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  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
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  • Theatrical trailer

Swingers

Magna/Magna . R4 . COLOR . 92 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
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On its initial release, Swingers caused a sensation. Here was a film that was big on talk, extremely low on budget (US$250,000) and even lower on pretty much anything that could be considered a cinematic drawcard. Despite all this, the film was a phenomenal success and has gone on to become one of the most significant independent films made this side of Clerks. Many even consider it to be an extremely important reference point in the popular revival of swing music towards the end of the '90s.

The prime reference point for the success of Swingers lies in the excellent script, in which actor/co-producer Jon Favreau has delivered some of the most witty, realistic and downright human characters ever. Also complementing this is the magnificent cast, undeniably a perfect fit for each of their respective roles. In particular, the pairing of Jon Faverau and Vince Vaughn as the film's two leads, who are destined to go down in history as a truly significant cinematic duo. Their rapport was so good in fact, that the two have recently collaborated again on Faverau's latest project Made, a film that many fans of Swingers (despite not being related to the film in any way) have been eagerly anticipating.

The story of Swingers is relatively simple. Mikey (Jon Faverau) is a struggling stand-up comic who recently moved from New York to a seemingly prosperous Los Angeles. Having exited a six-year relationship only six months ago, Mikey is still finding it difficult to let go, with the memories of his relationship hindering any effort to involve himself with another women. In an effort to help Mikey get over his ex-girlfriend, Trent, Sue (as in Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue) and the rest of Mikey's out-of-work actor friends join him on a round trip of Las Vegas, a Beverley Hills party and a host of L.A. nightclubs.

"You're like this big bear, with big claws and these fangs, these big fuckin' teeth man, and she's just like this little bunny rabbit."

On paper, this idea may seem a little dull, but Swingers is filled with so many classic scenes as a result of the trendy locals and Favreau's razor-sharp script, that it is simply a must-see. Just try and control your fits of embarrassed laughter as Mikey obsessively calls a girl he just met no less than 7-8 times after getting cut off by her answering machine the first time round. It's a situation that pretty much anyone can relate to and therein lies the appeal of the entire film.

  Video
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God knows how many times I have seen this film, yet with a VHS copy already in my possession (very worn out nonetheless), the prospect of obtaining this film on DVD was something I was eagerly awaiting.

The good news is that this transfer is better than VHS, has some occasionally nice colour reproduction and it will not wear out after five viewings like a tape will.

The bad news is, however, despite being better than VHS, it is only marginally better. Dirt and grain is present throughout almost the entire film, giving it a fairly unstable quality that can occasionally become a little distracting.

It would have been nice to see Swingers in any ratio besides full screen, but unfortunately we will have to make do for the time being. However, with the film's tiny budget, emphasis was never really placed on dynamic visuals, and the lack of a widescreen presentation here certainly isn't a tragedy

  Audio
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Again, with the film's low budget, not to mention such a heavy emphasis on dialogue, a full-blown 5.1 mix would almost certainly have been a waste of time. The only thing that would have benefited from this would be the film's excellent soundtrack.

All dialogue is nice and clear with no real instances of distortion, likewise the remainder of wild sound and soundtrack is relatively clean.

  Extras
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Considering the incredible package that Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn have put together for the region 1 release of their latest film Made, the inclusion of only one theatrical trailer for this release is certainly disappointing.

At the very least, a commentary track from Favreau or even director Doug Liman would have been great. Here's hoping for a special edition sometime in the future.

  Overall  
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Swingers is a rare kind of film indeed; one that is so incredibly cool and witty, yet at the same time retains a realistic and very human nature that is such a rarity. Men will lock on to the extremely familiar characters whilst women ought to get a kick out of watching how sad and idiotic most of us are really are.


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      And I quote...
    "Swingers is a rare kind of film indeed; one that is so incredibly cool and witty, yet at the same time retains a realistic and very human nature. "
    - Ben Pollock
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Omni SL-P2000KD
    • TV:
          Palsonic 71cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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