The Polar Express

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18131
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: 2d

Postby Ben » October 31st, 2004, 4:45 pm

ShyViolet wrote::?:
If this film does really, really badly, if people have a just plain awful reaction to it, could it spark a return to traditional animation?


Nope.

The Incredibles and the recent success of Shrek and Shark Tale will make up for it.

The reason will be that Hanks has had a bad year, or that audiences "aren't ready" to see such photorealistic versions of their favorite stars.

I'd hate to be zemeckis now though. All these hopes and he MUST know that reaction to this is bad. He MUST see that he's got a stinker on his hands?

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 45
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 2:29 pm
Location: West Saint Paul, MN
Contact:

Re: 2d

Postby Lindsay » October 31st, 2004, 6:23 pm

Ben wrote:The reason will be that Hanks has had a bad year, or that audiences "aren't ready" to see such photorealistic versions of their favorite stars.

Geez... they would say something like that too, wouldn't they? >_<

Either that, or the marketing department "didn't handle it correctly." :roll:

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7631
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 9:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Traditional

Postby ShyViolet » October 31st, 2004, 7:43 pm

But sometimes "old" becomes "new" again. People said black and white was dead (not that it's in the same category) and directors kept making films in black and white, and still do. (Schindler's List, American History X, etc...) And Disney certainly cleans up with re-releases of Aladdin, Lion King, Snow White, etc...We haven't even scratched the surface of what can be created and expressed with 2-d. (check out Spirited Away and Triplets of Belleville) CGI, IMO, is just an end to itself. There's nowhere for it to really go. You can either get more realistic or you stay the same.
And if it does bomb, won't PE be the first mega-hyped CGI picture that has done that? (I don't cout Final Fantasy, since I don't recall them having any big names, and I don't remember much hype either). Even though Incredibles will most likely do business off the charts, if PE bombs it will send a message that CGI (even motion capture CGI) doesn't necessarily equal=big bucks.

That's just how I feel. :roll:
Last edited by ShyViolet on October 31st, 2004, 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7631
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 9:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Amazing Stories

Postby ShyViolet » October 31st, 2004, 11:11 pm

BTW in the first Amazing Stories movie (produced by Steven Spielberg back in the 80's) there is a segment called "Ghost Train" (or possibly "Grandpa's Ghost") about a train that takes lost souls to heaven. I'm pretty sure Robert Zemeckis directed this, although I could be wrong. :roll:

Actually Amazing stories was a series and the movies were just episodes chuncked together into segments. Zemeckis was a Spielberg protege back then (like when he directed Roger Rabbit, Spielberg produced) so they worked together a lot.
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18131
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby Ben » November 1st, 2004, 5:30 am

Amazing Stories was what is known as an "anthology series", where each episode is new every week and has no bearing on past or future episodes.

Amblin produced it, and Spielberg's friends basically used it as a awy of trying new things or just taking time out to have fun. Scorsese, Eastwood, Dear, DeVito and Zemeckis, among many others, would all direct episodes, though they are of varying quaility (storywise).

Four of the best:

THE MISSION, directed by Spielberg, was the first season's one-hour opener, and featured a damaged bomber plane that had to crash land. One of the gunners is a cartoonist and "draws in" the third wheel that is needed to help the plan land without crushing him inside. Two years before Roger Rabbit, this had wonderfully lush, rounded animation, and with camera perspective moves too!

GHOST TRAIN, not directed by Zemeckis, but by Spielberg again, was an homage to his grandfather. The story is the same as above, with the title train coming and taking a young boy's grandpa's soul off when he dies. It's all done with great mystery and typical Spielberg goodness. This was a regular half-hour show, I think the season closer.

GO TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS was the second season's opener, again a full hour, and this is the one directed by Zemeckis. Christopher Lloyd puts in a great performance as a rotten schoolteacher who loves to get student Scott Coffey (remember him?) in detention. When the student and his girlfriend plan an occult revenge on the teacher, they find out just what HE's made of too! A fun ride, and full of Zemeckis' bite, more along the lines of his Tales From The Crypt rather than Roger or Gump!

FAMILY DOG - anyone remember Brad Bird's short-lived Universal series? Only around 12 episodes were made, but the show actually started life as in Amazing Stories - the pilot was an episode! Featuring a typically retro-family (as seen in Inron Giant and Incredibles), the show was basically The Simpsons told through the eyes of the Family Dog. This first, rather bizarre show, features some nice comic touches, leading to the flatter, blander, sitcom-styled series. The animation here is better too, being theatrical quality (though done in a stylised way) rather than the TV quality used in thr subsequent series.

I have all these episodes (and the Family Dog show) on LaserDisc, and they're quite worth seeking out. Rumor is that Amazing stories - all 44 episodes of them - are coming to DVD in 2005, and I strongly recommend them!

Hope that helps! :)

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 7631
Joined: October 25th, 2004, 9:53 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

thanks

Postby ShyViolet » November 1st, 2004, 2:25 pm

Wow Ben you really know your stuff. :) :wink:
"It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas....the world which we see is an outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality."

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 38
Joined: October 18th, 2004, 9:41 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Polar Express is a CREEPY-LOOKING MOVIE!

Postby MusicFan » November 1st, 2004, 8:57 pm

Macaluso wrote:
MusicFan wrote:
athena wrote:
GeorgeC wrote:This is the stuff that union (SAG, craftsmen, set decorators, make-up artists) nightmares are made of!


