Phantom Boy

2015

Action / Animation / Fantasy

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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November 12, 2016 at 04:50 PM

Cast

Vincent D'Onofrio as The Face
Jared Padalecki as Lt. Alex
720p 1080p
627.31 MB
1280*720
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
P/S 11 / 75
1.29 GB
1920*1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
P/S 8 / 82

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by A_Different_Drummer 6 / 10

On the existential nature of animation

In respect to the country of origin -- and this review was not planned in advance -- I want to talk about the existential nature of animated movies.

In the modern age, clear trends are in place. In Japan, which has become the home base for an entire universe of animation (known as anime) we have a wide variety of animation styles all of which have one thing in common -- depth. Japanese anime is the closest thing I have found to a true alternate universe. Ten minutes in a good Japanese anime, you begin to see the characters as almost real and their reality becomes your reality. Japanese anime is an extraordinary experience.

Western animation (leaving aside the superhero films, which are unique in their own way and follow their own rules) is best exemplified by the work of the Disney studio, Pixar and the occasionally brilliant independent project such as for example the mind-boggling LITTLE PRINCE 2015.

What western animation offers, beyond a great story, is a zeal to express the characters to a degree not possible in live action. It is as if, in western animation, characters are "injected" with more personality than could be possible in real life. The number of major awards currently going to "voice actors" in the west reflects this trend.

Which brings to Phantom Boy.

The story is odd. It is essentially a paranormal tale based on the notion of Astral Travel. (You can get a crash course in this by watching the new Dr. Strange).

The paranormal tale is mixed with a typical crime story -- cops and robbers being much more popular in France than in other cultures -- and the whole thing is served up to the viewer in a very unique and stilted animation style.

And now we get to the crux of the review.

Watching Phantom Boy, I could not help but notice that (with the sole exception of the character of the baby sister) not one character in the film had the "oversized" personality we have come to associate with animation. In fact, most of the characters had either "toned down" personalities (the cop and the boy) or, worse, "unpleasant" personalities, ie, characters who were not much fun to watch or listen to (the arch-villain and even his dog).

(And yes, I speak French, so I did not miss any nuance in the dialog).

Which raises the question, if you are going to negate the very quality that makes animation fun in the first place, why use it at all? My review -- and fans of the producers will not agree I know -- is that this film is more irritating than entertaining because of the fact that most of the characters (except the little sister) are either dull as toast or deliberately written as annoying. The story would have been more interesting as live action, all things considered.

The ending is sweet and that is the nicest thing I can say about the film.

Not recommended.

Reviewed by Stuart Whyte 8 / 10

very engaging kids film with natural warmth and jeopardy

Our young family watched Phantom Boy today at the London Film Festival and really enjoyed the experience. The film has been dubbed into English and the dialogue runs smoothly - doing most of the story-telling in a nuanced, personable and fluid way.

It unfolds as a, perhaps slightly old fashioned, detective story. Leo's ability to travel out of his body is a very useful device to access remote places and to eavesdrop on others actions to help the story along. This also acts an intermediary or buffer to the film's action, helping to flag up wrong-doing, violence and other risks in a mediated manner, which works well for young viewers.

There are hints of the seriousness of Leo's Illness via the private worries of his parents, some physical violence and threatening use of guns but the emotional challenge is not overwhelming and the narrative pace carries you through.

Both our kids said they would want to see the film again and it will probably become a DVD favourite at home, for some time to come. The animated style is more hand-drawn in appearance and not as glossy or heavily automated as major studio animated films can be. This give a certain lightness of touch and warmth to what would otherwise be rather gritty, noir-ish city backdrops.

My only criticism would be the speed with which the story was established and characters introduced. A few minutes more focusing on Leo's arrival at hospital and the discovery and use of his special powers would have pleased me.

Reviewed by sharkfinsoup 9 / 10

A Wonderfully Good French Animation feature

I went to see this at the 2016 New French Cinema Festival at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. I thought it would be interesting. It was much better than I had imagined. It's set in a contemporary animated version of New York City. Well, recent-past contemporary. There was a billboard advertising "Wicked" very much in evidence.

It's about an 11 year old boy named Leo who is ill with an unspecified disease. He ends up for a long stay at a Manhattan hospital. He discovers that, since he got sick, his spirit can leave is body and fly around. He can see and hear what's happening in distant places. In one very brief scene, we see Leo's spirit relaxing in the torch of the Statue of Liberty, looking toward the south end of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Nicely drawn.

Meanwhile, a criminal mastermind, with the requisite henchmen and a bitey small dog, has gotten his hands on malware that can destroy the internet-of-things. He starts with a citywide (or at least Manhattan-wide) demonstration of his potential power to shake down the mayor for a gigantic amount of money.

In the hospital, Leo meets a maverick cop with a broken leg. He admires cops, and lets the cop in on his secret talent. Audrey Tatou voices Mary, a journalist friend of the cop, who will play a big rôle in the action that unfolds.

So, the overall film is sort of like a comic featuring a supervillain. But it's not so 2-dimensional. Leo's parents are worried sick as to whether he is going to pull thru or not (which his spirit can eavesdrop on when they think he's not around). Their tenderness and support is nicely nuanced. And Leo also has a baby sister, perhaps 4 or 5, who really cares about her big brother.

Likewise, the cop and the journalist have an interesting love-hate friendship that morphs into something more.

It's also very funny. When at the beginning, Mary runs into the cop (before his broken leg)in a grocery store, she looks at his his market basket of selections and says "pizza and chips?! What are you trying to do, commit dietary suicide?"

A good film for adults, and for some kids. It has things for both. There is lots of animation out there, but not so much that really catches my attention. But a subtitles-only release at this point, which leaves out younger kids.

As I write this, the US box office after being open 1 week, is about $4300 (one screen). If it won't bother you too much to hear supposedly tough-skinned New Yorkers speaking French, then, by all means see it.

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