Hugo watch: Hugo (the movie)

When this film came out last year, I remember seeing the trailers for it and thinking “Hmm, lots of animation and it’s 3D, pass”.

That definitely was the wrong reaction!

The trailer looked ‘animated’ but I think that’s more down to the beautiful cinematography and the startlingly blue eyes of the lead actor. In fact, it’s mainly live-action with just a bit of CGI where necessary. I rented it from iTunes and found the entire thing absolutely gorgeous.

In addition to looking amazing, it was an interesting story that really caught both the mind and the heart. The young boy who lives in a train station, Hugo, is the center of things and it is through him that we see the world around him. The minor characters that fill the station are lovely and I discovered that I actually liked and had sympathy for Sacha Baron Cohen’s station inspector.

It is a film about films, specifically the man credited with the first science fiction film. I’ve seen tiny clips of that film in various documentaries over the years and the image of a man-in-the-moon with a rocket in his eye is fairly iconic. My knowledge of Hugo going in was minimal so I had no idea that it would reference real events – that was something I discovered afterwards.

Hugois definitely a film that I would recommend to people and I’d love to watch it again. It has the mix of plot, character and visuals just right so that it’s a film that pulls you in as you watch but also stays with you after it is over.

I believe my reaction was ‘squee’

I am an enourmous dork. And a huge geek. I know, it’s a shocker. Nobody was expecting that.

That would explain why I was rather incoherently squeeing all over Twitter Saturday evening after seeing The Avengers. Hint: I loved it rather a lot. I’m even considering a second viewing, which is something I rarely do (I’ve only done it for Star Trek in 2009 and Return of the King, which I racked up 4 trips to).

It is also why I have spent the last two days in a whirl of LJ, Tumblr and Twitter rather than actually doing any useful reading.

It’s also why there are several Avengers books on hold at the library (I suspended them until June 1st when I sobered up and remembered that I’ll be going on vacation just as they arrive) and why I conducted a small Comixology raid for Avengers stuff. Oops? At least they were on sale?

Comixology: one of my favourite iPad apps. This week there are new issues of Batgirl and Demon Knights, by the way, so my poor iTunes account will be getting another workout.

Normal service will resume when my Avengers squee has worn off a bit. Hopefully.

Hugo nomination watch: Captain America

The new Avengers movie comes out in less than a week and somehow I had managed not to see any of the lead-in movies, so over the last month I’ve watched Ironman 1 and 2, Thor and Captain America. I was assured by many people that the Hulk movies were unnecessary so I skipped them ๐Ÿ™‚

Of them all, Captain America was the one I was least excited about. A movie about a hugely patriotic American comic book character? Yeah, no. Not for me.

Then I saw that it had been Hugo nominated and I started to think that maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. Hugo voters are relatively sensible people, they wouldn’t nominate something terrible. OK, somehow X-Men: First Class didn’t get nominated and I thought it was a great film, but I figured that Captain America couldn’t be that bad.

Honest opinion: I enjoyed it a lot and I think that I liked it better than Thor. The Ironman ones are still definitely my favourite of these movies, but Captain America was a lot better than I expected. The main character was likeable and definitely not overtly “Hoo yeah, America!”. The secondary characters – particularly Bucky, the assorted other sidekicks and the sort-of love interest – were developed nicely and I could have quite happily watched another movie with that group having adventures. The villain was over the top in a uniquely comic-book way (well done, Hugo Weaving) and it was a lot of fun spotting all the ways that the 1940s action and characters fitted into the continuity with the modern characters.

It even had an origin story that vaguely made sense and I didn’t spot that pre-Cap Steve Rogers was CGI’d to eight stone wimpiness until I started working it out in my head afterwards. Well done that FX team!

It’s not perfect: the ending felt rather awkward, a way to get Steve Rogers into modern times for the Avengers movie rather than a coherent part of the story, and there was some uneven pacing at times.

It is definitely a better movie than I expected, though, and I had a lot of fun with it.

I still think X-Men: First Class is a better movie, though ๐Ÿ˜€