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Martin Scorsese winds up 'Hugo' [Trailer]

July 15, 2011 |  6:32 pm

There are a number of things to like, but nothing to really swoon for, in the new "Hugo" trailer, which offers a first look at Martin Scorsese's foray into 3-D family adventure.

The story of two children (Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz) taking on a cruel world seems touching but a tad familiar. The visuals have the right dose of whimsy but aren't breathtaking (to be fair, it's hard to completely judge them on a computer monitor). And while the combination of Scorsese's vision and Brian Selznick's eye-poppingly designed source material "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" could well yield something groundbreaking, there's not yet evidence of that here.

Playing behind it all are the sweeping verses of the 30 Second to Mars song "King and Queens," which give the scenes a gentle uplift, if not something more powerful.

Scorsese's movie tells of an orphan living in a train station who must decipher a mystery involving his late father and wind-up toys, while also being pursued by a bumbling inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen). There's always the fear that  material like this could dilute or alter what makes a director like Scorsese interesting in the first place, and the trailer doesn't blow those fears away. Then again, gritty and visionary types have successfully gone the endearing route before--think David Lynch and "The Straight Story"--so there's reason for hope. The movie opens Nov. 23.


--Steven Zeitchik