Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 5 out of 5

To prepare myself for the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I watched the 2009 Swedish version in order to compare them.  Believe it or not, there isn't much different between the two except this one is in English (yet, somehow still takes place in Europe--thankfully the entire country transferred all their newspapers, documents and language) and, of course, the cast and crew are different...duh!

Even in a pair of Harry Potter glasses, Daniel Craig is more handsome than I am.


If you caught my review of the Swedish version, you know the story is about a publicly shamed journalist who is hired by an older gentleman trying to discover the truth about a loved one's disappearance years ago.  Is she dead?  Did she join a cult or did her homeplanet call for her return?  He doesn't know, so he hires Mikael Blomvist to find out the truth.  While digging for said truth, he ends up teaming with an eccentric goth girl named Lisbeth who, after handling some personal shit in her life (personal being a rapist pig in charge of her finances) helps Mikael...and since this is a movie, the truth they discover is much more frightening and dangerous than the fact the girl went out for smokes and got lost for 30 plus years.

Congratulations Fincher, you made the already hard to watch rape scenes in the original
even worse in this.


For the most part, not much in the form of storytelling has changed from the Swedish to the American version, however, the presentation by director David Fincher, music from Trent Reznor and an amazing cast made this film the superior of the two--and don't think for one second I like this one more because it's American and in English.  I have no problem reading subtitles and I don't listen to Toby Keith so I don't automatically get patriot with everything that is American comes out.  In fact, this is a rare case where I actually enjoy the domestic remake more than the foreign original.

"It's not a phase...this is who I am!!!"
YES!  Re-used a joke from my review of the original!


I don't know what freaky shit these guys are into
but count me in!!!
David Fincher, the amazing director behind such modern-day classics as Fight Club, Se7en, and The Social Network is using his dark and brooding style to create a heavier atmosphere that was lacking in the original--Fincher is even somehow able to make bright snow-covered scenery look bleak and foreboding!  Add to the fact he once again utilizes Nine Inch Nails frontman and creator Trent Reznor to make the amazing mood-creating unique music that got him an Oscar for The Social Network and you have a recipe for a great flippin' movie!  Seriously, when I bought Nine Inch Nail's first album "Pretty Hate Machine," I never once expected the man screaming the lyrics "head like a hole" would ever one day go on to win an Academy Award.  But the man freaking deserves it as he is a musical genius and, occasionally, can outdo Fincher's scenes with his tension created sounds.  And try to sit down and figure out if it's Fincher's vision or Reznor's music that makes the rape scenes harder to sit through in this version than the original.  And check out the title sequence with this epic Led Zepplin cover...





That sequence pretty much sets the bar high for the entire film!

I was going to write a joke but I got
lost in Daniel's eyes.
However, in my opinion, the strongest aspect this film has--even stronger than Fincher's directing and Reznor's tunes?  Yes!--is the cast!  I've said it before and I'll say it again but I have a heterosexual man-crush on Daniel Craig and he's in this one, taking a break from being the best James Bond and being this generation's Steve McQueen, to take over the role of Mikael from Michael Nyqvist.  Craig is an amazing talent and really delivers as Blomvist.  You're quick to forget that in other films he's kicking ass and not even bothering with the taking of the names as he comes off as a...a normal person.  A weak, potential victim of an individual who gets in over his head and his performance and body language quickly sucks you in and you forget that he's fought aliens as a cowboy and is James Freaking Bond.

Christopher Plummer...can I adopt you to be my grandpa?


Backing up Craig is Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger, the man who hires Blomvist to find the missing girl.  Plummer has a stellar career so you know he's going to kick ass going into it but matching Craig's performance on the amazing scale is Stellan Skarsgard.  Watching the scenes he and Craig shared together was like watching two dragons battling!  It was both beautiful and amazing at the same time...with just a hint of malice to boot!

Stellan is an amazing actor and his name is even cooler!


The only real complaint I have about the film would be having Rooney Mara play Lisbeth.  In the original, Noomi Rapace was the eccentric goth girl with the rape problem (being raped is a major problem!) and she did the job great--but so does Mara.  The major difference is Rapace is a little easier on the eyes.  Mara's skeleton-like body and lack of eyebrows actually started to frighten me a little...but she still performed her role great and made the character of Lisbeth more of a social outcast than Rapace's performance.

Fincher solved the biggest problem from the original...the existence of eyebrows on Lisbeth.


With Fincher behind the camera, Reznor behind the keyboards or whatever the hell he is using to make his awesome music and a cast that consists of amazingly talented actors like Daniel Craig and Stellan Skarsgard performing an already interesting, engaging and often disturbing story, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of those EXTREMELY rare occasions where the American remake is better than the original.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tower Heist

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Tower Heist - 4 out of 5

"Rehearsing is for fags."  That's what director of Tower Heist; Brett Ratner, said in a Q&A session after a screening of this film.  I'm saying it only to create context as I am trying to figure out exactly why Ratner has a career.  Sure the first two Rush Hour films are okay and Red Dragon wasn't bad but we need to remember that this bloated douche claimed he slept with the wayyyyy out of his league Olivia Munn, nearly destroyed the X-men franchise with X3 and just comes off as a totally unlikeable D-bag who says crap like "rehearsing is for fags."  Yet, somehow despite being a total worthless human being, he was at the helm of this crime comedy.

"Focker?  I just now got it."

Tower Heist is about a...well, a tower, that some of the richest people call home in New York.  Ben Stiller plays the building manager who discovers that one of the tenants--Alan Alda from M*A*S*H--pulled a successful Ponzi scheme on all the employees and has taken all their retirement money.  Alda's character is put under house-arrest by the F.B.I. and after Stiller's character makes a scene, loses his job--along with several other employees--and uses his new free time to team with a man from his past to formulate a plan to get the money back.  It's Ocean's Eleven meets...um...a tower.

"Suicide is painless, you say?"

Did he just watch his brother as Daredevil?
I was quite surprised by this film on several fronts.  When it was in the theaters, I wanted to see it but my day job barely pays me enough to make ends meet and, believe it or not, reviewing movies on a blog doesn't live the glamorous lifestyle that pornography films would make you believe.  So, I had to wait until it hit Redbox and, after the credits rolled, I found I really enjoyed the movie.  The jokes are solid, the story is entertaining and all involved in the project performed their roles quite well.  Stiller is as good as you've come to expect him to be and the team he forms with matches his skill quite well as he finds teammates in the form of the more talented Affleck; Casey, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena and the precious one; Gabourey Sidibe.  However, more surprisingly is Eddie Murphy and what he brings to the film.

When exactly is your day off going to end, Ferris?

Are we going to see a return of the Murphy we
use to know?
Eddie Murphy was one of my biggest influences as a kid and when I started getting on stage and telling jokes in front of an audience, he was one of the greats I looked to for motivation.  However, as Murphy got older and started a family, he turned away from his roots and looked for more family friendly entertainment...instead we got Daddy Daycare.  Yet, shockingly, Murphy seems to have returned to his past glory (or at least, a reasonable facsimile) in this film.  Foul mouth and funny Murphy from the days of Trading Places and Coming to America is seen here.  It was actually quite refreshing and one of the aspects of the film I enjoyed the most.


I realize The Heartbreak Kid was awful but does Stiller really deserve to be arrested
for being in it?


Despite being made by Hollywood's biggest windbag of a director, Tower Heist is a genuinely entertaining and funny film.  It's not as slick or star-studded like an Ocean's film and the heist is no where NEAR as complicated as other caper films but the emphasis was on the humor, not on the actually crime being committed so it's forgivable that the crime isn't that complex.  In the end, Heist is just a fun movie that was well made, funny and had a terrific cast delivering extremely well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Muppets

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Muppets - 5 out of 5

And of course, Disney had to throw one of their lame
stars in the film...luckily she's not around for long.
Ever since the House that a Mouse Built purchased the Muppets in 2004, they haven't done SHIT with them.  Instead, they churned out horrible direct-to-DVD films that almost felt like they were spitting in the creation of Jim Henson--a man who will go down in history as one of the greatest creative and imaginative minds to ever exist.  However, after working with puppets in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segel decided to resurrect Kermit and the gang and give them the proper respect they deserve and give them their first theatrical film in over 12 years.

