Jump to content

The Polar Express


Recommended Posts

Am I the only one watching the 'Polar Express' preview who has found the eyes of the characters in this film to be rather soulless and creepy?

The Uncanny Valley, or why POLAR EXPRESS is so creepy

An interesting, if somewhat crass article. I actually came across this concept of "The Uncanny Valley" earlier - it might have been on this forum, actually, though I found no reference to it with the search engine - in regards to Pixar's films, I believe.

This chasm - the uncanny valley of Doctor Mori's thesis - represents the point at which a person observing the creature or object in question sees something that is nearly human, but just enough off-kilter to seem eerie or disquieting. The first peak, moreover, is where that same individual would see something that is human enough to arouse some empathy, yet at the same time is clearly enough not human to avoid the sense of wrongness. The slope leading up to this first peak is a province of relative emotional detachment - affection, perhaps, but rarely more than that.
Edited by opus

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Remind me, which "usual Christmas movies" have been characterized by "mindless jolliness" lately?

Isn't this really the perfect definition for Bad Santa?

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, here's one more reason why it might be a good thing if they never make a third Toy Story movie -- it seems Tom Hanks movies always underperform when he teams up with a director for the third time. Earlier this year, there was The Terminal (directed by Steven Spielberg, who had worked with Hanks on Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can), and now, The Polar Express (directed by Robert Zemeckis, who had worked with Hanks on Forrest Gump and Cast Away) was able to scrape up only $23.5 million -- less than half of what The Incredibles made this weekend, and a pittance considering the film's rumoured $170 million production costs and $100 million marketing costs.

Suffice to say Tom Hanks should probably NOT team up a third time with Ron Howard (who directed him in Splash and Apollo 13) or Penny Marshall (who directed him in Big and A League of Their Own) or Nora Ephron (who directed him in Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Small spoilers1.gif alert.......

Caught POLAR EXPRESS this weekend with my 8-year-old. He was completely engaged throughout (and even needed to hide his face during a couple of the more intense "rollercoaster" scenes - he doesn't like rollercoasters...) He liked the Hot Chocolate song and the When Christmas Comes to Town song. (I like that one too.) There is some clammer in my family to go see it again. It will at least be a rental some day.

The "have faith in a fiction" aspect was present, though not a bad as I was expecting. I like a good Santa Claus story, but have trouble with ones that go out of their way to make belief in Santa a sacred thing.

Some of the visuals were eye-popping. A beautiful film to look at. Any scene where the train itself is the focus was a sight to behold. I agree with some who say the characters faces still seem too wooden or stiff. It would have perhaps been better if they had gone with a more animated approach, such as the Princess Fiona character in the Shrek films.

Three items at the end of the film had the affect of reducing the overall impact of the story for me:

(1) The rock star cameo

(2) The "It doesn't matter where the train is going, what matters is deciding to get on" quote. For one thing, that sentiment did not seem to be the "theme" of the story, or the journey, so why was it put at this important point as if it WAS the theme? And as others have pointed out - as it is worded, it's a lousy sentiment. It most certainly DOES matter where the train is going, and even in the context of the movie, it mattered where the train was going.

(3) Having a note from "Mr. C." in the Christmas present containing the bell. This may have been part of the original book - I've not read it. But to my mind, the ending would have more impact if it had been just the bell in the box, with no note. Especially since they just re-established the ripping of the pocket on the robe as the boy got out of bed to come downstairs

B

Edited by Bill Moore
Link to post
Share on other sites
The rock star cameo

spoilers1.gif (sorta, kinda)

THAT'S the "in-joke" I was referring to in my review. I was thunderstruck that, after such admirable restraint, Zemeckis suddenly let Stephen Tyler into his Christmas movie.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: I was thunderstruck that, after such admirable restraint, Zemeckis suddenly let

: Stephen Tyler into his Christmas movie.

Well, if daughter Liv gets to play an elf in the Lord of the Rings movies, then I guess papa Steve had to be allowed to play one too!

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't complain too loudly, but when people on the board --including the administrator! eek.gif--repeat spoiler information, aren't they supposed to add a "Spoilers" tag before their own posts?

It's too late for me to be surprised by the rock-star cameo; cryss.gif I can only hope others are spared. smile.gif

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno, given that a number of newspaper articles have referred to the Tyler cameo as well, I don't think THAT'S a particularly big spoiler.

