Oscars: Mixed reax for Spielberg’s “Tintin” at AFI

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s 3D, animated “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn,” closed this year’s AFI Fest in Los Angeles on Thursday night, and while reaction to the Herge adaptation has largely been positive, U.S. critics in attendance last night were a little more mixed.

Prominent Internet bloggers seemed eager to take this wild, mo-cap ride with Spielberg. Peter Sciretta of Slash Film tweeted shortly after the screening that, “Spielberg’s Tintin is a lot of fun. Action sequences are brilliantly choreographed. One 3+ minute one shot sequence is masterful.”

Silas Lesnick of ComingSoon.net added, “TINTIN did not disappoint! It’s great as an adaptation and it’s great as a Spielberg film.”

And Scott Feinberg, covering the North American premiere for The Hollywood Reporter, states that “Tintin” is “good, innocent, escapist entertainment — sort of the cinematic equivalent of The Hardy Boys, with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in for good measure — and should do big business during the holiday season.”

Yet the naysayers had their … well, their say, I guess.

Steve Pond, of The Wrap, says Spielberg’s film is “more exhausting than exhilarating, I’m afraid.”

Variety’s Josh Dickey simply dismisses the film as “boring.”

And the loudest complaints came from Dickey’s Variety colleague, Jeff Sneider, who took Spielberg’s film to task via his Twitter feed.

“TINTIN is a technological achievement but little more. Spielberg sure knows how to move the camera but surprisingly, there was NO HEART. There’s no heart b/c there’s no love & there’s no love b/c there’s no girl. And don’t even start with Snowy the Dog, which is no substitute. The mo-cap animation is incredible & there were times I honestly forgot I wasn’t watching a live-action film. Some amazing action sequences. Not like sound-asleep but eyes mostly closed. The stakes were just too low. I never sensed the main characters were in grave danger.”

And that was just the beginning. So yeah, mixed. Decide your yourself when “Tintin” reaches theaters on Dec. 21.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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