haddock is convinced that they are saved from harm. Right about now it looks like Tintin is noticing those Moroccan markings on the side. Before he has time to process what that means…

bullets

…they get shot at…Kalli suggested that the pilot meant to aim at the middle but the plane’s new double guns prevented them from hitting them. This is probably the actual explanation the makers were going for here. I looked up the original scene, and the plane has normal guns there. Surely somebody else, like me, must have said ”no WAY would they have missed that shot!” and then came up with this great idea so that they would. These guys are actually concerned that the audience will think the action movie is unrealistic! And this coming from Spielberg! You ought to see it just for that. Of course, later on we have Tintin swinging on the remains of a bike, but that’s so cool we don’t care if it’s possible or not.

splash

Here’s another one of those things we know happens in the book but do not actually see happen: Haddock falling into the water. In one panel they are on top, in the next they are soaked. All these years later, Weta designed the splash for us to see that we had only imagined. And it’s huge! Come to think of it, probably not many Tintin fans put down ”The Secret of the Unicorn” wishing they could have seen Haddock make a splash…I’m weird that way…

wrong side

They decided to just have a little fun with this scene…Somehow Haddock seems to get about everywhere on the outside of this plane! People who saw this footage at Comic-Con have described the scene (warning: spoilers in this part). Tintin is running low on gas…very low on gas…and cries out ”we’re running on fumes!”. So Haddock runs out to check the tank, and it occurs to him that maybe if he belches into the tank the plane can run on that. And then he gets hit by lightning. This should be quite something to watch. It’s an excellent example of something only the early not quite sober Haddock would do.

sakharine

Evil Sakharine and his thugs. It’s interesting that, even though he was never a villain in the book, he is still dressed the same as he did in it. His outfit, his face, it all fits the part. I will miss the Bird Brothers a bit, but not much. Sakharine is about 6 times scarier than those two wimps. 

lifeboat 

I love the faces these guys have! Even in low quality, you can see the worry and caution on their faces. These faces have no dead eyes..they are ready to hit the silver screen. 

sidecar

”Geronimo!” Some have seen the sidecar, as well as nearly any other cool action scene not in the book or not like in the book, as an attempt by Spielberg of trying to ”Indianajonesize” Tintin. But really all he did was add some really cool action sequences to fill time, add interest, and make trailers look cool.

swing

This would be one of those scenes that makes trailers look cool. Remember folks, if you’re interested in seeing stuff from the storyline and the book, it’s in the movie. But the story itself doesn’t have much action, so it doesn’t show up as much in the trailers. It’s evident though in the design of the world and the characters and in little bits they kept in like Barnaby at the market, Tintin’s house ransacked, Thompson falling down the stairs, Silk taking the wallets, the Unicorn and Rackham’s ship fighting, the broken wall revealing the basement, etc They did not just take the basic skeleton of the story and mold it how they wanted…they put lots of effort into generally keeping fans happy. Jackson I’ve sure had something to do with all this as well, who pretty much learned to read with the books! 

And if you have never even read the book and are wondering whether this is just some kids movie THINK AGAIN. This will not just be another Spielberg movie…it will be even better. It’ll have wonderful characters, great locations, car chases, pirate ship battles, thrilling special effects in the 3D that really works, intrigue, comedy and a John Williams soundtrack to finish it off.

Captain Haddock, Snowy, Thomson & Thompson, Tintin, Uncategorized

Congratulations brou for finding this amazing treasure trove of shots from the movie! I can’t believe how many there are! The weirdest thing is it’s from a page in a language that I’m not even entirely sure I know what it is! Some sort of Russian or something..maybe?  Anyway, with this many images from the film, the page could be in Swahili for all I care!

