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Hugo (blu ray)...5 well-deserved Oscars...Should have Best Picture and Best Original Score Oscars too!!!
on February 28, 2012
Hugo arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode. This transfer is beautifully detailed. Clarity is astonishing. Details far and wide -- whether in the train station or as seen in the overhead shots of Paris -- are spectacularly sharp and crisp. Close-up detailing is even more amazing. Not only are facial texture marvellous and clothing textures faultless, but the transfer's ability to capture and display the finest little nuances of worn gears, rusted metal, scuffed floors, and rough bricks is outstanding. The black levels appear naturally and deeply inky, with detail quality coming across with seriously impressive textural punch, and colour accuracy also well-defined. Simply a magnificent transfer. (5/5)
Hugo's DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack makes full use of the entire stage -- the extra two surround channels included -- to create a seamless sound field that creates with great clarity and attention to detail the Paris train station, the mechanical objects, and other niceties scattered throughout the picture. Music delivery is perfectly spaced and immersive, playing with superb clarity as each note floats effortlessly into the listening area. Dialogue is clear and accurate. Dynamic range is unbelievable, with tremendous fidelity. Another great soundtrack from Howard Shore, who should have won the Oscar for Best Original Score. (5/5)
TRIVIA AND GOOFS:
This movie has a budget of $170 million, but so far to date, the gross receipt is only $106 million. (The Artist grossed even much less!) Losing the Best Picture Oscar to The Artist reminds me of the top grossing picture of all-time Avatar losing to The Hurt Locker in 2010.
This is Martin Scorsese's first PG rated film in 18 years, and his first feature film in twelve years not starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Eiffel Tower was (and still is) the tallest building in France, and dominates the skyline of Paris. Yet when Hugo and Isabelle are at the top of the clock tower at the station, the camera clearly looks DOWN at the top of the tower.
The movie is set in 1931. But the Django Reinhardt character is shown with a Selmer Maccaferri oval-hole guitar, which was not introduced until 1936. Also, he looks a bit older than the real Django, who would have been just barely 21.
The accordionist in the film is shown with a piano accordion, but Parisian accordionist in those days almost exclusively played the chromatic button accordion, and most still do.
When Hugo and Isabelle talk in the street outside her apartment, they are shivering and it is snowing but we cannot see their breath, revealing the scene was probably shot in the studio.
When the automaton is drawing the image, it begins by dipping the pen in an inkwell, and the nib emerges with black ink clearly seen on it. However, subsequent closeups of the pen show the nib dry, and a black pencil lead can be seen beneath the nib, which is what actually creates the marks on the paper.
Some people wondered whether Johnny Depp played a cameo as a band member. The answer is No. Johnny Depp was a producer on the film and was offered a cameo part, but he was busy at the time. The actor playing Django Reinhardt is as stated in the credits: Emil Lager, who does look a bit like Johnny Depp.
This movie was nominated for 11 Oscars, and deservedly won 5 Oscars (mostly on the technical side): Best Cinematography (Robert Richardson's gorgeous works demonstrated vividly in this blu ray release), Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing (as demonstrated in the audio) and Best Visual Effects. I personally feel that Howard Shore deserved the Oscar for Best Original Score.
Hugo is a wonderful movie. The actors are all great (like Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret, Ben Kingsley as George Melies, Sacha Baron Cohen as the Station Inspector, Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle, Christopher (Count Dracula) Lee as Monsieur Labisse and Jude Law as Hugo's father). The first half of the movie was a little slow, but the fantastic video and immersive music and sound effects will keep you mesmerized. In my opinion, Hugo should have won the Best Picture Oscar, while Howard Shore should get the Best Original Score Oscar. This movie is very highly recommended for all...young and old! I hope the above review is helpful to you.