They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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We'll Always Have Paris -- The Train Station, That Is

A Saturday Goal

Off to the movies on Saturday afternoon, as we are sorely behind, and I promised Mrs. Dr. Phil a Thai dinner -- after I had to eat Thai down in Atlanta. So after the movie, it was just hop onto I-196 and down to the new Baldwin Ave. half-exit and Bangkok Taste. We were going to start with a couple of vegetarian Thai spring rolls, but instead I spotted a peanut curry noddle dish, so we added that to the curried eggplant and Thai BBQ duck -- and had a splendid meal.

There was a table near us with a large group, including three little girls, each one blonder and shorter than the next. They were very busy with their crayons and were very cute and well behaved.

Hugo 3D [PG]
Celebration Cinema North, Theatre #4, 3:15pm

There's been a lot of talk about Martin Scorsese's first 3D film as an homage to film. But this is thoroughly delightful and convoluted and beautifully filmed movie which is as entertaining a two hours as you'll find anywhere. It's a steampunk dream, but rooted in a reasonable version of history and technology. There's clockwork mechanisms galore, both large and small, steam trains, the Paris train station -- both gleaming public spaces and dirty, steamy bowels, love of all sizes and depths, an automaton that can write, and orphans.

Hugo is a boy trying to survive by secretly keeping the clocks running in the station. His father is dead and his uncle has abandoned him, both were clockmakers of a sort. The train station is populated with a variety of people living and working there. The toy seller, the book seller -- played by Ben Kingsley and Christopher Lee, respectively -- the cafe owner, the newspaper seller, the flower seller, and... (duh-duh-DUH) the station inspector. The last is played by Borat, er, Sacha Baron Cohen in what I think is his finest role. Needless to say Hugo is constantly in danger from being deported to the orphanage by the station inspector, who has no idea Hugo is keeping his station on time.

Is this realistic? SF? Fantasy? Yes. It is also about the people who work in the station, rather than travel through it. It's about books and movies, especially Harold Lloyd and Georges Méliès. It is about the aftermaths of The Great War, what would later become known as World War I, and how you cannot understand the period between the wars without knowing how WW I impacted people.

Scorsese's attention to details, in both characters and technical issues, is a delight. The station inspector has a lovely Doberman -- and there's a very cute side story involving a long hair dachshund. There's something here to keep everyone happy, and I haven't provided a single spoiler. (grin)

Except for a bit of focus error I fought with in a scene right near the end, this is one of the better done 3D movies. It is sharp and clear and detailed. If this is how and why they want to make 3D movies, it's fine with me -- not like some of the crap that's been passed as 3D-worthy in the last couple of years. What in the world was Martin Scorsese thinking? I think he was enchanted with the story and I think we're going to have to get a copy of Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret and see what the book is all about.

Highly Recommended

Dr. Phil
Tags: 3d, clockwork, fantasy, movies, reviews, steampunk

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