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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hugo [Blu-ray]

 

(Martin Scorsese, 2011)

 

    

    

    

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:06:21.031

Disc Size: 44,769,326,145 bytes

Feature Size: 35,784,517,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.08 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 28th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4894 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4894 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Shoot the Moon - The Making of 'Hugo' (19:48 in 1080P)

The Cinemagician: Georges Meliés  (15:40 in 1080P)

• The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo (12:45 in 1080P)

• Big Effects, Small Scale (5:55 in 1080P)

Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime (3:33 in 1080P)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Welcome to a magical world of spectacular adventure! When wily and resourceful Hugo discovers a secret left by his father, he unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest that will transform those around him and lead to a safe and loving place he can call home. Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese invites you to experience a thrilling journey that critics are calling “the stuff that dreams are made of.”

***

Twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity.... But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy.

 

 

The Film:

Mr. Scorsese’s fidelity to Mr. Selznick’s original story is very nearly complete, though this is also, emphatically, his own work. Gracefully adapted by John Logan, the movie involves a lonely, melancholic orphan, Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who in the early 1930s tends all the clocks in a Parisian train station. Seemingly abandoned by his uncle, the station’s official timekeeper (Ray Winstone), Hugo lives alone, deep in the station’s interior, in a dark, dusty, secret apartment that was built for employees. There, amid clocks, gears, pulleys, jars and purloined toys, he putters and sleeps and naturally dreams, mostly of fixing a delicate automaton that his dead father, a clockmaker (Jude Law), found once upon a time. The automaton is all that remains of a happy past.

Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at the NY Times located HERE

 

"Hugo" is unlike any other film Martin Scorsese has ever made, and yet possibly the closest to his heart: a big-budget, family epic in 3-D, and in some ways, a mirror of his own life. We feel a great artist has been given command of the tools and resources he needs to make a movie about — movies. That he also makes it a fable that will be fascinating for (some, not all) children is a measure of what feeling went into it.

In broad terms, the story of his hero, Hugo Cabret, is Scorsese's own story. In Paris of the '30s, and schooling himself in the workings of artistic mechanisms. That runs in the family. Hugo's uncle is in charge of the clocks at a cavernous Parisian train station. And his father's dream is to complete an automaton, an automated man he found in a museum. He dies with it left unperfected.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Hugo appears pristine on Blu-ray from Paramount.  The 1.78:1 1080P dual-layered image quality is bright, detailed and has impressive contrast. The layering of blues is notable and there is less than a hint of digital noise. Close-ups produce sharp detail and the frequent effects are reasonably seamless. I can find no flaw with the presentation. There is an adventurous buoyancy to the fantastical visuals. This Blu-ray shows some depth and supports the magnificent art direction expertly. This high bitrate offers a brilliantly captivating presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The robust audio - a DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a healthy 4894 kbps, matches the impressive video. Separations have both subtle mixing and dynamic strength bursting from the rear speakers. I found the front channel a bit weak but the effects never over-powered the dialogue. Howard Shore's score and the classical tracks sprinkled throughout support the film beautifully in lossless. There is some bass depth and a restrained, delicately rendered, high-end. There are some foreign-language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

There are close to an hour's worth of video supplements including a 20-minute Making of... entitled Shoot the Moon and a nice overview piece on Meliés; The Cinemagician: Georges Meliés running 15-minutes, plus The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo about the 'automaton' in the story, a piece called Big Effects, Small Scale for 6-minutes and a very funny interview segment called Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime. No commentary but some viable information and this package contains a DVD (including Digital Copy for use with your portable device) and there is another Blu-ray HERE that contains a 3-D 1080P disc as well.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is such a brilliant movie. Hugo seems to be Scorsese at his most indulgent and still the resulting film is... a masterpiece. This is not necessarily for Georges Meliés admirer-ers - because you will become one by the end of the film - Hugo is fun, beautiful and human to the very core. I'm thrilled with this Paramount Blu-ray and give it one of our highest recommendations of the year to-date. Strongly endorsed! 

Gary Tooze

February 19th, 2012

    

    

    

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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