Not two weeks after I read Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I see a TV trailer for Hugo, a Martin Scorsese adaptation. According to the official movie website, the film will be released November 23rd. Sure, I’ve been feeling Harry Potter withdrawal now that the WB adaptations are done, and it would be nice to feel that excitement again for an upcoming movie (especially a book-based one), but I’m already feeling doubts about Hugo.
This is the longer theatrical trailer:
EDIT 12/8/11 – Whoops! The video is no longer available 😦
First, why don’t they use the book’s full title? The abbreviated version sounds too cutesy and gimmicky. Is Hugo supposed to sound catchier than The Invention of Hugo Cabret? Is this an attempt to mimic other recent one-word titles (Tangled, Megamind, Up…)? Personally, I think the simplified title loses the impact of the original, which emphasized both the central character and the mysterious machine.
Second, the story is supposed to take place in Paris. Yet, the movie’s Hugo and Isabelle, Papa Georges and Mama Jeanne, even the Inspector, speak with British accents. It’s too much of a disconnect.
Third, I hope that any tweaks they make to Selznick’s plot aren’t just gratuitous attempts at comedy or excitement (why is Hugo hanging on for dear life to that giant outside-facing clock?).
In any case, though, the first few seconds of excitement (“Hey, I just read that!”) evaporated by the end of that first TV trailer, and whether or not I see the movie is a toss-up. Who knows, maybe my cynicism will prove ill-founded?