Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Amblin' Wingnuts

As long as I'm on a mini-roll, a brief word about the first Tintin movie.  They're already working on two more, but Spielberg's too busy to direct them all.  He's got to try and salvage the Indiana Jones franchise, and he's going to direct something called Robopocalypse.  Personally, I thought the Y2K Simpsons Halloween episode put any robopocalypses to rest, but that's just me.
Anyway, Spielberg's been biding his time before embracing all this MoCap madness that's been going about.  He stood back and let Robert Zemeckis get his feet wet before getting his own feet muddied.  And after BoZem's MoCap trilogy, The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol, Spielberg finally decided that maybe it was time to try one of his own!
Of course, Zemeckis didn't have the benefit of the new 3D technologies involved, nor probably the benefit of some new seamless rendering technology that seems to have come about only within the last few years or so.  Take the opening sequence of Skyfall, for example.  Pretty damn slick!  That one close-up of Sakharine / Red Rackham's hair blowing in the wind, and Spielberg seems to be saying: I'm finally ready to leave the world of live actors behind.  Even though he swore he would never do that.  Boy, some people don't get to have any fun.  Also, Spielberg knows he has to up the ante on violence with these things, and Tintin almost getting decapitated by a plane's spinning propellor is one example of the proof.  Tintin gets roughed up pretty good in other parts of the flick as well.  The gloves are off against this kid!  Dayamn!
So that's two; how about a third?  Well, in the age of attention-deficit-disorder-based editing, common to the films of Michael Bay, when's the last time someone attempted a long continuous take?  BESIDES Dogville!!!  The only one that comes to my empty mind is the skydiving sequence in Point Break.  There's probably another sequence in Point Break like that, but I'm not the authority to speak to that.  Oh!  I've heard there's a scene in The Mighty Quinn that's a pretty bitchin' one-take take, where they go down the side of a hill, something like that.  Well, it probably doesn't count, especially in this CGI 2.0 age, but there's the one action sequence... I forget what sets it off.  I think it's when the bad guy's eagle gets the other scroll.  He and Tintin take off down the hill, and end up bringing a tank-driven hotel to the beach with them.  It seems to last about five minutes and... sad, isn't it?  I don't even know how long the scene lasts!  DAMN YOU, TIVO!!!  I guess the point is, the Indiana Jones structure's out there now.  It's been used and overused to death, and it seems to be too good not to use.  All that's left is rejuvenating the icons of old and giving them a second chance in the Indiana Jones-CGI cinemascape of the early 21st Century.  And Spielberg himself gets first crack at all the best ones; and rightfully so, of course.  Peter Jackson's supposed to direct the second Tintin film.  Just make sure he doesn't have a bunch of brontosauri pile up against a giant naturally-made staircase, okay?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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