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The UnPopular Opinion: Hugo

Apr. 18, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

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THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!

**** SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

There are few things more infuriating than a missed opportunity, and I have no problem with saying that Martin Scorsese's HUGO is one of the single biggest missed opportunities in recent cinematic history.  The trailers filled me with wonder, the promotional materials promised an experience full of fun and wonder, and the film's overarching plot was one which spoke about many themes and subjects very dear to my heart.  HUGO looked to truly be a perfect storm of everything that I loved in other films at last brought together in a single grand spectacle.

I walked out of the theater feeling nothing but frustration, as well as relief mingled with surprise that I had somehow survived Scorsese's extraordinary test of my patience.

Not only was HUGO an enormous missed opportunity, which is sad in and of itself, but also a significant step back for Scorsese as a storyteller that was barely carried by a few fascinating sequences plus a set of (almost universally) great performances.  I cannot remember the last time a film let me down as much as HUGO did, the last time I was so acutely disappointed both by what I had seen (the atrocious storytelling) and what I hadn't seen (those lacking elements which make this such an infuriatingly missed opportunity).

Hugo UnPop pic 2

I don't know if you've ever seen GETTYSBURG with Martin Sheen and Jeff Daniels.  Growing up, being the Civil War-obsessed kid that I was, this movie was cinematic gold to me.  A painstakingly accurate recreation of the the days leading up to and including the Battle of Gettysburg, it captured my young mind and definitely fueled my fanatic interest in the subject.  Upon rewatching GETTYSBURG about ten years later, I couldn't even finish it due to how f***ing boring and slow I found it to be.  Basically historical reenactors being filmed doing their thing, GETTYSBURG is a movie that High School teachers actually use these days to instruct their classes on the Civil War.  And as an educational experience, sure, it works just just fine.  But as a narrative film with an engaging plot structure, exciting character interaction, or interesting camera work? Well, in that respect it fails utterly. 

As does HUGO, which is the polar opposite of GETTYSBURG in terms of its lavish spectacle and production values but otherwise cut from exactly the same cloth in terms of each of those above three counts.  HUGO is, quite simply, the most expensive educational special you'll ever see.  Or else it's the most expensive visual love letter (in this case, to cinema) that you'll ever see.  Either way it is a narrative film in name but not reality, filled overflowing with boring camera work and shoddy storytelling.  And that last point is even excluding the large number of continuity mistakes that can be found infecting Scorsese's work on a general basis.

HUGO's plot and story structure is full of "continuity" mistakes as well, jumping every which way as it tries to equally cover an entire spectrum of plot progression.  Is this a story of the mystery about an automaton which draws a strange picture (ignoring the question of why he draws it in the first place)? Is this the story of friendship between two young people? Is it a love letter to the magic of cinema? Is it a history lesson on cinema's origins? Is it a techincal showcase? Is it a biography of the tragic fall and triumphant return of George Melies? Is it about a boy's quest to find peace with his father's death? Is it is it is it WHAT? I.  DON'T.  KNOW. 

Yes, of course a movie can be about many things with many layers of storytelling, and many often are.  But at least do it with some thought for how the disparate elements might compliment each other and a modicum of respect for the basic storytelling requirement of having real characters partake in real interactions in a halfway-decently built narrative.  Instead, the three narrative threads that run through HUGO (Hugo Cabret's story, George Melies' story, and the story of the people in the train station) do not, as written/edited, serve to compliment each other in the slightest.  Each is distractingly different in tone, pace, and intention, and there is very little success in the way Scorsese tries to tie them together.

Hugo UnPop pic 3

First the good, because there's just a whole lot of bad that I'll spend plenty of time on in a moment.  There are quite a few really great performances here, with Sir Ben Kingsley of course being the absolute highlight and a true delight to watch.  I would go so far as to say this is some of the best work of his career, and he consistently surprised me with his natural and inspired line readings.  Helen McRory brings a lovely balance of strength and humanity to her role of Mama Jeanne, while Michael Stuhlbarg's wonder and delight as Rene Tabard is a joy to behold.  And then there's newcomer Asa Butterfield, who acquits himself quite well amidst the sea of talent that surrounds him.  Howard Shore's score is also well worth a mention, as it manages to succeed at overlaying a fair amount of joy and magic to the proceedings.

