A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013)

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013)
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Bill Arceneaux (Four Beers) –

Can you name a cooler actor than Charlie Sheen? Go ahead and take a few minutes to think about it…

…Come up with anybody? Yeah, I guess there are others that equal up to him, but none that can copy him. I’m talking about a man that has openly poked fun at his own drug / sex related indiscretions, bounced back from a public mental breakdown, written a fantasy letter to President Obama, and essentially told the producers of a popular show he was on to fuck off. As Parker Lewis might say, Charlie Sheen is coolness turned up to 11.


Cooler than Bogart?

Example A of his coolness; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.

It’s the 1970’s, and everything is groovy, man. Charles Swan – a popular artist with bacon and eggs designs on the sides of his car – has just suffered a pretty devastating breakup. With an over-active imagination, and an attitude as tasty as the times he lives in, Charles tries to cope.

A Toast

Sheen was meant for this movie, and this movie was meant for Sheen. I’d be willing to bet that Charlie himself helped write many scenes. It’s a great excuse to watch him to what he does best; be cool. The kind of cool that makes a person wear sunglasses at night. Oh yeah.

Now, I’ve never felt that Charlie was a great actor, but he does have the ability to exude a great charisma. Try National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1. In that movie, he has a small, “blink and you’ve missed it” role as a parking lot valet. He has a short exchange with Samuel L. Jackson, where all he’s doing is going through the motions of his valet job. EVERY line is delivered with what I can only describe as brilliant coolness. It’s a blast to watch, and I always rewind that scene a few times over.

Bill Murray is in this as well, and while he isn’t used much, he too delivers a brilliant yet brief performance (when he pulls an arrow out of Sheen’s chest, for those wanting to fast forward to the good stuff).

Beer Two

While Charlie Sheen may be the definition of coolness, this movie is the definition of meandering. The bit I wrote describing the plot may have been short, but I actually gave the longest possible summation. Aside from an attention-grabbing beginning and a final confrontation with his ex, our lead mostly just walks around doing stuff. It’s as if the director was obligated to make an almost 90 minute film, but only had material for about an hour.

Beer Three

This might be one of the most poorly written breakup movies I’ve ever seen. What happens is that our lead characters’ girlfriend breaks up with him, not wanting to be like his other loves. He spends the rest of the story complaining that he can’t get her out of his mind until he finally talks to her again. That’s it. I thought maybe we were gonna get a High Fidelity- type story, where he explores his past relationships to try and understand his current one, except through his warped, groovy mind.

Nope. One or two fantasies happen, but they are pretty inconsequential.


A better movie.

Beer Four

At the end, the actors break the 4th wall by telling the camera (and audience) who they are and what character they played. We see the crew, before getting a shot of the director in a mirror. Was the ending thought of first before anything else? Did they just make up the ending after watching The Holy Mountain?


More drafts were needed.



The coolness that radiates from Charlie Sheen doesn’t quite mask the disappointment of this film. Give it a shot, if you want 80 or so minutes to feel like 2 ½ hours.


Drinking Game

Take a Drink: if you ever bought black market caviar in the middle of the night, or ever wanted to do that.

Take a Drink: if you though the guy behind Napoleon Dynamite should’ve directed this.

Do a Shot: knowing that this might be the closest you’ll ever get to partying with Charlie Sheen. Enjoy!

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!