Hugo

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Re: Hugo

Postby ksrymy » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:52 am

Do you think Hugo would be as successful with critics if it didn't involve the classic, silent, Melies storyline?
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Re: Hugo

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:10 pm

Elementary, my dear Watson.

It's all relative.

Simple curiosity should cause them to look up the name. I thought of Gandhi because Ben Kingsley played both Gandhi and Melies and the Holo aust because Asa Butterfield's best known role prior to this was in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and I thought of Obama because I was playing Pictionary with my brother the other day and couldn't think of a politician whose name began with an "O" so I felt guilty for that. Bizarre the way the mind works, isn't it?

Now aren't you glad you asked? :(
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Re: Hugo

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:43 pm

Big Magilla wrote:I've always said I liked Scorsese the film preservationist more than Socrsese the director so I hope I am not disappointed when I get around to seeing it, hopefully sometime next week. And, yes, there will be a good percentage of the audience who will not know who Georgse Melies was and who will go on not knowing that he was a real person just as there are those who don't know that Mahata Gandhi was a real person and the Holocaust really happened and our current President is really a U.S. citizen. But hopefully they'll be entertained in some small way nonetheless.


That's a bizarre statement. Since when is the name of Georges Melies expected to be a staple of overall General Knowledge on the level of Gandhi or the Holocaust? And since when is not knowing an historically obscure name the equivalent of believing a crazy conspiracy theory?

That was... weird.
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Re: Hugo

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:57 pm

I've always said I liked Scorsese the film preservationist more than Socrsese the director so I hope I am not disappointed when I get around to seeing it, hopefully sometime next week. And, yes, there will be a good percentage of the audience who will not know who Georgse Melies was and who will go on not knowing that he was a real person just as there are those who don't know that Mahatma Gandhi was a real person and the Holocaust really happened and our current President is really a U.S. citizen. But hopefully they'll be entertained in some small way nonetheless.
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Re: Hugo

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:08 pm

My biggest issue with Hugo is that it feels like Papa Scorsese admonishing all the bad little children for not preserving motion pictures! While it's a pleasant tale and my mother, who knows nothing about film history, liked it, I wonder just how many people will dismiss this as fantasy entire, including Georges Méliès. Sure, there are elements of his life that were fictionalized and I'm sure all the film preservation parts were added by Scorsese, but in this day and age where fantasy = fully fictional, I worry that it might be dismissed by younger audiences as all made up, including Georges and A Trip to the Moon among other films. And the film was marketed poorly. It's a children's film for kids with smart and film savvy parents. It's not a movie for kids of parents who are just as ignorant as their kids about film history. The minute I saw the image drawn on the paper and the name scribbled down, the entire plot clicked into place and much of the discovery I might have had watching the film without that knowledge is drained away.

Now, don't get me wrong, this like a cineaste's wet dream no doubt and I admire a lot of what Scorsese attempts to do here, but it is a far cry from the kids film I went in expecting. The 3D is definitely used well and shows us how depth of frame can be embellished by someone who understands it (that and I remember no occasions where plot-driven elements caused objects to be hurled at the screen to show how 3D it really was, but looking down that long clock tower shaft reminds me of Vertigo (a film that might have been served well by 3D technology today). The issue with this film winning boatloads of awards, for me anyway, is that it will be an utterly transparent act by a group of film loving critics who want to rewards Scorsese for doing something for and about some of the most important parts of film history. It won't be because it's a great film. It's a good film and definitely a movie I'd love to sit down with kids and explain the relevance of what is portrayed, but a masterpiece it is not. It's slow at times, conventional and certainly predictable if you are of a mind to know something about movies. Though, I give Scorsese bonus points for referencing the Lumière Brothers as the originators and not Edison as some might suggest.
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Re: Hugo

Postby Sabin » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:39 am

My goodness, the children! The bored, bored children! Led to believe that Hugo was the next Harry Potter, a small army of children paraded around the theater in utter boredom, invulnerable to the charms of Martin Scorsese’s snow globe. To be fair, I found myself a little bored by some of its plotting as it went along. I recall when Martin Scorsese won the Oscar for The Departed that the joke was that he considered it the only film he ever made with a plot. And this isn’t far off. With The Aviator, Gangs of New York, and Shutter Island, he really is far more interested in the surface pleasures than any form of theme of narrative cohesion. In the case of Shutter Island, I think this works rather well. And I would never say that Hugo doesn’t work, but it’s a meandering little thing.

