Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hugo. I'll stay home.

We didn't like the fabulously-praised movie Hugo at all. Not at all. Glad we saw it at home where we could twitch in boredom without disturbing other audience members, and didn't have to pay more than a cheap Redbox rental for it. And especially that we didn't have to see it in 3-D.

Why, what's wrong with it?

1. Camerawork, especially at the beginning, so dazzling as to be annoying. I was having trouble following the story, I was so distracted by watching where the camera was going.

2. A middle section consisting of the story being elongated to movie length by having each of the two obnoxious children alternately flatly refusing to answer the other's reasonable questions about WTF was going on, and posing equally reasonable questions to the other one. An intervention by the characters from Holy Grail who shout "Get on with it!" would have been dearly welcomed.

3. A happy ending which was achieved in real life without the intervention of the movie's fictional protagonist, thus achieving the double whammy of feeling both arbitrarily tacked-on and (despite the fact that it really happened) totally contrived.

4. If the inspector has an artificial leg, and this is 1930 so the state of the art is what it was (noting also that he gets a more advanced one later on), how come he can run so fast?

5. For a boy who's secretly living in the wainscots of a train station, Hugo makes an awful lot of careless mistakes that ought to have gotten him caught many times. Instead, he is frequently almost caught, apparently for the purpose of spinning out the movie some more. See point 2.

6. The subplot about the inspector's romantic life should have been cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. Cut. Cut. See point 2.

7. A hackwork sub-Glassian score by the great Hollywood hack himself, Howard Shore. I understand why producers keep hiring this guy, because he reliably turns out the yard goods as requested, but not if they want the music in their movies to be any good.

8. I didn't check the cast list beforehand, so I find that I have now seen a movie with Sacha Baron Cohen in it, something I'd hoped permanently to avoid, the same way I once hoped to avoid seeing any movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I feel besmirched.

9. I also see that the boy who played Hugo is scheduled to appear in the title role of the upcoming movie of ... Ender's Game. O dear god. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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