For Hicksflicks.com, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

"The Polar Express" (2004, PG) is an early motion-capture animated film (the same technique was later used for Jim Carrey's "A Christmas Carol" and James Cameron's "Avatar") and it allows Tom Hanks to show is diversity by playing no less than five roles.

Chiefly, he's the conductor of the strange train of the title, which, on Christmas Eve, pulls up in front of the suburban home of a wide-eyed young boy who climbs aboard. What follows is a visceral experience as the train has a series of adventures on its way to see Santa at the North Pole.

It was quite a spectacle in 3-D on a big screen back in the day, but I don't know how much is lost on your TV with video versions … whether 3-D or flat.


Motion-capture animated Santa, Josh Hutcherson, Tom Hanks.

And although it's not showing in 3-D at the two theaters that are bringing it to town, it will no doubt benefit from being shown on a movie theater screen that can't be matched at your house. (Unless you have an amazing theater in your house.)

It should probably be noted that the boy is played by Josh Hutcherson, who went on to co-star in the "Hunger Games" films.

"The Polar Express" will be screened Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2 and 4 p.m. in the Peery's Egyptian Theater in Ogden, and at several Cinemark Theaters around the state on Sunday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m., and Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 2 and 7 p.m.