The Adventures of Tintin

I can quite honestly say that I would not be as enthusiastic about the medium of film as I am today without the films of Steven Spielberg. Specifically, that enthusiasm would be nonexistent without the Indiana Jones trilogy (that’s right, TRILOGY). I can remember seeing “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” for the first time as if it was yesterday (yes, I saw them out of order, don’t judge me). Even on a crappy VHS on a small TV, I was swept up in the globe-trotting, treasure-hunting adventures of Dr. Jones and his affable gang of companions. Recently, Spielberg gave us a return to that kind of film with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” but the results were lacking in a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Actually, je sais precisely quoi; it was lacking in heart and character and quality setpieces and any appearance of genuine giving-a-shit. Thankfully, Spielberg has been given a second chance at producing that brand of cinematic adventuring (this time sans the confused mind of a 2012-fearing George Lucas) with the animated motion-capture spectacle “The Adventures of Tintin.” Was Spielberg able to find redemption this time around? The answer is a surprising “Pretty much, yeah.”

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You Should’ve Played This Game Last Year, But You Didn’t:

I don’t get a ton of time to play video games, so I have to be really selective with the games I do commit to play. Most of the time, however, it’s not the triple-A titles every one and their mom is playing, like the Assassin’s Creed’s, the Madden’s, the brand-new-shooter-that-looks-exactly-like-last-one-you-sold-back, etc. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with those games, I just couldn’t give two annual-released-shit’s about them. I tend to gravitate towards single-player games a lot of the time; I just enjoy playing games for their stories. Let’s be honest, most people don’t play triple-A games like Call of Duty for the story.

The fourth quarter of the calendar year is jam-packed with games, and it’s not hard for a gem to be buried underneath the annually rehashed blockbusters. I’ve spent my time working at a game store to know how bad this time can be, especially when deciding which game deserves your last $60 in this busy season. Last year I paid extra close attention to a game called Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, the second release from Heavenly Sword creators, Ninja Theory. The power Ninja Theory was able to convey with their facial animations had absolutely stunned me when Heavenly Sword was first released in 2007. Once I heard Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) was playing the main character, Monkey, and Alex Garland (28 Days Later) had helped pen the story loosely based on the old Chinese lore, Odyssey to the West, I was sold.

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