Phantom Boy

I ran into the librarian who saw the arrival of Stomper at the West Branch of Berkeley Public Library.  She said that Stomper was a substitute teacher, and after one hour, his face was covered in sweat.  I ate a bad tuna wrap for lunch, and it made me throw up.  I felt OK a couple hours later, though, and I walked out to the theatre to see “Phantom Boy.”  Only three other people were there for the 3:20 screening.  It was an animated feature in French.  Another print was dubbed in English, but I passed over that one.  It was about an eleven-year old boy named Leo who is hospitalized and imagines himself as a hero, saving New York City from one of those computer disasters.  It made me think back on the movie “Ghost.”  Alex Tanguy is the cop who is on the trail of the bad guy, and Mary is the accomplice who gets in the middle of the action on a boat.  Leo floats around and gives Alex directions to communicate over to Mary, which doesn’t quite seem so fantastic.  I didn’t quite like the plot with the computer with the password riddle.  It reminded me of one of those Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies with the Russian hacker.  The villain with the broken face seemed like he could have come out of a Tim Burton film.  It was odd to see all the main characters speaking French in a movie that was set in New York City, or at least the New York City of the mind.  When I saw the American flag in the background of one scene, I knew that this movie was giving me some things I didn’t expect.  The faces and the look of the city and its architecture, according to Kelly Vance of the East Bay Express, were inspired by Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, and Pablo Picasso.  I noticed a lot of loud noises on the soundtrack.  When I heard Ella Fitzgerald singing “Dream a Little Dream,” I thought of the New York City of Woody Allen.  Leo’s sister Titi figures into the ending, which I thought was unbelievable.  I guess if kids are going to see this movie, you can’t send them back home feeling too bad.  I thought this movie was better than a lot of these expensive animated films for families I’ve seen this year.  I think, however, that I liked “April and the Extraordinary World” a bit more.  I wonder what’s going on with France and animated films.  Are we going to see any more interesting films in the years to come?  I went home and watched the Partridge Family episode “My Heart Belongs to a Two-Car Garage.”  I noticed that at the end Laurie was touched one of the museum’s art pieces with her hand.  I also watched the NUMB3RS episode “Dreamland.”  One of the characters seemed like he could go off to a spin-off series.  On the Buzzr channel, I saw two episodes of Match Game 74, with stars like Don Adams, Anson Williams, and Kaye Stevens.  Some of the people who died on July 30 include Junichiro Tanizaki (1965), James Blish (1975), Claudette Colbert (1996), Michelangelo Antonioni (2007), Ingmar Bergman (2007), Bill Walsh (2007), and Lynn Anderson (2015).  Today is a birthday for Laurence Fishburne (55), Kate Bush (58), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (69).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 30, The Troggs had the Number One single in 1966, “Wild Thing.”  In 1969, the Dustin Hoffman movie “Midnight Cowboy” was released.  In 1972, George Harrison’s “Bangladesh” single was released.  In 1972, “Deliverance” was released.  In 1998, Buffalo Bob Smith died at age 80.

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