I never never NEVER walk out on a movie. Even if it’s really horrible I see it through to the end and judge it as a whole. Note that I have plenty of opportunities to walk out on movies- I go out to see three to five movies a week on average. I love seeing movies in the theater.
You know the popular term “renter” as in “It’s a ‘renter’,” like “it’s O.K. but don’t pay to see it in the theater, just wait ‘til it comes to Blockbuster.” Well, I never use this term. When I rent a movie I want it to be a good movie, I mean, I’m in the video store with all those options available- I’m gonna pick something good.
But going to the movies is something I really love. I’ll see just about any movie in the theater. I love the obscure art-house flicks, I love the big blockbusters, I’ll read subtitles ‘till my eyes fall out of my head, I’ll cheer on the hero while he’s blowing shit up! I see just about everything so, yes, I’ve seen some bad movies. But, because I love going to the movies, I can almost always enjoy myself even if the movie is bad. And If I can’t enjoy myself, like I said, I prefer to see it through to the end and judge it as a whole. I never never NEVER walk out on a movie.
I walked out on The Polar Express.
First off, if your child insists on seeing it and the task of chaperoning falls upon you, I advise you to take ear plugs. This was one of the LOUDEST movies I’ve ever seen. I stayed for about an hour and 15 minutes and after the opening (which was quite magical and did capture the spirit of the book), pretty much the entire film had everyone on screen going: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
There was a sequence wherein we watch a ticket that gets caught in the wind as it is swept away on a little adventure of it’s own. That sequence was quite nice, as was the beginning. but other than those two examples it was just Action Sequence after Action Sequence after Action Sequence. I read the book. It was a quiet, mystical book. Where is the basis for Action Sequence after Action Sequence after Action Sequence? The train was on the verge of a major crash for just about the entire journey, keeping all of the characters screaming “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” and just as one crisis that had them screaming “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” had been averted, a new complication would cause another crisis again causing all of the characters to go “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
Once they got to the North Poke and off the train I figured it would mellow. Nope.
The kids stay on the end car (which has no emergency brake), trying to comfort the “Christmas doesn’t work out for me” kid. The car comes unhitched and rolls down the hill and again it’s: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
climb into a tube that the elves use for transport (like the antique kind for sending inter-office memos through a vacuum) and again it’s “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
That’s when I walked out.
Now, as kaylasdad99 mentioned, you can read the entire book in 15 minutes. So, yes, I completely expected that they would have written lots of additional material to fill out the story. But what got me into the theater was the beautiful imagery that I had seen in the previews. One of the best things about Chris Van Allsburg’s books is the beautiful illustration. I can sit and look at the pictures in those books for the longest time. When I saw the previews for the movie I was so impressed at how they captured the style and feel of Van Allsburg’s illustrations. They were so true to the artwork, which was no small feat, I didn’t think it beyond hope that they would make an equal effort to be true to the spirit of the book, though running time would require additional material to be written in. Instead of the quiet, mystical, magical story that I got from the book, Zemeckis gave me: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”
Zemeckis really screwed this one up.