Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reel diversions

I hadn't planned on seeing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but Thuter's text that Colin Firth is in it was enough to get me to the theater. I've never read Le Carre's book, but I think I saw the 1979 film version a long time ago. This latest was good; though at times it was rather slow, it was an old-fashioned Cold War spy thriller. (It's been a while since "defection" has been central to a film plot.) The costumes and set design were all admirably (sometimes disturbingly) spot-on for capturing the early 1970s in all its fashion "glory" and technological limitations.

I had to counter the heavy espionage subject matter with something light and fluffy, so a friend and I watched The Adventures of Tintin. I've never read the original comics, but I did read a great article in The Atlantic about how Spielberg handled some of the racist stereotypes from the original Tintin books.

I really liked Tintin. It was good fun, an whirlwind adventure story à la Indiana Jones and National Treasure: there's a pirate treasure, travel by air and sea, the Sahara, and a sheikh's palace. It provided a good counterbalance to Tinker!