So we've covered the performances and the score, which means that in terms of the good bits of this film I still need to mention... uhm... well... I don't know exactly what else there is to mention beyond how it's a very pretty film to look at despite some really dodgy CGI (such as the flame that consumes Jude Law).  I honestly cannot think of anything else to praise about this film besides (most of) the performances, the score, and the art direction, and so we begin my long litany of complaints that I'll try go shorten to some sort of manageable length as I'm sure sure you have place to go and people to see and good movies to watch. 

Since I already brought up performances, let me just take a moment to mention how Chloe Grace Moretz's performance in this this is a huge step down from her past work in films like LET ME IN.  Perhaps there is only so much she could do with such a roughly drawn character and lines that were little more than expository, but damn was her breath acting and dull delivery distracting.

Hugo UnPop pic 4

I would also wonder why in the hell she was allowed so many seemingly self-indulgent pauses, but that would excuse Martin Scorsese and his editor from any of the blame in regards to the pacing of the acting in this film.  Which they should not be.  The performances in this film as a whole, even if the acting is fantastic in and of itself, suffer from a strangely overwrought editing style wherein the camera will often focus on one person for a few seconds, allow them to deliver their line, then cut to the person to whom they're talking, wait, allow that person to deliver their line, and then repeat ad nauseum.  And even if the performances themselves are praise-worthy, it is a wonder anything decent was able to be dredged out of characters and interactions that are an embarrassment to John Logan's writing career.  Almost the whole film is full of text and performance pacing that borders on elephantine, with no respect for the natural flow of conversation, inspiration, discovery, or emotion.  I've never seen a pacing problem like this in any of Scorsese's other films, so I don't really know what went wrong here. 

Methinks its time, lest you think this review to be hyptocritical by dragging on in its own way, to mention one of the most glaring problems present in HUGO: the camera work.  The awful, uninspired, nothing-less-than-boring camera work.  Or to be more specific, the still camera work.  When in motion shots are framed engagingly and the story told beautifully, but when the camera is still? I.e. when anybody is talking to anybody? Scorsese shows himself in HUGO to be no better than Tim Burton, who shoots a hell of a boring movie.  It is the artistry and design and plot which generall makes a Burton movie interesting to me - I never go to study his "filmmaking prowess."  For that I watch Spielberg or Nolan or Fincher or Ridley Scott, and once upon a time I watched Scorsese.  But HUGO was, for me, a massive disappointment in that regard.  This whole "methodical-and-serviceable-to-the-point-of-being-painful-camera-work" situation then in turn caused an already awfully structured narrative to drag all the more. 

As if it needed help, seeing as how HUGO bears the most bipolar narrative I've see in recent years.  Both times watching this film I had zero idea whose story this was, why it was important, why I was meant to care, or why the film disrespected me so much as an audience member by periodically dropping in "motivations" and "explanations" for these things like so many lead weights masquerading and expecting me to see them as gold nuggets.

Hugo UnPop pic 5

Last, and perhaps maybe least but still valid, is my frustration with how the film's "message" is constantly stuffed in with zero regard for smooth storytelling or natural character interaction.  It's all so damn heavyhanded I was very nearly driven to check that I wasn't watching a Lifetime movie made by Martin Scorsese on accident when he meant to make something else instead.  "Movies are our special place?" Yeah, I can see that.  No young person just comes out and says that, or if they do it's certainly not in such language.  Though I suppose any blame in that department would again fall on screenwriter John Logan and not Scorsese, but either way the point remains.

I found it curiously ironic that HUGO opened with a shot of an intricate clockwork mechanism, as that sums up rather well exactly what this movie is – a spectacular piece of technical achievement (again, despite some very dodgy CGI) that is yet a slave to that same technicality. Insofar as true human interaction and storytelling that is even passably engaging goes, HUGO is a complete mess.  If I were at my most cynical I would make the analogy that HUGO is to Martin Scorsese as ALICE IN WONDERLAND is to Tim Burton, which really is saying a lot as I utterly loathed that movie.  At my most generous I might say that HUGO is to Martin Scorsese as PUBLIC ENEMIES is to Michael Mann, implying it to be one of Scorsese's significantly lesser efforts that collapses under the weight of its own good intentions.

