We suppose we just didn't realize, as The Hollywood Reporter put it in their review of Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" (which is opening overseas next week), that the series is "to many readers worldwide (especially in Western Europe and the UK) what Batman and Spider-Man are to Americans: a comic book they discovered as kids, grew up with and continue to cherish." We knew it was big over there, but we didn't gather that: We just thought it was Spielberg getting his CGI Indiana Jones on. We are such ugly Americans.
The movie isn't opening in the U.S. until December -- and it might end up being overshadowed by Spielberg's "War Horse" in North America -- but the one thing all the "Tintin" reviews that came out this weekend made clear is that Spielberg has that old "Jones" mojo back. This is only the second Spielberg movie in six years, and everybody loves it. A sampling:
THR: "Spielberg approaches the medium in a realistic way that's also far from the epic worlds of Avatar, setting things in a past of lifelike artifacts and locations."
Empire: "The Kiwi producer [Peter Jackson] has cajoled a joie de cinema from his American director, who appeared so bogged down upholding the legacy of The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull."
What Culture: "Spielberg has crafted a fantastical 3D adventure which is by turns visually stunning, thrilling, sophisticated, silly, and a whole lot of fun."
It's still two months until it gets here, but it's just a relief that Spielberg can still do it. After "Crystal Skull," admit it: You were worried.
Oscar Buzz: Raves for 'Tintin' [The Wrap]