The Muppets are BACK!!!

And the wait was totally worth it!!!

The Amazing Gonzo:  Great stuntman or Greatest?

Very subtle, Mouse.
I'm a HUGE fan of the Muppets and I don't mean that in the fact that I'm overweight and am literally a big dude who likes the Muppets.  I mean I am a big fan in the sense I absolute love them!  Since I was a kid, I've been watching the Muppets, laughing with them and crying when Kermit sang the sad songs (why does he always sing the sad songs?).  I even tried to learn the banjo so I can play and sing "The Rainbow Connection."  However, after the evil corporation Disney got their filthy mitts on the Muppets, they predictably did nothing with them because Disney seems almost tailor made to NOT do things with winning properties and, instead, stuff more mediocre singers who are terrible child actors down our throats.  But leave it to Jason Segel to write an amazing Muppet film.

Jason Segel needs a medal for bringing this movie to life!

Walter is a great addition to the Muppets!
So, Segel plays Gary who has a Muppet brother named Walter.  Walter, although loved by his brother, was always an outcast but found some sense of belonging by watching The Muppet Show.  Walter and Gary grew up and the Muppets faded away.  Gary's attention turned to his love Mary (Amy Adams) and one day they decide to go to L.A. and Gary, being a great brother, brings Walter along so he can see the historic Muppet Theater.  Begrudgingly, Mary agrees despite the fact she wants Gary alone so she can hope he proposes.

If the picture in the center doesn't pull at your heartstrings, then you are not human...or a muppet.

My only complaint:  The movie needed more 80s Robot.
Walter is horrified to learn the Muppet Theater is in shambles and a greedy oil tycoon (Chris Cooper) is looking to claim it as his own in order to drill for that Texas Tea underneath.  Unless the Muppets can raise 10 million dollars to get the theater back, they will lose everything and it's up to Walter, Gary and Mary to convince Kermit and the others, who all went their separate ways, to reunite and put on a telethon to get the theater back!

After going their separate ways, Animal hits anger management.
The Swedish Chef with a flamethrower...I'm in!
I saw this in the theater and laughed my ass off--literally, I no longer have an ass, I lost it in the dark theater after it came off.  I was more than excited for this to come out in theaters and, after seeing it, I was BEYOND excited for it be to released on DVD and I loved the film so much, I did what I don't often do...purchase the film...on Blu-Ray!  That's right, The Muppets is so good, such a respectful return to the Muppets former glory and such an entertaining film that it was worth the measly money I make at my day job to own it.  I can go without food for a day or two in order to own this one!

I'd go without food longer to give to this telethon!

A Barber Shop Quartet...with Beaker holding an axe!
All kinds of awesome!
The jokes in the film are all the type that makes me do one of those "laugh out loud" things the kids are so found of but unlike the "lol" things that kids sext to one another (I think that's was sexting is, texting "lol" to one another) I was actually laughing out loud, not sarcastically putting "lol" on a cellphone because I have nothing else to say.  The presentation of these iconic characters was done so well that it felt like no time had past since Jim Henson had his hand in the frog in love with a pig.

The Muppets kidnap Jack Black...You bet I'm am still in!!!

Do some star-gazing.
Then, as if all of Hollywood was waiting for this moment, some amazing talent came forth to do some cameos in the film.  Sit down and get ready for this list:  (Deep breath) Alan Arkin, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Jim Parsons, Kristen Schaal, Sarah Silverman, Donald Glover, Emily Blunt, Whoopi Goldberg, David Grohl, John Krasinski, Mickey Rooney, and Rico Rodriguez...in fact, there were so many stars that wanted involved that some only appear in deleted scenes!!!  Stars like Danny Trejo, Rob Corddry, Billy Crystal and Ricky Gervais--although between you and me, Ricky should have stayed in the film.

