«That's a great "classical" western. I really liked it.»
The Phantom of the West
«Interesting short tale. To be honest, I didn't really like it. It seems to me that it was very well-done and sourced by great music, but it just didn't deliver that escapism (even with full-screen). IDK why others complained (maybe to explain the other outlandish stuff she did), but this story, since it's inevitably short, can really stand on it's on. I don't want to just say what I didn't like about it. Again, the music was put in nicely and the voice acting was indeed the best thing about this, but to me, it needs more of a sequel than a prequel (unless Ellie's character MUST hold up the whole series on her shoulders.)»
«The start made the difference for me. The opening music set the feel of an authentic western and the follow through onthe script sealed the deal pardner. While parts of the story would have held a better flow with a longer production I was still not dissapointed in the least. You were able to pull an emotional quality with this production and leave us wanting more... you mentioned a prequel... send my tickets to my office in MovieWood Hills... we will be attending. All around stellar performance for a sweet western production.
ENVISIONED - Machinima Promotional Group
MovieWood E! - Machinima Entertainment Ezine»
«Good: REALLY like the music in this. great selection. The lighting choices were very powerful and enhanced the film. Story was pretty good would like to have seen more of it. VOs were overall good
Bad: some of the characters had a LOT of hum in their recordings.
Tip: using audacity to remove noise is great but when there is a lot the voices sound unnatural. Instead try removing the noise little by little in stages instead of at once. »
«That was a great movie! The voice acting was great, and the music fit the movie perfectly. The music is what really brought this movie to life for me. I'm amazed that you were able to tell such a good story in such a short movie. That's not easy to do. I can't find a single flaw in this movie, great job!»
«**** - That was pretty nice there, Ben. This movie had plenty of mood and atmosphere with the aid of some neat effects and a great sound design. The story is quite emotional and the ending was somewhat of a shocker. Nice way to build up to it by the way. The overlong camera panning was a stroke of genius. However, this movie does suffer from a few minor flaws. First of all, the voice-overs in the beginning of the film: were they intended to be practically silent in tone? I had turn up my volume a bit too high but even that didn't clarify a thing. I ended up jumping up in my seat when the gunshot rang through my ears! I see some very interesting camera angles and a couple of decent chroma-keying being put into effect. But there is a scene in jailhouse when the gallows were being portrayed in the background but the panning of the freecam made it move back with the shot. Extremely minor but something worth noting. Overall, this was a pretty awesome movie and one of the few good westerns I've seen in a long while. Thumbs up to ya' Ben!»
«And I'm leaving a third comment, because this film is just so damn good. Can't wait for the sequel Ben. Definitely deserved its Ollie for Best Western, congratulations
Shallow? Not very interesting? Meh, personal opinion I suppose but I totally disagree with that. This is a classy piece of work.»
«It's been awhile since I've seen a good Western on here, and I mean a GOOD Western.
Congratulations, Ben, you just made a great Western. Your movie really captivated me and I felt often like I was watching a REAL movie, and every TMOer strives for their movie to be like that.
Story: A great concept you had there, and I liked your twist on the old concept of a guy in the old west getting revenge, only this time it's a widow. "The Phantom of the West"... maybe a little cheesy, but a lot better than "The Black Widow" or something like that. I really cared for both characters, Catherine for what she had gone through and John mostly for the excellent voice acting from Studio20. A few problems, though: I couldn't really understand Catherine's point of view when I only got to see a snippet of her previous life. You could have started with her and her husband and showed us what this "land dispute" was about. Then maybe I could connect to her more. Also, it seemed John and Catherine didn't have much of a connection to each other, more like John just dealt with her once in some law office and weakly tried to defend her. If I knew their connection, maybe I could understand why it was so hard for him to arrest her.
Screenplay: The camerawork was fine, though I think you could maybe experiment a little more with freecam. The cuts were good, sometimes the fade-ins/outs were a bit overused. Of course it didn't detract anything from the viewing experience.
Acting: Four performances, three of which did the job, but I think Studio20's voice I well suited for his role. His voice was soft and perhaps rather indifferent, but also filled with small bits of emotion. This really helps the viewer connect with him, they feel like they ARE him, because he seems like a normal, everyday guy. The only problem with his VOs was that he probably needs a new mic.
Sets: Check. Everything fine here. And a big plus for the simplicity of the blue screen set in the final scene; I myself should use that set more often.
Costumes: Again, everything's fine here.
Music: The music was used really well here. The intro was really intriguing to watch, and put you right into the old west. And the music from "Fargo" at the end was great at building tension.
Misc.: I guess it could have been a little longer?...
Overall, this is a great movie, and certainly the best western this year.
