Hugo - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 04-24-12, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
Jon Liu's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 1,497
My System
Hugo - Blu-ray Review

Title: Hugo
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: John Logan, Brian Selznick
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: February 28, 2012


HTS Overall Score:94


During the winter of 1931 in Paris, France, Hugo Cabret (Butterfield) spends his time making sure that all the clocks in a large train station are in perfect working order. The clock maintenance was his father's job until he unexpectedly passed away, leaving Hugo to tend to it for himself. Despite the death and absence of his father, no one seemed the wiser, so Hugo decides to secretively take his place. Day in and day out Hugo must venture through the labyrinth inside the walls of the train station in order to make his way to each clock to maintain them. Utilizing air ducts and small passages, he also knows he must stay hidden from the chief station inspector (Cohen), who seems to have a knack for seeking out the orphaned children wandering the station.

After his father's death, Hugo was left with nothing, except for a broken mechanical doll, called an automaton, and a journal filled with diagrams to put the doll back together. Hugo is certain that the automaton has a hidden message left for him by his father before he died. In order to mend the automaton he steals toys from the Station's Toy Shop, owned by Papa Georges (Kingsley). With those toys, Hugo disassembles them in order to find the proper pieces to make the automaton whole again. On a routine outing to acquire a toy, he is apprehended by Papa Georges and Georges takes Hugo's journal. Devastated, Hugo tries so desperately to retrieve his notebook and even follows Papa Georges back to his home pleading for its return.

Curiously, Georges' god daughter, Isabelle (Moretz), decides to aid Hugo in his quest to get his journal back from Papa Georges. Georges finally agrees that if Hugo assists him at the toy shop, he can earn his diary back. As he works as the toy shop assistant he manages his free time continuing to fix the automaton as best as he can. As Hugo grows closer to Isabelle they start to unravel a mysterious past that Georges has kept hidden for many years. This past that has all but been forgotten puts burden and hardship on Georges as he tries so desperately to forget what had happened.

The adventurous tale of 'Hugo' is based on the novel of the same title written by Brian Selznick. I had not heard of the novel, nor did I even know much about the film when I started watching it. The only knowledge I had of this film was the title and that it was nominated for eleven Academy Awards this year. Even for the first act of the movie I wasn't quite sure what I was to expect, but I was still completely fascinated by where the story was taking me. As the storyline unravels I found myself more and more enamored by the overall magic. Scorsese has done a marvelous job at recreating this fictional tale and made it an absolute inspiration to watch. A part of me wishes I had the chance to watch this during its theatrical run, but another part of me is glad to have experienced this on blu-ray.


Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking


Paramount has put out some amazing-looking titles this year and 'Hugo' is most certainly no exception to that statement. The fantastic world created in this movie is given additional flair from this exquisite video transfer. The dimensionality of the film is off the chart and while I did not watch this in 3D, the image still managed to separate itself from the screen. Visual detail is remarkable and especially noticeable in the wrinkles and imperfections of the more-seasoned actors on the screen. The on-screen imagery is so busy at times that it is surprising the resolution manages to keep up and never lets down on the detail; this is especially apparent when looking at the intricacies of the clocks and other mechanical devices used throughout the film. Colors also add to the three-dimensional look of the film. Hugo's eyes are a mesmerizing blue color and clothing saturation are astounding. Even with the vibrancy, detail is not lost within those deeply saturated colors.


I am happy to report that the audio fares just as well as the video. While there aren't many opportunities for loud and boisterous effects in this film the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio still manages to be a joyous experience. I mentioned in the video review that the film is so busy at times, and similarly to the video, the audio captures all the hustle and bustle perfectly. As Hugo makes his way through the labyrinth in the train station, noises constantly barrage the ears with clanking, clinking, hissing, and whirring. All these noises also are portrayed in spatial realism, further immersing the audience into the magic of the film.