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.28.24 AM

Not very many of these are familiar angles, but there are a few. It’s not hard to see Daniel Craig’s face hidden under all of the animated skin. Allan actually looks scared here, which isn’t common for him. The guy on the left, who we’re pretty sure is named Rackham, is definitely in charge.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.28.44 AM

Wow, this is a cool shot. In many way it’s parallel to the last shot, with Haddock gripping Tintin much like Rackham does Allan in a long hallway with a light at the back. I love the blue light in the background. I think this is a pretty good shot of Haddock. As fun as it is to see Haddock in rage, crying, or making some other silly face, it’s nice to have a few shots where Haddock doesn’t look quite as emotional.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.28.55 AM

In case your preference is silly Haddock faces, Serkis didn’t disappoint. I’m…not quite sure what to make of that face. I think Tintin looks incredible though. His eyes look very scared that whoever they are hiding from at the moment might hear them or find them. Interesting shot of Snowy’s front legs too, we don’t see Haddock hold Snowy very often. If ever…

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.28.59 AM

This shot isn’t my favorite…Haddock looks slightly blurry, and Tintin doesn’t look very photogenic in this shot. I’m sure it looks great when it’s all in motion and he’s focused on flying while yelling at Haddock at the same time, but the face they froze looks kind of unnatural. I do like how claustrophobic they make the inside of the plane feel and how they show the awful storm going on right outside. This situation they’re in would have been a nightmare.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.01 AM

This looks like the shot from the trailer. You have to love how close they kept the parchments to the original parchments in the album. Even ”the Eagle’s cross” is still there.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.03 AM

What are they looking at? Tintin looks very surprised. Snowy looks curious.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.06 AM

We’ve seen this angle before…but Haddock looks more sad in this picture. It just goes to show you how quickly these character’s change their facial expressions. It’s best to watch them in movement to get the full effect.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.08 AM

Wow…I know some people don’t like it that Haddock has a bazooka/rocket launcher/ whatever it is, but I think this picture is hilarious! And pretty cool! It’s funny to think of how little Haddock knows about shooting weapons like that, and how much better Tintin would have been at it, yet somehow it was Haddock that wound up in the little sidecar. Snowy seems to be looking at Haddock with a face that says ”Are you kidding me?” From the video game trailer it looks like they will switch places at some point half way through the ride. That should be fun to watch…

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.10 AM

Hmmm…Rackham is at Marlinspike, and poor Tintin is in trouble. There’s Nestor in the back looking as much like Nestor as ever…

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.15 AM

Le Petit Vingtième! It’s only fitting that one of their newspapers would make it in the movie! This is one of my favorite shots so far, I love how much effort Weta put into this. I wonder what Snowy is looking for?

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.17 AM

Another desert shot! Haddock must be about to dive into a mirage. Wow, the sand looks magnificent…

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.20 AM

Never has Allan looked more evil. I can almost hear him yell ”Go get ’em!”

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.31 AM

This one’s beautiful. Look at that sky in the background. This must be the night they escape. At this point they think they are free, and it looks like somewhere along the line they picked up a tourist flyer advertising Baghar (there’s another image later that shows this) that they might be able to row to. Tintin’s face, while slightly unnatural in that pose, looks like he has a plan and is trying to convince Haddock of it or something.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.39 AM

Another shot from the trailer. I hadn’t noticed Snowy has Haddock’s hat.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.43 AM

Beautiful shot of the Thom(p)sons…Tintin’s face looks great too.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.46 AM

Another shot of the boat at sunset. The little tourist flyer might be all Tintin has to go on later to get to Baghar( I think that’s the city they go to?).

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.49 AM

Another trailer shot. Ok, so there were more than I thought…It’s still a great shot of Tintin and Snowy.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.52 AM

Here’s, in my opinion, one of the best shot’s of Snowy we have so far.

Screen shot 2011-09-17 at 9.29.55 AM

The sequel to one of the shot’s we saw from the article in Empire. I love how great this looks, and how dangerous this scene feels. Poor guys! Shot at on a boat, then chased down on a life boat, then trapped in a seaplane in a storm, and then trapped in a desert with no water! This is going to be a great movie!

Source: http://www.falcon.cz/film/tintinova-dobrodruzstvi-tajemstvi-jednorozce/videa

Tintin, Tintin and the Picaros, Uncategorized

Do any of you readers live anywhere near Madrid? I don’t know why you would, but in case you do, there’s a Tintin treat in store for you in the Gran Via de Hortaleza  Mall, right outside the Mar de Cristal metro stop on the Brown metro line. On display in the mall are a series of collectible Tintin items from the collection of a true Tintinologist. Among the objects on display were a copy of the world’s first edition of Tintin in Tibet, a copy of ”German Research in World War II” seen in the Calculus affair, and copies of Tintin books in every language from Vietnamese to Latin. Since many of you don’t live in Madrid, and I do, I was more than happy to go check out this display and see if anything there was worth a blog post. This post looks long but it really isn’t! It just has a lot of large photos. By the way I would appreciate it if you would look at them, because I was informed half way through taking them that photography was not allowed in the mall. Not to be left with an unfinished post, I evaded guards and risked imprisonment just so you could get a taste of the display.