Honestly, I'm not worried.
Polar Express will flop exactly the same way that Final Fantasy did... probably faster since at least the Final Fantasy stills had a better aesthetic, even if the animation itself looked so terrible.
I liked Final Fantasy.....


Final Fantasy had awesome animation, no doubt.

But the movie absolutly godawful. It was like spitting in the face off all the final fantasy fans over the years.
I was actually happy the Final Fantasy film distanced itself from the games. I liked the film a lot. It touched on pretty deep stuff, I was impressed heavily by the story. I just liked pretty much everything about the movie.

Ben wrote:The reason will be that Hanks has had a bad year
And The Ladykillers, that movie was awful, but I loved The Terminal, that easily made up for The Ladykillers, if I remember correctly The Terminal didn't do so well in theaters, and it comes out in a few weeks on DVD, so I urge everyone to see it then.

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 243
Joined: November 1st, 2004, 9:24 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Looks Good

Postby askmike1 » November 1st, 2004, 9:57 pm

I guess my opinion is different then most of this board but I think the movie looks like it is going to be pretty good. Although the animation can be unrealistic at times, it stays very true to the style of the book. From the theatrical trailer, there was multiple times when I couldn't tell if it was real or animated (like the moment the boy wakes up). Will it be a hit though? Depends on your description of what a hit is. Will it reach $100m, probably. $150m, possibly but not likely. Considering it is facing the 2nd weekend of the Incredibles, my prediction for opening weekend will be between $25-$35m. Also, one more thing. Yes, they did alter the story a bit (so they can stretch it to fit an hour and a half), but I am 99% sure that Santa is NOT going to be a Nazi soldier.
Overall, I think this is going to be a modern Christmas classic (along with classic The Santa Clause).
Last edited by askmike1 on November 11th, 2004, 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-Michael
[url=http://www.mainstreetword.com]MSW[/url]

Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 6617
Joined: October 16th, 2004, 8:51 pm
Contact:

Your thoughts about The Polar Express?

Postby James » November 10th, 2004, 10:34 am

I'm about to head and in a little bit to see it. A theatre just opened the first Imax screen in town (that shows Hollywood movies), so I'll be seeing it on the big big screen! How do they handle the difference in aspect ratio? Do they just cut off the sides? or stretch it vertically? Or is it shown like letterboxed movies on TV - with bars at the top and bottom?

For those that have seen it already, what did you think? I'll check in after I see it later.

User avatar
Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 18131
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby Ben » November 10th, 2004, 12:41 pm

Let us know how they do the aspect change.

From what I understand, Imax films are shot "open matte", meaning that added picture information, as on some animation films, is present.

It's the way some motion pictures are transferred to video, so that image is not lost left and right.

Check out the frame for almost excessive looking head space at the top and areas at the bottom which carry no vital plot information.

This is how Zemeckis has shot his films before and how Imax films use their shape to fill the screen (the Disney films that came out recently were all transferred friom their 1.66 ratios to open up the tops and lose a sliver from the sides).

That's how Imax works and likely how P|E will be shown when you see it. :)

Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 6617
Joined: October 16th, 2004, 8:51 pm
Contact:

Postby James » November 10th, 2004, 10:55 pm

After months of complaining about the animation I finally saw the film today. And I apologize for most everything bad I've said about The Polar Express! It was very good!

Let me add that I had low expectations for this film before going and I saw it in Imax 3D (BTW the film was obviously made with 3D in mind!), both of which may have contributed to my complete turnaround! Yes the facial animation and some of the movement was a bit off, but just like a dubbed film you eventually get used to it! Besides, everything else in the film was animated beautifully.

The book is a very short source from which to make a film, so there is a lot of padding in the film, but it is enjoyable padding!

Those points aside, the film was very good, it will do very good box office, it will become a holiday classic, and assuming Spongebob is not spectacular, it will get the third nomination for Best Animated Film, with a good chance of winning it - especially if Shrek and The Incredibles split the vote.

Put your reservations aside and go see the film! In Imax 3D if possible! As animation fans keep saying to Disney: it's not the method of making the film, it's having a good story that is important.

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 1419
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 5:01 pm

Postby Macaluso » November 10th, 2004, 11:03 pm

...

I didn't realize the film was out allready.

Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 6617
Joined: October 16th, 2004, 8:51 pm
Contact:

Postby James » November 10th, 2004, 11:05 pm

As for the Imax question:

The screen at this theatre was not the usual Imax square like shape - it was the normal Flat (rectangular) shape we see in regular movie screens (in a larger scale of course). I didn't notice if the curtain was obscuring part of the screen or not but it did not appear to be. My guess is that this theatre has decided to add Imax for Hollywood only films and won't be showing the square Imax films.

Animated Views Admin
Animated Views Admin
Posts: 6617
Joined: October 16th, 2004, 8:51 pm
Contact:

Postby James » November 10th, 2004, 11:07 pm

Macaluso wrote:...

I didn't realize the film was out allready.


Did you not notice our Polar Express themed logo? Underneath it it says "The Polar Express opens November 10th".

Now go see it!

;)

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 1419
Joined: October 22nd, 2004, 5:01 pm

Postby Macaluso » November 11th, 2004, 6:13 am

Meh.
I'm much more excited about Spongebob.
*waits anxiously for that*