THE POLAR EXPRESS

polarexpressx.jpgMo-CrapThis isn’t so much a review than it is a rant.I saw THE POLAR EXPRESS today, and my immediate take is: It’s awful. The INCREDIBLES is so much better a film in every way, I can’t wait to see it a third time. It’s like a new song that get’s stuck in your head and you just have to hear it again.Not so THE POLAR EXPRESS. It never grabbed me. I waited. I gave it chance. But I just couldn’t get past those fake looking “people”: the kids, the conductor, the elves. It’s funny, all the artificial enviroments – props, the train – all of that looked photo real. All of the things that were real (the mo-cap actors) looked fake.As I was watching the film, I kept thinking about how this could have worked for me – and I came up with two solutions. The first, I would’ve placed real actors in a CG world (ala SKY CAPTAIN). It might’ve been a truly breathtaking adventure that way. My other idea would have been to have the opening five minutes and closing five minutes shot on real sets with real actors, in live action. The real boy goes to sleep at the begining and wakes up at the end. The film is his dream – they say so several times in the film, as is. The CG/mo-cap would’ve worked for me as a visualization of a dream.Some people won’t have a problem with this film. People in my audience, when it was over, were talking about how much they loved it. I may be in the minority here – but I thought the whole thing was a waste of major talent. Tom Hanks is a great actor, Zemeckis has made many films I really admire, Sony Imageworks can do amazing work – but this is an experiment gone terribly wrong. Don’t waste your time.