Tintin et les oranges bleues (1964)
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This is a fun , light , adventure comic book adaptation with hilarious moments here and there . It has Tintin and his inseparable friends captain Haddock , absent-minded professor Tournesol , the bungler Dupont brothers taking on , as always, against stupid enemies , and ruthless and mean international delinquents and Arabs . Here Jean Bouise steals the show as grumpy , drunken Captain Haddock , as he runs , fights , dances Flamenco , does gestures , Indian dancing and many other antics . This live action movie of the popular "Tintin" comic-book magazine brilliantly captures the outrageous adventures, tongue-in-cheek , satire, comedy ,taking the characters and some elements from original stories . Although contains some silly scenes and a medium budget , however being a lesser effort than previous entry titled ¨Tintin and the golden Toison¨ . This amusing movie is accompanied by lively musical score by Antoine Duhamel with a catching leitmotif on the start and the ending . Full of humor , it's a funny entertaining for kids and grown-ups . Entertaining screenplay isn't based on the known comics by Herge but originally written by Rene Goscinny , Asterix's author . Based on the unforgettable characters created by "Hergé" born under the name Georges Remi on May 22, 1907 in Brussels, Belgium. As a child, Herge had a gift for drawing but never had any formal training in the visual arts. He attended both school and the boy scouts during the World War 1 and post-World War 1 era. After he finished school Herge published his first ever cartoon: "The Adventures of Totor". 1929, Herge introduced a cartoon about a traveling Belgium reporter (Tintin) accompanied by his fox terrier (Snowy) traveling the Soviet Union. By 1930,Herge published the very first Tintin book: "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets". After that , followed a weekly magazine in 1946 . Later on , it's published successful comic books as ¨Cigarrettes of pharaoh, Treasure of Rackam the Red ,Tintin and the scepter of Ottokar¨. Tintin soon became Herge's "ligne Claire" (French for clear line) legacy. The later adventures of Tintin involved other locations of the world from China ¨The blue Lotus¨ all the way to America as ¨Tintin in America¨. After completing 23 books, Herge passed away on March 3, 1983, leaving "Tintin & the Alpha-Art" (The 24th book) unfinished . Under Belgium publisher Raimond Leblanc's guidance, the boy reporter became the hero of a weekly children's magazine, with Hergé as the artistic director and magnificent creator of the immortal personage . Later on , Raymond Leblanc produced the following films: ¨Tintin in the lake of Sharks¨ and 1970 ¨Tintín in the temple of the sun¨. The picture will appeal to Tintin comic-books buffs . An agreeable , funny adaptation from a great comic book.
The plot has Professor Zalamea, a Spanish scientist, sending Calculus (Felix Fernandez) a blue orange, a part of a research program into food that will be a key to ending world hunger. When the orange is stolen in Moulinsart, Calculus decides to go to meet the scientist, but soon after arriving he is kidnapped, so Tintin and Haddock are onto his rescue.
This second film is far less successful than the first one. The locations (in Southern Spain) are not as attractive as those of the first film, the plot is more silly than interesting, the direction less inspired. Even Tintin fans might be hard pressed to like this a lot. Rene Goscinny (of Asterix fame) was one of the writers. Herge is uncredited though he probably had some creative input.
The film started well, the bit with the real fake TV program set the tone and gave the blue orange a sort of "realistic" dimension contextualizing them with the issue of hunger in the world, but it doesn't take too long before you know you'll have to tone down your "quality" I order to enjoy it, and even then, there's not much to enjoy. It's a real pity that "Tintin and the Blue Oranges" never really hold up to the coolness of its intriguing title. The film was made three years after the first one but I can see why it didn't do better at the box-office, the first didn't benefit from an elaborate plot but it had a strong set-up and a strong bond between Tintin and Haddock. In "Orange", Talbot's performance is somewhat ruined by the overacting of Jean Bouise as Captain Haddock, a shame because the chemistry with George Wilson made the first film.
Jean Bouise is a good actor but while George Wilson's overacting was never at the expenses of the story, Bouise plays his Haddock as if he thought the captain was a previous commedia del arte actor, amplifying every syllabus, gesticulating for any reason, and using any moment as an excuse for some loud baritone tantrums. His performance could have worked if the film was meant as a comedy but not when the other actors play their roles seriously. Felix Fernandex is a fine copy of Cuthbert Calculus but Bouise makes Calculus more endurable. Again, this is less a comment on Bouise's talent as the man was notorious for playing dark and brooding characters but let's just say he didn't take the right angle.
But it's not as if the story deserved the best acting anyway, so maybe he's the one reason to watch the film after all. The film is a series of setups and comical premise that always fall flat, the Thompson gags are pretty lame even by the days' standards. And when a young Spanish kid meets Tintin and says "Tintin and Milou", you've got to wonder how come he knows them since the film is set in a universe where Tintin isn't a comic book character. There are a few interesting moments, the encounter with the Castafiore and the interactions between Professors Calculus and the Spanish professors provide a few interesting moments but the film doesn't even swim in the same waters than Golden Fleece.
Don't get me started on the climax, the whole plot leads to some evil emir and the intervention of a bunch of kids save the day and we're supposed to be laughing. I won't even mention the fact that being Moroccan, I could spot the accent of the guys who were supposed to be from the Arab Peninsula. Anyway, there's a sort of naivety in the film that could have been excusable if the plot wasn't so thin and if the first film was if the same caliber, but overall, comparing the two on the sole basis that they're live-action adaptation of Tintin would be unfair, these are apples and oranges, and not blue one.