Hugo (Blu-ray 3D) Blu Ray|
In resourceful orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield, an Oliver Twist-like charmer), Martin Scorsese finds the perfect vessel for his silver-screen passion: this is a movie about movies (fittingly, the 3-D effects are spectacular). After his clockmaker father (Jude Law) perishes in a museum fire, Hugo goes to live with his Uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), a drunkard who maintains the clocks at a Paris train station. When Claude disappears, Hugo carries on his work and fends for himself by stealing food from area merchants. In his free time, he attempts to repair an automaton his father rescued from the museum, while trying to evade the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), a World War I veteran with no sympathy for lawbreakers. When Georges (Ben Kingsley), a toymaker, catches Hugo stealing parts for his mechanical man, he recruits him as an assistant to repay his debt. If Georges is guarded, his open-hearted ward, Isabelle (Chloë Moretz), introduces Hugo to a kindly bookseller (Christopher Lee), who directs them to a motion-picture museum, where they meet film scholar René (Boardwalk Empire's Michael Stuhlbarg). In helping unlock the secret of the automaton, they learn about the roots of cinema, starting with the Lumière brothers, and give a forgotten movie pioneer his due, thus illustrating the importance of film preservation, a cause to which the director has dedicated his life. If Scorsese's adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret isn't his most autobiographical work, it just may be his most personal. --Kathleen C. Fennessyfrom£5.94 | RRP:
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Average Rating for Hugo (Blu-ray 3D) - 5 out of 5
(based on 2 user reviews)
Hugo (Blu-ray 3D)Calvin MacKinnon
When Hugo was first announced you could hear the collective gasp of cinéastes reverberate across the world; Martin Scorsese making a kids movie? Surely not? It's easy to see why Scorsese was attracted to the project - anyone who knows anything about Scorsese's childhood isolation due to debilitating asthma will be able to draw parallels between him and Hugo, the titular protagonist and the film's subject is something very dear to Scorsese's heart.
Hugo focuses on the titular Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), a recently orphaned boy who lives in the bowels of a Parisian train station, who is in constant danger of being caught and bungled off to the orphanage by the Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen). He toils away trying to fix an automation left to him by his father but he is caught stealing parts from the toy shop from the store's owner who turns out to be none other than cinema's grand master - Georges Méliès.
Sir Ben Kingsley gives a particularly affecting performance as the world-weary Méliès, a cinematic genius who is but a shadow of his former self. He finds it painful to talk about the past but not because of any bitterness towards it but rather because he longs to return to his days of happiness. When he meets Hugo, he treats him with a Scrooge-like harshness but slowly develops a fondness as he recognises the parallels with himself.
An orphan but a talented orphan, Hugo is something of a cross between Oliver Twist and Quasimodo as he diligently maintains the clocks at the train station, a job inherited from his deceased uncle, wary that the slightest slip-up will cause the Station Inspector to investigate. Lonely, he desperately searches for meaning in life by fixing an automaton that he believes holds a message from his father. Asa Butterfield portrays Hugo with exceptional handling. His delivery is most impressive in the more moving scenes where he conveys raw emotion that's rare to find nowadays, especially from actors of his age.
However, the true focus of the film is not on Hugo or even Méliès but cinema itself - its origins, its magical properties and its power. Perhaps the key scene in the film is when Hugo takes Isabelle (Chloë Moretz) to see her first movie, Harold Lloyd's 'Safety Last!', Isabelle's facial expression goes through a series of transmutations but all of them undoubtedly express happiness, joy and wonder.
Scorsese takes pains to make sure that audiences experience the same wonder from watching Hugo as Isabelle did from watching 'Safety Last!' and he even recreates the latter's memorable clock-hanging scene whilst utilising the not-so-modern technology of 3D. This is the first live-action movie where I can conclusively say that the 3D was not a gimmick but an essential part of the film's visual aesthetic. From the breathtaking opening shot that brushes across an aerial view of Paris and slowly focuses in on Hugo's eyes peering through the face of a clock to the cold, biting atmosphere of the snowy path that leads to la maison du Méliès, an artistic beauty illustrates Hugo that Georges Méliès himself would surely be proud of.
Lovingly crafted from the rare substance that cinema was soaked in long ago when film was and indeed felt new, Hugo is a wondrous movie experience that will surely stand the test of time for generations to come. A line that Isabelle speaks to Hugo sums up my feelings perfectly: "Thank you for the movie today - it was a gift."
Hugo (Blu-ray 3D)Robert Lucas
Scorsese saves cinema
Martin Scorsese has had a long and varied career in Hollywood, he has made some of the greatest movies ever seen, but how will his latest outing Hugo fair? I suppose the real question is will Hugo make us show The Colour Of Money or just highlight The Departed?
Before Hugo even started it had several hurdles to climb, not the least of them being that Scorsese was the creator of my film of the year last year in Shutter Island. Going in, I had low hopes and high expectations, the film (as far as I knew) plot was that a little boy fixes clocks in a train station. Not the most gripping of outlines, but then something happened, the film began and so did the magic.
I feel that "Magic" is very much the word to use for Hugo, it's like old witchcraft the way that the movie hooks and engages us, drawing us in and making us empathise with the characters and to make us care as much as we do by the end is a clever game indeed and it could only come from a master like Scorsese. In fact the directing speaks for itself, the opening sequence where we are shown Hugo and a small introduction to all the characters in one long take is both ambitious and imaginative, but it's a shame that you know it's only there because of the 3D.
In Hugo's defence it doesn't often have sequences for 3D's sake, most of the film feels as kinetic and natural as any of Martin's past body of work. The over all feel to the movie from a technical stand point is breathtaking. However it does run into some minor problems.
Number 1 is that the film is set in France, and so as with all films set in France there are French Sticks, Onions and the Eiffel Tower in as many scenes as possible, but then this is in all movies that are based in France so it is quite easy to forgive Hugo for such a small misdemeanour.
Of course some people will no doubt HATE how obvious and forceful the film is with it's message but personally, I just love it all the more for that, because the message of this film is "Films is art", this isn't a surprise as Scorsese himself has long been a champion for the protection and respect for film, he believes we should take greater care of the classic movies and from that steams this film, where everything evolves around films.
When film's are first mentioned in Hugo I winced; presuming (wrongly) that this was just going to be a post modern conversation much in the formula of Quintin Tarantino, but I was wrong.
As far as Characters go, while not all are used to their full potential there is enough sub plot to keep us from getting bored with a handful of extra ideas to increase Hugo's success rate.
In regard to the cast they are all strong with Sacha Baron Cohen bringing just the right amount of humour and ridiculousness to stop him from being a "Child Catcher" villain, and Asa Butterfield is impressive as Hugo, with particular talent in showing inner turmoil and conflict at the loss of his father. All the supporting cast are wonderful with no one person spending so much time on screen that they outstay their welcome; but each being on long enough to justify their contribution.
It's late in the year, and an odd thing to say, but I truly think Hugo is in my top 5 films of the year, it is a true family film and is nothing short of beautiful.
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