The family went to see Hugo last night. From watching the previews I figured it was a kid’s movie and since me and the boy needed some downtime, this would be a good way to do it. Boy, was I ever right. This movie is sedentary as you can get. It’s a very, very, very easy movie to watch. It’s kinda loonie in a whimsical way. And, it’s pretty much so far out there it’s pretty impossible to believe. But, during the movie, one scene kept bugging me all the way through the movie.
I’ve been a sci-fi junkie all my life and recognized that picture immediately. It’s from the very first “official” sci-fi movie ever made, A Trip to the Moon. However, in Hugo they attributed it to some whacky film director named Georges Méliès who went bankrupt due to World War I.
Did a little reading today. There actually WAS a Georges Méliès who actually DID produce A Trip to the Moon. What’s even weirder is this is what Georges Méliès looked like:
And this is Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of him:
The true story of Georges Méliès is almost as fantastical as it’s portrayed in Hugo. He did make fantastic movies YEARS before anyone else. He did make COLOR movies by painting each frame years before anyone else. Most of his movies were destroyed to make shoes. The primary object of his focus in the movies was indeed his wife. There’s one very different fact tho. Georges Méliès did go bankrupt as the movie portrays. But, it was not because of World War I. It was because Hollywood outmarketed and flat out stole a lot of his movies. It was a rather ruthless destruction of an incredible talent. One of the people that would have been instrumental in that would have been a fellow named Lewis Selznick. The movie is based on a book called The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written by Lewis’s great-grandnephew, Brian Selznick. He even has an uncredited part in the movie.
A really stupid flick called New Year’s Eve got the biggest numbers over the weekend. But, I’m telling you THIS is the release of the week to watch. It will keep small kids occupied because of the fantastic imagery of the movie. BUT, the story is unforgettable. It’s a movie where you really don’t see what’s coming, but moves around and finishes in a very satisfactory way. The movie is not at all what it seems. It’s very complicated, very historically enjoyable to watch, and the acting, especially by Sascha Baron Cohen, is fantastic. It’s all thumbs up. It’s not at all what I expected, it’s LOTS better. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Am I clear enough?
In the meantime, here’s the original A Trip to the Moon in it’s entirety: