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The BEASTies: Hugo




So it’s that time of year when, in some kind of weird masochistic fit I’m not ready to explore with a professional psychologist just yet, we look over the movies all the experts agree are the best ones made over the past year. This year’s crop of picks looks especially bad and I’m dreading the decision to revisit this strange and inexplicable compulsion of mine already. So here we go.


0-13:00 We are introduced to two characters. One is a creepy child named Hugo who takes voyeuristic pictures of people in the fitting rooms at a large department store from his secret base inside the store’s clock. He is caught looting – mostly because he sucks at looting – and the dude who catches him finds the nekkid pictures of strangers on his iPhone. “Say, you don’t happen to be a BOY GENIUS, hmm?” Hugo doesn’t understand the question, so at least that’s settled.

Hugo is retarded.

The other character is a cop who is walking around a subway station when he suddenly suffers from an attack of his Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Since he can’t find a toilet, he just starts beating the shit out of everyone around him. A group of crust punks run into him and shackle him to a moving train while yelling “OFF THE PIG!” Ironically, they didn’t know he was actually a police officer, having mistaken him for yet another character from Da Ali G Show.

13:00-30:00 The shopkeeper plans to burn Hugo’s iPhone to protest FoxConn’s brutal labor practices [UPDATE: RELEVANT]. Hugo tries to force his granddaughter Isabelle to stop him by blackmailing her, but it doesn’t work because Hugo also sucks at blackmail. Later, he stares at the broken psychic robot his father left him.

30:00-45:00 Hugo is assigned to work for the shopkeeper under President Gingrich’s Even More Modest Proposal Program where poor kids are made to work for free for Job Creators until they’re exhausted, then we get to eat them. Isabelle and Hugo go to the movies and talk about movies, because that’s the sort of thing we love to see… in a movie.

How I feel watching Hugo

45:00-60:00 Isabelle and Hugo hold a seance for Hugo’s dead father with the broken psychic robot. They’re impressed at first, but then the two kids figure out the robot was just doing cold reading. Hugo’s schizophrenia flares up and now he’s obsessed with finding out What It All Means. They snoop around Isabelle’s apartment to look for either “clues” or the warantless wiretaps Hugo is now convinced the CIA planted in the walls.

60:00-75:00 The cop from earlier miraculously survived and started babbling incoherently to a florist and the kids read about movies. The book explores such questions as why Martin Scorsese makes movies that suck. You know, like how it’s even worse than a bad Jerry Bruckheimer movie because at least we know Scorsese is capable of making great films.

No, this is how I feel watching Hugo

75:00-90:00 Hugo rehashes some of Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven™ pseudophilosophy and asks Isabelle to accept Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Then they manage to find someone who once used to like Martin Scorsese movies and bring him to the shopkeeper’s house.

90:00-105:00 OMG the shopkeeper is secretly a movie director. This means it’s OK that he made Hugo a slave because it’s cool to do that when you’re artistic and sensitive. BRB Ima go force some neighborhood kids to shovel the driveway for free. Then he tells one of those rambling, boring stories old people tell that go nowhere. A Rambling, Boring Story An Old Person Tells That Goes Nowhere would be a good subtitle for Hugo.

105:00-120:00 Officer Bruno finally arrests Hugo for being a Peeping Tom and locks him in a cage until the shuttlebus arrives to take him to Gitmo. The shopkeeper shows up and tells the cop “The child belongs to me.” I didn’t even make that quote up. Then Scorsese slaps a scene on the end of him winning an Oscar, because hopefully it won’t happen for this movie in real life.


Well, that movie taught me a lot. Like how many people living in early 20th century Paris spoke English with British accents. And… uh… Yeah! Join us for one of the thirty or forty movies nominated next time.


Check out similar reviews for The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse.

Or check out last year’s BEASTies: Toy Story 3,  Winter’s BoneThe Social NetworkThe Kids Are All RightInception127 Hours / Black SwanTrue Grit, The King’s Speech, and The Fighter.

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