on June 25, 2016
Finally, a DVD that's a true 3-D. Depth, in your face 3-D, not like looking through a Viewmaster 3-D that most movies are being shown in. Worth every cent if you are interested in early film making. Loved the story, but the visuals ar what makes this movie.
on July 24, 2016
I found the pictures quality in 2D to be excellent. 3D picture was also good but quite a bit of ghosting. I don't know if it was the disk or my Sony player or my Epson projector ? I think it may be my projector. Still a good picture in 3D though, just not fantastic.
on March 11, 2012
I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret when it was first published - and loved it. Usually I don't give the film version a chance when that happens. (For example, I did not watch Angela's Ashes, nor did I watch Water for Elephants. For some reason, I gave Hugo a chance.)
Wow. I'm glad I did. This film is not only very faithful to the book - but sets the book in motion - which is, of course, entirely appropriate.
The choice of actors is perfect. The sets are fantastical and quite entirely beautiful. The photography is stunning. Martin Scorcese has outdone himself here.
This film picks up quite a pace and keeps you on the edge of your seat from then on. But it has a very worthwhile message, too.
Just to give you a sense of my context, I have a few film favourites that have been made (primarily) for children:
Into the West, with: Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Ciarán Fitzgerald, Rúaidhrí Conroy, David Kelly
The Secret of Roan Inish, with: Jeni Courtney, Mick Lally, Eileen Colgan, Richard Sheridan, John Lynch, Susan Lynch, Cillian Byrne
The Three Lives of Thomasina, with: Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, and the voice of Elspeth March as Thomasina the cat.
Hugo is now on my list.
on June 27, 2016
This movie looks fantastic in Blu-Ray 3D! This is one of the best 3D movies ever made, and is a good one to showcase your 3D TV. A lot of movies use 3D gimmicks, or poor 3D processing in post-production, however this movie was filmed in 3D, with careful consideration of depth and 3D space by Martin Scorsese. If you have friends who are skeptical of 3D TV, throw this movie in and tell them to shut their yap.
on March 4, 2012
This film is a love letter to the early days of cinema. It is wonderfully acted, very touching, and you'll learn some history along the way. It does not have a lot of action, but the views are breathtaking, the subject matter compelling (though it might not hold interest for most younger children), and a great chance for director Martin Scorsese to make the dream fantasy film he was always wanted to make. I highly recommend it!
on July 21, 2013
Well made movie and one which keeps one enthralled all the way through. All the actors played their parts well espescially Asa Butterfield who was also in "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" a very sad and thoughtful movie about a boy's actions in WW11 Germany.
Hugo(released Nov/11) stars Ben Kingsley as George Melies,Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret,Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle,Sacha Baron Cohen as Inspector Gustave,Jude Law as Hugo's father,Christopher Lee as Monsieur Labisse,and an astounding supporting cast of other actors.This is a nostalgic look back at film making's earliest days and how a young boy is the catalyst for one its most honoured creator's deserved return to the limelight.Beautifully photographed and set decorated,this piece almost immediately brings you into the film titled young boys life and world,and from there the adventure never stops building to its inevitable climax.
The story takes place,I would guess,in the late 20s.Hugo is a young boy living with his father,who works in a museum.Hugo has become a tinkerer of sorts,like his father,and both work together on repairing and bringing back to life an automaton Hugo's father claimed from the museum's basement.One night his father is fatally caught in a conflagration at the museum and Hugo is forced to go and live with his inebriated uncle.The uncle tends the clock works at the Gare Montparnasse,the central train station in Paris.And when his uncle is away,which is quite often,it is left up to Hugo to pick up the slack.Eventually his uncle is found dead,and he is left an orphan.
When Hugo has down time he works away at the automaton.He regularly scrounges parts from an old man who runs a small toy store in the train station.One day the man catches the boy and Hugo is forced to empty his pockets.Among the items the man confiscates is Hugo's diary which his father kept while working on the automaton.That night Hugo follows the man home and speaks to his young god-daughter,who promises to keep her father from burning the book and to help him get it back.
