Cinematically,this is the winter of our discontent. The only movies worth seeing have already been seen. Seen there, done that. There is, of course, “Contraband” with that icon of method acting – Mark Whalberg – which may well be a hidden gem. And which I shall never discover.
That being the sad state of mid January, pre- Oscar cinema, and it being a bitter cold, friendless Friday afternoon, I finally went to one of Spielberg’s two offerings for 2011 – “The Adventures of Tin Tin”.
Now, as you all no doubt know, Tin Tin is Belgium’s cultural gift to the world ( along with Hercule Poiret). It’s a sort of appeasement for Belgium’s other cultural gift to the world – King Leopold’s rape and pillage of the Congo and the introduction of amputation as a form of punishment. tin Tin and Leopold. What would we do without Belgium?
“Tin Tin” is a curious movie – the flip side of “Hugo”. Here we have two of the world’s pre-eminent directors experimenting with animation. ( The opposite od Brad Bird – who recently gave us the cartoonish, but thrilling MI4 – and whose previous works were “Up”, “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”). Scorcese’s “Hugo” is real life that looks like animation and “Tin Tin” is animation that looks like real life.
Both are serious, almost scholarly exercises in pushing the art – actually, mainly the science – of cinema further.
Neither work, despite some awesome set-pieces. Indeed, “Tin Tin” has some chase sequences which have all the excitement of the first three Indiana Jones films ( why did he have to do that last one?). But it’s a hollow, dishonest farrago – The cynical work of an old guy trying to pretend to the innocence and freshness of childhood in order to ( successfully I might say) woo the ‘Family market’.
Apart from Spielberg, the movie s choc-a-block with talent. Andy – Lord of the Rings – Serkis, Daniel Craig and Simon Peggy ( we last saw in MI4. See above).
And it boasts a library of top-class British writers: Steven Moffat ( the new TV series – “Sherlock” and lots of Dr.Who tales.) Edgar Wright (“Shaun of The Dead”); Joe Cornish (“Attack The Block”). Really? Three writers for this?
Listen – if you’re solo and it’s a cold and stormy night, this is perfectly fine entertainment. But if you’ve got a friend, and it ain’t cold, do something else


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