It’s free, and consists of about 10 glass boxes with collector’s items in them running along a hallway on the ground floor. The first one I saw covered Tintin in the movies, and had a few copies of the movie books based off the two live action films. SAM_3349

Above: a frame from the stop motion film ”The Crab with the Golden Claws”, the movie book for ”Tintin and the Golden Fleece” and the first Spanish hardcover ”Tintin and the Lake of Sharks” album version.

There was a bit m0re related to Tintin in the media.

SAM_3350

From left to right: a copy of ”Destination adventure”, 2 DVD’s from the 90’s series,  a copy of ”Tintin and the blue oranges” on DVD, an advertisement for the film, and the movie book in french.

A large amount of the collection was related to Tintin trivia, which I love. Did you know that there was an extra page from ”Tintin in the Picaros” that was never published?  Hergé apparently didn’t like it and never included it in the album. The entire page is a conversation between two main villains from the book, and a comical sequence where the mustache of an important bust is broken off by a piece of ice. I guess Hergé decided, and rightly so, that leaving this in would stress credibility…The display had a copy of the missing page in every stage from draft to final product. I have zoomed in only on the final page.missing page

The display also showed a copy of a ”fake” page completed by two of Hergé’s coworkers, Bob de Moor and Jacques Martin. Four years after ”The Castafiore Emerald” Hergé hadn’t even started a new album. The public wanted something new, and so did the newspapers. So while Hergé was on holiday in Sicily, the two created a fake page with Haddock and Tintin in an airplane, telling the papers ”a new album is on it’s way!”. It was only supposed to be a gag, but it gave Hergé some grief when he had to apologize to the world and reveal that the page wasn’t real. How could Hergé just smash the world’s hopes and leave them with nothing? He was suddenly forced into making a new album, Flight 714.  Fans have since added color to the page:

Hergé used a real book as a model for ”German Research in World War II” from The Calculus Affair. To settle further doubts to the lazy question ”Was Tintin a Nazi?”, Hergé wouldn’t even include the swastika from the cover in his album.

SAM_3343

On the bottom right are the cigarettes from ”The Calculus Affair”. Bottom left is the book seen in The Calculus Affair. This book directly inspired the sound weapon, and almost definitely inspired the paint job for the moon rocket. In the back is a very collectible copy of the first edition of ”Tintin in Tibet”

SAM_3342

I could hardly believe my eyes at the end of the display when I saw this board game, which I just posted about recently but with my ”Mille Bornes” post but had never seen in my life. Such a coincidence is almost characteristic of  one of Hergé’s albums!

Dibujo

But what really blew me away was the fact that behind a nice statue of Tintin and Snowy running was the very ”Travels of a Boy Reporter” Tintin map Chris Tregenza has worked so hard on, hanging up on the glass! The last thing I had expected to find at the display was anything related to this site. Apparently the owner of this great collection is a fan of this site. Well, if you are reading this, Tintinology hopes you will continue to follow this blog for years to come. And Chris, you can rest happy that your map has become popular among Spanish tintinologists and is deemed as a valuable part of one’s Tintin collection. Do check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

Source: http://www.naufrageur.com/a-bob-planche_bidon.htm

Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Peter Jackson, Simon Pegg, Steven Spielberg, Thomson & Thompson, Uncategorized

With their huge roles in the new Sci-fi film ”Paul” and the media’s renewed interest in getting a few words from them, it was inevitable that Tintin come up in an interview once again sooner or later. They made some comments on what it was like to work on set with Spielberg. Ironically this fits in well with my last post on what Spielberg had to say about working with the motion-capture set (which I later realized was literally year old news).

The stars talked about working on set with Steven:

“Steven, he did a lot of his own camera work,” Frost said. “He’d get a movement he really liked, punch the air and do a little dance. It’s intoxicating. You want to perform for him. You want to be around that kind of enthusiasm.”

They also talked about Spielberg’s new experience with the digital technology:

It was like he had a new train set,” Pegg said.”There was a genuine sense of novelty to him.”

