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

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#11 · Posted: 12 Nov 2011 10:53
Tintin movie released in India yesterday… What a blast!!

One hunderd minutes of absolute bliss!!! Mind boggling. I soaked myself inside the magical world of Tintin…

Gorgeous recreation of the little universe that we have come to love through the pen of Hergé!
#12 · Posted: 13 Nov 2011 19:46
I saw it today (3 D version). My girlfriend, who doesn't know much of Tintin, loved it. And me ... well ... OK it was actually quite brilliant movie, much better than I reckoned. BUT after all, were all the changes of plot/characters necessary? For a purist like me some of those changes are hard to swallow. The role of I.I. Sakarin as a revenger living in Marlinspike? What is that? The crainfight at the end? But as I said earlier, it was quite billiant movie.
#13 · Posted: 13 Nov 2011 20:17
Hello. I've just come back from seeing it (3D) I loved it! I've only seen a couple of Tintins on DVD so I'm a novice but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
#14 · Posted: 14 Nov 2011 01:31
Overall, 7/10.

The animation was lovely; I felt completely immersed in the movie from the beginning. Everything "felt" real without having that distracting sensation of one's brain trying to sort the "real" images from the manufactured ones. The characters contained the spirit of Herge's drawing while getting additional "fleshing out." (No pun intended).

Bell and Serkiss had a wonderful rapport that was palpable even within the animated medium. There was some great dialog between them - the escape from the Karaboudjan in particular - that had me laughing out loud, and the writers tried to add some layers to the characters that had not been addressed before. Very nice!

Daniel Craig's performance? Awesome. Totally amazing. He was engaging, interesting and just classy enough to make me kind of like the guy. The fact that his and Haddock's families were tied up in some kind of "circle of vengeance" felt a bit stretched, but I enjoyed his performance too much to care.

The Thom(p)sons. Sigh. I've never been a huge fan of the dynamic duo, and am pretty neutral about them. I do wish the Professor had been in this one, but get the feeling he'll be in the sequel. I liked how Nestor's family was connected to Haddock's...nice touch. Snowy was entertaining, but I felt that the animals in this film were a bit too smart.

Of course, being a movie primarily geared for children, there was much, much action. Most of it was well done. I agree with others that the ending scene with the cranes was a bit "blah," and left me scratching my head. A lot of it was over-the-top but since it's drawn from a source that has used floating monks, hypnotism, talking to elephants with a hand-carved wooden trumpet and no viable women characters at all...I'll let it slide.

Speaking of women...well, it's a sore subject for me. They added quite a bit of "extra" stuff, at times making the story feel like a (well-written) fanfic, but the female gender was still under-represented. Sigh. Ah well. I suppose if they included a lady she'd be the requisite "love interest" anyway, so I suppose I should be thankful. Castafiore looked like she'd had some botched surgery, but Mrs. Finch was hilarious - if a bit dotty.

All-in-all, it's an excellent children's flick and a decent grown-up film. I'd have liked to see more character development and less "shoot, chase, jump, shoot, repeat ad infinitum," but that's just me. It was wholly entertaining and very, very much fun.
#15 · Posted: 15 Nov 2011 10:43
Great show, great adventure and a very impressive adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin.

All characters are very life-like, Spielberg very well balanced the real world and comics in a movie. I remembered Indiana Jones movie when Captain Haddock fires bazooka from a motorcycle -which gracing the poster of the movie- and 007 James Bond - when tank hauled the stone passway.

My favorite scene is forming the sea to a small water pond on walkway, very straight forward with dream frames in albums.

Sea war scene is great and I also like shattering-the-glass-with-sound idea, and remembered sound weapon of Bordurians in The Calculus Affair album.

I want to mention great detailing such as Tintin's flat: Searchlight-brand matchbox in drawer, oil painting on wall (The Castafiore Emerald, p.38, frame 2), the statue at hall (Tintin and the Picaros, p.11, frame 8), Tintin's clothing changes with the scenes, Cutts the Butcher sign in town, Tintin's typewriter collection and other detailing.

I would like to see Calculus, perhaps in next movie.
#16 · Posted: 17 Nov 2011 02:52

I really enjoyed the part where Haddock tells Tintin about how his ancestor fought off Red Rackham. Having Sakharine as a descendant of Rackham didn't really add much to the movie though. The crane fight at the end was intriguing but kind of far fetched. The plan to use Castafiore's voice to shatter the glass is pretty clever, but I don't know how well that would work in real life.

My biggest problem with this movie is that it didn't include my all time favorite Tintin scene where a bunch of people go to Tintin's apartment claiming to be descendents of Red Rackham. Then Haddock scares them all away!

I was disappointed in not seeing more of Thompson and Thomson and no Calculus. Apart from Haddock, they are the most hilarious characters in the books.

Haddock's entire character was toned down a little too much. He didn't drink very much or swear. I can understand why the producers would do this, but it was a little sad that my favourite character was reduced in such a way.

Over all, its a pretty good adventure/action movie, but it really didn't feel like Tintin.
#17 · Posted: 17 Nov 2011 13:47
The plan to use Castafiore's voice to shatter the glass is pretty clever, but I don't know how well that would work in real life.

It did not even work in the books. After all she doesn't shatter the windows of Marlinspike while singing in "Emerald", does she? Seems to me that they got Castafiore mixed up with Cacofonix.
#18 · Posted: 17 Nov 2011 14:33
The plan to use Castafiore's voice to shatter the glass is pretty clever, but I don't know how well that would work in real life.