Well, except, of course, for the fact that it "spoils" the FILM for some people. smile.gif

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno. I

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize you're joking, Christian, but maybe I should have included a spoiler warning. But it doesn't spoil ANYTHING about the plot. It's such an insignificant, throwaway moment ... which is precisely why it struck me as such an odd and jarring moment in that film.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I the only one watching the 'Polar Express' preview who has found the eyes of the characters in this film to be rather soulless and creepy?

David Sterritt does, too. From his Christian Science Monitor review:

"It's hard to figure out why the filmmakers would spend enormous amounts of time and money to turn the genuine Tom Hanks into an animated Tom Hanks, but at least they've done a good job with him and the rest of the cast - except for the characters' eyes, which have an unreal look that's almost creepy at times."

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm still waiting for release here but my warm feelings towards The Polar Express are beginning to cool considerably. It's all Tom Hanks' fault. Speaking at the London premiere:

Hanks said that the new film has an "elegant message".

"Christmas is a special time of the year and you get out of it what you put into it," added the two-time Academy Award winner.

Hanks was greeted with festive scenes at the premiere

"I believe in the spirit of Christmas and I think that's embodied in Santa Claus," he said.

So there you have it. Santa really is bigger than Jesus...

Phil.

"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another hilarious story from the folks at Dateline: Hollywood...

http://www.datelinehollywood.com/showarticle.php?articleID=337' target='_blank'>THOUSANDS OF CONFUSED, EAGER CHILDREN BOARD AMTRAK TRAINS AFTER WATCHING

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

laugh.gif I couldn't resist sending this to my brother-in-law, who forwarded Charles Colson's take on the Polar Express to the DH and me the other day. Colson, like Tom Hanks, seems to read Santa Claus as a metaphor for God and/or Christ:

for Christians, this film can also be seen as a homecoming story, a tale about a return to untainted belief....[As] the conductor later remarks to the boy,

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Here's an interesting discovery. I was looking at this past weekends box office returns (Nov 26 - 29th), and noticed that The Polar Express had a 23% increase in ticket sales, as compared to the previous weekend. There wasn't any increase in theatres. Perhaps this movie will end up playing better than previous weeks indicated, as Christmas draws near. If you look at the 5 day Thanksgiving holiday weekend gross (Nov 24th - 29th), The Polar Express numbers are 69% higher than the previous weekend. The Incredibles and National Treasure had 24% and 30% increases, but these numbers become negatives (-11% and -8.5%) when looking at the 3 day weekend gross. Only The Polar Express maintained an overall increase in revenue.

I can't think of another film that has had this kind of increase in revenue, that played in 1000 plus theatres... not counting films that first opened in a limited amount of theatres and then went into wide release. Perhaps Titanic did.

I don't know... Peter seems to be the person to go to when it comes to box office numbers. Have you seen a situation similar to this?

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: Have you seen a situation similar to this?

I haven't looked at American Thanksgiving-style long weekends with that kind of scrutiny, no.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been away from this place for a while...new job, new life...but had to chime in on the discussion.

I've seen this film in IMAX 3D...TWICE! This is one of the more memorable movie experiences I've had in my life. I forsee me telling the grandkids about seeing this film when I'm old and gray and heading down the hill...

I have no problem with the message of the film. There is indeed a Christmas spirit that emodies American culture each year. For us as believers, Jesus Christ is the main (and, yes, proper) focus of Christmas. For others, it's all about the gifts. For others, it's a time for love, hope and reaffirming faith. For me, the film reinforces the latter. I can't find much fault with that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Baal_T'shuvah wrote:

: Perhaps this movie will end up playing better than previous weeks indicated, as

: Christmas draws near.

Yeah, it seems reports of this film's demise may have been premature. At the rate it's going, it'll cross the coveted $100 million mark today, its 30th day of release.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

If PE is an evangelical film, I don't like it as such. From something I wrote but never posted online, at least in full:

A common New Testament dictionary definition of

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with utz on this one - I loved it, and am eager to return for a second helping - maybe tomorrow. Visually extraordinary, for one thing. The frisson between Santa Faith and Jesus Faith I find intriguing, not off-putting, so that whole stream of discussion here seems to me pretty much beside the point. (Definite kudos, though, to DH and his Auschwizt jibe).