But, at the end of the day, I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

Hugo UnPop pic 1

Extra Tidbit: How did HUGO's Robert Richardson actually manage to wrangle the Academy Award for Best Cinematography away from THE TREE OF LIFE's Emmanuel Lubezki?
Source: JoBlo.com

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+1
3:37PM on 05/09/2012
As a whole, I really enjoyed Hugo. That being said, many of your criticisms are spot on. Especially Chloe Grace's character. Her dialogue was atrocious and nearly ruined the film.
As a whole, I really enjoyed Hugo. That being said, many of your criticisms are spot on. Especially Chloe Grace's character. Her dialogue was atrocious and nearly ruined the film.
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10:07AM on 04/22/2012

i could not...

Disagree with you more. The movie was exceptionally done and the "bipolar" story arc as you claim it to be was actually a mixture of both Hugo overcoming the death of his father and Papa Mlis coming to terms with the death of cinema, parallel and yet profoundly different. The pre-teen romance is nothing more than a plot device, even though it never feels like one. Stop trolling man, you know you liked it.
Disagree with you more. The movie was exceptionally done and the "bipolar" story arc as you claim it to be was actually a mixture of both Hugo overcoming the death of his father and Papa Mlis coming to terms with the death of cinema, parallel and yet profoundly different. The pre-teen romance is nothing more than a plot device, even though it never feels like one. Stop trolling man, you know you liked it.
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11:34PM on 04/18/2012

Totally felt the same way plus

1. Remember the stink when Ted Turner began colourizing classic films? Why is it now cool to 3D them?
2. "Thanks for the book grandpa. I know where the library is. How about a can of chili next time."
1. Remember the stink when Ted Turner began colourizing classic films? Why is it now cool to 3D them?
2. "Thanks for the book grandpa. I know where the library is. How about a can of chili next time."
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+2
10:19PM on 04/18/2012
I don't really understand how anyone who loves film with a passion could find this film anything but absolutely fantastic. This is a film about an appreciation for film, displayed in a fantastic way. It's a fairy tale about the magic of film, and it made me smile from ear to ear. I was quite pleasantly surprised, because I really knew nothing about the film going in beyond the trailer, and I wasn't actually expecting to enjoy it so much. I couldn't disagree on nearly every point more, and I
I don't really understand how anyone who loves film with a passion could find this film anything but absolutely fantastic. This is a film about an appreciation for film, displayed in a fantastic way. It's a fairy tale about the magic of film, and it made me smile from ear to ear. I was quite pleasantly surprised, because I really knew nothing about the film going in beyond the trailer, and I wasn't actually expecting to enjoy it so much. I couldn't disagree on nearly every point more, and I would hardly call this a boring film. The acting is all fantastic, the world is magical, the passion for film is clear, and the cinematography and sound is masterful. I don't know if we were watching the same film, but Hugo deserves all the praise it gets.
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4:15AM on 04/19/2012
well said
well said
9:36PM on 04/18/2012
I agree! The tonal shifts (especially with Sacha Baron Cohen's character) were jarring, the plotlines barely come together, and the CGI throughout was awful! I am glad I am not alone here!

I know this column tries to be under a certain length, but I was sad to see no mention of the meh 3D or that everyone hailing this as Scorese's love letter to cinema had to be written by someone else.
I agree! The tonal shifts (especially with Sacha Baron Cohen's character) were jarring, the plotlines barely come together, and the CGI throughout was awful! I am glad I am not alone here!

I know this column tries to be under a certain length, but I was sad to see no mention of the meh 3D or that everyone hailing this as Scorese's love letter to cinema had to be written by someone else.
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9:08PM on 04/18/2012
I dunno, man... as a huge fan of both Scorsese and Georges Melies, and just a fan of movies in general, I thought this movie was fantastic. I loved it, and think it's one of Scorsese's better movies (if not on the level of films like Taxi Driver or Goodfellas).

