Swing Vote (2008)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Disney || PG13 - 120 minutes - $29.99 || January 13, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-01-15

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Writer(s): Jason Richman & Joshua Michael Stern (written by)
Cast: Kevin Costner, Madeline Carroll, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, George Lopez

Theatrical Release Date: August 1, 2008

Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Inside the Campaign: The Politics of Production
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Music Video

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Waterworld was an amazing movie. There, criticize me if you must, but I loved that movie. Yes it was in every meaning of the word ďweird,Ē but it was never as bad as everyone said it was. This is my way of getting into Swing Vote, starring Kevin Costner, who happened to star in Waterworld. See, I was going somewhere with it.

Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) is a struggling working man with a daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) who is an opinionated child, to say the least. Molly reminds her father to vote today in the election, but he shrugs it off by saying that one personís vote doesnít change anything. Bud is the true American who doesnít care about voting or what happens in the world obviously, as though he drinks constantly and doesnít know that much about his daughter either.

So voting day comes around, and after getting canned at the factory, Bud decides to go to vote. The problem is, he doesnít, instead he chooses to get completely hammered at a bar and come home to pass out. Molly, on the other hand, sneaks into the voting booth and decides to vote for him. But the janitor accidentally knocks the power out of the booth and Budís vote doesnít count.

The next night the government shows up at his house to let him know that his vote didnít count. In shock, Bud plays along with the charade, not realizing for a bit that his daughter voted for him. Angry and dismayed at Molly for what she did, he swears he will vote again and the agents leave. However the news media catches wind of this and heads to Budís house to interview him.

It turns out that the election comes down to a single vote to decide between the current President Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammer) and his opponent Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper). The single vote is of course Budís, but he doesnít even know who the candidates are or what they stand for.

Bud and Molly continually fight about the election and why he should care. He sees it as pointless, as the two candidates attempt to bribe him throughout the film and just play on his every word, which Bud fails to see as a bad thing. Molly wants him to actually care about the election and voting, and tries her hardest to show him that he is incredibly important that he make the decision so America can have a president.

Overall this is a great film, even though the back story behind the whole Bud and his wife is rather short cast and doesnít ever amount to much. George Lopez only has a few lines, which is a shame since his character is rather funny. Still, despite a few gripes, itís still one of the better political comedies to come out as of late.


Audio Commentary by Director/Writer Joshua Michael Stern and Writer Jason Richman: A rather mundane commentary as the duo talks about whatís happening in the movie and talk about really obvious things. Itís not a great commentary, but it does give a little insight into some of the scenes and cast. I would have preferred one with the cast, but I guess I canít have everything.

Inside the Campaign: The Politics of Production (13 minutes): The cast discusses the movie and their experience with it. This also talks about how the previous election in 2000 and how that influenced this film.

ďHey Man What About You?Ē Performed by Modern West (4 minutes): A song from the soundtrack sung by Costner and his band. Catchy tune.

Deleted and Extended Scenes w/ Optional Directorís Commentary (11 minutes): Totaling only four scenes, these are decent and probably should have been in the movie. The reason for that is because it goes into a little more of the people running for the presidency (as though thereís not much of that in the actual movie itself).


Disney has done an okay job on Swing Vote video-wise. I say okay, because there are some issues with the transfer. First, colors appear too bright throughout the movie. Iím not sure if this has to deal with contrast or not, but some of the outside shots appear way too light flesh tone wise. Other than that, itís a nice-looking picture. It only gets 3.5/5 because of this issue, as it happens throughout the film. If you can look past it, then this is a fine transfer.

On the audio scale, Swing Vote wonít be winning any awards. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track uses the surround no more than three times the entire film, as though itís almost all dialogue. The track however does get the job done properly, as there are no issues with levels or not being able to understand the cast. Thereís just not a lot here to judge, as though there are literally no special effects or anything worth noting.


Swing Vote isnít a movie for everyone. Political comedies rarely succeed, but this one goes against the tidal wave and works in the end. Despite being a little too long and not enough background into the characters, itís still a great movie. The special features are somewhat dense but the audio and video are average. My vote is a rental.