01/07/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
Region 2 DVD: pub: Paramount PHE 1644. 2 DVD 102 minute film with extras. Price: about £ 7.00 (UK) currently if you know the right shop)cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig.
check out website: www.paramount.com
I guess curiosity took over when I bought 'The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secrets Of The Unicorn' from the local Sainsbury's. That and getting it with an extras disk exclusive to that supermarket chain. Whether such double DVD limited editions are available in other parts of the world, I'll have to leave to you to investigate. There's a curious thing for those of you in the UK in that the single and double DVD versions are sold at the same price, reduced or otherwise, so make sure you read the box so you get the right one.
From the extras on the main disk, co-producer/director Steven Spielberg got introduced to Tintin when he was filming 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark', but time and technology took its time to getting it into production and now, with Peter Jackson as second director it was made. The result, to get the Hergé look, resulted in using motion capture and CGI to turn the actors into what was expected. The opening twist of seeing Tintin having his picture painted and then seeing the Hergé design endears you from the start.
From there, Tintin (actor Jamie Bell) buys a model boat called the Unicorn at another stall for a pound and gets thrown into an adventure where he and his dog, Snowy, finds other people want the model for its hidden instruction at any price and he follows the clues himself. This eventually gets him to meet Captain Archibald Haddock (actor Andy Serkis) and in pursuit of the treasure across the world.
In many respects, Tintin is the original hair gel boy with his hair in a permanent quiff. Spielberg, by staying reasonable faithful to Hergé's original designs with a more organic look has actually ended up with a somewhat timeless reality that should stand the passage of time and should surely deserve to have a sequel made.
Apart from a couple wide-angle scenes that looked more like computer game than 'reality', the design feels very realistic, helped immensely by realistic lighting to catch the right mood from the light sources used. Little touches like that make all the difference.
The second DVD has forty-three minutes of extras, showing the source material, using the original Hergé book for the story 'The Secret Of The Unicorn', obviously, and adding how Tintin met Haddock from 'Red Rackham's Treasure'. On top of that, are behind the scenes showing the actors, mostly British interestingly, performing for motion capture and the final result.
I suspect adults will start watching this film for the special effects before forgetting that and just watch the film for sheer enjoyment. Your kids, however, will just love it and will keep them quiet for a couple hours.
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