The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication-CBCP

CINEMA (Catholic INitiative for Enlightened Movie Appreciation) of The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines presents movies viewed in the light of the gospel. . *** For inquiries, please EMAIL: cbcpcinema@gmail.com *** CALL or TEXT: (02) 664 5886 *** or WRITE TO: CINEMA, Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila *** Enjoy the reviews, and THANK YOU!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Househusband: Ikaw na!

CAST: Judy Ann Santos (Mia), Ryan Agoncillo ( Rod), Eugene Domingo (Aida);
DIRECTOR: Jose Javier Reyes; SCREENWRITER:  Jose Javier Reyes  & Mel del Rosario; PRODUCER:  OctoArts; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:  Drama & Comedy;
CINEMATOGRAPHER     DISTRIBUTOR; LOCATION: Philippines;
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3.5
Cinema Rating: For viewers 13 years old and below with parental guidance
  


Komportableng namumuhay ang pamilya ng mag-asawang Rod (Ryan Agoncillo) at Mia (Judy Ann Santos) kasama ng dalawa nilang anak sa isang middle class subdivision.  Isang matagumpay na Branch Manager ng bangko si Rod at parttime insurance agent ang fulltime na maybahay at ina na si Mia. Sa kabila ng maayos na pagdadala ng pamilya ay nakakatanggap pa rin ng pagmamaliit  si Rod mula sa pamilya ni Mia. Kaya naman gayon na lamang ang pagsisikap niya na patunayan ang kakayanan sa pagdadala ng pamilya ng hindi kinakailangan magfulltime work ang asawang si Mia. Subalit ng biglaang mawalan ng trabaho si Rod ay nagbago ang takbo ng lahat. Sandaling umiral ang pride at paglilihim na halos ikasira ng pagsasama ng mag-asawa. Ang pinakamalaking epekto ng pangyayari ay kung papaano nila maitatawid ang mga gastusin ng pamilya habang naghihintay ng magandang job offer si Rod.  Nagkataon rin na nagkaroon ng emergency sa probinsya nag kasambahay ng pamilya at napilitan si Rod na gampanan pansamantala ang mga gawaing bahay at pag-aalaga sa mga bata na dating fulltime na ginagawa ni Mia.  Sa pananatili sa bahay ay naging malapit na kaibigan  niya ang kapitbahay na si Aida (Eugene Domingo). Magiging instrumento si Aida sa pagproseso ni Rod ng pride nya para maayos ang problema ng mag-asawa. Samantalang sa magandang performance ni Mia sa partime insurance agent work ay nagkaroon ito ng standing offer na fulltime job, pero ayaw ni Rod na magfulltime work siya dahil masasagasaan ang pride niya. 

Maayos ang daloy ng kuwento ng "Househusband".  Magaan nitong tinalakay ang tipikal na isyu ng isang middle class couple. Napanatili ang pagiging wholesome ng pelikula dahil sa maingat na trato na may halong patawa ang isyu ng adultery.  Naipakita ng makabuluhang kwento sa kabila ng limitadong setting at matipid na produksyon. Mainam ang mga kuha ng kamera at pagdedetalye ng mga gawaing bahay na ginampanan ni Ryan.  Dahil magaan ang pelikula ay walang mabigat na mga eksenang kinailangan ang malalalim na paghugot ng emosyon sa pag-arte. Natural ang lahat sa pag-arte at kahit na sa mga hirit ng linya na patawa.

Sagana sa positibong mensahe ang pelikula na kapupulutuan ng aral ng bawat miyembro ng pamilya at kaibigan. Isang magandang material sa pagmumulat ng pantay na kalagayan panlipunan ng lalaki at babae ang pelikulang "Househusband".  Madalas na naipagkakamali ng mga kalalakihan ang pagmamalaki o pride sa prinsipyo.  Kapag nasa sitwasyon na matatapakan ang pride ay pilit nila itong poproteksyunan ng hindi isinasaalang-alang ang epekto sa pamilya na madalas ay napapasama dahil sa nawawalang oportunidad.  Bagamat middle class couple ang itinampok sa pelikula ay pareho rin ng isyu sa mas mahirap o mas  mayaman mag-asawa.  Sa mga panahon na may krisis ang pamilya partikular sa pagitan ng mag-asawa ay mahalaga ang suporta ng mga pamilya ng partido at kaibigan.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Nativity Story: a Christmas classic


(Note: Some Christmas movies are meant to be classics.  The Nativity Story is one of them, and due to public demand we’re rerunning its full-length critique by Teresa R. Tunay, especially for those who want to see it in their home theaters).  

