Hugo (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
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The film is based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. If you've read the book, then you know the story already, but for everyone else I am going to be careful here and not reveal anything that might spoil the film. I will say that Hugo is about many things, but at its heart, it is about obsession, discovery and how one person's story can lead to - and become entwined with - another's.
The film is set in Paris in the 1930's, in a railway station where an orphan boy named Hugo (engagingly played by Asa Butterfield) lives in the workspaces in the station walls and in the station's central clocktower. He spends most of his time keeping the station's clocks running (so that no one will come into the walls or the tower and discover his hiding places) and pursuing his obsession - fixing a man-shaped automaton designed to write with a pen which his father (Jude Law) had found in a museum and was trying to repair when he was killed in a fire. To feed himself, Hugo scrounges and pilfers food from the various food shops in the station, which draws the attention of the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen).Read more ›
As the Rottentomato website has already shown (it assembles and correlates scads of reviews from the press and the web, along with reader responses), the critics adore this film, the audience somewhat less so.
Part of this has to do with managing expectations. The marketing presents Hugo as an Avatar-ish 3D fantasy with a C3P0 (StarWars)-type flying robot. this is actively misleading, though that's not the director's fault.
What Hugo is, is a fable--not a fantasy--that's part tween adventure and part infomercial for the preservation and viewing of old silent movies. Most importantly--and this is a point that hasn't been made by most reviewers here and elsewhere--it's a film about ex-magician/early filmmaker Georges Meliés that Scorsese made, to a degree, IN THE STYLE of a Georges Meliés movie. That's part of the homage.
Thus "Hugo" contains a lot of adventurous running-around, a brilliant exploitation of the best 3D filmmaking technology extant, and a leavening of slapstick elements--particularly from the surprisingly restrained Sascha Baron Cohen.
It's a fable based on real events in the early history of movies. "Sleepless in Seattle" was a fable with no fantasy elements other than its happy-ending-inevitability, which you feel from beginning to end. That's the essence of a fable, not whether it has fantasy elements or not. A fable is a kind of ritual that reaffirms the tribe's values and faith in its vision of life.Read more ›
Hugo largely takes place in the early 1930s at a Paris railway station. Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is a young boy whose father (Jude Law), a clockmaker, dies suddenly in a fire. His alcoholic Uncle Claude (Ray Winstone) is responsible for maintaining the clocks at the railway station and teaches Hugo how to do so before taking an indefinite leave of absence. Hugo, left all alone, lives within the walls of the train station, maintaining the clocks, acquiring food by stealing, and spending his free time trying to fix the automaton his father left behind. The automaton is a mechanical man that, once wound up, is supposed to write; his father found it difficult to fix and it's Hugo's mission to see that it finally works. To successfully accomplish this goal, Hugo steals mechanical parts from a toyshop owner named Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley), a callused, angry old man who eventually catches Hugo and steals his blueprints that guide him in fixing the automaton.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the great "feel good" movies I have made it a point of adding to my collection. If you have not seen it, it is well worth finding. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Synergy Hub
For any real cinema fan, this is a don't miss. Only nominally a children's film. If you get the 3d version you are in for a special treat. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Barry A. Hudson
Good for all ages, will watch it again and again.
A fabulous movie. We also enjoyed it very much on the big screen at the movie theatre in 3D. Felt like we were part of the action.Published 1 month ago by Judith Humphrey
This is, hands down, one of my favorite movies of all time. Love the story line, and the cool fact that the film producer was real!Published 1 month ago by Laurie Crummett
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