They had a bit to say about Peter Jackson as well. Even though he mainly watched from a monitor in New Zealand,he had his part in the now finished shooting stage of the movie:

“Peter would do a bunch of rewrites at night while we were asleep,” Frost said, “and then we’d come in in the morning and be given the script.”

The stars  both worked in Motion-capture suits, and told us about that experience as well:

“It was like rehearsing a play, like when you’re a kid and you’re pretending that thing over there could be the Millennium Falcon,” Frost said. “You have to concentrate. Peter Jackson is on the monitor, Kathy Kennedy is there producing. Daniel Craig who looks amazing in a motion capture suit, by the way — is there. It’s like a big idiot’s dream.”

I know little about Nick and Simon since I personally haven’t seen any of their work,but from what I do know I get the comforting feeling that they work very well together and both have a tremendous sense of humor.  I am looking forward to seeing them as ”Thomson and Thompson”.

Also,I don’t know if anybody else already knew this info,but I don’t remember hearing anything about Kathy Kennedy producing the film.

Source: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/03/14/tintin-simon-pegg-and-nick-frost-tells-tales-from-steven-spielbergs-new-tech-set/

Thomson & Thompson, Uncategorized

Since many of you don’t know much about me,I’ll tell you now that I am extremely optimistic,and my optimism duplicates when it comes to Tintin and the Tintin Movie. I hold news and gossip  innocent until proven guilty and I make sure to find a silver lining for every cloud. Above all,I keep my hopes high.  But I will confess if there was one thing related to this movie that I do not have high hopes for it would be it’s video game. However I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

The following may or may not be some of the first info we have had in a long time about the upcoming Ubisoft Tintin game. It may not even have ANYTHING to do with it. Time will tell. According to what I have found online,4 months before E3 a worker at Ubisoft montpelier leaked out some info about upcoming titles. I’m assuming there were more along with this picture,but this is the image of interest:

Early 2010 fits in with our first info about the making of a Tintin game.  If the title ”to be announced” really is the Tintin game,we can expect more information half way through this year. I’m hoping against hope we will have a trailer by then too. But how do we even know the game has anything to do with Tintin?

The following sketches,also found from people working at Ubisoft, could be a clue. Take a very close look at this picture:

In the top right corner of the image the word ”Dupont” can be read. I’d say it’s fairly clear. Clearer at least than whatever it says at the bottom left (I can make out Tindte ,a circled X,and either Alahli,Abahli or Alalili. I can’t find anything online that would give me more clues as to what those words mean.)

But the key is Dupont. Dupont is the French name for one of the Thompson twosome.  It would be a pretty big coincidence for that name to show up in a sketch for a video game being made my Ubisoft that mas not Tintin…so it is very possible that the sketches above really are of the Tintin Videogame. It’s like Alpha-art all over again.

What do we learn from these images?

Well for one thing we can gather from the first image that the game will be an adventure/platform game. Platform games have not been popular for a long time,especially for systems that you plug into your TV. Of course there is the notable exception of a few Nintendo titles,but even these really only bring back nostalgia from their predecessors with new looks and twists. Most people today enjoy the freedom of being able to move the camera from side to side and do more things in the game’s worlds than what the average platform game allows. However,there is one system that continues to come out with platform games frequently: the Nintendo DS. Months ago a rumor came out that this game will only come out for the DS and the Wii. Though I still don’t believe it,we can be fairly sure a DS game will come out. And anybody who has played on a Nintendo DS knows you just can’t make the same kind of game for it as you could for an Xbox 360. They are two drastically different things.

Hence it would not surprise me if they made different versions with different genres. It is not uncommon for a DS version to be totally different from other versions. I am guessing Ubisoft will only make the game a Platform game for the Nintendo DS. It is possible it be that way for all systems,but I would say that’s highly unlikely, especially since this is a movie based game. Since the sketches are obviously of a platform game,that probably means that they only apply to the DS version.

We can gather from these pictures that there will be doors that open and close, levers, and elevated parts of the floor to climb up or jump down to. We also see two characters in the same level in almost every sketch with a stick figure in it. I’m willing to bet they are Thomson and Thompson,adding to the possibility that this could be an early sketch. A drawing to the far right on the bottom looks like a character will be flung by somebody (or will throw something at somebody).  The abbreviations  at the top may stand for ”Navigate”,”Block” and the obvious ”Fight”.