Next day Hugo is hired by the old man in the toy store to fix his toys.In return he says he will eventually return his book.One day Hugo takes the old mans god daughter to the movies(to which she has never been)and in return she introduces him to a local bookseller.Then Hugo introduces her to the automaton he has been trying to fix.In the process Hugo discovers she,coincidentally,has the heart shaped key that is needed to turn the machine on.The key is inserted and the machine comes to life.Hugo is expecting a message from his father but instead a drawing is made of a scene from an old film produced in the late 1800s by George Melies.They both return to the girls home and present the drawing to her god-mother who wants them to forget about it.Just then she hears her husband waking up and the children are shuffled into a side room.They search for the diary while in there and find a heavy box hidden in a secret drawer in the top of an old armoire.The chair she stands on collapses and the box and her come tumbling down.Papers scatter everywhere,but all have drawings from other scenes of Melies films.The old man enters the room and can only sit despondent at the supposed betrayal Hugo has perpetrated.
The children return to the bookseller wanting to know the best place to find books on old film making.They end up at a specific area at the local library and while reading one particular chapter in a book about George Melies,it dawns on them that her god-father is none other than George Melies himself.Suddenly a stranger appears behind them,who turns out to be the very author of the book they are reading.He asks about their interest in Melies and she tells him her god father is he.The author is incredulous but nonetheless takes the chance and returns home with the children.As soon as her god mother opens the door the author,who met both her and Melies when he was a child,recognizes her instantly.He expresses his gratitude for Mr.Melies inspiration,who is at the moment sleeping.Before parting he gently asks whether she would like to see one of her husbands works.She acquiesces and before long the projector is ticking away,frame by magical frame,the only known remaining print of a George Melies film.They all sit in amazement and when the film ends Mr Melies walks in on them.He instantly starts recalling in brief his career in film making with his wife,and the calamity that led to him having to sell his films for scrap and burning all his sets.He thought no one cared any longer.
Hugo excuses himself to return to the train station to retrieve the automaton.Along the way he gets arrested by a station gendarme who has been dogging him constantly.When Hugo fails to return promptly Mr Melies and his god daughter return to the station and rescue Hugo just in time.It turns out the automaton he and Hugos father work so judiciously on for so long,originally belonged to Melies himself,who was also a tinkerer and an inventor.He had donated the automaton to the museum,but when the fire destroyed it he assumed it has been lost also.
The film ends as the author introduces Melies to a packed audience,who are there to watch again Melies works that have been rediscovered and lovingly restored.Hugo has found a new home and life with the Melies family and the film fades out as we stare at the automaton;the very thing that brought a man and his son close together and has now brought Hugo a whole new life.
As much as the film is a children's adventure,it is also a marvelous educational tool.The film's own subject matter,the French film pioneer George Melie's and his works,which are on prominent display off and on throughout,are absolutely marvelous to look at.On top of this we have a myriad of references to stars of the 20s such as Douglas Fairbanks,Max Linder,Charly Chase,while we actually see Buster Keaton,Charlie Chaplin and especially Harold Lloyd doing his thing in Safety Last.We also get the point of the neglect of film over time and what we have lost,and what we need to do to protect it in order to ensure their longevity or just plain existence.The film also has some neat touches such as the guitar player in a band at the station,who more than likely is a Django Reinhardt reference.So much going on in this film,but all lovingly wrapped up in what essentially is a children's story.All players here do a fantastic job in their portrayals.
Technically speaking the film is its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.The only extra is a making of featurette.
All in all a highly recommended film ,a children's adventure cunningly concealing a message about old cinema and its preservation.Well acted,well shot and well deserved of a place on your DVD shelf.
This is a unique combination of the way the story is told as an interweaving of a fictional protagonist to tell the story of a real life person. I have seen the formula of interweaving reality with a fictional character before; one of the most famous is "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder.
Any way the basic story is of a child that loses his father and thinks that his father left him a message that will change his life. In the process of perusing the message he meets Georges Méliès who may just have a message to change the reader's life.