Dave Grohl as a generic Animal?  I'm still in!

And yes..."Rainbow Connection" shows up!
There aren't enough words to describe how enjoyable this movie was.  Getting to see a new Muppet movie--and one done well--is nostalgic and fantastic at the same time.  The music feels like anything else done by the Muppets, fun and pleasant on the old ear-holes, and will go down in Muppet history as holding its own with some of the past's best like "Can You Picture That?" and "Saying' Goodbye."  Bret McKenzie of The Flight of the Conchords deserves an Oscar for the songs he wrote--oh wait, he did!!!!  And how bad-ass are the Muppets?  They covered Nirvana!  Check this out...


The film honors and respects those that came before them
with some nods and winks.
The Muppets is fantastic...and that word isn't enough to describe it.  It holds its own against The Muppet Movie and more than earned its place to sit alongside the classic Muppet films on the shelf.  Now, Disney, don't screw this up and let the Muppets rot like you did before.  Bring Segel in to do more!  I DEMAND THIS!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

True Blood Season 3

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

True Blood Season 3 - 3 out of 5

Why does vampire fiction suck so much (pun not intended)?  Is it just how vampires are?  Is there a rule against making vampires tough, bad-ass and not a bunch of prissy, prancing douche bags?

One good thing about the show is that Zeljko Ivanek (one of my favorite character actors)
shows up on occasions.

Vampires started out as men in bad evening gowns hypnotizing women and so far, even with Stephanie Meyer's supposed bastardization of vampires by making them glittery in the sun, not much has changed.  Instead of being wimpy gents in evening gowns who may (or may not) be really good decorators and have an eye for fashion, they are now wimpy gents in low V-neck t-shirts who love posing and staring at unattractive women sleep.  People often tell me, "Ron, it's 3 am, don't call me and tell me about some cool bug you saw on the sidewalk," but not as often, people tell me, "Ron, True Blood isn't like the rest of vampire fiction.  It's awesome!"  I won't go as far as saying True Blood is awesome but I'll say this:  It's slightly better than most vampire fiction...only slightly.

"I'm burning!"

If you don't know what the show is about well here it is in a nutshell (nutshell not shown):  Vampires are real and apart of society.  They drink a fake blood substance called True Blood and they are basically either a hated ethnic group or a group of people that angry teenagers will take home to introduce to mom and dad in order to piss them off.  Case in point is the serie's main character Sookie--a telepath (who discovers what she really is this season) who gets all wet in the pants when she meets this fiction's form of a rock star when she meets Southern gentleman vampire Bill.  Clearly she likes him because he's the forbidden fruit but the show likes to make you believe they're actually in love--although any idiot can see that Sookie's "love" is just lust.

"Shut up!  You don't know what burned is."

Anyway, the show takes place in the Louisiana town of Bon Temps and, because vampires aren't a big enough sell and you need to pad out the franchise with other monsters and myths, the town is seemingly an epicenter of shape-shifters, werewolves, possibly a sea-creature from some sort of lagoon of a dark color but not a single wolf-boy with amazing abs.  In this town is a whole host of characters who get sucked (not another pun, I swear) into the adventures and drama of a world filled with blood suckers.

The look of contempt a man has when he sees how high gas is getting.

This season saw the town of Bon Temps' resident shifter find some of his past (if you watch the show, you know I'm talking about Sam Merlotte), a new vampire monarch rises to power and openly discusses the destruction of the human race and the revelation about what exactly Sookie is--and apparently it's not the fact that having the piss-poor actress Anna Paquin play her being a bad decision.

Is it in a vampire's DNA to pose?