  “Sana naman kumuha sila ng maganda-gandang Mary!  Ang pangit naman ng bibig nito!”  (They should have picked a more beautiful Mary!  This one has such ugly lips!)  “At saka hindi ba medyo me idad na si St. Joseph?  Bakit ito, bata?”  (And isn’t St. Joseph supposed to be old?  Why is this one so young?)
Overheard making those comments were two well-heeled elderly ladies among the guests at the premier showing of The Nativity Story in Manila. 
Two weeks later, at a popular mall during the same movie’s regular run, a 30-something woman said to another as they emerged from the theater: “Okay ‘yung anghel na ‘yun ah—me balbas pero walang pakpak!”  (That angel is cool—he has a beard but has no wings!)
This pretty much sums up the big difference in audience perception as far as images of supposedly holy ones go.  The Nativity Story should also teach the Church a thing or two about “packaging” our Saints for public consumption in this day and age.
                                                 Blasting stereotypes
The movie blasts stereotypes—a fact that threatens the characters’ credibility among old school believers—but because the actors play their roles with such depth of characterization, they come across as more human, more real, more reachable.  That means more “copyable”, and therefore more appealing to younger Catholics unwittingly searching for more down-to-earth role models.
We’ve been raised on stampita images of Mary: always in demure poses, head bowed down, hands clasped in prayer.  We are accustomed to remembering Mary mostly as European artists portray her, in fine, gold-trimmed clothing, with tapering fingers and rosebud lips, gentle eyes untouched by sin, sometimes blonde, other times brunette, but never a hair out of place.  
Enter 16-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes, The Nativity Story’s Mary: olive-skinned, with zits on her face, she unwraps her dark damp hair and wipes her sweat as she slumps beside a tree.  She moves as any 14-year old Jewish girl from Nazareth does, pitting olives with her stubby fingers, going about her kitchen chores, even sitting on the earth with knees apart and a bowl of food between her thighs—so unladylike?   Indeed, this Mary is rough clay, an earthen water jug, while the stampita virgin so dear to our imagination is a Lladro figurine—flawless, shiny, pastel-colored, dust-proof.
And what about Joseph?
And the stampita Joseph?    Of course, he matches the stampita Mary: meek and mild, soul of gentleness, chaste spouse, hands never soiled even when holding a carpenter’s tools—and slightly balding.  The movie’s Joseph, played by Oscar Isaac, is in the prime of youth, doesn’t hide his admiration of Mary from his friends, tends to throw down things when angered, bursting with so much energy you’d think twice before letting your 14-year old go out with him. 
The angel Gabriel is the antithesis of angelic as we also know it from stampitas, classical art, cinema, assorted media, plus chi-chi gift shops in our malls.  Wingless, semi Afro-hairstyled, bearded and bemoustached, his appearance in the sky is heralded by the wind rustling through the leaves.  He descends on earth and hails Mary, but without his white gossamer robe, even the most open-minded moviegoer would wonder, “Who’s this character?”  Actor Anthony Siddig is the farthest thing you could ever imagine being cast as a messenger of God.  Give him an Uzi and he’ll look like a terrorist.  Stick a cigarette in his mouth and he’ll pass for a “durogista”.  And even if he were a real angel, he’d be more credibly cast as a fallen angel.  Anyway, he looks like some character you wouldn’t want to sit next to on a bus. 
And yet Mary believed this angel.  That’s the whole point!   The Nativity Story is all about faith!
From pretty pictures to faith
We all know by heart the story of Jesus’ birth, but The Nativity Story takes us from the Christmas card prettiness we’re familiar with to the next level—faith, a belief in God that does not hinge on the externals.  Mary looks every inch like an ordinary village girl who doesn’t deserve a second glance, but she shows extraordinary strength of character in accepting God’s will conveyed, literally, from out of the blue.  Mary’s discerning ability and effective faith enables her to stand upright and immovable before the neighbors’ malicious eyes, and because of it, God comes down to live among men.
Any village boy would have killed to spare himself from becoming the greatest cuckold in history, but not Joseph.  Upon Mary’s return from visiting Elizabeth, he gets the shock of his life seeing her bulging stomach.  Never having touched Mary at all, the groom elect is troubled, and in his deepest darkest moments could have led the mob in stoning her to death, but he doesn’t.  Instead, he shows remarkable self-control and righteousness in deciding to keep her.  His goodness is justified when the same hirsute angel appears in his dream to substantiate Mary’s claim.  Hence, he becomes Mary’s partner in welcoming the Immanuel into this world.
See—it wasn’t only Mary who said “yes” to God; Joseph did, too.  By the creative and realistic depiction of Mary and Joseph, The Nativity Story has offered inspiring models for us, especially the young.  Mary and Joseph were nameless faces like most of us, two nobodies in Nazareth from where it was believed nothing good could come, and yet, by their enduring witness to the Divine’s presence in their lives, they became virtual co-creators of God.
Might we not wish to be visited by angels who would sweep us off our doubts so our hearts would be God’s alone?  In our prayers and novenas, after telling God of our needs and desires, can we stay a little longer to listen to Him speak of His desires for us?
Our Church—and indeed the world—needs more Marys and Josephs, persons with simple hearts who would put aside personal discomfort in order to follow the dictates of the Divine in their lives.  Mary and Joseph obeyed God in spite of their neighbors’ judgment; thus, in time, Jesus became one of us. 
We all want a better world, but are we willing to put God as Number One in our life for it?  Are we—like Mary and Joseph—willing to obey God at all cost?  Our obedience is a small thank-you gift to offer to The One who has given us life.  Shall we ask Mary and Joseph inspire us then? 
 CINEMA wishes its followers a most blessed Christmas season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Lion King 3D

