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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: tintin

'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,' 'Tintin': Kenneth Turan's DVD picks

December 21, 2011 |  2:00 pm

If you've already enjoyed the new versions of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Tintin," or even if you're just considering your options, newly released DVDs make it possible to look at how these properties have been handled in the past.

 "Tinker Tailor" was made into a nearly six-hour British miniseries back in 1979, and Sir Alec Guinness' work as spymaster George Smiley is considered one of the great performances of his career.

"Tintin's" past is more humble, if no less enjoyable: it was a French Canadian animated television series that lasted from 1991 to 1993. The first 13 episodes are available, and even feature the same story, "The Secret of the Unicorn," that inspired the new film.

RELATED:

Movie review: 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

Movie review: 'The Adventures of Tintin'

More reviews from film critic Kenneth Turan

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic


Spielberg's 'The Adventures of Tintin' to close AFI Fest

October 31, 2011 |  3:33 pm

The Adventures of Tintin will close the 2011 AFI Fest
Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" will be the closing night screening at AFI Fest.

The Hollywood festival -- which kicks off Thursday evening with the world premiere of Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" -- will conclude with a gala screening of the animated 3-D picture on Thursday, Nov. 10.

While the Peter Jackson-produced movie opened in 19 foreign markets this last weekend, the movie doesn't hit theaters in the U.S. until Dec. 21. The film, based on a beloved 82-year-old Belgian comic about a young reporter in search of treasure, is already off to a strong start abroad. Not only did it rake in an estimated $55.8 million overseas over the weekend, but early critical reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. 

For the Fest's 25th anniversary edition, festival director Jacqueline Lyanga said it was special to be opening and closing with big films from two iconic American directors.

AFI Fest is offering free tickets to all of its screenings for the third year in a row. 

RELATED:

Eastwood's 'J. Edgar,' starring DiCaprio, to open AFI Fest

Spielberg's 'Tintin' off to a solid start at European box office

Spielberg's 'Tintin' will open in Europe two months before U.S.

-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: A scene from "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." Credit: Paramount Pictures


Will Europeans like Spielberg's 'Tintin' less than Americans?

October 17, 2011 |  6:00 am

Tintin spielberg

The initial reviews for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” are trickling in. Tintin, a sleuthing boy reporter with a trusted dog named Snowy, is a cherished Belgian comic book character, and conventional wisdom heading into the film's release has been that the movie would be an easy sell in Europe (where Tintin’s built-in fan base is strongest) but perhaps tougher in the United States, where many people aren't familiar with the character.

Yet so far, it seems like critics for U.S. trade magazines are slightly more enamored of the 3-D motion-capture animated movie than are critics for British newspapers. 

The film will roll out in Europe at the end of October before hitting American theaters just before Christmas. Tintin is voiced by Jamie Bell, who buys a model of an old ship called the Unicorn at a market. Two men immediately try to buy the model from him, an American named Barnaby (Joe Starr) and  the sinister Sakharine (Daniel Craig). Tintin spurns the offers and realizes the ship contains a clue about a missing treasure. Eventually, he runs into trouble with Capt. Archibald Haddock (Andy Serkis).

Writing for Variety, Leslie Felperin raves that "Tintin" is “a rollicking return to action-adventure form” for Spielberg, “especially after the disappointment of ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.’ Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that's largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged” audiences.

Likewise, the Hollywood Reporter’s Jordan Mintzer says “Tintin” is “a good ol’ fashioned adventure flick that harkens back to the filmmaker’s action-packed, tongue-in-cheek swashbucklers of the 1980s,” adding that the saga is “filled with captivating CGI action and clever sight gags, while maintaining a compact narrative that never takes itself too seriously."

 But Xan Brooks, of Britain’s Guardian newspaper, was less enthralled. He opines:

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