Author Topic: Polar Express  (Read 1327 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Polar Express
« on: December 30, 2011, 11:29:06 AM »
This xmas my mom put in one of her new favorite xmas movies - Polar Express

It was my second time watching and I had forgotten all the things I hated about it the first time through.  There are roughly three of them.

The first is the art.  While it is a generally well rendered bit of 3D animation, none of the characters look alive.  They all have dead eyes.  It gives the creepy appearance of a bunch of zombies interacting, dancing, and what have you. 

Second is the crappy plot.  I get the impression it was supposed to be a zany, who-knows-what-will-happen-next-kind of plot, akin to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But it fails that in every way.  The result is a disjointed collection of senseless, pointless, vaguely weird episodes that are mostly unrelated to each other.  Even Hanks' conductor character was a schizophrenic - one minute kindly, the next minute a stern hard ass, the next a dancing fool for no apparent reason.

Last was the overarching point of the movie - the idea that Belief is good.  The main character - some kid - doubted the existence of Santa, and for good reason.  The rest of the movie was about him trying to believe.  In the pivotal denouement scene the kid cannot hear the xmas bells on the reindeer's harness because only people who believe can hear them. He shuts his eyes tight and strains hard.  Apparently non-belief is like constipation: if you strain hard enough both can be overcome. And he hears a bell.  Happy day.  Somehow the kid willed himself to believe in something he previously thought was bullshit. After that, he could see Santa and even talk to him.  Sound familiar?

This movie is a primer for religious belief and should be kept from children.  It lays down certain principles that are frankly, dangerous to society.  The idea that they should believe things without evidence, the idea that this kind of belief is good and should be celebrated, the idea that you can will yourself to genuinely believe something just by trying harder.  These are all the basics required to believe bullshit and it sets the stage for intellectual black holes.  If you are going to watch this with your kids, make sure you use it as an opportunity to instruct them on rational thinking. 

I wish we'd watched White Christmas instead, even though Bing Crosby is in it.  I fucking hate Bing Crosby and I fucking hate most movies of that era.  But at least Vera Ellen was a hot piece of ass.



Vera Ellen.  I'd tap that.
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Offline Benny

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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 07:25:12 PM »
If I wasn't listening to high-spirited techno music, I would be laughing to death.

My mom loves this movie too.  Funny thing is, I'm 14 now, and she still is trying to get me to believe in Santa.  Yup, that's right.  Oh, and she's a Christian.  Any surprise there?

Excellent post.  I must resist the urge to affectionately refer to you as "screwy."  Darwins in da house.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 12:59:24 PM »
This xmas my mom put in one of her new favorite xmas movies - Polar Express

It was my second time watching and I had forgotten all the things I hated about it the first time through.  There are roughly three of them.

The first is the art.  While it is a generally well rendered bit of 3D animation, none of the characters look alive.  They all have dead eyes.  It gives the creepy appearance of a bunch of zombies interacting, dancing, and what have you. 

Second is the crappy plot.  I get the impression it was supposed to be a zany, who-knows-what-will-happen-next-kind of plot, akin to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But it fails that in every way.  The result is a disjointed collection of senseless, pointless, vaguely weird episodes that are mostly unrelated to each other.  Even Hanks' conductor character was a schizophrenic - one minute kindly, the next minute a stern hard ass, the next a dancing fool for no apparent reason.

Last was the overarching point of the movie - the idea that Belief is good.  The main character - some kid - doubted the existence of Santa, and for good reason.  The rest of the movie was about him trying to believe.  In the pivotal denouement scene the kid cannot hear the xmas bells on the reindeer's harness because only people who believe can hear them. He shuts his eyes tight and strains hard.  Apparently non-belief is like constipation: if you strain hard enough both can be overcome. And he hears a bell.  Happy day.  Somehow the kid willed himself to believe in something he previously thought was bullshit. After that, he could see Santa and even talk to him.  Sound familiar?

This movie is a primer for religious belief and should be kept from children.  It lays down certain principles that are frankly, dangerous to society.  The idea that they should believe things without evidence, the idea that this kind of belief is good and should be celebrated, the idea that you can will yourself to genuinely believe something just by trying harder.  These are all the basics required to believe bullshit and it sets the stage for intellectual black holes.  If you are going to watch this with your kids, make sure you use it as an opportunity to instruct them on rational thinking. 

I wish we'd watched White Christmas instead, even though Bing Crosby is in it.  I fucking hate Bing Crosby and I fucking hate most movies of that era.  But at least Vera Ellen was a hot piece of ass.



Vera Ellen.  I'd tap that.

You could make this arguement for almost any movie that feartures Santa Claus as the main character.

PS I always thought Vera Ellen was far too thin. I'll Take Cyd Charisse. Great Legs.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 12:11:44 PM »
You could make this arguement for almost any movie that feartures Santa Claus as the main character.

I suppose that is true.  However, I found this one was more blatantly about stupid, blind faith than say, Elf, which was more of a story about fitting in.  Miracle on 34th Street was less about blind faith and more about believing in people - or one, specific, possibly delusional guy.  At least with that one they could see him without having to believe first.  And with the Santa Clause Tim Allen had little choice but to believe given his physiological changes.

I thought Polar Express tracked more closely with abstract conservative religious ideas than any other xmas movie that came to mind.

PS I always thought Vera Ellen was far too thin. I'll Take Cyd Charisse. Great Legs.

She aint bad.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 11:30:55 AM »
Cyd Charisse did, indeed have great legs...but I'm really appreciating  Gene Kelly in those photos  ;D It's been way too long since I last watched Singin' in the Rain

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 12:56:24 PM »
I liked it, but then again I like train. I even like the Santa-believe thing, I suppose as nostalgia for my childhood. However, when the credits roll, my suspension of disbelief is over. I see these stories for they are, stories, flights of fancy, fiction.

I can enjoy plays involving mythical beings like Zeus or Santa...if only Yahweh would be given the same treatment I would enjoy it as well.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 07:45:11 AM »
I like Santa as much as the next guy.  What got me about this movie was not Santa, because he only had the tiniest role, but the faith aspect of it.  The message that unfounded belief is good, desirable, something to be cherished, is the thing that cheeses me.
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Re: Polar Express
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 08:07:36 AM »
I like Santa as much as the next guy.  What got me about this movie was not Santa, because he only had the tiniest role, but the faith aspect of it.  The message that unfounded belief is good, desirable, something to be cherished, is the thing that cheeses me.

yeah (ignoring who you'd tap dance with ;)) the unstated expectation that the sales pitch will be unquestioned, rankles.
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