Mojave Flick Review: Hugo

Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!

Miguel Gonzalez


By Nolan Patrick Smith

High Desert Daily

(Victorville) This movie season is packed with family favorites, soon to be holiday classics, and 3D films trying to capture the imagination of an audience that has somewhat grown tired of this “new” technological advancement. Hugo is the latest film to boast 3D on the big screen; does it wow the audience with effects and story?

The Martin Scorsese directed film had a lot of hype behind it as it opened: the story is said to be spectacular, the 3D was rumored to be the best seen since Avatar. Well, first, lets talk about the story, which is based on the Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Set in 1930’s Paris, the story is of a young orphan named Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who lives in the clock tower of a bustling train station.  A clock repair expert, like his deceased father, the boy works on a mysterious metal man automaton that holds a secret.  His mission of fixing this machine leads him to a tinkerer toy storeowner (Ben Kingsley), an over zealous Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), and a young girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) who befriends him. The film boasts a who’s who of Hollywood stars, from the aforementioned actors to the likes of Jude Law and Christopher Lee, all coming together for this one of a kind film. The world of the train station feels like its own world, with Hugo observing the interaction and fumbles of the workers there in everyday life.

The story starts off slow, but by the second half of the film, it picks up majorly. The tale of people trying to find their place in this world is one that resonates with us all. From Hugo, to the inspector, to the toy storeowner, to the girl, it is shown that each is looking for their purpose. The story has its twist and turns, its reveals, and its heart. By the end of the movie, the ending feels earned and deserved, leaving a wonderful feeling in the audience minds and hearts. What about the 3D? How did it add or detract from the film?

The 3D is handled in one of the best ways seen thus far. Not as in a flashy, in your face manner, but in a subtle yet noticeable way that makes this film feel that much more like a modern day classic. If you are going to see this film, you need to see the 3D version, as you will not be disappointed.

Without blowing anything from the film, I can say that if you are a fan of films and their history, then you will love this movie. Scorsese delivers a film that the whole family will enjoy, and with a theme that is perfect for the holiday season. I recommend Hugo for your viewing pleasure, as it was unlike any film I had ever had the pleasure of viewing.

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