…AND WIPE YOUR FEET. THIS ISN’T A BARN!
Welcome to Chandler Swain Reviews, or as it is more commonly known on Populist websites within the Free World, and Canada:-a film site where one may express their opinion openly without fear of intimidation, eye rolling, backstabbing, subcutaneous eruptions, hysterical paralysis, Congressional subpoenas, acid reflux, spontaneous combustion or recalcitrant quips. (OK, maybe the last, but certainly not the others.)
JONATHAN WINTERS (NOV. 11, 1925 – APRIL 11, 2013)
THIS SITE PRESENTED IN THE MODERN MIRACLE PROCESS
STILL AT POPULAR PRICES WITHOUT WAITING IN INCONVENIENT TICKET LINES. THE MOST SPECTACULAR EPIC EVER SEEN BY THE CURIOUS EYES OF CIVILIZED MAN, AND YOU ARE THERE TO EXPERIENCE ALL OF THE ANCIENT WONDERS AND FUTURISTIC SENSATIONS THAT COULD ONLY BE REVEALED TO YOU IN THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME ADVENTURE THAT IS: CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS______________________________________________ DO YOU FIND OTHER MOVIE SITES LEAVE YOU COLD? Welcome to Chandler Swain Reviews, where you may indulge in your personal cinema appetites (and legal in all 50 states plus one or two counties in Ireland): sensibly portioned, reasonably priced and with validated parking, let CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS be your destination of choice in exploring the cinema firmament. (10 cent deposit required in MA, MD, VA, RI, NJ. $12 cleaning deposit required in VT, Canada and by guys with mutton chops.)
UPON ENTERING, BE PREPARED TO SURRENDER YOUR FREE WILL TO THE UNCANNY INTELLECT, THE UNSHAKEABLE FORCE OF CEREBRAL OMNIPOTENCE THAT IS CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS. KISS OLD NOTIONS OF WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW GOODBYE AND EMBRACE THE REALITY THAT YOU ARE DOOMED FROM THIS DAY FORWARD TO A LIFE OF UNENDING MINDLESS AGREEMENT WITH WHATEVER YOU READ ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES, AS YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A REALM OF UNPARALLELED ARTISTIC ENLIGHTENMENT, CULTURAL DEPRAVITY AND A LIKING FOR SKITTLES, THE ALL-AMERICAN BREAKFAST CANDY.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY:_OFFICIAL CSR REVIEWING POLICY
All films reviewed have been previously screened (often dozens of times) in the proper theatrical setting intended by the filmmaker, in keeping with the site’s view that a film has not been properly seen unless viewed- at least once -in its natural theatrical setting. Disagree? That’s why you don’t have control over the page editing keys. But, to continue…
All films reviews, unless otherwise designated, reference the original theatrical version of the film- as God and Country intended.
All films reviewed at this site will be approached on a level critical field. Some titles which contain provocative elements are included and will be dealt with frankly in the estimation of their aesthetic or artistic values. Those films whose content may offend certain readers may be avoided by simply reading their titles and choosing not to do so. This site will never discriminate against films which might confuse, offend or outrage certain readers. The individual reader of the site must choose accordingly to their own tastes. (If this site were to limit its content on the basis of what is child-friendly, there would be no reference to “2001: A Space Odyssey”, a G rated film which if rated solely on whether it might be easily understood by the average tot, would merit an X rating.)
All films reviewed using sheer brain power made possible by being fueled with fully loaded cheeseburgers served at every critic’s favorite roadside house of yummy in Mendon, MA.
Enter all who would regard cinema as an Art Form.H.P.Lovecraft on Art: “the ability of any one man to pin down in some permanent and intelligible medium a sort of idea of what he sees in Nature that nobody else sees. In other words, to make the other fellow grasp, through skilled selective care in interpretative reproduction or symbolism, some inkling of what only the artist himself could possibly see in the actual objective scene itself.”