I also think you're wrong about Gettysburg. That film is INCREDIBLE, Civil War buff or no. Though you can tell that it was originally meant to be a miniseries, definitely.
I dunno, man... as a huge fan of both Scorsese and Georges Melies, and just a fan of movies in general, I thought this movie was fantastic. I loved it, and think it's one of Scorsese's better movies (if not on the level of films like Taxi Driver or Goodfellas).

I also think you're wrong about Gettysburg. That film is INCREDIBLE, Civil War buff or no. Though you can tell that it was originally meant to be a miniseries, definitely.
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6:40PM on 04/18/2012
It was a well-made film. For me this seemed like a live action Pixar type movie. However, I will admit its probably not a film that would have a lot of replay value for me.
It was a well-made film. For me this seemed like a live action Pixar type movie. However, I will admit its probably not a film that would have a lot of replay value for me.
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+0
5:42PM on 04/18/2012

sorry?

I understand the point of this article, i really do...

But i do not understand picking this film, this film was done well on every level. One of the best original films i have seen in quite some time.

There are a lot of other films that would be better suited for this column.
I understand the point of this article, i really do...

But i do not understand picking this film, this film was done well on every level. One of the best original films i have seen in quite some time.

There are a lot of other films that would be better suited for this column.
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7:52PM on 04/18/2012
I'd love some suggestions if you've got them!
I'd love some suggestions if you've got them!
9:38PM on 04/18/2012
Original? Really? It's based on a book! Also, it is your opinion that is was done well. The author (and myself) seriously disagree.
Original? Really? It's based on a book! Also, it is your opinion that is was done well. The author (and myself) seriously disagree.
2:09AM on 04/19/2012
Just because its based on a book doesn't mean its not Original? Its refreshing to see production companies take risks on books, instead of reboots, and prequels, and other nostalgia cash grabs. As far as your disagreeing just because you and the author disagree means your rite? Not the Academy's opinion? or just the fact that my opinion is my own along with most ppl (hence why this is the unpopular opinion). Your not wrong for disliking it, you can dislike whatever you want filmguy, along
Just because its based on a book doesn't mean its not Original? Its refreshing to see production companies take risks on books, instead of reboots, and prequels, and other nostalgia cash grabs. As far as your disagreeing just because you and the author disagree means your rite? Not the Academy's opinion? or just the fact that my opinion is my own along with most ppl (hence why this is the unpopular opinion). Your not wrong for disliking it, you can dislike whatever you want filmguy, along with i can like whatever i like.

Alejandro ill send you a list of suggestions of your really interested?
5:25PM on 04/18/2012

Amen.

I hate to say negative things about a Scorsese movie, but I have to agree on all these points. This movie really let me down.
I hate to say negative things about a Scorsese movie, but I have to agree on all these points. This movie really let me down.
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+1
4:08PM on 04/18/2012

Boring

Almost didnt finish it, i kept waiting for the movie to go somewhere and to impress me but it never did.
Almost didnt finish it, i kept waiting for the movie to go somewhere and to impress me but it never did.
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3:00PM on 04/18/2012
Its really not that heavy handed
Its really not that heavy handed
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+10
2:33PM on 04/18/2012
I'm confused. This article was written by the same guy who went at length about how Death Proof wasn't boring...for some of the exact same reasons Hugo is?
I'm confused. This article was written by the same guy who went at length about how Death Proof wasn't boring...for some of the exact same reasons Hugo is?
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1:55PM on 04/18/2012

This is the best article yet

For the past 6 months I have been discussing this movie with a lot of friends and I always had issues with it. This article finally helps organize everything that I had issues. Thank you.
For the past 6 months I have been discussing this movie with a lot of friends and I always had issues with it. This article finally helps organize everything that I had issues. Thank you.
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1:23PM on 04/18/2012

I thought it was boring as hell...