Sadly,I predict that while this may be a fun game,even a great game,it most likely won’t have much to do with Tintin. Moving from left to right while searching for things,opening doors and fighting through enemies are all classics used in platform games,but have little to do with Tintin. It’s hard to see a game like Super Mario Bros without koopas or mushrooms.  But unless the movie adds a lot of new stuff they will have to add enemies for this game that just aren’t in the story. However, the extreme alternative is Tintin in Tibet,regarded by many to be a terribly boring game in which there is quite literally nothing to do but jump and dodge. Lots of things to dodge,nobody to ever hit. You actually wish Tintin was violent by the time you finish the game! Finding an intermediate stage between the two is no easy task. It may never have been their intention from the first place. And again,that is NOT necessarily a bad thing when it comes to the xperience.

I’ll definitely play it and will then decide if the game is worth it or not. Just because Tintin gets a little bit more like the hero of a platform game does not mean the game will be bad. As for what we can expect for the TV and PC,we will have to wait.

Thanks to Britto for finding this and posting this info on her blog http://www.tintimportintim.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-27T08%3A00%3A00-03%3A00&max-results=5 which I read the best I can with Google translator.


3D, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin, Uncategorized

This is an overdue post that keeps getting distracted by more recent news. Regardless of it being month old news , I believe it’s good news for those of us looking forward to see ”The Secret of The Unicorn” on the big screen. The screen just got a whole lot bigger.

Imax will be digitally re-mastering the upcoming movie up converting it to  the superior quality image and sound experience Imax as well as transforming it into Imax 3D.  I personally am a fan of Imax, but after doing some research online I discovered that not all share my opinion. I do not go to Imax often but the experiences I have had with it, especially in 3D, have been very good. What are the benefits and disadvantages of seeing the potential best film of 2011 on an IMAX screen?

Cons

Over the last few weeks I’ve read up on what people have to say about watching films in IMAX. There are a considerably large amount of complaints against it,and unfortunately, most are directed at films that were not originally shot using IMAX film.

The biggest complaint about watching the big IMAX screen is, ironically, that the screen is too big!  Nearly all viewers say it is much better to sit towards the back or in the dead center,or you could find yourself turning your head a lot. Don’t make the mistake of sitting in the front row. I always sit close to the back,near the middle of the row.

Another complaint is that IMAX 3D tires your eyes. Some will say this is true,other’s won’t. Personally I love the effect of things flying out from the screen and the illusion that things are closer or farther away than they really are. But the effect is not for everybody. Know your own limits on what kind of 3D is better for you. You may want to see it in good old fashioned 2D.  Again,seating is key: your eyes will do better if you aren’t watching the 3D from row number 3.

Some complain about the low quality of movies converted to IMAX that were shot on regular film,saying they are too blurry or grainy. For the most part people agree that the best IMAX movies are those that were MADE to be IMAX movies. I do not believe that Tintin will have this problem because of it’s digital nature. I’m no expert,but it should be much easier to upgrade a digital movie compared to upgrading a movie shot on film. An example of a digital film that was just released for IMAX is Disney’s new movie ”Tangled”. I have not seen this movie in IMAX so I have no idea what it’s like, and to be completely honest, I don’t plan to. The same process will be used on Pixar’s upcoming film ”Cars 2”

And then there is the age old problem that IMAX is expensive. Depending on where you go,it can be more than some would be willing to pay. But come on! We’ve been waiting forever for this movie! I’m willing to save a few dollars now to pay for the best experience possible. Now…is IMAX really the bext experience?

Pros

While some don’t like it, many will agree that it is very impressive to watch a movie on the IMAX screen.   The standard IMAX screen is  22 × 16.1 m,but can be larger! Rather than the screen being in the center of the wall, the screen practically IS the wall. This adds to the illusion that you are actually in the movie rather than just a mere witness of the events.  I think seeing the movie in Imax will pay off when it comes to watching those wide shots of the Sahara dessert or of the Unicorn sailing across the sea. It is truly an incredible experience to watch a movie on an IMAX screen.

The 3D makes the effect that much better. Imax has been offering an excellent 3D for years and continues to offer one of the best 3D experiences. Imax is known for making things look like they are popping out of the screen due to the screen’s huge size.