It did not even work in the books. After all she doesn't shatter the windows of Marlinspike while singing in "Emerald", does she? Seems to me that they got Castafiore mixed up with Cacofonix.

...never mind the security glass car window in Ottokar. Needless change and lazy scriptwriting in my opinion (jokes of opera singers shattering glass are quite old hat)

Now I've seen the movie twice, I think I can say with some certainty that I agree with the sceptical pre- and reviews. First half is good and tintinesque and visually the movie is great. Especially the opening scene in the flea market was wonderful and I quite liked the bit where Milou chases kidnapped Tintin.

However, there are some aspects in the movie that I found almost embarrassingly bad. In random order:

-Character of Haddock, and especially moralistic undertones towards drinking (already discussed herehttps://www.tintinologist.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&t opic=4509). That's just not him.
-over the top action scenes. The motorcycle chase is way too long without any suspense. The "indy-esque trick" is just silly, and so is Haddock outside the plane (apart from engine running with his breath, which was my favourite moment). Granted, there are some similar impossibilities in the albums (f. ex. Dupondts in the airshow), but they are done in jest, over-the-topness of them is being laughed at.
-End. Crane fight is a) silly and unbelievable b) too violent c) stolen from old Donald Duck -story. And finding the treasure is a huge anti-climax.
-Movie is quite simple and straightforward really. Not much new to spot when watching it the second time. Books are like huge onions with endless layers,movie seems eaten now.

There's more, but I think that's enough. I agree these complaints might only matter to someone who knows the books inside out, but from my point of view they ruin the movie. Don't think I'll ever watch it the third time.
#19 · Posted: 17 Nov 2011 14:53
Edit note: I wrote this at the same time as Mondrian was posting his post above. So if I seem to be repeating much of what he's said (only less succinctly as usual!) that's why.

After all she doesn't shatter the windows of Marlinspike while singing in "Emerald", does she?

No indeed. I believe a really strong singer can break a wine glass if she sustains a really pure note at the exact modulating frequency of the glass, but to have all the glass in the place smash as she's warbling around all the different notes at the end of song looked a bit silly and contrived - as you say, mct, more the sort of over-the-top cartoony gag you might get in an Asterix book than a Tintin one. If the human voice could do that so easily, it kind of negates the entire plot of The Calculus Affair.

I'm guessing that the film makers were inspired by the little visual gag in King Ottokar's Sceptre, where Tintin glances nervously at the safety-glass symbol on the car window as Castafiore sings. (We get a similar close up of just such a symbol on the glass case in the film, a few scenes before the concert, which gives a hint at what Sakharine's plan is.) But whereas Hergé makes a passing gag about glass shattering (and whilst you could just about imagine Hergé showing a glass actually shattering during a concert as an inconsequential background gag), the film writers use it as a major plot point. Sakharine is so certain that she'll shatter the glass during a concert that he's constructed his whole plan around this fact, and that's what feels so wrong and so un-Hergé-like about the scene.

Apart from the poor physics and the silliness of it, she'd presumably be famous for shattering glass at every concert she gave in which case surely Ben Salaad would know about it and have moved his glass case elsewhere.

There quite a few scenes which strike a similar wrong un-Tintin note to me, and most of them come after this point in the film: Haddock's self-help pep-talk to Tintin; the way no-one seems to have anticipated that Sakharine will simply pull a gun on them when they try to arrest him; the Transformers-like crane fight; the slightly awkward way they shoehorn in both the ending from Red Rackham and then the ending from Unicorn into the same film (ie: having them find what is surely quite enough treasure in the globe, but then, rather greedily, wanting to go off on an underwater treasure hunt in the next film to find the entire haul); and Tintin's cheesy final line to Haddock: "How's your thirst for adventure, Captain?"

Like others, I'm split on my reaction to the film. On on hand, I think it's a great adventure movie, which I enjoyed, as did my ten-year-old son and his pal, hugely so in their case. And great to see Spielberg really enjoying some creative camera work, lighting effects, etc.

On the other hand, I think the visual style, script and story has completely missed the point of much of what's most important about Hergé's art and writing. But as Jock keeps saying, we still have the books and I guess this doesn't detract from them. My son seems to have been inspired by the film to get more interested in the books than he was previously.
#20 · Posted: 17 Nov 2011 18:00
I don't know if I am being too skeptical, but anyway..

I went to see this movie with lots of anticipation...have to say I came back pretty disappointed..I strongly feel the movie will be liked only by people who are not very familiar with the Tintin comics (unlike me who has read the comics over and over and over again!!!)

It really looks like Steven Spielberg has gone completely overboard with his imagination this time..and I really did like the comics better.. It was really sad to see the most interesting and important parts in the books completely omitted and a confusing mixture of nearly 4-5 books all jumbled up and presented on screen!!

Not to mention Captain Haddock not being his drunken humorous self, but fighting with "failure" and his demons!! and Why, oh Why, did Signora Castafiore look like a mannequin??????????????? And I couldn't believe the butler was actually Nestor!! I also really missed Castafiore's trademark song, "Ah, my beauty, past compare....These jewels...bright I wear..."

One more point--Why was Mr. Sakharine chosen to play the negative role?didn't the Bird Brothers play it out well enough in the comic book????

Well, as some consolation, the 3D effects were really amazing..and I think I would have loved the movie if I had never read Tintin comics before!!

Like I said, maybe I am just being too skeptical, given that everyone seems to absolutely love this movie, but then, this is a review from a die-hard TINTIN fan, who has grown up reading Tintin..and still has them as her most cherished possessions..moreover, I have always been of the view that a comic book should be allowed to remain a comic book, and never have it's beauty and genius tampered with..

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