and laso heavy-handed ..IMO
and laso heavy-handed ..IMO
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1:22PM on 04/18/2012
"Awful, uninspired, nothing less than boring camera work"? Sheesh. I understand some people complaining about the story, but the camera work? Richardson's cinematography in this movie is nothing less than stellar.
"Awful, uninspired, nothing less than boring camera work"? Sheesh. I understand some people complaining about the story, but the camera work? Richardson's cinematography in this movie is nothing less than stellar.
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1:06PM on 04/18/2012
I can see how some people might find this film a little heavy-handed I guess. I'm not one of them. Having taken numerous film history classes I thought that aspect was integrated rather brilliantly. And knowing Scorsese's reputation as a MAJOR cinephile, this film worked out pretty great in my estimation. It's the best thing I've seen him do in I don't know how long. The film does run a bit long, but what Scorsese movie doesn't? Honestly. This was his foray into family filmmaking, and I think
I can see how some people might find this film a little heavy-handed I guess. I'm not one of them. Having taken numerous film history classes I thought that aspect was integrated rather brilliantly. And knowing Scorsese's reputation as a MAJOR cinephile, this film worked out pretty great in my estimation. It's the best thing I've seen him do in I don't know how long. The film does run a bit long, but what Scorsese movie doesn't? Honestly. This was his foray into family filmmaking, and I think it its way it may have succeeded (though I agree on the tidbit about Richardson, and to a degree about Chloe Moretz). I know a lot of people might not enjoy this movie, but I thoroughly did. My only regret was not paying the extra to see it in 3-D (that's right).
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12:11PM on 04/18/2012
I somewhat agree. I thought the Melies flashbacks were beautiful, but I found the whole automaton storyline ridiculously dull and the whole train station thing was just weird.

As a whole I thought it was very uneven and the pacing was just off.

Then again, I'm no Scorsese fan and thought The Departed was a lame copy of the far superior Infernal Affairs.
I somewhat agree. I thought the Melies flashbacks were beautiful, but I found the whole automaton storyline ridiculously dull and the whole train station thing was just weird.

As a whole I thought it was very uneven and the pacing was just off.

Then again, I'm no Scorsese fan and thought The Departed was a lame copy of the far superior Infernal Affairs.
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12:15PM on 04/18/2012
I definitely enjoy Scorsese's films, but I also definitely agree with you about The Departed. I even would have written about it for this column, but it was already covered.
I definitely enjoy Scorsese's films, but I also definitely agree with you about The Departed. I even would have written about it for this column, but it was already covered.
9:09PM on 04/18/2012
Man, I actually liked The Departed way better than Infernal Affairs (which was still really good).
Man, I actually liked The Departed way better than Infernal Affairs (which was still really good).
11:47AM on 04/18/2012

Huh

April Fools! Right?!
April Fools! Right?!
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+4
11:09AM on 04/18/2012
No disrespect at all but I think this is by far the worst Unpopular Opinion I've ever read. I cannot agree with you in any way. While certainly not close to any of Scorsese's work it was certainly a personal film to him that I could relate to and I found beautiful as I am studying history of film. Whatever I don't even feel like going into much of an argument. To each their own
No disrespect at all but I think this is by far the worst Unpopular Opinion I've ever read. I cannot agree with you in any way. While certainly not close to any of Scorsese's work it was certainly a personal film to him that I could relate to and I found beautiful as I am studying history of film. Whatever I don't even feel like going into much of an argument. To each their own
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10:47AM on 04/18/2012

I'm sorry

But I don't agree with you at all. Everything that you had a problem with I felt the movie did a little more than just fine.
But I don't agree with you at all. Everything that you had a problem with I felt the movie did a little more than just fine.
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-7
10:27AM on 04/18/2012

Didn't see it...

I can't agree or disagree since I didn't catch it.

This movie was shot with 3D cameras, right? That might have a lot to do with the camera being so still (again, I didn't see it so I don't know how accurate your perception is). I've read interviews with DPs and directors saying how when shooting for 3D they have to approach the movements and framing differently. I've noticed it, too, that in the movies I've watched in 3D the effect looks better when the camera has less movement and the
I can't agree or disagree since I didn't catch it.

