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Hugo - quick review

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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted November 24 2011 - 02:19 AM

Martin Scorsese returns with an ode to cinema with "Hugo", a film set in Paris around the 1930s (going by the reference to the war, which I took to be WWI,), featuring a boy named Hugo who keeps the clocks going in the train station after being taken in by his uncle upon his father's untimely demise. But Hugo's father sparked Hugo's mechanical aptitude, and also left him with an automaton, which would offer Hugo a secret that would change the lives of the characters in the film. I'm glad I didn't know much about the film going into it, and I'm not going to say much more about the plot, just know it's an engaging, heartfelt, film, though it might run just a smidge long in spots, nothing too objectionable. It's a film that has a timeless, classic, feel to it, and could end up being holiday viewing for families for years to come. This film was shot in 3D, and Scorsese uses the cameras as another character with the many intresting tracking shots, and inventiveness in embracing 3D filmmaking. But Scorsese knows when to go flashy with 3D, and when to rein it in. I think it's worth seeing in 3D if you're so inclined. I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC



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Posted November 24 2011 - 07:55 AM

Thanks for the quick overview. I've seen posters advertising the film and thought it was just another animated film until I saw Scorsese directed it. Might give this a viewing this weekend.

RIP Roberto Gomez Bolanos. 

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   mattCR


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Posted November 24 2011 - 08:54 AM

It was better then I expected.. but there are moments where it really drags (IMHO).  If it had been about.. 15 minutes shorter, it would have been phenomenal.   It is good to go in not knowing the plot at all, and thankfully the commercials give away almost nothing - a real accomplishment.  I'd give it a solid "B"


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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted November 24 2011 - 01:20 PM

Originally Posted by Patrick Sun 

I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.

I think hell will freeze over when you give a movie something higher than this.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted November 24 2011 - 01:52 PM

The best 3-D film made since 1954.
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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 25 2011 - 07:58 AM

Yes, the war is WWI and every film lover owes a lot to Georges Melies.  Warning read up on him after you've seen Hugo.  I must admit I teared up at the end of this very fine film and only a true film loving director like Scorsese could pull this off so neatly.




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#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted November 26 2011 - 05:44 PM

I don't see post-converted 3D, so this was my first 3D experience in a quite a while. I didn't like the $15 price point, but I have to say it was easily the best 3D I've seen since Avatar. It never felt gimmicky, I never got that cardboard cutout feeling, and it wasn't as dim as 3D usually is. Brilliant presentation at my local multiplex in all respects. The film itself is a strong contender for my very favorite of the year. If there's a better celebration of the cinema within cinema, I've yet to see it. If you're a young kid or a casual moviegoer, the central mystery of the movie is a wonderful discovery of the early history of film. If you're literate with film history and know about Edison, the Lumière brothers and Méliès, the movie is a wonderful rediscovery. As soon as Hugo mentioned the rocket careening into the face of the moon, I knew where things were headed. It didn't dampen my enjoyment one iota. I also had one of my all-time favorite theatergoing moments tonight: When Hugo sneaks Isabel into Safety Last!, and Harold Lloyd's dangling from the clock, I heard lots of little kids gasp. I looked around and saw all of these young kids, some very small, sitting at the edge of their seats with their mouths hanging open, blown away by black and white footage from 1923. That was just too cool for words. The neat joy of a film that celebrates the preservation of film is the fact that it relies so heavily on the work of the significant restoration efforts in the last couple decades. Many of the clips from old classics are around in the shape their in because of the real life counterparts of Rene Tabard. It's hard for me to separate my love of what Hugo accomplishes from my loves of the movie itself. Asa Butterfield carries the movie on his shoulders with no struggle. He looks perfectly like a creature of woe, and the performance never loses our sympathy for a second. Chloë Moretz is building one of the most unique filmographies of any young actress out there. She did dark and edgy when she was 12. Now at 14, when most young actresses start going edgy so as to edge into more adult roles, she makes a children's movie. And does it brilliantly. Her accent was a bit dodgy (why does everyone in France except the station guard speak in a quasi-British accent?), but she captured what it is to be a kid in love with books perfectly. Isabelle doesn't read to look smart or show off, she reads because every book is an adventure. And the vocabulary is just a consequence of that. The adult cast is likewise impeccable. Ben Kingsley has the most challenging (and important) role, and he never misses a beat. If there's any justice he'll be nominated for an Oscar for this performance. Helen McCrory walks a tightrope the entire film, playing a woman who knows more than everyone else and must decide who should know what when; Mama Jeanne is the dutiful wife, but there's a lot of decisions involved in figuring out what that entails. In a few brief scenes, Jude Law has to create a character that makes the audience mourn with Hugo. He succeeds, in probably the warmest performance I've ever seen from him. I'm not a fan generally of Sacha Baron Cohen, and he's tasked with by far the broadest character in the film. The station guard would have been a perfect Peter Sellers role in the sixties or seventies. His role is the mustache twirling villain that the young kids can root against. At the same time, the character is richer than that. There's an internal life in there, vulnerable and broken, self-conscious and pitiful. SBC aces the subtleties as well as the broad strokes. Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour are a delight, with a storyline told almost entirely in the silent film style that is threaded throughout the film. Ray Winstone notches another unlikable lout performance. Emily Mortimer is lovely, with a serious performance that makes us laugh in sympathy and root for her. With his enthusiasm, Michael Stuhlbarg has to rally the audience's enthusiasm for what is to many ancient history. He does it with aplomb. My favorite performance in the entire film, though, captured in only a handful of scenes, belongs to Christopher Lee. He plays a man of forbidding suspicion and great warmth, who allows his prejudices to paint an unfavorable first impression of Hugo but keeps a sharp eye and an open mind. He is snobbish but not elitist. And he loves books as much as Isabel, and takes very seriously the responsibility of matching the right one to the right person. Lee is 89 years old, and doing the best work of his career. If I'm grateful to Fellowship of the Ring for anything, it was bringing this terrific actor back into the limelight.

