Monday, March 5, 2012

Hugo

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Hugo - 4 out of 5


I've never read the book--hell, I haven't even heard of it.  If the books aren't comics, take place on the Discworld or have Star Wars in the title, it's a rare occasion I pick them up.  That being said, going into this review, there's no way I can compare the Martin Scorsese adaptation of it but I can tell you this much, Hugo was a pretty damn good movie!

Jude Law plays Hugo's dad because he is in 200 movies a year since he isn't human and doesn't require sleep.


This Academy Award winning film is about a little boy named Hugo who, after losing his father, ends up living in a Paris train station.  While hiding from the nasty Inspector and his dog, Hugo tries to repair an automaton that he believes carries a hidden message from his deceased father.  While attempting to bring this automaton back to operation, his life gets entangled with the owner of a toy shop within the train station and his daughter and the man's mysterious past that he's worked extremely hard to keep covered.

"These pictures are filthy.  Why would you show me these?"


Seriously, you could choke on all the whimsy this film throws at you...and that's a good thing.  As an adult watching this film, the wonder and fantasy of being an innocent youth before reality kicked me in the nuts started to seep in and blend into my adulthood and made me feel like a wee little boy again.  The journey Hugo goes through as he outruns the station Inspector, bonds with the toy shop owner's daughter Isabelle and tries to find out the truth behind the automaton is beautifully filmed, wonderfully paced and all around fun.  It's surprising that the man who gave us Goodfellas made this one--even more so since after watching the predictable Shutter Island and his attempt at being Quentin Tarantino with The Departed, I thought Scorsese went full Hollywood and stopped being creative.  Way to slap me in the face and prove me wrong, Martin!

Christopher Lee is in this and not only does the man already have a cooler voice than I do,
but his beard in this one is better than mine, as well.  Damn you, Lee...DAMN YOU!!!!


Apparently Elijah Wood has a clone.
Not only is the story enchanting (I don't think I've ever used that word to describe a movie), but the cast really brings this story to life.  Asa Butterfield (yeah, that's his name) is terrific as Hugo and is backed up by Hit-Girl herself; Chloe Grace Moretz, as Isabelle.  Her language is much less colorful in this one, however.  Young Butterfield (is his last name a type of cookie?) has the makings to have a long career as, even at his age, can out-act some of the supposed A-listers we have clogging movies like Tom Cruise and John Travolta--but in fairness, out-acting those guys isn't that hard since one thinks having 200 different types of smiles is acting and the other believes that dancing equals acting talent...and somehow hides the fact he's gay.

Am I crazy or did Moretz age 10 years since Kick-Ass came out?


But don't think for a second that it's only the prepubescents that are showing their chops in this one.  Funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen takes a break from the hidden-camera hijinks and being an animated lemur to play the Inspector and, with a dash of the immortal Peter Sellers' character Inspector Clouseau tossed in and his already genius comedic timing, Cohen makes for some genuinely funny moments without resorting to the shock gags he became famous for.  Also, it's clear that Ben Kingsley has fired his previous agent that gave him such works as Prince of Persia, The Love Guru and BloodRayne and has hired a new one as we see the Kingsley of old...or maybe we should thank Martin Scorsese for slapping another person in the face (that person being Kingsley) as he miraculously returned the man to glory with this one and Shutter Island (yeah, I know I said that one was predictable but I didn't say it was bad).

And to think, Steve Martin somehow got the role of Clouseau in the Pink Panther remake.
There is no justice in this world.


Hugo is a touching tale that, and it's not often I say this, deserved MORE attention from the Academy.  With its fantastic cinematic look, heartwarming story and stellar acting, Hugo proves to be one of those magical movies that comes out of nowhere like Martin Scorsese ready to slap someone in the face.

***Editor's Note***:  It's has never been confirmed that Martin Scorsese has a problem with slapping people. 

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