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Hugo Reviews


Watch 'Hugo' because it's a masterpiece

Posted : 1 month, 2 weeks ago on 2 March 2014 12:47

'Hugo' is set in 1931 and in a train station in France where a 12 year old orphan lives named Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who has to survive by stealing croissants, when an owner of a toy booth (Ben Kingsley) finds out he's been stealing, Hugo soon meets his god-daughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) but if Hugo is caught by the Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), he'll go to the orphanage

While the story is great, most adults may know who Ben Kingsley is but probably not who George Melies is, but we soon learn some things about George Melies and the first movies

George Melies directed 'A Trip To The Moon' a 9 to 18 minute movie in which a rocket flies into the eye of the man in the moon, but don't watch 'Hugo' just to see that, watch 'Hugo' because it's a masterpiece because you don't see much of 'A Trip To The Moon' at all

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Hugo Triumphant

Posted : 4 months ago on 15 December 2013 09:17

Hugo is pure enchantment that recalls to mind (at least for me) such films as Pan's Labyrinth, Time Bandits and Stardust; each, though very different, all possess a magical aspect to them that transcends the averaged movie. There is also an infusion of Dickens here that one would have to be blind to miss. I truly wish that I'd had the chance to see this film in theatres instead of at home and I fear that because of that I have missed some of it's grandeur. Should it ever again return to the big screen I shall make a point not to miss it again.

This was a film filled with surprises for me, though not the usual kind. Hugo's aspect is grand, equally both bright and dark, and mesmerizing; I truly felt as if under a spell the entire time. Yet the surprises I speak of are something else entirely.

A better cast of actors could not have been chosen for this film and they execute the steps of their dance before the cameras flawlessly. Kingsley, Butterfield and Moretz may have garnered more screen-time than the remainder of the cast but each and everyone made the most of their allotted time and all of their characters are vital components of the spell.

Cohen's station inspector was a delight for me, as was the brief cameo of Jude Law as Hugo's father. The automaton and Christopher Lee both brought smiles to my face in their turns. In truth, I smiled quite a lot while watching this film. :)

Yet the most pleasant surprise of all was the fact that Martin Scorsese himself directed this most incredible enchantment. A man whose name is synonymous with films that plum the depths of the darkness in the human soul; a man whose name brings to mind mobsters, bullets and blood; and finally, a man who I never thought in a million years would even be interested in helming such a delightful enchanting tale such as this. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Scorsese yet his films have a tendency not to leave one filled with warm and fuzzy feelings, indeed quite the opposite.

Paris, Dickens, clockworks, the hunchback of Notre Dame, the fledgling birth of the film industry...all woven together into the perfect magic spell. Hugo is well worth the wait (and the watching) and the world seen through the eyes of a lonely orphan boy is a truly awesome place...even when that world is the confines of a busy Paris train station in the 1930's.

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Posted : 1 year, 4 months ago on 14 December 2012 02:41

Now, I normally don’t care for 3D films. I find the third dimension to be an unnecessary distraction from the proceedings, an extra bell or whistle added to most action movies to distract the viewer from the inane plot, lousy dialog and poor characterization. But the 3D in Hugo, while still slightly unnecessary for me, did add a certain quality to the layout of scenes. It seemed as if some care and thought had gone in to decide how to use the medium and produce a more integrated result.

But we’re also talking about a film which blares something that for me is an automatic indicator of quality: “Directed by Martin Scorsese.” Scorsese is a virtuoso, a master of his chosen craft, an artiste with an expansive, rich filmic vocabulary. The opening sequence is a cinematic gambit ably done by an auteur working at the top of his game on a story that takes twists and turns that are surprising.

We begin from on high, up in the clouds, and zoom along with a train before the camera becomes the train. We don’t stop the momentum as we zip through the train station, past figures and random passengers, before stopping. We’ve come to our soundstage for most of the film – Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris. And these early sections are lively, full of fun and mischief as Hugo must escape from the tyrannical Station Inspector, keep the clocks running and find new ways to steal food to survive.

It all sounds a little depressing, and his childhood is very much out of a Charles Dickens novel, but there’s a wandering sense of fun that pervades Asa Butterfield’s performance. He’s a charming little street urchin, a voyeur who views the train station as his own private movie theater, and each section and interaction amongst the employees that he views from afar a different genre. And the first hour or so, maybe a little less, plays out like this.

Then he meets Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz, a ridiculously talented actress already), the goddaughter of the man who runs the trinket shop. Their friendship is a meeting of like minds, even if their chosen mediums are different. He, having lost his father at a young age and forcibly become the keeper of the clocks with his drunken uncle, hasn’t had much time to read. But his fondest memories are of the movies. And she is forbidden from seeing movies, but loves to get lost in the new worlds and ideas presented to her in books. They see a similar passion, and there really isn’t much of a difference between being obsessed with the magic of a novel or a book, they each give you something special.