I have never seen a more stunning 3D film than Hugo. My, my, my goodness. If Avatar was a glorified video game, then Hugo is a glorified children’s book. Like, a short one. Polar Express style. Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield, incredibly gifted) is an orphan who lives in a train station in Paris where he fixes the clocks and steals what he needs to finish fixing an automaton left by his deceased father. He then crosses paths with a mysterious old man who turns out to be Georges Mélies (Ben Kingsley) and his adventure-thirsting niece (Chloe Moretz-Grace, maybe the most consistently gifted youngster since Haley Joel Osment). Their adventures lead to a lesson in cinema that lasts roughly half the film as we are told repeatedly how gifted a filmmaker Georges Melies is. And we are shown. And then told. And then shown again. Now, I’m all for love letters to the cinema, but the overly reverential tone that dominates the second half of the film (ish) drained me a little bit.

Also draining but in a more glorious way was how Martin Scorsese and Director of Photography Robert Richardson used 3D cinematography and visual effects to create the most stunningly realized world in that train station and in those walls in recent memory. This place is a world and it a world obsessed with people watching, 30s cinema, and discovery. Much of the film is devoted Hugo waiting and watching, and nothing in the film for me was as thrilling as the dimensional playground that was the space between Hugo’s eyes, the bars of a clock, and shoes passing back and forth on the floor ahead of him. Normally, I would be saying that I wish that Martin Scorsese had been given a slightly more meandering story that allowed him to indulge in his fantasies a little bit more. Having seen it, I wish this story was given a slightly less reverential treatment and was given a bit of a pacing overhaul. As I said before, roughly the second half of the film feels like a repetition of tone.

I like Hugo. I can’t imagine it being much of a hit, but this film will garner several nominations and may end up playing reasonably well to Academy voters. I doubt I’ll be alone in a theater in finding it to be a stunning experience but ever so faintly dull in parts.
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Re: Hugo

Postby nightwingnova » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:34 pm

Hugo's production and entertainment values are in the top tier of family/children's films. Rarely does such a quality movie come along (Stardust is the last one I recall) that does not simplify the world and does not pander to sentimentality and children's silliness. Here is a family film with an adult sensibility.

Scorsese creates a complex, eminently interesting world with a solid story that doesn't sink into sentimentality, cliches or other blunt devices. In the couple of places in the story where there is this risk, Scorsese patly rescues us. Scorsese's directorial tempo is pitch perfect for the genre and the timeless fictional world that Hugo lives in. There are a lot of details, plot layers and nuances that compose the rich world of Hugo. And, the humor is played subtly and sophisticatedly.

In the end, Hugo becomes historical fiction and an homage to the early years of film making, done without overselling and overplaying - just simple respect.

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Re: Hugo

Postby Dien » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:13 pm

Some would confuse Alice with Alice in Wonderland... so it could work.

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Re: Hugo

Postby Greg » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:59 pm

Dien wrote:They can't say "from the director of Goodfellas and The Departed, comes a tale of love and adventure... Hugo". Spielberg has prior experience in family fare. Children know his name.


How about, "from the director of Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More, much better than the TV showAlice it inspired, even though you are probably much more familiar with that one."

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Re: Hugo

Postby Sabin » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:40 am

Dien wrote
anonymous1980 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:[/b]
From what those dread tracking surveys are showing, the gap between critical reaction and audience response looks to be cataclysmic. Apparently kids don't recognize the title, and adults don't want to see a movie whose ads look like Harry Potter. I fear this has a Fantastic Mr. Fox/fall through the cracks fate in store.

Shouldn't Scorsese's name be enough to entice the adults?

If you're an adult who recognizes the name and cares enough to let that sway his/her movie choices, then yes.

And that's why Hugo opened to $5 mil.

