Friday, July 15, 2011


I love movies. Since time began (well, nearly) summer has been a time of movies, and I have many sepia-toned memories of childhood that begin with parting heavy, velvet drapes and making my way to my seat in the darkness clutching a box of Raisinets. Or memories of drive-in movies---that's a summer experience we will have to explain to subsequent generations ("Yes, you watched the movie in your car!") but that's another summer movie memory. Cast your memory back. Adjust the speaker on your car window. Twilight descends and suddenly Woody Woodpecker pops up on a giant screen towering over your Ford. Remember? How about double bills with a corny advert sandwiched in between features extolling the virtues of the snack bar, watered-down soft drinks and warm wienies rotating under a heat lamp?

That's all gone now. Nowadays summer releases are screened in cinderblock bunkers, multi-screen megaplexes at the mall, and the movies tend to be silly teen comedies, blockbuster adventures, animated kid stuff and lightweight rom-coms. Popcorn movies. (They save the serious Oscar contenders for the holiday season). Summertime is when all those comic books they've turned into movies, and all those sequels flood the multiplexes and squeeze out those hard-earned allowances across the land.

There are only a couple of these summer movies we want to see this year. One is "Cowboys and Aliens" (The title says it all). Another movie that would have been released in the summer if not for the big name attached to it is "Hugo," with Martin Scorsese directing. "Hugo" sounds like a real departure for Marty. The film is being shot in 3D, for one thing. We're really not sure what it's about, but this synopsis is from the press packet:

Hugo tells the story of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. With the help of an eccentric girl, he searches for the answer to a mystery linking the father he recently lost, the ill-tempered toy shop owner living below him and a heart shaped lock, seemingly without a key. Based on Brian Selznick’s award winning and imaginative New York Times bestseller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this magical tale is Academy Award(R)-winner Martin Scorsese’s first film shot in 3D.

Okay, so now we know. It doesn't matter. They had us with "Scorsese."

"Hugo" opens November 23, and stars Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Ray Winstone and Christopher Lee.

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