Hugo

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Re: Hugo

Postby Okri » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:34 pm

Hugo is a dumbass title anyway.

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Re: Hugo

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:20 pm

Changed the title of the thread to Hugo, though some individual posts are still labeled Hugo Cabret.

If someone from the future came to me in 1980 and told me that Scorsese and Spielberg wouls be competing with children's movies filmed in 3-D, I would have thought they were talking about seasonal kids' movies, not Oscar bait films. As for seeing them in 3D - I still refuse to put on 3D glasses for any movie.
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Hugo reviews

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:48 pm

I think the thread's subject title should be changed, like the movie title has been.

Question for the older members: if someone from the future came to you in 1980 and told you that in the year 2011 Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg would compete against each other with children's movies filmed in 3D, would you have called them crazy?

ETA: Also, I suppose it only figures that the two filmmakers who would convince me to pay the premium admission price for their films - that seeing the 2D versions is an unthinkable proposition - would be a couple of veterans. For all the talk of cutting-edge technology and a new era of filmmaking, these dinosaurs are beating the young whippersnappers at their own game.
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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby Dien » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:31 pm

That gives me a little more hope.

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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:26 pm

Aaaand Variety...

Hugo
By Peter Debruge
Variety.com


In attempting to make his first film for all ages, Martin Scorsese has fashioned one for the ages. Simultaneously classical and modern, populist but also unapologetically personal, "Hugo" flagrantly defies the mind-numbing quality of most contempo kidpics and instead rewards patience, intellectual curiosity and a budding interest in cinema itself. Given the sheer expense of this lavish production and its marketing, Scorsese's playfully didactic, nouveau-Dickensian adventure could spell a money-losing gamble in the near term; wind the clock forward half a century, however, and "Hugo's" timeless qualities should distinguish it as an achievement with the style and substance to endure.

Based on Brian Selznick s illustrated children s novel, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," the story couldn t be more different from Scorsese s previous efforts, not least of all because it reps the director s first "deepie," to resurrect a bit of vintage slanguage for 3D pics. Still, anyone familiar with Scorsese s obsessions will instantly recognize why he felt compelled to adapt such a unique book, enlisting his usual team of powerhouse craftsmen to realize his vision, while working once again on a scale enabled by producer/champion Graham King ("Gangs of New York," "The Aviator").

"Hugo" tells the story of a wide-eyed orphan (Asa Butterfield, more wooden than he was in "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas") who s desperately alone in the world until he discovers a father figure in ornery old toy seller Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley), whom cineastes will recognize as one of the fathers of film itself. How the great Melies who created the indelible image of a rocket embedded in the eye of the moon came to spend his retirement selling toys in a Paris train station, and what role young Hugo can play in giving his life meaning, are among the urgent mysteries revealed in the film's second half, which Scorsese uses to inspire audiences on the importance of remembering how the medium began.

For roughly the first hour, however, Melies true identity doesn't factor, leaving the film to focus on the plight of its young protagonist. Lurking out of sight within the walls of the Gare Montparnasse (a massive set elaborately designed by Dante Ferretti), where he works as unofficial timekeeper of the station's many clocks, Hugo escapes every so often to snatch a hot croissant or nick the odd widget needed for his pet project, repairing an automaton his late father (Jude Law, seen only briefly) rescued from the attic of a nearby museum.

Scorsese introduces Hugo's world via a series of virtuoso camera moves, seamlessly enhanced by 3D and state-of-the-art CG (notice how Scorsese uses steam and floating particles to create a sense of dimension throughout). In one shot, Richard Richardson's dynamic camera swoops down from the skies and between rows of passengers disembarking the trains outdoors, pushing its way confidently through the crowd, into the station and up to a clockface, where a pair of big blue eyes peer down on the scene below.

Those peepers, which at times seem to fill the entire frame, invite auds into a spirit of shared voyeurism, as Hugo spies on the characters passing through each day with the same fascination with which we all watch movies. In perhaps the film's trickiest feat (just one of many expertly navigated by editor Thelma Schoonmaker), "Hugo" manages to alternate between its central story and a series of neat subplots among the station regulars.

