Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: The Adventures of TinTin

2011, Steven Spielberg (as if...) -- download

(kent's view)

OK, paragraph one starts the reminiscing.  You see, when I was a kid, I lived in a neighbourhood which was often the waystation for international engineers taking a job with the local steel production plant or mining corporation.  They would come to town for a job, buy a house in the new subdivision, bring in their families and work for a few years before moving on to the new job.  Some were from the US, some from Asia and some from the UK.  The kids in those families had the best toys and comics.  One particularly memorable item I was exposed to were european style comics, those large format hard covered books, the primary ones I remember being Asterix & Obelix and Tin Tin.  I loved these books and the adventures within but for some reason, when the kids moved on with their families, so did my fascination.  It probably had to do with lack of access.  So, Tin Tin remains as not so much a developed interest, as more of a memory of a great interest. I remember thinking it was the greatest thing ever.

One thing I came away from my minor exposure to the series was that they were incredible adventure stories written for adolescent and teen boys.  Well, of course girls, but you know demographics from times past -- they knew  girls would read them but they were still focused towards boys.  They were adventure stories set in the early twentieth century which danced from location to location, from exotic situation to exotic situation.  TinTin (who I later learned to pronounce tan-tan, soft n) is a boy reporter without the trappings of family or responsibility (outside his reporting) and gets himself mixed up in crime, treasure hunting and plots to be foiled.  As I write this (out loud) I am taken with how much this is the description of what I loved best as an adolescent -- adventure!  And yet, I guess the intentional blandness of TinTin himself contributed to my not so lasting fondness for the character.

So, here we are, done with the reminiscing.  Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson get together over story telling and CGI technology to tell an adventure story that should be perfectly grand, wonderful and exciting to me.  Yet, here we are months after seeing it, and the bright colors and dashing escapades have faded, much like my memories of exactly why I loved TinTin.  The CG was impecable, cartoony enough to avoid uncanny valley and realistic enough to get lost in the story.  The acting was incredible, especially Andy Serkis as Haddock, the grumpy drunken sailor who I still adore.  And there were some scenes, such as the chase down to the harbor, that are so bright and daring, they stuck with me, but in general the movie faded.  That kind of peeves me!  It shouldn't have!  It should have carried me along on a rollercoaster, reviving my love for adventure, not assisting the fading of the past.  And I cannot put my finger on exactly why it did not quite work.  I wish I had been ill or drunk when watching it, as then I would have an excuse, but really I have to blame Spielberg --- the movie impressed me but just didn't stick with me, and that is a shame.