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a Buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "make me one with everything"

Hans Van Harken @AlmightyHans

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Joined on 8/6/04

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Posted by AlmightyHans - February 3rd, 2012

hey guys!

I got a new blog post up, some thoughts i had after watching tin tin! no spoilers but it it does help if you've seen it, if not, I'm sure you can still get my point.

check it out here!

Also! Ace Pilot is being released next week! the long wait it nearly over! It's an incredibly exciting moment for me. Once it's released I'm gonna be spreading out those advertisement posters all over San Francisco, and probably other cities across the globe throughout the month!

Can't wait to see what you guys think!


Comments (17)

That pic... WTF?

I smell something fishy...

Hai Hans

Also it's just Tintin >_<

dude... one. anything is just anything. two, what i talk about applies to making things in general.

I just didn't like the whole movie to be honest. I grew up with the cartoons and comics and now I get this "americanized" view on it.

You see, people here don't think of Tintin as an Indiana Jones type of character. Tintin is more like a young innocent character that happens to be in the right place at the right time.
Where Indi is this rough old man who has lived his life and now has a thirst for adventure.

So yah it was hard to swallow that movie. I enjoyed it only because of the eye candy.

Man I sound so close minded when it comes down to this movie. BUT OH WELL.

but i thought tin tin did feel like you described him in the movie. and what do you mean by americanized?

I rather enjoyed that scene a lot, but I admit I'm a sucker for extremely long takes. Children of Men, Welles' Touch of Evil, Hitchcock's Rope, and I'll probably enjoy the single take film Russian Ark (which you've reminded me exists and is now on my Netflix queue).

But you've got a good point about it being better to focus on the characters than the possibilities of what you can do with the film. Though at least Spielberg tried something different. I think even Hitchcock called Rope an "experiment that didn't work".

yeah i liked that scene too, but as a spectacle. or for the fact it was one shot. but it was a very climactic turning point in the movie. and being invested previously it did take me out of it.

With children of men, at least it was one take and the scenes weren't overly complex dipping in and out from different character's perspectives moving around constantly and rapidly. the most complex single shot in children of men (narratively) was in the car. still, that confined space let us be right with the characters at every emotional eat of the scene. in tin tin, too much was going on and going by too quickly for that long take.

americanized meaning everything actiony or SOMETHING good or bad always happens every hour or day, there is no boring parts to the life of a character otherwise people would not watch.

Here's a cliche to show as example.

you know at the last second before almost any character dies in a happy/adventurous friendly show that he or she or it is saved at the last moment?

i think that's like anti cliff hanging play it safe tactics, cause who wants to see the main guy die off? they want to get as much outta them until they cant find a newer generation to appeal to a crowd or maybe i'm just delving too far into this and i have lost track of what im trying to relate with Damien.

point is, it's redundant and cliche to see things happen on cue, at that very second like in nearly every movie in a school, the bell rings interrupting the professor in mid speech.

im not trying to criticize the movie for i have yet to see but i wanted to give a basis of backround to the phrase "americanized" and i apologize Damien if i did not explain it to the best of your views that you wished for hans to know. i should really stop speaking for people...bad habit...

anyway, the trailer looks pretty fucking amazing, i got to go see it.


first off, to be honest, what you've described just covers basic narrative techniques that are needed in adventure stories. And tin tin is an adventure plot. There's no boring parts to the character's life? i dunno what you specifically what you mean. But if you mean like, showing something that doesn't relate directly to the story, like tin tin having a coffee alone for a whole scene or something, that's very foolish to expect in any story. Especially in an adventure plot.

Why? well if a story is gonna start showing things that aren't related to the story, then who's to say why we couldn't watch him taking a dump if we saw him drinking coffee? and since we saw him taking a dump and drinking coffee, why can't we just show other things in his life unrelated to the story? where do we draw the line? where do we stop once we include one unrelated element in the story?

This is why you cleverly weave normalities of the character into the story. Like how the movie shows tin tin getting a caricature drawn by him on the street by a street artist, this shows something in his daily life, but still involved to the story because of the pick pocketer character that has a bigger importance later in the film.

I don't know what you mean by "everything happening on cue" but, if you think about that for a minute, it doesn't make sense. Everything literally has to happen on cue to be communicated right. it's unavoidable. The laws of reality that that shit happens. Because someone made this story for you. To communicate there has to be and order and structure or else it's abstract art. That's why in stories like this you don't show those other boring elements of daily life. The information needed to be said is said because of what the story is about and calls for.

it's like when you start tuning out as your grandma gets the entire dinner table's attention to tell a story and she starts going off on details that don't matter at all from what the point she's trying to make. Everyone is quite and listening, but doesn't want to be rude to cut her off, but she keeps going and going. there's a reason why the brain tunes out. because she started her story by setting a goal in your mind, and she's just not building to it closer and closer. she's wandering.

or in this case... STRAYING ;D

ps. i suggest you watch it before you marry yourself to leaps like that. unless you're just speculating. that's obviously always fine.