There's the ruthless inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) determined to keep his domain free of fatherless urchins, yet smitten with Lisette (Emily Mortimer), who sells flowers a few paces from the pastry shop where Mme. Emilie (Frances de la Tour) sits, her dachshund a constant obstacle to the amorous M. Frick (Richard Griffiths). Cohen in particular brings the vaudevillian quality of early silent comics to his role, as in a bit that finds him swerving to avoid upsetting a six-tier cake, only to plant his foot in the nearest cello.

Howard Shore's whimsical score sets the tone as Hugo surveys these dynamics, playfully taking its cue from the resident cafe musicians. For fear of discovery, Hugo keeps his distance from the adults, until the day Melies catches the young thief red-handed. Kingsley plays the old man as a genuine misanthrope, embittered by years of neglect and haunted by secrets he keeps bottled up.

Nearly all the adult characters come across as forbidding authority figures to Hugo, further accentuating the young orphan s isolation in the world. Hugo's only ally is a girl named Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), who holds the key to his broken automaton. An avid reader, Isabelle takes pride in her multi-syllable vocabulary, introducing Hugo to the station s intimidating book lender (Christopher Lee). In return, Hugo drags Isabelle to the movies, specifically "Safety Last," in which silent comedian Harold Lloyd hangs from the hands of a giant clock -- an image soon to be repeated in Hugo s own life.

Hugo overflows with allusions, both cinematic and literary, reflecting the combined passions of Scorsese and writer John Logan, whose screenplay feels as alive with love for words as Scorsese is passionate about pictures. Invigorated by the use of 3D, the helmer tips his hat to the masters of silent and 1930s French cinema, innovating all the while. At one point, he re-creates the apocryphal early screening of the Lumiere brothers' "L'Arrivee d'un train en gare de La Ciotat," in which audiences are so startled to see a train approaching onscreen that they leap out of its path. Scorsese builds on this image, featuring dreams within dreams as a sleeping Hugo imagines an actual train crashing through his station, quoting everything from the wreck in Abel Gance's "La Roue" to the photo of an actual 1895 rail catastrophe at Montparnasse in the process.

Far from indulgences, these respectful nods echo the film s central theme, which concerns the plight of all those who never knew the attention filmmakers experience today. Although many will connect "Hugo's" message with Scorsese's film preservation work, it more closely matches his role in creating a late-career rediscovery for director Michael Powell, whom he helped to rescue from obscurity. Here, his young protagonist acts on behalf of all the medium s artists manquis.

Though Melies enjoyed great success innovating many of cinema s first special effects (look for side-by-side cameras in one of Scorsese s giddy restagings of these early productions, indicating that Melies was also among the first helmers to work in stereo), he was eventually bankrupted by film piracy and bad luck. His story is among the great tragedies of film history, reaching its lowest point in 1923, when Melies burned all his own negatives. "Hugo" supplies an alternative more in keeping with Scorsese s film-preservation message, as well as a resolution possible only now, in 2011, with the restoration of the only surviving hand-tinted color print of Melies' masterpiece, 1902's "A Trip to the Moon." Astonishingly, Schoonmaker manages to condense this gem to just 100 seconds within the great tapestry of Scorsese s rhapsody to an unforgettable art form.
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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:24 pm

Okay, now I'm stoked. (Watch for spoilers.)

Hugo: Film Review
3:07 PM PST 11/17/2011 by Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter


A passionate brief for film preservation wrapped in a fanciful tale of childhood intrigue and adventure, Hugo dazzlingly conjoins the earliest days of cinema with the very latest big-screen technology. At once Martin Scorsese's least characteristic film and his most deeply felt, this opulent adaptation of Brian Selznick's extensively illustrated novel is ostensibly a children's and family film, albeit one that will play best to sophisticated kids and culturally inclined adults. Paramount has no choice but to go for broke by selling this most ingenious of 3D movies to the widest possible public, hoping that critical acclaim and novelty value will pique the curiosity of all audiences. All the same, it remains something of a tricky proposition commercially.

