Archives for posts with tag: Steven Spielberg

And here I thought Tintin was the dog’s name. In Steven Spielberg’s animated cinematic version of the Belgian cartoon series “The Adventures of Tintin” (2011), we’re presented with an adventure story featuring mesmerizing action that is equal parts James Bond and Rube Goldberg. There’s a lot more violence than one would expect from a film with the trappings of a kids’ story. (Tintin, a young journalist who solves mysteries with the help of his loyal terrier Snowy, is also quite skilled at gunplay.) Like John Williams’ score, the hero-villain story ultimately becomes a bundle of cliches despite a promising start.

“Kids suck,” is uttered by one of the antagonists during “Goonies” (1985). Later, someone says, “I feel like I’m babysitting, and I’m not getting paid.” As for me, with all the adults bickering and kids screaming, I felt like I was at Chuck E Cheese. Speaking of cheese, this film about hapless kids searching for pirate treasure is extremely overrated. It has a cult following. If you made it to age 15 without seeing it, you don’t need to. It’s only redeeming value is that some of the kid actors became successful adult actors (Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton).

“Lincoln” (2012) is a fascinating movie for what it is, and for what it is not. It is not a biopic of the legendary president, full of fireside reading, rail splitting and debates with Stephen A. Douglas. It is a look deep inside the Washington sausage-making process that we know as American representative democracy. Along the way, it tries to reveal who Abraham Lincoln was, both his personality and what he stood for. It does a good job of that, although I doubt his every waking moment was spent earnestly saying profound things. Maybe he was just awesome like that.