Once we discover the identity of her godfather, and why she is forbidden from watching movies, Hugo takes a dramatic shift. Now it becomes something terribly personal for Scorsese, and here is where he shows his passion. It transitions slowly into the story of one boy who works tirelessly to preserve the legacy of nearly forgotten greats in cinema. He wants to preserve these films and educate the masses on their importance and artistic legacy.

If this sounds familiar, then it should. Hugo becomes Scorsese’s personal manifesto about film preservation, to return spectacle to the cinema, and to make believe in the magic. That isn’t to say it is all pure vanity project, there’s too much warmth, fun and wonderment on display for that.

And Scorsese slowly integrates scenes from real silent films, without having fussed with them or done any digital trickery, I wanted to give a standing ovation. The scenes recreating many of these moments are just as good. Hugo slowly turns from a family film about a street urchin living in a Paris train station into an elaborate love poem to the movies, and all of the creativity and joy they can inspire in people. That a scene, which left me heartbroken as a film lover, where film strips are forever lost, having been melted down to make heels for shoes can transition into one boy rescuing the surviving prints from certain death left me walking out on a natural high. But, then again, every Scorsese movie leaves me walking out like that.

2011 was an interesting year in cinema, in that many of the prime players for the awards season looked back at the history and figures that helped shape American cinema as we know it. We had the great, loveable comedy The Artist, and a flawed film with a stunningly complicated and fully-realized central performance in My Week With Marilyn, and, of course, Hugo which took disparate elements from both, and crafted my personal favorite movie of that year. Funny how these things go in cycles. 2011 was the year in which the movies took a look back at themselves.

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Hugo review

Posted : 1 year, 5 months ago on 10 November 2012 07:38

I'm going to be very honest at first I did think I was going to find this boring, don't hate me. But when I went to see it in cinemas in November 2012 (I know a year later but it was the best thing I ever could have done plus the tickets were free to see it lol). But how wrong was I, It was not boring at all in fact it is now after just one viewing at number one because it is visually a beautiful masterpiece made by a director I had never seen a film from before. But this film was perfect, The whole cast as well. Plus it'a at 1 because the lead actor actually nearly made me cry I nearly did cry but if I watch it again I probably would cry this time around. This is the first film that has also ever made me want to cry as well, I don't know why but I guess with the main actor I had an emotional connection to his character and even the actor himself as well. But Chloe Mortez was also an exception I never really liked her before now until I watched this. And because of this for the main actor Asa I really expect big things from him in the future I really do. This film was a complete pleasure to have watched it really was. A brilliant visual masterpiece.

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Hugo review

Posted : 1 year, 11 months ago on 17 May 2012 03:19

hugo is a cool kid and he is really good at finding and he is good at hiding from the station incaperter

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No Magic here

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 3 March 2012 01:24

This is a bad movie.
Bad, really bad.
Mind you! I expected little from this but I got even less.
The characters are bland, the acting is laughable and even the colors are way out of balance!

The story development goes from nothing really happens to nothing ever happened with some I-just-dont-care and please-kill-me in between. The script tries to get some amelie-ish feeling without any luck or inteligence leaving the secondary characters orphaned to die alone and rot. The main course of the story could have been developed in an interesting manner but it just tumbles along the sidewalk for hours and then wraps it all without mercy.

It tried to be something more than a kid´s movie and ended being just rubbish. Sorry Martin but you just missed this shot but hey! nobody seems to care! Some day in one or three years a lot of people is gonna watch this movie again and think to themselves "what did I liked back then that I cant find now?"

There´s no magic in this movie, only characters telling you that there is.

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Hugo review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 26 February 2012 10:39

3D in terms of space and is very beautiful... But we did not like the progress of the issue ... Martin Scorsese has also included if their fears ... fear of being forgotten

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Hugo review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 26 February 2012 11:57

Directed by Academy Award winner Director Martin Scorsese, HUGO is the movie nominated for Academy Award for 2012.

Based on the Brian Selznick novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", movie combines a young boy's passion of fulfilling his farther dream & adventure with a cinematic history lesson. A good movie to watch.

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A good movie

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 26 February 2012 06:54

After making all those gangsters flicks, Scorsese decided to make for the first time a 'familly' feature. Honestly, in contrary to most of the critics and viewers, I wasn't exactly blown away by the whole thing. I mean, first of all, I don't think it is really a funny movie for kids in general. It is not really fun even rather sad and all the cinéma references are way too high-brow for young viewers (even most of the adults won't have any clue who's George Méliès). Furthermore, even though the story was entertaining, it was still nothing really amazing. Still, what remains is a really gorgeous movie (one of the only 3 recent movies I have seen where the 3D provides some added value) and a sweet love letter to the history of motion pictures. To conclude, even though I enjoyed it, in my opinion, it remains a minor effort in Scorsese's career but still a minor Scorsese is always better than all the garbage you can see nowadays.