Seems to me we all reach a point in life - well, several points, probably, but certainly this is something that tends to come up as we're rounding the corner into adulthood - where we find ourselves wrestling with disenchantment. The "magic" goes out of Christmas, we find out...

spoilers1.gif

...there's no Easter bunny...

...and we question all the weird stuff we heard in Sunday school. Some of us are lucky enough to let go a whole lot of security blanket beliefs we've latched onto in childhood while holding onto other grand improbabilities, and retaining (or rediscovering) a certain childlike capacity for wonder. I see this as a film about that passage out of naive childhood into adult childhood (as opposed to cynical adulthood). Lewis messes around with this sort of thing in characters like Edmund in "Wardrobe" or Eustace in "Dawn Treader" - or with the wilting of Susan's faith that's mentioned in the later Narnia books.

The film's a little scary, a little creepy! Well I say, God bless it! Fear is close to wonder: the best non-Jesus Christmas story is, after all, a ghost story. And if we're not willing to venture out of what's sweet and comforting, I don't think we're likely to get anywhere near awe or joy.

Somebody found the vintage Christmas songs played through distant speakers at the North Pole eerie. I found them extraordinarily lovely and evocative: they pulled at me with a strange sort of beauty. There was a blend of loneliness and comfort there that I found haunting and reassuring both at the same time. So much so that I checked out the song listings at IMDb when I got home, and downloaded as many as I could from iTunes - providing me with a wonderful shock, and a reminder that people weren't always so Either/Or about Christmas, with the Christians righteously rallied under the Birth Of Christ banner and the consumerist Army Of Commerce marching behind a mercenary Santa Claus. Check out the original lyrics to that hymn to Santaism that I've never had much time for. I'd previously picked up on the "hang your stocking and say your prayers 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight" bit, but didn't see the prayer reference as anything more than some idea that kids would be pleading with God to get their chosen consumer item. But as far as I know, these lines have been excised in recent years; at least they were new to me;

"He doesn't care if you're rich or poor he loves you just the same

Santa Claus knows we're all God's children, that makes everything right

So fill your hearts with Christmas cheer cause Santa Claus comes tonight."

And then the real kicker;

"Peace on earth will come to all if we just follow the light

So let's give thanks to the Lord above 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight..."

Sure, it's a clumsy mix of Santaism and Christianity. But personally, I delight in that kind of awkward dance of sacred and secular, tacky and true - all year round, and especially at Christmas, when it's all carried to a wonderful extreme. Flesh and spirit, silly and sublime, humanity and divinity - bring it on!

I'm a sucker for Christmas, I'm a sucker for the power of gift-giving and gift-receiving, and I'm a real sucker for stories about what I'm going to loosely refer to as "vocation" - about people living out a life that honours the way God has made them. About people being given particular gifts and then being called on to use them. It's there in the Narnia stories - a sewing machine and a sluice gate, a bow and a quiver full of arrows, an ivory horn, a sword and shield, a cordial "made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun." (Apparently even a confirmed old bachelor like Jack Lewis had room for Father Christmas in his battle against the White Witch). Tolkien has almost precisely the same sorts of gifts being endowed to people, mostly by the elves, and the same theme resonates throughout his whole magnificent story, as various characters grow into the fullness of their character, giftedness, calling - Strider assumes kingship, Gandalf Greybeard becomes Gandalf The White (in contrary motion to Saruman, who betrays his calling), Eowyn proves herself a warrior in the image of her father (who proves himself worthy of his lineage), Sam the gardener and the other hobbits in their own ways become Heroes - indeed, it's a story all about the inner gifts of character being uncovered through necessity and sacrifice. I'm just back from THE INCREDIBLES, and it too is all about calling: the cost of calling denied or evaded, the life-giving power of calling restored, the inevitability of calling - "it's in your blood."

And at that level, I was really shaken up by THE POLAR EXPRESS. When the conductor punched those tickets at the end of the ride, an affirmation of what had emerged on the journey and a reminder, a gentle prodding, a call to carry those thing forward into their adult lives, I felt the power of naming the strengths that had been called out in these children (and the weaknesses that had been challenged) as something, yes, sacred.

There's something divine about recognizing that each of us bears some part of the image and likeness of God, and that we can be transformed further into his likeness by discovering those gifts, using them to bless. That we really do need each other, because each has some gift that will serve The Fellowship at some needed time. It may be celebrated at the coronation of the king, it may be punched into our ticket at the end of a wintry journey, it may be given to us by Father Christmas on a snowy night in Narnia and someday turn the tide of battle or save the life of our brother. The Wise Men brought gifts to the infant Jesus, gifts that proved prophetic about the role he was to play in human history, a destiny he would grow into - it was in his blood.

