"Polar Express" - Save Your Money; Times

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Gilbert B Norman
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"Polar Express" - Save Your Money; Times

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

It appears that The New York Times thinks this is a "save your money'. I guess it will be on the movie channels next year.

Tom Hanks, be his capacity either that of actor or producer, has been involved with some superlative material; cases in point; "Band of Brothers', "Philadelphia", "Forest Gump", "Castaway", even "Catch me if you Can". But, if The Times' opinion is to be considered, this production will not be one of them.

A "brief passage":

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, who wrote the film with William Broyles Jr., "The Polar Express" is a grave and disappointing failure, as much of imagination as of technology.

The "full Monty":

http://movies2.nytimes.com/2004/11/10/m ... 0pola.html
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:08 am, edited 4 times in total.

Rhinecliff
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Post by Rhinecliff »

I'll be in a better position to comment after the weekend. I plan to take the little one to see it this Saturday. Also, we look forward to taking in the real Polar Bear Express on December 5 as offered by the Adirondak Scenic Railroad.

Gilbert B Norman
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WSJ as Well

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

It appears the Wall Street Journal also thinks this is a "Thanksgiving Turkey":

"Brief Passage' from a review today:

"The Polar Express," an animated feature starring Tom Hanks and directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a train wreck of mind-numbing proportions. This big-and-bigger-screen version of the children's book by Chris Van Allsburg (it's also being released in IMAX) is emotionally inert, visually unsettling when it isn't flat-out creepy, and dramatically -- well, there is no dramatically, because there's essentially no story or character development, notwithstanding frenzied musical numbers, manufactured crises, multiple roller-coaster rides (OK, that's the video game, but where's the movie?) and several would-be-smash endings that rise to Christmas-crushing levels of false jubilation. The only thing to be said in the film's favor is that it functions, at least for grownups, as a sort of life-extension program, making 97 minutes feel like three hours...

And the "full Monty" should you have access to the subscription site:
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1100 ... Fonly%5Fhs
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

RMadisonWI

Post by RMadisonWI »

To (sorta) tie this in with Amtrak, apparently (other forums have mentioned this, I didn't see it) Tom Hanks was on David Letterman's show promoting the movie.

I guess Hanks asked Letterman if he had ever been on a train trip. Letterman said, "in America?"

Hanks responded (paraphrasing) "No, in Europe. I don't think they have trains here."

fairlane57

Post by fairlane57 »

Figure that David Letterman left his career as a weatherman on news stations in Indiana to go into the protected celebrity cocoon of being shuttled between his New York City and his home in an exclusive part of Ct. in a limo paid by CBS and NBC, or traveling by corporate jet to Burbank, Ca.

nick11a
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Post by nick11a »

Personally, I'm looking forward to it.
~Nick O.: Moderator: NJT Rail

Moderator of the "widely popular" NJT Rail Forum! What once was first is now seventh!

Gilbert B Norman
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Post by Gilbert B Norman »

It will hardly be a first within the artistic community to have a production panned by critics to be a box office success.

I only reporteth what I learneth.

There is a Member over at another board (OK, they get a plug this time: trainorders) that has prepared his own well written review of the film. His impression was quite favorable.

Enjoy.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

John_Perkowski
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Post by John_Perkowski »

The Times and the Journal both panned it.

Now, we'll see about the 6-16 crowd.

John Perkowski

metrarider

Post by metrarider »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:It will hardly be a first within the artistic community to have a production panned by critics to be a box office success.

I only reporteth what I learneth.

There isa Member over at another board (OK, they get a plug this time: trainorders) that had prepared his own well written review of the film. His impression was quite favorable.

Enjoy.
Yes, but trainbufs are more likely to enjoy this movie than the general public. Railfans do not make a box office sucess.. We shall see.

Aa3rt
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Post by Aa3rt »

The movie reviewer for the NBC affiliate in Washington, DC (WRC-4), Arch Campbell, has given the movie four stars, out of a possible five.

You can read his one paragraph review at:

http://www.nbc4.com/archonthearts/3905854/detail.html

This sounds suspiciously like one of those "book reports" from fifth grade where the only reading the student did was on the dust jacket. :wink:
Art Audley, AA3RT
Moderator: Railroad Radio & Communications, Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV and other Media, General Discussion: Fallen Trolley & Interurban Lines, General Discussion: Shortline, Industrial & Military Railroads,

LCJ

Post by LCJ »

Um, maybe I'm missing something here -- but I was under the impression that this was a children's fantasy type of book/movie?

Ebert & Roeper predict this will be an enduring classic like "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Miracle on 34th St."

http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertan ... today.html

We went to the theater last evening to see "Ray," and the place was mobbed with little tykes there to see Polar Exp.

Aa3rt
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Post by Aa3rt »

I only meant to imply that Mr. Campbell's brief review made me wonder if he'd actually seen the movie. I'm not forming an opinion one way or the other until I've seen if for myself.
Art Audley, AA3RT
Moderator: Railroad Radio & Communications, Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV and other Media, General Discussion: Fallen Trolley & Interurban Lines, General Discussion: Shortline, Industrial & Military Railroads,

scannergeek

Post by scannergeek »

My mom and I are going, but only to see the computer animation. I think (and thought at a young age) that the plot was cheesy.

As a railfan, I'm sure my eyes will be rolling so hard you could hook a generator up to them and power a house. A train skidding on a frozen lake? Pleeeeeese.

However, I am really looking forward to seeing the computer animation!

Guest

Post by Guest »

I saw The Polar Express on opening day. I liked it. My daughter liked it. I might go see it again, maybe in White Plains, where it's in IMAX 3D.

I suspect most railfans will not like the movie. They'll be looking at all the impossible things that happen, and complain about them. e.g., how they steer the train on the ice, how the snow doesn't blow off the top of the train, or the 179 degree downgrade (think about it).

Most of the published complaints involve the look of the characters. The reviewers say the characters don't look real. Well, they're not supposed to look real! They're supposed to look like an oil painting.

And as far as the NY Times reviewer is concerned, in my opinion he has severe psychological problems and should seek medical help.

Bob

arnstg
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Post by arnstg »

Took the Daughter-in-law and 8 year old Grandson to see the movie today.

The Daughter -in-Law and I agree that it took about 20-25 minutes for us to really get into the movie. After you take the movie for what it is,we agreed that it was enjoyable.I"m a sentimental fool and a little tear came down when the boy finds a silver bell under the tree.

In the end, there was only one vote that counted. My Grandson gave it
4 out of 5 stars.

Could find from RR standpoint 3 things that caught my eye.


1. Train usually had 5 cars. However, I think I caught once with only 4 cars. Also, caught it going up the mountain with 10+ cars.

2. No diaphragms between cars.

3. The worst was the children chasing the moving train to get on. The Daughter-in-Law and I both immediately turned to my Grandson and told him to NEVER try this.


On the whole , I recommend this movie.

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