Gare Montparnasse.


I’m being stood on by a cat who is trying to eat my pancakes, even though mine do not look that good.

For better or for worse, I did make it out to see Hugo in 3D. I liked, but didn’t love it. Several things, such as being at Kanata Centrum, which is more or less my nightmare, only being able to get coffee in an overcrowded bookstore, and not even finding the selection of blu-rays at Best Buy very inspiring (no Downton? are you mad?) probably tainted the situation/my enjoyment levels. Also, it was bloody windy out there and I was cursing the cold (and my lack of sweater under my coat) as I entered the building. Not ideal.

So, yes, Hugo. It was nice. The story was nice. The acting was nice (mostly). It was extremely nice to see some cinematic history in a mainstream movie. But it wasn’t as hot shit as I was led to believe. Aside from one scene-within-a-scene (involving layers of effects and a fish tank), I felt like the 3D was fairly unnecessary (especially for $15.75! WTF!). Its limitations took me out of several moments (‘huh, that railing got cut off oddly’) and made me roll my eyes at others. (A doberman has a pointy face! You can see that because it’s COMING OUT OF THE SCREEN POINTILY!) Call me a Luddite (‘you’re a Luddite’), but eh on 3D. I was left definitively undazzled.

Anyway, some other thoughts from my viewing of Hugo. There are spoilers below. Consider yourselves warned.

  • The Inspector was totally obnoxious and painfully unfunny. I am generally pro-slapstick, but good lord, I actually found this character kind of embarrassing to watch because there was no real life and humour to the performance. What did the nice flower lady see in him?
  • I’m glad Michael Stuhlbarg is getting work. I was wondering what he was up to. (It turns out that he’s also on the thus far avoided ‘Boardwalk Empire’).
  • Speaking of ‘Boardwalk Empire’, was Michael Pitt in a wig playing one of the Lumière Brothers?
  • Madame Maxime and Uncle Vernon? Together? I’m stupified!
  • I was kind of hoping the automaton would play chess.
  • I hope that this movie generates interest in the Cinémathèque française, which has an absolutely wonderful museum.
  • I hate that they glossed over how difficult it is to restore film (it would have been even more difficult in the 1930s). Scorsese knows about this struggle, as a patron/founder of the National Film Preservation Foundation. I know that showing scientists and archivists crouched over desks and light tables would not be very exciting, but this was simplified so extremely that I just couldn’t accept it. Even an expository line of ‘And guess what, I’ve started doing some more investigations, and it turns out that we’ve located more than this one film that I said still existed and that I’ve been hiding in a drawer for years!’ (except you know, better written than that) would have helped a bit.

Despite my gripes, I’m still glad I went. Even though I wanted to smack a lady who let her kids run up to the front to TOUCH THE SCREEN during the closing credits. (Seriously, those fuckers are extremely expensive.) I definitely wish that I had been invited to see this earlier on (somehow, all the cinema staff saw it without me – I have no friends at work after all, it turns out) so that I didn’t know the whole plot from end to end (one of the perils of the job). Perhaps I would have been more delighted if there had been some surprises?

Anyway, if you’re read this spoiler-laden rant and haven’t seen Hugo and want to see a movie about the love of movies from this past year’s roster, I’d definitely recommend The Artist over this, although I’d rate it slightly ahead of Super 8.

I don’t really have an ending here (unlike Hugo, which was awfully tidy, but since it’s (ostensibly) a kid’s movie, that’s expected and welcomed), aside from ‘Yeah, see it. Maybe don’t be as grouchy as me about it.’

No, that’s crap.

Okay. Scorsese is a genius and I’m so pleased that he made a film like this, but my heart is black and I wasn’t entirely won over. But maybe you will be. Better?

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