NOVEMBER MOVIE OF THE MONTH
MICHAEL LAURENCE ORSON WELLES
in a HILTON EDWARDS film
“RETURN TO GLENNASCAUL” ____________________________________________
DON’T BE SHY, SAY “HI!”
Whether or not you enjoy your stay here at CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS, drop us a line. Let us know what’s on your mind, the good the bad and the ugly. (Just keep it clean please.) Here we are an equal opportunity, open minded forum of film thought and all perspectives are welcome and encouraged. (Except Ebertism, but there’s a vaccine for that now, isn’t there?) So, if you happen to drop in, leave a trace of your carbon footprint behind and make your ideas count. And even if you choose not to leave a comment: welcome to our little corner of the World of Cinema.
“Women make wonderful pets.”- Lloyd Nolan in “Michael Shayne, Private Detective”
Before we proceed any further, perhaps it might help if we asked an obvious question: Just who is Chandler Swain anyway (see right) and what is his ultimate goal with this movie site? It might be important while perusing the pages of this site to keep in mind that the mindset on these pages is a fairly “old school” one, following the traditions of the Critical Mind as opposed to the easy methodology of film thought brought forth by the wave of Populism which has swept the country, and has been instrumental in bringing the American version of this most modern of art forms to its lowest creative level ever. The twofold purpose of this site is to both celebrate and excoriate (see below) the cinema form; in that the most primal entertainment values of film may be identified and encouraged, but also pursue a path of illumination on the more artistic aspects of the form. All films, regardless of commercial or artistic permutations should be given equal attention, as every single film, no matter how obscure or seemingly insignificant, contributes to the whole of the form. Since film, aside from the significant aspirations to Art, is also a commercial enterprise, an industry, it stands to reason that the commercial viability of a offensively crass and distastefully banal production may have subsequent negative influences on seemingly unrelated independent or artistically inclined enterprises. As much independence as some filmmakers would like to claim, the form- in the most commercial sense- has evolved (or devolved as some would have it) into a completely synergistic industry. Or something like that. Readers are invited to peruse and comment to their heart’s content. Contrary views are welcome as there is very little that is less stimulating than someone who always agrees with you. Original thought is encouraged, but please… no quoting of that antithesis of lucid film thought- Roger Ebert.
The usefulness of Internet film sites cannot be underestimated, but it is a fatal mistake to think they are a substitution for published critical thought found in either book form or in the still numerous serious film journals available from around the globe. Film sites are merely another resource not an end to themselves. Similar to the incontrovertible concept of actually seeing film in an intended large screen format (regardless of the film’s vintage), it is imperative that the serious cinephiles avail themselves with as much legitimately valuable information and viewpoints on the cinematic as possible. Much of what exists on the Net, in regard to film is fan-based in origin (as is much of the existing newsstand magazine output), and while some are endearingly enthusiastic in nature, it is important for the serious cinephile to not be led by the short leash of sentimental favoritism as opposed to solid philosophic views on the Art of Cinema, based on legitimate avenues of Critical Thought and not merely the winds of nostalgic romanticism.
Much of what is written on blog sites comes from a younger generation of writers, to whom the Internet is the most natural arena of expression; and while opening the field for a more immediate arena of public communication, this extended atmosphere of filmspeak does not necessarily advance the field of criticism in its purest form, but in fact may retard it’s evolution. First of all, there is far too much regressive film experience expressed, in which the same basic films are looked at ad infinitum; usually expressing the same viewpoints which have been studied sometimes for decades. This is where inexperience rears its ugly head; in that the novice enthusiast may make critical overtures that are already well-worn but the writer is unaware of this due to a lack of comprehensive scholarly experience in the field. It is as if, instead of the professor leading the course, each student is standing in a queue for their own opportunity to express the exact same views. This, unfortunately puts critical thought at a moribund standstill.