Like so many of the most popular and enduring fictions centered on children, from Dickens to Harry Potter, this one is about orphans and castoffs, kids who must scheme, fight and resist authority to make their way in life. With exceptional imagination, first Selznick and now Scorsese and scenarist John Logan have found a way to connect their resourceful leading characters with one of the great early figures of cinema, Georges Melies, most famous as the originator of the science fiction film with his 1902 A Trip to the Moon and, perhaps more significantly, the first man to recognize the connection between the cinema and dreams.

In an incidental moment that alone justifies the entire recent resurgence of 3D, Scorsese recreates the legendary presentation of the Lumiere brothers' 1897 Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, at which audiences flinched in horror as a train filmed coming into a station appeared to be headed right at them, in a way that astonishingly captures the reaction the brief clip was described as having created. For anyone remotely interested in film history, Hugo must be seen in 3D if only for this interlude, which the director and cinematographer Robert Richardson have pulled off through an impeccably precise combination of framing and timing.

The richness of detail and evident care that has been extended to all aspects of the production are of a sort possible only when a top director has a free hand to do everything he or she feels is necessary to entirely fulfill a project's ambitions. As has been seen all too many times, this sort of carte blanche has its pitfalls in indulgence, extravagance and waste. In this case, however, the obvious expenditures of time, care and money would seem to have been devoted to matters directly connected to Scorsese's overriding obsessions with film — the particulars of its creation, manner of presentation, the nature of the people who make it, its importance to the inner lives of those who love it and preservation both of film itself and the reputations of its practitioners.

By contrast, the film's faults have more to do with less exalted issues such as slight overlength, a certain repetitiveness and the evident fact that Scorsese is not a great director of physical comedy.

The eponymous orphan here is Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), a prepubescent youngster who, after the death of his beloved father (Jude Law in flashback), is grudgingly taken under wing by a dissolute uncle (Ray Winstone) who tends to the complicated system of clocks at one of Paris' major train stations, circa 1931 (as specified in Selznick's book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, although not in the film). The labyrinth of gears, cranks, shafts and stairs that comprise this hidden chamber is explored in an extraordinary shot that winds up through it, and when the old man expires, Hugo, with nowhere else to go, surreptitiously takes charge of the clocks, unbeknownst to the vigilant station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen).

When the coast is clear, Hugo slips out of a wall grating to snatch something to eat and runs afoul of a sour old man (Ben Kingsley) who tends a toy shop in the station. He also meets another station dweller, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), who's been raised by the old man, her godfather, and his wife. A precocious lass who, in a nice invention of Logan's, likes to use big words, Isabelle is a bookworm with bright eyes and a wonderful smile who has no complaints except that her protectors won't permit her to see movies. Hugo remedies this by taking her to a showing of Safety Last, famous for the image of Harold Lloyd dangling over the streets of Los Angeles from a clock. Thus is born a new cinephile.

Having found his first friend, Hugo dares to bring Isabelle to his private lair, albeit with an ulterior motive; a heart-shaped key she wears around her neck looks like just what he needs to activate his primary inheritance from his father, an elaborate, unfinished automaton he's been tinkering with that he suspects might provide him with vital information.

The upshot is that Isabelle's guardian is none other than Melies, the film pioneer thought to have died during World War I. Embittered and forgotten, Melies destroyed his own work, melting the celluloid down to be used as heels for women's shoes, and the children, in league with an early film historian (Michael Stuhlbarg) set about engineering the resurrection of the old gent's reputation, while also restoring his sense of purpose in life.

This impulse to recognize and rehabilitate a filmmaker and his work lies at the core of Hugo and has perhaps never before been so lovingly and extensively expressed in a narrative feature. As the film pushes into its second hour, Scorsese and his team imaginatively and exactingly recreate the shooting of scenes from several notable Melies films, replicating the extraordinary sets, costumes and “special effects” they employed, and which often featured the director's wife Jeanne (Helen McCrory). A particular point is made of how Melies' films were hand-colored, frame by frame, the results of which are vividly rendered through the fortuitous recent Lobster Films color restoration of A Trip to the Moon. In related contexts, many other silent films — some famous, others not so much — are sampled in an enormously expressive but admirably disciplined manner.

