Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some Thoughts On Two Images

Look I’m not sure what the reaction that Spielberg and Jackson were going for when they released the first Tintin image, but if it was “Oh God Kill It With Fire!!!” well then they straight up nailed it.

It’s like they were aiming for the uncanny valley and hit it smack dab in the middle at its deepest point.

I literally don’t know what to say about this image. When I first heard about Tin Tin I was excited because the clean line style of Herge perfectly sidesteps the problems that Mo-Cap presents. How two guys as smart as Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson could look at this:

And think this:

Is literally beyond me.

This image on the other hand makes me very excited:

It’s been a bad year to be a Kevin Smith fan. He spent 2010 burning through an awful lot of good will. Leaving even a dedicated apologist as myself feeling a very real sense of fatigue. It wasn’t so much Cop Out (or The Widening Gyre because Jesus Christ that thing…), I’ve forgiven bad Kevin Smith movies before and I’m sure I’ll forgive them again.

No. It was the reaction to Cop Out, in who's aftermath he gave a series of increasingly defensive vindictive interviews that eventually spiraled into out and out paranoia. With Smith trashing his work, his fans, and particularly those who ever had the gall to take his work seriously. It was like watching a friend so drunk at a party that he's totally unaware his dick hanging out of his pants as he's talking to a woman who dumped him six months ago, alternating between sobbing and incoherent threats. Smith embarrassed himself and it was ugly. There’s no other way to put it.

Which is a damn shame because I LIKE Kevin Smith. Still do. I know it’s not cool to say, but damn it Clerks still works. Chasing Amy may not be perfect, but it’s heartfelt, honest, and genuinely funny. Not to mention both a perfect time capsule of both itself and a certain kind of 90’s filmmaking. And damn it, it deserves it’s Criterion. Dogma is my favorite movie about Faith not called The Last Temptation Of Christ. Yes I’m serious. Frankly it’s not a movie for non Catholics, there I said it, but as a portrait of a smart ass coming to terms with his faith, I find it both moving and funny. Zack And Miri is good for a chuckle and Clerks II is a great film.

Yes you read that last part right.

So yeah, I like Smith. And watching his demo derby this year stung.

But I knew he had his ace in the hole. A film I’ve been wanting to see since it was announced pre Zack And Miri. A film Frankly I kind of thought I’d never see at this point.

Well here it is, and if the finished film has a quarter of the atmosphere, dread, and balls that that image says it does, if it’s the dark night of the soul to Dogma’s sunny affirmation, then I’m going to be a very happy man come 2011.

Fans of Smith may recall that following the disaster that was Mallrats Smith licked his wounds, went back to his roots and made Chasing Amy for a quarter of a million dollars. Red State cost four million, basically the equivalent of a quarter million Clinton dollars anyway. Here’s hoping he does it again. Takes step back reconnect with what made him great, and make an honest movie.

Come on Kev. I’m rooting for you.


Steve Miller said...

That Tintin image confirms everything I was afraid of in regards to the upcoming movies.

I predicted they were going to suck, and I am even more convinced now that they will.

Kschenke said...

I too liked Clerks II. I thought the ending was positive but extremely fitting. Zach and Miri felt like a bit of a mess to me, but what can you do?

Like the Smurfs movie coming out, I am not holding my breath for TinTin. I didn't watch it very often as a kid, but I know a lot of people really loved that show and I don't see this going well. The only potentially redeeming factor is that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play a duo in it. Still, TinTin can go very badly.

Unknown said...

I like Smith's stuff a lot... not too crazy about CLERKS II but I thought he did a great job with ZACK & MIRI but CHASING AMY is still his best film to date. I'm hoping this new one is good. Love the poster.

Bryce Wilson said...

@ Steve Miller: And I'm convinced you're probably right.

@ Kschenke: Zack and Miri is a mess, but any movie that can make me laugh as hard at something as Justin Long's reptilian performance is doing something right.

The difference between The Smurfs and Tintin, is that while I expected The Smurfs to be a cynical ugly cash grab, I kind of expect Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to figure out a way to make shit work.

Like I said I'm literally stunned by how much I hate that image. On a visceral level.

The casting of Pegg and Frost is genius though.

@ JD: Yeah I'm no I'm really in the minority on Clerks II. I just think it's wistful, funny, and contains some of Smith's best filmmaking.

And also the musical sequence sums up just about everything I like about Smith as a filmmaker.

The Goodkind said...

Your point about Tintin is well put. Makes me sick.