Tag Archives: JJ Abrams

Review(s): The Adventures of Tintin and Super 8

The Adventures of Tintin

2011 was not a particularly notable year for American film. It did, at the least, however, see the return to action of the modern American director who had done the most to influence modern American directing: Steven Spielberg.  Mostly absent for about six years, with only the middling (but quite honestly entirely competent and occasionally inspired) Indiana Jones 4 to wet his whistle in the middle of that period, 2011 saw Spielberg returning to a tried-and-true formula long known to him, and long successful: releasing two films in one year, one a sentimental, somewhat saccharine historical drama for the middlebrows and the other a big ol’ supped-up children’s adventure for the young’ins who find sentiment just a tad too … respectably suburban for their tastes. December brought us both the arch-Oscarbait of War Horse and the self-conscious Indiana Jones pastiche The Adventures of Tintin, itself most notable, if anything, for being marketed to a distinctly more European audience than a normal blockbuster of such import and backing. Naturally, that’s fitting for the material: a family comic series by Belgian artist Herge centering the youthful adventurer Tintin and his band of merry companions all throughout the racialized, Orientalist world. Continue reading

Review: Star Trek and Friends

Star Trek

Star Trek is so light on its feet and cheerfully reckless it is almost impossible to dislike. Except that it does a whole lot worthy of disliking. This is a film wholly dedicated to lean, mean, efficient summer-blockbuster filmmaking. And if it is a decent entertainment for this reason, it sure isn’t interested in doing away with many of the flaws found in modern mainstream blockbusters. Yes, when it came out in 2009 it was the perfect fix for weary summer movie goers tired of sequels and superhero films, and, as the icing on the cake, it filled a void for Star Wars fanboys who couldn’t get over George Lucas’ recent efforts. Except…apparently what they wanted was a rather competent blockbuster so concerned with action it fails to concern itself with anything else. This achieves the rather depressing goal of creating a fairly solid and sturdy action extravaganza, while also somewhat sapping the film of most of its heart and soul. Continue reading