«the bad thing, the ONLY bad thing I can say about Phantom is that watching it the second time, it still was over too soon... a movie this enjoyable should be longer
THe Upsides: Scenes are grasping and enveloping, oddly 3D in that they make you feel you're THERE. From the very beginning, with the cows that pull you right into that Erol lynn western feeling. The music is mesmerizing, creating the same feeling as the music and Cat Baloo (and I ain't talking about the theme song). The Phantom/Catherine is a well thought-of character. She's not some 1970s bra-burner somehow magically transported back in time but a very contemporary character that has good, logical reasons to become what and who she is. The flashback has sent shivers down my spine. The climactic faceoff was both surprising and well done The VOs were excellent, with Ellie in particular (my vote for the Ollies best fem VA) giving an outstanding performance.
The downisdes - Other than running out of movie too soon and really being left wanting to see more, there's only one very small thing that bothered me. During the climax, the guy has nothing but emptiness around him (unlike Catherine who has the moon in the background) it feels like he's standing in the middle of a big effing nowhere. A tree or jutting rock or just stars would've made a big difference.
all in all - this is how westerns should be done. Innovative, refreshing, touching, grasping... you name it.
9.8 out of 10 on the Rogue Scale
5 Stars, kudos and encore»
This was superbly done! The custom Credits, the custom effects, everything was done in a very proffesional manner which gave the audience a unique experience on TMU. The voice acting was flawless and the story had a lot of passion in it, which was helped a lot by the awesome music!
The only criticism i have is that it seemed to end rather quickly. Maybe this movie can be re-done to be an epic movie? You certainly have grounds for one.
Have added this movie to my favourite.
«I loved this, beautiful direction and what great voice acting from the cast, I'm looking foward to seeing the much longer prequel, Shadows of the West...this is a great concept you can use, and you use it well Ben!...you're definately one of TMU's finest up and coming film-makers!
***** - 5 Stars!»
«Sorry I forgot to post a comment on this before Ben. Well, as I've said to you already, I think this is an outstanding Western. The voice acting is fantastic, some of the cinematography is truly superb and the music perfectly captures the whole element of tragedy present throughout the film. I really enjoyed working with you on the prequel and folks, if you thought this was good, wait till you see what Ben has in store for you in Shadow of the West! »
«The music, to me, was the best element of the film. As a director, you're skilled - you've grouped together a fantastic cast through scenes, set to music that tells a story in itself, given something more by the editing and pacing of the entire film.
I am critical of the screenplay, and I think it cuts very quickly - it was hard to follow for me, but the film was short. Sometimes I ask too much of a writer in such a short period of time, although I think you could've done more to slow down a bit in the writing style the pace of the directing was compelling.
The film was enjoyable, I am glad I investigated your studio and checked it out. Well done film, with a difficult genre - The Western - as your goal.
«a suspenseful, incredibly mature western. it's like an opera. full of tragedy, revenge, murder, and such.
yeah, there could have been more, but doesn't that mean it was good? you want more!
bentuttle shows his chops here, making his movie look beautiful and pacing it well. the cinematic intro draws in the viewer and drops him right in the mix.
nice voice work all around. »
«Very good movie, it shows how far you've come, and this film leaves me wondering how good FOTZ will be, one of the best westerns- nigh, the best western on TMU.
Sorry it took so long for me to watch, cast was great, i think I mentioned to you that one of them reminds me of owen wilson (3.42)
«That was terrific Ben, sorry it took so long to catch this instant classic.
Great storytelling, and it looked great too. Your editing skills have gone to an entirely different level in a few short months.
Awesome and obscure mods here, notably the cows by Gleem and the gallows by an always improving modder named Werecool.
The music was fitting and carried the film nicely. Great job buddy, I think this blows your other stuff out of the water, keep up the great work.
Thanks for including me.»
«This was a great film, great use of camera shots and chromakeying. I loved the distant shots of her on the horizon, this was overall a good film, yet it could have been longer. As Tinman said, I wanted to learn more about the phantom, actually I'd like to see her kill more people. Great Job!»
A wonderful production, Ben. Great music choices, and awesome cast choices.
I loved the scene were the phantom was riding on her horse, and you could see the moon way up close. That was cool, nice cinematography. Great camera angles, oh, and I liked the face off at the end, and the fade outs helped. When Cathryn, I think that's her real name, walked past the gallows, and the lightning illuminated it, that was cool. Kind of showed a foreshadowing of death, which makes sense in the next scene. Oh wow, clever stuff Ben. Clever stuff.
I agree with blaze. When she first walked out, the voices were hard to hear, but other than that, this movie was epic with a capital E.
Best of luck in the comp!
«wow 5 stars!!! very well done, breath taking a mix of story, music, voice acting and camera angels made this an incrediable pieace thanks for letting me be part of it...
only draw back was when she first walked out, the voices where hard to hear, but aside from that VERY WELL DONE!!»
A very nice treatment of this story, both visually and soundwise. I think you should revisit and expand the story because it's engaging and I want to know more about the characters and their stories.
The delivery of the story was quite dramatic and had a nice rhythm.
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