Even as a big fan of Steven Spielberg, this writer is strangely cool on "War Horse," the director's big awards hopeful this year. The full trailer, of course, debuted yesterday, and it looks handsome, and probably moving, and well-acted, but...there's something that's just not quite connecting there. Maybe it's that the Bearded One has something arriving more imminently that's taking up our focus, such as his long-in-the-works adaptation of "The Adventures of Tintin," which sees Spielberg team up with Peter Jackson to bring Hergé's beloved comic book boy detective to the screen with WETA-enhanced performance capture.
Everyone was undoubtedly a little skeptical at first, as not many movies using the technique in full had convinced, beyond "Avatar." But fortunately, Spielberg had the boys and girls behind "Avatar" on his side in the making of 'Tintin,' and every glimpse of footage we've seen in the past six months or so has made the film look more exciting, even forgetting the fact that it has a script from the dream team of "Doctor Who" writer Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and "Attack The Block" writer-director Joe Cornish.
The film arrives in Europe in only a few short weeks (the character's hugely popular there, which is why it's hitting screens a full two months before the U.S.), and MSN have debuted the new U.K. trailer, which continues to look like a blast. Much of it we've seen before, but the effects look that much closer to being finished at this point; there's a weight to the movement that's so often missing in performance-capture. The trailer also gives a glimpse of a few more action sequences, including a pirate battle and a genuinely spectacular motorbike stunt.
The appeal of the WETA technique has always been a kind of simplification: actors say it's the closest thing they have to theater, and directors can shoot to their leisure without worrying about the sun going down and the crew going into overtime. As such, the potential is here for the purest kind of Spielberg experience, and that has to be a little exciting. We'll have our review before the month is out; the film hits the U.K. and elsewhere on October 26th, and the U.S. on December 21st.