Polar Express DVD

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tim o'm
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Polar Express DVD

Postby tim o'm » Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:03 pm

The DVD for Polar Express came out today. I got the widescreen version, 2 disc set with extra features. Feel free to comment on your experiences here.

Fitz
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Fitz » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:26 pm

I'm sure the DVD's will be great, but you haven't lived until you have seen the movie at an IMAX theatre. Drum rolll. Now for the commercial, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, OR, begins showing the Polar Express in about a week at their IMAX theatre. On Friday, Dec. 9, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th, after you watch the movie, you can board a train pulled from OMSI to Oaks Park and return, behind the Southern Pacific Daylight 4-8-4, 4449. This operation will be repeated on the following weekend as well. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. What an experience this will be!! And, The SP&S 700 will power a Santa train from Portland to Vancouver, WA on Dec. 11. Go to the Friends of the 4449 website for schedule and ticket info.
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Mark D
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Mark D » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:02 pm

My only question is how's the audio? Good, bad, indifferent? Haven't seen the movie, but I might rent it if it's got good audio.
Mark D.


Yes, folks, there is a purpose for my question
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Don C.
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Don C. » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:00 pm

Mark,
I saw it twice last year and I thought the sound was great. Actually, the whole movie is great!. Deb bought a copy today and it was at the house when I got home tonight. We are looking for an IMAX theater to see it in, in the next couple of weeks.

Don C.

Mark D
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Mark D » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:19 pm

Thanks Don. I'll send my social director out to rent a copy. Maybe Friday night if nothing else is going on.
Don, will it sound like it's running right through my house?
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

tim o'm
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby tim o'm » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:19 pm

Just to prove that Robert Zemeckis is no slouch in the marketing category, after I left Suncoast with my new DVD, I stopped in to FYE, a record store, and saw a different package for Polar Express. This one had the two discs PLUS a brio-type train to go with it. More Hallmark ornaments are on the way, too.

It features Dolby surround 5.1, if it answers Mark D's question enough. Unfortunately, I have a 1980 zenith on which to view and listen to the movie. Santa Claus may be bringing a widescreen LCD TV this year, to resolve my dilemma.

Mark D
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Mark D » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:19 am

Well, Social director rented Polar Express this afternoon.
Comments are as follows
Engineer was pretty realistic and typical, I'd say.
Fireman, however, appeared to really be another engineer if I'm not mistaken. And, he was hand bombing a stoker fed engine. That proves he's an engineer masquerading as a fireman!
Not sure about the condition of track that has sunk to the bottom of a lake. If it wasn't frozen on the surface I'd have sworn it was the UP across GSL.
some of those downhill grades seemed excessively steep for a steam locomotive. Those guys at the PM 1225 better check out their crown sheet??
Social Director commented that there was too much music, and it was too loud for the rest of the sound.
I reminded her that she simply hates music in the first place, and she agreed.
Audio was decent. Would have liked to see a few boiler explosions. I like movies where they blow stuff up.
Still haven't figured out just how they managed to go all the way to the North Pole and back without greasing the rods once.
If I had made that movie, the rods would have been properly greased every 75 miles.

Fun to watch, though.
Went from there to South Park.

Everyone, have a great Thanksgiving. Let's all take some time this Thursday to consider how fortunate we all are. We all have things and situations to be very thankful for.
It was a wonderful idea they had way back when the decision was made to set aside a day to give thanks for all we have, are and do in life.
Let's remember that as we stuff our faces with way too much good food.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Don C.
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Don C. » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:22 am

Mark,
I just thought is was great fun and when the locomotive came sliding broadside across the ice covered lake, with the camera going into the fireman's side cab window coming to a stop at the engineer, it made the movie for me. For those in the Chicago area, it will be showing at the IMAX theater at Navy Pier starting the Friday after Thanksgiving (tomorrow). We're planning to go see it (again) next Saturday afternoon.

I echo the same sentiments as Mark concerning being thankful for what all of us have and what we are able to enjoy. Personally, I am very thankful for my family and all of the great crew members and passengers of #261 that I get to spend some of my best moments with.

Don C.

Hogger1225
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Hogger1225 » Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:02 pm

The widescreen version had "extra features" in it? Darn, I bought the full screen version. Guess I'll have to go back an dget the widescreen version. Was looking forward to the DVD. I was the Engineer on 1225 the day we went out and recorded all the sounds with the guys from Skywalker Sound.

