Dark, Brave & Funny
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Be prepared, this is not a comfortable movie to sit through. No easy options, no pandering to 'cool' drug images and no safe resolutions. This is an incredibly faithful adaptation of Amis's blistering novel. The movie pulls no punches and has an effect that very few movies manage to achieve, this is an EXPERIENCE. Marsh's debut is incredibly assured and gives me high hopes for his next project, beautifully lit and shot it defies it low budget roots. If only more British movies were made like this. I first saw this in it's UK cinema release and was blown away by it. Not domestically available yet in the UK, I now own the region 1 DVD - which is a great transfer. The movies relatively unknown cast is as strong and brave as the subject matter. Marsh clearly has a flare with actors; top honours don't go to Bettany and Williams, but to the unknown Charlie Condu as Giles and Andy Nyman as Keith who delivers an incredible career making debut. It was despised and buried in the UK, loved in Europe and hideously title changed to 'Mood Swingers' in the U.S. But if you like your films smart, brave and non-patronising, this will make your top ten. Ignore what anyone else says, have the balls to make up your own mind - you'll thank me. Trust me, come back in 5 years time and the cult status will be huge."
Quirky, flashy, erratic, intriguing
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 12/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In spite of a somewhat ham-fisted ending, Mood Swingers delivers the goods. It's a relatively plotless tale of a bunch of young blokes and babes who converge in London--three of them are American--for a weekend of drug-induced chaos. The drug supplier is played by the same chap who wrote and directed the film, which is based on a novel by British bad boy author Martin Amis--who even blurbs the film on the DVD front cover!More an ensemble piece than anything else, the film veers wildly from relatively straightforward narrative to occasionally very imaginative jump cutting. The thrust here doesn't seem to be storytelling as much as it is a "let's cram as much sharp dialogue, striking images, and violent segues into this 100 minutes as possible". The emphasis is on violence--meaning, not graphic violence (although yes, there is some of that)--but more to the point, a violent, hyperbolic style.This is in keeping with the source material from Martin Amis. The youthfulness of the group aligns with their powerful urges for sex and drugs and also with the violent style of the film. This three-way convergence actually works well and it would have been perfect if the same approach had been used for the ending, which unfortunately descends into a thicker, more predictable mode when the real perpretrator of the graphic violence is revealed.Nevertheless, this is an interesting film because of the chances it takes stylistically and the often sharp--and funny--dialogue. The mixture of biting comedy, intense emotionality, and sudden outbursts of manic energy is more than enough to hold your interest throughout.Different and worthwhile."
Watch Out for First Look Home Entertainment Version
Sensory Depravation | Central Illinois | 12/10/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is the version I got stuck with. Completely linear. No chapters, no menus, no special features, but a decent transfer of FULL FRAME Version. Hit the menu button or chapter advance and you start the whole movie over. May as well be VHS. Buyers beware! Ask your sellers which version your getting. Too bad because this is a fun film."
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 04/11/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This picture is a quintessential nihilist picture. If you share the value system that life has no meaning or value, you may find some comfort in the Conceptualists from this film. William Marsh who plays the drug-dealing Marvel in the film also directed and wrote the screenplay. I have no idea what the feud entailed between Marsh and producer Holmes' final cut of the film, but I doubt it could essentially be less dreadful. Paul Bettany has shown himself to have a great range from "Wimbledon" to "Gangster No. 1," so I wanted to see this film. As the self-absorbed Quentin, he turns in another performance that surpasses the material. Titled "Dead Babies" in England, "Mood Swingers" shows a group of bored and insecure people getting together for the weekend for drugs and free sex. Olivia Williams who starred as the mother in "Peter Pan" and the wife in "The 6th Sense" is a bored and restless woman looking for kicks. Alexandra Gilbreath plays Bettany's wife and is equally restless for some unnamed satisfaction. She looks nice dancing in her sheer floral print blouse, but one hardly understands what draws the character to this loose company. Andy Nyman as the pimple-faced heavy-set loser who prances around in his bathrobe wondering why he can't find a lover turns in one of the best performances. Charlie Condon as Giles also does a nice job as the insecure weakling who worries about his teeth. Kris Marshall does a great job as the part psycho/part victim/part gay crazy Skip. Added to this is the nymphomaniac Roxanne played by Hayley Carr and Lucy who has the rep as a loose woman. All in all, the plot twists through the Conceptualists invading the weekend party and unexpectedly turns to a pile of corpses. While certainly foreshadowed, the ending still seems to come out of left field. In the end, watching this film is mostly a waste of time and money. Taxi!"