Really cool blog post, I've been thinking about a lot of this kind of stuff lately.

I just finished writing a screenplay for an animated feature film; I'm quite proud of the story as is, but by the time I finished it, I couldn't really think of anything about it that was so "unique" or experimental along the lines of what you're talking about on the blog post. I had a few things that I found -interesting-, but if I looked hard enough, had probably been done before. That tends to worry me that every movie NEEDS to do something outlandish or weird of even experimental that's never been done before -just- to make it into it's own thing. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with that concept, but then I think about your point regarding how it strays away from what the director's original vision is, or even just takes you out of what was already a decent story in the first place. Finding that balance seems really difficult; doing something new (or even revolutionary) but still sticking to what you what you wanna do to begin with.

things dont need to be unique conceptually. i mean, everything has been done. you just need to aim to make your idea immersive, interesting, and effective. that's just getting people to be as excited about it as you are.

and how do you do that? well you just gotta think of how to get people to know your characters and world like you do. how do you do that? by coming up with a story that will put those characters through that world you love and bring those things you know out of them naturally. not forcefully, no one likes things told to them.

you have to understand that people don't know your world and characters and the best way to do that is get the audience with them on the ride, or whatever you want to call it, and learn these things themselves.

dont play with your food!

Why didn't you light the cigarette?

The whole idea of americanizing derives from all the europeans being biased towards hollywood flicks.
I'm talking big budget movies, not every american movie maker falls under this assumption obviously.

But anyway, it's just how lately hollywood seems to take old concepts and tries to put it under a new scope. (i.e. The artist; Avatar; Three Stooges; All the other remakes)
And where it goes wrong is when they insist on using new technology and try to "improve" it technically.
This is of course what your blog post was all about. Straying from the safe path or trying new things. (I'm assuming though. Dont get me wrong)

But when they try these things on concepts that are foreign, thats where the term "americanizing" comes into play.

And in Tintins case, theres the fact that they adapted the plot and added elements that where never there(so it wouldn't be an incoherent blob), just so they could shove as much content in your face, under 2 hours.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

And the whole Indi vs Tintin thing. Yeah sure he still seems like this innocent reporter, but the musical score and the additive of different plots made Tintin appear more Indiana Jones.

All in all. I'm not saying I didn't like it. It was just hard to swallow down seeing Tintin being transformed from this French little boy to this american indiana jones.

I guess this is what Spiderman fans felt like when that movie came out ten years ago.
(Although Spiderman was originally american, so maybe not.)

Remakes, rehashes. Hollywood should try and avoid this as much as possible. I liked the idea of a live action Tintin, made by the most respected directors in the western world. But when I saw what they've done with the storyline, I felt nauseous.


first off, tin tin isn't a remake. and remakes aren't bad in nature. there's a lot of good ones. it's stupid to look down on remakes as a whole. I mean, a new perspective on the same idea is the basis of any story really. it's about how that story is told thats important.

yes I agree that hollywood is clinging onto that vessel for extra bucks. most people will only watch what they know they like. "i can watch this completely new thing that i can end up hating for 20 bucks or i can watch spiderman... well spiderman could suck but if it does, at least i know i like spiderman so there has to be SOMETHING i like in there" *man pays 20 bucks for spiderman. THATS the mentality hollywood is counting on business wise. and yes a lot of crap comes from that but it's not bad to remake.

Look at the dark knight. THat movie people love for some reason. That's a remake if you think about it. But most people consider it genius. Sequels are remakes too basically. And Mission Impossible 4 was awesome! but a genuinely creative story was made out of it. The Coen Brothers, loved by many artsy types as well, they've made remakes. Good ones I might add. True Grit was great in many ways!

with you're comment on tin tin's case. you JUST said you don't like hollywood rehashing stuff. but now you're complaining that they made up stuff for the film? Oh... is it different if they are doing something based on another work? isn't that a remake? I think you might just be aimlessly opposing.

When telling a story in two very different mediums a lot naturally has to change, so that's expected in any comic book movie. even sin city, which has been the closest literal translation from comic to movie couldn't do it.

Tin Tin and Indiana Jones have a lot in common, just as the old movie series did in the 50's and the old comic books of jungle adventures and archeology and rouge journalists back in the 40's. I have some of those comics. Everything's taking inspiration from Everything. btw The musical score of tin tin is very different from indiana jones. You need to watch the movie.

I don't understand the spiderman reference.

so you hate rehashes, but don't want them to change the storyline. You don't like the indiana jones similarity, but you'd prefer live action... I don't understand.

