Steve Daly
November 19, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

”The Polar Express” in IMAX 3-D

If you love watching a 3-D movie?and we’re talking Hollywood features, not those class-trip IMAX spectacles?then you have a major thrill waiting in the IMAX 3-D version of The Polar Express, playing on about 60 screens nationwide.

Don’t mistake this for just another 2-D blowup job, like IMAX did with Spider-Man 2 and the Matrix sequels. This is the full 3-D deal, requiring polarized (ha!) glasses to get wowed. Biggest showstopper: a sequence outdoing the flight of that Forrest Gump feather, wherein a child’s train ticket blows off the locomotive, gets snagged by an eagle and spit out by the eaglet that tries to eat it, and then miraculously floats its way back on board the choo-choo after a dazzling air-borne, point-of-view tour. Director Robert Zemeckis and the IMAX dimensionalizers have so much fun with the staging, you hardly notice how wax-faced the supporting characters can sometimes look. The Polar Express in 3-D becomes an exultant, must-see celebration of Orson Welles-worthy camera work?even if the movie’s treacly songs sound one-dimensional in any format.

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