Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Polar Express? Well It Had a Great Cast & Crew Party At Least

I was invited to the premiere party/screening of The Polar Express, and since scheduling did not allow me to attend the celebration of my movie, Spider-man 2, I figured they owed me a great party.

The party was fabulous. However, the movie is a bunch of great sets, snow, train noise, and unblinking humanoid-like things moving around. Far too many of them that are acted, or I should say, read aloud and pantomimed by, Tom Hanks. Story-wise, there isn't much. A boy, who can't blink and who seems to have suffered from a bad botox treatment, wakes up and reluctantly (?) jumps onto a train full of really weird kids going to the North Pole. There he meets a black girl with malformed lips, a boy with glasses who sounds just like Eugene from Grease, and a poor boy who sings about Christmas in a fairly syrupy way.

Because riding a train is not much of a story, there's the onflict of losing a ticket, arbitrarily being on the top of the locomotive when not necessary, some obstacles like ice, caribou, and two incompetent engineer weirdos losing control of the train. There's a creepy hobo (Tom Hanks) who I guess is supposed to be an angel to save passengers from falling off this vehicular safety hazard, but why? He tells our boy to believe what he sees. We eventually arrive at the North Pole to discover Santa's Village is a largely abandoned Dickens-like factory with (I kid you not) Christmas Muzak, conveyor belts ripped straight out of Toy Story II (and Monster's Inc), a creepy Brazil-like control room, and a town square full of elves that looked at home in City of Lost Children. The unnamed "hero boy" decides he believes in Santa just moments before he steps up to him (this, despite being surrounded by elves and having gone through Santa's workshop). Yay. That's enough for him to beat out the black girl and the poor boy for the chance to ride Santa's sleigh. And for us to witness the horrific site of Steve Tyler (as elf) riding a unicycle.

It would seem the only way to tolerate this movie is via the 3-D IMAX version, but I'm just not up for it again.

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posted by Brian at 1:15 PM 0 comments links to this post