I realize I sound scathing about the show and I am.  To describe True Blood accurately, it is just barely entertaining enough to keep watching.  Episodes offer just enough of an interesting story to keep it going and stop it from being a total wash like ALL other vampire fiction but it refuses to push the envelope and be something great.  The concept of vampires existing in the world and trying to live side-by-side with humans is interesting and the fact they drink synthetic blood they can get out of their grocer's freezer is a fun idea but, like all vampire fiction, they're more worried about showing fang, striking a pose and having sex...and this show has A LOT of sex.  True Blood will get even worse as it decides to get rid of the reality it grounded itself in when it started and start to fly off the handle as they try to squeeze in every flipping mythical beast that has ever been thought of.  Once they stop using the book series for material, I'm sure the writers will incorporate a griffin who digs anal into the story.

Possible first victim of the griffin?

Then, as if everyone on the show is daring you to NOT take the show seriously, the series has some of the worst special effects I've seen on a major cable network like HBO.  You think the premium cable network could afford to put some money into the show but instead, you get scenes where we see the vampires utilize their amazing speed--and by amazing, I mean silly--as the end product looks more like speeding up an edit in Window Movie Maker.  Then, to further make you NOT take the show seriously, they add a ridiculous "fast" sound to the "vampire speed" that sounds like a cartoon bee somehow made his way on the audio track.  But the silly sound effects don't stop there.  I dare you to try and not laugh when you get the cartoon "slurping" sound when a vampire is feeding.  Because I can totally take your show seriously when I have to listen to a vampire seemingly suck the remnants of his Pepsi from the bottom of the glass. 

Uh oh...two vampires posing.  Shit just got real.

The show has a lot of great characters that help drive the series like the shape-shifter Sam Merlotte, Sheriff Andy Bellefleur who is up to his eyeballs in wacky shit in Bon Temps, the vampire with a possible stock in a V-neck t-shirt company Eric Northman (played by Alexander "my font can't do the accent mark in his last name" Skarsgard), the dumb yet somehow loveable Jason Stackhouse (played by Syan Kwanten) and the charismatic drug dealer/prostitute Lafayette Reynolds (who finally gets a love interest this season!) but for every one of these, we have to deal with our two starring ladies being played by, just plain and simple, terrible actors.  Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin) and her  fellow monster-finding drama-enriched friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) are two very interesting characters but are carried by two AWFUL actresses.  On one hand, you have Paquin delivering the worst Southern accent to ever be committed to film and, on the other, you have Wesley playing every emotion to 11.  I don't know if it's just me but both these two can instantly throw me out of every story in every episode with their bad acting.  Honestly, if the producers decided to replace both of them--even mid-season--it would only be an improvement in my eyes.

Seriously, get rid of both of them.

True Blood is a rarity because it's one of the only vampire fictions I will willingly sit down to watch.  However, that doesn't mean it's amazing.  The sad reality is this:  True Blood is just marginally entertaining and just good enough to make me keep watching.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hidden

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Hidden - 3 out of 5

After Dark Films is a distribution company that takes indie, foreign or completely unknown horror films and shows them to a larger audience thanks to their film-festival creatively titled The After Dark Horrorfest.  The films are always sold as "too scary" to be released nationwide and in theaters but, the reality is, they are just that bad that they can't even scare the easiest people to scare...people who actually pay money to see a Paranormal Activity film.  I've watched a lot of After Dark films and have found myself either laughing my ass off at how horrible they are (I really recommend Nightmare Man, that one is freaking hilarious--although that wasn't the director's intention) and most are just difficult to sit through because they are a complete mess (like Mulberry Street or The Gravedancers).  However, there was a diamond in the rough in the form of Lake Mungo but, for the most part, these films are just awful and hard to sit through.

So, going into Hidden, a Norwegian film picked up by After Dark to be apart of their 2010 run, the question must be asked:  Will this be the usual crap After Dark churns out and sells as "scary" or will it be a rare gem and actually be scary?

"High Five?  Come on, don't leave me hangin'."

The answer is a little of both.

