Fincher vs. Spielberg: Who Will Win the Christmas Box-Office Battle?

Grab some popcorn! NewsFeed's Glen Levy brings you the movies you should check out (or avoid) this holiday season.

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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Daniel Craig also pops up in the 3D, motion-capture extravaganza that is The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Directed by Steven Spielberg (it’s said that Tintin’s creator Hergé wanted only him to helm an eventual movie) and produced by Peter Jackson, you’d imagine the project was in extremely safe hands. And if the powers that be go through all the expense and lengthy post-production to make a sequel, it’s believed that Spielberg and Jackson will swap roles.

Jamie Bell plays the intrepid Belgian reporter Tintin, who, after buying an old model ship from a market trader, gets sucked into an adventure involving the location of a wondrous treasure while meeting a whole host of characters. Some are good (the bumbling inspectors Thompson and Thomson, portrayed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), some are bad (Craig’s Sakharine) and some are Captain Haddock, played with genuine gusto by Andy Serkis (and wouldn’t it be wild if he scored two Best Supporting Actor nominations playing non-human roles?).

Tintin looks lovely, and you can see why Spielberg resisted traditional live-action when you witness how he handles the flashback sequence as Haddock recounts the sinking of the Unicorn, which arguably ranks among Spielberg’s top 10 set-pieces. But the critics haven’t given him a free pass. For every rave (Time Out London calls it “the most creative, enjoyable and invigorating blockbuster of the year”), there’s a veritable stinker (EW: “Even a filmmaker as dazzling as Steven Spielberg has to create characters who lure us into their point of view, and the trouble with Tintin is that we’re always on the outside, looking in. What all that motion can’t capture is our hearts”). But as the cliché goes, kids of all ages will love it.

TIME COVER: It’s Tintin Time!

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