Fitz
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby Fitz » Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Bill, do you think they did a good job on it? I sure do. Man, it LOOKS like, SOUNDS like, and if your imagination gets going, even smells like the 1225. The IMAX version is awesome.
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nathansixchime
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby nathansixchime » Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:07 pm

As a filmmaker and a railroader, this film is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to railroading action in motion pictures...

How amazing is it to see a Berkshire go ice skating? How many of us cringe when the brakes get set (how about that shot of the pilot coming within inches of the camera.) Who else gets teary eyed seeing those drivers flashing down the rails? Ah, this is the stuff we work so hard to see in real life...

The film is a boone to community as a draw for kids interested in trains (fourth generation, anyone?) and for those of us who are still kids at heart (and those of us who grew up with the book!)

There are a few silly things only us hardcore foamers would get our hickory stripes in a twist over, but we know how the movies work...I'd just like to know what all the extra red handles on the engineer's side do...(and the "game" on the DVD makes it look like you're at the controls of a trolley skidding across a lake of ice, instead of at the controls of a 404 ton steam engine)

It's also a nice touch that the whistle from the Back to the Future locomotive (another Zemeckis film) makes its way atop the Polar Express in between blasts from our favorite Pere Marquette engine...

And I AM curious, what do SRI guys think of the film?

As for sound, maybe it's just me, but we don't get to hear enough chuffing and clanging (and the previous post about music versus sound is correct, the DVD mix downplays some of the engine noise, not to mention some of the chuffs per revolution of the driver are off...but, who cares? it's a kid's movie :)

off to digest the pumpkin pie...
Kelly Lynch
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Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society
kelly@765.org
www.765.org

superberky
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby superberky » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:39 pm

My wife bought the wide screen version and wants to change it for the wide screen. I may just keep this one from what you guys are saying.

By the way I have a 1 inch scale model of a Pere Marquette Berkshire.

It was built and running in "1948" by John Pugh in MI. It was sold in 1961 to a member in our live steam club here in PA. and he wrecked the boiler in 1968. I bought it as junk in 1984 after sitting about 15 years. I Rebuilt it as correctly as possible and numbered it 1204. I started running it in 1986. I have a small track in the yard and am 8 miles from our club.

I have run the wheels off it. I take it to WI. every year. I had to rebuild it again in 2002. I had to rebuild the chassis again. THis time I painted it with automobile acrylac emamel. It is one beautiful locomotive. Weight with water and coal last time weighed was 510 pounds. Only one of its kind.

I'll have to take time and watch the movie now.

Bruce Saylor in PA. :D :D

tim o'm
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby tim o'm » Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:27 pm

This note to hogger1225:
The version I bought is the 2-disc widescreen. It is available in many versions, with a 1-disc full screen and 1-disc widescreen that just contain the movie and trailer. I imagine there is some commentary on this disc, too, but the 2-disc version, which I THINK is only available in widescreen has other features, like the game mentioned above. I hope this clears up any confusion. Also, not all stores will have all options available.

bbunge
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby bbunge » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:56 am

This film scared my 6-year old girl when she saw on the big screen last year; and my wife glared when I brought it home (I had never seen it) this weekend on a whime.

During the first showing in the house, my 2-year old boy was on one side, going "weeeeee" as the Berk did the roller coaster thing; my girl was on the other side hiding her face! But then again, Johny, at age two, has riden behind Strasburg 475, 90, Thomas, Cass 11, 6 and been in the cab of Wilmington and Western 58. :-) (well, Maggie's riden those trains too!)

Certainly the best looking cartoon steamer I've ever seen! My favorite shot is the loco coming over you, then moving from behind the pony wheels to see the rods flashing and drivers spinning.

So here's my technical question of the day for those on the board with detailed knowledge of Berks: if you pull off the thottle handle, does the thottle go wide open?

My wife commented this movie will likely define Johny's "vision" of what Santa and his sleigh for the rest of his life.

Bob

David Mackey
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Re: Polar Express DVD

Postby David Mackey » Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:59 pm

Actually, I believe that on an engine with a grapevine throttle like 1225, steam acts against the throttle valves. In other words, to open the throttle, you have to overcome the resistance of the steam pressure, but to close it, the steam is working for you. So, I'm thinking that if the throttle handle broke, the throttle would actually close itself rather than going wide open.


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