The book incorporated a lot of pictures to help tell the story. This is innovative and holds your attention. However it did not translate well into the film as the film was slow and dragged a lot in scenes and even dialog. They lost the continuity and purpose of the story by incorporating the station inspector story that was a minor part of the book. It was too slapstick. What was great graphics in the book translated in almost cartoonish graphics in the film. However they did an excellent presentation of how the original films were designed to show us the stuff that dreams were made of.
The flat screen version was well enough. The 3D graphics were sort of gimmicky sort of looking through a stereoscope; however they were several fields deep.
So we have some unnecessary story added and some slow dragging parts but in the end the feel of the original book shines through.
I didn't rush out to see Hugo in the theater because of the 3D aspect, but I wanted to see it before the Oscars. So I eagerly sat down to watch the 2D Blu-ray version when my review copy arrived this week.
When you think of Martin Scorsese, what comes to mind? My favorite Scorsese films are The Departed, Taxi Driver, Shutter Island, Gangs of New York and Goodfellas, but it would be easy to make the argument for Casino or Raging Bull to be on that list. Many of his films have moments of intense violence, but all of them illustrate how good he is at character studies. Hugo is a family film with no violence, but its characters are strong and I came away feeling like I knew the people being portrayed.
The opening scene sweeps us through a train station in 1930s Paris. We learn that Hugo (Asa Butterfield) hides away in a giant clock tower and winds the clock. In fact, he's a genius when it comes to repairing machinery of all types. We see his father die in a flashback sequence and understand why Hugo is striving to repair a rusty old automaton that he worked on with his father. He has to stay hidden or risk being sent to the orphanage, so finding food and drink means he has to steal in order to survive. But there's never a sense that he's a criminal.
Hugo gets caught trying to steal cogs from a local toymaker (Ben Kingsley), but finds a friend when he meets Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz); the toymaker's granddaughter. The two spend a lot of time together. Her grandfather forbids her from seeing films, but Hugo sneaks her in to see a Buster Keaton movie at the local cinema.
The images of Paris as seen from the high clock tower are breathtaking. The whole look of the film makes it feel like an alternate reality, even though its world is largely contained within the train station.
The toymaker has a secret and Hugo's automaton has a secret. I won't reveal them here or dig any deeper into the story except to say that the conclusion of the film shows how passionate Scorsese is about cinema. Hugo wasn't quite what I thought it would be, but it turned out to be even better. I would still recommend the film as suitable for the whole family, but very young children might not grasp the significance of the conclusion to the story.
The quality of the acting is good across the board. Butterfield and Moretz carry the movie, but Kingsley's smaller role is memorable. The supporting cast includes Sasha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths. The characters all felt real and seemed as though they belonged in Hugo's world.
on December 18, 2014
I was a bit dismayed when I first saw the ads for this movie before it's public release. As it focused so much on this 'automaton', that I thought it was Hugo. Then when I heard Scorcese discuss the film in a interview, it sounded more like a biography of Georges Melies. Then people who saw the film said 'well no, it's more of a boy who lives in a train station and meets a young girl...' So I watched this movie expecting a 'dogs breakfast' much like Scorcese's 'After Hours' flick. (Not to say I didn't enjoy that one, but was very confusing in what was going to happen to the main character next.) But I must say Hugo is a BRILLIANT GEM FOR ALL AGES! I have not seen it in 3D, but would imagine it doesn't do THAT much for the film. It's beautifully shot and CGI'd to postcard perfection. The story is a bit 'dark' at first, as Hugo tunes the station clocks from the catacombs, and recounts his fathers sudden death and the boorish uncle that takes him under his wing and teach him the clock workings at the station. And nor is his first encounters with Georges Melies very pleasant either. And the 'evil' station guard is a bit daunting for the most part. But has a very humorous and sad side to him that makes him not so bad. And the film does get 'brighter' as it goes along. The casting is brilliant, and the story is intriguing for all. Plus, serves as a great history lesson for the die hard or budding film buff of the life and work of Georges Melies. Who, for the most part today is unsung, or laughed at for his naive and childish view on going to the moon and such. But when one sees the diligence and brilliance of Melies via Hugo, it does leave one with a profound respect for him. Kudos to Martin Scorcese for such an enjoyable and timeless film for all!