This movie was shot with 3D cameras, right? That might have a lot to do with the camera being so still (again, I didn't see it so I don't know how accurate your perception is). I've read interviews with DPs and directors saying how when shooting for 3D they have to approach the movements and framing differently. I've noticed it, too, that in the movies I've watched in 3D the effect looks better when the camera has less movement and the framing is wider.
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9:09AM on 04/18/2012
Perhaps I didn't think about the movie as deeply as Alejandro, but I was greatly entertained by Hugo. I found it different, spectacular artwork, a rich lush palette of color, sound and framing. It seemed to play with time and space, emotion and motion. It had character in its very shadows. It was slow enough to absorb, and each action in the film seemed to maintain urgency. The acting was superb, and the characters rang true. It is not an easy film to describe. Some one asked me about
Perhaps I didn't think about the movie as deeply as Alejandro, but I was greatly entertained by Hugo. I found it different, spectacular artwork, a rich lush palette of color, sound and framing. It seemed to play with time and space, emotion and motion. It had character in its very shadows. It was slow enough to absorb, and each action in the film seemed to maintain urgency. The acting was superb, and the characters rang true. It is not an easy film to describe. Some one asked me about the film, and it was difficult to really describe what it is about. By the time Hugo ended I was amazed by it. It is unlike any movie I have ever seen before. Its originality seemed to enhance its quality. I don't find it collapses at all, I find it is a triumph, and it is a resounding effort, the emotions in the film hand and linger past the closing credits.
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2:27PM on 04/18/2012
You might want to look up this word. "Arbitrary".
You might want to look up this word. "Arbitrary".
8:20AM on 04/18/2012
I'm not sure how unpopular this opinion is. I, for one, liked Hugo, but I know a number of people thought it was boring and pretentious. I like this opinion column better when it takes on more popular films and stokes a good debate. Just my two cents. I'm waiting for The Tree of Life to make this column...
I'm not sure how unpopular this opinion is. I, for one, liked Hugo, but I know a number of people thought it was boring and pretentious. I like this opinion column better when it takes on more popular films and stokes a good debate. Just my two cents. I'm waiting for The Tree of Life to make this column...
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7:38AM on 04/18/2012

I did not care for "Hugo."

I felt it didn't really go anywhere and it seemed rather pretentious and self-indulgent. Yes, it was nice to see Martin Scorsese doing a family film, but he belongs in gritty film noir, crime capers, and mob films.
I felt it didn't really go anywhere and it seemed rather pretentious and self-indulgent. Yes, it was nice to see Martin Scorsese doing a family film, but he belongs in gritty film noir, crime capers, and mob films.
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-6
7:36AM on 04/18/2012
I'm mostly meh about it. When I first saw it, I thought it's very average and uneven, for the reasons you've mentioned. The sense of wonder couldn't have been more artificial, the only interesting thing about it, Meliers, was pushed to the side, and for the most part we were left with an extremely generic and annoying orphan story. But it looked nicely and ended on a high note.
When I started hearing it's a masterpiece, it's fantastic, it's an ode to cinema, I began to dislike the movie even
I'm mostly meh about it. When I first saw it, I thought it's very average and uneven, for the reasons you've mentioned. The sense of wonder couldn't have been more artificial, the only interesting thing about it, Meliers, was pushed to the side, and for the most part we were left with an extremely generic and annoying orphan story. But it looked nicely and ended on a high note.
When I started hearing it's a masterpiece, it's fantastic, it's an ode to cinema, I began to dislike the movie even more, just because of how annoying it was to me. I know it's neither here nor there, cause it's a little unfair, but I just grew to like it less with time. The Artist was the throwback movie of the year for me. I had a great time with it, it was definitely better paced, acted and in addition to being about the fun times of old cinema, it was fun in itself, which Hugo was lacking.
But the reason why I'm writing this is... god, I hated the music in Hugo! I just couldn't stand it. I just needed to let it out
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7:31AM on 04/18/2012
I don't mind slow films, but Hugo just didn't keep my interest. Too overt and predictable.

My wife and daughter liked it though, and neither were subject to the hype.
I don't mind slow films, but Hugo just didn't keep my interest. Too overt and predictable.