Outside of The Departed, Shutter Island, and Cape Fear, when has Scorsese's name ever been enough to entice adults?
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Re: Hugo

Postby Dien » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:00 am

I mean, how will they make the connection? Sure, they can say "a film by Martin Scorsese" but even I have to explain to my Gen X parents what movies he directed.

They can't say "from the director of Goodfellas and The Departed, comes a tale of love and adventure... Hugo". Spielberg has prior experience in family fare. Children know his name.

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Re: Hugo

Postby Dien » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:50 am

anonymous1980 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:From what those dread tracking surveys are showing, the gap between critical reaction and audience response looks to be cataclysmic. Apparently kids don't recognize the title, and adults don't want to see a movie whose ads look like Harry Potter. I fear this has a Fantastic Mr. Fox/fall through the cracks fate in store.


Shouldn't Scorsese's name be enough to entice the adults?


If you're an adult who recognizes the name and cares enough to let that sway his/her movie choices, then yes.

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Re: Hugo

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:20 am

Mister Tee wrote:From what those dread tracking surveys are showing, the gap between critical reaction and audience response looks to be cataclysmic. Apparently kids don't recognize the title, and adults don't want to see a movie whose ads look like Harry Potter. I fear this has a Fantastic Mr. Fox/fall through the cracks fate in store.


Shouldn't Scorsese's name be enough to entice the adults?

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Re: Hugo

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:24 pm

From what those dread tracking surveys are showing, the gap between critical reaction and audience response looks to be cataclysmic. Apparently kids don't recognize the title, and adults don't want to see a movie whose ads look like Harry Potter. I fear this has a Fantastic Mr. Fox/fall through the cracks fate in store.

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Re: Hugo

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:22 pm

This is officially my Twilight.

TIME’s Richard Corliss on Hugo, “A Masterpiece”
Sasha Stone | November 18, 2011 | 15 Comments Continue Reading


Richard Corliss’ review will appear in TIME’s Hollywood preview issue. I am transcribing it here.

Martin Scorsese made his rep as the fierce bard of American gangster machismo. From Mean Streets to The Departed, he has sung the body choleric. So why would he make a film of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick’s rhapsodically nostalgic children’s book? Because Hugo is fascinated by artistic contraptions that cast spells over the audience. And Scorsese, a lifelong lover and promoter of classic films, has never lost his infant wonder at the spectacle of giant images in a darkened movie palace. So Hugo is not only an act of devotion from a modern movie artist to the wizards who inspired him; it is also Scorsese’s imaginary autobiography.

An orphan since the death of his beloved father (Jude Law), Hugo (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris’ Montparnasse train station, where he keeps the clocks running perfectly — a job left him by his absent, alcoholic uncle. Fearful of being caught by the pompous station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) and with no way of cashing his uncle’s checks, Hugo lives furtively inside the clock tower, surviving by stealing food from local shops. Obsessed with assembling a mysterious automation his father had been working on, Hugo also filches machine parts from teh toy store of stern, gloomy Papa Georges (Ben Kinglsey). The boy’s friendship with Georges’ god-daughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) will help him unwrap sensational secrets, including the invention of movie magic.

Scorsese and screenwriter John Logan share Selznick’s belief that movies are both the stuff dreams are made of and the product of supreme technological expertise. It’s a machine that makes art. That’s evident in the two amazing tracking shots that open Hugo. The first traversing the Paris skyline to alight inside the train station, the second scampering after Hugo through the building’s clockwork innards. Shot in 3-D (a format that dates back nearly to the dawn of cinema), these images impart a vertiginous ecstasy.

Scorsese, no less than Selznick, wants to open viewers’ eyes to the sacred sorcery of the earliest works by the Lumiere brothers, Georges Melies, Harold Lloyd — the whole fabulous parade — and to show how these masterpieces were birthed by tinkerers of genius. But Hugo is more than a love letter to film preservation. It gives full Dickensian heft to its sad, tender story of a lost boy on a mission. Bursting with emotion and exquisitely inhabited by Butterfield and the rest of the cast, this beautiful film is a mechanism that comes to life at the turn of a key in the shape of a heart.
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