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Hugo review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 24 February 2012 01:35

Martin Scorsese leaves his mean streets behind for this exhilarating family tale inspired by the birth of cinema.
The families we most associate with Martin Scorsese are the five criminal ones that make up the mafia in the United States, and both they and Scorsese's films deal in violence involving pain and death. His new film, however, aims to entrance every member of every family, and it centres on the great art form that over the past century became the great family entertainment: the cinema. A dramatic pursuit many see as essentially violent and once described by the art theorist Herbert Read as "a chisel of light cutting into the reality of objects", it is created with a demand for "Action!" and ends with the order "Cut!". Based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a beautiful book, half graphic novel, half prose tale, by Brian Selznick, the movie is a delightful fable. Its various subjects include magic, tradition, respect for the past and affection between generations, all bound up in the history of the cinema and the machinery invented to capture images on strips of film and project them on screens.
Hugo is set in Paris in 1931 and begins with a breathtaking shot of the city, as the camera swoops down on to a busy railway station. It flies along a narrow platform between two steam trains, crosses a busy concourse and ends up on the 12-year-old Hugo, who is peering at the world from behind the figure "4" of a giant clock. Hugo (Asa Butterfield) has inherited a love of tinkering with machinery from his late father, and has quite recently taken over the job of superintending the station's clocks from his drunken uncle. The boy lives in the hidden tunnels and passageways of the building, where he's repairing a 19th-century automaton. He's a crafty Dickensian orphan, a benign phantom of the opera, a blood brother of Quasimodo, a cinematic voyeur looking out on the world like the photographer in Hitchcock's Rear Window. Fate has brought him there, and it then draws him into the orbit of a querulous old man, Georges (Ben Kingsley), who runs an old-fashioned shop on the station selling toys and doing mechanical repairs, assisted by his 12-year-old god-daughter, Isabelle. Hugo becomes involved with the old man when he's accused of theft and has a cherished book of drawings confiscated. He is then assisted by Isabelle in retrieving the book, and in turn, when he discovers she's forbidden to go to the movies, he takes her on a great "adventure", a visit to the lost world of silent movies at a season of old films. She is overwhelmed.

The literate Isabelle is a great admirer of Dickens, and a succession of clever Dickensian twists ensue as the labyrinthine plot takes the pair on a journey into a mysterious past. They discover the origins of the movies in the late-19th-century careers of the Lumière brothers, who put on the first picture show in Paris in 1895, and Georges Méliès, the professional magician, who became obsessed after attending this historical screening. The Lumières photographed the world as it was and didn't believe the cinema had a future. Méliès turned his theatre into a picture palace, built his own studio and became a prolific producer of fantasy films that merged life and dream, before his business tragically collapsed and he disappeared into obscurity.
In following the example of his early hero, John Cassavetes, in making naturalistic pictures, Scorsese set out on the route pioneered by the Lumière brothers, but from time to time slipped into the parallel path taken by Méliès as, for instance, in New York, New York. Now, with this celebration of magic and the imaginative use of 3D, he is saluting what many will see as an alternative kind of cinema to his own. But Scorsese has always been fascinated by the all-involving experience of moviegoing and has a knowledge of and affection for film history matched by few directors of his generation. Since the 1970s he has used his influence and his money to campaign for the restoration and preservation of films.

Hugo is a moving, funny and exhilarating film, an imaginative history lesson in the form of a detective story. The film is a great defence of the cinema as a dream world, a complementary, countervailing, transformative force to the brutalising reality we see all around us. It rejects the sneers of those intellectuals and moralisers who see in film a debilitating escapism of the sort the social anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker impugned by calling her study of the movie industry Hollywood: The Dream Factory. As a commentary on this, Hugo at one point has a double dream, waking from one into the other, both of them forms of nightmares connected to the cinema.

Appropriately for a medium initially launched in France (where it is still taken more seriously than anywhere else) but developed almost simultaneously in a variety of countries, Hugo is an international movie with a wonderfully gifted team behind it. The photographer (Robert Richardson), editor (Thelma Schoonmaker) and screenwriter (John Logan) are American, the production designer (Dante Ferretti) Italian, the costume designer (Sandy Powell) and the cast British (except for the delightful young American Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle), and it was made in this country.

Georges Méliès, the ultimate hero of the film, became a magician while working in London and returned there to buy his first projector. One of the movie's endless felicitous touches occurs during a whirlwind chase, when Hugo is pursued by the vindictive station inspector through the crowded concourse. The camera briefly alights on a startled James Joyce, then a resident of Paris, who had returned in 1909 to Dublin to open the city's first purpose-built cinema, the Volta. Appropriately its premiere kicked off with a short called The First Paris Orphanage. At the time Hugo is set, Joyce was writing Finnegans Wake, a novel in the form of a dream in which he refers to the Marx brothers.

The Guardian

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