My wife and daughter liked it though, and neither were subject to the hype.
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6:55AM on 04/18/2012
First, I got to give you props for starting a paragraph with 'Methinks'. That takes balls in this century!

Second, why so much trouble with side plots? Is it because the name of the movie is HUGO and you were relieved that you were only going to have to care about a single character?

Third, the CGI sucks. Horribly. It doesn't even belong in this movie anyway. That is it's flaw.

And lastly GETTYSBURG was a great movie, or HUGO, wait you were kind of all over the place, what was the
First, I got to give you props for starting a paragraph with 'Methinks'. That takes balls in this century!

Second, why so much trouble with side plots? Is it because the name of the movie is HUGO and you were relieved that you were only going to have to care about a single character?

Third, the CGI sucks. Horribly. It doesn't even belong in this movie anyway. That is it's flaw.

And lastly GETTYSBURG was a great movie, or HUGO, wait you were kind of all over the place, what was the review about?

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6:40AM on 04/18/2012
I loved THE ARTIST but I would have given Best Picture to HUGO instead. I loved it that much.
I loved THE ARTIST but I would have given Best Picture to HUGO instead. I loved it that much.
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7:21AM on 04/18/2012
reading the comment section for all this time, this might be the first time ever I disagree with you... though I also loved The Artist
reading the comment section for all this time, this might be the first time ever I disagree with you... though I also loved The Artist
6:16AM on 04/18/2012
Like others below noted, I usually agree with your post, bthis our on your own this time. With Hugo I think part of it's appeal was the 3D, if you didn't catch that format - you do loose bait of its magic.
Like others below noted, I usually agree with your post, bthis our on your own this time. With Hugo I think part of it's appeal was the 3D, if you didn't catch that format - you do loose bait of its magic.
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6:03AM on 04/18/2012
I went to see this film knowing nothing about it, except that it was directed by Martin Scorsese. I didn't even know what it was about cause I had refused to watch any trailer or read any news about it. I also had never read the book on which it's based. I went opening night, on a Wednesday, at 10:05 PM, I was all by myself in the theater. It felt as if the movie had been made by me. It was something very special. I don't think anyone who has any real interest in movies (which also means the
I went to see this film knowing nothing about it, except that it was directed by Martin Scorsese. I didn't even know what it was about cause I had refused to watch any trailer or read any news about it. I also had never read the book on which it's based. I went opening night, on a Wednesday, at 10:05 PM, I was all by myself in the theater. It felt as if the movie had been made by me. It was something very special. I don't think anyone who has any real interest in movies (which also means the origin of movies) could dislike this film, even with the pacing issues. This film is all about movies, with plenty of references and magical moments. It's a great film. It's also one of the better use of 3D that I've seen.
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11:37AM on 04/18/2012
A poor film is a poor film - it doesn't matter if the subject matter is navel gazing cinephile tripe. I swear if I have to endure one more "love letter to cinema" I'm gonna explode. You know what would be a real "love letter to cinema? A good piece of cinema! Why not just craft a solid, standalone film? Why this relentless pastichey self-referential nonsense? Spare me.

Hollywood loves navel gazing, which is why Hollywood loved this film.
A poor film is a poor film - it doesn't matter if the subject matter is navel gazing cinephile tripe. I swear if I have to endure one more "love letter to cinema" I'm gonna explode. You know what would be a real "love letter to cinema? A good piece of cinema! Why not just craft a solid, standalone film? Why this relentless pastichey self-referential nonsense? Spare me.

