L'aventures des Tintin et Milou
De Avonturen van Kuifje en Bobbie
Die Abenteuer von Tim und Struppi
Anyway, on the movie itself, Tintin fans worldwide will definitely get the film, thanks to the copious references to all things Tintin, like the random appearances of the tin can with the crab with the golden claws, the unexpected appearance of the Milanese Nightingale, wall plaques on Tintin's flat displaying his articles on adventures past, which for non-Tintin-fans would just register as "oh, he's a reporter", but for ardent Tintin fans each of those wall plaques are an entire 62-page comic book adventure in itself. Then there's the very affectionate cameo of Herge in the beginning. I hope the late Monsieur Remi is pleased.
Which leads to the point that I'm not entirely convinced that non-Tintin-fans will necessarily enjoy the film. In fact, the film is 50% Herge's Tintin and 50% Spielberg, with his trademark style of progression storytelling (this happens, so protags need to get this from there, then that happens, then that happens, then that happens, then that happens, etc) and John Williams score. So the Spielberg part, those audiences might enjoy. The rest of it, I have a feeling that they wouldn't be able to see what the fuss is all about this oddly-named boyish European reporter (who never seems to file a report nor report to any newspaper editor for his work).
Totally agree. It's one of the reasons that I don't seem particularly elated or enthusiastic after having watched the movie, which, mind you, is the only comic book adaptation I can ever get excited about since the bookshelf of my childhood comic-reading days consists only of one single comic book series. Strangely enough, that's fine. It's fine that my mind isn't blown away by the film adaptation.
If there's any disappointment at all, however slight, it's that there's too much Spielberg in it. I know, sacrilegious, eh?
The obvious problem with being a Tintin fan, of course, is that you've been reading the comics all your life and you have a set of voices assigned to each of the characters already, which is ingrained and hard to dissociate from the Tintin that you feel you know so well. Certainly, on paper, the decision to cast Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost can't be faulted, excellent choices in fact. But then as soon as they start speaking, even though some (not too many) of the dialogue were lifted straight off the speech bubbles in the Tintin comics ("Here! ... I'm downstairs already!"), I couldn't help but nitpick -- that's not how Thomson and Thompson should sound like!
Or take Captain Haddock's swearing. One of the most enjoyable parts of Tintin for me was when Haddock is greatly frustrated and irritated and launches into extended tirades that includes "Pithecanthropus! Diplodocus!" or "Sea gherkin!" or "Thundering typhoons!" or "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!" I've always heard them in my head as a continuous stream, without stopping for a pause (not quite comparable to Stephen Chow but that comes to mind), whereas here Serkis delivers it slowly and with pauses in between each one.
Or take Bianca Castafiore. I have always wondered how her Jewel Song from 'Faust' actually sounded like. "Ah! My beauty past compare ... These jewels bright I wear ... Margharitaaaa!" In my head I imagined it as a descending tune before exploding into a high-pitch, ear-shattering blast. Unfortunately, she sings here but doesn't sing the Jewel Song.
Which illuminates this little insight: perhaps everyone imagines the Tintin characters a little differently from everyone else. Which means that there is no way Spielberg and team could've created a film that satisfies everyone, or even just a significant minority. But I also think, Tintin lovers generally being sensible, considerate, knowledgeable and more matured types, they've been rather forgiving with the film, as I was. Hence Tintin fans have, by and large, embraced the film, whether they felt the Tintin they saw was a good replica of what they had in mind or not (at least, that's my impression).
As for Spielberg, now that the shackles and constraints of live action filmmaking have been taken away, he gleefully went into overdrive mode with his sweeping motion camera moves. He's always been good with those but used them sparingly, partly because it's difficult to do them in the real world without encountering problems like shuddering, or figuring out a good (or at least possible) way to lay the dolly tracks.
The best thing he did here, though, is the soon-to-be much-talked-about 5-minute long uninterrupted shot of an insane action setpiece that, in 3D, comes closer than any film I can remember in simulating the amusement park ride sensation in a cinema, as well as outdoing Alfonso Cuaron's then-mindblowing long tracking shots from Children Of Men by a friggin' mile ... just coz he can. (Performance capture with full CGI, fuck yeah!) That sequence more than anything makes me want to go back and watch the movie again. In 3D again.
In the end, not the glorious adventure with the romantic, nostalgic European feel that one hopes for when one wished for a Tintin film, but not a terrible adaptation either. Given that Peter Jackson will be pre-occupied with The Hobbit, I don't know how many years will pass before we get to see the next one. (Don't forget, the performance capture work for this was done back in April 2009. That's how long it takes.)