CAST:  Matthew Broderick, Niketa Calame, Jim Cummings, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Jeremy Irons, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Moira Kelly; DIRECTOR:   Rob Minkoff , Roger Allers; SCREENWRITER: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts; PRODUCER:  Walt Disney; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:  Animation: Drama, Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts; RUNNING TIME:   89 minutes

Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 4
Cinema Rating: For viewers 13 years old and below with parental guidance

One of the most popular Disney animated musicals, The Lion King presents the story of a lion cub's journey to adulthood and acceptance of his royal destiny. Simba (voiced first by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, then by Matthew Broderick) begins life as an honored prince, the son of the powerful King Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones). The cub's happy childhood turns tragic when his evil uncle, Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons), murders Mufasa and drives Simba away from the kingdom.
Lion King goes on the rebound in glorious 3D.  Children in the audience who apparently have seen the original (in DVD and television reruns of oldies) certainly do not mind watching this new 3D release.  And certainly we find quite a number of them—and in fact sat next to them—who have memorized the songs and the story surely from the countless number of times they have viewed The Lion King’s 1994 version.  Unlike most 3D movies which become dark and sometimes muddy on the screen, The Lion King retains its vivid colors, turning this second viewing into a wonderful feels-like-I’m-there experience for kids and adults alike.
The Lion King tells many lessons both for the young and the young at heart.  Obedience is one of them—Simba learns the hard way that disobedience has unpleasant consequences when he ventures into the elephants’ graveyard.  His father Mufasa tells Simba that “being brace doesn’t mean you go out looking for trouble.”  He also sternly tells his cub Simba about the value of responsibility as an adult, especially since he will not be simply another animal in the savannah but a real ruler, the lion king.
Respect for creation and creatures is a well-pronounced value: “Everything you see exists together.  There's a balance to the world and nature. … You must respect all the creatures.”  Viewers may also pick up something about the “don’t worry” attitude repeatedly presented by Simba’s friends Pumbaa and Timon, often in their catchy song “Hakuna Matata”.   While it is true that the worry-free motto is sensible, even biblical, it could also be overdone, leading one to lead a carefree but meaningless life.
Christians may take note of certain elements in The Lion King which are evocative of their faith.  When feeling weak in a trying situation, Simba sees his dead father’s image in the cloud formations, and speaks to him.  A shaman encourages Simba by saying “I know your father… he’s alive… I’ll show him to you… he lives in you…”  When the baby Simba is presented to the kingdom all the animals bow in reverence.  When he returns to the pride after a long absence, Simba is believed to have “returned from the dead to save his people.”    Confronting his enemy whose life is now in his hands, he refuses to kill him to get even—“love your enemies”?
Parents should guide very young children, however, through the violent scenes.  You know, animals attack or eat one another.