Hollywood loves navel gazing, which is why Hollywood loved this film.
4:25PM on 04/18/2012
Well, a poor film is a film which has no quality. Obviously, Hugo is not a poor film. Maybe it's just not for you. Doesn't mean it's poor.
Well, a poor film is a film which has no quality. Obviously, Hugo is not a poor film. Maybe it's just not for you. Doesn't mean it's poor.
+5
5:24AM on 04/18/2012
I enjoyed Hugo, but some of the points you raise are indeed valid. The film felt very uneven to me, with two halves so disparate that they seemed hardly related. I enjoyed the cinematography a lot, though, so I guess we have to disagree there.
I enjoyed Hugo, but some of the points you raise are indeed valid. The film felt very uneven to me, with two halves so disparate that they seemed hardly related. I enjoyed the cinematography a lot, though, so I guess we have to disagree there.
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5:15AM on 04/18/2012
I kinda liked the movie, especially the parts with Ben Kingsley. I didn't like the children and the other characters like Cohen and Mortimer. Overall, I think it's very overrated. Kinda like all Oscar winning movies this year.
I kinda liked the movie, especially the parts with Ben Kingsley. I didn't like the children and the other characters like Cohen and Mortimer. Overall, I think it's very overrated. Kinda like all Oscar winning movies this year.
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4:07AM on 04/18/2012

Uh.

I often agree with these unpopular opinions, but not with this one. I think it's a masterpiece. And I'm sorry to hear that some people are unable to digest anything but hectic cut movies without any pacing.
I often agree with these unpopular opinions, but not with this one. I think it's a masterpiece. And I'm sorry to hear that some people are unable to digest anything but hectic cut movies without any pacing.
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3:52AM on 04/18/2012

Reaching

I will agree with you that the Tree of Life should have taken Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards. However, Hugo's camerawork is still immensely impressive and the storytelling is top-notch. It is a love letter to cinema, but I don't believe it loses its direction and falls to pieces at any point in the story. It increasingly becomes more and more enthralling.

I believe that if the name Martin Scorsese would've been removed from the film, it would receive the same praise. It's all
I will agree with you that the Tree of Life should have taken Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards. However, Hugo's camerawork is still immensely impressive and the storytelling is top-notch. It is a love letter to cinema, but I don't believe it loses its direction and falls to pieces at any point in the story. It increasingly becomes more and more enthralling.

I believe that if the name Martin Scorsese would've been removed from the film, it would receive the same praise. It's all around well-made. I never found it boring. It just feels like you're reaching here.

I love the Unpopular Opinion because occasionally I will read an opinion with strong valid points, but I'm not seeing that here. Sorry.
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+4
3:43AM on 04/18/2012
I thought it was alright, but no way the great masterpiece all the hype has been about!
I thought it was alright, but no way the great masterpiece all the hype has been about!
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+5
3:40AM on 04/18/2012

Oh man

This might be my most intense reaction to an Unpopular Opinion piece. I disagree with virtually every word but I suppose that's the point.
This might be my most intense reaction to an Unpopular Opinion piece. I disagree with virtually every word but I suppose that's the point.
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2:21AM on 04/18/2012
This is an absolute disaster of a film.

As you said: what is it about? The "adventure" that consumes most of the running time feels leaden and arbitrary. It's mind numbingly dull, and feels detached, heartless, and reluctant.

The film only takes off in the final act. But why not just make a Melies biopic? It feels like that's the story Scorcese really wanted to tell. I wish he'd spared us the bullshit and just told the Melies story.

Horrible child performances. Chloe Moretz has always
This is an absolute disaster of a film.

As you said: what is it about? The "adventure" that consumes most of the running time feels leaden and arbitrary. It's mind numbingly dull, and feels detached, heartless, and reluctant.

The film only takes off in the final act. But why not just make a Melies biopic? It feels like that's the story Scorcese really wanted to tell. I wish he'd spared us the bullshit and just told the Melies story.

Horrible child performances. Chloe Moretz has always been wooden and self-conscious, but she is just unwatchable here. Butterfield is better but doesn't carry the story and gets lost amongst the masturbatory imagery.

Visually, this thing sucks. Shonky CGI, horrible swoops through the station, glossy, powdery images. Whoever graded it needs to have their colorist license revoked. Teal and orange is overused as is, and looks especially ugly in this thing. The sooner we see the back of this lazy colour scheme the better.

It really is an extraordinarily dull movie. How it got the praise it did is absolutely beyond me.
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2:15AM on 04/18/2012

THANK YOU!!!

The film was obviously well made, but it didn't take away from the fact that it was so very BORING!
The film was obviously well made, but it didn't take away from the fact that it was so very BORING!
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