For film criticism to retain relevance, it is imperative to move beyond the current critical stasis, to elevate the class of film criticism beyond the reductive decades long trend toward reviewing as opposed to critical enlightenment, and to discard the crutches of fatal pollutants of open critical appraisal, such as the Auteur Theory which inevitably lead to a weakened Populist viewpoint rather than the more independent, forward thinking standards of analysis characteristic of The Critical Establishment. _______________________________________________________________
CARE AND FEEDING OF CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS, or:
How to Succeed in Negotiating This Site Without Really Trying
The first thing one must remember while visiting Chandler Swain Reviews is that it is set up more as a website rather than a blog site, therefore things are run more inefficiently and with a greater disdain for personal comfort. However, if one remembers that the lifeblood of this site is the main menu at the top of each page, one can easily negotiate the site without encountering too many highway tolls or pesky speed traps. One may notice on page sidebars, both a listing for new features (most are not “posted” as such and will have to be discovered by clever navigating of the site itself) and a list of current feature films playing on these pages. Simply travel to the pages indicated for the movie you wish to view, burn some popcorn and have a great time. All films reviewed on these pages are listed alphabetically on The Film Vault page along with the appropriate location. If there are suggestions about the site, comments or criticisms you’d like to express, feel free. It may be a global internet, but the First Amendment still applies here, and your voice has value. Ciao.
“I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP, MISTER DEMILLE.”: DECEMBER 2013 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ , VOL. 1941 (100% SELFIE-FREE)
This month’s festive photo quiz has the good fortune of containing socially redeeming content (we actually have to do this every now and then to excuse the usual crap we serve up) that may actually help those who have to put up a good front when what they receive in good faith under the Xmas tree disappoints (“But gee Dad, I wanted a Camaro, not a Bonneville!”- OK, probably dated ourselves here, but you get the gist.), so let the following be an instructional guide to that good old fashioned expression we call “the poker face” (or, in some of the examples: the poker face as expressed by the inmates of the Asylum at Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Swain), which may carry you through many bouts of selfishness and blind consumerism throughout this holiday season. This little hunk of joy has the same rules: identify all the titles of the films in the following stills, or die. (We just threw that last in there to see if you were paying attention.) The first to correctly identify all will receive the ever-popular CSR CULTURE SHOCK AWARD- won only three times, the last time by two-timer (with all of the connotations that may imply…ho ho ho) and long time supporter Aldora. Congrats babe. Now off with all of you, and don’t get on the bad side of mall Santa…I have it on good authority he’s packing heat.
SINCE YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, YOU MUST HAVE HAD A LOVE AFFAIR WITH BOLOGNA: NOVEMBER 2013 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, VOL. 1620
Here we are, boys and girls, with another exciting edition of America’s favorite duty free brain sizzler: the Classic Film Images Quiz. In this edition, we salute those brave Pilgrims and their future casino managing compatriots who decided to bury the hatchet, smoke a peace pipe, develop a chronic respiratory ailment and have a Thanksgiving meal of berries, cornmeal, wild turkey and Nicorette. Each of the following sixteen photos is a scene from a movie in which food or drink plays a prominent part. Your assignment, as always is to correctly identify all sixteen films (a copyrighted process known as “getting them right”) and to aspire to attain the coveted CSR CULTURE SHOCK AWARD, only handed out two times in history, which makes it a sight more difficult to obtain than that foil covered bit of chocolate called the Nobel Peace Prize. The first to correctly solve the quiz will receive the award and the animosity of lesser mortals. Congratulations are also in order to longtime participant Aldora who correctly solved both portions of September’s quiz and thus becomes only the second to proudly display the CSR CULTURE SHOCK AWARD in her home, useful in frightening away kids selling Burpee Seeds for valuable prize points and gas meter readers. To the rest of you, good luck.