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

CAST:  Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Jeremy Renner (William Brandt), Paula Patton (Jane Carte), Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn), Ving Rhames,  Vladimir Mashkov,  Michael Nyqvist, Josh Holloway, Lea Seydoux, Anil Kapoor; DIRECTOR:  Brad Bird; SCREENWRITER: J.J. Abrams, Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec; PRODUCER: Tom Cruise; EDITOR:  MUSICAL DIRECTOR; GENRE:  Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure; CINEMATOGRAPHER  
DISTRIBUTOR  Paramount Pictures; LOCATION: Budapest-Moscow, Dubai, Mumbai-India; RUNNING TIME:  133 minutes

Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: For viewers 18 years old and above
    

The film begins with a failed courier intercept in Budapest by the International Mission Force (IMF) team of Jane Carter, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway). Then, the team helps Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) break out from a Moscow prison so he could be put back to IMF service to track down a Russian nuclear terrorist. His initial mission is to infiltrate Kremlim, however, it goes terribly wrong and Russian agents  are now after Hunt thinking he is responsible for Kremlim bombing. The failed courier intercept and the Kremlim bombing are both related to the ultimate mission: impossible which is to prevent the thermonuclear war between Russia and the US from happening. With the IMF disbanded, the IMF’s chief analyst, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) becomes part of the now three-man team unpredictably, forcing them to black ops, or ghost protocol, meaning “off the grid.”

Among the MI franchise. This time, the film is focused on the series of interrelated impossible missions that make up one big mission: impossible.  Unlike the previous installments, MI4 is devoid of so much emotional baggage and distractions making  the audience simply glued to the edge of their seats with the death-defying stunts,  mind-blowing adventures and superb special effects  beyond imagination.  Cruise is at his perfect best in this movie and Ethan Hunt’s character is really his. The strong casting and intelligent direction make MI4 an exhilarating viewing experience.

Although a spy-action –adventure genre ala James Bond series, MI4 does away with the usual demands of sex and violence. A scene with sexual insinuations is done in the context of undercover and one’s line of duty. The violence only goes extreme in car crashes, shootings and fighting that are again in the context of preventing a war, thus, preventing the lives of the innocent. However, CINEMA finds  the entirety of the film’s theme requires a sense of maturity to be appreciated. In the battle between good and evil, the film somehow shows that certain evils are necessary to fight evil, i.e. lying, deception, killing, and revenge.  Whether such concept is acceptable in the context of world peace, a debate may be necessary. Perhaps we should rethink, how far should governments go to protect innocent lives? But amidst the film’s moral dilemma, the message of personal sacrifice, integrity and loyalty remains to be strong in MI4; and although the idea of God is significantly absent or lacking in the movie, the innate goodness of the characters may make up for it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Year's Eve

CAST:  Robert De Niro, Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Biel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Katherine Heigl, Zac Efron, Sienna Miller, Josh Duhamel, Ice Cube, Jon Bon Jovi, Seth Meyers, Til Schweiger; DIRECTOR:  Garry Marshal; SCREENWRITER: Katherine Fugate; FILM PRODUCER:  Mike Karz, Wayne Allan Rice; MUSICAL DIRECTOR: John Debney; GENRE: Comedy, Romance DISTRIBUTOR:  Warner Bros; LOCATION:  New York City, USA; RUNNING TIME:  117 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3.5
Cinema Rating: For viewers 14 years old and above


