Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:37 am 
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PHANTOM BOY LÉO FLIES TO NEW DESTINATION IN A STYLIZED NYC

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LÉO'S PHANTOM PREPARES TO REENTER HIS BODY

A super-powered boy helps a wheelchair-bound policeman bring down a mad mobster in this French-talking animation set in NYC

After finding success in America (and an Oscar nomination), the creative duo behind A Cat in Paris have adapted their hand-drawn 2D animated style to a New York-set supernatural detective story. While Cat followed a gang of night burglars, this time the focus is on a boy hero, who develops out-of-body skills while in hospital with a mysterious disease and helps a new found friend, a cop with a broken leg, pursue an evil computer hacker with a "broken" face bent on assuming power over the city. Phantom Boy is frankly less ingenious in plot line than its predecessor, but it's cute and touching and geared to appeal more to kids. The hand-drawn images are brighter, and have gorgeous moments, such as the panorama of Times Square by night and an explosion and fire, arguably the best executed fire ever presented in an animated film. The colors have a lyrical complexity almost worthy of Matisse.

In hi June 2015 Variety review written at Annecy, the premier animation festival, Peter Debruge found some shortcomings, and exclaimed at the presentation of a Big Apple where everybody speaks French. But I found this film utterly charming, touching, and a visual delight. A top-level French voice casting includes the fabulous Jean-Pierre Marielle as the evil disfigured man, plus Édouard Baer as Alex, the policeman, Audrey Tautou as the journalist Mary Delaunay, and Gaspard Gagnol as the boy, Léo.

Phantom Boy, 84 mins., debuted at Toronto Sept. 2015, other festivals. Released in other countries and France (well received, AlloCiné press 3.5, public 4.0). Bought by Gkids for US release. Screened for this preview as part of the San Francisco Film Festival (24 Apr. 2016). US release, dubbed in English, begins Fri. 15 July 2016 (IFC Center, NYC). Nuart Theater, Los Angeles 22 July; Landmark, San Francisco, 29 July. English dubbing cast includes Fred Armisen, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jared Padalecki, Marcus D'Angelo, Melissa Disney.

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TIMES SQUARE SCREENS SHOW THE FACE OF THE VILLAIN, "L'HOMME AU VISAGE CASSÉ"

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©Chris Knipp. Blog: http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


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