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Hugo (Blu-ray, DVD)
Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

Hugo (Blu-ray, DVD)

Scorsese’s first family film is even better on Blu-ray, with plenty of drama, laughs, and magic that will keep you glued to the screen.

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Martin Scorsese takes a much-needed break from gangsters and musical documentaries to bring us a great family film in Hugo. With a superb cast and special effects set against of the magic of childhood, those looking for the perfect movie for family night will find it here.

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, Martin Scorsese’s latest epic based on the best-selling book by Brian Selznick, which follows the adventures of an orphaned boy named Hugo that’s trying to survive day to day living between the walls of a train station. Fellow reviewer Chris Pandolfi loved the movie when he experienced it firsthand in theaters last year, and here’s a snippet of what he thought (you can also view his entire review right HERE):

“Hugo, adapted from Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is an absolute triumph, not just of plot, but of casting, performance, character development, art direction, set design, special effects, and theme as well. It’s also one of the best looking 3D films I’ve ever seen, and if you’ve read my reviews, you know how I feel about 3D in general. Rather than assault our field of vision with crude pop out gags, Scorcese allows the process to envelope us like a blanket, making us at one with the world he has created. We’re not watching the story unfold; we’re actually a part of it. There are times when I wanted to reach out and try to touch the images, for they were so well integrated into the shots that they achieved an uncanny tactile quality. For the first time ever, I’m recommending you spend the extra money for a 3D movie, especially if your local theater uses digital projectors that allow for bright, clear pictures.”

I was pleasantly surprised when I learned Scorsese had directed this film, and even more so that it was his first time working with 3D. After experiencing it and witnessing the fantastic job he did here I’m glad he decided to change up from his more violent projects for something like this. It’s so well-acted, thought out and magical, it would make Steven Spielberg jealous.

Watching this on Blu-ray is another part of the magic, as the vivid colors and details from the film really come alive here. Everything shows up crisp and clean, making the trip into the movie’s world even more amazing. The sound is just as great, with a nice 7.1 DTS-HD audio track that makes sure that every sound from the clocks and automatons, to every wonderful piece of dialogue is heard to perfection.

The special features also serve up some of their own magic as well. “Shoot the Moon” goes into detail about the shooting of the film, while “The Cinemagician, George Melies” has Scorsese with some of the writers and producers talk about how the film came to be. “The Mechanical Man in the Heart of Hugo” goes into how the crew worked their magic on the automaton that Hugo tries to repair throughout the movie. “Big Effects, Small Scale” features the visual effects guys showing how the went about making some key scenes such as the train crash and others in the film. Lastly, there’s “Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime” which has some of the cast and crew talking about how fun and crazy it was working with Cohen.

Those looking for a great movie to enjoy with their family will want to check out Hugo, as it has plenty of drama, laughs, and magic that will keep you glued to the screen. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned Scorsese had directed this film, and even more so that it was his first time working with 3D. After experiencing it and witnessing the fantastic job he did here I’m glad he decided to change up from his more violent projects for something like this. It’s so well-acted, thought out and magical, it would make Steven Spielberg jealous. With a great director, cast, and plenty of amazing effects, Hugo is one treasure that you’ll want to unlock and add to your Blu-ray collection this year.

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02/28/2012

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PG

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Paramount Studios

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About the Author: Chris Mitchell