Compared to Scorsese's fundamental achievement in so eloquently articulating his abiding passion in a fictional context, the melodrama surrounding Hugo's precarious existence in the station and his persistent, if easily distracted, pursuit by the station inspector feels overextended and indulged. The kid-in-peril interludes feel both obligatory, as something to potentially engage younger audiences, and padded to give more screen time to Cohen, who delivers an arch performance that is faintly amusing and slightly off-key. The director works overtime to give the station scenes cinematic life, letting the camera loose to prowl amid hordes of extras and dense scenic detail, but overkill eventually sets in after one or two too many chases. An under-two-hour running time should have been a goal.

One aspect that takes a bit getting used to is the across-the-board use of British accents by the, admittedly, mostly English cast for characters who are all French. It was a perfectly pragmatic decision, in the end, as having the actors employ French accents would likely have proved annoying and universal American accents would have been no more logical than British ones; it's probably just the vast difference in speech and temperament on opposite sides of the Channel that somewhat jars.

Although he ultimately comes through with a winning performance, Butterfield, previously seen in Son of Rambow and The Wolfman, seems a bit stiff and uncertain in the early-going; there are scenes in which he seems over-manipulated, right down to the slightest gestures and the direction of his glances. By contrast, Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let Me In), with her beaming warmth and great smile, is captivating as a girl who leaps at the chance for some adventure outside of books. Refusing to sentimentalize, Kingsley catches both the deeply submerged hurt and eventual pride of an artist long but not forever erased from history, while McCrory invigorates as his younger wife, who first protects but then crucially helps liberate his secret.

The film's craft and technical achievements are of the highest order, combining to create an immaculate present to film lovers everywhere. It would be hard to say enough on behalf of Richardson's cinematography, Dante Ferretti's production design, Sandy Powell's costumes, Rob Legato's extensive visual effects, Thelma Schoonmaker's editing, Howard Shore's almost constant score and the army of technical experts who made all of Scorsese's perfectionist wishes come true.

One amusing detail is that the view from Hugo's clock tower seems to vary in height from scene to scene, as judged in relation to the Eiffel Tower across the city; at times it's level with the second deck of the landmark, at others is even with the very top and at least once provides a perspective actually looking down upon it. A work of great imagination indeed.
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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby Dien » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:45 pm

I've only seen the first trailer. The fact it's a kid's film doesn't even bother me. It's the fact that it looked like a bad kids film. The taglines had that Pinocchio "wish upon a star" feel going, Sacha Baron Cohen was just a silly caricature of a villain, and all the scenes shown just made me claustrophobic. A crowded train station is understandable, but every other scene felt like too much was crammed into it. The walls were closing in on me and I couldn't move because there wasn't enough leg room due to everything being a foot within reach. It's possible this is the affect of watching a 2-d trailer for a 3-d film though.

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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:21 pm

I just posted my brief review of the second trailer on my site earlier today.
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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:42 pm

I've only seen the brief television ad, and it looked like Harry Potter to me (the magic train, the music, etc.).
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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:33 pm

It depends which trailer you watch. The first one that came out felt like it was nothing more than a childish kids' film. The second trailer I think makes it look more adult-oriented, though I can't get the images from the first trailer out of my head, which suggests it may not be all its cracked up to be.
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Re: Hugo Cabret

Postby Dien » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:09 pm

Besides the time stamp - I know this thread is old because I was the last one who posted in it.

Saw the trailer a few months ago, but I found it jarring to watch for some reason. I love Scorsese films, but this doesn't feel right.

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Postby Zahveed » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:18 am

Every time I see a new Scorsese release coming up I think, "It's about time". Then I remember he just came out with a movie not too long ago. Time plays tricks on me.
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Postby Okri » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:12 pm

Has anyone here read that book? It really is gorgeous.

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Hugo

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:19 pm

Scorsese's 3D adaptation of the novel Hugo Cabret has gotten a November release date this year:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vi....-164412
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