There's something essentially Christmas in these stories of gifts, in these stories of journeys and new life - birth and rebirth. Ebenezer Scrooge visits the scenes of his life and, eventually, wakes up a changed man. George Bailey is given a vision of what the world would have been like without his quiet, hobbit-like presence in the world - he sees how the way he was made, and the quiet way he lived that out for his friends and family, preserved a community - he sees, and he is transformed.

LORD OF THE RINGS has acquired a Christmas connection because of the timing of the films' advent on movie screens, but that Christmas connection will last for deeper reasons. THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE has Christmas at its heart, and when it opens next December that connection will deepen and carry over into the Narnia stories that follow. In so many ways they share essential things with A CHRISTMAS CAROL and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and so they join a kind of Christmas Canon, stories about magic and wonder, ghosts and angels, gifts and destiny, new birth and fresh starts, stories about gifts given and gifts received. A canon which I believe THE POLAR EXPRESS will be joining.

If not at your house, certainly at mine.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

Link to post
Share on other sites

SDG wrote:

: As if the drama of church history were the story of five bishops who bear the title

: of patriarch!

Oh, heck, why go back only THAT far? As you know, the model of Petrine submission to the conciliarity of the church goes all the way back to the Council of Jerusalem, as per Acts 15. And let's not forget how Paul chewed out that "chief steward" of yours, and ultimately successfully at that, when the steward erred, as per Galatians 2.

But now we're REALLY off-topic. My apologies!

Ron wrote:

: Visually extraordinary, for one thing.

More show-offy than extraordinary, I thought. E.g., that bit with the ticket flying through the forest was definite padding, and all too reminiscent of the leaf in Zemeckis's Forrest Gump. And then there are the roller-coaster rides -- fine if you're just looking for an IMAX 3-D theme-park ride, but just more padding in any other context. This film would have been more effective (and, for whatever it's worth, it would have been truer to the book) if it had been a short film.

Come to think of it, I am reminded of that early-'80s animated film The Snowman that a friend at church loaned me a few weeks back. It's about half an hour, and it's cute and lovely and covers similar ground to The Polar Express -- a boy wakes up in the middle of the night and visits Santa and whatnot, etc. But The Snowman doesn't try to overwhelm the viewer with the full might of its technological prowess, and it expresses just as much wonder about the natural world as it does about the supernatural (the boy shows off his home to the snowman, before the snowman takes him out flying over the snowy fields), and it is exactly as long as it needs to be -- it doesn't feel the need to pad itself out to feature length.

And I am also reminded of what an awful, awful travesty the Ron Howard / Jim Carrey version of The Grinch was, much (though not all) of which can be attributed to the fact that they tried to puff a short film up to feature length. The Polar Express falls into that same hole -- though it is nowhere near as tacky and tawdry as Howard's film.

: Some of us are lucky enough to let go a whole lot of security blanket beliefs

: we've latched onto in childhood while holding onto other grand improbabilities,

: and retaining (or rediscovering) a certain childlike capacity for wonder.

I honestly cannot think of any "security blanket beliefs" that I ever had to give up, whether we're talking about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, so the confusion between those beliefs and the stuff they teach in Sunday School was never an issue for me. I do remember believing that Lee Majors really had bionic implants, simply because I had seen them on TV and of course the camera never lies, but once I realized how special effects work, it was no biggie.

: The film's a little scary, a little creepy! Well I say, God bless it! Fear is close to

: wonder: the best non-Jesus Christmas story is, after all, a ghost story.

And the best Jesus Christmas story is a bloodbath -- lest we forget one Herod the Great! wink.gif

Ron, I find it interesting that you spend most of your defense of this film writing about OTHER films'n'things. In other threads, you have said that people who review a film should cite "specifics", so I am wondering how many specific things you find praiseworthy in this film, and whether you think any of the specifics-oriented criticisms of the film have merit?

FWIW, I still stand by my "bait-and-switch" interpretation of the film -- the way in which the early scenes evoke the disillusionment of growing up are TOO real, TOO grounded in the way things really are, that it just seems wrong to snap right around and peddle more of that candy-cane fluff as though it somehow answered the issues raised by those early scenes.

