Hugo (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 23-May-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-The Cinemagician, Georges Melies
Featurette-Big Effects, Small Scale
Featurette-The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo
Featurette-Sascha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 126:21
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Martin Scorsese

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Ben Kingsley
Sacha Baron Cohen
Asa Butterfield
ChloŽ Grace Moretz
Ray Winstone
Emily Mortimer
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Howard Shore

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† Set in Paris in 1931, Hugo, from director Martin Scorsese, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, is magical cinema; a story about loss, family, dreams and the early years of filmmaking. DanielB has reviewed the DVD release of Hugo on this site here and includes a good summary of the plot.

†††† In brief: after his watchmaker father is killed in a fire, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) moves inside a Parisian stationís clocks, manually winding and maintaining them. He retains little of his fatherís things, only a broken human figure automaton and a notebook with his father's notes and drawings. In a chain of events involving toy store owner Papa Georges (Ben Kingsley), his godchild Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) and the Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), Hugo is drawn into an adventure involving the romance of early filmmaking and the real identity of Papa Georges.

†††† Hugo won five Oscars for technical excellence; Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects and on Blu-ray the film looks and sounds magnificent. The clock set, with the large and small clockwork cogs, springs and wheels always in motion in the foreground and background is detailed and beautiful, and while there is a lot of CGI used for Paris and railway scenes it is not overdone and suits the illusionary tone of the story. The sound design is not bombastic, and does not need to be. Instead it is subtle, with the clockwork sounds emanating from throughout the sound stage to give a lovely enveloping feel. The music of Howard Shore is an added bonus, taking the right path between nostalgia, mystery and romance, without ever indulging in sentimentality.

†††† Hugo is a magical film for the entire family that touches on themes of family, loss and the creation of dreams and illusions. It is spectacular to look at, has excitement and mystery, engaging young stars in Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz and a wonderful performance by Ben Kingsley.

†††† This Blu-ray of Hugo is not the 3D version. It is the ďtriple playĒ release with BD, DVD and digital copy link.

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Transfer Quality


†††† The Blu-ray of Hugo is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, in 1080p. The IMDb gives the theatrical ratio as 1.85:1.

†††† The print is stunningly beautiful. As noted, Hugo won five Oscars including Art Direction, Cinematography and Visual Effects and this Blu-ray release does the film full justice. Often the screen is filled with movement, especially in the clock set where the gleaming large and small clockwork cogs and wheels are always in motion in the foreground and background, but the Blu-ray handles this perfectly, with every detail pristine. And it is not only the mechanical aspects that are well handled: every pore and line in Ben Kingsleyís weary face is plain to see. Colours vary, as is the intent of the filmmakers. On occasions they have a de-saturated look, on other occasions, such as the pans over Paris which are CGI enhanced, they are vibrant. Artefacts are absent.

†††† Subtitles are available in a range of European languages, including French, German and Spanish, plus English and English for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† The audio options are English DTS MA HD 7.1 at 4122 Kbps, plus German, French and English Audio Description, all Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 Kbps.

†††† This audio track is not bombastic, and does not need to be. Dialogue is clear and centred and the surrounds have a lovely, subtle enveloping feel with clockwork sounds emanating from around the sound stage, including panning effects. The station sequences add crowd and train sounds, footsteps such as those of the Station Inspector on the marble floors ringing nicely. The sub-woofer gave minor bass support, but was seldom required.

†††† The score was by Howard Shore is a wonderful adjunct to the visuals, taking the right path between nostalgia, mystery and romance, without ever indulging in sentimentality. It is nicely balanced in the sound mix.

†††† Lip synchronisation was fine throughout.

†††† The English audio description is by a male voice.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Shoot the Moon: The Making of Hugo (19:46)

†††† Pretty much an EPK with everyone saying how wonderful everyone was, with a bit on the original story, the casting, working with dogs and filming in 3D. Consists of film clips, some behind the scenes footage and minor interview sound bites with cast Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Frances de la Tour, Sacha Baron Cohen, Christopher Lee, crew Martin Scorsese, Graham King (producer), John Logan (screenwriter), Mathilde de Cagny (animal trainer), Robert Legato (visual effects supervisor), Dante Ferretti (production designer) and Brian Selznik (writer of The Invention of Hugo Cabret). Worth watching once.

The Cinemamagician: Georges Melies (15:41)

†††† An interesting but brief look at the life and illusions of Georges Melies. Some footage from his films and stills plus interviews with Meliesí great, great granddaughter Pauline Duclaud-Lacoste, Martin Scorsese, Brian Selznik, Graham King, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield plus Serge Bromberg (film restorer / collector) and Randy Heberkamp (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).

The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo (12:45)

†††† A fascinating look at historical automata through the ages, with film of some examples and stills. Includes interviews with automata makers Dug North and Thomas Kuntz, Dick George, who built the automaton used in Hugo, plus Martin Scorsese, Graham King, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz.

Big Effects: Small Scale (5:55)

†††† An interesting look at the filming of the train crash sequence including making the scale models. Includes behind the scenes footage, test sequences and interviews with some of the men who made it happen: Bob Legato, Forrest Fischer, Scott Beverly, Matthew Gratzner and Patrick Dunn-Baker.

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

†††† Tongue in cheek piece about how uncooperative Sacha Baron Cohen was on set. With Sacha Baron Cohen, Martin Scorsese, Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield. Mildly amusing.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The Blu-ray versions are identical worldwide except for some language options. Buy local.


†††† Hugo, from director Martin Scorsese, is magical cinema; a story about loss, family, dreams and the early years of filmmaking.

†††† The Blu-ray looks and sounds magnificent. Extras are worthwhile, if not overly extensive.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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