The IMAX sound experience culminates the effect. I have heard no complaints whatsoever about the incredible quality of the sound,the perfect synchronization with the image frame by frame,and the excellent positioning of the surround sound that especially helps make the 3D effect more believable. Keeping in mind that John Williams is doing the soundtrack for the Tintin Movie,I recommend watching the movie where you will be able to hear the experience best.

You still have time to decide how you will watch the movie. But best I can tell, watching the Secret of the Unicorn in IMAX Digital 3D will be more than worth it. I’ve been waiting for this movie for over 2 years now,and I am very excited that it will be available on one of the best experiences in the movie business,if not the best experience. I am constantly amazed at how well this movie is coming along. Tintin movie news just keeps getting better and better. I hope the fans will be pleased.

sources: http://www.imax.com/movies/m/the-adventures-of-tintin-the-secret-of-the-unicorn-an-imax-3d-experience/

image found on: http://www.giftsandfreeadvice.com/free_advice/imax-screen-size-by-theater-list-real-imax-and-fake-imax-screens/

Jamie Bell, Tintin, Tintin Movie News

It’s not surprising with his big role in The Eagle and Tintin being the most anticipated of his next upcoming films that multiple reporters would interview Jamie Bell on Tintin. The following is the third interview I’ve found that has a section on his role in The Secret of The Unicorn. Some of this will sound similar to the other two interviews and there is almost no new information,but it’s fun to read none the less. The most interesting thing for me is the part at the end where he talks about Tintin’s voice.

Let’s talk about Tintin. Obviously, Spielberg is a director who’s in total command of his form, but here, he was working with technology he’s never used before. Could you see him figuring it out on set?
Oh, absolutely. He’d be like, “What does this do? Oh wow, it does that? I wish I could do that in the real world, I wish I could take out a lamppost and move it to the side of the street!” The simplistic things about motion capture that you can do with just the flick of a button are kind of amazing, but also, the use of light and color … for a filmmaker who’s incredibly visionary, I think it’s exciting because it gives him so many more options. The palette is endless, it’s infinite, and I think he definitely got a kick out of that. I think he said it made him more like a painter than he’d ever been before.

The look of the film is very painterly, just from the stills that have been released. Have you seen it in motion?
I’ve seen bits and pieces, yeah. It looks great. We call them “Tintin-ologists,” and as one of those people who’s really into it, it’s incredibly exciting. To see these characters come to life is something you’ve been waiting for your whole life, and when it’s you doing it … It’s actually got the vibe of a Hitchcockian film, a kind of noir film in a young person’s action-adventure film. It’s really great.

I’m assuming your friend Andy Serkis gave you advice on motion capture.
On everything. He’s the guru of that technology.

What’s the key thing you need to know if you’re doing it?
Just to overarticulate. He calls it “breaking through the technology,” and I like that idea because it means that you break through it and claim it for yourself. You don’t let it do the work for you, you attack it aggressively and control it. Look, if there’s anyone to listen to when it comes to motion capture, it’s that guy, so to have him next to me throughout felt great.

How do you know if you’re doing a good job?
You don’t. You trust your director, and I obviously have a great trust with Steven Spielberg. You’re in really good hands. There are some very specific beats with an action-adventure film, and you have to hit those moments of “I found a clue!” where you’re about to go into another adventure in the story. So the acting is still kind of the same, you’re still hitting these beats and those emotional peaks and lows. And you have to trust your animators, because that’s where the real work is done.

What’s your Tintin voice like?
Tintin is a native of Belgium, and we obviously couldn’t do it in French, although I would have loved to. So we kind of found an English sound that won’t distract people so much. You know, it’s very easy to upset people quickly when you’re taking on such a beloved character, so we want to remain as neutral as possible and not go too, too strongly in another direction. If Tintin had an American accent, I’m sure the rest of the world would be very upset!

Tintin, Uncategorized

Hello readers!