I'm also looking forward to Ace Pilot. Good luck!

thanks man. Also I appreciate our discussion.

Shit son I'm just gonna post it because fuck it:


I could've posted ten more paragraphs in a futile attempt to explain myself better, but then I realized how useless I am at writing.

So I'll just put it this way;

The fact that they smashed 3 books together, invented scenes that served no real purpose to the original plot JUST so they could exploit 3D and the CGI (that is how I perceived it) and then drop other scenes that would've actually been more interesting to watch than a dragged out crane fight at the docks AND closing it off with an open ending?
No sorry, the screenplay writing was dick.

I don't know much about adapting graphic novels, writing a screenplay or writing in general, but something was off.
I don't know what happened when they got around of forging a story around the comics, but I think someone in that room didn't know what the fuck he/she was dealing with.

I hope you can make sense of all that.

Remakes and rehashes is a discussion for another time, something I need to look into some more. It's not that I'm completely against it. It's just that my general knowledge of remakes is pure shit.

Oh and I've seen the movie.

I really didn't get where they got certain scenes from. I mean, they sticked so close to the originals that all the little things that they added/left out just felt out of place.

You know what wouldve been cool? If they made a live action movie, no CGI, no nothing.
Just a movie based on the idea of tintin. Not a blatant copy and changing around certain things, just because it looks more impressive.

I know I keep contrasting myself. I know I'm being very vague on a lot of things. But i dont know man. Im drunk

I guess I wanted to see a more "dark" or "grown up" version of tintin, and instead got a badly shaped cartoon.

Oh well, it seems like I'm the only one that didn't really enjoy Tintin. My mom hates me for it. Hearing me bash on her favourite comic and director.

its fine if you didn't enjoy it. i'm not criticizing your tastes. I'm just observing your reaction to try and pin point some specific reason that wasn't working. It's been so long since I read the books (i was like 6 when i read them) to the point where I didn't realize they were mixing stories until I read about it later after I watched the movie. Narratively it was working as its own thing. That's why my complaints for it were more how they presented their story and scenes.

One thing I don't get, is you kept saying how they changed tin tin from an innocent boy who was in the right time and place to a more indiana jones character. You compared them by saying Indiana Jones was 'this rough old man who has lived his life and now has a thirst for adventure' and Tin Tin being this innocent french boy...

isn't 'this rough old man who has lived his life and now has a thirst for adventure' a more "dark" and "grown up" version of tin tin? I know you are aware of contradicting yourself, but realize that you are indeed blindly bashing it. You're critique just doesn't seem constructive, you're just bashing. It doesn't seem like you knew what you wanted to see anyway, so why close yourself off because the movie didn't cover those unclear desires of yours... no movie could satisfy that for you.

I don't mean to sound harsh or anything, I don't think all your points are stupid at all. However, You seem to be aware of the flaws in your personal critique on it, you've pointed those flaws out yourself. So I just don't understand how you can stick to such a flakey perspective, you yourself knowing and stating it's flaky.

All I'm saying is, I'm not arguing his because I think it's a great amazing unquestionable movie. I'm just saying for your own good, try not to close yourself off like that.

I think I could rant about this movie for days...

i rant about movies every day! so it's cool :P

Yah see, I know these comics by heart. I got the animated show on VHS. I mean, those stories are what tintin were for me.
And when I saw the movie, I saw spielberg using the stories to make a indiana jones version out of it.

And when I mentioned that I wanted to see a more dark/serious version. I meant that I wanted to see a new story. Something Spieblerg or Jackson came up with and put the Tintin concept (young reporter with a dog) in there.

I knew what I wanted to see, but I also knew that that wasn't going to happen, simply because spielberg was intruiged by the indiana jones concept he saw in it.

Anyway. Do you have any last words on the matter? I think writers and directors are getting lazy because of the technological advancements in cinema and I refuse to accept the eye candy as a compromise. Seriously, why did everyone like avatar that much? It just felt awkward.

ah i see what you mean now a lot more clearly. and i totally sympathize. The only thing I'd say if you new that wasn't going to happen, see it how you'd like, why not already knowing that, see it for what it is. That's just a side suggestion really.

I don't think writers and directors are getting lazy... but more the people in charge. You shouldn't blame anything on technology. I'm sure you love pixar movies... and that's all technology... why is it suddenly bad and lazy if a live action director is essentially making a CGI movie? just cause it's simulating reality in many ways?

That mentality shows a perspective that's too busy focusing on the wrong things. a good story is a good story and avatar was disgustingly simplistic, thats what made it bad, not the CGI. Tin tin was a fun adventure film, not perfect, but better than Avatar. I think CGI is in it's own way a new medium and I am excited what people can explore with that. Obviously with it being so flexible, any person who doesn't ground them self can easily go over board... and stray from the essentials.

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