Alan Thomas wrote:

: I have moved STEVE and PETER's BICKERING . . .

Methinks you moved a couple posts too many. My initial response to your claim about the church ignoring the birth of Christ liturgically actually included a very on-topic comment or two.

: Major tangent, boys. Next time take it outside.

Or learn not to take winkies so seriously (this is directed more at SDG than at Alan, but...).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ron wrote:

: Visually extraordinary, for one thing.

Peter replied:

More show-offy than extraordinary, I thought.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron wrote:

: So you never believed in any of them, or you still believe in all?

Never believed in any of them. Had fun playing them with my parents, though. With those characters, I think it is better for children to make-believe than to believe.

: I wasn't so much defending the film as celebrating it, and writing down whatever

: came to mind. I didn't really see a need to defend it - in fact, I have rather an

: aversion to argument.

And I say critical analysis is nothing BUT argument! smile.gif (In the Monty-Python-"I-came-to-buy-an-argument"-sketch meaning of the word, that is.)

Anyway, I used the word "defend" because you WERE responding to other people's negative responses to the film, and that seems to fit the definition of the word.

: I loved the characterization of the conductor, rather officious and pleased with

: himself - I love the flourishes with which he punches the tickets, for example -

: but mostly pleased with the doing of the job, and under the "by the book" crust,

: the sweet affection for the children (reminds me of Mary Poppins).

Interesting comparison. (I just watched the 40th-anniversary Mary Poppins DVD yesterday, BTW, so that character is pretty vivid to me right now.)

: The hot chocolate sequence was so lively, such a great tension between chaos

: and choreography, wildness and order.

Hmmm. This musical number felt like padding to me, too. My gut reaction was I didn't like it, but on hearing the song again in other theatres (piped in over the theatre's "radio" while waiting for other movies to start), my resistance to it has lessened somewhat.

: I loved the details about how trains work, the sensual details of coal and steam

: and brakes and all that good railroad stuff, and the immensity and power of the

: thing that was rendered so convincingly with the sound effects and scope of the

: images - there's real romance there.

That much is true. And it's one of the reasons I think I could have enjoyed a SHORT film based on this book more.

: (So you know that love isn't completely blind, I'll acknowledge that I found the

: two engineers too cartoony - an error in tone.)

Hmmm, I don't even remember those characters!

: I appreciated details like the four points of the compass all reading "S".

Ha! Missed that one.

: I may get round to those, but not just yet. Why would I want to erode the charm

: of the film by entering into a blow-by-blow consideration of its weaknesses?

Well, for me, the weaknesses eroded the charm all by themselves!

: I've not heard you elucidate the weaknesses of THE FAMILY WAY, now, have I?

I could certainly do that if you WANT me to! (But not on this thread, of course.) But since that film is so obscure, I tend to focus my efforts just on getting people to SEE the darn thing. Suffice to say there is no such factor with THIS film!

: Would you eagerly enter a pros-and-cons assessement of your fiance's

: character?

I think it is better to be conscious of those pros and cons than unconscious of them, yes, but given the highly personal nature of that relationship (as opposed to the rather public relationship between this film and its audience), I would be more selective in who I discussed those with.

: : . . . the way in which the early scenes evoke the disillusionment of growing up

: : are TOO real, TOO grounded in the way things really are, that it just seems

: : wrong to snap right around and peddle more of that candy-cane fluff as though

: : it somehow answered the issues raised by those early scenes.

:

: I know what you're saying. I thought about that tension, as well. But it seems to

: me that the children didn't get sent back home merely with a "summon up belief

: in Santa and everything will work out - AND you'll get swell presents" message . . .

Maybe not, but then, those other children are simply supporting characters. It is the main protagonist who has the doubts, and HE gets sent home with a magical bell, etc.

Or were ALL those children supposed to be doubters? Does the Polar Express only show up at the doors of doubting kids? If so, that aspect of the story went right over my head.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
SDG wrote:

: As if the drama of church history were the story of five bishops who bear the title

: of patriarch!

Oh, heck, why go back only THAT far?  As you know, the model of Petrine submission to the conciliarity of the church goes all the way back to the Council of Jerusalem, as per Acts 15.  And let's not forget how Paul chewed out that "chief steward" of yours, and ultimately successfully at that, when the steward erred, as per Galatians 2.

My reply.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...