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The Worst Movie of 2013: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

By Storycarnivores @storycarnivores

glimpse_inside_the_mind_of_charles_swan_iii_ver6Title: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
Directed by: Roman Coppola
Distributed by: Swan Design Studios
Release Date: February 8, 2013 (Limited)
Rated: R

Synopsis: A graphic designer’s enviable life slides into despair when his girlfriend breaks up with him. (Via IMDB)

Brian’s Review: I still remember when I was watching Siskel and Ebert as a kid and the two film critics claimed Spice World as the worst movie of 1998… even though it was the middle of January. I was baffled. How could they proclaim that they had seen the worst movie of the year just three weeks into it? Wasn’t there even just the slightest possibility that come July or October they’d see something even worse? I was thinking about this as I suffered through one of the most self-indulgent, pretentious, mind-numbingly boring movies I’ve ever seen, titled, with the appropriate pomposity, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Want to find a movie NOT to put on after your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner? Look anywhere else. There’s nothing to see here.

We here at Story Carnivores try to be positive whenever possible. We try to highlight the best in film and books and let you know what to look for out there. But there’s also the special occasion when Shaunta or myself needs to steer you clear of something very, very bad, the kind of misguided effort that actually has the ability to rotten the soul. I knew A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III was the worst movie of the year about thirty minutes in, but then I kept watching, to see if it would get worse. Oh, it did. It really did.

It’s too bad, because I actually downloaded the movie thinking I’d like it. It’s not like the talent surrounding this movie is lackluster, by any means. Roman Coppola just got an Oscar nomination for co-writing the splendid Moonrise Kingdom, with Wes Anderson, and his first directorial effort ten years ago, CQ, is a weird but interesting debut. It’s been more than ten years since Charlie Sheen has received a starring role in a movie, and Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors. Even the synopsis sets up the possibility for something fun. But as the plot starts to settle in to this monstrosity, you realize this movie is going absolutely nowhere.

Who allowed this film to happen? Did anyone involved think they were making something funny? Or interesting? Or involving? At the end of the day the biggest sin this movie makes is that there’s never any forward momentum to the plot. When you watch most movies, you’ll notice how one scene will lead to the next, and the next, and the next. This movie feels like Coppola just wrote a few scenes, shot them, stuck them in random order, and put it out as a movie. The characters are boring. The plot is almost non-existent. And the actors have nothing to work with. Not even Bill Murray, who is ALWAYS worth watching, makes an impression. This movie’s a complete dead zone, and an embarrassment for all involved.

But you want to know the worst thing about A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III? The very last shot of the movie, which has to be seen to be believed. After about 80 minutes of total nonsense, each actor turns to the camera, states his or her real name, and what character he or she played, and then the camera rises up, up, up on a crane, for a good thirty seconds or so, only to face a mirror, where the director, Roman Coppola, waves. Cut to black. The end.

If there’s anything I love in life, it’s the movies. And disasters like A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III really make me mad, because there’s talent here worthy of a great film. This cast, and this director, had the opportunity to do something worthy of our time. Instead, they gave us a movie that the lucky will avoid, and the unlucky will do their best to survive. I know it’s only the middle of February, but I’m certain this is the worst we’ll get in 2013. Avoid at all costs.

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