The film is about a man who returns to his home town and inherits his evil mother's home after she passes away.  After escaping her nefarious ways of raising a child, our film's protagonist Kai starts to have some horrible memories start to surface and excrement is on the verge of hitting the fan as a young couple disappear near the home he just inherited.  It goes without saying, it's believed he killed them.
She looks like an angel...a horrible skeleton angel.

Man, the leading man has great hair...
Being a horror film, there's obvious more to the story but I'm not about to give any plot details away--in fact, that brings me to my first point about how this movie succeeds...the story is intriguing and compelling as the mystery unfolds.  However, the biggest detractor to the film is the fact it is, plain and simply, not scary.  While the film resorted to an occasion cheap scare through the aid of the horror film cliche of slow walks toward noise that ends in something jumping out of the shadows it never achieves an overall unsettling feeling.  The set pieces, the characters and the atmosphere are all ripe for a perfect creepy, uneasy feeling but the film keeps trying to reach the peak but never hits the summit.  

He even pulls off the wet look quite well with those locks.

The story is interesting and keeps you glued to the action as you try to figure out what is going on but the film's lack of creating a adequate menacing feel and deliver any palpable tension and terror hurts--but not in a big way as you can see from my score.  Despite the fact it never actually scared me, the fact that I didn't laugh at all and the fact it was well made already makes it better than most After Dark films and nearly EVERY Hollywood produced horror film made after the 70s.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Poseidon Adventure

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Poseidon Adventure - 4 out of 5


I'll never forget the day, as a child, I stumbled upon The Poseidon Adventure on television.  I was immediately sucked in and glued to the story of survival of Reverend Scott and the other passengers aboard the giant vessel.  It's been years since I've watched it so, on a whim, I decided to revisit it and see if it had the same effect on me now as it did when I was a kid.

What's the worst that can happen?


Guess what?  It did.

"Ehhhh...one."
The story about the massive luxury liner known as Poseidon with Leslie Nielse as its captain that capsizes in the middle of the ocean and forces its passengers to fight for survival is just as gratifying to watch now as it was the first time I saw it.  Each character is just as captivating to watch and cheer for them to make it--even though I already know who doesn't.  Gene Hackman delivers like a boss as the Reverend Scott who declares that God isn't going to save them, they have to save themselves and when all others are giving up or taking the path he deep down feels will lead to ruin, he takes a small group and leads them to the metaphoric promise land.

"...and don't call me Shirley."

The only problem I have with the movie is the idea that Ernest Borgnine's character Rogo could somehow marry a woman as beautiful as Stella Stevens' character Linda.  I have to assume that the character of Rogo has tons of money because despite Borgnine's acting talent, he looks like an evil clown without the make-up.

Honestly, did the producers think anyone would buy this?

That minor complaint aside, the movie is just as griping as it was the first time I watched it.  Sure the movie is a cheap gimmick, like all disaster movies, that use a lowest common denominator in order for you to feel for the characters and cheer (or hiss) for their survival (or lack there of).  But unlike many disaster movies (especially ones made by Roland Emmerich) The Poseidon Adventure has interesting characters who we learn and grow with as all hell breaks loose around them.  And who can forget the scene where Gene Hackman is cursing God for this travesty?  What an amazing scene! 

The Adventures of Tintin

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Adventures of Tintin - 5 out of 5

I see what you did there...
I've never read The Adventures of Tintin comic books.   I have no legitimate reason for not doing so other than the fact the artwork held in the books wasn't my cup of tea and, in my youth, I didn't venture far from the comic books that contained superheroes.  I was flying along with Superman, stalking evil in the night with Batman and fighting to save the world and helping bring equal rights with the X-men.  It wasn't until I got older that I started to get into comics that didn't have men and women with superpowers or cool costumes.  Despite my lack of knowledge of Tintin, I have to say that the film adaptation is incredible!

We've all had one of those days.  Those days being when you want to sleep on
the hood of a crashing plane.