New Year’s Eve eavesdrops on the goings on in the lives of an armful of New Yorkers during the last day of the year.  There’s pastry chef Laura (Katherine Heigle) still smarting from being stood up by would-be groom Jensen (Jon Bon Jovi); a devoted nurse Aimee (Halle Berry) accompanying a patient dying of cancer Stan (Robert de Niro); Claire (Hilary Swank), vice president of the Times Square Alliance whose main concern is to see to it that the ball on Times Square drops according to new year count-down; security guard Brendan (Chris Bridges), friend and supporter of Claire; Russian master electrician Kominsky (Hector Elizondo) in a make-it-or-break-it new year’s eve fix; Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker), a single mother pursuing a runaway daughter Hailey (Abigail Breslin); new year hater Randy (Ashton Kutcher) getting trapped in a freight elevator with Elise (Lea Michele); Paul (Zac Efron) a courier who in exchange for precious new year’s ball tickets is helping an uptight elderly woman Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer); a stranded man in Connecticut named Sam (Josh Duhamel) who has no choice but to hitch a ride back to New York with a curious family in order to deliver a new year’s eve speech and to reunite with a woman he met with exactly one year ago; pregnant Tess (Jessica Biel) and her husband (Seth Meyers) in a race with another couple to be the first to  give birth in year 2012 in order to get the hospital’s $25,000 prize.
       Before splitting hairs about the technical aspects of New Year’s Eve, we had to make sure every star in the movie is mentioned.  You’ll know why later.  Stories of these characters are interwoven in this fast-paced feel-good rom-com that critics either love or hate.  It may be often mushy, contrived, implausible, but it is nonetheless likeable, not just watchable, because it’s lighthearted and leaves viewers in an upbeat mood.  Those who say it’s merely a string of disconnected plots with characters not given enough time to develop or deepen, are speaking out of narrow expectations, because in reality, that is life in New York!  The seemingly “disconnected” plots flow from a deeper wellspring of thought that puts New York in a different light.
       New Year’s Eve is about New York and New Yorkers.  It could have been titled “New York, New Year” for its focus on the Times Square mega-event but the human values it espouses are as basic as human rights.  By the opening voice-over alone, New Year’s Eve sounds poised to disprove the notion that there is no longer magic or beauty in New York. Its closing voice-over clinches the whole movie’s message: love, forgiveness, hope, family, commitment, compassion, second chances.  The cruelest rants against the movie are directed towards its stellar cast: Why (they ask) would such great names in moviedom stoop that low appearing in a movie that at most is a mere vehicle for hard-sell product placements?  CINEMA prefers to give the cast the benefit of the doubt since this movie is about new year and new life, released worldwide before Christmas.  The actors—mostly Oscar awardees and nominees—must have owned the movie’s message and thus didn’t mind risking their reputation in order to put it across. An intention that good can’t make the movie that bad, could it?

Immortals

CAST:  Henry Cavill (Theseus), Mickey Rourke (King Hyperion), John Hurt (old man), Stephen Dorff (Stavros), Freida Pinto (Phaedra), Luke Evans (Zeus), Joseph Morgan (Lysander), Anne Day-Jones (Aethra), Greg Bryk (monk); DIRECTOR:  Tarsem Singh; SCREENWRITER:  Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides; FILM PRODUCER: Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Ryan Kavanaugh; MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Trevor Morris; GENRE:  Classic, Action, Adventure; LOCATION:  Greece; RUNNING TIME:  110 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: For viewers 18 years old and above
  
A peaceful village has been under threat when King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) declares war against the mortals. He aims possession of the powerful bow to unleash the Titans who have wanted revenge against gods and humanity.  A village native Theseus (Henry Cavill) has been very concern about the threat faced by the village. When his mother was killed in front of him, Theseus wants nothing but revenge and uses his strength and fighting skills. He has been mentored by Old Man (John Hurt) who without him knowing is god Zeus (Luke Evans) in disguise. The ancient law prohibits gods to intervene in the conflicts of mankind. Zeus secretly chooses Theseus to save humanity from the hands of the rude King. Theseus becomes aware of his mission because of Phaedra (Freida Pinto) one of the virgin oracle. 