IS THAT A TARANTULA IN YOUR CORSET OR ARE YOU JUST SCARED TO SEE ME?: OCTOBER CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ
Greeting boys and ghouls, once again it is time for another exciting plunge into that pit of darkness, that chasm of quaint irrelevance, that maelstrom of preposterously pitiable possession known as the Monthly Film Images Quiz. As if the prospect of yet another exercise in tedious title tail chasing weren’t enough, this month’s quiz imposes a deeper supernatural imposition (thus the imposing part of the program- pay attention!) as the number of images exhibited for your earnest, but eminently misguided, edification is 18, as counsel with leading scholars, theologians and relative theorists throughout the free world (except for Vermont, which is a totally useless place and is available for sale or rental at our Organizational Malapropism & Scheme Hatchery division in this website) has determined that a cohesion of the numbers 6, 6 and 6 is a far more palatable presentational quantity than its three digit counterpart which might upset the children, annoy the politically correct and make some smart-aleck insist we provide 666 images, which is out of the question as this is an enterprise fueled by extreme laziness and an uncertainty as to whether it’s even legal- with the government shutdown and all. Blame President Eddie Haskell, not me. As for the quiz itself, you will note the rules have not changed and that you are required to identify all 18 films pictured in the following stills; each representing a shuddery, spine-tingling horror feast, or perhaps just a bad movie that’s horrible (I forget). Once again, the pride of the title of Exceptionalism is at hand, and the first to identify (Correctly, if you please. There’s no sense of humor in the judge’s chambers.) all 18 will receive the treasured CSR CULTURE SHOCK AWARD, won by few (only one, actually) and coveted by even fewer. Good luck.
HISTORY IS OLD NEWS: SEPTEMBER CLASSIC FILM IMAGES
Ah, the good old days. Plagues, extinction level meteors, worldwide armed conflicts, the career of Elizabeth Taylor. OK, so maybe the past was hideous, filled with horrific events that will disturb Mankind until the Sun burns out (Remember “X, Y and Zee”? “The Biggest Game in Town”?), but look on the bright side: tomorrow can only be worse. And so with that Hallmark sentiment in mind, its time for another meaningless episode of the Classic Film Images Quiz, brought to you by the good folks at the Smarterin U. Film School, where movie smarts are worth their weight in popcorn. This quiz is a two part puzzle in which every film depicts a significant historical event or period. Your task- and that you have chosen to apply your time to this test of brainpower, automatically demonstrates a tremendous character (good or bad remains to be determined) and a spectacular amount of free time -is to correctly identify all twelve films associated with the following photos, and (here’s the kicker) to list all of your answers in chronological order of each film’s depicted historical occurrence, from the distant past to the present. All winners will receive a passing nod and muffled whispers of jealous derision on the campus of Smarterin U. Good luck!
AGE ISN’T A FOUR-LETTER WORD: AUGUST CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ
Despite the best efforts of the Millennials (a.k.a., the Generation Y, as in “Y do they exist?” collective) to dismiss the very existence of anyone over the age of 30 (which puts the elder of their clique against the firing squad wall…sorry kids), there have been an abundance of remarkable performances played by those eligible for the AARP. In an effort to counteract the popular wave of ageism pervading the land by those still living at their parent’s homes, this month’s Monthly Photo Quiz will feature those wonderful actors and actresses who dared to annoy the youth of the world by daring to star in a film, and not be dependent on comic book tomfoolery or CGI enhancement in order to amuse their ADHD addled minds. To further compound insult with injury, this month’s quiz will be 21 photos rather than the usual 12, so those who feel energy compromised might want to take a nap or gulp an energy drink before proceeding. As usual, the first to identify all of the following films will receive a special prize of instant gratification and the knowledge that life isn’t over at thirty (those familiar with the finale of “Wild in the Streets” will appreciate the irony of that message). Good luck. And genuflections and kudos to long-time reader quimedelivera for correctly solving the June Classic Film Images Quiz, thus becoming the first recipient of the coveted, oft imitated but never pawnable CSR CULTURE SHOCK AWARD. Congratulations!
A FACE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: JULY CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ
During this month of mindless summer entertainment, it would be a good time to reflect on those glamorous images of yesteryear, those faces that filled the silver screen and our collective imaginations and helped us forget the jabbering idiots across the aisle, or the imbecile kicking your seat behind you, or that glandular specimen sitting directly in front of you not simply satisfied with being eight feet tall, but also wearing an Australian bush hat. So, as your air conditioner browns out, simply divert yourself by identifying all twelve of the following films. Winners will receive nothing but a secret, misplaced pride and two tickets to the next Kansas City Athletics World Series Game 7. Good luck.
