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Luxury Trains of the World: The New Polar Express
Luxury Trains of the World The New Polar Express
Genres: Documentary
NR     2004     0hr 55min

Discover the world?s most luxurious trains and relive a bygone era, when the journey itself was the most significant part of the experience; rather than simply getting there. A journey where the passenger becomes a real t...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Eagle Vision Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/09/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 0hr 55min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Save yourself some kroner
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 11/20/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"THE NEW POLAR EXPRESS is a travel documentary featuring the 5-day journey of the Polar Express, a tourist train, from Stockholm up through central Sweden, across the Arctic Circle, and over the border into Norway to the coastal city of Narvik - and back again by the same route. No, this isn't the animated POLAR EXPRESS of 2004 starring Tom Hanks in multiple roles.

My advice is to save yourself whatever kroner it takes to buy or rent the DVD, or what it costs to take the actual trip - the equivalent of two thousand dollars per person, double occupancy. The major attractions of the jaunt seem to be the midnight sun and the mountains of Norway. I suggest that if you go rather to Alaska, the midnight sun across the Arctic Circle will be the same, and both the mountains and the mosquitoes will be bigger. And you can perhaps find a cheeseburger along the way instead of the flatbread and jam sandwich and tea brewed in a battered kettle enjoyed in an animal skin tent by our intrepid vacationers.

The DVD presentation isn't all that great, either. If the operators of the Polar Express hope this production will boost reservations, think again. While the sleeper cars are vintage carriages from the old Orient Express (Paris-Istanbul), the interior shots linger in the more modern, domed observation car and the downstairs bar. While the former is suitably impressive, where does one sleep? There's no visual hint of the quality of the bedroom accommodations. And a description of the meals to be had along the way - except for the flatbread and jam feast - is non-existent. Oral intake aboard the Express seems to be limited to alcohol - lots of it.

The majority of the scenes filmed from the moving train are either looking forward along the line of cars towards the locomotive, or back towards the proverbial caboose. I can vouch that the metal skin of the cars is shiny and the tracks of the rail bed are well laid. And the narrative dialogue was written for grade schoolers, such as - and I'm paraphrasing:

"The travelers watched the train return to the station from the siding where it had been while they explored Narvik."

Oh, and how about that short trek at the rail stop to the outdoor wooden stage where each adventurer is given a cheesy certificate commemorating for posterity the feat of crossing the Artic Circle, marked by a line of white-washed rocks? Framed, that could replace the velvet picture of Elvis on the wall back in the double-wide.

The high point of the DVD was perhaps on the return to Stockholm after the paying riders had disembarked and the crew was filmed removing bags of trash from the Polar Express. That just about summed up the vicarious thrill for me."
The New Polar Express
Peter R. Gallagher | Bowen, Queensland, Australia | 06/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first purchased this DVD about 12 months ago. I wanted it to complete a set. I found that this DVD had lots of outside shots and showed scenery and interviews with interesting persons. Unlike most other train DVDs the personal interviews were mercifully short and did not advertise the company running the train. I have found that ALL the DVDs in this series were most informative. In fact the information contained in them has influenced my travel list. New Polar Express is wish number 2. This series is far superior to the first edition which was a sales pitch and teold how good thew trains wereI would recommend this DVD to any person of any age group.

Yours etc.

Peter Gallagher"
Kinda Boring
Murray | New Zealand | 06/27/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I was a bit disappointed with this film. From the title I had assumed I might be seeing some spectacular mountainous snow and ice scenes... but not one drop. It was just lots of trees and water - all very nice - but not what I thought I was getting. Also as one previous review states there were no decent shots of the train's interior apart from the observation dome and the bar. I know the idea is to sell the trip not the train but a bit more imagination and interest in the actual train I'm sure would give an added dimension to the feature that wouldn't be wasted on the viewers. The introductory data on Stockholm was interesting and there still are some pretty good panoramic vistas to see so all is not lost but for some reason not enough to get me to give it more than 2 stars."