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 26 2011 - 11:36 PM

Geez, I paid 7 bucks for my matinee showing in 3-D.  Sure, it was a 10:30 showing in just a two year old movie theater.




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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted November 27 2011 - 12:07 PM

Geez, I paid 7 bucks for my matinee showing in 3-D.  Sure, it was a 10:30 showing in just a two year old movie theater.

That's the Northeast for you. A 2D film is $11 here. I've attached an excerpt from the September issue of Film and Digital Times that goes into the 3D shooting for the film. The entire issue is available here. Variety also has a good article about the 3D learning curve while shooting the movie. [ATTACHMENT=200]FDTimes35_IBC_Cinec_Hugo.pdf (104k. pdf file)[/ATTACHMENT]

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 28 2011 - 12:20 PM

Adam summed up my thoughts better than I ever could. Agree 100%. Just a wonderful movie.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted November 28 2011 - 02:25 PM

I realize this isn't the flashiest kids movie out there but I hope adults and slightly older kids get out there and see this movie. It's really a lovely movie and Scorsese is, as always, at the top of his game. I'm lukewarm on 3-D (I don't love it and I don't hate it either) but this is the very rare case of where I would say to absolutely see this movie in 3-D.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Tino



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Posted November 30 2011 - 11:42 PM

Liked HUGU but didn't love it. Great design, acting, music and 3D. Just a bit too slow. I wanted to be more emotionally attached but wasn't. Still definitely worth seeing, especially in 3D. :star::star::star:
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted December 05 2011 - 08:05 AM

I thought it was a masterpiece. I'm really not sure how many "kids" are going to enjoy this picture and to be honest I'm really shocked it got produced. I mean, many film buffs don't even know who Melies is. People are making a big deal about Scorsese doing a kids film but I think you could argue that this is perhaps one of his most personal films he's ever made. It's really just a love letter to the cinema. The sequence where the girl sees her first movie is one of the most magical scenes I've ever seen and the magic Scorsese does here is without question one of the greatest moments from any of his films. I think knowing Melies work helped the entertainment level for me. Hopefully this film will do for him and the silents what ED WOOD did for Wood and Lugosi.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   filthybass



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Posted February 23 2012 - 12:39 PM

Solid Reviews! I am definitely adding this movie to my "Must see" list! I loved the departed. They had a Martin Scorsese promotion for Best buy and I had picked up a couple movies then. I've missed out on a lot of great movies in 2011....I'm not quite sure why... I just never made it to the theater much.... :confused: