Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) Reviews

Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)

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Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)

Welcome to a magical world of spectacular adventure! When wily and resourceful Hugo discovers a secret left by his father, he unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest that will transform those around him and lead to a safe and loving place he can call home. Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese invites you to experience a thrilling journey that critics are calling “the stuff that dreams are made of.” *Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)

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3 thoughts on “Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) Reviews

  1. 16 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    One of the Finest Family-Oriented Pictures in Recent Memory from a most unlikely source, November 30, 2011
    By 
    John Kwok (New York, NY USA) –
      

      

      

    This review is from: Hugo (DVD)

    Martin Scorsese offers audiences a film absolutely like none of his others, a truly heart-felt valentine to the early history of cinema and of a young boy’s indefatigable search for a hidden message from his deceased father in 1920s Paris; “Hugo”, based on Brian Selznick’s bestselling children’s tale “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”. It is Scorsese’s most personal, and most poignant, film, and is certainly among those destined to be remembered as his finest in long, quite distinguished, star-studded cinematic career. Working with a talented team of actors led by Sir Ben Kingsley and Christopher Lee, and a technical crew led by visual effects guru Rob Legato (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Avatar”) and film composer Howard Shore (“The Lord of The Rings”), Scorsese has rendered a cinematic vision of Paris as vividly magical as the futuristic worlds of “Star Trek” or the fantasy realm of “Middle Earth”; a vision that is still most apt even in the two-dimensional version that I saw recently.

    The young Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) runs afoul of toy store owner Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) in the main Parisian railroad station, as he tries repairing an automaton found by his late father (played with utmost warmth and sincerity by Jude Law), believing it may disclose his father’s hidden message. Winning the sympathy and friendship of Méliès’ goddaughter Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), and Monsieur Labisse (Christopher Lee), the train station’s book seller, young Hugo soon makes an electrifying discovery of Méliès’ almost forgotten past as one of the world’s greatest film directors in the early infancy of cinema. Moretz’s warm, radiant, performance nearly steals every scene she is in, though there are great performances too from Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Michael Stuhlbarg (as the fictional film historian Rene Tabard), Helen McCrory (as Méliès’ wife Mama Jeanne), Emily Mortimer (Lisette, the train station’s flower shop owner) and Sacha Baron Cohen (as the World War I-injured Station Inspector, with whom Hugo has problems with too). This is an emotionally riveting tearjerker of a film that will leave audiences spellbound, especially pre-adolescent children and adults; whose visual and musical styles are more similar to Hollywood classics from the 1930s and early 1940s than any contemporary family-oriented film in recent memory.

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  2. 57 of 63 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    No-Spoilers review of the 3D movie and the coming 2D DVD, December 19, 2011
    By 
    Ehkzu (Palo Alto, CA United States) –

    This review is from: Hugo (DVD)

    Few read reviews to find out whether the reviewer liked the film. They want to know whether THEY will like the film–to decide whether to see the movie or not, and whether to see it in the theater or wait and see the DVD (or the download). That’s the task I’ll take on here.

    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.

    Hugo reaffirms faith in goodness–that even in many apparently hard-hearted people there’s an ember that can be fanned into life by the right person. The movie’s vibe from its first seconds tells you that you are riding towards a happy ending.

    Two Russian intellectuals that I saw the movie with hated that fact. They think a movie is unrealistic unless everyone’s doomed, and if you’d grown up in the Soviet Union that was probably realistic. Especially since Soviet-era fable-movies did guarantee a happy ending–“happy” as defined by Soviet ideology at least. So for my friends. fables aren’t just false, but evil State Propaganda. And a lot of Americans who fancy themselves intellectual have a similarly jaundiced perspective about Hollywood’s addiction to guaranteed by hook or by crook happy endings.

    I think this issue stems from not understanding the ritual validity of fable. I love realistic movies without this guarantee of happy outcomes, but I also love a good fable. I’m certain of my spouse’s love for me and of my love for her. I’m certain of our relationship with our closest friends, as they are of us reciprocally. I’m certain of the law-abidingness of my society (especially compared to the third-world countries we’ve traveled in). Predictable good outcomes are, within reasonable constraints, reasonable to believe in, in many ways.

