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At first I was not really sure what to think- and how to feel about this movie. Not beforehand but also still not afterward. It's an adventure movie that's lacking some real adventure and a family movie that probably isn't all that fun or entertaining to watch for the just entire family. Some people might even call it boring, I could imaging. But still there is something about this movie. Something magical. It's innocent, visually overwhelming and manages to come across as something fresh. This is pretty much how movies still were like, at its most early days. This movie gives you sort of that same sense and feeling of watching something totally new and innovative, for the very first time.

Actually, I was never all that interested in seeing this movie in the first place. I feared the worst for it. I mean, a family movie directed by Martin Scorsese? In 3D? With children as the main characters? It all sounds so unlikely but yet after watching it, it all makes perfectly sense and everything falls into place for this movie.

You could say that this movie is Scorsese's love song to cinema, in which he pays special homage to its earliest days and those who were involved with film-making at the time. And if there is one person who knows how to- and is justifiably allowed to this, it is Martin Scorsese. This guy has given so much to cinema, not only with his own movies but also by restoring and saving lots of old and cinematic historically important movies. He probably knows more about movies and the history of it than any other working movie director. Or perhaps better said; he understands movies better than anyone else!

To me, this is what made "Hugo" a very warm and heartfelt movie. I'm pretty sure that even when you don't really know how to feel about this movie, it still gives you a happy feeling regardless, that you just can't really explain. It's because of the magic of film-making, that Scorsese manages to put in this movie. Perhaps this is just a movie you shouldn't think to much about but simply let it come over and simply experience it for what it is. It's a movie that plays to all your senses and provokes lots of different emotions.

Especially visually this is one wonderful. Normally an $170,000,000 sounds like an absolute absurd thing but in this case, I'm glad they spend so much money on it! And it also shows all on the screen. The movie entirely recreates a certain time period and has a wonderful, warm, atmosphere to it as well. The sets are all grand and great looking ones and so are its special effects. No, this is not a science-fiction movie but it still is a movie that is heavy on its effects, which in this case is something the movie absolutely benefited from.

What I also liked about this movie was the way the story kept bouncing around. Most of the time you will have absolutely no idea what the direction the movie will be heading in, which makes the movie surprising, as well as original. It's best to simply go watch this movie, without knowing anything about it.

The kid actors Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz do a good job at carrying almost the entire movie but lets please not forget about its adult cast. Call me weird but I got a kick out of it seeing Christopher Lee in a Scorsese movie (but then again, I always love seeing him, in anything!) and I also absolutely loved Ben Kingsley. And sorry but this is something I really have to say; Sacha Baron Cohen is an absolute comical genius. His role at first sight might come across like some lame and forced but he really manages to turn it into something absolutely hilarious. His comical timing- as well as his overall acting skills are brilliant in this movie and I'm happy to see him appear in more and more big movies and receiving all of the credits he deserves for it.

Now, I'll definitely admit that this is not a perfect movie. The way of storytelling and the story itself is still somewhat lacking, which doesn't always make this a throughout fun, entertaining or compelling movie to watch and you feel that the movie is still lacking a certain edge to it all. It's a warm and heartfelt movie but with a little bit better writing, the movie perhaps also could had been a good dramatic or emotional one. This was something, I felt, the movie was lacking. It's not always being a very open and inviting movie, that gets you involved with the story or its characters.

Other than that, this remains a great watch and a great example of how some great movie making can create movie magic, which it manages to do, by going back to the earliest days of cinema, when every movie experience was something new, overwhelming and joyous.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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