"Immortals" is a classic film about gods of Persian ancient times. It has a commendable storyline that was given a careful treatment with details by the director. It has a casting coup that showcase a combination of good acting and fighting choreography.  The delivery of striking lines is highlighted and remarkable. However, the fight scenes are very violent and bloody. The film offers a scenic production design. The sounds and musical score add up to the essence of ancient setting. The cinematography provides a good treat of panoramic scenery and a good feel of vast, high and majestic nature.

The film "Immortals" is another 'good over evil' theme. It leaves many inspiring words of wisdom for viewers to think over and reflect. A heroic act is not contained to protect only the love ones but larger number of people.  A responsible fighter is a aware of the reasons behind what he or she is fighting for.  It is important to focus on the mission and the accomplishment of tasks at hand. Above all, prayer and discernment, as in any war situation, play significant role to seek divine guidance and protection. At the end of the day, those who follow the will of God will have special place among gods and goddesses.  While the film has many positive messages, but violent scenes are very frequent and the lone sex scene in full nudity and full view of pumping will require a matured audience to understand.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin: the secret of the unicorn

CAST: Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis,Simon Pegg, Cary Elwes, Nick Frost
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg; WRITER: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Steven Moffat, based on the classic work of Herge; FILM PRODUCER: Kathleen Kennedy, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg; GENRE: Adventure/Animation; RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: PG 13 (For viewers 13 and below with parental guidance)

The adventure begins when young Belgian journalist Tintin (Jamie Bell) buys a model of the ship Unicorn for a pound.  His curiosity is aroused when Mr. Sakharine (Daniel Craig) eagerly offers to buy the model ship from him—so he decides to keep the ship to get at the Unicorn’s secrets.  Seeing Tintin as an obstacle to his schemes, the cunning Sakharine has Tintin kidnapped but Tintin’s dog Snowy, a while fox terrier, doggedly chases the kidnapper’s van unnoticed until dog and master are reunited.  Tintin and his four legged sidekick soon team up with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) who can unlock the secret behind the Unicorn, if only he wouldn’t always be drunk!  The odd trio face off against Sakharine for whatever treasures the Unicorn hides.

Those who watch movies purely for the moment’s entertainment and so do not bother about film history might initially think this is another “pet movie”, confusing it with Rintintin, a dog saved as a pup from World War I battlefield that became a Hollywood star of 23 movies.  There is a dog all here right, but its name is Snowy and Tintin is his master.  The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is but one of the 24 classic comic books created by “Herge”, penname of Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907-1983).  Even the current blogs today discussing the 2011 movie would reveal that the “Les Aventures de Tintin” series was a most popular comics in 20th century Europe; it was so popular it has been translated in over 80 languages and has sold 350 million copies to date.  Since most of us may not have seen those comics, we would have no basis for comparison, and will just have to take The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn on its own merits.  

Those who watch movies purely for the moment’s entertainment and so do not bother about film history might initially think this is another “pet movie”, confusing it with Rintintin, a dog saved as a pup from World War I battlefield that became a Hollywood star of 23 movies.  There is a dog all here right, but its name is Snowy and Tintin is his master.  The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is but one of the 24 classic comic books created by “Herge”, penname of Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907-1983).  Even the current blogs today discussing the 2011 movie would reveal that the “Les Aventures de Tintin” series was a most popular comics in 20th century Europe; it was so popular it has been translated in over 80 languages and has sold 350 million copies to date.  Since most of us may not have seen those comics, we would have no basis for comparison, and will just have to take The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn on its own merits.  As far as that goes, the animation tops the list.  With such hand-drawn characters engaging in chases and swashbuckling a la Pirates of the Caribbean and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Many times the animation’s realism would make the viewer forget he is watching cartoons in motion.
Adults may find the story engaging.  Young adults will be amused by Haddock, the hero with a vice.  Children will clap their hands over the Snowy, the dog with an almost human intelligence.