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VODetails: 'Charles Swan III'

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire January 8, 2013 at 10:04AM

Is the new comedy directed by Roman Coppola and starring Charlie Sheen worth your VODollars?

'A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III'
'A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III'
More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "Charles Swan III," a quirky comedy from writer/director Roman Coppola -- not a biopic of the reluctant buccaneer killed in 1690.

Director: Roman Coppola

Cast: Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray

Criticwire Average: B- (1 critic)

Official Synopsis: "Set in a stylized Los Angeles, 'Charles Swan III' is a playful comedy of lost love, friendship, revenge fantasies, and Brandy Alexanders. Charles (Sheen) is a successful graphic designer whose fame, money and charm have provided him with a seemingly perfect life. When his true love, a perplexing beauty named Ivana, suddenly breaks off their relationship, Charles’ life falls apart, and he swirls into a downward spiral of doubt, confusion and reflection. With the support of his loyal intimates -- Kirby (Schwartzman), Saul (Murray), and his sister, Izzy (Patricia Arquette) -- he begins the hard road of self-evaluation to come to terms with a life without Ivana. The film begs the question: Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time?"



Jessica Kiang, The Playlist:

"A film of surface pleasures, even joys, but those joys seem to be longing for a central idea around which to coalesce."

Boyd van HoeijVariety:

"Shares some of its oddball DNA and a few actors with Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' and 'The Darjeeling Limited,' which Coppola co-wrote, though 'Swan' lacks those films' fastidious design and storytelling."

Lee Marshall, Screen International:

"A film where the production design has as much dramatic heft as the plot."

Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter:

"[Sheen's] swaggering, clowning portrayal of Swan, a successful graphic designer with naked women on the brain, has likable moments of sheer absurd humor. But as a latter-day 'Being John Malkovich' (where Sheen appeared in a brief self-parody), the film lacks style, wit, and originality."

Bruce Fretts, Fretts on Film:

"Roman throws everything at the wall -- 'Monty Python'-style animation, musical numbers, marionettes, pointless cameos from Stephen Dorff, Richard Edson, Dermot Mulroney and 'Parks and Rec'‘s Aubrey Plaza -- and nothing doesn’t stink."

"Charles Swan III" is now available on VOD. It opens in theaters on February 8th.

This article is related to: VODetails

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