PORTRAIT OF A PHOTO AS A TRIVIALITY: JUNE CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ: THE SOLUTIONS
June is the month of Joyce. James Joyce. Actually, any month is a time for good reading, but the pressure of coming up with new and interesting photo categories is really getting grating and if you weren’t so damn demanding and just mind your own business, I wouldn’t have to go through this Hell of….oh, uh, never mind. This month’s quiz involves a bit o’ the old stream of consciousness favored by avant-garde writers and publishers with very sloppy punctuation checks. The last word of each title will be the first word of the next, until it all forms one long sentence that won’t make any sense, but neither does much of Joyce, so… The first to correctly identify all of the titles will receive a hardy “Why?” and the reputation as someone who has far too much free time. Good luck! THIS JUNE CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ WAS SOLVED BY LOYAL READER AND CINEMA BRAINIAC quimedelivera WHO IS THE PROUD (a.k.a. INVOLUNTARY) RECIPIENT OF THE PRICELESS RELIC KNOWN AS THE CSR CULTURE SHOCK AWARD. CONGRATULATIONS ON A FINE EFFORT AND A LIFE WELL SPENT.
A NAME BY ANY OTHER FACE: MAY CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ/ THE SOLUTIONS
May being the month of Memorial Day, let us expand the concept of remembrance and include all biographical films in comprising this month’s film photo quiz in which you are once again asked to identify the following twelve stills, only this time, in keeping with our inflationary times, there are three parts to the puzzle. All willing are expected to (1) name the film, (2) name the subject character of the film and (3) name the actor who plays that subject. As usual, all correct entries will be scrutinized by our crack staff of scholars from the hallowed halls of the Smarterin U. Film School. Anyone who correctly identifies all thirty six portions of the puzzle will achieve fame, fortune and a sense of superiority to all Mankind, though somewhere else. Here, if you’re lucky, you might get a shrug and an almost sincere “well done, I suppose.”
LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!: JANUARY CLASSIC FILM IMAGES/ THE SOLUTIONS
With Winter nipping at the heels there seems no better time to recall those great films in which snow, ice and snugglin’ with a spiked mug of cocoa inspired holiday cheer and depressed fourth quarter retail sales numbers. (Sorry Jordan Marsh, but no one really wanted the exclusive set of macrame luggage.) Your goal is to get out of that pesky nor’easter, dust off the frostbite and join Al Gore’s “no I wasn’t wrong about global warming- that’s a warm blizzard out there” cult by identifying all twelve of the following cinema images; films that take place in or feature important sequences in snow and ice. Good luck, and remember…when throwing a snowball at the landlord, don’t forget the cue ball in the center, for balance and a more accurate toss.
#1 DOWNHILL RACER
#2 LETTER NEVER SENT
#3 THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD
#5 THE WHITE HELL OF PITZ PALU
#6 SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW
#7 THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
#8 THE SHINING
#9 ALEXANDER NEVSKY
#10 A SIMPLE PLAN
#11 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
#12 WHERE EAGLES DARE
OCTOBER CLASSIC FILM IMAGES: FOR GUYS AND GHOULS OF ALL AGES/THE SOLUTIONS
October, bringing the annual season of Halloween, witches, warlocks and nausea inducing candy corn, is a perfect time to slide down the secret staircase bannister to the bubbling cauldron of Memory Lame and relive the glorious moments which terrified and made you watch a film from underneath a blanket or eye covering fingers. You assignment is to identify all 13 of the spooky films from which the following hallucinations emanate. As always, the winners of such an enterprise will receive boxes of raisins, cans of mushroom pieces, a soggy bag of coffee grounds and anything else we here at CSR can extract from the depths of our cupboards to fill your Halloween bags with the rich aroma of an off season room at our favorite Cornwall castle equipped with ghostly apparitions and decaying nests of vole.
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