Christmas movie orgy: “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL” & “THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN”.

Finally, for the first time in months, I managed to make it to a movie theater for a night out.  In this case, a holiday double feature.  I’m happy to report that Ashland Street Cinemas finally upgraded their projectors to digital. Which means I could sit through a film without having it suddenly snap out of focus because the reel changed.  However, I still had to deal with the people behind me crinkling their wrappers and popping their soda cans behind me during “Tintin”. So I guess they need to upgrade their customers. (Or we need an Alamo Drafthouse.) Anyway, here’s what I saw.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL. (2011-Directed by Brad Bird.)

I tweeted briefly with Alan Cerny (@NordlingAICN.) about the film the other night and he summed it well by saying that Brad Bird did for action cinema in one movie what Michael Bay couldn’t do in eight.  I responded with the following.

@NordlingAICN Bay has some odd form of ADD. Bird’s an animator, they’re trained to have focus.

And that sums up one of the reasons I dug the hell out the movie.
Look, I get the basic theory behind the “Blizzard of Cuts” style of action filmmaking. It’s trying to simulate the the chaos that occurs in these situations.  In a real gun fight or car accident, you don’t have time to orient yourself to the situation and it’s only after the fact that you can piece it together.
But in a movie, you’re an observer.  Yes, you’re feeling the scene viscerally but you’re also trying to follow the narrative as well.  And when an action scene is over cut, you risk confusing the audience both narratively and spatially.  And that’s may be one layer of confusion too many.
This of course, is my overly academic way of saying that one of the reasons I liked “MI:GP” is because Brad Bird didn’t shoot and cut his action scenes like a effing spazola.
Indeed, “MI:GP” is a gleefully retro affair. From it’s “Mad man tries to destroy the world” plot to it’s gleeful fetishisation of spy gadgetry that would bring a tear to Q’s eye. And whatever one thinks of Tom Cruise’s offscreen life, there’s no denying that when wants to, he can crank up the movie star in a way that can make most mortal men question/rue their deficient sexuality.
See the movie.  But don’t bring a date unless you’re damn sure she’s willing to settle for you.

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: (2011-Directed by Steven Spielberg.) 

I have not read a Tintin book since I was a kid so I’m in no position to say how faithful the film is to the original books.  What I can tell you is that the film is a pure shot of adrenaline laced fun.  And if I enjoyed it slightly less than “MI:GP”, it was because of the aforementioned wrapper crinklers and the eye strain from the 3D. (Note to self: get eyes checked this year.)
There is something about working in animation that seems to have unleashed something in the man.  I may have enjoyed “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” more than most people.  But if “Crystal Skull” was a married couple enjoying a night out without the kids, “Tintin” is the same married couple enjoying a three way with a Japanese AV model while whacked out on a tab of Ecstasy. (And yes, Mr. Spielberg, I double dog dare you to put that on the Blu-Ray cover!)
Working from an efficient script by Steven Moffet, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, Spielberg has concocted a film that’s equal parts old school adventure, new school tech and sly wit.  And using animation, he does it with a fluidity that makes “Raiders” look like a Ozu film.   (Seriously, the big six minute all in one shot chase scene near the end may be one of the finest chases ever put to film.  And if you tried to shoot it in live action, you would kill everyone involved.  Including the caterers.)

In the end, two really good films to close out the year with. Go. See. Thank me later.

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About theragingcelt

Actor/Writer/Homegrown Pundit/Cranky Progressive/Sometimes Filmmaker. talesofthegeeknation.com
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One Response to Christmas movie orgy: “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL” & “THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN”.

  1. Pingback: Additions to the Blu-Ray library. | News from the Front

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