Some amazing and talented men came together, all with a love of the source material, to make something truly amazing with this one.  Director Steven Spielberg teams with producer Peter Jackson, writer Edgar Wright, composer god John Williams and an amazing cast to make one of the most eye-pleasing motion-capture animated films ever produced.  Based on three of the original comics (The Crab with the Golden Claw, The Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure), the film revolves around the young journalist with an eye for adventure and canine companion; Tintin, as he heads out to discover the mystery held within a model of the sailing vessel named the Unicorn.  Hounded by a rich ne'er-do-well who seems to have an obsession with the model, Tintin discovers a secret held in the tiny ship that takes him on an adventure to find along lost treasure.

"You smell funny, Snowy.  Have you been hanging out with Shaggy and Scooby again?"

When I first saw the trailer, I opted out of seeing this in the theater due to the compound fact I never read the comics and my faith in Spielberg as a filmmaker was nearly shot.  All great directors will have a time in their career where they spend more time riding the coattails of their name and past glory and phone in their work and, after what we got from him after Saving Private Ryan, it seemed that Spielberg was no longer going to try.  At least, that's what it felt like after watching A.I. Artificial Intelligence.  However, seeing this amazing presentation of this young adventurer fighting and solving mysterious in cultured surroundings while John Williams amazing score kicks-ass in the background harkens back to the days of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  This movie showed that Spielberg still has it and it seemed he just needed a new challenge in his life and the motion-capture animated feature of Tintin was just what he needed.

"Never eat my peanut butter again, Captain!"
Little known fact about Tintin, he's overprotective of his peanut butter.

But the film doesn't stop at the amazing visuals that can make one easily forget they are watching something animated, the cast they brought in to bring life to these once drawn, one-dimensional characters is second-to-none.  Jamie Bell takes on the role of Tintin and, taking a detour of his usual forgettable or annoying characters he plays in films, does an incredible job.  Along side Bell is the man who deserves a fucking Oscar already for his portrayal of animated characters; Andy Serkis, as Tintin's teammate in this adventure, Captain Haddock.  Then, to make things even better, the best James Bond, Daniel Craig, comes strolling in all bad-ass like as the film's villain.  But there's no stopping the film there--NO!, to brilliantly portray the fumbling inspector duo of Thomson and Thompson, writer of Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Hot Fuzz brings in his bffs Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Each individual delivers amazingly and, when combined with the out-of-this-world animation, only further sinks you deeper into the film's world.

An Oscar should have gone to this film for making an animated Daniel Craig look homely
and unattractive.  Daniel Craig character is on the left, in case you were wondering.

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg deliver terrific comedic relief
as Thompson and Thomson.
With excellent animation, unparalleled acting and an amazing story that flows like a river that starts calm and takes you down the best rapids you've ever seen before depositing you into a valley filled with beautiful flowers, rainbows and unicorns, is there any more that this film can give you?  HELL YEAH!!!  As if all the good things already going on in the film wasn't enough, Spielberg, Jackson and the rest say, "NAY!  We must do more" and the film delivers action sequences that are painfully and meticulously stitched and crafted together like a painting made by Bob Ross and can put every Michael Bay action sequence in a grave (probably, not the best reference since Michael Bay's only direction in an action sequence is "explosions!!!!  Bay want more explosions!").  Every single action sequence that came at me came fast and came furious (I think I just wrote the title to the Fast and the Furious porn parody).  But not only are these action sequences "edge-of-your-seat" material, the way each one is put together and play out is truly one-of-a-kind--to the point I lose the ability to adequately describe how incredibly epic they are!

Seriously, this shit was animated!

My expectations were non-existent when I sat down to watch The Adventures of Tintin.  I really didn't think it was going to suck but I didn't think it was going to be as amazing as it was.  The visuals are a feast for the old eyeballs, the story is fun and makes one reminisce to the days where a paper towel tube was a spyglass to a wee little boy with an imagination and the acting is incredible.  The Adventures of Tintin was a pleasant, pleasant surprise.