Sunday, March 4, 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Hugo

                Well now I’m on a streak for sure with update it seems.  Must be that I have hit a block with my WIP so I’m reading and watching up a storm and thus giving you’re my blog readers something to read and hopefully think about.  So today we have a review of two movies that have been pretty big in the awards and they both feature young boys as the lead characters.

                Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, was a movie that I first saw the previews for and knew I wanted to see it even if I knew the high probability I’d tear up at some point.  Now I just recently got the chance to watch this, post all awards shows.  At first I was skeptical of it being nominated, not that it didn’t merit the attention but that it was being nominated and the movie hadn’t even been released to the general public.  What can I say I like to at least have the option of seeing the nominees so I can root for them based off more than previews.

                I didn’t watch most of the awards this year given the only movie I’d seen that was nominated for anything really was The Help.  So I don’t know what this movie won but I can say I see why it was nominated.  It is a beautiful movie that was so well done.  I freely admit that I cried like the girl I am through large parts of the movie that were just so touching I couldn’t help myself. 

                The story is about Oskar who has many fears and difficulty talking to people so his father has set up a bunch of reconnaissance expeditions for him to complete and while working on one his father dies.  A year after his death, and living with a secret, Oskar finds a key in his dad’s things and set out to find out what the key opens.  The envelope the key is in has one thing on it ‘Black’ so being as bright as he is Oskar develops a system for his reconnaissance expedition knowing that this key was left to him from his father.  Along the way he meets many people of every personality and hears their stories. 

                Thomas Horn as the main character Oskar Schell the peculiar boy who lost his father (Tom Hanks) in 9/11 does an amazing job.  I was completely floored by it and his emotional portrayal made it all the more harder for me to hold off tears.  Sandra Bullock, Max Von Sydow, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, John Goodman, Zoe Caldwell, and Tom Hanks are a few of the more stand out of the supporting characters and each playing their individual role in such a way you almost forget you’re watching a movie at all.

                This movie was very moving and I think everyone should see it at least once.  It’s not the movie you put in for a laugh or to kill time but if you want to be moved then take the 2 hours out of your day and watch this.

Rating: 5 Stars

                Next we have Hugo.  This story is also about a young boy who has lost his father.  Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a Pairs train station in the 1930’s.  He keeps the clocks running and tinkers with other gadgets he learned from his father and uncle.  The only thing he has left that connects him to his father is an automaton they’d been working on fixing together.  He’s been working on it sure it holds a message from his father but he’s still missing one main part, a heart shaped key.  On his adventures he meets the cranky old man who works in the station and his god-daughter who is Hugo’s age and seeks an adventure of her own.  Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton and in discovering this the old man starts remembering his past and his significance to the world of film-making. 

                This movie too was very beautiful.  The time period, the characters were more fun and up-lifting though.  I do have to make one special note that I’ve never seen a movie with Sacha Baron Cohen and have avoided them at all costs after the previews for Borat movies and the stunts at award shows.  Though in this movie he plays the mean station inspector who rounds up orphans, I didn’t realize it was the man from those obnoxious previews until midway through. 

                The imagery and feel of the 1930’s was well done and wonderful performances from the whole cast but for me the movie was a bit long.  I enjoyed it and it tugged on my heart a time or two but I don’t think I’ll be watching it again, for me a one hit wonder.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

                So there you have it.  Have you seen these movies?  What did you think?

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