I finally saw Hugo today on my 2010 Samsung PN63C8000 plasma.
In terms of 3D, this movie definitely pushes the envelope in terms of its implementation, using it to really convey a sense of depth and height as well as drawing the viewer into the environment: when a dog pushes its snout out of the screen and snarls for example you can't help but draw back a bit. The movie also has a few nice examples of pop-out moments that work quite well. Long tracking shots never lose their sense of dimensionality and panoramic establishing shots of the city, train station and the inner workings of the massive clocks have endless levels of depth. All the 3D effects are nicely integrated into the film and Hugo is one of the few 3D films that would really be diminished by viewing it in 2D; it was clearly designed with in mind. I also like the fact that it is a full-frame 1.78:1 presentation as the aspect ratio used further pulls you in and helps sell the added dimensionality.
In terms of how it looked and worked on my particular rig, there was quite a bit of ghosting, all of it centered around scenes involving extreme contrast ranges such as the automaton's shiny metal in front of the dark background, Hugo's pale face in front of his hair, Melies' white shirt against his black tux and so on. After watching the film I also had a slight headache, something that doesn't usually happen with active shutter 3D for me. I'm getting an LG passive TV delivered next week and I'll be curious to see how it looks on that one and how I react physically to it.
As to the movie itself, I actually liked it. It is slowly paced and preachy at times, almost morphing into an Imax edutainment feature at a few points, but in the end it is clearly a love letter by Scorsese to the pioneers of film and viewed in that light it works. It is a sweet, innocent film and were it not for all high tech cinematic tricks you'd think it had been shot in a different era. Not your typical Scorsese but that's OK with me because I never cared for his mob or organized crime films (just not into those genres).
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