It was a typical Thanksgiving at home. Our bellies full of turkey and applesauce. My family chatting in the living room over the Cowboys game. The dog snoring half way underneath the recliner and the freshly lit Christmas Tree. And I lay in the adjacent room streaming something more to my interest over Netflix. Yep, a typical Turkey Day…until we left for the movie theater!
Alright, I admit not the most exciting adventure. But it’s the premise for this post so fill your pie hole with more pie. My brother, my father and I set out for the 8pm showing of Scorsese’s Hugo in 3D. We tear open our plastic rapped nighttime sunglasses and slip them on our faces awaiting the upcoming trailers to shoot exciting things in our eyes. And if you haven’t been able to tell, I’m not excited about seeing my first movie in 3D. Hugo? Yes. 3D? No.
As I quickly burned a few minutes browsing the cast list for this movie, I became astounded at the faces I will get to see. Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen (obvious comedic relief), Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Frances de la Tour, and the fabulous Chloë Grace Moretz. And the master mind controlling every second is the obvious, yet worth mentioning, Martin Scorsese!
The movie starts and I’m already annoyed at well animated objects flying at me. I can feel the muscles in my eyes trying to focus on the screen rather than the snow sprinkling a visible inch from my cornea. The more 3D it gets the more fuzzy the picture is. (It’s not really fuzzy, its multiple images your eyes put together creating that extra dimension of entertainment…) When I watch a movie, especially one of this caliber, I want to enjoy the purposeful crisp, clean, and amazingly detailed images. The extra-money-making-sales-pitch dirties the quality. And I’m assuming the technology requires the tinted glasses, because otherwise it was moronic to watch the film in a darker filter. The scale of colors has dropped compressing more blacks into each other further deteriorating the already faulted condition of the film. If you aren’t able to tell yet, I was not enjoying myself.
Each wonderful debut of a character fought my cynicism. As amazing as Asa Butterfield was playing Hugo… Chloë Moretz stole the screen every time. Although the same age at 14, he was baby faced while she was taller and more poised with each flick of the finger or raise of an eyebrow. Add her to the list of actor’s careers to follow.
I have 20/20 and I am not used to wearing glasses. I was super aware of the extra weight on my nose while my eyes strained throughout. I do, however, give credit to the superb story unfolding before me as I lost focus on the annoyances. But Hugo was very slow and felt much longer than 127 minutes. Yet, I lucked out again. I won’t tell you how but there are many silent films referenced and shown. I had no idea I would get to see a few of my favorite silent movies in 3D! Bonus!
The second bonus came at a cost, for the first 25-30 minutes the theater screwed up the vertical masking on the screen. Enough of the picture was cutoff to bug me (although my dad and brother had no idea something was wrong), but someone already beat me to the manager to complain. They stopped the movie, fixed it, and restarted it while providing all attendees free passes for another movie. Thanks for the apology, I’ll take it. Unfortunately, I need to re-watch Hugo to enjoy the real movie and not the fluffed version for kids. There goes my free pass! (The fluff is just the 3D. It’s really just a fad that has been pushed by production companies to make more money. Hence James Cameron releasing Titanic AGAIN in 3D! Noooooooooooo!)
This post turned into a rant didn’t it? Dangit! Okay, bottom line. Hugo? Loved it. Go see it. My first 3D experience? I’d rather watch Arnold Schwarzenegger play The Tin Man.