    So “Hugo”‘s ultimate predictability is a valid artistic choice. It’s not a spoiler to say this because you know it from the start and you should know so you don’t confuse this with a Sundance-type art film where everyone is confused and faces an uncertain future, usually alone. I apologize for “Hugo” not being a slit-your-wristsathon. I also like such films, and they usually set your expectations from the start as well, for that matter.

    So who will enjoy “Hugo” ?
    1. Bright tweens. It stars a pair of bright tweens, so this is a natural. Many younger kids will like it as well–it’s visually a treat, and it is based on a kids’ story. But duller/much younger/Disneyfied kids who want nonstop action and/or the relentless cheerful action of a Disney film will probably find their attention wandering in places.

    2. Everyone who’s interested in the history of filmmaking–particularly right at the beginning.

    3. Everyone who’s interested in modern filmmaking. This does represent the absolute state of the art in 3D cinematography–where its 3Dness is integral and almost taken for granted, not tacked on, not poke-you-in-the-eye, not several layers of 2D images.

    4. Everyone who’s interested in good fable direction/screenwriting/acting. This is not to say anyone involved in this project can’t do naturalistic films or fantasy films, or, in the case of Chloe Grace Moretz, naturalistic fantasy films (“Let me in”). So no negatives are proven here. That said, I believe the casting was spot on for the major and minor roles. This is one area where Scorsese didn’t copy the stagy mugging of Meliés’ films (except during re recreations of those films). The large, intent close-ups of the major characters really exposed their acting chops, and all came…

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  3. 91 of 91 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    _This_ is why we go to the movies, December 8, 2011
    By 
    Whitt Patrick Pond “Whitt” (Cambridge, MA United States) –
      

      

    This review is from: Hugo (DVD)

    Different people go to the movies for different reasons. Some of us want to be entertained. Some of us want to be dazzled. Some of us want to be engaged by a story, or by characters that stick in the mind after the film is done. Some of us want to be transported to a different time or place. And some of us want to see talented actors create a bit of magic in the hands of a masterful director. Martin Scorsese’s Hugo does all of these things. It is, more than any other film I’ve seen this year, _why_ we go to the movies.

    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). To feed his efforts to repair the automaton, Hugo steals parts from a toy shop in the station, run by the elderly Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley), who finally catches him in the act. He is befriended though by Papa Georges’ god-daughter, a girl his age named Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), who ends up helping Hugo pursue his obsession of fixing the automaton. Which, Hugo is convinced, has some secret message for him left by his late father. Where this ultimately leads… you’ll have to see the film. Telling you here would only ruin the film’s joy of discovery.

    There are so many good things about Hugo as a film that it’s hard to know where to begin. I can at least start by saying that the look of the film itself is dazzling. Scorsese creates worlds within worlds, taking you first back to Paris in the 1930’s and from there into Hugo’s hidden world within the walls and clock tower of the train station. And from there, other places that are equally wondrous. The 3D is not wasted here and truly adds to the feel of Hugo’s world of narrow passages and massive time-keeping mechanisms with their enormous but intricate gears, springs and pendulums all in motion. And Howard Shore’s beautifully crafted musical score evokes the period throughout the film, adding to the feeling of being transported to a different time and place.

    Another thing that makes Hugo so worth seeing is that Scorsese is one of those directors who can bring out the best performance an actor has in them, which he does a magnificent job of here, from veteran actors like Ben Kingsley and Christopher Lee to comparative newcomers like Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz.

    And just as the look of the sets shows his attention to detail, the populating of the world with characters shows it as well as he makes the train station come alive with its regular denizens, from Sacha Boren Cohen’s officious station inspector with his leg brace and the pretty young flower seller Lisette (Emily Mortimer) he secretly yearns for, to the comic attempts at romance between Monsieur Frick (Richard Griffiths), an elderly newspaper seller who keeps attempting to woo Madame Emile (Frances de la Tour), a cafe owner who dotes on her dog who unfortunately attacks Monsieur Frick every time he comes near. Scorsese also works in some famous historical Parisian residents of the period into the background, like jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (Emil Lager), artist Salvador Dali (Ben Addis) and writer James Joyce (Robert Gill).

    Highly, highly recommended for anyone who enjoys movies, and an absolute must-see for anyone who loves movies and what they mean to us.

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