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"Unicorn" movie: Your reviews, having seen it. [Warning: Spoilers!]

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#1 · Posted: 25 Oct 2011 06:37
Moderator Note: This thread is for reviews from you, the loyal members!
Finally the 28-year wait is over, and the film is at long last with us, so let us know what you think! Press and other reviews are being collected here. Standard forum rules of conduct apply, of course!
NB: Spoilers are obviously allowed, so don't read if you don't want to find out what happens!
The Happy Tintinologist Team


I saw it last night. It was amazing: it had all the humour, so many in-jokes and so much action - and Hergé even has a cameo!

Go and see it now!
Doctor Krospell
#2 · Posted: 25 Oct 2011 09:26
As a purist, I was a bit skeptical before watching it and knew that the story would deviate from the book to accommodate certain situations but the film was a lot better than I envisaged it would be. This film has justified the use of CGI for the complete movie and totally justifies Spielsberg's statement that the medium would do Tintin justice.

Some of the action sequences were stupendous and left you mesmerized and the story was perfectly paced. The script was very good, and humorous to provide some light release from the serious aspect.
The ending was quite clever and left the path open nicely for the second movie. With five minutes to go, I thought "Oh!" and was wondering what story would be chosen for the second movie. You will understand what I mean after watching the movie.

Although spoilers are allowed, I will not spoil it but insist purists and newbies alike watch this amazingly animated film which all in all has stayed more than faithful to Hergé's creation.

#3 · Posted: 25 Oct 2011 10:20
Watched it yesterday in 3D - the 3D effects are good but could have been better.

It was a interesting mis-mash of ideas from different books and not necessarily from The Secret of 'The Unicorn'.

Not sure how die-hard fans of Tintin will take this interpretation - not adaptation - of those classic books.
#4 · Posted: 25 Oct 2011 11:48
Saw the film yesterday: was looking forward to it for years and I wasn't disappointed.
Yes, it took bits from 3 books, but unless a purist you'd never know, and even as a purist it did not detract from the film.
From the opening titles with the jazz score setting the scene, to the "to be continued" finish, it was a visual treat.
Highly recommend to all ages.

Will go see it again and can't wait for the sequel.
Spielberg has done us proud.
#5 · Posted: 25 Oct 2011 16:51
Saw it today, 12.45 in Inverness - will give it 8/10
#6 · Posted: 27 Oct 2011 13:15
Saw the movie in 3D at the first showing in the Cinecentre at Bordeaux in France on Tuesday 25th October. Just coincidence that my visit ended the next day. In English (with subtitles) - actually it was interesting to compare the french translation with the spoken English. The amazing graphics are superb - the movements of the characters (and the number of characters) give excitement to a story that has many tracks. Truly amazing! And fun and enjoyable. Love the spinoffs and looking forward to the next.
#7 · Posted: 28 Oct 2011 09:13
I'm going to see the 3D version this evening. I must admit, good or bad I am very much looking forward to it.
#8 · Posted: 29 Oct 2011 09:28
Great stuff. I Thoroughly enjoyed it. The rendering of Bagghar and the fight scenes on board the Unicorn really stood out for me. It didn't bother me in the slightest that the story deviated from the books. We knew that would be the case anyway.
The characters were amazing. Very well done indeed. Seeing Tintin for the first time in 'real life' in his trademark blue jumper and plus fours brought a huge grin to my face. As mystic says above, Spielberg (and Jackson) have done us proud.
I will be seeing it again as I've promised a couple of friends I would go with them.

Looking forward to the sequel. :-)
#9 · Posted: 29 Oct 2011 15:46
I saw it on Monday, in 2D (I don't like 3D; they give me headaches). I was quite skeptical before hand, both of the style of filming (motion-capture), and of the story, but it turned out, those fears were unfounded. Visually, the film is stunning, and I can't fault it at all there. As for the story, the way they combined the various stories worked quite well for me. I thought the later part of the film was the weaker, however; the chase through Bagghar was a bit over-the-top for me, and the final fight with the cranes was quite ridiculous.

I went with my girlfriend, who's never read the books, and I think she enjoyed it more than I did, not knowing the story beforehand.

I'd give it a strong 3/5.
#10 · Posted: 30 Oct 2011 14:47
A solid 7/10 from me.

I saw a 3D showing on Friday afternoon. The cinema itself was about 70% full which, during half-term, probably isn't too bad a turn-out. I was reminded why I never go to multiplexes anymore - do people never sit still or shut up these days? Fortunately the sound was blasting away so strongly it all-but-drowned out the sound of running in the aisles!

I thought it had a very strong opening - the Tintinologist in me was pleased at the way the animators had caught that now-near-mythical pre-war European environment much as Herge did - and it moved along at quite a pace for a good 50 or so minutes. Around about then I felt it started to flag a bit. I can't put my finger on what it was but there was something not quite right about the middle part. The ending picked up but betrayed the film's blockbuster requirements - scene-after-scene of action. building to that crane-fight on the docks that made little narrative sense. Actually, that's a bit unfair because 'narrative' had been replaced by 'chase' by that stage. In its own terms it succeeded, but I was a little disappointed in that approach.

The coda tied it all nicely together, but I can't be the only person fed up with American movies (or TV series) that never really end. It appears that unless you give the equivalent of 'to be continued' you're not doing you job, but I find that deeply unsatisfying.

As with most reviewers I thought Haddock was done very well; it helps that he's always been a bit of a caricature anyway. I also felt they got Tintin right for the most part, at least until the action overtook the story. I've never quite bought in to the "Oh, Tintin is dull; he's just a cipher onto which the reader projects his own personality". He certainly doesn't have the quirks that most of the other characters have but he has a strong personality and a stubborn streak that make him more than just a void. Snowy was just... well, the pet dog; and Castafiore was too thin! Alan was spot on and the twins did what they had to do as comic relief without me ever thinking they were essential to the plot.

I reckon the three books came together to make a single story pretty smoothly. I'm pretty sure I could identify the Herge and non-Herge elements, but I don't think I could, without reference, tell you precisely what bits came from what books.

As for the animation, I've seen Polar Express but this was something new. I suppose I expected something closer to Pixar after seeing the posters and the stills, but this process is quite different. After a while I had to remind myself that, yes, it is animation, and they've not just tracked down a collection of the world's oddest looking individuals to film. In a year or two I'm sure it'll all be old hat (remember Dick Tracy?) but today it felt quite fresh and new. I'm not totally convinced that 3D is required but, from the perspective of the studios, I can understand why they're trying to 'add value' to the experience of seeing a film on its first run. And they got £40+ out of me (2 adults, 2 children) so they're doing something right...

All in all quite a pleasant way to pass an afternoon. I saw Anthea Bell in London a few weeks ago giving a talk about translating Asterix. One phrase she used stuck with me, something along the lines of "to be true to the spirit of a book sometimes you have to be unfaithful to the word'. I think, in those terms the film did what it had to do.

To put it another way, the only comic-book adaptation I can think of that came this close to reflecting the source and yet succeeded in its own right is Sin City (I include reflecting the style of art-work in that, else Ghost World would be there as well). A qualified success. Perhaps more Hollywood than Belgium, but the genes are there at least.


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