• "Shoot the Moon: The Making of Hugo" Featurette
• "The Cinemagician: Georges Melies" Featurette
• "Big Effects Small Scale" Featurette
• "The Mechanical Man at the Heart of 'Hugo'" Featurette
• "Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime" Featurette


'Hugo' is a magical film that is based in realism. There is so much fantasy mixed into the film that made it so easy to be taken out of my reality into the world on screen. The Oscar nominations for this film are well-deserved and what makes this movie sets this movie apart from the rest is the fact that doesn't use conventional Hollywood hooks, like sex, huge explosions, foul language to capture the audience. Each actor (and surprisingly even Sacha Baron Cohen) all seem to capture the magic that Scorsese attempts to portray through this film. With a video and audio transfer that does this film justice I am even glad that I watched this film on blu-ray instead of in the theaters. With all that this movie has going for it I certainly have no hesitation on recommending this film to everyone.

Recommendation: Buy It!

Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

Last edited by Jon Liu; 04-25-12 at 12:06 PM.
Jon Liu is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 19 Old 04-24-12, 08:54 PM
HTS Moderator
ALMFamily's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 7,209
My System
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the review Jon!

I already bought this one, but I have not watched it yet in either the theater or at home as this is one of the 1st I want to watch once my theater is up and running - can't wait!
ALMFamily is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 04-24-12, 09:10 PM
HTS Moderator
Mike Edwards's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5,078
My System
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

nice review Jon, really pumping them out lately, puttin the rest of us to shame
Mike Edwards is online now  
post #4 of 19 Old 04-25-12, 09:58 AM
Senior Shackster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 156
My System
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

Nice review! I've been wanting to check this out but the wife doesn't seem interested. Going to have to watch it on my own I guess.
TheLaw612 is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 04-25-12, 01:25 PM
Senior Shackster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: CA
Posts: 531
My System
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

Good review. Hugo was very well done visually, the cinematography in the opening sequence was impressive for which it deservedly won an Oscar. The sound mix throughout the film was also done very well but should not have beaten Transformers 3 for the Oscar (I guess the quality of the overall movies take precedence!).

Sacha Baron Cohen did a great job and really added to my enjoyment of the film.

Overall it's a good family movie that you won't likely find yourself falling asleep watching.
Infrasonic is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 04-25-12, 02:11 PM
Senior Shackster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 432
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

Infrasonic wrote: View Post
Sacha Baron Cohen did a great job and really added to my enjoyment of the film.

Overall it's a good family movie that you won't likely find yourself falling asleep watching.
Not ever having been a fan of Cohen in the past, I was surprised and delighted by his work in this one, too. Kingsley contributed a very good performance, as usual.

Otherwise, this film started off rather slowly for me, and didn't really become interesting until about half-way through the movie. Unfortunately, there was a bit of ghosting in the 3D version, but it wasn't overly bothersome, while the remainder of the 3D effects had a good overall balance. The 2D version looked very nice, indeed.

My personal score for this one would be about a 6 out of 10, so I'm still undecided whether purchasing this movie was good idea, but I might watch it another time or two in the future and end up with a higher opinion of it.

ozar is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 04-27-12, 12:56 AM
Elite Shackster
ironglen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Texas
Posts: 1,538
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

Watched it on New Years Eve at the local drive-in along with Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (which I liked). I was confused and thought it was Adventures of Tin Tin instead of Hugo: impressive looking, even at the drive-in. I always enjoy Ben Kingsley, and other actors were very believable.

Are you absolutely sure the run time is 126 minutes? The pace of the film made it feel more like 240 minutes that night...
ironglen is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 04-27-12, 01:18 AM
Elite Shackster
JBrax's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,189
My System
IMO this movie was way overhyped. After reading the reviews I expected way more. Audio and video were both excellent however the story was slow to develop and long to conclude. I was pleasantly surprised by Sasha Cohen's performance as it was outstanding.
JBrax is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 04-27-12, 08:31 AM
Senior Shackster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 705
My System
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

I have not seen the movie yet and want to pick up the 3D version but I have been waiting for it to go on sale. Seems ridiculous that the 3D version is almost double the cost of the 2D version.
typ44q is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 05-02-12, 03:56 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6
Re: Hugo - Blu-ray Review

I enjoyed this movie a lot. Excellent visuals
traybo is offline  


bluray , hugo , review

Quick Reply

Register Now



Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address



Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.


See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome