6A - Monday, January 9, 2012Th
The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com
Foreign laughs in 'Boys'
"Great snakes! Beyonce named her baby what?"
A tl gnime
'Tintin' brings a
to 3-D life
By KAVI SHEKHAR PANDEY
Daily Arts Writer
One of the most egregious
lapses in our nation's culture (the
other being our disregard for the
metric system) is the obscurity of
Snowy. Every- The
where else in
the world, the AdvntureS
comic books of Tintin
escapades of At Quality16
the baby-faced and Rave
a prescribed Paramount
dose for child-
hood, but in America, only a few
can distinguish Tintin from the
German shepherd with the simi-
lar moniker. Good thing one of
the few is Steven Spielberg, who
recognizedthe sensational thrills
and ingenious whims of Tintin's
tales and joined forces with Peter
Jackson ("District 9") to make a
motion-capture masterpiece in
"The Adventures of Tintin."
The film is a mash-up of some
of Hergd's finest stories, patching
together elements of "The Secret
of the Unicorn" and "The Crab
with the Golden Claws" to create
a new narrative. Like the comics,
it's an adventure in the purest
sense - sleek, swift and trimmed
of all flourishes that don't get the
pulse racing (no character devel-
opment, no problem). A jazzy,
giddy, "Catch Me If You Can"-
esque opening credit sequence
starts the festivities, and soon
Tintin (Jamie Bell, "Billy Elliot")
gets hot on the trail of a sunken
As always, Tintin is joined by
his intrepid, exceptionally intelli-
gent canine Snowy, who saves his
arse on more than one occasion,
and is capable of taking on even
the fiercest of fellow mutts. The
bungling detective duo Thomp-
son (Simon Pegg, "Mission
Impossible: Ghost Protocol") and
Thomson (Nick Frost, "Attack the
Block") also get their moments
of hilarity - to be precise, they
are only hilarious momentari-
ly - leading a silly subplot that
eventually ties into the main nar-
But "Tintin" doesn't hit its
stride until the rambunctious,
persistently inebriated Captain
Haddock (Andy Serkis, "Rise of
the Planet of the Apes") stumbles
into the picture. Armed with a
bottle of Loch Lomond whiskey,
Serkis gives. a stupendous por-
trayal of Haddock, a pro-alcohol-
ism PSA that excels in pratfalls
and insults - billions of blue blis-
teringbarnacleshe's funny - but
when duty calls, he becomes the
bravest of them all.
From start to finish, "The
Adventures of Tintin" bursts
with Spielbergian zeal - the zeal
of incredible spectacle, of taking
cinema to daring newheights and
making audiences quiver with
amazement. It has been 50 years,
but Spielberg hasn't lost an ounce
of the vigor he had as akid mak-
ing movies with a Super 8 cam-
era - now, he just has new toys
to tinker with in motion capture
and 3-D technology.
"Tintin" first flashes its
razzle-dazzle during a flash-
back of pirate action with more
swashbuckling swagger than
the entire "Pirates" franchise,
redeeming the director against
all who claimed "Hook" fal-
tered. But it's a mere herald for
the galvanizing, mesmerizing
chase through Bagghar - a
nearly five-minute continuous
shot, with motorcycles, tanks
and Snowy fighting a falcon, that
stands among the hallowed halls
of cinema's greatest achieve-
ments. Computer-generated or
not, Spielberg has laid down
the gauntlet, slapping the entire
Directors Guild across the face
with a white glove and challeng-
ing them to top that. You just got
served, James Cameron.
Spielberg's drive to make
superlative cinema is as
unquenchable as Tintin's thirst
for adventure (and Haddock's
thirst for whiskey, for that mat-
ter). And this film isn't just about
the stunning set pieces - Spiel-
berg's love for the material pours
through in the most minute of
details, from newspaper head-
lines to Snowy's ancillary inter-
actions with his surroundings.
Critics have complained that the
Almighty Bearded One has lost
his wizard status in recent years,
but clearly he has reclaimed his
position as Headmaster of Hog-
warts because "The Adventures
of Tintin" is a sight to behold.
By KELLY ETZ
Daily TV/New Media Editor
HBO is no stranger to bring-
ing the shock factor. The network
minds a gener- **** k
ous helping of
nudity or vio- Angy Boys
in the lineup, Sundaysat10p.m.
"Angry Boys," HBO
altogether different kind of bite.
The series is the latest effort of
Australian comedian Chris Lilley
- who specializes in mockumen-
tary style episodes - in which he
introduces the audience to sev-
eral of his, characters, each more
charmingly offensive than the
"Angry Boys" is no different,
starting off right out of the gun
with Daniel and Nathan Sims,
delinquent twin boys living in
rural Australia, and then moving
on to their prison guard grand-
mother, who runs the show at a
boy's juvenile facility.
The twins and their grand-
mother, all played by Lilley, are
awkwardly similar. Though
some sameness is expected,
there just isn't enough variation
- especiallyfor a character-driv-
en episodic series like this to
manufacture an easy shift from
each scene to the next. The view-
er may get tangled in the same-
ness of Lilley's accent, which is
largely unvaried between the
different characters, or be con-
fused by the seemingly random
assortment of scenes.
While Lilley struggles a bit to
bring range to his different dis-
guises, it's still fun to watch him
parade around as Gran, the ham-
ster-loving prison guard with a
penchant for making Superman
costumes and "gotcha!" jokes.
Yet what Lilley lacks in finesse,
he more than makes up for in
Bieber babies are popping up everywhere.
sheer lack of tact, seeming to to be desired, Lilley certainly has
relish every politically incorrect plenty of other characters up his
statement or not-so-subtle racial sleeve for awaiting episodes. In
dig imaginable - all delivered the second episode, viewers are
in an impossibly smooth dead- treated to the rapper S.Mouse!
pan, leaving viewers choking on Future episodes promise a whole
a laugh while at the same time host of other opportunities for
wondering why they aren't mor- Lilley to don one disguise after
ally offended. the next. As the episodes are only
30 minutes each, the show moves
at a fast clip, and viewers won't be
stuck with any one character for
One an, anyvery long.
possibilities. ofMuch like the British version
"ofThe Office," "Angry Boys" is
abound with that brand of over-
seas humor - this time hail-
This flawless-yet-shameless ing from Australia - that can
delivery is where Lilley hits pay be enticing and off-putting to
dirt and what prompts most of American viewers. Yet the series
the humor. The characters of manages to be just funny enough
Nathanand Daniel also stand out, to strike the right chord with
as the twins' humor is so stun- Lilley's foreign audience: And
ningly spot on. Though highly let's not forget the Australian
exaggerated, Daniel's woes about accent, automatically ratcheting
his mother's new "dickhead" the show up another notch, for
boyfriend, his aggravation with no other reason than it's fun to
his twin brother and his sheer listen to.
boredom are entirely relatable, No matter who's watching, it's
eliciting laughs at the utter truth no doubt Lilley has talent and
of the whole thing. knows how to use it. The recipi-
The grandmother character ent of multiple awards for his
hits a little below the mark, and previous work, he's obviously
though she may prompt more ready to spring his repertoire on
laughs, her antics are less-than- the American public. So far, so
fresh. Though Gran leaves a little good.
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RELEASE DATE- Friday, December 9, 2011
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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