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« How to Lose Friends and Alienate People | Main | Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season »
Monday
Jan262009

Swing Vote

 

Swing Vote
Actors: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez and Madeline Carroll
Directors: Joshua Michael Stern
Rating:
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Number of discs: 1
List Price: $29.99
Studio: TOUCHSTONE / DISNEY
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
Run Time: 120 minutes


Amazon.com Product Description: Kevin Costner stars in the hilarious timely comedy Swing Vote as Bud Johnson, an Average Joe, who is coasting through life with the help of Molly, his wise-beyond-her-years daughter. In a remarkable turn-of-events, the result of the presidential election comes down to his vote. Costner is joined by a brilliant all-star cast including Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci and George Lopez who will stop at nothing to win over the vote of the man who holds the fate of the free word.

Amazon.com Editorial Review: The ghost of Frank Capra is summoned up in Swing Vote, a populist comedy about the U.S. presidential election--because of an electoral deadlock--coming down to one man, one vote. Alarmingly (for the future of the world), that one man is Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), a beer-swilling, newly-unemployed divorced dad in Texico, New Mexico. Bud's got a week to re-cast his flawed ballot, so the entire election process--including the two candidates, played by Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper--descends on Texico for an orgy of campaign flapdoodle. Costner tries hard (probably too hard) to be the irresponsible good ol' boy, the kind of role he used to be able to handle with ease; by contrast, the composed Madeline Carroll, as his Little Miss Sunshiny daughter, comes off as a model of naturalism. Except for some pointed commercials, in which the candidates sell out their values to appeal to Bud's whimsical opinions on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, the movie's political bite is remarkably toothless. Both Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane are in the groove as cutthroat campaign managers, and the movie is jolted out of its beery idle with a late one-scene performance by Mare Winningham. There's an interesting film trying to climb out of Swing Vote, but it needs Frank Capra to kick it into shape. --Robert Horton

I'll be honest with you. I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. Maybe it's because we just finished up with a bruising presidential election campaign. Maybe it's because I like Kevin Costner more than I realized. Nah...what really made this movie was newcomer Madeline Carroll as his daughter Molly. She showed poise and ability far beyond her years...and far beyond many adult actors I've seen. The story is engaging, funny and yet makes you think...how far DO politicians go to gain our vote? How far behind are they willing to leave their own core beliefs just to win? Both Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammer give solid performances as politicians on each side of the aisle who have to answer that very question. Kevin Costner does an admirable job of portraying the loser "Bud" as he gets caught up in his new found celebrity and perks. The question of the day is, will he finally grow up and do the right thing or keep right on wallowing in mediocrity? Watch the film and find out. The ending was exactly right for what the film is trying to portray...that the outcome is not as important as the growth of the individual.

BONUS: The DVD has many bonus features, including exclusive glimpses behind the scenes, filmmaker commentary and deleted scenes.

4 out of 5 binkies.

CPA Mom

 

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