Monday, January 23, 2012

Hugo: D

Automaton from Hugo

Pipe man from overactive bladder medication, VESIcare. (Image stolen from

Scott dragged me to Martin Scorsese's Hugo last weekend. I have to admit that I did not give this movie a chance. Having no interest in seeing it, I completely mis-remembered the trailer and carried a lot of ill-conceived preconceptions going into the theater. I assumed Hugo was about a robot -- which is understandable considering how prominent it appears in the trailers. I also assumed the robot was named Hugo, which was stupid because the trailers clearly indicate that Hugo is the name of the main character, a human boy. Worse, since the trailers emphasized that it was 3D, I somehow had the impression that it was going to be a terrible CGI fantasy animation like Avatar or worse, The Polar Express (I even told Scott before the movie that I assumed the movie was going to be some sort of extended VESIcare commercial). While there was a lot of unbelievable CGI scenes -- especially the opening zoom which felt more like a video game introduction -- Hugo wasn't a total CGI/3D mess. In fact, it was almost a traditional story that had no reason for 3D.

The story was sadly sentimental (dead parents, orphan police, etc.). Worse, the movie was needlessly long (over two hours), painfully slow-paced, and full of cutesy gimmicks that didn't work like Sacha Baron Cohen's unfunny, inept mall cop character. Unfortunately, the most interesting aspect of the story were the depictions of Georges Méliès and his movies which one Wikipedia author says Hugo mostly accurately portrayed. I would have found the movie more interesting had it focused more on Méliès's real life.

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