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Patch Movies Reviews: Adventures of Tin Tin, Sherlock Homes, Mission Impossible

Sherlock Holmes and the Game of Shadows, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal, Adventures of Tin Tin

The Adventures of Tin Tin (Review: 8 out of 10)

Give Steven Spielberg new technology and chances are he’ll come back with something fantastic.

Just who knew that “The Adventures of Tin Tin,” based on a comic-book by Herge, could be his most exciting film in years? Forget talking cars, cats, etc. Using motion capture animation in 3-D, Spielberg has expanded on the capabilities of animation. 

Jamie Bell plays the title character, a young ginger-haired reporter in early-twentieth century Europe who buys a model ship and is suddenly thrown, along with his dog Snowy, into the case of the Unicorn—a ship captained by Sir Francis Haddock.The ship contained valuable cargo, but went down after being attacked by pirates.

There are three scrolls that Tin Tin must find and to do so he enlists the help of Haddock’s grandson (Andy Serkis), a drunken fellow who happens to be the last of the Haddock bloodline. On their tail is Sakharine (Daniel Craig), who not only wants the treasure but has a score to settle with the Haddocks.

Intrigue and suspense give way to non-stop inventiveness and thrills. A plane flying through a storm, two ships doing battle in the middle of the ocean, and a chase through the streets of North Africa are 3 of the better action sequences I’ve seen all year.

The waxy-ness of the characters jives well with the clean, simple look of the comics and there is such fluidity to their movements that running, jumping, and swinging really spring to life on-screen. And the artistry that went into the rest of the movie looks marvelous.

There’s also physical comedy (most at the expense of the younger Haddock) and two very funny buffoonish police officers (Thompson and Thomson) for comic relief. The characters are a little emotionally one-dimensional, but “Tin Tin” is a fast-paced, action-packed joy to behold. 

Click on the YouTube video to watch the trailer 

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Review: 5 out of 10)

It doesn’t take a famous detective to deduce that something seems terribly off about Guy Ritchie’s sequel to “Sherlock Holmes”. Even Robert Downey Jr. working extra hard can’t seem to recapture the same easy-going charm of the first.

It’s 1891 London. Downey’s Holmes is on the case of Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), a brilliant college academic orchestrating a series of assassinations for profiteering purposes, and he doesn’t care the collateral damage. In fact he tries to turn newly married Watson and his wife into just that.

To prove Moriarty is a villain, both Holmes and Watson must enlist the help of a gypsy fortune teller (Noomi Rapace, Lisbeth from original “Girl with the Dragon Tatoo”) who knows of Moriarty.

Any hint of the previous movie’s funny bromance between Holmes and Watson has been marginalized for chaotic chatter and more plot-explanations, more violence, and more irritating slo-motion.

Fighting, running away from guns and canons, and showing the machinations of Holmes’ mind (during the final battle between Holmes and Moriarty, both participate in a “I plan on doing this, this, this, then this, and..”, just shut up and fight already) are all put through the slo-mo wringer.

There isn’t much mystery to Moriarty or his plans, nor is the gypsy culture really incorporated into the plot. But the re-creation of old-London is still kinda sweet to look at and you have to give the cast credit.

Downey is perfect as a manically crafty man whose mind is always working overtime, Law works well with him as his calming voice of reason, and Harris does smart, restrained work as Holmes’ adversary. Rapace is the only let-down, looking very lifeless and no where near Rachel McAdams from the first film. She, like the film, seems too serious to be having any fun.

Click on the YouTube video to watch the trailer 

 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal (Review: 7 out of 10)

Perhaps the most unique thing about “Mission Impossible 4” is that Ethan Hunt has stopped stripping off masks like we didn’t already know it was Ethan Hunt wearing a mask.

Basically, the rest of this is more of the same.

Hunt is again played by Tom Cruise. After escaping from a Moscow prison, Hunt and his team must invade the Kremlin in order to recover files lost during another botched mission.

Just when the mission fails (do these things ever turn out well?) and the Kremlin is blown up—Hunt is blamed, forcing him to go off the grid to prove his innocence with his team played by Jeremy Renner (an analyst with a secret), Simon Pegg (the funny tech expert), and Paula Patton (I guess they needed a woman).

The real villain is Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist, wish they gave him more to do than look menacing), a nuclear extremist looking to buy launch codes and cause some damage.

What we get is just enough plot to move us from one action set-piece to the next. Luckily those set-pieces are nicely filmed by director Brad Bird, giving us martial arts, gun-fire, a chase through a sand-storm, a nice fight on a car conveyor belt, and climbing and dangling from a very tall building, which is just as nice as the commercials make it seem.

The gadgetry used is clever while the lavish suits and nice cars just show the style-over-substance approach this series is all about. No matter. Cruise continues to give us what we want- lots of daredevil antics and loads of cool. In the end we learn that Ethan Hunt likes to drink Dos Equis.

It didn’t surprise me at all.

Click on the YouTube video to watch the trailer 

Check out Moviefone to find showtimes at your local theatre 

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