July 4, 2008

An all amelican Tintin movie has been threatened. I suppose this is in response to my occasionally stated indifference to the massive collection of garbage forgettable feature films made about potentially slightly less forgettable tv shows from previous decades. The opportunity to make a big public show of messing up something I like rarely presents itself. Something specific, I mean. Not like music or cultural identity.

If the movie is popular, it might lead to American popularity for the comics. And that might lead to others of its sort being translated to English and adequately distributed outside India. Although supposedly the Tintin was popular in Britain, so I guess the popularity would have to exceed that, and given Amelican’s distrust of anything over a year old plus the French, that happening strikes me as unlikely. Of course Tintin is Belgian, but Americans also distrust distinctions made regarding nations they don’t trust.

I read that Tintin (2009 film) will be neither actor-acted nor cartoon-animated. It will be some strange motion-capture hybrid of the two.
Weh, I just hope it doesn’t end up looking like SKYLAND, and that if it does there won’t be any dance scenes.

(I don’t really know what Skyland is beyond that this is a scene from it and that it was unsettling when I witnessed it.) Even still it won’t be as creepy as Cars. Fichus, I wish I’d put this up when I wrote it because I don’t want to start thinking about those cars again. I’ll be nice about the [newer] robot movie and [presumably first of many] rat mov[ies] but those cars are nasty.

I also hope Tintin isn’t “updated” to fit current technology and fashion and linguistic trends. Though author Hergé was good about always having Tintin in a current make of automobile, airplane or water-traversing vessel, I don’t trust anyone else, much less politically and commercially-conscious Americans to take on the task of deciding how far that ought to go. That’s the sort of thing that’s almost never done well. I don’t want Tintin to have an iPhone or to make jokes about myspace, that’s what I’m saying. That didn’t ruin the Iron Man movie, but definitely a couple seconds. And it’s rather hard enough to take Optimus Prime seriously when he’s not talking about E-Bay. But by virtue of being magical gimmicky robot-men, they’re more inherently updatable anyway. Tintin stories rely a lot on travel taking a long time and people not being able to look things up on the internet and finding suspicious crab tins when they get out to crank their Model-Ts or whatever.
Co-director Peter Jackson is from New Zealand, yes, but one of his standard contract stipulations is the creation of a role involving Andy Serkis clambering around semi-erect and grunting which doesn’t fit in here at all unless we’ve really modernized Tintin and Captain Haddock’s relationship.

Not that I delude myself with the notion that homogayality is anything new, but I like to think those two would go about it in a more dignified manner. Tintin, after all, got his start in Le Petit Vingtième, a Catholic-themed newspaper supplement for children, so it follows that Tintin would be very repressed in certain matters. What is modern is just the common occurrence of blatant gays characterized primarily by the fact that they are gay. Or the public perception that any amiable male characters of fiction who coexist without apparent female love-interest not only must be gay, over each other, but must have this pointed out regularly. Aside from any of that, I think if anyone, the Captain is in love with Professor Calculus.

The Calculus Affair indeed!

The only aspect of a 2009 American-made Tintin feature film I can say with certainty will be an improvement is that the obligatory miserable multi platform tie-in video game(s) can’t help but be better than the last ones.* I’m generally uninterested by modern techniques, but I know people won’t put up with a yo yo dodging simulator these days. Or they would, but only if it was called Hop Hop Yo Yo Panic and featured music inappropriate to standard Tintin activities.
*I’m told there was a later installment on the playstation with the exact same perogatives except in 3-D, as if the sprite animation wasn’t the only thing they got sort of right.

On the subject of Peter Jackson, perhaps I may expect good things. His movie King Kong reminded me of a Tintin book, specifically Flight 714, because of the considerable amount of time spent on the ship and then the disappointingly quick wrap-up, sudden skimming-over of details and forgetting of certain characters because whoopth! Almost outta time! As for what the enormous gorilla was expecting to do with the lady he was carrying around, if he’d revealed himself as a space alien (who needed an ultra high point to launch himself into space from), the plausibility could only have improved. As it was, it made about as much sense as

Here’s some more stuff that doesn’t make sense, helpfully highlighted to assist you in avoiding it.

The Red Sea Sharks also seems to have a lot going on that just wasn’t tended to, due to the pointless space constraints. How did Dr. Muller become Arabian? Which “revolution” did he actually lead? What happened to Dawson, and to what extent were the succeeding events a result of revenge over Tintin’s nose-sticking? Did he know about the slaves? Did Skut know about the slaves? Why was he not more hostile to the people who shot down his airplane? Did Allan’s thugs start the fire on the ship or did it just happen and they ran away? I can understand why they wouldn’t want to give their prisoners time to escape, but why would they willingly give up such valuable cargo just to do Tintinin? You’ll sell mass quantities of slaves but you won’t shoot a couple upstarts? How does Tintin know di Gorgonzola is Rastapopolous? Is that just a result of this story being translated prior to Blue Lotus or Pharaoh Cigars? Was Herge’s intent to make it obvious that they were the same person, but the translators didn’t realize RASTAP had already appeared? What was the submarine’s purpose prior to being given the order to TERMINATE? At any rate, I think these are more important things for TINTIN-OLOGISTS to notice than an utterly unimportant fuzzy green strip that moved within a 40-page absense.

Also, apparently that’s a flower bed.

This is why I could never be successful. I’d worry too much about consistency and feasibility to try anything grand and in the end someone would complain that I depicted a non-existent variety of sock anyway. How would I ever recover from that?

In summary, I have serious Tintin issues which I have no one to discuss with. Obviously.

Oh, to share something special with someone!

Because I suspect this topic requires further investurgation.

Additional reading: Tintin contre Batman, cbz format, completely unofficial, 99% not English.

While I was away from the computer… -actually, I was right next to it but it was off, and then I went outside and lay against a car hood in the rain because I’m a broken human- I remembered that the script writer is allegedly Uklandish. But they’re not all perfect, either. They invented Teletubbies, Battletoads, Mad Cow Disease and Chip Butty, after all. That’s right, they invented mad cow disease. Every Blitish person came together to put on white lab-jackets and bifocals and poured colored liquids between funny-shaped glass bottles until something exploded and then they invented mad cow disease because they were fed up with all the bovine indifference to their brilliant masterful taunts.

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