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November 25th, 2011

Movie Review - Hugo

Hugo

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Griffiths, Emily Mortimer, Helen McCrory, Frances de la Tour, and more.

Directed by: Martin Scorsese Based on the Book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by: Brian Selznik Screenplay by: John Logan Original Music by: Howard Shore

Premise: A young orphan doing his uncle's work at the Paris Train Station sometime after WWI finally makes headway on the puzzle/repair he and his father were working on when the latter died. Hugo is convinced that if he can just fix the automaton, it will give him a message from his deceased father. (Rating PG)

Review: The previews for this film don't begin to touch what it's about. The tale has multiple layers and each discovery spins the story into totally unexpected directions.

The theme of dreams, machines, and discovery are threaded throughout. CGI use is very subtle most of the time. So much so you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between what's real and what's not at times. 

The story unfolds slowly as the world and the denizens of the train station are unveiled to the viewer. This gives the whole a great depth and wonderful layering, which will in turn support the worldview held by the protagonist.  

There are no true bad guys, just people. Each trying to do the right thing in their own way. Some of the most serious are also the most humorous. And you will find yourself caring for every last one of them. Very young children probably wouldn't be entertained enough by the film, but those ten and up should find it fun and full of adventure and even magic. Adults will be even more enraptured, especially at some of the unexpected turns and discoveries.

Definitely a worth while film! (Don't want to spoil anything by saying too much! The discoveries are half the fun!)

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Would Pay Full Price to See It Again!)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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