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Does Santa Exist? IMAX thinks so, Gordo Doesn’t

Published on January 7th 2005.

This is the time of year when debate rattles over whether or not Santa exists. If the new Polar Express film in 3D at the IMAX has anything to say about it then Santa is alive, kicking and trimming his beard ready to hand out the goodies.
The new Disney animated feature and Tom Hanks starrer (he plays three separate roles in the movie) is certainly one for the kiddies, but with the 3D effects, it makes it all the more worthwhile for adults as well, unless your name's Gordo that is…..
It’s pretty much safe to say that the big man didn’t enjoy himself too, he sat on the end of the row with myself, big and little faye, and Kelly as well, all sat in our huge goggle eyed 3D glasses, looking more like Bono from his Fly days than five new media types reviewing the latest Christmas blockbuster.
No matter how scary our goggles were, no image was scaring the kids more than a drunken Santa-like Gordo sat on the end filling his face full of hotdog and cursing the film before him. ‘Get me a Gun’ and ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ were both phrases commonly heard during the duration of the film.
We also survived a potential hairy situation just as the film was starting. Keeping up a growing reputation for causing trouble wherever we go, young Faye took offence at some poor girl who was trying to find her seat. ‘Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ bellowed Young, louder than the girl was actually talking. ‘Who told me to shush?’ responded the girl as the catfight began, ‘here we go again’, thought everyone else. Gordo hid behind his hotdog.

On a schmaltzy, entertaining the kiddies level, the film doesn’t disappoint, although it doesn’t hit the heights of recent animated features.
The story evolves around the plight of a young chap who doesn’t believe in Santa (Chris from Dinsoaur maybe?). Said kid gets whisked away on a locomotive called The Polar Express, helmed by conductor Tom Hanks. Along the way, they encounter all kinds of adventures, spills and thrills before reaching their destination.
The film’s highlights are certainly the trip to the North Pole – the film takes a slight lull when they reach Santa’s home and some bloody scary looking elves turn up, but at least they help to instil the required belief back into the main character’s Christmas.
If you’re going to treat the kids and see this film anywhere, then the IMAX is certainly the place to see it. The huge screen and effects of the 3D (Remember, it’s only at the IMAX that you can see The Polar Express in 3D) were the best things about the film, well, big Faye would say it was the sing song the kids had at the end of the train, Gordo would say it was the exit sign he saw when the film finished, but for me the highlights were the train hitting you in the face and the rollercoaster effects of the high speed train speeding out of control.
See The Polar Express today at the IMAX! - click here for details or click here to visit the Printworks website.
Tim Gough

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