Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Tin Tin's no Euroweenie

As a kid I read all the Tin Tin books, so of course the new Tin Tin movie was high on the list for a Christmas holiday outing. As a purist, I imagined the high-tech computer-animated transfer to the big screen was a gamble at best. I am pleased to report that they got it right.

I learned French struggling to read Tin Tin in the original française; 
nowadays my daughter does the same.

I was especially pleased to see that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's interpretation of Tin Tin - which is of course a family film - is not watered down in the name of modern political correctness. That is to say that the anti-gun sentiments of the modern EU are not present in this excellent film. Early in the story Tin Tin whips out a Browning Hi-Power nine millimeter pistol - known in it's native Belgium as le Grand-Pruissance - like its the most natural thing in the world; the scene concludes when the man he is speaking with is suddenly and brutally machinegunned in the back.

"Whaddya want, Mister?"

Like Hergé's original comic storyboards, the movie is literally bristling with guns and the characters do not hesitate to to use them, early and often. The next identifiable small arms to appear are numerous German MP 38/40 Schmeisser submachineguns brandished by the mutinous crew of a merchant ship, and a pilot armed with a P08 Luger pistol. Tin Tin deals with the situation in hand and always prevails, even when he runs out of bullets.

The plot is basically the story line of The Secret of the Unicorn, set somewhere in the 1940s - which of course is the best era for film. There are references to The Crab with the Golden Claws, Tin Tin in the Land of Black Gold, a cameo image from The Black Island (Tin Tin in Scotland) and a few other oblique references. Tin Tin and his compadre Captain Haddock crashland in the middle of the Sahara, where they are rescued by a patrol of French Foreign Legionnaires, armed with Lebel rifles, of course.

All movies should be like this. The action is great, fast paced, moving in all directions - what we've come to expect from Steven Speilberg. At the start of the motorcycle episode, Haddock somehow lays his hands on an M20 bazooka and in the only NON-plausible moment in the film, he pops a hole in a hydro dam. I'm sorry, people - but I know the weight of the shaped charge in a 3.5 inch rocket and as a military engineer I am here to tell you there is no way you could even crack a dam with a bazooka. Hollywood always has to push it. Other than that, everything else is doable.

Other than that one single piece of artistic license, the rest of the movie falls fully within the realm of believability; reminds me a bit of the story of my own life, actually . . .

My take on it is: Take your youngsters and go see the movie - you'll all enjoy it, I guarantee it.


Tuesday's BIRDS


  1. Nice post, but there's one bone to chew. The use of the misnomer "Schmeisser" in regards to the MP 38/40.
    Hugo Schmeisser had nothing to do with it. The MP 38/40 was designed by the Erma Works, and it's primary designer was Herr Vollmer.

  2. You are correct and I knew that. The MP38/40 was mistakenly dubbed the "Schmeisser machinepistol" by British and Americans, after weapons designer Hugo Schmeisser who designed the MP 18 - the first mass-produced submachine gun, and saw extensive service at the end of WWI. Schmeisser did not design the MP 40, but the name sticks to this day.

  3. LOL))) someone shot a movie about him?? COOL, need to find it

    1. Walmart is a good place to start looking, or , you could try online amazon
      ( the movie is wonderful!)

  4. Fantastic post.

    Fantastic film.

    By the way, it is only Once Great Britain that has disarmed its citizens and become a police state. Look up the German, Belgian, French and British gun ownership statistics and you'll see what I mean.

    Also there are more CCTV cameras in the UK than in Communist China.



  5. Great post! I loved the film and I can't wait to see it again. I just wanted to reassure you that the rocket launcher doesn't in fact crack the dam, but merely breaks the mechanisms holding the dam gate closed. There! A flawless film!

  6. I just finished watching Tintin at the theater with my kids. When I saw the preview on TV, I thought Haddock blew up the dam too. Upon seeing it on the big screen, he actually destroyed a gate control building with the bazooka, opening the sluice gates on the dam. Seems more plausible, even in an animated world.

  7. Tin Tin had a Walther PPK NOT a Browning High Power.

  8. if your a Tintin fan the movie was like a mixture of the crab with the golden claws and the two part book, the secret of the unicorn. A lot of my family said the movie was no good just because of that. Even though i thought it was the best Tintin movie ever !

  9. Its good they did the movie with animation , because real people would , i think , not portray the parts as well

    Fun Fact
    Tin tin didn't always have a his hair like that it used to be regular until in a car chase, it blew up and stayed that way forever! (its true look up on tin tin site and that's the truth)

  10. they should make a sequel to Tintin wonderful tv show