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Swing Vote
DVD disk
02.03.2009 By: Sturdy
Swing Vote order
Director:
Joshua Michael Stern

Actors:
Kevin Costner
Dennis Hopper
Nathan Lane

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A down and out man in a small New Mexico town receives national attention when itís deduced that his miscounted vote will decide the entire Presidential election. Unfit to deal with the attention, he loses sight of the impact of his situation and his daughter ends up losing faith in her father and her country.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The basic premise of SWING VOTE is outside the realm of possibility, and thatís something youíre going to have to accept before you go into the film. If you canít handle the idea of the Presidential election coming down to one, single vote, then stay far away from this film. I didnít like it, but I wanted to give the film the benefit of the doubt and let them use that as the platform to preach to me about voting and the American system.

And preach they did. But I struggled to understand the message. At first, I felt they were actually saying that the fallacy of letting the people vote for the countryís leaders is that thereís no discretion to who gets to vote, which allows for uneducated and misinformed people to have a say-so in who leads the most powerful country on earth. I felt that was a strange stance to take for a liberal-minded Hollywood. But then the message changed and it felt like they were saying that the problem with elections is that the people running will say and do anything to get a vote and it doesnít matter who we vote for because the President will inevitably do what they think the people want anyway. But again, it was a strange message for a liberal film.

So what was the message? I donít know. It was unclear until the end, where it actually did start preaching to you. But political messages aside, this wasnít a quality film. There have been times when Costner has been able to carry his own film, but this is not one of them. He never really got into the character and his lines seemed forced and insincere. But the biggest problem was with the relationship between him and his daughter. They just never clicked and I never believed they were related or had any type of connection. Since that was a big part of the film, it proved to be a significant hindrance.

The filmmakers also failed to properly show the grandness of the story. The audience was so confined to the main characterís trailer and small town that it felt like a local election and not a Presidential election. We never got a grasp of the magnitude of the decision he was going to have to make. They also forced in a relationship with a reporter that was nothing short of awkward. All in all, this film struggled to get the audience to relate and missed out on saying anything of relevance.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Joshua Michael Stern, Jason Richman: Itís sometimes hard to get into a commentary for a film that you didnít enjoy, but these guys were great to listen to. They love the project and are passionate about the film and that resonates through their commentary. They give a lot of cool stories and nice anecdotes.

Inside the Campaign: The Politics of Production (12:58): All the actors show up to give some information about how the film came to be and their parts in the film. Itís better than most making of featurettes, but itís too short to give an in-depth look at the production.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (10:52): These were unnecessary for the most part. They were mainly more looks at the candidates and their campaign managers. The film struggled moving along as it was, so it was good these were cut.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I didnít enjoy SWING VOTE and found it to be a weak effort from everyone involved. It was a timely film and probably gained some audience members from that, but it didnít deliver on anything it should have. I wouldnít even bother with a rental.
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