My name is Stephen,and due to a new time consuming business Chris Tregenza is very busy working on right now,I will be assisting him to keep this blog alive and running. It is just too great a blog to let fade away,and I jumped at the opportunity to help write the occasional blog post. I by no means plan on substituting Chris and as a fan of this blog will continue to look forward to his posts,but at the moment he does not have much time so I will probably post more than he will be able to for a while. I will work hard at keeping my posts up to the high quality of the blogs posts and the high expectations of the fans who follow this blog.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I have been an enormous Tintin fan since I was in the second grade and my father gave me a 3 album set of Tintin in America and the two following albums. Since then Tintin has been more than just my favorite comic book character. For me he has outdone any fictional character from any comic book,novel or other story I have ever read,or from any movie I have ever seen. I own every Tintin album and have read each one so many times I lost count. A trip to Brussels for me meant a trip to the Tintin gift shop and the hand painted subway stop done by Hergé.

My favorite albums are the two moon albums,The Calculus Affair,and after that The Secret of The Unicorn duo. Since I heard of the project of a Tintin movie coming out for today’s modern audiences directed by 2 of the world’s best directors I have been sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting about as patiently as Captain Haddock waited for his broken stair to be replaced.  Right from the beginning I followed this blog,and you may rest assured that another true Tintin fan and Tintin movie fan is assisting with this blog. I will be checking leads and posting on new news as soon as I find things out.

I am such a huge Tintin fan for many reasons. For one thing Tintin and I instantly clicked in that we both love to travel. As a matter of fact I probably got a good part of my love for traveling reading Tintin. I have currently visited 10 countries. I loved,and still love,reading the books and being transported from my room,the car,or wherever I’m reading to the Land of Black Gold,to America,to Scotland,to Borduria…volcanic islands and tropical jungles, the Sahara dessert and the Artic ocean…and even the moon! Although this could be true with many fiction stories, it is a rare occasion to find all these great locations,especially in the world of comic books, mixed with delightful interesting stories and beautiful art. Tintin is not only fun to read,but it is fun to look at.

That’s one of the reasons I look forward to seeing the Tintin movie in 3D. Using the miraculous technology they have today they won’t reproduce something that looks like the exact drawings Hergé painted,but they will preserve the effect the stories give regarding how the viewer feels like he is literally right there with Tintin and Snowy searching for Red Rackham’s treasure,enjoying the storyline and visuals every step of the way. Digital 3D is a great way to do that and although we cannot know for sure I believe Spielberg and Jackson will pull it off.

Another thing I love about Tintin is the detail put into each book. Each page,each panel even, has lots of detail in it. I love going back and just reading the signs in Chinese,although I don’t understand them,or the numbers on the side of a tank,or some antique I never noticed before in Marlinspike Hall’s basement. I have always been one to make a big deal out of the little things. Tiny pieces of trivia fascinate me.  I love reading books or magazines with tidbits of useless Trivial Pursuit material. I don’t care if I’ll never need the info in real life. It’s just something that I have fun with,that interests me.  It’s cool to feel like you know something or noticed something that probably very few people on Earth know. After all who doesn’t like to learn a neat fact that they can show off around their friend’s with?

One of the things I hope to post is clever Tintin Trivia. I will work on posting on Tintin Movie news,but often there won’t be any,so I will work on finding information and news about Tintin. Tintin is so much more than just another comic book,and I’m convinced you could read the same book 20 times and still not see half the details and work Hergé put into his masterpiece. In a more modern sense the motion capture team is doing something similar with the Tintin movie. Just as Hergé put detail into every panel of his books, it’s clear from the first images that the makers of Tintin movie are putting immense detail into each frame of the movie. Unlike previous Tintin movie’s that seem to tone down the beauty and work Hergé put into the books,on this one they are working hard to make sure that it’s worthy of living up to it’s name. I am confident that will show on the big screen.

Of course there are more reasons,the characters,the humor,the suspense,.. but basically these are the biggest reasons why I am a Tintin fan and why I am looking forward so much for the Tintin movie. If you are new here and haven’t read Tintin I strongly recommend you do. To those of you who have followed this blog for a long time, I hope that you think of me not as a strange new writer on the blog but as a fellow fan who wants to make other Tintin fans happy. It’s my privilege to keep this blog alive and running.  Feel free to check here regularly for posts,I will do my best to post as much as possible.

Again,I hope to keep this blog as informative,as interesting and as much fun as possible. If any of you find a source to follow or write to, anything you think should be posted here, or even anything that just might be worthy of a post,feel free to write an email or leave a comment.

Stephen